Thursday, January 7, 2010






"Deluge" 65cm x 130 cm - oil on linen

"Sun Shower" 42.5cm x 85 cm - oil on linen

"Final Study For Dry Rain" 27cm x 48 cm - oil on linen

"Dry Rain" 85cm x 150 cm - oil on linen

Towards Vapour (i)" 30cm x 30 cm - oil on linen 

Charles Bell "Kandy Kane Rainbow", 1994, oil on canvas, 40 x 60"

Richard Estes "Six Views of Edo: Shinjuko III" , 1989, acrylic & gouache/illustration board, 16 x 27"

Gus Heinze "Union Pacific 849", 2008, acrylic on panel, 31 x 36"

Don Eddy "Wrecking Yard 1", 1971, oil on canvas, 66 x 66"

Ralph Goings "Still Life - Back Lit", 1990, oil on linen, 28 x 30"  

Wake, 2009, Oil on Linen, 40 x 60 inches

Look, 2009, Oil on Panel, 10 x 6.75 inches

Window, 2009, Oil on Linen, 48 x 36 inches

Fog, 2009, Oil on Panel, 10 x 16 inches

Laugh , 2009, Oil on Linen, 54 x 36 inches 

The Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London-3 December 1830, 2009 , watercolor, gouache, pencil, and ink on paper, 60 x 119 1/2 inches, 152.4 x 303.5 cm

An Encounter with Du Chaillu , watercolor, gouache, pencil, and ink on paper, 95 1/2 x 60 inches, 1242.6 x 142.4 cm

A Monster from Guiny, 2007 , watercolor, gouache, pencil, and ink on paper, 59 3/4 x 41 inches, 151.8 x 104.1 cm

Chaumire de Dolmanc, 2009 , watercolor, gouache, pencil, and ink on paper, 59 3/4 x 41 3/8 inches, 151.8 x 105.1 cm  

Manhattan View, Oil/Canvas, 65" x 97"

Passengers Manhattan Bound, Oil/Canvas, 24" x 72"

Testing the Waters, Oil/Canvas, 40" x 30"

Catch of the Day, Oil/Canvas, 58" x 56"

Sanctuary 2, Oil/Canvas, 36" x 32"

Water Tower, Oil/Canvas, 30" x 32" 

The Kuni Inversion, 2009, oil on linen, 36 x 42 inch

The Black Basque, 2008, oil on linen, 30x36 inch

The Calling, 2008, oil on linen, 36 x 48 inch

Autumn morning, 24 x 48 inch

The White bag, oil on linen, 24 x 24 inch  

The Visitor, 2009, Oil on Linen, 111 x 137cm

In The Real Art World interviews Dianne Gall about her exhibition at Beaver Galleries, Canberra

In The Real Art World: What is the Dianne Gall story, how have you and your art arrived at this point?

Dianne Gall: I have very early memories of drawing, being an only child and living in relative isolation it was a happy desire to have and it filled my early days with joy. My father had a Super 8 camera and documented me as a six year old standing drawing at the blackboard easel on the open back veranda. I was dressed in my favourite frock, with plastic jewellery and I have the most vivid memory of that day. I was drawing a person and I started from the feet up and when I got to the head I also moved around the back of the blackboard to draw the back of the head, because I knew people had a back too. It is the funniest footage, but it was very logical to me at the time.
After leaving art school, I joined an artist’s cooperative studio and continued to paint, I have always done other work to support my art and it together with life’s dramas have sometimes got in the way but I’ve always managed to have a driving passion to paint and draw, if I don’t create, I feel lost and incomplete.

Hotel, 2009, Oil on Linen, 111 x 137cm

In The Real Art World: Your "Noir" series of paintings seem to be a dramatic change from your previous art, but for those who look carefully, there are many elements that are part of a continuum of your artistic concerns. What brought this change about and how do you see this new work as being connected to the art of your past?

