Guy Warren at 100

Guy Warren at 100
Guy Warren at 100

Guy Warren speaking about art at 100.

He makes some wonderful statements, reflects on his life as an artist, talks about mark making, use of intuition, doubt and quoted Robert Hughes 'the greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is given to the lesser artist as a consolation prize'. He travelled and was close friends with David Attenborough.

He made the comment "I know artists who paint the same painting year after year' saying it was great for the bank balance, but for him "I reserve the right to do any damn thing I want to do!'

He was and remains an inspiration.

Guy Warren passed away at 103 on 14 June 2024.

https://youtu.be/3vcX4kTwuFQ?si=tesgSE6j9UUHRCIg


Lincoln's Rock drawing by Ruth le Cheminant April 2024

Drawing amongst the tourists at Lincoln's Rock

Recently I went to a local tourist lookout up here in the Blue Mountains, a favourite place I like to go to and quietly spend time. That day I took my IPad Pro and pencil, sat in a quiet spot away from the tourists and drew.

What the procreate app allows is that each mark is saved/collected and can be presented as a video of the process of your work, in this case my drawing. I spent about 35 minutes drawing reduced to a 38 second video but it gives you, the viewer, an idea of my process.

Enjoy.  And I would encourage you to sit and draw as well. The process of observing carefully and committing to paper is both a discipline and is also magic.

Hit the link below:

Lincoln Rock drawing


R le Cheminant Also A Landscape 2024 acrylic on canvas 100cm x 90cm

Enjoying painting so much I neglected my webpage .. or maybe just slack

I’ve been missing. I haven’t gone, I’ve been here painting. Really enjoying myself actually. Having a lovely time grabbing canvases and putting them on the studio wall and having a conversation with them one by one to create a collection of paintings. I have done 10 paintings in all. Most large, that is 120cm x 100cm or 100cm x 90cm but also 2 smaller canvases. I’ve had a blast. But it’s time I re-surfaced and reminded the world I’m here. Apparently, one needs to do that every so often. So I’ll rise out of my studio creative maelstrom and take these paintings to @day_gallery_blackheath so you can check if they’re better in the flesh?! And they usually they are!

Now I’ll entertain myself by putting images of the work on posts and on my webpage. But first a video to entertain you and below an image of the painting on the wall.

R le Cheminant Also A Landscape 2024 acrylic on canvas 100cm x 90cm
R le Cheminant Also A Landscape 2024 acrylic on canvas 100cm x 90cm

https://vimeo.com/914996995?share=copy

 


Ruth le Cheminant Tuesday on my Mind 2023 acrylic on canvas 62cm x 70cm

Tuesday on my Mind

Every painting has a story of it's creation.  This painting is 62cm x 70cm. Not very big but a painting with a lovely quiet presence. It’s a satisfying result to some quiet introspective days in the studio.

I gave this painting the title ’Tuesday on my Mind’ for no other reason than I finished the painting on a Tuesday. And because I liked the painting and wanted a quirky title to match.

The painting came together without fanfare. It was fun to create and, I believe, reveals the relaxed process in the result and in its finished composition and lighter colours.

Ruth le Cheminant Tuesday on my Mind 2023 acrylic on canvas 62cm x 70cm
Ruth le Cheminant Tuesday on my Mind 2023 acrylic on canvas 62cm x 70cm
Ruth le Cheminant Tuesday on my mind detail 1
Ruth le Cheminant Tuesday on my mind detail 1
Ruth le Cheminant Tuesday on my mind detail 2
Ruth le Cheminant Tuesday on my mind detail 2
Ruth le Cheminant Tuesday on my mind detail 3
Ruth le Cheminant Tuesday on my mind detail 3

Ruth le Cheminant Enjoying the Curve Ball acrylic on canvas 60cm x 120cm 2023

Enjoying the Curve Ball

I cleaned the studio because I got excited and ordered more canvases. Picked them up Monday and realised maybe I had too many for the allocated storage space. So decided to go through all old canvases and be brutal. Throw out, gesso, or ok as is and keep.

Found this canvas 60cm x 120cm. It got the gesso treatment. Thought I’d have a go with it as one can only do so much tidying up before it gets tedious. I feel much more satisfied painting.

This painting is the result.

What to call it?  It has a quiet presence I like as well as lines colour and a curve.

