Tag Archives: studio

Thanks Evert…

At Evert's Workshop

At Evert's Workshop

Another busy week however just wanted to say “thanks” to Evert Ploeg for a great workshop last weekend.  A small group of artists came together to attend the two day portrait workshop with Evert at his studio on Sydney’s northern beaches.    I always like to challenge myself with my painting and to learn new approaches, so appreciated Evert getting me out of my comfort zone and trying a few different things. This is a photo taken during the weekend. 

To see “Woman in a satin corset” click on this link to take you to my figurative paintings.
Again, thanks for a great weekend Evert!


First “Alla Prima” portrait painting…

Inspired by Richard Schmid’s “Alla Prima” book I have recently been reading, this week in portrait classes with Nafisa I challenged myself to begin and complete (as best possible in the timeframe) my first alla prima portrait painting in that session.  As we are about to go away on holidays, I had only one week with this particular model so it was a perfect opportunity. 

It was the first time we had had Andrew as a model and he was great to work with.   A very professional model, strong yet with a gentle soul.    For a first of this type of painting, I was very happy with the outcome. The fact that I had been able to achieve a reasonable likeness in a relatively short space in time and to finish in itself was exciting.   (I did do a little bit more the next day in my studio, in better light I could see a couple of adjustments that needed to be made however in essence the work was completed).   On viewing my painting, Andrew commented he thought there is the way we see ourselves, the way others see us and then there is the way we hope others may see us.  In my painting, Andrew thought I had captured how he would like others to see him and I sense that was the strength of his features yet with the gentleness and peacefulness that is very much part of who he is.   A great session.   Thanks Andrew!

Exhibition opened and in full swing…

Last Saturday evening saw the opening of our 40×40 Exhibition at Artfocus Gallery and Studio.  A great night for artists and guests, with over 350 attending on the evening.  The gallery looked stunning, beautifully curated with each of the 16 artists 4 x 40cm x 40cm paintings all with their only appropriately spaced area to set them off.  With the studio lights on and the lovely warm atmosphere which always goes with the Artfocus Gallery, it had a real magical feel to it.  Some good sales were made yet there are still some lovely artworks available and the exhibition is open for another week.  If you have a moment, pop in and see!  (See Exhibitions for address details).

Time for reflection and dreaming…

Having recently returned home from hospital, I am under strict doctor’s orders to do absolutely nothing for at least two weeks.  On first arriving home, I had forgotten that our carpet was being cleaned in my absence so I returned to find our home topsy-turvy with our lounge spilling into our dining room and my studio.  How often life reflects where you are at.  My whole body had been through a major upheaval with surgery and how befitting my surrounds seemed to me.  I had even painted the bottom of a canvas before leaving for hospital and had turned it upside down to dry while I was away, so that particular portrait was also staring at me upside down.

I could either fight my surrounds or succumb to them, and with so little energy I opted for the latter.  I was curious to see my world from a different view.  A lounge newly positioned facing our dining room wall allowed me to lie down in comfort and ponder the scene in front of me.  And in this case there were many.   Fortunately I have a number of completed canvasses  of varying moods, colours, and images and just before entering hospital I had changed all the paintings on this wall.  It was now filled with beautiful trees: triptychs, gentle, ethereal highland gums and rich golden gums.  I could now rest in their comforting energy and draw strength, at the same time observing where I had achieved what I had set out to do in each painting.   There were also a couple of portraits of dear friends smiling at me and reminding me of their friendship.

So while grounded by the specialist, it has been a time for reflection and dreaming.  Reflecting on the efforts over the past year and dreaming of new projects for the coming, at the same time with my body reminding me very much of the present.  I have been noticing and enjoying the difference a painting can make to a room, to a soul for had those paintings not been there, the wall would have left me quite deplete rising up blandly and abruptly in front of me, however with the highland gums, haunting beauty and others a sense of perspective, of distance and depth has stretched out before me.  

And it reminded me of a beautiful piece written by Leonardo Da Vinci, which I often think of around this time of year…


“Every now and then go away,

have a little relaxation,

for when you come back to your work

your judgement will be surer;

since to remain constantly at work

will cause you to lose power of judgement.


Go some distance away

 because the work appears smaller

and more of it can be taken in at a glance,

and a lack of harmony or proportion

is more readily seen.” 


