Illuminate!

A local Festival not far from us that has been going every year since 2016, (except for the Covid-19 years in 2020 and 2021) is the Illuminate Festival.

It is held in Picton, New South Wales, Australia which is located 90 kilometres/56 miles South West of Sydney. Picton is about 10 – 15 minutes drive from where we live.

You may have heard of or seen the Sydney Vivid Festival, where works of Art are projected onto buildings and other structures at night.

Picton is a much smaller version of that, and it also has Art and Craft market stalls, food stalls and all manner of other stalls plus live bands and the Annual Wollondilly Art Exhibition. It is held late May and Susan and I attended it recently.

The Art Exhibition and the projected lights are the biggest drawcard for me however, on the day/night a live local Blues group called, ‘Monkey’s Uncle’ was a definite delight!

Here are some iPhone images from the Festival.

Written by David Johnson

3 June 2022

Not Just For Display

A Remarkable Journey

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

My Photographic Journey – Part 3a – Camera Clubs/Photographic Societies

Camera Clubs/Photographic Societies were such a huge and integral part of my journey in Photography and those experiences cannot be summed up in just one post as there were several facets that I would like to cover.

When I walked into a Camera Club for the very first time, I was an extremely shy 23 year old (I can hear Perc Carter laughing now…). I’ll never forget my early visits to Campbelltown Camera Club in 1986. I joined in June of that year.

Logo from a T-Shirt members proudly wore around advertising our Club.
I still have the T-Shirt, though I doubt it would fit me these days!

Apart from ‘not being comfortable in a roomful of strangers’, as the prints started to go up on the print stands, I felt both inspired and inadequate at the same time.

I had been shooting for about 3 1/2 years and was starting to feel a bit more happy with what and how I was shooting. I knew there was room for improvement though. There always is…much more improvement when I saw what was in front of me!

The images in front of me were awe-striking. I had no knowledge at that time of how long some of my fellow members had been involved in photography. I had arrived as a member just in time for the ‘Top Shot’ Competition. I had never even considered going into a competition with my photography. Photography was just for fun.

Charlie Cowell won the overall Top Shot that year with a Still-Life image that had a background where ‘light just disappeared’ into the background.

I had been trying to shoot various Still-Life scenes but my backgrounds were awful. I sat there wondering how he did it and commented so to another member. The member said, ‘why don’t you ask him?’

Summing up the courage, I did. ‘Black Velvet’, Charlie said & proceeded to tell me what to buy and where to buy etc. I still have that piece of Velvet 35 years later…

I started to enter the competitions about a month later. Club competition entries, if successful, were awarded a Merit or Credit by the visiting Judge who evaluated the images on display and suggested points for improvement.

Myself being presented with a Bronze Medallion for 25 Merits in Monochrome c1990’s by then President, Enid Duncan.. I went on to achieve 75+ Merits in Monochrome; and 205 Merits in Slides which was/is a Club record for that medium. Wish I still had the hair!

I learnt so much going along to Campbelltown Camera Club in many ways, the competitions being just one of them.

It certainly helped build up my ‘photographic confidence’ over time and also, being exposed to a new group of people helped start me on the road to ‘general self-confidence’ too.

Over the next few articles, as I continue write about my Photographic journey, I will explore other facets of my wonderful experience of being a member of a Camera Club/Photographic Society.

A few years back, Campbelltown Camera Club changed it’s name to Macarthur Photographic Society. To find out more about MPS and how being a member can improve your Photography, click on the following link. https://macarthurphotographicsociety.org.au/

Till next time.

Written by David Johnson

27 February 2021

One With The Pen

Red Point Art Association Inc

Yesterday, I joined Red Point Artists Association Inc at Port Kembla, which is situated 93 kilometres (57 miles), 1 1/2 hours drive from Sydney, near Wollongong and about 45 minutes SE of where I live.

I had visited some years ago at the invitation of a friend, Dulcie Dal Molin who is a former President of the Association and an Honorary Life Member. I have known Dulcie for may years through our involvement in Photographic Societies.

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I had been wanting to become a member of RPAA for quite a few years but had too many commitments on my plate. Those commitments have now ended and my love for Sketching and Painting has increased remarkably over the last few years. The time was indeed right!

You might ask, ‘aren’t there Art Societies closer to where you live?’ ‘Why travel that distance to join this Art Community?’

Valid questions. I have always found my visits to ‘Art On The Grass’ which are held every second Saturday of the month, for 11 months of the year, special. There is something that keeps drawing me back to this Art Community that I cannot quite put into words. Perhaps the French phrase, ‘Je ne sais quoi’ would sum it up.

The RPAA are to be congratulated as not only have they found a ’space’ in the Main Street of Port Kembla, they have found a truly inspiring space. A grassy rectangle surrounded by a ‘horseshoe’ of studios, a gallery where the members can hold exhibitions and a cafe with outside seating that all contribute to the ‘Artsy Vibe!’

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On the grass and via the studios, members can also sell their Arts and Crafts and the general public can come in and seek out that special gift for themselves or others whilst beautiful music plays in the background.

