Monday, March 13, 2017

About me: Working as an artist for Val Morgan's in Adelaide.

A 'forgotten' art.
Remembering 3 women artists from South Australia.
Chasing my memories, and finding out things that have a 'wow' factor.
In my late teens I went to a 'commercial art' course for one term at Norwood Technical Collage. It meant a long travel by bus from Grange. But was the closest that I imagined having a career in art my teacher was Marjorie Hann.
She was in her 50s and already a noted artist in many ways. I never imagined that this choice would lead me in to a unique part-time job doing 'commercial art'.
She was needing someone to fill in for her while she went on vacation, and chose to put my name forward, and I was accepted. $2 an hour seemed like a fortune at the time.
Because of the uniqueness of the position, I was mentored by her and her best friend - Vanessa Smith. They knew each other affectionately as 'Fish and Lamb(e)' - they had met at the Adelaide School of Art, and were firm friends right up until Vanessa's death in the early 2000s, living just one street away from each other.
Vanessa was an incredible artist, and known for her own expertise - as a glass artist and considered the best of the best. Both were watercolourists, which is where some of my charm of watercolour comes from (other than from Sir Hans Heysen, whom my grandfather sat next to in Primary school in Norwood/Maylands in the late 1800s.
While I loved his art, as it was on every school room or government building wall, the fact that grandpa knew him, and loved getting the Christmas cards from him in some of my early years.
Marjorie is known well enough to be on Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marjorie_Hann
I couldn't find much on Vanessa, and was asked by Marjorie at one stage to write Vanessa's story, as she believed her stained glass designs and work to be truly exceptional. Her work is acclaimed as treasures.
http://www.samemory.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?c=1497&mode=singleImage
The third artist I worked with is/was Jenny Gore. I 'found' her today. I knew she had become an enamel artist due to her effort in winning an exhibition I was part of organising in Salisbury in the 1980s. While not totally surprised, I see she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal - for her extraordinary enamel artwork.
http://www.jennygoreenamel.com.au/index.html
So the fact that 4 of us worked together almost makes me pinch myself. Incredible! While we were part-time and worked from home, we crossed paths and I kept in close contact specifically with Marjorie and Vanessa. We always exchanged Christmas cards, through the years.
Where did we work?
Val Morgan's - theatre advertising. Most were for drive-ins. I loved the work, and did it for 2 years before leaving Australian Shores for England.
Quite a unique process. Long gone now.
Here is a 'colour rough'/'submit' which we would do based on a clients requirements - submitted to client for approval prior to doing the final art, from that time. I have 9 of these. I'll talk more about the process in later posts.
Just amazed that this was all part of my life.
More to come ...

My story of becoming an artist - An artist is who I am, not what I am! Part 1.

