Urban Sketchers Sydney – October Meet

Last Saturday, I went on my second Meet of the Urban Sketchers Sydney group. This time, the Meet was held in the grounds between the Sydney Town Hall and St Andrews Cathedral.

The main object of the day was to attempt a sketch of a moving subject, the newly built ‘Sydney Light Rail’, a red and deep grey, modern-style tram.

There were 40 or so Urban Sketchers in attendance and most started with the Light Rail as the subject. Quite a few of us went in the other direction and chose stationary subjects i.e. buildings or parts of buildings. I chose the side entrance/steps to the Sydney Town Hall.

Sydney Town Hall

To be honest, I found this subject challenging enough and when it started to rain a little it was even more challenging. After I finished this sketch, I did wander over to the Light Rail and started to sketch it. It was kind of weird how the subject kept disappearing… I didn’t get to finish the sketch at the time but it certainly was an interesting challenge and experience.

We then had the ‘Throw Down’ and once again it was marvellous to see all the different interpretations and styles of those present.

Throw Down

I am so glad that I came across this group on Facebook. Urban Sketchers Sydney is full of friendly and inspirational people and I am looking forward to attending my third Meet in November. I wonder where it will be? 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/groups/usksyd/about/

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

3 October 2022

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Refined By The Sea – Creativity Spotlight

Welcome to the third article in this series!

Today I’m showcasing, ‘Refined By The Sea’ which is operated by Stephanie Thackray. Stephanie, like Helen and myself is a member of Red Point Artists Association in Port Kembla.

Stephanie is another member who displays her Art and Craft at the “Art & Craft On The Grass” which is held on the second Saturday of the month at Red Point Art, 100 Wentworth Street, Port Kembla, NSW, Australia.

Stephanie informed me that she spent five years collecting the raw materials that she then crafts into Jewellery (as displayed in the images below).

On a previous visit to “Art & Craft On The Grass” I purchased a set of earrings from Stephanie for my wife. She loves them!

If you would like to see more of Stephanie’s Art & Craft, her details are below.

Written by David Johnson

29 June 2021

*I receive no monetary benefit for promoting other Artists. I just love promoting creativity.

Helen’s Acrylic Pours – Creativity Spotlight

Last weekend I was at Red Point Artists Association’s, ‘Art On The Grass’ monthly event. Amongst the Artistic stalls on the grass was ‘Helen’s Acrylic Pours’ which is owned and operated by Helen J. Purdy.

I came up with the thought of having a new segment on my blog when I was chatting with Helen last week and she kindly agreed to be the first Artist in this new segment. Thanks so much Helen!

Helen (like myself) is a member of RPAA and you will find her regularly displaying her creations at the monthly event which are for sale.

Helen displaying her Acrylic creations.

Helen is a self-taught Acrylic paint-pouring Artist and she uses canvas and a wide variety of materials. Helen is also prepared to give one-on-one lessons. Her creations are certainly eye-catching and unrepeatable.

I love talking to Artists and hearing/seeing their passion for creation. Helen’s certainly shines on through!

Thank you Helen for allowing me to feature you on my blog.

If you would like more information about what Helen does, would like to purchase some of her Art or would like a one-on-one lesson, please contact Helen via one of the options below.

https://www.facebook.com/Helens-Acrylic-Pours-104730084391759

Written by David Johnson

20 March 2021

*I receive no monetary benefit for promoting other Artists. I just love promoting creativity.

Creativity Spotlight

My Wife, Susan and I yesterday visited Red Point Artists Association at Point Kembla, NSW, Australia. They were holding their monthly, Art On The Grass event.

Although I had been visiting their sporadically over the past 10 years, I only became a member of this wonderful organisation in July last year. I hadn’t joined previously as I had many things (as we all do on occasions) competing for my time.

