As Artist in Residence, I will be on or painting close by around the site from Wednesday to Sunday for the next 4 weeks. Tomorrow I'm going to check out my new space at 47 George St, which used to be an old Westpac Bank office. This project features an eclectic mix of creatives over at 47 and 77 George St, the Rocks. Gaffa, Red Room Company, artists, fashion designers, jewellery makers and even a tailor are just some of the residents breathing new life into the previously empty spaces.
I will take my French Box easel, turn up at a nearby location very early in the morning and create small, quick plein air paintings in and around the Rocks, Walsh Bay Wharves and Barangaroo.
Then later in the day I would be able to work these small pieces up into studio paintings at leisure in the studio space at 47 George St.
I could paint a large scale painting in front of the public, not only providing them with a source of entertainment and information but a chance to communicate, so that it is a “two-way street”. Most people have never seen an artist at work and find it quite fascinating to watch. As a ‘plein air painter’ I am a seasoned practitioner of an almost lost craft. Most of my work, including large scale canvases, not just sketches, has been painted in front of the public, whether workers or casual onlookers. It has been a major part of my normal artistic practice to do so for nearly 30 years, so I'm used to coping with distractions, interruptions and horrible weather. This is an opportunity for people to watch the creative process at work, ask questions and make comments without feeling intimidated by a gallery atmosphere. My subject matter is limitless : The surroundings - Heritage buildings, colourful and disreputable old pubs like the 'Hero of Waterloo', 'The Orient' and the 'Lord Nelson', ferries and water taxis, the cruise ships arriving and departing from the OPT. The people -Rocks residents, the bustle of the markets, shop owners, storekeepers and buskers.My first real "taste" of my new studio, both literally and metaphorically, will be on Sunday 31st July, whilst indulging in coffee from around the world at Australia’s largest coffee event, the Rocks Aroma Festival.
Well that was the plan.
I have been bullied and harassed by the SHFA goon squad of Rangers so badly that I am removing all my belongings from the 'studio' and will never return.
I previously wrote
This is an opportunity for people to watch the creative process at work, ask questions and make comments without feeling intimidated by a gallery atmosphere.Well I have been the one to be intimidated.
The Rocks is no longer a place for an artist.
And if you are creative in public you will be treated like a criminal.
I had never attended the Rocks Aroma festival before.
I will make damn sure that I will never be silly enough to do so again.