After much consideration I’m calling the #painting ‘Enjoying Life’s Curve Ball’

 

Ruth le Cheminant Enjoying the Curve Ball acrylic on canvas 60cm x 120cm 2023
Ruth le Cheminant Enjoying the Curve Ball acrylic on canvas 60cm x 120cm 2023

R le Cheminant From Where I Stand 2023 acrylic on canvas 100cm x 90cm

From Where I Stand

From Where I Stand

I originally named this painting 'All the Same - it’s Not'

Acrylic on canvas
100cm x 90cm

Sometimes a painting just doesn’t ‘sit right’ when you originally think it’s finished. It’s ok, it passes muster but ultimately it’s not quite right.

That was how this painting was sitting with me. So I ignored it for awhile. Put it to the wall. I let time pass and recently returned to it. And realised what needed changing. It wasn’t much but to my eye it was pivotal to allowing the eye to comfortably travel within and around the painting rather than have the eye jump around. This painting was for me a contemplative work and visual flow was important.

Colour has tone and vibrancy and I realised I simply had the balance slightly skewed. So I spent some time, not changing the elements or structure, but reconsidering the tonal qualities of the colours in areas and the flow of colour patterning in the painting. Now I believe it works. The many #layers add to the depth.

Hope you enjoy it.

R le Cheminant From Where I Stand lounge room setting
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand lounge room setting
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand - detail
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand - detail
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand - detail
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand - detail
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand - detail
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand - detail
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand - detail
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand - detail
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand - detail
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand - detail
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand - detail
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand - detail
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand - detail
R le Cheminant From Where I Stand - detail

R le Cheminant The Green Meadow 2023 acrylic on canvas 100cm x 90cm

I ask myself … how do I paint?

Every artist approaches the painting process differently. I hadn’t really thought about my process too much, I just went ahead and painted. But I got to thinking and realise as a colourist and looking at what I do and the how I go about it all, my painting process may not necessarily be what people may assume it is.

I am a serial painter. I don’t have many canvases on the go. I work on one painting at a time, complete it and when I’m satisfied it’s finished only then start another painting.

It was recommended I work in acrylics when I was at art school at NAS.  The given practice of working in oil’s at the time didn’t suit my desire to mix and push colours around.  I usually ended with mud! Acrylics was a new medium and it was suggested would work better for me. Acrylic paint has vastly improved since the '70's.  I can work quickly and rather enjoy the fact I have only a few minutes when I paint to decide to ‘keep or wipe off’. Keeps me involved in the moment.

To retain integrity of the colour I’m working with I mix each in a lidded plastic container. The colour remains viable and clean. I keep all the variations of the colours I’m using in a painting on the working bench beside me. I face my painting wall with the canvas of the moment hanging on a nail in front of me and have a seat to sit in opposite the wall beside the bench to consider the painting and consider ‘will I keep or…’ and in fact sit in Adam Cullen’s studio chair when I do so. Adam lived up the road and some of his stuff was put on the verge after his death, we reclaimed a few things, the chair was one. I love the continuity.

I paint one painting at a time. I enjoy the focus this brings me. The painting on the wall today is The Green Meadow.

Studio image of The Green Meadow at completion
Studio image of The Green Meadow at completion
Studio working bench at completion of The Green Meadow
Studio working bench at completion of The Green Meadow
R le Cheminant The Green Meadow 2023 acrylic on canvas 100cm x 90cm
R le Cheminant The Green Meadow 2023 acrylic on canvas 100cm x 90cm

 

 


R le Cheminant Out from Tablelands Road Wentworth Falls 2022 acrylic and charcoal on canvas 100x90cm

It starts off full of promise.

It starts off full of promise when I have a fresh canvas on the wall in the studio.

After a period of time I realise this painting doesn't seem to be fulfilling it's potential.

The painting demands consideration and work to explain what it was like for me sitting in the bush out from Tablelands Road was all about.

I give it more time and with some patience it then rewards you. It is complete. It is as it should be. I find it satisfying.

What my process was of painting ‘Out from Tablelands Road, Wentworth Falls’.

It was all to do with capturing place, the marks, the colours and the energy. The patterns and layering within the bush.

Some works take contemplation and time, some flow onto the canvas in a delightful creative rush.
This painting was a contemplation for me as it was when I was in the bush out from Tablelands Road. I hope it offers the same for the viewer. Contemplate the whole and then let the eye wander into the painting to the detail.

Available at Day Gallery, Blackheath.

