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Sketch Club 3 – Dougie Chowns

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Dougie with his faithful companion, Leah

SEE FOR YOURSELF AND SKETCH IN MUSEUMS

By Dougie Chowns

Painting is only drawing with a brush, and there is no better way to improve your painting than getting into the habit of using a sketchbook. I talked about this in my first editorial in Issue 10, a year ago. Hopefully some of you are finding that you are building a reference of sketches to go back to, ideas and concepts that is bringing your creative thinking together as well as by thoughtful observation analysing your subjects before you launch into brush on canvas or paper.

At long distance from the great art centers of the world, New Zealand students are restricted to art books, internet reference or video programmes. Sadly seen in small format even when a video presenter is shown alongside. However, if you have never actually stood in front of a Goya, Botticelli’s Primavera, a Francis Bacon or Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon or Guernica, you are missing out. 

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Sketch Club 2 – Dougie Chowns

ASTONISH ME!

By Dougie Chowns

Art is many things to many people. My ex 1950’s writer colleague, a London poet, art writer and critic in 1991, when lecture touring in NZ, said “Dougie, what you must understand is that art has nothing to do with art, it has everything to do with money”

He was talking about the art industry, that is, the big time, big money business where interestingly, the actual artists - the producers of artwork, are but a tiny percentage of those involved. They only provide the product. Their name with publicity becomes legend and like the music industry those names generate a whole enterprise that many benefit from - not always the artist, however.

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Sketch Club 1 – Dougie Chowns

ONCE UPON A TIME ART WAS POWERFUL

By Dougie Chowns

In the early world some 30,000 BC, art birthed when Paleolithic humans conceived the idea to make images of the hunt, the animals they revered and images of themselves. We know this from 16,000 BC cave paintings discovered in Altimira Spain, the Dordogne France and Africa. 

Art and the status of the artist was quite different to what we consider art and the artist to be today - the imagery portrayed was not intended to be a pretty drawing to be admired or even easily seen. The work was a powerful communication with the other world, not for humans at all. However it had humans in mind I believe - art was all about survival.

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