Dianne Gall: This new work continues to look at things from the feminine point of view and concerns. I have always looked at ways of describing the fragility of life, the beauty in the things that surround us and contribute to our memory picture of people and places. This new series move more directly towards the interactions in people's lives and less on the secret life of objects. I've personally been through a very tough and emotional 12 months, and I have friends whom been very sick and some will not make it. This series of paintings are a snapshot of being human, a voyeuristic representation of journeys through life.

Home, 2009, Oil on Linen, 61 x 71cm

In The Real Art World: Film Noir embodies an image of sordid melodramas where the protagonists are jaded, ambivalent, and cruel. The visual style emphasizes low-key lighting and stark cinematographic compositions. Your paintings are not narratives, but isolated enigmatic fragments where the viewer is drawn in to imagine and construct their own story of what's going on? Is that a fair assessment of your aims?

Dianne Gall: I think everyone has their own drama, their own reality, it is for some the everyday, coping with very challenging circumstances, be they of love, family relationships, abuse, or financial strains. It is unknown what really goes on behind closed doors, so I hope that these paintings will find a way into people’s psyche, allowing them to quietly think about their own circumstances, reflect, relate to, or to let their imagination run free.
Life is raw, it’s tough, the lighting of Film Noir, give these elements the importance they deserve, they allude to the hidden world.

Troubled Beauty, 2009, Oil on Linen, 30.5 x 35.5cm

In The Real Art World: The images used to make these paintings are taken from old movies, do you deliberately obscure the source, alter the image and create paintings that are a composite of scenes?

Dianne Gall: I use old movies as a starting source for my paintings. A movie is somebody else’s construct, I need to then make it my own, so I take elements from a movie, add something of my own, combine it with a photograph I may have taken at a location and get to an image that describes what I want to say.

Noir, 2009, Oil on Linen, 30.5 x 35.5cm

In The Real Art World: How do you go about finding the subjects for your paintings and what do you really look for when assessing it’s potential to make it as a painting?

Dianne Gall: I want these paintings to have a tension in them, a strain between subjects, this is achieved by lighting, the placement of figures, allowing the objects anchor the scene. I want the people to have a sense history between them, it might be short or long term it doesn’t really matter, it just has to be intimate not necessarily sexual but just that there is a sense of journey taken and experienced together.

The emphasis is on the woman's story, its from her point of view, the image revolves around her. This governs the sorts of females I want to portray, appearing very feminine, desirable and in control. So I guess the Male has to have a strength about him, usually he's placed lurking in the background.

Interior, 2009, Oil on Linen, 30.5 x 35.5cm

In The Real Art World: Tell me about your working process, how does an idea becomes a finished painting?

Dianne Gall: I collect images in my head, I collect magazines clippings and images I see when I’m out, watching people interact. I form little scenarios and also I take photos of movies of the television screen, keeping it's imperfections.

Images will resonate with me, they have something worthwhile to say, I try and stand back from them and this where the long time to think comes in, so that I have something that will have strength of meaning. I often paint in my head, getting a feel for what sort of brush marks I’ll use, how I’ll describe the fabric, the hair, what will I do with the blank space etc. So I approach the easel and my gridded blank canvas and draw with paint onto the surface. I work up the surface in thin layers, glazing and rendering here and there, sometimes I like to leave the ground I’ve put down to remind the viewer it’s a painting and not a photograph.

Creepy, motel, 2009,102x152cm, and oil on canvas.

Crash motel, 2009,102x152cm, and oil on canvas.

Sour, 2009,102x152cm, and oil on canvas.

Kool thing, 2009,102x152cm, and oil on canvas.

Tongue ride, 2009,102x152cm, and oil on canvas.

D'licious, 2009,102x152cm, and oil on canvas.

Mars, 2009,102x152cm, and oil on canvas. 

The Burden of Lachesis , Charcoal Pencil on paper, 40 x 100 cm

G, Charcoal Pencil on paper, 140 x 90 cm

Conatus, Charcoal Pencil on paper, 45 x 70 cm

Conatus (a centro) , Charcoal Pencil on paper, 70 x 45 cm

c, Charcoal Pencil on paper, 140 x 90 cm  

Last month I flew into Melbourne with the goal to only view 5 exhibitions and then fly out that same day. One of those exhibitions which I was most keen to see was Ron Francis' paintings at Scott Livesey Gallery. Ever since seeing an image of one of Ron's more famous paintings "Skateboard" (not in the exhibition, but shown below), I've wanted to see a large exhibition of his paintings. The exhibition was no disappointment, bringing together 17 wonderful paintings by an artist people should keep an eye on.