R le Cheminant Out from Tablelands Road Wentworth Falls 2022 acrylic and charcoal on canvas 100x90cm
R le Cheminant Out from Tablelands Road Wentworth Falls 2022 acrylic and charcoal on canvas 100x90cm
R le Cheminant detail Out from Tablelands Road 8.0
R le Cheminant detail Out from Tablelands Road 8.0
R le Cheminant detail Out from Tablelands Road 7.0
R le Cheminant detail Out from Tablelands Road 7.0
R le Cheminant detail Out from Tablelands Road 5.0
R le Cheminant detail Out from Tablelands Road 5.0
R le Cheminant detail Out from Tablelands Road 4.0
R le Cheminant detail Out from Tablelands Road 4.0
R le Cheminant detail Out from Tablelands Road 3.0
R le Cheminant detail Out from Tablelands Road 3.0

R le Cheminant detail Out from Tablelands Road 9.0
R le Cheminant detail Out from Tablelands Road 9.0

Ruth le Cheminant in the Day Gallery window at night 2

In the window at Day Gallery

I was always hearing ‘check out Day Gallery at night, the windows are wonderful’.

I now exhibit with Day Gallery. I was delighted to be told my latest paintings were ‘in the window’. Till after 18 July.

And my paintings were placed in the large window. Truth is the larger diptych Landscape Expanse was too big for the other windows. And the painting Out from Tablelands Road sits well with it. Both very recent work just out of the studio.

Thank you Vincent and Helen Day.

Ruth le Cheminant in the Day Gallery window at night 1
Ruth le Cheminant in the Day Gallery window at night 1
Ruth le Cheminant in the Day Gallery window at night 3
Ruth le Cheminant in the Day Gallery window at night 3
Ruth le Cheminant in the Day Gallery window at night 4
Ruth le Cheminant in the Day Gallery window at night 4

And I was up in Blackheath today so let me share a daytime experience with you.


Ruth le Cheminant Landscape Expanse 120x200cm acrylic charcoal on canvas 2022

I have let things slide

I have let things slide.

Ignored some things.

Didn’t intend to.

I have been quite contemplative lately in the studio.  It slowed my process and productivity. Though I must admit it's great for the soul.  I considered and took time to enjoy the painting process. I gave myself permission to enjoy taking time.

Landscape Expanse is the result of my slower pace in the studio. It’s 120cm high and 200cm wide. I started on the left panel and thought I want to bust it out,  so I put another canvas the same size beside the first and kept working. I live where we have a vista over the valley to Mt Hay and our property interfaces with the bush. It's wonderful. I can disappear within the landscape of the Blue Mountains and I wanted that feeling within this painting. An unconfined painting with sweeps, woops, joy in colour and complexity in a seemingly simple composition.

Enjoy

Ruth le Cheminant Landscape Expanse 120x200cm acrylic charcoal on canvas 2022
Ruth le Cheminant Landscape Expanse 120x200cm acrylic charcoal on canvas 2022

Chuffed - I'm with Day Gallery

I wrote a statement to myself in the studio.
It said:

Paint
Just paint
That’s all I need to do

I wrote the statement after a major renovation demanding my time and after the travails of Covid19. I wanted to say to myself 'you are finally back in the studio'.

I had made the decision - to walk into the studio and just revel in the sheer joy of creating. Of being there. In the present. To forget what’s expected by others, forget the expectations in my own head and any comparisons I might have of what others were doing or achieving. I decided to seek no affirmation of what to do creatively beyond that of seeking my own internal validation of my art and the process it takes.

During this time of the ‘let’s reassess life and go for it’ was the delight in joining Day Gallery. It wasn't rushed, it was a very considered procedure taken by both parties.  It’s very satisfying to be represented by a gallery who gives me the latitude to create as I wish, appreciates my visual language, and has values I share.  For me this means the best is yet to come. So stay tuned and check out my work via Day Gallery

I want to thank Vincent and Helen Day for taking me on board.  I’m now one of the wonderful artists represented by Day Gallery.

 


Coachwood Glen Megalong Valley

As I stand still

As I stand still
Breath in the air
Gaze around the area
Where there is rainforest
On the valley floor
At the edge of the escarpment
And smell
The damp earth after the rain
See
The myriad browns of the mulch underfoot
The bright green of the mosses and ferns
Feel the drops of water as they fall
From the glistening wet leaves
And love the staccato vertical forest of tree trunks
Standing proudly all around me
Where
Up to the canopy
The filtered light
Reveals the innumerable greens
That delight me


Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 8 2020 acrylic on canvas 46cm x 51cm

You didn't call it that! Yes I did and numbered them.

When my partner found out what I had called the paintings in my exhibition Little Big Work at The Art Vault Mildura her response was 'You didn't call them that!' And I replied Yes I did. And I numbered them.  I have come to realise that actually this way the viewer can see the journey I took as they view the paintings in the exhibition.

