Saturday, May 23, 2009

Desley Rolph - An artist who came in from the Outback

This is a painting by Desley Rolph (it is a study called "painting 3"). It is a great piece, and incredible once again how we each see the land from a different perspective and tell our story in different ways. I love the way it spills down the canvas and tells the story of the country ravaged by droughts and flooding rains. It suggests to me the ancient nature of the Australian outback that makes all your present problems seem quite unimportant. There is nothing like the rawness of nature to bring us to back to basics. It has a spiritual quality.

Des has just returned from a week at Bunginderry painting with her friend Maddy - and with Annabel. Like the rest of us, she has been captured by the soul of Bunginderry and, like the rest of us, will be called back again and again to paint in the bush. She uses oil paints in her paintings. One of the problems with oils is that they take a while to dry. For this reason, they are hard to transport back to Brisbane. So, Des and Maddy came up with the novel idea of painting a series of studies on square cnvasses that fit exactly into a pizza box, so they could be stacked and transported while wet. Extremely inventive.

Des wrote that she enjoyed painting her studies and especially spending time painting with Annabel for a couple of days. She is now back in her Brisbane studio working through the process of creating bigger works that are inspired by those studies. Des has an impressive career as an artist and has been a finalist in a number of national prizes. Very collectable. If you would like to find out more about her and see some of her work, log on to: Des shows in several galleries, so she can direct you to where her most recent work is. She also teaches. Contact her. She would love to receive an email from you.

So, I am now counting down to our next Bunginderry Artists' Camp. All very exciting. Meanwhile, this technical dyslexic is not only paking supplies but also trying to work out how to take videos on my camera and mobile phone so I can download some visuals each day for you. Stay tuned. All this is very challenging for a 60 year old who lacks understanding of the digital language. So, bear with me. At the very least, there will be images of the work we do each day and photos of the country. You will then see why we have this overwhelming love of Bunginderry and painting in the open.

Since I started this page four days ago four artists have already contacted me to ask if they can show their work and be part of the blog. Of course! So, a never ending feast of visuals from a variety of artists is coming your way. Please, make comments, give critiques, ask questions. Landscape is for everyone. Art id for everyone. We don't need to be artists or experts to say what we like or what we think could improve an image. Go for it. Most artists I know think it is wonderful to receive any feedback. I often wonder why it is so easy for us to comment on an item of clothing or the way a room is decorated but we feel intimidated by expressing our thoughts on a piece of art. Is it because of the mystique and elitist attitude that the art world has built around itself. Most of us as artists want you to say what you feel. Most of you as viewers should feel confident in saying: I like this or this does not grab me .... and why. You have full permission to contribute to the debate.

So, stay with us for the next couple of weeks as our experience in the outback unfolds. And tell us what you think.

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