Cleaning out cupboards certainly bring back memories. So it's story-telling time.
I've always been an artist.
I attended Elizabeth O'Grady Kindergarten in Grange, South Australia from about age 3 until 5. I most enjoyed poetry and listening to books being read and showed the illustrations. But the main fascination was with the finger paints (powder mixed with water), where we stood in front of an easel and painted. For me, the feeling of 'belonging' was so overwhelming.
I also remember the shock when my art was called out as an example, and hung in pride of place. From memory I was the one who did not do 'stick figures'.
From Kindergarten I went on to Grange Primary School (7 years - until age 12). For a while the most art we did was in geography - where we used the flat side of a 'lead' (graphite) pencil, to smear over the back of a parchment (cooking) sheet, then trace maps into our books. I hated the mess. So hid the fact that I didn't do this - I hand-drew my maps instead - and the teacher never seemed to know the difference.
A big influence was a teacher named Mrs. Churchill. She really cared about teaching us to draw. And I found it fascinating. And draw I did! Pencil and biro (ball-point pen). I had a great many drawings, often doing them in classes when I should be doing something else. Or at home, on my stomach in the living room in front of the radio (big cabinet and yes, we would look at it when on!). I loved coloured pencils, rulers, rubbers (erasers), and collected as many as I could.
Then devastation struck. Mrs Churchill died 'unexpectedly'.
And - our classrooms burned down in a fire. I lost all my drawings, and supplies.
We had to fill out insurance forms. I had my losses questioned. It seems that 12 rulers, 124 coloured pencils, etc. was not the 'norm'. I'd only counted them the day before and we used to sit 2 to a desk, so fortunately my desk-sharer could vouch for me.
I lost heart for a long while. I was in grade 5 at the time, I think. But then became fascinated with mapping pens - very fine nibbed pens. I think up until that time we were still using inkwells and nibbed pens to write with. i think in grade 3 we changed to fountain pens, which I still love. While biros existed, they weren't allowed to be used in school for a while, because of the mess they made when they leaked (if you have clothes ruined with this ink - use hairspray! I didn't find this out for decades!)
I drew a lot in Sunday school at St. Agnes, in Grange. The rector at the time encouraged me - and I loved the church architecture (1800s), the stained glass windows and more at the time. So a lot of what I drew were religious scenes. I started to see a future in art when I drew a crucifix scene, and a school pal offered me a shilling (1/- - 10 Au cents), and after I got over the shock, agreed, only to get orders from 3 other children! I probably was around 10 years old?
When I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my choices would include 'artist' even though, to me, it wasn't an occupation. Then I learnt that a 'commercial' artist was an occupation. So said that.
At age 12 I graduated through to High School (Henley High School, Henley Beach - a new school - perfect for baby boomers! post-war boom!). Graduation for most was 3 years (Intermediate Certificate), 4 for skills to get into things like Nursing School, and 5 years before graduating to University for professions like becoming a doctor, scientist, etc.
To my amazement you got to choose which subjects you wanted to take - between 'boy' subjects, and 'girl' subjects. Reading over the list, the only course for 'Art' was in the 'boy' list. Yup. Got my parents to sign so I could do that.
Maths I, Maths II, Science (later became Physics, Chemistry), Latin, English, Home Economics (wasn't allowed to do woodwork), and Art.
Girls did Bookkeeping, Typing, English, Basic Maths, Home Economics, and Dictation/Secretarial, I think.
SO glad I got to do boy's subjects! I wouldn't have survived the 'girl's' subjects!
I was expecting Art to teach how to do art. But it turned out to be 'commercial' art - lettering, and more lettering (sign-writers were in demand!), design, and history of art. Our classes were about 50 kids - of these 45 were boys. Art was a low-demand class so only had 5-10 kids. I was the only girl.
We had a young teacher who was often absent with illness, and an older European woman (Mrs Tornoff?) who knew a lot about artists (history of art). What was strange was with absences, I would take over the teaching aspect of the class from time to time.
I had decided to leave school with my Intermediate Certificate - I wanted to go to the Adelaide School of Art in North Adelaide, which was the thing to do at the time. My education books and such were paid for by the Repat (Repatriation Department, due to my father being T.P.I. - Totally and Permanently Incapacitated due to contracting T.B. during WWII), so I presumed they would pay for art studies.
I sat for my Intermediate exams. Our art exams were not marked by our teachers, they were actually sent to the Art School in North Adelaide.
My art teacher came to me after the exam, and told me that I had done the worst work she had ever seen me do. I was nervous, and it probably was.
The results would come out in the newspapers. (The Advertiser). We would know when they were being released, and go into the city and wait in laneway outside the newspaper office, to grab them hot off the presses to see our results. Very emotional. Some crying because they passed, others crying because they didn't. Way past our regular bedtime.
I was astounded to find I'd gained an 'A' - the very top grade available (95%-100%)!
This actually was a 'pass' to get into the School of Art at the time. Like a 'diploma'.
But therein was a problem. My parents didn't see art as an appropriate occupation, and my father's condition was deteriorating - and then there was the Repat.
They had to approve.
I remember very clearly ... going to the city, being in a dark room with 7 men, sitting at the end of the table, while they questioned me. Quite intimidating to 15/16 year-old me!
And they made me feel stupid and bad for wanting to do art. They proposed to me that since my grades in other subjects were good, I should continue on at school.
But with my Dad's T.B. progressing I only stayed at High school another 6 months. He would scour the newspaper each day for jobs, and he found one I applied for and left.
I never received the schooling or art degrees I needed to get jobs or progress with my art.
But still I did much, all in my own way, and still love graphic (commercial-type) art.
But have always found myself feeling like a 'lesser' artist through not having gained a degree or certificates.
In rather astounding ways at times.I'll share more with you soon ...

