Friday, December 19, 2014

Bauhinia and Bee

Bauhinia and Bee was painted by me at the beginning of the year and only this week did  I take it to the framer to have it professionally framed with an old 80's frame that I had upcycled.
I usually don't bother framing as most of my work has been on stretched canvas panels with the sides painted...however I really like the effect of the frame with this piece.
I had utilized lots of thin glazes for the surface of the painting and then for a contrast, used a dark background to offset the subject of the flowers.  To my mind, the gold frame just finishes it off. When I picked it up from the framers, it was like looking at the work for the first time and I was happy with the result.



For further details or purchase:-
https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/215873805/bauhinia-bee-original-large-oil-painting
 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Paintings to prints

I have my first swatches back from the printer today...these are rough swatches and basic tests for colour and fabric.
The idea is to use these sublimated prints for  wall art, bags and cushion covers, etc.
A little way to go but all very exciting!!~




 




 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Commissions Wanted!

Home is where the art is and I would love to paint  an artwork for your home.

An artwork can be a great focal point in any room and to commission your own piece is to partake in the creative process..
The subject matter is your choice. It may be a bird that frequents your garden or a favourite flower....or multiple images organized into an interesting tableau depicting facets of your surroundings. Colour is also discussed as response to colour is such an innate part of our psyche.
Your painting will not only be a decorative piece but also one that will elicit an emotional response every time you look at it.
Initial discussions can take place in your home or my studio if you live in Brisbane, but we can communicate just as effectively over the net.

A few details:-
  • I only use oil paint on quality linen or canvas on stretchers, and extend the image down the sides, so framing is optional.
  • Current turnaround time is 4 to 5 weeks from receipt of deposit.
  • Deposit is 20%. This is non refundable and covers my initial outlays, but I take every effort to ensure you are happy with your final result.
  • Delivery of work is made upon final payment.
  • Laybys are welcome with a 3 to 4 payment plan.
Pricing Guide in $au:-

30 x 40 cm.........$250 - 400
60 x 60cm..........$400 - 500
75 x 75 cm.........$500 -600
90 x 90 cm.........$600 -700
120 x 90 cm.......$700 -800
160 x 100cm......$800-1200

I look forward to any enquiries you may have. Together we can create something unique for your home!

You can text me on 0404 296 562 and I will call back or email at karen.cipressi@gmail.com

Honeyeater is a recent commission for a lovely client in Cairns. She has a beautiful new home in the tropics and wanted a statement piece that would also echo the outside lushness. The varied honey eater is a bird common in the Cairns region.
 The choice of foliage and flowers was the client's choice, and a very effective one at that.
120 x 90 cm on stretched canvas panel


Bauhinias has gone to the same client, and again she gave me a brief regarding colours and subject matter. The house is very light and airy but each painting had to have the drama of a black background in order to connect the works with the modern furniture.  I really enjoyed painting both these pieces, and the client was a delight to work with.
120 x 90 on a stretched canvas panel.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Studio Snapshots

I have spent the last couple of days sorting through all my debris in my studio. It gets to a point where I can no longer work properly due to all the discordant images passing before me...time for a clean up and clear out!
So now my space is looking pretty spartan and I thought I would give you a glimpse into my little workarea before it goes too far awry again.
It is a room that we had built under our house a few years ago..nothing too flash but it's mine!!
This is the door I use to enter as it is at the base of our back stairs.
The old wooden  mat is a kerbside find.

Please come in!

I painted all the surfaces white to attract as much light as possible since it's a "downstairs" area. The paintings on the floor are commission pieces ready to be sent to their new home..laying flat as had to extend the motif down all sides.

My collection of vintage furniture ready for restoration.

An old pine chair without a base and a ladies sewing rocking chair, and a 1930's table

Work surface..yay!!


A side table from the 1940's.... painted white and in the process of decorating the top with an oil painting of doves.
 

Corner next to the entrance with sundry works. This is my sitting chair when I have to think about what I am working on. I have a bid going on an old "comfy" chair on ebay so I hope I win it.