What a difference…

What a difference a day makes… and painting.  After my last entry, I knew that I needed to allocate some time to do some oil painting so I made sure the next day I had at least an hour to do so.  It was Sunday.  Thinking about it now, some people go to church, I went to painting.  And my spirits were uplifted.  They still are. 

Further windows of opportunity have opened since Sunday and I have grabbed them, gladly.  There was a time when I felt I needed to set aside whole blocks of time to paint, or at least I thought I did.  However now I can be satisfied with an hour here and there and rather than waiting for that chunk of time, I take the snippet and get on with it.   If I waited for the “right moment”, that “right chunk of time”, I might be waiting and in the meantime I miss the painting.  And even if I am not feeling so inspired, I now know that once I begin, I will soon be into it.

It helps that my paints are always ready and my studio and painting area is part of our family area.  It is all in front of me, waiting.  My family live with my paintings in the process.  It has its advantages and disadvantages, always a critic around and yet I get the chance to sit back and see my work, to see what is working and what needs adjusting. 

And in these last few days I have been happy to return to a project I started some time ago, something for a dear friend.  While I had completed the background, the foreground still needed to be worked.  I find it also helps me if I have a couple of projects on the go simultaneously, and I can avoid the void between!

Website launch and upcoming exhibition…

Volume 1, October 2009

Dear friends and friends of my work

I am excited to launch my new artist website and have taken the liberty of including you in this initial mailing.  This is an important step in taking my career as a professional artist to that next level.  I appreciate each of you being witnesses to this and thank you for your support.  To explore my website visit www.marionjoylangford.com.au and to receive future newsletters, please subscribe.

Upcoming exhibition – You’re invited!

I am also excited to invite you to my upcoming exhibition “Affinity”.  In conjunction with 4 wonderful women and talented artist friends, we are launching our work at a combined exhibition at ArtFocus Gallery, Brookvale opening on Saturday, 14th November. 

 You are officially invited and feel free to bring a friend or forward this to others who may be interested.  (For catering purposes only, please RSVP to me by 11th November).


 The official opening will be Saturday, 14th November at 6.00 pm and the exhibition will then run until Thursday, 26 November.  ArtFocus Gallery is located  at 1 Powells Road, Brookvale, and opening hours are 10 am – 4 pm Monday – Friday and Saturday, 10 am – 2 pm.

A special thanks to Lyn Hammond and Anne Bourne, artists and owners of ArtFocus Gallery and Studio, who once again display the reason they were winners in their category at the Local Business Awards and finalists at State level, as they give their support to 5 emerging women artists on this evening.  It is particularly special to those of us in the “Affinity” exhibition as we have all met and established our friendship through painting at Lyn and Anne’s studio.  Again, thanks to Lyn and Anne, who have become wonderful friends and mentors to me.

Kanimbla Valley Workshop

On the professional development front, I have just spent three days painting ‘plein air’ in the Kanimbla Valley, at a workshop run by an amazing Australian landscape artist, Warwick Fuller.  Warwick only runs one workshop a year so I felt quite privileged to be part of the small group that had congregated at Warrigal Homestead.


Kanimbla Valley is just south of Little Hartley and ‘over the hill’ from Mount Victoria and the Blue Mountains.  I am beginning to think that there may be more than one reason why the Blue Mountains have gained the name they have and it may have something to do with the colour you go if you stand there long enough looking at them.  Standing on top of a hill looking back at the Blue Mountains with the wind whipping around me and blowing through me, despite all the layers, and with intermittent light rain, my hands were beginning to turn blue!  Very chilly.  One thing to paint in a studio however it is another to paint ‘plein air’, especially if it is ‘blue’!

The sun did manage to come out fleetingly though over the weekend and, with some guidance from Warwick, I did manage to capture the sunlight in this picture.


 I would like to say a special thanks to Kathrin Longhurst who has patiently, persistently and promptly worked with me in designing and developing this beautiful website.  While I was away in the Kanimbla Valley, it was exciting to know that Kathrin was busy putting the beginnings of the site together and, within a short space of time, has brought it to this culmination.  Kathrin is also an accomplished artist and with her greater understanding of the needs of artists, along with a commitment to assist others as they launch their work, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with her.  Thank you, Kathrin.

So that’s my news for now.  Thank you for being part of my website launch.  I look forward to any feedback and I hope to see you at the opening of our exhibition on Saturday, 14th of November.