Usually I would do a road trip and take the paintings to Mildura but this time I couldn't. Mia worked with me and together the exhibition came to be.  I'd like to share the explanation of how it came about with you so I'll invite you to Mia and my conversation about all things to do with Little Big Works. Just hit on the link - a chat with Mia - and it will take you to the  live video we did on 27 November.  PS The only thing I'll say about our live video is that I was having some technical issues at the start, Mia takes you on a stroll around the gallery as she waits for me and I join at about 3 minutes in.

 

And

during the Covid19 pandemic
We were told to isolate
So I stayed home and went into the studio
And I painted for the sake of painting.
And when they said we no longer needed to isolate
I still stayed home and went into the studio
And painted
Painting exactly what I wanted to paint
And realised I was doing
exactly what I wanted to do
Painting, musing, thinking, reflecting
And as each painting was completed
They were given the title
Covid19 series and a number
In sequential order to when they were painted
And so if you view them in order
You will see
My journey through Covid19 in 2020

The last painting I did was Covid19 Series Painting #21 is in the exhibition
As is the first painting I did Covid19 Series Painting #1

 


Ruth le Cheminant and Peppertree Event Hen's Oct 2020 2

When life is crazy staying still can be amazing

If you allow yourself to stay still you then have time to really appreciate the world around you.

And sometimes the delights of life present themselves to you.

I enjoyed a great Friday afternoon at the Fairmont Resort in Leura delivering with Peppertree Events an art experience for a bridal shower. I didn’t expect to enjoy the afternoon as much as I did. And with excellent results for all the attendees!

Ruth and Peppertree Event Hen's Oct 2020 1

Ruth and Peppertree Event Hen's Oct 2020 1I decided to enter the Blackheath Art prize over the long weekend. I didn’t win the prize but am delighted I sold the artwork Covid19 Painting series #3 The Path Ahead I entered in the exhibition at Blackheath Art Society. To the buyer of the painting, thank you. I enjoyed painting this work and thought amidst the confusion and all the distress the Covid19 pandemic for us all that there was a path ahead.

 

Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 series Painting 3 -The Path Ahead acrylic paint on canvas 62cm x 77cm
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 series Painting 3 -The Path Ahead acrylic paint on canvas 62cm x 77cm

 

 


Ruth le Cheminant studio Wentworth Fall August 2020 detail 2

If you put it out there, sometimes.....

We are living in unique times. The normal parameters we were used to are shifting, we are now required to be flexible and shift with the changed parameters of life as a consequence of Covid19 to be able to grow and prosper in the new world order. And so I disappear into the studio and quietly in my corner and create my own magical world on the canvas, listen to music and do exactly what my muse tells me. And I put it out there. Thinking because I'm creating work in isolation it is not seen. But there is the wonderful communicative power and generosity of others.

I put my 'Covid19 exhibition' out into space and I received an email from Mia on behalf of Julie Chambers Director of The Art Vault, Mildura

“I had a really lovely conversation with Julie today about possibly exhibiting some of your new "Corona" works in our gallery.... Julie suggested that I get in touch with a proposal for you to have an exhibition in our small gallery space.  Fortunately we have a gap from Wednesday 11th Nov – Monday 7th Dec …..”

The Art Vault has a special place in my heart. I explored the Mallee, my Mother's country, while on residencies at the Art Vault. They invited me to have exhibitions. The staff became friends during my times spent there. So in answer to the question of an exhibition I said 'yes'.

For this exhibition I'll be freighting the work to The Art Vault, I usually take a road trip with the paintings. We're considering holding a companion studio exhibition at the same time with larger works at my studio in Wentworth Falls.  You are invited. We think we could have a joint zoom opening. All work in the studio exhibition will be online and available for purchase through theloadedbrush.com.au and The Art Vault.

'Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.' quote attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Let's all do that!

Ruth le Cheminant studio Wentworth Fall August 2020 1
Ruth le Cheminant studio Wentworth Falls August 2020

Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 9 2020 detail 2

There I was so smug to think it was finished

I explain to myself,  and to other people who ask, that as an artist I’m a process artist.  Painting for me is a marvellous journey of communication and discovery that on it’s completion will be a well resolved painting. A well resolved painting that allows the viewer to enjoy staying within the painting visually even if they’re not sure what it is that is holding them inside the composition.

Covid Painting #9 was the continuation of a painting I put aside. I decided I had everything to gain by continuing to paint on the discarded  painting and nothing to lose. So I played,  considered and had a blast. And given time thought yes it's done! I thought I had tempered the strong original colours with enough field of colour to create balance in the work. So I decided it was complete.

