Lockdown in the studio……. My good wife won’t let me out!
I hope everyone is doing okay during this lockdown period. I’ve personally been enjoying some good days in my studio and mixing it up with some family time too. Currently working on some shorebirds I have seen at Foxton beach a while back. As I cannot make any field trips at the moment I’m enjoying revisiting some ideas from my archive. Keep up the good spirits.
Greetings from Bottle Creek, Paremata. I’ve been putting (very old) cartoons and sculptures out in my driveway here during lock-down (with cones) – mainly to amuse the local kids but they now have a wider following, an excuse for people to wander down it seems.
I’ve just finished a 3rd small ukiyo-e (Hiroshige-style) acrylic painting of Melbourne, this one of Princes Bridge, near Flinders Street Station. I was a bus/tram conductor there in 1978, often on a run which crossed Princes Bridge several times per shift. What goes round etc (like a bus!).
Also, the studio cartoon sort-out has provoked editing of a few other works, sometimes successful, sometimes not. Next week I’ll start on a new NZ landscape in oils.
Not easy for many among us, including parents of little ones and essential workers. Perhaps it’s easier for us introverts. I’m also feeling very lucky just now to be living near the bottom end of a funny little island at the very far edge of the universe.
Greetings from Sussex, England… I usually feel quite happy socially isolated working in the studio on my own, but it’s not a great feeling knowing the entire world is in lockdown… We will get through this…. Stay well Wellington.
It’s been a struggle to get into the studio with hubby working full time and 3 kids at home..but today I have the whole day!
One of the biggest challenges this lockdown has presented me is not actually having the headspace to think through ideas so when I am in the studio I’m not ready to pick up a brush. There seems to be a lot of pressure socially as an artist to be creating, I guess a bit like the need to come out of this period with rock hard abs and a new language under your belt. I’m resisting, today I’m using the time to nourish my soul. I’m easing off the pressure to start my next series of work. Instead I’m playing with little paintings, finding pleasure in mixing colour and the feel of the brush moving through the paint. I’m enjoying hiding from the kids and not being the person everyone needs something from immediately.
During this ‘lock down’ period my mantra has been ‘focus on what you can do , not what you cant do’.
Its been a huge adjustment as a international collective , temporarily isolating ourselves. I have found it difficult in the sense that I cant have as much studio time as what I am used to due to childcare services being closed.
In amongst the chaos of our household I have had to manage my time so I can still paint and work away with a new body of work to keep my sanity from disappearing.
This isolation period has been a good time to slow down. To not be involved in the daily grind. It has given me time to investigate different avenues within my body of work. I am currently working on capturing the delicacy of human relationships with NZ birds. Creating staged poses that would not normally be seen in everyday life.
I hope everyone is finding time to recharge and doing something that you really enjoy in ‘lockdown’.
Here are is an image of me in the studio,
It’s a bit bare compared with the usual way it looked with drawings and ideas on the walls, books all over the place but I was packing up before our big move to Auckland for the next couple of years, departing Good Friday- when the lockdown happened and has kept us all in place. I will be working from home for now which is a new but exciting challenge as I will be drawing mainly and trying out ideas I have always meant to do. Life drawing is central to my practice and I attend a couple of different classes a week if I can, so with that gone I will be drawing anything and everything that catches my eye from inside the house to interior exterior scenes… I’m looking forward to seeing what may inspire future paintings. I also have a captive subject with my husband working from home in the kitchen!
I’m staying connected with other artists on Instagram and even though my show @ exhibitions gallery Auckland on the 5 th May has had to be postponed I had completed the paintings. Hopefully the show will go ahead from Wednesday 3rd of June.
Good luck to everyone out there stay safe and happy art making if you can:)
Hope you’re doing well as we head into week three of the lockdown. It’s great that NZ is doing so well and hopefully things go back to something like our previous lives sooner rather than later. I went to the supermarket in Newtown first thing this morning to discover a long queue snaking around the block! Shock horror – many shelves were empty. Anyway, hopefully this doesn’t last for too long. Lots of red wine being consumed at home but that’s another story….!
I’ve been painting furiously because the Covid situation provides inspiration for expression. Here’s a pic of me in my ‘studio’ (improvised dining room!). That’s my latest painting entitled ‘Transition Angel’. The story is poignant – a dark angel comes to escort a soul to transition. The person in the middle places his arm over his expired loved one because he isn’t ready to let go. I wanted to express the grief that many people are facing as they lose their loved ones to the virus. That’s my tribute to them.
I’ve been producing quite a few new works which is providing an avenue for my own disturbed feelings about the humbling impact of the virus on our lives.
Please stay in touch and keep safe!
We are very much looking forward to celebrating Jane Blackmore’s Auckland exhibition. When the lock-down ceases to be, we will be able to bask in Jane’s thoughtful reflections and receive upliftment from her spiritual connection with the land.
“For over 20 years I have found passion for my artwork in nature. The paintings, whether they are the flowers, abstractions or landscapes are predominantly about stopping and just being in the moment. I have a love for oil paint and the way it moves and glows, it is a constant fascination to me. It is this quality that pushes me to further explore colour, form and movement in all my art.
