Critical Annotation

Again I tend to post predominately female artists as I just seem to identify much more strongly with their practice. Definitely the prior four posts are woman who either write or paint or both – two major frameworks for my practice. Add to that the feminist side of my practice as in Sollee and her writings in her novels and her website, the flora and emotional with O’Keeffe and the gothic and imagination inspired from Hearman and Yiadom-Boakye – its my artistic practice rolled into a neat little package.

But who wants to be neat? I want realism but I want darkness, I want mess and angst and goth and I want to not only paint from life but to paint from imagination. I want both and why can’t I? Hearman does a brilliant job of doing just that. Being able to paint authentic portraits of people as well as her eerie, goth fantasy world, delving deep into the darkness of our psyche. Its just so beautiful!

O’Keeffe has always inspired me to paint flowers and upon learning more about her and how she paints her emotions and doesn’t sketch a work first but goes straight to her large canvas, aligned her with my practice even more so. I rarely sketch and had only really used Procreate for composition of the main elements of a piece. Though I have done a few digital paintings while doing my MFA and have started to sketch from my imagination much more recently. And while I am not into painting enormous flowers like O’Keeffe (I’ve tried and I don’t have the patience for it haha), I do add smaller versions to my work as symbols of vulnerability, sexuality or mortality or just for decoration!

Realism, Surrealism, Figurative, Symbolism, Expressionism and Feminism are all frameworks of my practice. Is there a term that signifies all of these? I’m discovering artist upon artist that have come before me doing a lot of what I aim to do, and I am learning much from their work and practice while hopefully instilling my own personal style and story into my work. The learning journey continues to be fruitful as always and while not all artists suggested to me resonate as deeply as the ones I choose to write about, they all help to inform my practice even if it’s what I don’t want to be doing.

These ten artists all inform my decisions when it comes to my creative practice especially my paintings. Even though there are only 2 guys, those two are important and should feel a sense of pride to be amongst my chicks. Fantauzzo is beyond amazing! So if I could combine him and Hearman I would be one very happy girl! And how brilliant they are both Australian (I just realised) The point is they both paint realism and surrealism and delve deep in to the psyche and maybe this is why they are my standouts.

I feel I have so much I want to paint with the usual ‘never enough hours in the day’ scenario. I know that’s why sometimes the words come easy and the paintings will follow or I will quickly paint something digitally to remember a thought or feeling. Wherever my MFA takes me I know that I have gained so much knowledge already about different genres, artists and the Why, Who and How of my practice and I just need to be able to articulate it better. I hope I’ve done so with this annotation….

Poppy – oil on canvas – 36 x 36cm – Leesa Gray-Pitt

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