Cafe painting. Is it outdoor painting indoors?

Outdoor painting indoors-cafe paintings-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Cafe painting is good fun. It is a bit like outdoor painting done indoors. Is that feasible? Many people would say no. I would say a qualified “yes”.

Recent experience at a local cafe convinces me that there are some elements in common.

Differences: outdoor-indoor

There are two main differences which are controlled indoors – variations in the light and protection from the weather. They are pretty big differences from the real thing. How can I possibly claim any similarities?

cafe painting-outdoor painting indoors-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

cafe painting-outdoor painting indoors-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Similarities: outdoor-indoor

As you can see, the kit is the same. My subject matter is cafe customers. That makes the time tight, even tighter than painting outdoors. They move their limbs a lot and some move their heads in very expressive ways. More fun.
It is also another version of painting in public, under the eyes of curious people. Curious people are fine by the way, but in this case they do wonder why I am staring at them!

Painting people living their everyday lives at such close quarters feels as if I am teetering on the performer’s tightrope. There is a blurry border between the artist and their subject in this very social setting. The border is firmer outdoors where people are not my main focus.

Outdoor painting indoors-cafe paintings-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

I am enjoying the tightrope and the chance to take risks in public. Artistic risks of course! Any painting exercise in the studio or elsewhere has them. The way I find best is to accept what I produce and learn as I go. There is some evidence for learning in the series so far. They are not in order of execution. It might be fun to arrange them in order….but that would give away too many secrets.

And yes, I still think cafe painting is a bit like outdoor painting, indoors. Do you agree?

 

 

 

Open for art business – info on classes

cafe painting-outdoor painting indoors-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Dear readers, We are open for art business again!

Open for business-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Cafe Lune

Everyone has an IT story to tell. Such stories usually include wringing of hands and rolling of eyes from audience and narrator alike. I am not going to tell mine, except that it ended well. Now you can see the padlock icon next to the site address.

With winter off the calendar (despite some lingering sky signs) it is time to pick things up again.

art business-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

 

During the down-time my leaflets about CLASSES were impossible to follow-up via the website. Here’s a second chance! Click on that CLASSES button above for more information.

I apologise if you tried to do this last week. Then again if you did try, you probably would have abandoned me and not be reading this. But I won’t go down that rabbit hole. Here we are again.

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In the meantime, my seascapes are still hanging at Cafe Lune. Just a little under a week to go. Cards and books available too. Drop in if you can!

art business-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

 

Exhibition preparation – a big fortnight for an artist

Open for business-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Cafe Lune

Exhibition preparation has taken me over lately.

exhibition preparation-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Cafe Lune full gallery view

So much has been happening.

The last time I posted was 16th August, over a week ago. That is a long gap in the life of a blogger but a very short time in the life of this artist at the moment.

Exhibition staging

Seascapes at Cafe Lune opened on Wednesday this week.

Sounds simple doesn’t it!

Well…..if you are an artist, and have exhibited, don’t read on. You know all this.

When we returned from a long trip earlier in August, I was immediately on a mission. Thank goodness for jet lag! I don’t think I have ever said that before. But what a burst of energy it provided early in the morning. Here is the result of some of that energy. I wrote about that in more detail last time.

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Breaking point, acrylic on canvas, 100x100cm

The first task was to complete three paintings and abandon a fourth because of time pressure. That had to be done early on so I could bring my photographic records up to date before the paintings were glazed and too shiny to photograph well.

Next on the list was ordering and preparing greeting cards using the photographic images. With them “on the boil” it was time to prepare leaflets for the exhibition. They included the all important price list with thumbnail images of the works, a leaflet about my classes on offer and finally a brief biography.

exhibition preparation-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Cafe Lune

Reading between the lines? I took a trip to the cartridge refill shop for Magenta one afternoon. And another trip to the same shop on the following afternoon for Black. That will teach me to believe the “Toner Low” messages in future. Something in me wants to stretch toner as far as possible. I think the “something” is the bit connected to the budget.

Installation

exhibition preparation-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Cafe Lune-my gallerySML

The hanging went without a hitch on the Tuesday thanks to a handy relative of the cafe owners. Subsequently I changed my mind about positioning two works which meant they were not hung in the same order as the catalogue suggested but their numbering stayed with them. No one has actually noticed or been bothered by 11 coming before 9.

As you can see from the installation shots, I have my own dedicated table for books, cards, signing up and sales. And the cafe has created a gallery area just for this show.

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Here is the feature painting “Breaking point” sitting pretty.

I have spent two afternoons on site since it began and it is fun meeting visitors and friends. Today we shared some delicious snacks with the wine and water. Just the thing.

Worth all the preparation!

I will be back in on the afternoons of Saturday 26th and Sunday 28th as well as Monday and Wednesday next week. Do drop in to Cafe Lune, 8 Jetty Road, Brighton South Australia.

 

 

Breaking point

large-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Breaking point-seascapes-wave paintings-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Does everything have a breaking point?

I think materials do – think plastic fatigue or snapping brush handles.

And people…but that’s way off today’s topic. Or is it?

In business there is a “tipping point” at which things are about to go gang-busters. And that’s a positive.

Breaking waves

With waves there is a point of tipping and breaking. The hydro-dynamics of it is outside my realm but it seems that the wall of water crashes when it reaches a critical point. The profile of the seabed has something to do with the shape of the waves near the shore too and that alters when and how they break. (I have been up close and personal with a surfer in times gone by).

Breaking point-Winter wave-fresh-2016-23-seascapes-wave-painting-philippa-robert-adelaide-south-australia-winter-wave
“Winter wave” 25x30cm, acrylic on linen panel

Looking at my paintings I can see that this breaking point has fascinated me for a while.

breaking point-seascapes-wave paintings-Adelaide South Australia-Philippa Robert-Building Swell
“Building swell” 45x60cm, acrylic on canvas

In its evolution, this next painting almost broke me! For a start it is unusually large for me – 100x100cm – and was difficult to carry up or down stairs and all but impossible to fit in the car.

Secondly, “Breaking point” has been on and off the easel for about 5 years. It has had at least two titles. And lots of unofficial unprintable ones.

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“April Surge” in 2016

This painting has had many hours of work poured into it and it has almost been finished a few times. Between those intervals this painting has literally hung around the house and reminded me of my struggle.

It began as a brutish storm painting. Its subject matter was stirred and sandy water with ochres and early on, some seaweed purples.

Those colours changed and then returned again. They were heightened or muted, but somehow I just didn’t like it! Simple as that.

Benefits of travel

After our return this week from a long trip I had a clear vision for this painting. The adrenaline of returning home triumphed over the fatigue and bingo! Off the wall, onto the easel…

breaking point-seascaapes-wave paintings-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia
phone camera blues

…and 5 years’ work was over in a day (and 5 years). “April surge” became “Breaking point”.

Breaking point-seascapes-wave paintings-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia
“Breaking point” 100x100cm, acrylic on canvas

Beauty overtook brutalism much to my relief and I emerged Unbroken!

“Breaking point” will be hanging at Cafe Lune as part of my show of wave paintings for SALA 2017.

We open on August 23rd at 81 Jetty Road Brighton, South Australia. Come along and celebrate with me.

PS: I will be “In session” on 23rd, 24th, 26th and 30th August from 2-4pm.