I even posted it in a blog.

But it niggled. The painting wasn’t quite right. I thought about it, considered what I should do with it and in the middle of the night, lying awake in bed, realised I needed to ‘blow it apart’ or disrupt the composition to get resolution. I visualised what I’d do. Take the pencils and by using another medium in the painting shift the focus. So the next morning I got coloured pencils and, as I had imagined during the night, added areas of line work using particular colours.

I sat in front of the painting on the wall in the studio and contemplated it, drank coffee, considered the ways of the world and analysed the painting.  I added some further paint to move the eye around more.  And walked away.

But I was curious and thought will I regret working further on the painting. So every time I added significantly to the painting I took an image. I couldn’t go back only forward in this process. I wanted to  see the ‘process’ from the point when I decided to continue painting to completion. I was curious if with the advantage of hindsight through images would I regret travelling on. Here it is. Finished. I think.

Images of the visual journey:

Covid19 Painting 9 - 1
Covid19 Painting 9 - 1
Covid19 Painting 9 - 2
Covid19 Painting 9 - 2
Covid19 Painting 9 - 3
Covid19 Painting 9 - 3
Covid19 9 - 4
Covid19 9 - 4
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 9 acrylic and pencil on canvas 51cm x 46cm
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 9 acrylic and pencil on canvas 51cm x 46cm

Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 9 2020 acrylic and pencil on canvas 51cm x 46cm detail 2

Is calling my current exhibition Covid19 OK?

Come to my exhibition in the comfort of your own home.

It's an ongoing exhibition.

While  Covid19 is with us I will continue to disappear into my own creative world in the studio and paint. And as a consequence the exhibition will grow.  It is an on-going exhibition. Paintings will be displayed as they are created on the current exhibition page of The Loaded Brush. And available through the web page.  Yes you can buy from the web page.

You can contact me to have a chat. Follow me on the progress of the exhibition on Instagram and Facebook.

It's a local exhibition. It's your exhibition.

And

Any gallery interested in exhibiting this exhibition let me know.

Visit my exhibition here

Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 9 2020 acrylic and pencil on canvas 51cm x 46cm final edit
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 9 2020 acrylic and pencil on canvas 51cm x 46cm final edit

Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 7 2020 acrylic and charcoal on arches paper 61cm x 73cm

I call it 'going down the rabbit hole'

I think as artists we need to remember ‘one of an artist’s chief obligations is to take risks’ and is the antidote to the problem of disappearing down the rabbit hole. Castaway article about Warwick Thornton by Tim Elliott Good Weekend magazine May 23 2020 

I put a sheet of paper on the studio wall quite awhile ago, 61cm x 73cm at the start of the Covid19 situation and painted. It was ok but not impressing me so later added some charcoal then put it aside.  Retrieved it a few weeks later and took a palette knife rather than a brush and spent time on it but put it aside again. This week it went back on the wall for me to work on. One way or the other I wanted to work with it to completion. It was in my mind either going to be a success or something to learn by and chuck out.

Using a palette knife makes the surface almost sculptural over time. This week I took out the large palette knife - the 'that ain't a palette knife, this is a palette knife' sorta deal - to work on it.  The paint appears denser on the surface because of the method of application. It adds density and greater impact of the colour.  And because of the developing cragginess of the surface as I worked I can’t always predict how the paint will behave. Makes the process fun.

Ruth le Cheminant  Covid19 Painting #7 2020 acrylic and charcoal on arches paper 61cm x 73cm

Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 7 2020 acrylic and charcoal on arches paper 61cm x 73cm
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 7 2020 acrylic and charcoal on arches paper 61cm x 73cm
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 7 2020 acrylic and charcoal on arches paper 61cm x 73cm detail 1
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 7 2020 acrylic and charcoal on arches paper 61cm x 73cm detail 1
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 7 2020 acrylic and charcoal on arches paper 61cm x 73cm detail 2
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 7 2020 acrylic and charcoal on arches paper 61cm x 73cm detail 2
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 7 2020 acrylic and charcoal on arches paper 61cm x 73cm detail 3
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 7 2020 acrylic and charcoal on arches paper 61cm x 73cm detail 3
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 7 2020 acrylic and charcoal on arches paper 61cm x 73cm detail 4
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 7 2020 acrylic and charcoal on arches paper 61cm x 73cm detail 4
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 7 2020 acrylic and charcoal on arches paper 61cm x 73cm detail 5
Ruth le Cheminant Covid19 Painting 7 2020 acrylic and charcoal on arches paper 61cm x 73cm detail 5

