Inspiring exhibitions around town

Posted: May 19, 2012 by Mo Crow in art exhibitions
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Have spent the past few days getting inspired by exhibitions that are on around town
Sir Ashton Lever’s Museum” watercolour by Sarah Stone 1875
This is my favourite painting in the Lewin Wild Art exhibition in the State Library.  Sarah Stone spent many happy hours drawing all the amazing things in the Leverian Museum  from the age of 17 ( unfortunately the collection was broken up & sold off in lots at auction in 1806)
& I was totally blown away by meeting Susannah Blaxill botanical artist extraordinaire who is artist in residence at the State Library in connection with the show. She is such a gracious woman & generously talked about her meticulous process and techniques.
here’s a link to her online gallery
this wonderful painting of lichen was there in real life
and she explained how she drew her magnificent “Magnolia” in charcoal

This drawing floored me at the Botanica exhibition held at the Maiden Theatre in the Sydney Botanic Gardens last month, you can see more details of this drawing at this link in her website
With the most delicate touch she draws all the very palest lines first with a hint of powdered charcoal on her fingertip wrapped in a piece of well worn Bonds singlet held in place by an elastic band, (she tests it first for paleness on a spare sheet of paper) then she gradually adds more of her soft dense lines to achieve the sense of depth and details in the form yet retaining the whiteness. She perfects her edges with a very long thin point of the hardest charcoal pencil she can find (she recommended General) with a scalpel then finishes the point on 600 grade sandpaper working right at the edge of the table and uses a white hard rubber cut into finger size piece and uses each of the 8 corners once.
& I thought I worked slowly with the details, ha! Inspiring indeed!

we also saw the Plein Air landscape show in the foyer of the NSW Parliament
I wanted to see my friend Glenda Jones painting “South of Gundagai”
which is pure alchemy in real life,  those deep dense blacks with the shimmering reds contrasting so strongly with the light touch of green in the sky were magic up close but then with a bit of distance were transporting
also enjoyed  Vicki Parrish’s charcoal of Lake Mulwala cockatoos
they all looked best standing in the middle of the room rather than up close but when looking at a landscape in real life it’s of the faraway so a landscape painting needs to be seen from a distance… had never really thought of it that way ’til now!
The exception to this rule was the Capertee Valley Diary by Birgiat Maltese a concertina book painted in watercolour on site then collaged with found objects gifted to her from nature as she explored the valley and finished in the studio.Her book-paintings can be explored intimately & in detail as well as when unfolded the full view can be taken in, very inspiring.

Yesterday we saw the Redlands Westpac Art Prize at the National Art School
Reliquiae/Collateral Damage 2012 by Emma Lindsay
This work has stayed with me, it speaks with deep meaning on so many levels, beautifully rendered with heart and soul
To quote from the catalogue-
“Reliquiae/Collateral Damage forms part of Lindsay’s ongoing interdisciplinary “Night Parrot Project”, considering the rare and endangered bird species held as specimens in the Queensland Museum zoology collection. This work is a hand drawn representation of the last verified (2006) critically endangered night parrot specimen, perhaps the last of its kind. Here it is drawn, one of the oldest human art traditions, upon the consumer medium of used cardboard box packaging. “

  1. Carol says:

    Fabulous post, Mo, so good to see what’s on in Sydney. Wonder if I can get myself down there in time? Thanks for the tips.

  2. margaret johnson says:

    so much to look at Mo, thanks. ox

  3. Valerianna says:

    I like them all, but was struck by the last… interesting materially and visually and, of course the story says it all….

  4. Spectacular choices–and so much to peruse- I’m not through yet but thank you!

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