Maria’s Garden, From the Back

Winner People’s Choice Award

JADA ( Jacaranda  Acquisitive Drawing Award)

Grafton Regional Gallery, NSW

“Maria’s Garden, From The Back” recently won the Art Spectrum People’s  Choice Award and was acquired by the Grafton Regional Gallery. “This detailed drawing won the popularity stakes hands down. Any time you were in the gallery when the 2016 JADA was on display there are visitors standing in front of this drawing of the artist’s neighbour’s garden” Jude McBean, Grafton Regional Gallery Director.

2_j_grealy_marias-garden-from-the-backThe fourth in this series, “Maria’s Garden, From the Back” is of my neighbour’s garden, with its history of Maria’s long marriage, her love of gardening and Italian post war migration in our inner city suburb of New Farm in Brisbane.

The 2016 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award has gone to Caboolture Regional Gallery for the first of its eight venue tour. The winner and four acquisitions along with the 41 finalists are set to tour until August 2018. After Caboolture Regional Art Gallery the 2016 JADA goes to University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery followed by Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, Gympie Regional Gallery, Redland Art Gallery, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, Warwick Art Gallery and the New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale.

MOONLIGHT TRAMPOLINE

Winner  – Significant  2D Work

Stanthorpe Art Festival

Judges Ron Ramsey and Kyla McFarlane’s comments

“This work on paper displays the artist’s great skill at depicting a scene that is in an informal and casual setting, transformed into a stage of expectation and mystery. The artist has challenged themselves by depicting the scene not in daylight, but by the more gentle light of the moon. The composition’s central focus is not historic, monumental or grandiose, but rather a simple piece of children’s play equipment, the quintessential backyard trampoline.”

Moonlight Trampoline 1200As an inner suburb of Brisbane with pressure for higher density living, New Farm is bustling with construction work for new developments and renovations. Inevitably, the demographic profile of our neighbourhood is shifting. I pass this backyard down a rarely used laneway often and enjoy the quiet view a neglected house and backyard. The weeds grow to waist height and the trampoline looks broken. This abandoned landscape must be familiar to some, perhaps home to remnant wildlife, and I wonder for how much longer.

Real estate advertising brochures feature glamorous high chroma illustrations of new units and houses. By setting this landscape under moonlight, the color has seeped away, and all is still and unchanging.

Maria’s Garden, Path

Stanthorpe Art Prize

Two of my works, “Maria’s Garden, Path” and “Moonlight Trampoline” have been selected as finalists for this year’s Stanthorpe Art Prize. With $33,000 in awards, more than 1400 images were submitted from 507 artists from Australia and overseas. This exhibition is the highlight of the Stanthorpe Art Festival  which runs from 3rd June to 17th July.

Maria's Garden,Path 1200

The second in this series, “Maria’s Garden, Path” is of my neighbour’s garden, with its history of Maria’s long marriage and Italian post war migration.

Maria’s Garden

Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing

My work “Maria’s Garden” has been selected as a finalist in this years Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing. The Adelaide Perry Prize for drawing is a $25,000 acquisitive art award and this year attracted over 600 entries.

The exhibition opened in Sydney on 26th February when the winner Andrew Browne was announced – for a beautiful and thought provoking work.

Maria's Garden_1200

Standing on my toes at our back fence, I sometimes chat with my neighbour Maria. I love her garden, the chaos at the back, the organized garden beds, and the bright red geraniums that ring her clothesline. Maria and her husband came from Italy after the war and with many other European migrants, they settled in our inner city suburb New Farm. Maria is over eighty now and finds the garden harder to maintain since her husband died a year ago. I have learned more about her and her garden since she has allowed me to sit and sketch. The possums are a problem and plastic bags over ripening vegetables are her first line of defence.

There is so much to draw, so much evidence of her and her husband’s life over the last sixty years.

