Fine Art prints of artworks by Clair Bremner. New sizes and framing options now available. Free shipping within AustraliaRead More
.... I have a confession. I am a sketchbook purchasing addict.
I love buying sketchbooks, the new fresh clean pages, the potential and anticipation of filling them with pretty things. However, I am not that great at actually using them.
At this point in time time I think I have four...maybe even five sketchbooks going at once. I usually have one in my bag, one in the car, one at my home and several at the studio.
I use them sporadically to sketch composition ideas, jot down names for paintings or ideas to sketch later. I also use them to brush up on my general drawing skills and some poor souls just get random pages torn out of them when I need to write down a shopping list or phone message. I have some that were really expensive and others that were just impulse purchases from discount stores.
I love the idea of starting with one sketchbook and filling in every single page with sketches and art but I just can’t seem to commit. I also love looking through older sketchbooks to see how my ideas have changed or developed. Sometimes I’ll come across old sketches that never made it to a full painting and I’m inspired to finally paint it.
What about you? Are you a fellow sketchbook hoarder?
The main medium I prefer to work with is Acrylic paint. Over the years I have experimented with every art supply and material imaginable. Early on, while I was studying Viaual Art at TAFE, I was actually using oil paint because I thought that you weren’t a “real artist” unless you knew how to use oil paint.
As I have aged and matured I have realized how rediculous that idea is and that you can be a real artist and use whatever materials you like. I also always hated the messy cleanup process that is involved with oil paint. So once I started to get back in to painting on a regular basis I decided to use acrylics.
The fast drying time, vibrant colours and easy cleaning qualities are all perfect for the way I work.
I also use a range of brushes to create my art, all of them are cheap and some of them are not even “artist” brushes. I use nylon brushes, house paint brushes from the hardware store and a few mop style brushes that are meant to be used for stenciling or applying gesso but I like the scratchy messy marks that they make.
I am a terrible brush owner. I abuse them all the time. I let them dry out, or I soak them for days on end in dirty water. I use them to varnish and then forget to was them. I use them to scoop out blobs of paint, smoosh them into containers and clog them up. When they are dead I throw them out and buy new ones.
I use a few different brands of acrylic paint, but mostly Derivan Matisse, Golden Acrylic and Hydrocryl. I mix different brands together to make up my own colours as well as using colours right out of the tube. If I know I’m going to use a particular colour a lot then I will mix up a big batch and keep it in a plastic container with a lid. I also use Liquitex paint markers to add in some of the fine details on top.
I paint on both stretched canvas and watercolour paper, I have my canvas custom stretched and sent to me and I purchase my watercolor paper in large sheets or pads. The canvas is 12oz cotton and the paper is always 300gsm cotton or above.
I have always loved Australian native flowers, the shapes and colors are so unique and strangely beautiful. I will always love painting landscapes but every now and then I get the urge to create floral paintings instead. I’ve been spending a lot of time working on a series of new landscapes for a solo show in September. I find that when I focus on one thing for too long I go a little crazy and I need to work with something totally different.
Over the school holidays I started to play around with pen and Watercolour because I was at home and it’s all I had around. I created a collection of native inspired paintings which then spilled over onto canvas once I returned to the studio two weeks later.
These florals on canvas are bursting with native goodness such as Proteas, paper Dasies, bottlebrush and flowering Tea Tree. They are all 76cmx76cm and you can view more details via my website here http://www.clairbremnerart.com/shop/
This year I'll be taking part in the Yarra Valley Open Studio Tour which is held over three areas and three weekends between September and November. The Warburton area will be on the 11th and 12th of November from 10am-4pm.
You can come and visit me in my studio at 21 Woods Point Rd in Warburton (in the YREC Business Village opposite the caravan park). I will have original artworks for sale, including paintings on canvas, paper and a exclusive collection of hand painted original ceramics.
To find out more about the Open Studios, including the other participating artists, you can visit the official website at https://www.yarravalleyarts.org.au/yvaopenstudios
I've spent the last few months working on lots of landscape inspired paintings for my exhibition. While I do love a good landscape, after a while doing the same thing gets a bit draining. So now that I've finished I've started playing around with some still life paintings instead. I wanted them to be quite loose and expressive and I wanted to work in some softer more pastel shades.
Sometimes a slight subject change is all that's needed to inspire creativity again. I spent some time working out a limited colour scheme to begin with then I spent no more than 40min on each painting. The first was on a small canvas I had left over and the other two were on paper.
These small studies will be added to my store in the original paintings section once I have a few more to add to the collection. I will be doing a few larger versions as well once I get through a few private commissions that I have lined up.
Here is a quick little peak into my process. The paintings for my upcoming exhibition were all directly inspired by the Yarra River. Some were sketched interpretations and others, such as this one below, were inspired by photographs.
I never try to copy a landscape exactly, I always like to use my own interpretation which gives my paintings their imaginative and dreamlike quality. As you can see, although I was directly inspired by the photo, the finished painting has taken on a whole new feeling of its own. I tried to emphasis the feeling of the sun going down and the last warmth from the day hitting the riverbank to the right.
Last Light (152cmx101cm Acrylic on Canvas) will be in display during my exhibition Yarra, which is being held at Cambridge Studio Gallery in Collingwood from the 8th to 26th of March. There will be opening drinks on the 12th of March from 2pm, it would be lovely to see you there.