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, August 31, 2012

To the Point


 Pyrmont Painting- plein air oil painting of urban decay - Terminus Hotel and Pyrmont Point Hotel by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Half finished canvas
"The 'Terminus' versus the 'Pyrmont Point Hotel' " 
2012 oil painting on canvas 31 x 61cm
$2,000
Sold

Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
Last week I returned to a painting that I had started 2 years ago but had left half finished due to having to complete other projects. 
I had painted the two hotels from this viewpoint on the corner of John and Harris Streets countless times before. I still had several canvases of the Terminus but I especially wanted to paint a panorama giving equal space to the Terminus and Pyrmont Point Hotels.
59 versus 61 Harris Street Pyrmont - the old versus the new Pyrmont, divided by the striding legs of the Anzac bridge looming over the towers of Jackson's Landing.

 Pyrmont Painting- plein air oil painting of urban decay - Terminus Hotel and Pyrmont Point Hotel by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Half finished canvas
"The 'Terminus' versus the 'Pyrmont Point Hotel' " 
2012 oil painting on canvas 31 x 61cm
$2,000
Sold

Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

I had completed a similar canvas from this viewpoint about 2 years ago, but had sold it almost immediately to a local couple who had met each other at the Point Hotel.

 Pyrmont Painting- plein air oil painting of urban decay - Terminus Hotel and Pyrmont Point Hotel by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Half finished canvas
"The 'Terminus' versus the 'Pyrmont Point Hotel' " 
2012 oil painting on canvas 31 x 61cm
$2,000
Sold

Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
In the first photo of the work in progress, the previous colour scheme of the "Pyrmont Point Hotel" from 2 years before is still visible. The strange faded plum tone reminded me of an over-ripe version of the once ubiquitous "Paddo pink" in the first wave of gentrification that spread all over the 1980s inner city. It clashed horribly with the dark crimson awning.
Now it is under new management, with a brand new colour scheme to mark the change. The walls are a more subdued and elegant pale yellow green, with awnings and window frames in chocolate. One effect of the new wall colour is to make the "ghost sign" of the hotel's original name the "Royal Pacific" more apparent.
Meanwhile the Terminus hasn't changed a bit.
 Pyrmont Painting- plein air oil painting of urban decay - Terminus Hotel and Pyrmont Point Hotel by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Half finished canvas
"The 'Terminus' versus the 'Pyrmont Point Hotel' " 
2012 oil painting on canvas 31 x 61cm
$2,000
Sold

Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
I spent the first afternoon repainting the walls of the "Pyrmont Point Hotel" to the new colour. It probably would have been quicker and easier to just start a completely new canvas.
The practice of plein air painting often results in many half finished and potentially unfinishable canvases, so that you have to grit your teeth and accept it as an inevitable part of the process. So many elements are beyond the artist's control that plein air painting becomes hopelessly frustrating if you can't cope with "unfinished business".
I love being able to revive a canvas that I have had to turn face to the wall for weeks, months or even years.



 Pyrmont Painting- plein air oil painting of urban decay - Terminus Hotel and Pyrmont Point Hotel by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Half finished canvas
"The 'Terminus' versus the 'Pyrmont Point Hotel' " 
2012 oil painting on canvas 31 x 61cm
$2,000
Sold

Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
By the end of the first day, I had the basics blocked out and the canvas only needed the finishing touches.
And just as well.
When I delivered another work to the Frances Keevil Gallery, I discovered  that a couple from Pyrmont were extremely interested in this painting. They had actually watched me while I was painting it!
Unfortunately they were due to leave Australia the next week. 
I would have to complete the painting by Wednesday at the latest if it was going to be dry (well... dryish!) by Saturday, when the clients came in to the Frances Keevil Gallery to view it.
I don't think that they realized that it was an oil painting and they were cutting it a bit fine if it was to be finished, dry and ready to be delivered.

 Pyrmont Painting- plein air oil painting of urban decay - Terminus Hotel and Pyrmont Point Hotel by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Half finished canvas
"The 'Terminus' versus the 'Pyrmont Point Hotel' " 
2012 oil painting on canvas 31 x 61cm
$2,000
Sold

Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
 It was Tuesday.
And there were many distractions.
I love chatting to people as I paint. I get to meet interesting people and learn a lot of fascinating things about the location.
But I was under a bit of time pressure and I must admit that I was worried.
The painting looks almost finished in this photo, but the final touches which can make or break a painting are very fiddly and it's perilous to rush them. 
One of the most important of these was the "ghost sign" of the Pyrmont Point's previous incarnation as the Royal Pacific. Another vital detail was the light coming from the interior of the Pyrmont Point which contrasted with the dead heart of the Terminus.
 Pyrmont Painting- plein air oil painting of urban decay - Terminus Hotel and Pyrmont Point Hotel by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
The artist with Van Le with the nearly complete canvas "The 'Terminus' versus the 'Pyrmont Point Hotel' " 
2012 oil painting on canvas 31 x 61cm
$2,000
Sold

Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
Tuesday seemed to be an extremely busy day on the corner of John and Harris St.
I became a bit of a tourist attraction. Here I am with Van Le, a local resident.
 Pyrmont Painting- plein air oil painting of urban decay - Terminus Hotel and Pyrmont Point Hotel by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
The artist with Francis Lee with the nearly complete canvas "The 'Terminus' versus the 'Pyrmont Point Hotel' " 
2012 oil painting on canvas 31 x 61cm
$2,000
Sold

Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
 And with Francis Lee, another local resident, who kindly took these pictures of me in action.
 Pyrmont Painting- plein air oil painting of urban decay - Terminus Hotel and Pyrmont Point Hotel by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
 "The 'Terminus' versus the 'Pyrmont Point Hotel' " 
2012 oil painting on canvas 31 x 61cm
$2,000
Sold

Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
However I needn't have worried.
The painting was completed.
And the couple loved it and bought it.

