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February 28, 2012
Wynne Prize Entry

 Wynne Prize

So with the Archibald all packed up next was my Wynne prize and it was going with the courier also. There are three prizes connected to the Archibald. They are the Archibald portrait prize, The Wynne landscape prize and the Sulman genre painting prize.

This painting could could have fitted the Wynne or Sulman but seemed better suited to the Wynne.

 It is an extension of the recent piece OHV with more elements added from my photoshoot on Friday afternnoon. I am super excited about the direction of this piece and look forward to really immersing myself in this style.

 It is so much of my childhood with the mass production of houses in the new estates. The farms being taken over by urban sprawl. The long grass right next to the estates, with a lone animal or two soon to be shipped off to be replaced by more suburbia. The hot barren landscape with little or no trees and prickles bushes creeping into the padocks as the farmer has no reason for up keep on his property as it's destiny is set.

In many estates the towers of power stand as symbol of where man has come from and where he is going into the distance disapearing in perspective. As a kid they were like robot guardians making sure that this new urban sprawl has all the energy it needs to thrive and grow. They also continue on to infinity.Where will it end?

I am super stoked with both my entries and from here it is up to the powers that be, so i'll keep my fingers crossed and see what happens. 

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February 28, 2012
Archibald and Wynne prize finished and shipped.
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Archibald and Wynne prize art pieces finished and shipped.

 Finally with the work on my Archibald entry completed within half an hour of the courier arriving, I can tidy up a few things and head of for surgery on my ankle tomorrow. It's been a busy few weeks getting the two entries done form photo shoots to separations to screens. Infact my I did two pieces for the Archibald enty as the first one I was happy with, but I needed to be really happy with it, so I did a second version which I was indeed really happy with.

 Here is the press release.

‘Aisle 3’, in which an Australian celebrity icon, Sally Williams, an Australian icon brand, Rosella, and Australian artist Nick Morris, create, a piece that truly  “speaks for it’s self”.

 

Doug Moran, collaborative finalist and Torquay artist Nick Morris has created a modern day pop art painting for submission in this year’s Archibald Prize.

 

Inspired by the famous pop artist Mel Ramos and paying homage to the likes of Andy Warhol, the inspiration came to Morris whilst meditating on the concept of six degrees of separation between two iconic Australian subjects.

The sitter had to work in within Morris’s dominantly pop art style.  The subject must be the right choice as the winner of this prize takes home the “prestige of the highest recognition in Australian art”.

 

Whilst Morris has considered different subjects for the Archibald it was hard to find relevance between the sitter and his art. ” I cannot think of a better subject in both relevance and personality for my art than Sally. Sally Williams is pop art. She has been adorning our TV screens for many years and has become part of the lounge room supermarket shopping experience.” Sally was “honoured to be asked” and the true essence of the alignment was evident in the effortless process from the outset in which Sally said, “Who else could it be?” when the concept was put forth.

 

The concept of bringing two Australian icons together.

 

The product choice for the portrait also required an Australian icon to have true authenticity.  After much consideration Rosella was the brand of choice.  It had to be a real brand or it would, as pop art, hold no substance.

 

Morris says he “is really excited about the art and that one can only hope for a favourable outcome. It has been such an enjoyable seamless project as though the stars aligned to help make it happen. Sally has been amazing to work with, she is an incredibly friendly, professional and positive person.”

 

Archibald entries must be submitted between the 5th and 10th of March and short listed finalists will be announced on the 15th of March. The winning artist will be announced on the 30th of March who takes home $75,000 and “the prestige of the highest recognition in Australian art.”

 

The painting is now complete with  mis-registration which to me, previously being a graphic designer speaks to me of catalogue supermarket consumerism. Those catalogues where the printing has gone a little haywire and mis-registered due to the volume of printing. The subtle targets speak to me in terms of Jasper Johns, and Mel Ramos's influence is obvious. The multiple image has it's ties back to Warhol but once again speaks volumes of the packed supermarket shelf with the same products stacked in lines and not always in perfect order as shoppers leave the shelves in disarray. A simple light back ground seemed appropriate as this is portrait with product, not to be muddled amongst supermarket product in the background.


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February 26, 2012
Archibald Sulman Studio

Archibald and Sulman paintings in the studio.