Skateboard, Oil on canvas,110 x 110 cm

Only now am I getting around to blogging about the exhibitions seen that day and thankfully Ron has agreed to an interview.

Strange Little Clouds, Oil on canvas,120 x 120 cm

In The Real Art World interviews Ron Francis about his recent exhibition at Scott Livesey Gallery, Melbourne

In The Real Art World: What is the Ron Francis story, how have you and your art arrived at this point?

Ron Francis: I was born in Sydney, Australia in 1954.
Like most people, I drew a lot as a child. One defining moment I remember was in 4th grade at school, when drawing a tree trunk, I discovered that shading could make it look round. This was possibly the beginning of my fascination with art.

In the following years, my time was divided between art, being a guitar hero, girls, competitive swimming and later, riding a motor bike. At around 20, painting in oil became an obsession that eclipsed everything else. In those formative years I was Government subsidised in the form of unemployment benefits for longer than I would like to admit.

Over the next 15 years I was represented by a couple of galleries, but never earned enough to support myself. During that time I began developing a way to use perspective so that a viewer in the right position could look around inside a painting as though they were looking around in real life. This in itself isn’t new, but I approached it in a mathematical way which has eventually developed into software that now has more in common with 3D modelling than the geometry of linear perspective.
I was offered work painting trompe l’oeil murals where I was able to directly apply these principles, and this continued for around 15 years.

I became ill with cancer in 2004 and this made me re-evaluate my life. I decided to give up painting murals in favour of fine art and began exhibiting with Scott Livesey Galleries in Victoria, and still exhibit with him today.
And that is how I have arrived at this point.

Darwin, Oil on canvas,91 x 136 cm

In The Real Art World: There is a feeling of unease in your paintings, a controlled tension that isn't overbearing, or overtly menacing. Your use of humour also deflates the impact of what you are looking at, such as in the Painting "Darwin". How important is it to maintain the balance between visual impact and subtlety?

Ron Francis: This is a bit of an odd question. For me, painting is just a form of self expression and you may as well ask the same thing about the way I relate to people in general. So rather than thinking of it as a controlled product, it is more just the way I am.

In The Real Art World: The 2 paintings I most liked in your recent exhibition are "Darwin" and "Dad", two very different paintings. Tell me a little about them?

Ron Francis: Darwin was a recurring nightmare that I had at least 3 times in different forms. Each time I was surrounded by crocodiles and I was so scared that I couldn’t move. The oddest part of the dream was that there were people around me carrying on as normal, completely disregarding the danger.

Dad was an attempt to capture a very early childhood memory. It was almost forgotten and part of the process rediscovering it. The emotions I have about this scene are complex and contradictory, and the sense of uncertain anticipation is one of the things I wanted to convey.

Dad "Selfportrait As My Father", Oil on canvas,170 x 120 cm

In The Real Art World: Your paintings vary dramatically in subject matter, how do you go about finding the subjects for your paintings and what do you really look for when assessing it’s potential to make it as a painting?

Ron Francis: That’s the million dollar question. As I touched on above, subjects often come from dreams or visions.
I will often have an epiphany-like vision after a long period of contemplation of an idea that I don’t know how to render, and I often see it as a complete image that I just have to try to paint as I saw it. Other times visions seem to come from nowhere. In fact, I can never really know if I have fallen asleep for a couple of seconds and it was a dream. Other subjects are formed to try to express how I feel about something, or may be simply a technical experiment.

When assessing an idea, I look at why I want to paint it in the first place. If I find myself wondering if it will be saleable, then it is almost invariably abandoned. The ideas that are the best are the ones that light a fire in my belly and there is no question as to whether I will paint it or not. There is no assessment process at all.
So this is what I look for, the spark of inspiration. Without it, painting for me becomes merely a polite conversation.

