Friday, July 31, 2015

Finalist in the Black Swan Portrait Prize

I'm absolutely thrilled and delighted to be a finalist in the Black Swan portrait Prize. Congratulations to the other finalists. And also to everyone who many talented people out there. This particular portrait is a very personal one to me, so it feels extra special that it was accepted. The artist statement below touches on the personal aspect of the work.

'A Study in Water' 
Oil on Canvas 150cm x 107cm

This work explores how creators employ art to work through grief. Coming from a personal breakup that involved betrayal over a period of 5 years, I wanted to examine how art can help us deal with these emotions. The water symbolises being submerged, and how the grieving process initially prevented me from making art for a period of time. But then the need to create breaks through, and by releasing our art we can explore these feelings and start to heal. This new creative beginning helped me realise that I was now happier than I had ever been those 5 years prior – I had swum to the surface.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Without Pier

I just met with Terry and Liz at Without Pier Gallery​ and they will be representing me which is wonderful. So I'm about to start work on a new collection for mid next year focussing on encaustic figurative work and cityscapes and arcades of the streets of Melbourne.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Susan Windmiller's post about my Chandler Face

A very entertaining post by a talented photographer Susan Windmiller who understands my discomfort in front of a camera.

“ You know that Friends episode? The one when Chandler always grimaces when someone takes his photo? Well that’s me” said artist Jacqui Grantford. “ I have a Chandler look. The only time I can relax in front of a camera is when I have had a few drinks. Then I don’t look too bad.”
I managed to get the “Chandler” out of Jacqui’s face and I asked her how she had managed to do it on this occasion. She answered that most people just take your photo and don’t tell you what you really look like. Besides, she said, “You made me laugh”. So it looks like I’m as good as a few stiff drinks. I can see we are going to be Friends.
This photo was taken for the Mordialloc Chelsea Leader of Aspendale artist Jacqui Grantford in Outstanding Women Artists exhibition in the CBD.

Hush Treasure Book Launch

I'm so thrilled that the Hush Treasure Book that is being released in August is going to be launched at Government House. I had a wonderful afternoon today with Kirsten, Catherine Crock and Lee Burgemeestre at Government House working it all out.
It's connected with the Hush Music Foundation: CD Collection who have produced cd's previously for children undergoing cancer treatments. The idea behind the cd's was to ease the trauma children experience undergoing their treatments. This is Hush's first picture book and has the same premise.
It's a beautiful book with 30 of Australia's most loved children's book authors and illustrators.
All the creators had to go to the hospital and meet the children and the families beforehand to really understand who they were creating the book for, and for many of the authors and illustrators it was life changing.
Below is my piece and the type goes in the blank space. I won't give away what it is'll have to see the book!

Master of Art Exhibtion

My painting of New York has been accepted into the Master of Art exhibiton in London. It seems that my art is going to make it to London before I do!! The exhibition opens July 9th at Chelsea Gallery, Kings Road, London, for anyfriends out that way.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Seeing a painting hung

I went to a house warming of my beautiful friend Monka last Saturday and was delighted to see this painting that I did of her hands with Mr Connard's in her bedroom. I don't always get to see the paintings hung, so whenever I do it's a real treat.There's a story attached to this painting which is really beautiful and you can read it here:

Monika and Mr Connard
Monika knew Mr Connard when she was a tiny little girl in the 1960s at the time he employed her mother, Linda, as a typist. During the school holidays Monika would go in to the office and there a bond, similar to that of a grandparent and grandchild, was formed.

When Monika’s mother became seriously ill, losing an enormous amount of weight - at one stage reaching 4 stone – Mr Connard was there to help, becoming a very dear friend, almost like a member of the family.

Life stabilised for Monika, until suddenly at the age of 15, her father died. He was only 42 years of age. Ten days later her grandfather died, and then shortly after her grandmother.

Monika, her younger sister and mother were all alone in the space of six months. And that’s when Mr Connard and his late wife Thelma really stepped in and helped, providing support and friendship in their time of need. There was a wonderful bond and a special love between them.

Monika grew up and went to Uni, and as what often happens when life changes, they lost touch. They lost touch for twenty-five years in fact.

In 2009, Monika bought a house with her young family in Parkdale. During the move she found an old wallet that she had since she was ten and in it a card. On the card was Mr Connard’s address from the time when Monika was a child.

It was only about 6 houses away from where she was now living.
She walked around to see the house thinking there was no possible way that he would still be there.

Waiting in the front garden for a taxi was Mr Connard – who was now 92 years old.

They recognised each other instantly and Monika flew into his arms crying. They have seen each other every day since then and Monika is truly like a granddaughter that Mr Connard cherishes.

Photos by a talented young man

Here are a couple of photos taken by a very talented young man Jasper Carn at my exhibition. He is doing some apprentice work the local paper in his area which is wonderful (he's still at school). His brief for these photos was to photograph the exhibtion in an unusual way and I think he's done a brilliant job. I'm so looking forward to following his career and I love to see young people pursuing their passion.