 With Wednesday closing in for surgery I really need to get my Archibald and Sulman prize paintings completed. They will be picked up by courier Tusday arvo so lots to get done. I have also been ofered to put art up at hogan Gallery in Smith Street Collingwood as they have had a cancellation and I have enough art to fill the space, so I need to get all the art down to them as well.

 It's been a busy weekend trying to complete everything. I tried to squeeze a surf in but lucked out with the changing conditions, not to mention the ridiculous crowds that now invade this part of the world on a regular basis. It's a bummer not to get a surf as I wont be able to have one for several months after my surgery. I have a photo here of the two paintings in the studio. The Sulman prize pinting which is a genre prize is on the easel with the Archibald on the table still under way.

 I have done the Sulman piece based on the Urban Sprawl painting that I recently sold on a bigger canvas with new added elements. I am really excited about the direction of this new art and will continue to follow through on this theme. I went taking photos locally on Friday for more elements and my ideas were expanding by the minute.

 Perhaps you can make out my Archibald painting and theme. Almost able to tell all.

 Off to bed to finish up all the art tomorrow.

  Archibald-Sulman-Studio-LR.jpg

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February 22, 2012
Archibald art preparation.

Archibald art preparation.

I've got to get my head around this daily blogging......

Alot going on since I last blogged. Friday was taken up by heading off  to Wilsons Promontory for a camping tip with th family. What a great spot. Kids got some really nice clean surfs in and managed to get a nice surf in with a couple of mates. Great weekend with great company. Off shore on a sea breeze, how can you go wrong in summer. Had a ball.

Since the weekend it has been all systems go on the Archibald project. There have been a few things we needed to resolve so that my subject can sit easy with the process and be sure all will pan out smoothly. After many hours of working with photos that we shot we have found the right one and I have been working with it in photoshop to separate it ready to put to screens. They are infact the biggest screens I have ever done.

The work has to be completed in the next five days as I am booked in for surgery on my fractured ankle for next Wednsday. When the work is done I can finally reveal my sitter and the art piece. I am super excited about this piece.

It's a bummer having to take the time off with my ankle surgery. Work on the docks is on hold along with yoga and surfing. In saying that I can't wait to come back 100% fit and be able to surf without pain.

With no sick pay as an artist you have to make ends meet. As my good mate Dave Bowers says, it's birds of the forest. You just have to hope that each new days brings the food and shelter required.

 

 

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February 14, 2012
Art sales and fractured ankles. Artists blog.

Art sales and fractured ankles. Artists blog.

Its been a few days since I blogged and plenty has been happening. In the early hours of Saturday morning it was back to the docks. We were ment to start at 3.30am , which got pushed out to 4 and then 5.30am. So after arriving at 4am I got some sleep in the bunks at the offices. After trying to make up lost sleep when I got home around 8.30 it was then onto another shift in the afternoon. It's a bit like having jet lag or a crazy late night out and then having to recover. Later that afternoon I had to finish a piece of art as I was seeing my cousin with a car full of art the next day and wanted to have plenty to show him. We normally get a call around 6.30pm to say when you are working so it was fortunate that I could enjoy my Saturday evening. From there we went to a good friends 40th and got way to boozy........a busy day in all.

I crawled out of bed on Sunday and was off to see my cousin in Melbourne, who's a great bloke. He was not in any better state than I was so we went for a coffee. Hot chocolate for me as I have never taken coffee up which is a good thing because I reckon I would be on them all day. Red Bull keeps me going for at least 8 hours........ My cousin loved the work and picked up a couple of pieces. Two of the newer style including OHV with the houses and bull. So that was great and he was really happy with the work. He chose really well as far as I was concerned. They were my favorite two pieces that I had. So the week had improved dramatically.

 I then had a bite to eat with Dennis Roper. Another pop artist from Melbourne. Dennis is flat out at a million miles an hour. He has his controvsies with some people but I get along well with him. Infact he is incredibly helpful and is always happy to share his experiences and wealth of knowledge.