Through the window into my back yard...an beyond to the neighbour's shed.

My view whilst I paint...working on a bird painting ...will post when finished.

Same space a few years ago when I was finishing up an MCA..



Thankyou for dropping by and hope you enjoyed my little tour:) 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Ginger Ninja

My son's girlfriend has a new cat this year.... Ginger Ninja..love that name!
For C's birthday in August, I did a small portrait of her young cat and last week I received this photo of the Ginger Ninja beside his portrait. He has grown somewhat since his painting, which is actually a collage of an oil painting cut out and stuck down on printed text. I then realized that I had forgotten his whiskers, so glued down some white cotton which added more texture to the piece.
Great fun to do.
 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Flower Garden

John Ruskin once wrote that "..the most beautiful things in the world are the mose useless". Had he never looked properly at a flower and the magnificence of their purpose..attraction, pollination, fertilization and continuation. How wrong he was!
Since I have been painting flowers so often lately I have now continued that theme in the garden. Garden..flowers...obvious yes, but up until about eighteen months ago, our backyard was dominated by three huge gum trees which obliterrated sunshine at ground level and also dropped an oily substance over the ground when their leaves fell. They eventually became a menace in storms, worried neighbours, and even though they were trimmed regularly, I had to make the painful decision to have them cut down as they were dying. To my subsequent surprise, I am now able to grow small things that would never have survived beforehand...I can now grow flowers. Beautiful!
I went into the garden early this morning and took these photos.



These just pop up by themselves but bloom in hot corners against rocks and in hard dirt.


Morning Glory...so aptly named and I have noticed often included in Dutch baroque still lifes.


This morning glory vine is rambling over a rusted old shopping trolley
 that my husband pulled out of our local creek. It now hides the compost bin.


A sculpture and a ceramic piece of mine.


Yellow = happy




Grevillea to attract the birds.


Another Australian native that grows to about 2 metres and has these wonderful little flowers.




Daisies...have been a great display for a couple of months now...indoors and out.


A wild Irs


Lilly pilly


Love the shadows in this lilly and the veins in the leaves.



 

Friday, October 10, 2014

"Steal like an Artist"

"Steal like an Artist"... a cute little book full of quirky bits of inspirational wisdom. Author: Austin Kleon.
Bought it from the School of Life bookshop in Melbourne last week,  and ironically the sales girl there said that she used to work in an art bookstore, and the most stolen book in that shop was this one:) Taking the title too literally?







 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Vanitas Designs on Etsy

Vanitas Designs is my new Etsy shop and I finally uploaded items to sell today...a series of cushion covers made from collected vintage tapestries.
Here is a link to the shop and another one here for Vanitas Designs facebook which I also only opened today:)Would so appreciate a like on facebook...I need 25 likes to set the website address properly (made a bit of a booboo by omitting that bit in the set up).
I love making things as I find it much more relaxing sometimes than the cerebral challenge of bringing a large painting together....most of my paintings invariably go through  a "lost" phase. It's great to step away and take up another activity..hence Vanitas Designs which is the result of my time-outs!








Had lots of fun playing with the different tapestries and sorting out which one to go with which backing material; sorting out the vintage buttons to secure in the back...and of course the pompoms. I had no idea really how to make them but thank goodness for Utube..can learn anything there. I took the very simple method of just twirling the wool around my four fingers, tying the wool in the middle once pulled from the hand, and then cutting the loops at either end....a slight haircut of the pompoms, and voila! They are fun!
These cushion covers are around 18 x 18 inches or 45 x 45cm and sell for $25AUD plus postage.
The next upload for Vanitas Designs on etsy will be a series of miniature round picture frames  containing thumbnails of my vanitas florals and bugs..will let you know when they're finished.

 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Website updated

Have been quite busy with one thing and another lately but have finally updated my website.
You can have a look here if you like:)   www.karencipressi.com

Be back shortly!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Roses

When I was younger I would never have envisaged myself being a painter of florals, but now I just love my sweet calm subjects. I see them fallen on footpaths, creeping in between a neighbour's fence, in garden centres, and virtually everywhere I go. Bud, bloom, fall, decay...the wonderful rythm of life.

