Artist Robert Kushner came to my attention whilst visiting Kyoto in 2017. I wanted to visit the Hakusasonso Hashimoto Kansetsu Garden not realising that there was also an excellent art museum on the grounds. Although the exhibition, Tenderness and Thorns was in 2015, I was able to purchase a catalogue of his works and have since then been researching his methodologies and resonating with his aesthetic.

Considered to be a decorative artist, his subject matter is a fine balance between geometrical shapes and the celebration of the botanical form. He has a love or ornamentation, textile and Japanese symbolism. He questions the concepts of pattern and decoration in contemporary fine arts as it is often seen by many critics as too much of a craft that is often made by women and not men. Photos are from my trip to the garden and from Robert Kushner’s website.

Title of works:

Top:  MIDNIGHT IN THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY CACTUS GARDEN, 2014.

Bottom: Huntington Library Cactus Garden II, 2014

 

How do you define success in your life? Is it commercial recognition? Is it just getting through your day? Is it proving to other people in your life that you can do something? Is it just being happy with attempting a goal? Google ‘Success Quotes’ and you’ll probably find something that you can relate to.

Time is not on my side as I write this post. I have to go to the bank, then the doctor, then think about dinner, buy some groceries because we have family arriving tonight. Oh and then if I am feeling energetic this afternoon after I have done all that (because my day starts at 5.50am), and before the kids get home..that’s right they will need healthy food options in the house to eat…I might get to have some studio time where I can be creative and prove to myself and to others that being an artist is not just a hobby, but an actual job that I could be successful at? Now I hear all my friends (and my mum) saying, ‘But you are! Look at what you have managed to do in the last 10 years.’

But am I? And by the way, I am not trying to be a martyr when I say all this stuff…

I’m trying to work out what it is I want to do. Where do I fit into this world? What pathway do I need to map out to feel satisfied in my artistic endeavours.

I recently wrote some words down that have been playing in my head and posted it onto my Instagram page. @tiel_seivl_keevers Honestly there are a lot of cans I want to open with this post. Lots of different conversations that I need to have. Not just about success, but also about online behaviours; this overwhelming sense that we are all just feeding off each others’ ideas and images; the frustrations of what the art world is becoming and how much value we put onto art. His work is so like her work….She creates some amazing things, but that last post was so identical to his work….. Do you hear these words?

I feel a very strong need to remove myself from certain arenas at the moment in order to work out some of these questions and to not feel that people’s judgements on what I do, how I live, should define who I am.

Anyway….I have to go…the bank awaits.

January was for a month for clearing the decks. Domestic clutter was suffocating my creative head.

It’s always been a month too for just being with the kids whilst they are on holidays. I allow myself a few hours here and there to be in the studio or to be doing something creative near them, but honestly as they grow into tiny adults they aren’t so interested in my being near them.

So now, it is February and like every year it hits me hard with the reality of what am I going to do this year?

I always start my year with involving myself in a course, and this year I have two lined up. One online and the other interstate. I cannot wait.

I have also decided to make this month a time for working out in my head what I want my work to be.
(more on that in the next post above).

In the meantime I am getting down to my old artistic roots and discovering that I just need to make marks. Hopefully in a few weeks I will have a studio full of chaos and mess that will be the perfect ingredients to a new body of work.

Today it is all about playing with shadows.

Marks on the computer. Exploring line and colour. And pattern.


Midori is the Japanese Word for Green.
Last year in Japan I was drawn to the all the greens before the Autumn colours took hold of the landscape. Especially the gardens of Sanzenin Temple in Ohara just north of Kyoto where we walked amongst the moss garden on a crisp afternoon.

Painting available for sale. 40cm x 40cm |. Mixed Media on Wood

Perhaps my printmaking past has always encouraged my interest in the Artist Book. I just love working on paper. Whether it be pulling a print, painting directly onto the surface or drilling into the fibres, the feel of cotton printing papers will always drive me to make art.

So I created some concertina books, and then I decided (for some crazy reason, perhaps to hang them freely) that I’d work both sides of the paper. A front and a back.

Now I want to frame them…and that will be a task. That will have to wait until later in the year. For now they will just sit as they are. Here is one of my Unravelled Terrains…

Earlier this year I spent some time at Impress Gallery participating in a workshop with Jennifer Long. A Brisbane based artist who make the most delicate paper vessels.

Here is a selection of paper vessels that I have created and they amongst other works will be exhibited at BCM Partnership in October at the Crucible Gallery

Each one is unique and made from Rice Paper. Some are stitched, some painted. They range in price from $45 to $65. Email for details.  

Read previous post about my show and my focus on the Japanese philosophy of Mottainai.

Left to Right: Wabi Sabi Bowl; Painted Leaf Bowl; Small Stitched Bowl; Small Dotted Bowl; Brown Leaf Dish; Blue Green Bowl.

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With an opportunity to exhibit my work in October, I have spent the last few months battling ideas and having fun pushing some boundaries. The space, The Crucible is located at Brisbane advertising agency, BCM. Although a private exhibition only open to the staff and clients of the company, I wanted to take this on as a chance to totally experiment and allow myself to not hold back on concepts that have been rattling around in my head for sometime.

Lately I have felt that my work was possibly slipping into the ‘paint something for an interior designer’ concept. Have yellow couch, need yellow painting kind of thing. This is all well and good…it brings in the money after all, but for me I want my work to be far more than just slapping paint onto canvas and selling it.

I often have this battle of too many ideas and not being able to harness them. It’s like I need the time to slow down, remove myself from motherly duties and research intensely and learn again. But where to start?

One thing at a time I guess whilst dealing with teenage angst and demands.

So this restraint, has brought me to think more about what I have already created and why. I began looking through my studio and discovered that I have drawers of artwork on paper. Heaps of unfinished paintings or sketches for illustration work. They’ve been there for quite sometime waiting for me. This with my interest in Japanese culture lead me on the path to the concept of what Japanese people call Mottanai. Simply it is a philosophy of avoiding waste. There is a great article here about Mottanai.

So I have produced some new works for this upcoming show that has stemmed from older works. I’ve taken these scraps of  paper, and combined them with digital work that I have printed and then painted, even stitched, (there’s that concept of mending and fixing again that keeps coming back) and created something new. One of these is this wallhanging below, called ‘Rediscovered’, measuring 22cm wide by 152cm long.  Details on the right.

Available for sale…just email me.

Rediscovered by Tiel Seivl-Keevers