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Posts Tagged ‘Hall’

Colouring inside the lines

When my 5-year-old started school earlier this year, she had never been taught to “colour inside the lines”. We had colouring books around, but it was never a priority and I’d never bothered to explain how they were “meant” to work. This “inability” immediately made her suspicious to the teacher who saw it as a lack as when presented with a photocopied sheet to colour in she would simply turn it over and draw her own picture.

In the end I conceded the point that colouring in had an educational purpose e.g. how to operate pencils, crayons and brushes properly, co-ordination and a certain amount of discipline. I was helped along by this comment from tinks at OnemomentcallerDiscussing the school-based art education of their young kids, a contemporary art collector I know once suggested that you have to learn the rules before you can break them, which I kind of like, and suspect I’ll cling to in the coming years.” I also invested in this colouring book which helped me get my head around the colouring issue although as yet I haven’t let her loose on it. I still think a NZ edition would be quite brilliant – any publishers want to take me up on it? I’d be happy to do it and it would be a great seller Te Papa Press!

The issue made me think of how I used to look at abstract art. I always wanted to know if the artists could really paint/draw – you know, before they went all weird, because I wanted to see a technical ability that initially I couldn’t see in say a Pollock drip painting. Great technical execution is something I really admire in art but now I can see it in less orthodox works as well.

I’ve found it can also redeem mediums which I am not overly fond of. Recently I met an artist, Steve Hall, whose watercolours I just love. Maybe not your cup of tea but look at the light in “1907”. (yes, yes, the old NZ light issue)

Sadly it looks like I won’t be getting to the Angus Symposium this weekend, but on a brighter note “Evolution of Mirrors” arrived in the post so some good reading ahead.

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The school holidays and tax returns have snuck up on me to yet again its a time of barely keeping my head above water and sadly still contemplating my lack of a compost bin (while the wood to build it languishes in the tardis garage).

My attempt to lighten things by reading fiction went totally awry, although I am enjoying “The Witch of Portobello” to some degree. The library requested Waimarino County back for their Montana Book award display so I couldn’t slowly go over that again and I don’t have the heart to more than briefly open two poetry books** that unexpectedly arrived, after hearing the author’s comments on his poetry. I will have to force myself though as they are due back soon. Libraries are fantastic but sometimes owning a book is required so I keep putting my gold coins in the piggy bank and forgo coffee for a while – I’ve actually started drinking tea!. I have also been offered the Dean Buchanan book “Wild Beast” at a knock-down price so am mulling over that as my next prospective purchase.

Things do improve as the days lengthen and I was pleased to see the extensive web resources related to the Rita Angus exhibition at Te Papa. Its all good for shut-ins like me and I think Te Papa has really picked up their game on the internet front, although I suspect they have a backlog of work to get through. And a tip – you can download the audio resources for the exhibition and take them on your own ipod (or the like) and save yourself $5.

Art writing is taking some interesting turns and I am curious as to why Tom Cardy has been doing the visual arts writing for the DomPost in the last few weeks (interesting look at Fiona Halls “Force Field” today), Jill Trevelyan writes about Picasso’s collection in the Listener and on a more literary note anyone interested in the Bloomsbury group (that would be me) would do well to read Diana Witchel’s excellent article on her tour. On this subject though, I can’t go past the movie Carrington with Emma Thompson in the title role and Jonathon Pryce doing a wonderful Lytton Strachey.


(Giles) Lytton Strachey (1880-1932), by Dora Carrington, 1916.

*common English for Hotch-Potch, a mixture; mutton soup thick with pieces of meat and all sorts of vegetables, also Hot-Pot
**”Houses, days, skies” and “Streets of Music” by Martin Edmond

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