Industrial Cathedral

Industrial Cathedral
"Industrial Cathedral" charcoal drawing on paper 131 x 131 cm Jane Bennett. This drawing was a finalist in the 1998 Dobell Prize for Drawing (Art Gallery of N.S.W.) ; Finalist in 1998 Blake Prize for Religious Art ; Winner of 1998 Hunter's Hill Open Art Prize

Friday, December 2, 2011

Painting the Tugboats of Sydney Harbour - the 'Wilga', 'Wonga' 'Woona' and 'Watagan'

Looking for suitable subject matter to paint for the Christmas exhibition at the Frances Keevil Gallery, I couldn't resist the tugs. Now that there are fewer large ships coming in to Sydney Harbour, they are harder to spot.
The best opportunities are found when they escort the tankers in and out of Gore Cove, and when the cruise ships come in to Barangaroo. Peak cruise ship season is from October to the end of February, so this means a bumper crop of tugboat paintings.
My studio at Moore's Wharf, opposite Walsh Bay Wharves on the right and Barangaroo to the left, offers good vantage points for tug spotting. As well as painting from the wharf at ground level when the weather permits, I have studio space on the top floor in the 'loft', which gives me a 'bird's eye view'.
In this set of paintings, I have varied the viewpoint and the background - the paintings of the 'Wilga' and the 'Wonga' feature the tugs alone against the sea and are painted from the top floor of Moore's Wharf; the 'Woona' (which has recently been repainted in its new livery of Naples yellow and navy - it used to be white with a black hull) is painted in late afternoon against the spectacular backdrop of Goat Island; and the 'Watagan', one of the smaller tugs, is shown dwarfed by the giant white cruise ship it is escorting.   
Marine painting- plein air oil painting of tug in Sydney Harbour by marine artist Jane Bennett
'The 'Wonga' 2011 oil on board 28 x 35cm
$990


Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com  

Marine painting- plein air oil painting of tug in Sydney Harbour by marine artist Jane Bennett
'The 'Wilga' 2011 oil on board 28 x 35cm
$990

Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com  

Marine painting- plein air oil painting of tug in Sydney Harbour by marine artist Jane Bennett
'The 'Woona' passing Goat Island'
2011 oil on board 28 x 35cm

$990

Enquiries about this painting:

Marine painting- plein air oil painting of tug in Sydney Harbour by marine artist Jane Bennett
'The 'Watagan' with the 'Pacific Dawn' 2011
oil on board 28 x 35cm

$990

Enquiries about this painting:
And a tugboat in action - the 'Watagan' bringing the 'Pacific Dawn' into Barangaroo's temporary cruise ship terminal.
Sydney's new cruise ship terminal will be built at White Bay, as soon as the old White Bay Transit Shed has been demolished. In the meantime, there are a motley collection of vessels berthed there for me to paint.  
Marine painting- plein air oil painting of tug in Sydney Harbour by marine artist Jane Bennett
Starting my painting of  
'The 'PB Endeavour' at White Bay 
2011 oil on board 28 x 35cm
Painted en plein air at White Bay Wharf, Berth 5

$990
Sold
Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com  
All of the previous paintings are of Svitzer tugs and painted from vantage points around Moore's Wharf. This painting is the odd one out in this series, as it was painted at White Bay, and was tied up rather than out on the water, so I thought that it would be a good contrast.
I fell in love with the pale blue tug PB Endeavour, one of the Pacific Basin Tugs. I have been admiring it while it has been berthed at White Bay Berth 5, next to the 'Bob Barker - Sea Shepherd'.
The PB Endeavour was launched just over a year ago, and was a bargain at $9 million or so ! I wish! But as it falls a little bit outside my budget, I'll have to settle for painting it.