Red Point was formed in May 2008 and it’s home is a small precinct of (what were once) retail shops set in a ‘rectangular horseshoe formation’ with a rectangular grassy area in the middle with a few established trees which provides an ideal location for their ‘Art On The Grass’ event.

Within this precinct is a Takeaway Food shop on one corner, a number of Artist studios (some shared), a main Gallery plus a smaller Gallery and a Workshop that is used for demonstrations.

Art On The Grass features Art and Craft that is for sale and the tables are manned by the Artists Craft-makers themselves and there are a wide variety of things to look at and buy.

There are always Exhibitions on from Red Point members in both galleries. The whole atmosphere is relaxing and is often complemented by live music in the form of an Acoustic Guitarist or similar.

From the moment I first visited Red Point Artists, I could feel that there was something ‘special’ about the place, the Art and the people in it. I feel a ‘sense of connection’ down there and never fail to be inspired by something or a Artist when I visit.

I’ve written on my blog previously about visits to Art On The Grass and whilst I was down there this time, I had an idea for a section on my blog that highlighted individual Artists and Craft- makers that I come across in my travels. This would also from time-to-time include Art and Craft associations as well. For more information about Red Point Artists Association, please click on the following link: https://redpointart.org.au/

Why would I do this?

I love Art and Craft and find it very interesting to see what other Artists and Craft-makers imaginations can create. I will always ask their permission to firstly, photograph them at their tables or any of their table setups before posting on this blog. I would like to help them promote their Art and Craft. I receive no monetary benefit for doing this. The benefit I receive is the enjoyment in being able to promote what other people’s imaginations have created. Hopefully, it will help them too.

I will be including their contact details and/or website so that if you like what they do or want to find out more information about what they do, you can contact them directly.

My next article in ‘Creativity Spotlight’ will be about Helen from ‘Wall Art & Resin Homewares’, whose Artistic endeavour is ‘Acrylic Pouring.’ Helen is a member of Red Point Artists Association.

Looking forward to seeing you then.

Written by David Johnson

14 March 2021

Artistic Opportunity

Last Friday week I was given the opportunity to part of a function called, “Open For Business” which was run by ‘Good Morning Macarthur’ a local production in the Macarthur Region of NSW at Oz Funland.

It featured four business owners who made up a panel and they shared their knowledge to enhance the local business community.

Also featured was a Samoan dancer called, ‘Tito’ and a selection of my Art, consisting of both Oil and Watercolour.

As with any region, business functions are common, however, due to Covid-19, business functions had been online mostly this year and often they feature only business-related activities.

The team at Good Morning Macarthur decided to do something a little bit different and it worked well mixing in a bit of entertainment and art.

Thank you to the team at Good Morning Macarthur for allowing me to display my Art. This is the first time multiple examples of my Art have been on display. We had a wonderful night!

Written by David Johnson

1 November 2020

Freedom Through Sketching and Painting

I love the freedom Sketching and Painting gives me.

One basically starts off with no image on canvas or paper. You might have an image in mind and then you set about creating it from your imagination or a memory, or indeed a combination of both.

If you are using a reference photo you already have a basic framework though, generally speaking and unless you are into Photo Realism, you will come up with an interpretation of the image at hand.

The Photographer has a scene before them. Certainly, (they can create an image in Photoshop from other images) but they don’t have to create shadows or the image when they are ‘live’ to a scene.’ Many scenes are already presented.

They choose the composition and begin shooting.

The Painter on the hand has to sketch/draw (mostly) the contents of the image, creating the effect of shadows, light, shape, texture and form with essentially 3 things, canvas, brush, pigment and a skilful hand.

Painting en Plein Air is the closest relation to Photography, I feel. Both the Painter and the Photographer have a scene in front of them and it is up to them what they distill from that scene, composition-wise to come up with an image.

The Photographer manipulates through camera, lens, lighting, angle, filter and later Photoshop or similar, using their imagination as well.

The Painter manipulates with their choice of canvas/paper, brush, pigment, line, angle, light and uses their imagination as well.