Workshops and Art classes are also held regularly.

It really presents well as a delightful Community Art Space in a relaxed environment where a variety of Arts and Crafts are practiced.<

For more information please visit the following links:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/RedPointArtistsAssociationInc

Written by David Johnson
12 July 2020

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What We Should Crave…

What We Should Crave...

Photo Inspiration – Southern Highlands Photographic Society!

Back in 2004, I was one of 9 founding members for what became known as the Southern Highlands Photographic Society Inc. SHPS (as it has become affectionately known as) continues to be a thriving Photographic Society at East Bowral in the Southern Highlands region in NSW, Australia. Currently, they have approx. 50 members.

I moved further away in 2013 and in 2016 sadly relinquished my membership due to an inability to get to any meetings due to business and other reasons.

Last weekend, we ventured down to Bowral to see (not only the Tulip Time Festival) but SHPS’ Annual Tulip Time Photographic Exhibition which is held in the Old Bowral Town Hall, Bowral. It was finishing that day.

Put simply, the Exhibition, in terms of quality gets better and better each year. There was a stunning array of subject-matter and treatments in the 3 sections, Monochrome, Colour Print and Projected Digital. There were 120 images on display.

One of the great things about the Exhibition was that 83 of the images were mounted prints in frames. In these days of imagery, where most of what we see is on the Internet, it was so refreshing to see images hanging on a wall.

I can see SHPS being around for many, many years to come. There is such a wealth of photographic and artistic experience there and it is certainly a place where one can be inspired and educated to improve their Art and Craft.

If you are looking for a progressive Photographic Society to visit and/or join, may I wholeheartedly recommend visiting SHPS.

Please visit the website below for more information on SHPS, including their newsletter, ‘On Photography’, Galleries and Programme details.

Southern Highlands Photographic Society – Dedicated To The Art Of Photography

Venue: East Bowral Community Centre, East Bowral
Days: 3rd & 5th Tuesday each month
Time: 7.30pm
Website: www.shps.org.au

Written by David Johnson
6 October 2018

Journal To Discovery

It never occurred to me many years ago to keep a Journal, not a Diary, but a Journal of thoughts and ideas. It would have been great to be able to delve into now to see what sorts of things I was thinking of way back when.
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The idea to keep such a thing only started to enter my thinking around 2010. I started a small one for photographic ideas that I would definitely need the use of Photoshop to engineer as they were moving towards ‘Conceptual Photography.’ I would write a few brief notes and then do basic drawings or a sketch. Ironically, these days I seldom use Photoshop, but that’s for another article…

At my core I am ‘an ideas person.’ I have a lot of them and sometimes the phrase, ’shiny object syndrome’ comes to mind. Through 2003 – 2009 I was traveling 4 hours return by public transport to work in Sydney, Australia, was in two Photographic Societies, on committees and had lots of things on the go. Over the years, I have many ideas and some of them have progressed but many are still there, waiting…

In 2008 Toastmasters arrived in my life and I was being exposed to new things, ideas, people. Evernote became my ’Typed Journal.’

I began to revisit Sketches (that were not connected with Photographic ideas) which led me to keep a related Sketching journal, which led to me completing a basic Drawing course. Up sprang another type of Journal!

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Drawing led to me wondering if I could Paint? Up sprang a small Painting ‘Journal.’

In August 2013, I started writing Poetry, so yes, enter my Evernote Poetry Journal. Two years ago I realised just how much I was missing the ‘actual act of writing’ and so I bought an A5 journal that I handwrite poetry in. As I was halfway through my 4th poetry journal, a thought came to mind… Instead of having all these different Journals, why not combine them?
Research began on what type of journal to buy? This went on for a few weeks…

I ascertained it had to be able to be good enough quality paper to be:

  • Written on using a Calligraphy (or similar pen)
  • Able to withstand Watercolour and Acrylic Paints
  • Sketched or Drawn upon

As I found out, there is a whole industry devoted to Journals/Journaling. Here is one of the links that were indeed very helpful to me, as I hope it will be for you.

The next decision was, ’should I buy a ready-made’ product or make my own?’

I decided to go the ready-made route. I feel that my next one will be one I make myself. It sounds like fun!

The Journal I have chosen to combine all my Artistic, Writing & Poetical ideas is an A4 Ivory paper journal.

In this Journal, to my Heart’s content I can:

  • Write Poetry
  • Write small articles
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Sketch
  • Formulate Ideas
  • Paste photos

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As I get on in years it is going to be so much fun delving back, re-engineering ideas and seeing what thoughts and ideas I have had. When I am no longer on this Earth the Journals will be left to relatives/friends who I know will appreciate and gain enjoyment from (and who knows) may progress some of the ideas and be inspired to record their own Artistic Journey.

Do you keep a Journal of your Art, Thoughts & Ideas?

If so, what do you use? I would be interested in hearing about your Journal of Discovery!

As for me, I believe I can hear my Journal calling me… Bye for now.