Marine painting- plein air oil painting of tug in Sydney Harbour by marine artist Jane Bennett
'The 'PB Endeavour' at White Bay 
2011 oil on board 28 x 35cm
Painted en plein air at White Bay Wharf, Berth 5

$990
Sold
Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com  


Marine painting- plein air oil painting of tug in Sydney Harbour by marine artist Jane Bennett
'The 'PB Endeavour' at White Bay 
2011 oil on board 28 x 35cm
Painted en plein air at White Bay Wharf, Berth 5

$990
Sold
Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com  

Marine painting- plein air oil painting of tug in Sydney Harbour by marine artist Jane Bennett
'The 'PB Endeavour' at White Bay 
2011 oil on board 28 x 35cm
Painted en plein air at White Bay Wharf, Berth 5

$990
Sold
Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com  


I will display this set of little tugboat paintings in the forthcoming Xmas show at the Frances Keevil Gallery, opening on Saturday 10th December 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Homage to Picasso, Part 2 - Postcards from Picasso

The following sketches were all drawn in the Musée National Picasso in 1997 during my Marten Bequest Travelling Art Scholarship.

I had run out of paper, so I took some free postcards from the bookshop to record my thoughts.
This is the other side of the postcard from the bookshop of the Musée National Picasso.
I used the back of these to draw on at first as an act of desperation - I had run out of art materials and money!
However, from that time on, whenever I visit an exhibition I now always use the catalogue or booklet from the gallery to record my thoughts about the exhibition. It gives the sketches some context, I can remember exactly what I have seen and where.
At school I had driven my teachers crazy by annotating my textbooks in a similar fashion whenever I was bored, which meant about 99% of every lesson. This turned out to be a good foundation for my future career rather than timewasting and daydreaming. Somewhere in a dusty school cupboard there might still exist a few of my "illustrated manuscripts".


ink sketch of Picasso drawing by artist jane Bennett
My sketch of "Study for 'Les Desmoiselles D'Avignon' " 
ink on card 18 x 13cm 1997
$220
Enquiries
During my Travelling Art Scholarship I filled page after page every day with annotated sketches of famous paintings and observations about my surroundings. Sometimes this was to learn some technique or to note some aspect of the painting for use later in one of my own paintings. Mostly it was just to make sure that I really looked at the works and didn't just skim over them. If I draw something I will remember what I have seen. If I've just taken a photo of something, I'll swiftly forget it. The greatest compliment you can pay to a work of art is to give it your time and attention.
I was interested in seeing the working sketches for iconic works such as 'Les Desmoiselles D'Avignon'- what was included; what was discarded - the paths not taken.The painting is now such an icon of modern art that it is easy to forget that its final form was not inevitable, but arrived at after months of struggle.

ink sketch of Picasso sculpture by artist jane Bennett
My ink drawing of 
"Head of Marie-Therese Walter" Pablo Picasso, Boisgeloup 1932
ink on card 18 x 13cm 1997

$220
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pencil sketch of Picasso drawing by artist jane Bennett
My drawing of "Le Viel Homme Assis" by Pablo Picasso
graphite on card 18 x 13cm 1997
$220
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pencil sketch of Picasso sculpture by artist jane Bennett
My drawing of 
"Le Fou", a bronze sculpture by Pablo Picasso from 1905
graphite on card 18 x 13cm 1997
$220
Enquiries
 This little bronze was also exhibited in the current exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW "Picasso: masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris".
pencil sketch of Picasso painting by artist jane Bennett
My ink drawing of one of Pablo Picasso's classically inspired heads.
ink on card 18 x 13cm 1997
$220
Enquiries
I love the Protean nature of Picasso's art - how he would switch from the restrained classical poise in this example to the wild energy and cartoonish violence of the next example without missing a beat.
ink and gouache sketch of Picasso painting by artist jane Bennett
My gouache and ink drawing of 
Pablo Picasso's Le baiser (The kiss) 1969, oil on canvas, 97 × 130 cm, and above it "Les Banderilla"
ink and gouache on card 18 x 13cm 1997
$220
Enquiries
This oil painting is also included in the current exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW "Picasso: masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris".