The Divine Window, Oil on canvas,160 x 160 cm

In The Real Art World: Tell me about your working process, how does an idea becomes a finished painting?

Ron Francis: Most of the time I have a fairly complete image in my mind, similar to the after-image one has after just having looked at something, and I have to try to reconstruct it as well as I can.
I will usually draw some rough sketches first which will expose all the weaknesses in the scene.
For example, there may be a certain type of house in a scene. I will know the type and period but the details are vague and I will have to invent those parts or research them.
When I think I know what I’m doing, I will use my software to put it in correct perspective and this will often expose other unforseen problems that have to be ironed out.
When I’m happy with this, I will use it to plot points on the canvas and end up with as accurate a drawing as possible.
While keeping the integrity of the drawing, my first paint layer is an attempt to get the hue, value and chroma as correct as possible and get rid of all the white of the canvas.
The next layers a combination of trying to fix the mistakes I made in the previous layers, and add and refine detail. More often than not, I will add other elements that weren’t in the drawing.
The paint is applied quite thinly, but as opaque as possible unless I’m glazing to correct a colour.

On The Edge, Oil on canvas,100 x 100 cm

In The Real Art World: Who are the artists that at the moment you are looking at, or find their work resonates for you?

Ron Francis: To be honest, I don’t look at other artists very often. Past influences that come to mind would be Titian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Degas, Manet, Magritte, Dali.
I am lucky enough to know Robert Hannaford whose work I love.
Anna Platten is another whose technique I respect and quirkiness I like.
Apart from that, I am very impressed with the depth of talent of the members of the Rational Painting forum, including you Jim.

A Gentleman, Oil on canvas,60 x 106 cm

In The Real Art World: I'm always curious of which colours make up the palette used by the artist, what are the colours you use?

Ron Francis: I use a fairly limited palette;
Art Spectrum: Cadmium Red Deep, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Light, Phthalo Green, Phthalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Lamp Black, Ivory Black, Titanium White.
L&B Stable Violet.
WN: Flake White.

In The Real Art World: Finally, what's next?

Ron Francis: I’m in limbo at the moment, wanting that next great idea to surface. So for the time being, I’m having a polite conversation with my canvas to keep my eye in.
The exhibition Juan Bautista Maíno (1581-1649), includes 35 works by the artist and a further 31 by the painters who most influenced his artistic development, among them Velázquez and Caravaggio. A great opportunity to view and assess the legacy of Maíno's art, as most of the known works by Maíno will be on exhibition.

Maíno is one of the most important figures within Spanish painting of the first half of the 17th century but also one of the least known due to the scarcity of surviving information on his life and work and the problems involved in reconstructing his biography and oeuvre.

The Adoration of the Shepherds: Juan Bautista Maíno. Oil on canvas, 315 x 174 cm. 1611-1613. Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

Portrait of a Dominican Monk: Juan Bautista Maíno. Oil on canvas. 47 x 33,3 cm. Oxford, Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

The penitent Magdalen: Juan Bautista Maíno. Oil on panel, 58 x 155 cm. 1612-1614. Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

The Pentecost: Juan Bautista Maíno, Oil on canvas, 285 x 163 cm. 1611-1613. Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

Pool Bowl No.10 - 12 x 12 - oil on panel

In The real Art World: Tell me about your working process, how does an idea becomes a finished painting?

James Neil Hollingsworth: It all begins with photography. I've spent the last week doing nothing but photography. I'll take over a thousand shots before I settle down to cull out potential images. When I have a rough collection of compositions, I'll refine the search again to those shots I like the best. Then I begin the process of cropping those images into final compositions. Once I pick a specific shot to paint, I'll color correct, and adjust the exposure to my liking, work up the drawing, transfer it to canvas/panel, and begin. I tend to start at the top left of the canvas, and work my way down to the lower right. The first pass is somewhat refined. I hope to get an accurate sense of the color, tonal value and structure of the composition. Then subsequent passes refine the painting until it reaches a point where I'm pleased. I don't use any mediums or glazes. The total number of passes on a painting averages three. More if the subject matter is complicated.