Apparently one of the pair had been covertly watching me paint the finishing touches on this canvas from a safe distance at the pub opposite.
I'm glad that I didn't know that at the time or I would have suffered stage fright.
I actually think that this painting turned out better than the one that I had painted 2 years before. Mind you, I've certainly had quite enough practice painting these pubs. The first time was about 30 years ago - doesn't time fly when you're having fun!

Also watching me were 2 photographers who were checking out the Terminus. They took a few photos of me (no makeup, covered in paint from head to foot, looking like a bag lady...oh well!) and chatted about the charms of urban decay as I desperately tried to finish my commission. Like many photographers, they seemed more interested in the freshly squeezed oil paint on my palette than the actual canvas. The process not the result.
Check out the photos they took of me and my painting here at the blog on their site.
Tristan Stefan Edouard Photography
For more information about the Terminus and Pyrmont Point Hotels see the Pyrmont Page in this blog


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rookwood - Part 2 - Angel of Resurrection

In my previous post I showed my rough clay model of the Dixson monument which I created to try to grasp the complexity of the original before I tried to paint it.
This post shows the canvas I have been painting as homage to the Dixson Monument. I am one of seven artists who are participating in an exhibition inspired by the Rookwood Necropolis. The exhibition "Spirited" will be held in the Peacock Gallery, Auburn Botanic Gardens in conjunction with the sculpture exhibition "Hidden" in the grounds of Rookwood itself.
"Spirited" will open on Saturday 18th August 11am - 1pm, and will continue until 30th September. The Peacock Gallery is open from Wed- Sun 11 - 4pm.
oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the Dixson Monument, Rookwood Necropolis
My oil painting  of the Dixson Monument, Rookwood Necropolis
$11,000



Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
Unfortunately I don't even know who the sculptor of the Dixson monument was.
Whoever they were, they deserve to be famous.


oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the Dixson Monument, Rookwood Necropolis
My painting of the Dixson Monument, Rookwood Necropolis
$11,000



Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com

English: The sculpture "Apollo and Daphne...
 The sculpture "Apollo and Daphne" by Bernini in the Galleria Borghese. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A complex swirl of flowing drapery, links the angel to the soul yet separates them.  

 The arrangement of the 2 figures, entwined yet apart, reminds me of Bernini's   "Apollo and Daphne". I have seen this wonderful sculpture in the Borghese Gallery in 1997, but there were so many treasures in this gallery that it was hard to appreciate all of its qualities. I don't know whether the sculptor of the Dixson monument had any knowledge of Bernini or Baroque sculpture but I found strange resonances between the works .

 
My oil painting of the Dixson Monument, Rookwood Necropolis
$11,000



Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
Both sculptors used line to force the viewer to move around the sculpture to determine its meaning, sort of like a puzzle. making any one viewpoint  incomplete. They both defy cohesion.
Flowing drapery creates large looping rhythms both linking the angel to the soul and separating them.
oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the Dixson Monument, Rookwood Necropolis
My oil painting of the Dixson Monument, Rookwood Necropolis

$11,000



In the "Apollo and Daphne" Flesh turns to bark; Stone into flesh.
In the Dixson monument Stone turns to Flesh; Flesh turns into spirit.The sculptor attempts to capture the sublime.
The Dixson monument is sacred rather than pagan so it is less overtly erotic. However the sheer drapery of the rising soul clings to the gentle curve of her torso with a palpably sensual flourish.


oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the Dixson Monument, Rookwood Necropolis
My oil painting of the Dixson Monument, Rookwood Necropolis
 There are spaces between them - you would not be able to "roll this down the hill", which was reputedly Michelangelo's test for a good sculpture. I don't think Bernini's idea of a good sculpture involved any "hill-rolling" as the energy in his works was expressed in bravura touches such as flying wisps of hair, windswept drapery and flesh turning into bark.
oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the Dixson Monument, Rookwood Necropolis
My oil painting of the Dixson Monument, Rookwood Necropolis
$11,000



I am painting my view of the Dixon monument 'en plein air', but will keep the influence of Bernini in the back of my mind as I do so.
I kept noticing details of sculpture that were so very beautiful, where the feeling was concentrated in a gesture. The skyward pointing finger.
The angel gives a tender glance to the rising soul.


HOLY SONNET VII.

At the round earth's imagined corners blow
Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise
From death, you numberless infinities
Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go ;
All whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow,
All whom war, dea[r]th, age, agues, tyrannies,
Despair, law, chance hath slain, and you, whose eyes
Shall behold God, and never taste death's woe.
But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space ;
For, if above all these my sins abound,
'Tis late to ask abundance of Thy grace,
When we are there. Here on this lowly ground,
Teach me how to repent, for that's as good
As if Thou hadst seal'd my pardon with Thy blood.

John Donne