ink and gouache sketch of Picasso painting by artist jane Bennett
My gouache and ink drawing of 
Pablo Picasso's 1961  "Woman and child"
ink and gouache on card 18 x 13cm 1997
$220
Enquiries



ink and gouache sketch of Picasso painting by artist jane Bennett
My gouache and ink drawing of Pablo Picasso's 1961 project for a monument "Femme aux bras ecartes"
ink and gouache on card 18 x 13cm 1997
$220
Enquiries


ink and gouache sketch of Picasso painting by artist jane Bennett
My gouache and ink drawing of 
Pablo Picasso's"La Jeune Fille assise"
ink and gouache on card 18 x 13cm 1997
$220
Enquiries


ink and gouache sketch of Picasso painting by artist jane Bennett
My gouache and ink drawing of a faun by Pablo Picasso
ink and gouache on card 18 x 13cm 1997
$220
Enquiries


ink and gouache sketch of Picasso painting by artist jane Bennett
My gouache and ink painting of 
"L'homme au mouton (Man with sheep)" Pablo Picasso, 1940s
ink and gouache on card 36 x 13cm 1997
$440
Enquiries
ink and gouache sketch of Picasso painting by artist jane Bennett
 Close up detail of my gouache and ink painting of 
"L'homme au mouton (Man with sheep)" Pablo Picasso, 1940s
ink and gouache on card 18 x 13cm 1997
$220
"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." (Pablo Picasso)
I loved the gentle expression on the face of "L'homme au mouton (Man with sheep)" Pablo Picasso, 1940s. If I was having a difficult day, I would feel revived by looking at his calm and tender features.


"I paint the way someone bites his fingernails; for me, painting is a bad habit because I don't know nor can I do anything else." (Pablo Picasso) 

In the very first week of my Travelling Art Scholarship, I had accidently dropped my camera off a bridge in Rotterdam. It seemed like a disaster at first, but it turned out to be the best thing I could have ever done to hone my drawing skills, as it forced me to get faster and more decisive with my work or miss the moment entirely. My drawings were more interesting than my photos  were anyway and I didn't bother replacing my camera until after I got back to Australia.

Another thing that initially seemed to be a disaster and turned out to be a blessing in disguise, was that I am completely useless at learning new languages. Despite my best efforts, my German is appalling, my French is pitiful and my Italian is worse. And according to the English, I don't speak English all that well either! If I wanted to make myself understood, I would have to draw whatever I needed. This would at least get a laugh, if nothing else. It worked a treat, and I had no problems with communication wherever I went. Art is truly a universal language.
It taught me that a work of art can have many purposes, from shallow to deep.


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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Homage to Picasso Part 1

 My drawings of the exhibition "Picasso: masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris" Art Gallery of NSW
I dropped off my entry to the Dobell drawing Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW just before the cut-off time on Friday afternoon and had a rare spare couple of hours to myself before the opening of the "Ship to Shore" exhibition at the Mosman Art Gallery.
The Art Gallery didn't look too crowded for once so I visited the Picasso exhibition.
During my Marten Bequest Travelling Art Scholarship 1996 -7, I spent a total of 6 months living in Paris, almost long enough to feel like a local. As I had won a studio residency from the Trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW, I had spent most of that time living in the Moya Dyring studio at the Cite Internationale des Arts in the Marais. However, after my residency had finished, I then spent about a month living in the charming hotel L'Hostellerie du Marais in a 17th-century building located near Place des Vosges and the historic Marais district. It was not far from the Cirque D'Hiver and just down the road from the Picasso museum in the rue de Thorigny. I would often drop in there on my way back to my hotel, so most of the works on display in this exhibition were old friends.
ink sketch of Picasso drawing by artist jane Bennett
My drawing of 
Pablo Picasso's Le couper des tetes (the head-cutter) Spring 1901

Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
However, there were still a few surprises. Just when I had thought I was familiar with all of Picasso's early work, I came face to face with a very confronting little sketch, which I sincerely hope wasn't done from life!