Ruth le Cheminant in the studio 5

All I wanted was to tidy a few things up

I’ve had my website for over 10 years. It had been extensively updated about 4 years ago so work could be purchased securely via the page but I decided recently it needed a bit of tweaking. My original web designer had ‘left the tech game’ and after finding my new web support person, and on our very first meeting together to clarify what was needed, we discovered my website had been hacked.  If I had logged in to work within the website

it would have allowed the hackers to wander around my website and use it for their own purposes.  The focus of my life changed and my timeline budget and purpose in life was derailed for a while. But we’re back!!  The website is now secure, debugged and streamlined –  though it was all on the unseen working side of the page. And with the strategies now implemented I think the web page is the 'safest' it's ever been. So I'll be updating my Artwork pages so keep an eye out.

Now I can blog once more to my heart’s content/desire/delight.

Ruth le Cheminant in the studio where she prefers to be
Ruth le Cheminant in the studio where she prefers to be

Ruth le Cheminant I can't sit next to her

I can't sit next to her.

With the #BlackLivesMatter marches and the social media response it made me reflect, not on what it meant to me personally but for those whose lives are impacted.  When your student says 'no I can't move, I can't sit next to her' there are a myriad of responses. This was mine ...

 


Ruth le Cheminant in the studio 8

Sometimes an opportunity comes up

Sometimes an opportunity comes up. And it's wise to take it!I had a surprise recently.

Art/Edit magazine emailed to ask if I'd be interested in being part of 'Studio Virtual Visit' as the magazine supports artists during the Covid-19, forced to work in isolation at home. 'Getting in touch as we have a really exciting plan to help support artists on our Insta in this truly surreal time.'

So wrote some copy, had some images taken by my partner and sent them back to Art/Edit.

I received another email a few days later.  Suggesting 'maybe you could do a video' for us.

And at the end of the video I have a message. Why waste an opportunity.

In all it's glory this is the video

And many thanks to Anny Druett who assisted in the production of the video.

Ruth le Cheminant in the studio 1
Ruth le Cheminant in the studio 1
Ruth le Cheminant in the studio 2
Ruth le Cheminant in the studio 2

 

Ruth le Cheminant in the studio 2
Ruth le Cheminant in the studio 2
Ruth le Cheminant in the studio 5
Ruth le Cheminant in the studio 5

Ruth le Cheminant When All Else Fails Paint acrylic and pencil on canvas 120cm x 110cm

When all else fails

It's been a trying time in Australia for quite awhile. And it's only been recently in the Blue Mountains, the last week or so of January, that we have been able to relax with the advent of decent rain which raised all our spirits.
And I realised with the foot a lot better and the shift in the fortunes of the fire situation in the Blue mountains I was able to get into the studio, I could relax and create without thinking of other things. As my foot was getting better and I had more mobility - a fractured foot can slow a person down - I got to increase my creative times. And I've titled the rather large painting I did for how I was feeling - 'When All Fails, Paint'.


When it can all get a bit much

Do you wonder what the recent bushfires have done to environment? During the recent bushfires the Blue Mountains seemed surrounded by fire with the Ruined Castle fire on the southern side of the Great Western Highway and the large Gospers Fire to the north. Each of these fires joined existing fires on both the north and south sides to each become what was termed a megafire. The Gospers fire to the north of the Great Western Highway was only considered ‘under control’ on the 14 January 2020 two and a half months after it was ignited by lightning strike on the 26 October 2019.

As we prepared our property for a fire event on 21st December we realised there were huge clouds forming beyond Mt Hay to the north of us. We watched from our front yard the pyro-cumulonimbus clouds forming kilometres away in the Gospers fire and could only imagine what it must be like on the fire ground. I knew these were fire induced clouds but to actually witness the clouds form in front of us sitting on a garden seat in our front yard was a phenomena I wasn’t expecting to personally witness. These pyro-cumulonimbus storms bring little rain but are packed with lightning that can spread fires through lightning strikes, the with the lofting of embers and the generation of severe wind outflows it all looked to be an absolutely devastating fire situation, particularly for the native animals and vegetation. I felt there could be nothing left and all indeed was lost. The pyro-cumulonimbus clouds represented a power too huge to control and was truly what NASA called "the fire-breathing dragon of clouds”.  Its ferocious power was devastatingly awesome to watch from the safe distance of 5 kilometres.  It truly was a dragon.