This drawing done with mapping pen is from when I was 11 or 12, no older. I signed it, and my signature changed when I was 12. It's not accurate, I did it from a blurry newspaper photo.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Small Format Art Exhibition - 200+ INTERNATIONAL artists - online auction to benefit cancer research

BID NOW! 200+ Renown International Artists come together in this ONLINE ART AUCTION in aid of CANCER RESEARCH.
http://www.magpieexhibitions.com.au/auction/
http://www.magpieexhibitions.com.au/auction/

Thank you for your support.
There is work by some really great artists here!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Work-in-Progress (WIP) - Leopard Cub - pastel.

A16x12" pastel W-I-P leopard cub that I started work on in the early hours of this morning. The first pastel that I've done in many years. Love the medium, the range of colours is what turns me on, mostly.
I call myself 'smudge' when I work in pastels. Last night was no exception. Go to the bathroom, and look in the mirror, and my face is covered in dark smudges!
I'm tired today, but hope to finish this before the week is out.
Thank you for looking.
~Jillian

Registration of Interest - Art classes and more.

Just now settling in enough to look at starting up classes or workshops in Adelaide, so I'm currently looking for registration of interest from students and artists who may like to join in on Plein Air sessions, and more.
I have taught here previously, and also have been teaching in the USA.
Just trying to coordinate students, venues, times and class formats.
Thank you.
Click on the image to view larger.


Tuesday, December 08, 2015

New art journal project: December 2015 Sharing the process (1)

Up for discussion on thought processes, techniques, aims and outcome for artists.

AIM & CREATIVE ASPIRATION:
To create a journal 'page' (pocket) to insert into an art journal, to hold 'secrets', without being too obvious about it (even though I was going to create a sign, 'Secret Thoughts' to go on the front of the page, on the diagonal slant!).
Strangely enough, the first thing was to create a page behind it. I wanted something to entice someone to turn the pocket to discover what is underneath, and what would view, or photograph well. It had to reflect the diagonal format of the pocket, so that it was a good mate for the pocket. It needed to be simple, but interesting.



ART JOURNAL, PAGE 2: 
Diagonal, beauty, simple, but interesting. I like using old papers so the background paper is a page from a 1930s botany book. I chose one with floral illustrations. The top is purely a piece of scrapbooking-type paper, but with a glistening gold upon a floral background. Giving a pretty interest and incentive to turn the page.
I cut it to size, on the diagonal, and adhered it with Yes! glue - I love that it is not a wet glue, and stays flat. I then used a continuous border punch to punch out the right side of the page. So simple, but this did what I wanted. For the journalist, I envision either cutting out phrases or sayings or words in strips, and pasting them upon the surface, or shaping some lined or plain paper in a random shape, with torn edge on the lower portion of the page, trying not to cover too much of the illustration.