I was trying to pin down what the unnerving look on the face of the "head cutter" reminded me of. The droogy leer of Malcolm Mc Dowell in Stanley Kubrick's iconic film of "A Clockwork Orange" perhaps, plus the stance of the swaggering murderer Lacenaire, played by Marcel Herrand in Marcel Carne's  "Les Enfants du Paradis" . The artistic ancestors of this drawing surely include Picasso's countryman Goya and the caricaturist Daumier, but the most immediate influence would have been the recently deceased Toulouse-Lautrec, who had a taste for subject matter verging on the morbid or perverse. Possibly Picasso would even have been aware of Walter Sickert's series of paintings about the Camden Town murders.
sketch of Picasso drawings and paintings by artist Jane Bennett
As you can see here, whenever I run out of pages in my drawing books, I will use whatever comes to hand.
I like using the catalogue to record my impressions of the exhibition.

sketch of Picasso drawings and paintings by artist Jane Bennett
My sketch of 
Pablo Picasso's "La Celestine" 1904 and "Etude academique"

Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com

sketch of Picasso drawings sculpture and paintings by artist Jane Bennett
My sketch of a Pablo Picasso sculpture
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com

sketch of Picasso drawings sculpture and paintings by artist Jane Bennett
My sketches of 
Pablo Picasso's "L'homme au mouton" 
and his assemblage of the bicycle seat/bull's head

In my next post "Homage to Picasso, Part 2 - Postcards from Picasso" I will show some of the sketches I did when I visited the Musée National Picasso in Paris in 1997.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ship to Shore - the 11th annual exhibition by the Australian Society of Marine Artists at Mosman Regional Art Gallery

For my submission to the 11th annual art exhibition by the members of the Australian Society of Marine Artists, I decided to enter 2 of my paintings of the drama surrounding the controversial scuttling of the ex HMAS Adelaide off North Avoca Beach in April 2011.
Jane Bennett industrial heritage artist painting ex HMAS Adelaide en plein air on Glebe Island Wharf
The artist painting the ex HMAS Adelaide on Glebe Island Wharf 2010-11
'The ex HMAS Adelaide'' at Glebe Island Wharf
2011 oil on canvas 61 x 183 cm

$11,000

Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com  


Jane Bennett industrial heritage artist painting of ex HMAS Adelaide  on Glebe Island Wharf
"Ex HMAS Adelaide- flag raising at dawn" 2010 
oil on canvas 31 x 103cm
Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com  
Painted 'en plein air' on Glebe Island Wharf, 1 year almost to the day before her long awaited departure and eventual scuttling.

Jane Bennett industrial heritage artist painting ex HMAS Adelaide from Avoca Beach
The artist painting the ex HMAS Adelaide for the very last time at North Avoca Beach in April 2011
Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com  
I was painting this view of the ex HMAS Adelaide from the look-out opposite the surf club. Inside the surf club were police monitoring the activities of the largely non-existent protesters. 
One of the police inside called out to me. I was startled at first, but then realised that he had recognised me as the artist who was at the top of the Harbour Control Tower painting the Pope's visit to Barangaroo during World Youth Day celebrations in 2008. Small world!

Jane Bennett industrial heritage artist painting ex HMAS Adelaide from Avoca Beach
Painting the ex HMAS Adelaide for the very last time at North Avoca Beach in April 2011
Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com  
That sinking feeling...
Jane Bennett industrial heritage artist painting ex HMAS Adelaide from Avoca Beach
Painting the ex HMAS Adelaide for the very last time at North Avoca Beach in April 2011
Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com  

The very next day, the ex HMAS Adelaide was underwater. 
Jane Bennett industrial heritage artist painting of ex HMAS Adelaide from Avoca Beach
"The ex HMAS Adelaide from North Avoca"
2011 oil on canvas 31 x 61cm
Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com  
Now that all the controversy has settled down, the wreck has already become a major dive site and tourist attraction. It was amazing how quickly marine life has been attracted to the Adelaide and has adopted it as a new home.