New Farm Squared

Artists: Andrea Higgins and Jane Grealy

Sunday 6th September – Sunday 4th October, 2015

Evocative artworks by two New Farm residents offer different insights into the Brisbane suburb, their works coming together to help us value the ‘overlooked extraordinariness of the ordinary’“.  Sheona Thompson, Houses, Issue 108 Feb 2016.

The images following are of Jane’s work.

1 James St_1200

“James Street” acrylic on board, 40 x 80 cm

2014 Observational Juror’s Award -Thom Payne, Architecture in Perspective 30, American Society of Architectural Illustrators

 

2 Brunswick St Carpark_1200

“Brunswick Street Carpark” acrylic on board, 40 x 80 cm

For this exhibition I am painting and drawing subjects of my choice – the less examined architectural fabric and detail of New Farm where I have lived for thirty years. I am interested in the remnant spaces and landscape between and behind buildings, and buildings that are unassuming, which may not even register with passers by. Are these places used and familiar to people or are they unnoticed, even abandoned?

 

Bowman_ ND morning

“Bowman Lane” watercolour, 28 x 14 cm    “Morning Next Door” watercolour, 28 x 14cm

 

3 Next Door, study_1200

“Next Door” watercolour, 14 x 28cm

2013 Award of Excellence, Architecture in Perspective 29, American Society of Architectural Illustrators

I live next door to a large block of flats that overlooks our house. The screening landscape between us has gone and our windows, balconies and verandas face each other. It seems to me both sides employ a discretion reminiscent to the one David Malouf describes of living in Queenslanders – that of “not seeing and not hearing”. Our discretion is not to look directly at each other, and to only occasionally acknowledge each other’s presence, to ignore outbursts, indiscretions. On long walks home from school as a child, I enjoyed looking at houses, assessing which was the most attractive, looking at the windows for signs of how those inside lived. Many of the paintings in this exhibition are views from my home looking out.

 

WElsby _ Other side

“Welsby Street” watercolour, 28 x 14 cm        “Other Side” watercolour, 28 x 14cm

 

5 Night Next Door, study-1200

“Night Next Door” watercolour, 14 x 28cm

 

 

E.P. Addict

Semi-finalist Doug Moran National Portrait Prize 2015

EP Addict 8mb-20+5

Well it’s all about me… and yeah, I’m a bit obsessive as well.

I am very interested in art and Pam Easton and Lydia Pearson are definitely in that category – and that expression is evidenced in their fashion label Easton Pearson, particularly in their special one-off pieces. I put on this coat of guinea fowl feathers and I am transported somehow, I feel better about the world. It costs a lot of money. I agonize for two weeks and run through the reasons for and against. Then I wake up at 2.00 am. I have to do a portrait, a self portrait – and I need the coat! It all makes sense. The family say it is an E.P. addiction – and I am NOT interested in rehab. I’m done with painting feathers though.

Acrylic on canvas, 100cm x 160 cm

 

 

Sketching Beauty

05-Fashion

Sketching Beauty

I visited the “Future Beauty – 30 Years of Japanese Fashion” exhibition at GOMA to sketch so many times that I am sure the attendants thought I was going to bring out my own range. There was such a range of creative work, so beautifully imagined and presented, that I could have continued for many more months. Matching the media to the design made sketching slightly less daunting. Brush and ink, and pencil worked well for Yohji Yamamoto’s designs, Issey Miyaki’s architectural folds were a draughtsman’s delight, and the only way I could think of rendering Junya Watanabe’s etheral design was scribbling in manganese blue and cadmium red pencil. Drawing Rei Kawakubo’s designs was fun, pure and simple.

Much though I coveted many of these dresses, the likelihood of my ever owning one is extremely remote. By drawing them however, I will always own them in my imagination.

A million mistakes

04-Jonquils

“Jonquils”

Watercolour on Arches paper, 15 x 30 cm

I was told you are not a real artist until you have made a million mistakes. Not sure if I am at the lower end of the scale or up near the top. I do know that I made so many mistakes and had so many problems when attempting these jonquils, that the first version went in the bin!