Friday, 3 July 2015

Finding Inspiration

When I was writing the previous post about the Lethbridge 10,000 and the current theme of my paintings, I realised something. I realised that somehow, surreptitiously, I had become a landscape painter.

I hadn't been in Australia for very long, maybe six or eight months, when I drove up the coast to Mooloolaba to have a look. Previously, rocks had featured in a number of paintings and I wanted to find something here in Australia to kick start a new series. The day seemed fine when I set off but when I arrived it was cloudy and gloomy. I took a lot of photos of the pounding sea and the rocks. 

Then I wandered into a gallery - The Gallery Beneath and chatted to the owner. I explained to her that I had come up from Brisbane, having recently arrived in Australia, looking for inspiration. 

She turned to me and said: 
"You can't look for inspiration, you've got to feel it here," holding her hand over her heart.

Her words took me by surprise and I almost felt chastised, as though my explorative outing was in some way false. And perhaps it was. The couple of paintings I did from those photographs were not very good at all. I needed to do more than take some photographs to understand a place.

Riverside Trees - oil on linen 

Her words have stayed with me and I've thought about them often - she was absolutely correct. I really needed to be here longer, to live in the country and to let the special places find me rather than the other way around.

When I look at the paintings done over the last few years - Riverside Trees, Windarra Reflections,  and Bunya Riverside and  I see that the landscape has become part of me and that inspiration has found me after all.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Lethbridge 10,000 2015

Each year, for the last three years, I have painted for the Lethbridge 10,000 exhibition, and each year on the day the finalists are announced, I wait with a knot in my stomach for the email announcement. 

The selected artworks are posted on the Gallery website which is made available initially to the entrants only. The website shows photographs of all the accepted work. You have to scroll down the page to see if the photo of your work is there.

As you scroll you wonder - will I make it this year? Self-doubt rears its anxious head. 
"Oh dear, you think - everyone's work looks so good - I don't stand a chance!"
Then there's relief and delight when you see your painting! 

This year I submitted a second entry as well so I continued to scroll. It's an ink drawing called Paperbark. As I continued to scroll, there it was, amongst the online entries - wonderful! 

Pond Reflections will be exhibited in the Lethbridge 10,000 and it's the third year that I have had a painting accepted. I'm so grateful for this opportunity.

Pond Reflections Oil on linen 61cm x 61cm © 2015 Carol Lee Beckx

This painting is part of an ongoing exploration of water, ponds, pebbles, plants, light and reflections. Preparation for this painting included doing sketches en plein air and also taking a number of photographs. The reflections of the plants on the water create wonderful sinuous patterns, contrasting with the darker shadows over the river boulders. Previous paintings in this series include Windarra Reflections, Deep Ripple, Reeds Rise from Water and Still, which featured reeds, grasses and water lily pads. 
Click on each title to access the paintings and read about their creation.

Paperbark has its origin in my regular morning walk in the park across the road. As I walk, I look at the trees and marvel at the bark which is ever-changing. The layers and details of this tree hold my attention every day.

Paperbark ink on paper Image size 32cm x 32cm © 2015 Carol Lee Beckx

The exhibition at the Lethbridge Gallery 136 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington opens on Saturday 13th June and continues until 28th June.  

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Still - on show at the Rotary Art Spectacular

I am delighted that my large painting Still will be shown at The Rotary Art Spectacular, Waterfront Place Brisbane, opening tomorrow evening at 6.30pm.

This exhibition is one of the most prestigious Art Exhibitions on Brisbane's art calendar; it showcases work by many talented artists while raising funds for charity. An online gallery has been created so you can view all the works on show.  

Still - oil on linen - 1200mm x 910mm  ©2015 Carol Lee Beckx

The exhibition has moved to a new venue this year, which is slightly smaller than in previous years, so having work selected for this show is particularly gratifying. In line with other similar exhibitions, the Rotary show has work selected in two categories - work to be displayed in the exhibition venue and work selected for the online exhibition.

I have written about the process of Still in this blog post, and here is a Flipagram showing clips at the different stages.

Two more paintings, Watching and Rocks 21st December 5.09pm, have been included in the online show. 
Rocks 21st December 5.09pm - watercolour and ink on paper ©2015 Carol Lee Beckx

Watching was the result of sketches done while on holiday at Coolum Beach during December. Rocks, on the other hand, in watercolour and ink was painted en plain air. More about those days spent sketching at Coolum can be found here and here.

Perhaps one day I will work in oils on site, but for now sketches and studio painting is working for me. The logistics of working in ink and watercolour are reasonably manageable; working outside in oils is perhaps another story altogether!