Who wants to run “Over the sandhill”?

Over the sandhill-with artist at HBCC-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-Sept 2017

Over the sandhill

During my recent showing at Cafe Lune, I met with the Arts and Cultural Coordinator for the local Council. One of the ideas discussed related to this painting, Over the sandhill.

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60x90cm, acrylic on canvas, $1435

It is a happy reminder of those warm days which promise plenty of swims, sandy toes and skin tingling with the sunshine. The light is brighter, people are wearing light and bright colours and the sea shimmers in the distance. What a day it is!

My other feeling about this painting answers the very first question in the headline. The children want to run – and most often do. They disappear down over the hill to the beach while the parents follow more slowly. And you can see why they trudge – they carry the lunch and the beach toys! A different story on the way home. The parents still trudge but the children are weary and reluctant. Certainly not running back to the car, unless the sand is hot.

A new temporary home

Thank you to the Holdfast Bay City Council for this opportunity to share my vision of summer beach-goers with a new audience.

Over the sandhill-with artist at HBCC-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-Sept 2017

Over the sandhill will hang in the foyer of the HBCC Offices on Jetty Road Brighton until mid-November. See it in person there or here online. Available for purchase through the website!

PS Thanks to my new friend at the HBCC who helped with the photography.

 

Painting supports. Linen panels

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Artists have many choices of painting supports. Papers, boards, stretched canvas, canvas and linen panels.

Linen panels

For me, the flavour of the month is linen panels. Well, for me it’s much more than that. These are my favourite supports for outdoor painting!  I was lucky to have been introduced to linen panels by an artist friend several years ago.

linen panels-blank canvas-Philippa Robert Adelaide South Australia

Dimensions

There are several sizes available these days, more now than when I started using them.

There were 25x30cm 20x25cm and 30x30cm. But I have since become familiar with 10x10cm and 20x20cm sizes. A lot of the more recent sizes are square.

painting supports-linen panels-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia
10x10cm, 20x20cm, 20x25cm, 25x30cm, 30x30cm.

Availability

Even though their branding is French (pebeo), these panels were difficult to find in Europe. After a bit of searching online I found them. Can you guess where?

Bonnie Scotland!

Prices vary quite a lot, depending on whether you are shopping in Paperchase or a dedicated art store. But I found them in Glasgow in two stores and Perth in another two. Not sure about Edinburgh or Aberdeen or further afield. There are hundreds of artists in The Highlands and Islands of Scotland so I wouldn’t be surprised if they are even more widely available.

In Adelaide I buy these panels from an art supplier who orders them in, from Queensland I think.

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Panels are reasonably light and compact for a travelling artist. They are much heavier individually than a sheet of canvas paper but their sturdiness is a bonus. They can stand a bit of rough handling in bags, provided they are lightly wrapped in baking paper.

painting supports-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-baking paper

Extra advantages

There are several extra things I fancy about linen panels. The sizing of the surface gives a silky texture on first contact with the brush. Because it is clear, the sizing allows the mid-tone of the linen to guide the early stages of the painting – laying in the darkest darks for a start. And see how nicely the 25x20cm board fits vertically into my paintbox!

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Sometimes I prime them with a chosen colour to aid the spread of paint into the weave of the linen. The 10x10cm cafe sketches done recently have coloured backgrounds. I tried red, light blue and ochre.

Stretched canvas has a nice spring to it under the brush and is my preferred support for studio work. Outdoors, linen panels are portable, fairly lightweight and rugged. Unless pre-primed by the artist, they have a silky surface, warm wheaten colour and offer a helpful mid-tone reference to start.

You know what? There is another thing I haven’t mentioned. Linen seems more prestigious. Do you agree?

 

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

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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).

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“Winter wave” 25x30cm, acrylic on linen panel

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

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“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…

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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.