I want to capture a timeless quality in my work, something that becomes a meaningful part of your life. You will observe and engage differently every time you view it. Inhaling the beauty of something that has been created.” – Jane Blackmore
I am in Dubai at present. We are working from home and under curfew at night. Malls are shut but we can still buy things online. We fortunately have exercise equipment in the basement to keep us entertained. It is indeed strange times. My foundry man in Portugal works by himself and has been able to keep working despite the state of emergency there.
Since we all seem to have some time on our hands, I thought I would share the Storie behind the new series. I started to make a 4th piece, a traveling salesman, still wondering if he should have a face mask or not. The new series is called
“Be your own man”
Be your own man is series of work focusing on the marginalized men of the 2020s. Women got liberated with equal opportunities in education and work satisfaction, but we have boxed men into categories with unacceptable expectations. In the world where women do not have to be kitchen-dwellers staying at home raising kids any more, we still expect of father to be the providers even if the mother is not his partner anymore. We expect of men to ignore their own desires and personalities to become the role the previous century assigned to them. We have a sense of what a man should dress like and how he should behave even if he is extraordinarily creative and different. The oppressed cannot liberate themselves, it is the oppressor that needs to lift the restrictions. When we box men into unacceptable expectations, we are the people who should set them free. We should be the ones allowing men to be the roles that define them. Let them build their role in society around their personalities like women have been able to do in the last half century.
Big boy: Justin
Justin is from a small town where everybody knows one another. He loves to wear a jacket and hat even if nobody understands why.
Artists in Lockdown – Justine Turnbull
This is a painting I’ve been working on which doesn’t necessarily fit into my oeuvre, but is a study inspired by Jenny Saville’s recent exhibition. I am really enjoying mixing drawing and painting again (you might remember I used to do that a while back) and has been invigorating for my practice to experiment with. A very good excuse to open a glass of wine too :}
Artist life; the process.
7am; the alarm goes off.
A few minutes later I enjoy a cup of coffee, watching the sun pop up over the hedge, with the dog staring at me through the patio doors with baleful Labrador ‘’feed me’’ eyes.
Each morning is the same. A few minutes of yoga to stretch out my lower back and then a walk.
This is all part of my process. A ritualistic preparation, for which the most part is going to be a long day of painting. For me, the lockdown is easier in this respect than it is for many. Leaving the house is generally considered a ‘treat’, especially when I’m creating a set of works for a show. Ron and Sharon have heard me say ‘’I’m so excited” many times when I’m about to have an exhibition opening. Apart from the buzz of having a show, this is also because I get to leave the studio and venture into the REAL WORLD!
When I talk about what I do, many people assume that I just sit down and start to paint, but the reality is there are hours of preparation before that can happen. The prep starts off in my head, annoyingly normally around 3am for a couple of hours. It gets translated into a sketch, and some blobs of colour, and then left alone for a day or two. When I pick my sketch back up, I start to see what size and shape I would like the painting to take, and I begin by pulling out different sized blank canvases from my stash.
My paintings always start off with a dark colour as the background. I often use a blue black, a midnightish colour. I paint the entire canvas with this and then I leave it alone again for a few days and stare at it.
The next process is the most important part for me. I add the light. I don’t draw on trees or mark where they’re going to sit on the canvas. I take a wide battered brush and scrub in a warm peachy yellow light that allows me to see the rest of the painting in my head. From this point, I can visualise how I want the painting to go in my mind.
Around twenty-five to fifty layers later, a painting pops out.
Where does it all come from? The honest answer is everywhere. I see a colour or a shape I like whilst I’m out walking and it gets imprinted in my minds eye. I also take a lot of photos and use them for reference.
There is an aspect of ‘’me’’ in the paintings. The light represents hope, and joy, and constantly moving towards positive affirmation.
It keeps me positive, happy and challenged.
Every day, something new is discovered. Every day, a unique piece of art is being created.
The painting featured on the pics I sent is 2100 x 1600 $19,500 if anyone wants first dibs.
Artist Peter Hackett in his studio preparing for an upcoming exhibition in Wellington.
“Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well and spirits are high. Practice your art form as much as you can in the time that you have. This is a great industry we are part of.” – Peter Hackett
Peter will be freighting three paintings to the Wellington gallery as soon as the lockdown is lifted.
A big ‘Hello’ from Exhibitions Gallery, we hope that you are safe and well.
During this surreal time our hearts are warmed by the kindness that we find, in what we see and what we hear on the grapevine. We feel very privileged to live in this place, Aotearoa New Zealand.
While we continue to keep in touch with our artists, we thought it would be ideal to share with, you their thoughts, the art that they are processing, photos and reflections of their spaces, studios or places of isolation.
This is a great opportunity to stay in touch, be entertained and learn more about the artists that we represent.
If you are interested in following the series, please click on the link to our face book page and click follow.
Image below – Job Klijn in the studio working on some figure composition for a piece called ‘time’.