ART JOURNAL, PAGE 1:
My original idea was to provide a 'secret pocket' with a 'secret thoughts' graphic that could be coloured with pencils, pens or paint. I did not do the graphic, as it worked out. But have provided the graphic at the end of this blog entry to be downloaded (.pdf) if you'd like to use it.
I folded a piece of regular vellum paper in half (portrait orientation - fold bottom half up to cover top half) and cut it at journal width. This then seals the bottom of the 'pocket'. I then added washi tape to the open edge on the right, overlapping the edge, to close the side up. I thought of sewing up this side. I also thought of using hand-stitching, doing blanket stitch with beads on the edging, but wanted this to be a page that a viewer might turn, without worrying too much about what it contained. For the 'secrets' to be added.
I made a tag from brown cardstock that mimics a cardboard finish. Again, the shape was made in simple form, to that It doesn't seem too complex. I carefully lined up the same washi tape for the pocket edge and filled most of the surface of the tag. But I didn't want it to reach the edge of the tag. It was a bit fiddly to do, but I did it! I found a piece of striped bakers' twine to top off the tag. I recently bought 3 old cigarette cards for the princely sum of $1.50, and had one of them in mind, but had forgotten about the hollyhock one. Once I saw it there, I knew that was the one! I haven't glued it on as yet, but will. I love that it shows through the vellum, letting the journalist know there is something important in the pocket, but no so obvious to a visiting viewer. Because of the diagonals, then the tag needs to be placed nearest the binding edge (left). The tag back is then used for writing thoughts on the back of it!
I then added a vintage paper from 1898, and folded it to size, in 3 portions (2 folds). I cut it to the height and almost the width of the pocket. Again, this is simple, and not 'too' interesting - the vintage handwriting giving some sign of life, but not 'advertising' what might be inside once unfolded. So, this piece of paper, with writing on the outside is meant to be opened to the journalist's secret writings, photo, or treasures. CAUTION: If using a pen to write your 'secrets', first make sure it doesn't bleed through to the outside - or you can write on a different piece of paper, and just place it inside for safe keeping. The open edge is to the right, and placed to the right of the pocket.
What I'm outlining aren't 'rules' but just part of my own creative process and reasoning. Why do people even think that we just slap paint and paper around, with no thought behind it? True, our original ideas might not be what eventually comes out, but being able to process and act upon what 'works' and what doesn't is a big part of the artistic process. Here is the final result:

If you'd like the graphic that I was going to put on the diagonal on this page it's here. To download click on the image, then right click and select to save - it's .png format, Enjoy! ~Jillian

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Finding me" series - art journal collage page

"Finding me" series. Collage "I Love Roses" *Photo more roses *Buy roses * Teach painting roses * Buy Rose bushes for my garden * Gift roses * Write rose painting tutorial * Decorate with Roses * Paint more roses * Rose design.  (One not included * Rose fashion.) Artist: Jillian Crider - includes 2 of my paintings (lower left), and 3 of my photos (circles on right). Watercolor pencils. Ink pens lettering.

Ink pen hand lettering. Watercolour pencil washes and lettering (I love Roses).

Sunday, November 15, 2015

This journey, this adventure, starts today ...

Sometimes life changes are SO massive - things that were so familiar or treasured are gone. Changes so great that, with surprise, you realise that you no longer know who you are, what you feel, what you need, and even how to live your life ...

So you need to embark on a journey of discovery to find yourself, to re-invent yourself, and to find new treasures to love, so that you are are once again comfortable in your own skin. This journey, this adventure starts this day ...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

"Nature's Beautiful Gift" White Swan watercolour/watercolor ACEO.

This swan painting was done for a special reason. ACEO watercolour/watercolor - 2.5x3.5" "Nature's Beautiful Gift" It's not from one of my photos, but from the image gallery on WetCanvas. Hope you all enjoy seeing it anyway.
Artist: Jillian Crider - artistjillian

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Collage - Photo rescue - "King(s) of the Castle"

I love to 'rescue' and reuse old papers and particularly old photos. Remembering that photos from the 20s and 30s were still a new thing, with snapshots being taken of almost anything around.
I was amazed at the size of this haystack, and saw the 3 workers on top of the hay on the horses' dray. So anonymous, and all probably long forgotten. But with smiles all round it bought forward childhood memories of yelling out "I'm king of the Castle" ("and you're the Dirty Rascal") whenever you managed to grab a spot upon something higher than anyone else. Be it sandcastle, woodpile or haystack!
So these three amigos are thus joined together in this collage, with their crowns firmly over their heads!
Base is an old botany book from around the same time (20s-30s), red stripes in watercolor/watercolour. The photo, still on black album paper, enlarged photo of the 3 workers on transparency, backed with white gesso. Crowns on cream cardstock with torn edge, and papers from a very old ledger and washi tape. Pencil and ink added.
It's funny sometimes how images come to you and you manage to piece them together to become so much more.
~Jillian