Imagining so much devastation and envisioning Armageddon I felt the best way I could deal with it was to see the reality for myself. I drove to Mt Victoria and along the Darling Causeway to Bell, stopping continually to draw and take images to absorb what I was seeing. It was eerie, there was no bird song or movement of animals around, or tracks left. It was, in many ways, desolate. This was an area closed during the height of the fires so you can imagine the intensity of the fireground, enough to burn out power poles and leave only traces of dumped tyres and car parts. But there was new growth, small red shoots on the side of tree and green in some hardy ground plants. There was hope.

I’d like to share with you the images of the trip that day where it seemed to me the grey ash formed its own lament for the environment and the small growths on the blackened trees offered the possibilities of regeneration.

After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 1
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 1
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 5
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 5
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 2
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 2

After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 3
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 3
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 6
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 6
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 7
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 7
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 8
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 8
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 9
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 9
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 11
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 11
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 10
After the bushfire Mt Victoria 2020 10

 


Ruth le Cheminant Moon Boot Contemplation 2019 acrylic on canvas 100cm x 90cm

And that was the year that was….

Sometimes life sends you a curve ball and the only thing to do is to work with the changed dynamics in your life until your personal universe adjusts itself to the changed situation.

The cataract surgery early in the year was normal and for an artist the clear vision is a definite plus. The curve ball was the pain in my foot in June diagnosed after 2 weeks as a fractured metatarsal with a nuclear bone scan. I was told ‘no problems wear a moon boot for 6 weeks and after some rehab all will be well’. But it wasn’t after the required time in the boot. Complications because of a rigid big toe that began with an incident many years ago when I was at art school at NAS – I was lifting a large piece of masonite onto the easel and it slipped out of my hands and landed on it’s edge on my big toe – and being young and bullet proof seemed it didn’t seem much of an issue. But age and arthritis impacts and it was the big toe that required me to have the foot back in the moon boot again and undertake a very gradual rehabilitation to recover. The big toe had to learn how to again take part in the process of walking. It has taken over 6 months to recover, rehab has been ongoing for so long we named the moon boot Cuthbert.

Why does this matter?  I stand to paint. Painting is a very real part of my life . I never realised how much I move around in the studio as I paint diving this way and that until I tried to paint with a moon boot on and it didn’t work. I felt nailed to the floor and realised it was a total inhibitor to how I paint.  So I didn’t paint. But I did do 2 paintings in this time, slowly and with much contemplation hence the title for one, ‘Moon Boot Contemplation’. The other painting I gave the title ‘When All Else Fails, Paint’.

And because I wasn’t painting, I wasn’t active on my webpage or very much on social media in 2019. I want to change all that and engage in the conversation once again in 2020.

Wishing you all a creative and productive year ahead and if you are served a curve ball in your life I’ve found it’s what you do with it that counts.

Cheers
Ruth

Ruth le Cheminant Moon Boot Contemplation 2019 acrylic on canvas 100cm x 90cm
Ruth le Cheminant Moon Boot Contemplation 2019 acrylic on canvas 100cm x 90cm


Ruth le Cheminant North by South West invite image

How we got to North by South West

There’s something wonderful in exploring a place already visited and explore that area more closely, to spend time and understand more of the nuances of the region.   I have in the last few years discovered Tamworth NSW and the surrounding region.  A cursory visit doesn’t do the area justice. Tamworth is west of Walcha, an hour from Little Kickerbell and Quirindi, east of Gunnedah and north of Willow Tree. Tamworth is also the home of Weswal Gallery in Brisbane Street where Vicki Hersey and I are having a joint exhibition 15 August till 15 September.
When Vicki and I were asked how did you get to Tamworth? We answered Ruth has spent time in the Tamworth area but both of us got to Tamworth by spending time painting and working in the South West of Australia – in the Monaro, the Mallee, the Flinders Ranges and areas in between.  We are two artists who live in the Blue Mountains.  And so the explanation became our exhibition title: North by South West from the Blue Mountains.

We hope you can join Ruth and Vicki at the opening Saturday 17 August 2019 @ 2pm

For those out of town Weswal Gallery is at 192 Brisbane Street, Tamworth
open Thursday & Friday 10-4  Saturday & Sunday 10-2. Vicki and I hope you visit.

