Tag Archives: drawing

Happy New Year…

Edith and Christian, charcoal and wash on paper

Edith and Christian, charcoal and wash on paper, by Marion Langford

Happy New Year!  I am looking forward to another year of creativity in 2013 and have a number of projects in mind.

In closing 2012, with our daughter currently on exchange to France, we wanted to thank her “French parents” for their wonderful hospitality and for welcoming her into their family.  Nyomi asked if I would do a portrait of Edith and Christian for Christmas as a special gift and I was very happy to be able to create this drawing for them.  

Thank you Edith and Christian for being such lovely parents to our daughter and we look forward to your visiting us in Australia in the future.

Season’s greetings and best wishes for 2013…

Dear Friends and Friends of my work

With Christmas just a few weeks away, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you well over the Christmas period and all the very best for 2013.

"Self Portrait:  In the moment" entry in 2012 Portia Geach Portrait Prize

“Self Portrait: In the moment” entry in 2012 Portia Geach Portrait Prize

2012 has been a year of “showing up” for me as an artist.  My goal this year was to enter some of the major art exhibitions for the first time and I am pleased to say that I entered four of these including The Sulman Art Prize, The Blake Art Prize, the Mortimore Art Prize and the Portia Geach Portrait Prize.  While my various paintings were unselected, it was an important milestone to at least enter.  As a number of my art mentors pointed out, there comes a time when you do have to “show up” and then just keep “showing up”.

 

 

 

"Local Hero", 2012 Warringah Art Exhibition

“Local Hero”, 2012 Warringah Art Exhibition

 

 

 

 

 

 

At a local community level, my painting of Bob Blockley, titled “Local Hero” was selected for hanging in this year’s Warringah Art Show. 

Bob is 85 and a resident of our street.  I was keen to paint this dear old soul who for many years has been delivering our Manly Daily newspaper.  Up with the birds (hence the rooster) but in his case quietly going about his deliveries, Bob would pop our paper in our letterbox before heading down to St John The Baptist’s primary school to open it up.  These are just a couple of the roles he has played in our local community so I was delighted to see his painting hung in the exhibition.

"Youth" pastels on coloured paper

“Youth” pastels on coloured paper

 

 

 

This final image is a pastel portrait I did of one of my daughter’s school friends.  Working from an image my daughter had taken while on a school excursion, I loved the way the sunlight was hitting that mass of curly hair so this was just a bit of fun to do.  

As you can see, I really enjoy the portraiture and am continuing to pursue this area.  I had a wonderful trip to Umbria, Italy in October to spend a week at a Master Portrait Class by Andrew James and along with fellow artist friend, Masako Gordon, am hoping to have an exhibition in May next year of works based on our trip.  Stay tuned! 

Since returning to Sydney I have been thoroughly enjoying Life Drawing Classes with Ann Cape at the Royal Art Society and am also looking to undertake the RAS Diploma over the next couple of years.  Always plenty to learn and develop as an artist, and I look forward to keeping you up to date on my progress.  My work is taking a more experimental and expressive path at this stage, which is exciting so again keep in contact.

You know where I am if you are interested in a portrait, whether a drawing or painting, of you or a loved one and they really do make very special gifts.  I am also keen to do children’s portraits so again, if you are interested, please let me know.

Until my next newsletter, I wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and good health and much happiness for the New Year.  May 2013 be a special year for you.

Best wishes, Marion

 

Grazie…Andy James and Arte Umbria

MasterClass in Portraits certificate photo with Andy James

MasterClass in Portraits certificate photo with Andrew James

 

Having recently returned from Umbria, a big thanks to Andrew James, our MasterClass Portrait teacher.  I had travelled to Italy specifically to attend Andy’s course and wasn’t disappointed. 

Thanks Andy for your generous spirit in teaching, sharing your expertise, for your constructive guidance and for your inspiration.  I am really looking forward to putting all that I learnt into practise!

For those who haven’t seen Andy’s work, follow this link.

 

View of nearby Montegabbione from villa

View of nearby Montegabbione from villa

Thanks also to Sara and David Moody, our hosts at Arte Umbria, for making us feel so welcome.  The villa is great, the scenery stunning, the meals are amazing and all in all a great holiday combined with an excellent week of painting and drawing with Andy.

 If you really want to treat yourself… find out more about Arte Umbria and the courses they run, by following this link.

Grazie… Andy, Sara and David!

Playing with pencils…Christmas pastime

 

Laura, pencil on paper
Laura, pencil on paper, 21 cm x 22 cm

While away visiting family at Mullumbimby for Christmas, I decided to leave my easel, paints and boards at home and instead just took my notebook and pencils with me. 