These 2 paintings will be exhibited in "Ship to Shore: 11th National Australian Society of Marine Artists Exhibition" from Saturday 26 November – Saturday 31 December 2011  at the Mosman Regional Art Gallery. 
exhibition at Mosman Art Gallery - Jane Bennett industrial heritage artist painting of ex HMAS Adelaide from Avoca Beach - with Paul Delprat principal of Julian Ashton art school
At the opening of "Ship to Shore" with the Principal of the Julian Ashton Art School, Paul Delprat

exhibition at Mosman Art Gallery - Jane Bennett industrial heritage artist painting of ex HMAS Adelaide from Avoca Beach - with Paul Delprat principal of Julian Ashton art school
At the opening of "Ship to Shore" with the Principal of the Julian Ashton Art School, Paul Delprat


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Friday, November 18, 2011

Sea no evil? Painting the 'Sea Shepherd' at White Bay

The sign of the pirate, the snarling teeth on the bow and the spikes protruding from the helipad. Yes the 'Bob Barker' from Sea Shepherd Australia was in Sydney until Friday.
I was there intending to paint the White Bay Transit Shed before its demolition, but the crew of the "Sea Shepherd". who were curious about the "Artist in Residence" on the wharf, challenged me to see if I could paint their ship while they filmed me. I picked up my easel and moved a bit closer to the ship, but out of the way of the crane delivering supplies for their Antarctic voyage. 


Jane Bennett industrial heritage artist painting the Sea Shepherd's 'Bob Barker' at White Bay Wharf en plein air
The "Bob Barker - Sea Shepherd" crew challenged me to paint their ship before their departure. Nothing like a bit of pressure! These 2 photos of me and my canvas were taken by some of the crew.

 "Bob Barker - Sea Shepherd"  2011 oil on canvas 25 x 51cm
$1400
Enquiries:
Jane Bennett industrial heritage artist painting the Sea Shepherd's 'Bob Barker' at White Bay Wharf en plein air
With my completed canvas of the "Bob Barker - Sea Shepherd" in front of the ship.
 "Bob Barker - Sea Shepherd"  2011 oil on canvas 25 x 51cm
$1400
Enquiries:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
 The ship's crazy paint job made it hard to discern its proportions against the blue sky and sea. I don't know whether this helps to camouflage it or make it stand out against the backdrop of the icy Southern ocean.
The ship didn't exactly have classical lines, and there were a lot of strange and fiddly details to cope with. Some of these I didn't really understand until after I had finished my painting and was given a celebratory tour of the ship. Strange yellow and black attachments turned out to be barricading to prevent easy boarding. Later in the afternoon more of these were attached to the upper deck helipad at a jaunty angle  - giving the ship an even more raffish and piratical air.


Jane Bennett industrial heritage artist painting the Sea Shepherd's 'Bob Barker' at White Bay Wharf en plein air
I had completed the canvas of the "Bob Barker - Sea Shepherd" by mid - afternoon and here it is on my easel in front of the ship.
 "Bob Barker - Sea Shepherd"  2011 oil on canvas 25 x 51cm
$1400
Enquiries:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

Jane Bennett industrial heritage artist painting the Sea Shepherd's 'Bob Barker' at White Bay Wharf en plein air
 "Bob Barker - Sea Shepherd"  2011 oil on canvas 25 x 51cm
$1400
Enquiries:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
I started the canvas about 10.30 am and finished it by about 1.30pm, then spent a couple of hours having a guided tour of the ship. Unfortunately the next day was quite windy and I aggravated an old shoulder injury while chasing a runaway canvas that had been caught in a sudden gust of wind, so I missed their departure on Friday.

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