 

North by South West from the Blue Mountains exhibition invite
North by South West from the Blue Mountains exhibition invite

Ruth le Cheminant I Was Thinking of the Flinders Ranges 2016 acrylic on canvas 80x70cm

Kickerbell Artists exhibition in Walcha at the Walcha Gallery of Art

Ruth le Cheminant

A group of artists came together to work at Little Kickerbell on the Liverpool Plains. Many had been before to Little Kickerbell, some had not. Most knew each other, some had friendships spanning years some were newer acquaintances all taking the opportunity to share time away painting. On this particular art retreat at Little Kickerbell they came in drifts, some coming later in the retreat replacing those who had left earlier. It was a wonderful situation. Good food and accommodation, to work and spend time with other artists you respect, able to discuss with them all things to do with art, to paint with other like minded people and be sustained by the creative energy around you is a little bit of magic. There is delight in solitude but there is stimulation and energy in a group of artists.

The exhibition title ‘Kickerbell Artists’ says it all. This exhibition at Walcha Gallery of Art is work from the group of artists who were on the art retreat at Little Kickerbell. I hope you have the opportunity to attend the opening on Friday 19th July from 6pm at the Walcha Gallery of Art in Walcha or visit in the next few weeks. Walcha is a great little town and Walcha Gallery of Art definitely worth a visit.

Unfortunately I can’t attend. A fractured 2nd metatarsal on my left foot has thwarted my plans. I’m hoping you can.

Walcha Gallery of Art, 15n Derby St, Walcha 2354 open Tuesday – Friday 9.30am to 3pm and Saturday 9.30am to 1pm

Little Kickerbell 2729 Bundella Road, Pine Ridge NSW 2343 ph: 6747 4830 Cathy and Rowen


Ruth le Cheminant A Week in Dalgety 2019 acrylic china pencil on canvas segment

A week in Dalgety

Ruth le Cheminant

I always say if you’re going to do landscape painting you’ve got to get yourself out into the landscape! And recently what I tell myself to do, I did.  Felt great!

Two artist colleagues had made quite a few trips to Dalgety, a town a couple of hours travel south of Canberra, to paint there. The house they had rented was high on a hill within Dalgety. They explained you could paint the vista from within the large garden area or the immediate surroundings. It had 4 bedrooms so this time the two friends decided to invite two more colleagues and rent it out once more. And I was delighted to be invited. And I have to say for four people who hadn’t shared a house together before, and given two of us hadn’t met before the venture, we had a great week in Dalgety. Good weather, good food, good conversations and great landscape.
It was remarked to me as I was leaving ‘I’m curious what you’re going to paint after your week in Dalgety’ and I replied ‘I’m curious too!’.  This is the first painting of what I hope will be many. I’ve named this painting ‘A Week in Dalgety’. I wanted to try and capture the feel of the town, how it was as I sat with a cup of tea on the verandah and gazed out at the surrounding environment and it’s many layers. The patterns the textures and colours. This painting goes some part towards it.


Mangkaja work by Daisy Japulija Sonia Kurarra Mrs Rawlins Ms Uhl on perspex

Mangkaja Arts at The National: New Australian Art

Ruth le Cheminant

I had a few hours on 14 June and decided to check out the MCA in Sydney. I hadn’t checked what was on and in essence stumbled on an exhibition that was part of the The National: New Australian Art happening in Sydney. I wasn’t bored any more I was filled with sunshine and good vibes. These ladies sure can paint. They are paintings on perspex hung from the ceiling. The first layers of the work are revealed and on the other side the completed layered work. And the colour. The delightful exuberant colour – magic. You can see it at the level 3 MCA, Sydney.

Curator Clothilde Bullen explains these wonderful works from the Mangkaja Arts Studio, Fitzroy Crossing.


It's all go on the Queens birthday weekend in the Blue Mountains

Ruth le Cheminant

This weekend is the Queens birthday weekend in the Blue Mountains. There’s plenty of action around.

There is the Bent Art exhibition opening night 6.30 – 9.30 at the Wentworth Falls School of Arts 217-219 Great Western Hwy, Wentworth Falls. In all the previous 14 years the opening has been a friendly warm gathering so this year expect the same. I have a painting ‘Liverpool Plains’ in the exhibition that I painted while spending time at Little Kickerbell last year.

I will be one of the artists speaking at the Artist Talk at Bent Art on Saturday 2 – 3. Love a good discussion and looking forward to it. Here’s an opportunity to come along and enjoy what pearls of wisdom we can share, you are able to meet other artists or better still ask a question of the panel. Hope to see you there.

Saturday 8 June 2.30 visit the Blackheath Art Society at 139a Station Street, Blackheath for meet the artists and prizegiving for the Winter Exhibition. I’ve been a member of this friendly society since arriving in the upper Mountains and have a painting ‘The Paddocks can be Immense Further West’ in the exhibition.

See you up here.