Half Perc - 12 x 12 - oil on panel

In The real Art World: Who are the artists that at the moment you are looking at, or find their work resonates for you?

James Neil Hollingsworth: I'm finding new artists all the time thanks to the internet. It's a well that never runs dry. It's very hard to create a short list. Some names off the top of my head: James McLaughlin Way, a local artist that Karen and I both admire, David Malan is an illustrator and blogger who works with pencil, oil and digital tools, he is someone whom I use the phrase, "I wish I could draw like him" a lot, Alexander Kanevsky, nuff said, I love the figurative paintings of Alyssa Monks, to name just a few. This list doesn't include those who I consider friends and fellow bloggers like: Karin Jurick, Carol Marine, Nigel Cox, Pierre Raby, Paul Brown, and about a hundred more. A complete list including links is presented on my blog ( CLICK HERE

Espresso Cup - 12 x 12 - oil on panel

In The real Art World: Finally, what's next?

James Neil Hollingsworth: My wish is that I can continue to do what I'm doing. Paint. I've got a few landscape ideas I'd like to attempt one day. Do them big, then see what they may lead to.

Collecting stamps: A closer look at American Art, 12 x 12'', acrylic on hardboard - 2009

Marbles on Three Coke Bottles, 5 x 7'', acrylic on geesoed hardboard

Bel Air in Monterey, 15 x 11'', 2009, acrylic on gessoed hardboard

Two pinwheel candies on Target, 12 x 12'', acrylic on gessoed hardboard - 2009

BBQ Caddy, 16 x 12'', acrylic on canvas - 2009 

Still Life with Golden Apples, Oil on Linen, 19 x 15 inches, 2009

Red, Oil on Canvas, 32 x 54 inches, 2008-09

Born a Dragon Fly, Oil on Panel, 6 x 6 inches, 2009

Girl in White, Oil on Canvas, 30 x 24 inches, 2009

Nom De Plume, Oil on Canvas, 39 x 24 inches, 2007 

The Sun Is A Thief, 2009, Oil on Canvas, 60" x 30"

Some Bullets Are Special, 2009, oil on canvas, 48" x 36"

An Inviting Abyss, 2009, oil on canvas, 60" x 48"

A Nymph Came Pirouetting, 2009, oil on canvas, 48" x 24"  

Self Portrait with Albatross, 2008, oil on canvas, 72 X 54 inches

(Press release courtesy Mark Moore Gallery)

Mark Moore Gallery is pleased to announce new paintings from acclaimed artist Julie Heffernan. Heffernan's theatrical and opulent canvases are a hybrid of genres, encompassing portraiture, surrealism and still life, amongst others; yet their Old Master quality goes beyond simple irony or quotation. The initial impact of Heffernan's "self-portraits" recedes to allow the artist's skill in her technique and the allure of the paintings' beauty to emerge and entrance the viewer. Her works act as unexplained allegories of the imagination and indulgent guilty pleasures. Although Heffernan has refined the same subject matter for the better part of 15 years, her works feel particularly poignant today; their slightly ominous tone acting to forewarn, the sumptuous canvases both a talisman and a critique of brazen conspicuous consumption.

Self Portrait as Roots, 2009, oil on canvas, 72 X 56 inches

Study for Self Portrait as Booty , 2009, oil on canvas, 28 x 22 inches

The Lady of Shalott, 1888

Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses, 1891. Oil on canvas, 149 x 92 cm

Hylas and the Nymphs, 1896

Circe Invidiosa: Circe Poisoning the Sea, 1892 (The Art Gallery of South Australia)

A Mermaid, 1900

Morning, San Francisco, Oil on Panel, 36 x 48 inches, 2009

Laguna Street at Night, Oil on Panel, 18 x 18 inches, 2009

Il Mio Gatto Ama Pesce, Oil on Panel, 20 x 22 inches, 2009

Downtown in Green, Oil on Panel, 11 x 14 inches, 2009

Pigeon, Oil on Panel, 30 x 30 inches, 2009 

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