With the weather so unpredictable, I really enjoyed my Christmas pastime and took the opportunity to sharpen my drawing skills.  Working from photos, it was lovely to meditate on the process and watch grandmother and granddaughter emerge from the page.

 

 

Joan, pencil on paper

Joan, pencil on paper, 21 cm x 21 cm

 
 
 
To see more portraits, follow this link.

The real joy in selling…

Over the past four months I have been exhibiting various works in various exhibitions; a pastel portrait selected to be hung in the Warringah Art Show (see “Emerging” in my Portrait Gallery) and missing out on getting into the Mosman Art Exhibition amongst the highs and lows.  A number of my paintings have sold during that time, which is always a thrill, however the ultimate joy for me is when I actually get to meet the person who is buying my paintings. 

My most recent exhibition has been as part of the Mosman Art Society’s 9″ x 5″ Exhibition.  As a member of the society, I was happy to go along to Headland Park where the exhibition was being held and to take my turn at manning the exhibition.  It was a sunny morning and I had taken a drawing I was working on with me to play with while I was there.  During the morning visitors kept popping in to see the exhibition, including a mother, Susan, and her young daughter.  With over 140 paintings hung as part of the exhibition, there was a lot to take in with a variety of subject matter and painting styles and mediums.  Having had a couple of looks around the exhibition, Susan then pointed to a painting she would like to buy.  With so many small paintings and all hung quite close together, I sensed Susan was pointing to one of my paintings however wanted to clarify I had the right one.   Susan confirmed that “yes” that was the one she wanted and we were both delighted at having met each other. 

For an artist, or certainly for me, it is a thrill to sell your work, to have someone appreciate your creation and to actually buy it.  What tops that off is when I actually meet the person who is buying my art as it is a very special connection.  I guess because my art feels very much to me an expression of my soul, and so to meet another in this way feels like a soul connection.  Something in the work is connecting two beings in a special way and is for me, the real joy in selling.

Precision, spontaneity and dancing between…

Drawing and more drawing.   I started portrait classes in January and the learning curve has been steep.  Going back to the basics, the fundamentals and endeavouring to absorb the intricacies and intimacy of the human face and figure.  Anatomy.  I never studied it at high school and yet here I am learning it now and it is fascinating.  My teacher, Nafisa Naomi, is passionate and particular, which is precisely what I wanted.  And precision is definitely the word.  There are days when I get a likeness and others when they are just not quite there and it is my observation that is out.  I am finding it challenging and yet rewarding.  I now have a series of self portraits in charcoal, figuring atleast if I am drawing myself I am not offending anyone!  Oh the inner critic runs rife!

But I am missing my painting.  I have been missing the colour and the canvas.  So inspired by a recent visit to Nicholas Harding’s exhibition at the SH Ervine Gallery, I got out my palette knife and some beautiful colours and, with the joy of much greater freedom, did a couple of floral works (see my Floral Works Gallery).  I love the way the colour mixes undercover of the knife’s blade, and which seems more like a wand as you wave it across the canvas, never precisely sure how it will translate.  I love the way each swipe is uniquely recorded and never to be repeated, a spontaneous creation.

So I am dancing between.

Coincidences…and when to stop!

Although busy with the lead up to our exhibition, I am delighted to have completed a project I have been working on for some time now.  There is a real sense of satisfaction, having lived with this portrait for what seems like months now (although if I was to check my records I don’t think it has been), however the idea to paint this particular painting has certainly been with me for about nine months.  Now that the idea has been birthed,  I am delighted it has coincidentally been finished in time for my dear friends birthday. 

While I believe coincidences happen, what I don’t believe is that they are coincidences (if you can understand that).  I had not intentionally set out to paint this painting for a certain finishing date as I had contemplated starting it on a number of occasions.  It was not until I began painting and now that it has been finished, albeit with some big gaps in the middle of it, that it has actually coincided with my friends forthcoming birthday.  If anything I had thought of it as a Christmas gift, as it was taken at Christmas a year ago.  My friend is currently working in Kuwait so what better way for her gift to arrive but via a treasure hunt in my website!  (Happy birthday Roseanne!)

And on the learning side, Warwick Fuller’s key fundamental questions from my recent workshop with him, kept coming to me especially in the final stages of doing this portrait (I had begun the painting before the workshop).  The three things he instilled in asking when painting are 1: What colour is it? (colour) 2: What tone is it? (tone) and 3: Where do I put it on the painting? (drawing). 

When I stepped back from this painting for some final analysis, I could see a couple of places where the tone wasn’t quite right and my challenge then was to make the adjustment without completely altering all the relationships that went with it.   Also I was now not working “wet in wet”, so blending was trickier.  And then it gets to a point where you just have to stop.  Knowing when to stop is another challenge for an artist.  So I will stop here!