Below are a couple of oil paintings that I have recently finished.
This painting is taken from some photos I took at a nearby garden centre..in fact I went quite beserk with all the photos I took that day.
The stretched canvas panel measures 90 by 90cm. I have flattened the picture plane here with an opaque grey..I wanted to give a slightly graphic element to an otherwise seemingly "romantic" subject.



I had shown this painting in a previous blog entry but it wasn't quite finished then..now it has the inclusion of a bug. Again the picture plane has been flattened with an opaque background.

 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Artists wanted for charity exhibition 6th 7th September 2014 in Brisbane

Art Exhibition 6th 7th September 2014


I am on a subcommittee for a local Brisbane charity, TOS, (non-denominational) and this year one of our major fund raisers will be an art exhibition entitiled Mobility for Life. The funds raised will help one of our ongoing projects, a mobility aid project in Assam, India. The monies will buy crutches, wheel chairs and tricycles for many disabled and poverty stricken people in this region, enabling them to gain some level of independence and even employment in some cases. Moreover, the devices themselves are made in the local area thus providing much needed work.

The Mobility for Life art exhibition will be held at the Brisbane Theosophical Society in Wickham street, Brisbane on Saturday 6th and Sunday  7th September.

We had great success with our initial art exhibition in 2012. Water for Life,  thanks to all the wonderful artists who contributed their works for display. That year we were able to finalize payment for a water bore in a drought ridden village in Kitui province in Kenya...that village is now thriving.

So once again we invite artists to display their works at our exhibition. To download an entry form please go to facebook.com/mobilityforlife . Please like us in order to spread the word about the event.  If you do not use facebook but would like to know more about the exhibition you can contact me at karen.cipressi@gmail.com

Look forward to hearing from you.

The gorgeous heritage listed building in Wickham tce which will be the venue for the exhibition.




 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Harvest with Joachim Froese

This week, Goma opened its free winter exhibition, Harvest.... a celebration of all things food.

Joachim Froese is a participating artist who, on the opening day,  had a public conversation with assistant curator Sally Foster.  Froese is a photographer whose broad body of still life work is steeped in the tradition of Dutch still life, and  hence my interest in his work despite the fact that I am a painter and he a photographer. Froese maintains that photography is as much about construction as painting is, and one of his great inspirations is Vermeer. Interestingly, he believes that Vermeer, along with many of the Dutch masters, probably constructed much of their work with the aid of a camera obscura, and  would have been digital artists if living today...a very reasonable statement considering how inventive and innovative the Ducth were at that time in the field of optical science.

Froese's  work is not separate from art history and theory, and for him the creative process begins with his reading. From his reading come his ideas,  followed by visual responses..more ideas follow, interspersed with more reading and so it goes. The results are meticulously staged and beautifully crafted photographs that gently reverberate with the loaded symbolism of the vanitas theme.  The flesh of the figs falls away; the two papayas have been photographed sequencially with the fallen seeds subtly moved between shots so as to infer a passage of time. Beautiful work.





The three works in the Harvest exhibition are from Froese's second Rhapography series and were direcly influenced by the Spanish still life artist, Juan Sanchez Cotan.. Cotan's paintings exhibit an almost monastic simplicity and austerity but are amazing in the seeming modernity of their compositions (of course I realize contemporary art rests on an historical basis and I suppose that is what Froese is highlighting). Below are a couple of Cotan's works...the momento mori theme without the extravagance of the Dutch still lifes.

 


I was utterley stunned when I first came across  Cotan's work, and no wonder he has had innumerable artists  pay tribute to him through their own art.

I love going places where there is an ongoing experience long after the event..on hand of Froese's talk I have ordered a book by the art critic Norman Bryson, "Looking at the Overlooked"...great title for a series of essays on the still life genre. This book is in transit at present making its way to my door..love buying online...like sending pressies to oneself. They arrive on a day when one least expects and it's Christmas all over again.

Have a great day, and enjoy your own creative endeavours, whatever they may be!