Back in the studio both can finish off their piece.

I’m not trying to say that Painting is better or is more creative than Photography though as each medium is irreplaceable. Painting cannot replace the immediacy of Photography. Photography can capture that ‘moment in time’ in less than a second, Painting cannot.

On a personal level, I have been photographing since the early 1980’s, although not as much these days. Sketching and Painting has certainly taken over, particularly in the last 2 years.

One of the things that I love about Sketching and Painting is the freedom it gives me and also the challenge of creating an image using basic tools. 

In an article a while ago I wrote called, ’There Are No 36 Megapixel Brushes’ I wrote about how someone can take a photo with something as simple these days as a phone camera and, due to the technology available, come with a technically decent image. Composition/imagination is another story, however.

As a Sketcher/Painter, we cannot go out and buy a Brush and Pigment that will give us a technically brilliant sketch or painting.

Yes, there are electronic Sketching and Painting apps but you still have to have the technical and artistic skill to create the image.

I still love Photography but it takes up a different place in my life these days. Equipment-wise, I’m heading towards Mirror-less cameras and a high-end compact that I can take anywhere.

I’m thoroughly enjoying my journey in Sketching and Painting and I can see myself continuing this journey for many years to come.

Written by David Johnson

11 October 2020

Be Your Own Guide

Be Your Own Guide...1

Stretching My Comfort-Zone…Flowers

Being still (what I would call) relatively new to Watercolour, I am still exploring the types of subject matter that I would like to paint. Predominantly, I have been painting landscapes, seascapes, sky-scapes with a few buildings thrown in here and there.

I hadn’t really thought of painting flowers. They always looked rather challenging (and still are) and I have so much still to learning about painting them.

Recently, I purchased the book, ’The Watercolour Flower Painter’s A – Z’ An Illustrated Directory of Techniques for Painting 50 Popular Flowers.

Thus far, I have attempted 3 of the exercises 1) Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise); 2) Freesia and 3) Petunia and found the exercises easy to follow, offering detailed instruction and a delight to read.

Under ‘Essentials’ in the front of the book it covers nearly 30 essential techniques to learn that will aid the aspiring Artist in artistically reproducing the subjects.

If you are looking for an easy to follow book that will take you out of your ‘painting comfort-zone’ then I would highly recommend you take a look at this book.

Written by David Johnson

March 2020

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Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise)

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Petunia

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Freesia

Wollondilly Arts Group Inc Revisted

A little over 5 years ago, I was a member of Wollondilly Arts Group Inc. I moved away from the area but not far enough away that I couldn’t have stayed a member. Life sometimes happens, however, and at the time I had to let my membership lapse due to other commitments.
WAG started in 2004 and they are a creative group of Amateur and Professional Artists who get together on a monthly basis to create, share ideas and generally help and inspire each other in their artistic journeys.
There are a mixture of mediums being worked by WAG members e.g. Acrylic, Oil and Watercolour, Drawing, Paper-Making, Textile, Drawing, Sketching, Photography to name some.
Yesterday, I went back for the long-awaited visit to the monthly Creative Workshop I used to enjoy going to so much and wasn’t disappointed.
Although our artistic journeys are of an individual nature, many benefits can be gained from regularly mixing with other artists, and this is what I believe I have been missing out on over the past 5 years.
I have been slowly increasing the amount of time allocated to drawing and painting over those years but have been feeling something was missing.
Yesterday proved to me how much I need to be a member of WAG again. They are a friendly bunch of down-to-Earth creatives who are there to share their thoughts, tips and encourage each other.
In just being there I felt inspired. It also felt like I had come ‘home.’
In the next 2-3 years, we do intend to move back into the area/further away from Sydney as well.
I am excited to be rejoining Wollondilly Arts Group Inc and look forward to the many years of friendship, encouragement and inspiration that lie ahead.

 

Written by David Johnson
15 July 2018