On Monday I had an appointment with an ankle and foot orthopedic surgeon as I have had a lot of pain in my left ankle due to a fracture from when I was 17 but up till now could not identify the problem. I have already seen alot of various doctors but we still could not nail exactly what was going on. It has nearly made it impossible to surf for 3 to 4 years which for me is a big problem. On my surf trip to the Maldives in July, my movements were well resticted and I lived on Nurafen so I could still surf. I have hardly surfed since. I can manage yoga but beyond that anything can set it off. So off I went off get a CT scan and ultrasound as we already had MRI and X-rays.

Turns out I have a fracture that is very clear on the CT scans and messed up ligaments which will need a whole reconstruction. So potentialy I have wandering round with a fractured ankle for nearly 30 years. When you work for your self as an artist and part time on the docks, time off is not ideal plus one needs to pay for the operation on top of the loss of money from not working. I'm working through this process now and will have to see how it all pans out. Never a dull moment.

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February 10, 2012
Artist blog. Photoshoot.

Artist Blog. Photo shoot, Doug Moran and Archibald.

 
Entree has come in with some print sales. So that's been great over the last couple of days. The feast is not far away. As Eddie Murphy once said, "I can smell it."
 
It was a great ay as an artist today. I did the photo shoot with my subject for the Archibald Doug Moran prize. My subject is an incredibly nice person and her make up artist was just as amazing. After years in the graphics industry you come across some wonderful people but also a few who are a little tough to work with. These two ladies were nothing but an absolute pleasure to work with. They understood the creative process and infact both enhanced it significantly. I would like to also thank the wonderful Adrienne for the not only the use of her studio but all her help getting me set up with lighting and her amazing advice. Could not have done it without her. I am a bit rusty on photo shoots in the studio....
 
I think thats mostly why it was an amazing day, due to the people I worked with.
 
I could not imagine a better subject for the style of art I enjoy most. I want to tell you more, but the concept needs to evolve to certain point before that can happen.
 
Had a couple of beer tonight at Growlers and met some good people. When things are runing well you seem to bring in great people for the day.
 
Working on the docks at 3.30 am again tomorrow morning,another ship at 5.30 and thn one at 1pm Saturday. It's gonna be a long day.

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February 8, 2012
Archibald and Doug Moran props.

No work on the docks today. I imagine I will be just filling in when other workers cant make it until I am more well established there.

Started the day at 4.20 with a meditiation session and then off to Bikram yoga again. You never know how you are going to feel at Bikram. Some days you feel empowered and other days you don't have a square to spare physically, and other days the will power is missing. Today was somewhere in between.

Spent a large part of the day buying typical pop art product from the supermarket which I am using in my Doug Moran and Archibald entries. They must have wondered why I was in thee for hours on end. I have to build props for the photo shoot so it has been keeping me on my toes. Will tell you a little more as it comes to fruition. I can tell you that I am super excited about the paintings I will be submitting and cant wait to put them together.

 Still waiting for the feast.

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February 7, 2012
Supermarket. Artist Blog.

Artists blog. Famine or feast.

Kicked off the day with a 5.20am start to go to BikramYoga in Geelong which starts at 6 am. Yoga in 41 degree celcius heat if you are unfamiliar with it. I love it!! Its hard and fast but really tests your mind to try to just observe your breathing and stay in the posture. Not to buy into any discomfort.
 
School drop off, supermarket, meditation which I cannot paint unless I have done it and then into some art. I try to knock over the meditiation at 4.20 before yoga but sometimes I'm just to bloody tired.
 
Well the supermarket really tells a tale of my current life as an artist although I have no doubt this will change it time. It seems to be famine or feast and today was famine. I had to do some supermarket hoping to get the best deals to make my $20 go as far as possible. Who can go past banannas at $1.79 per kilo. Load up. I think the girl at the register must wonder what the hell is going on when I constantly have to leave out an item or two due to how much cash I have. I am getting pretty good at totalling it up in my head. Never the less it can be pretty humiliating when you ask the butcher how much a dog bone is and you have to put it back because you can't afford it. Never a dull moment!! Hopefully tomorrow will bring the feast.

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February 6, 2012
New art. Urban sprawl.
New art that I have been working on exploring the growth of urban sprawl. Having grown up in Ballarat on the edge of urban sprawl overlooking farms that were soon gobbled up by houses. The repetition of the houses and the paddocks that were slowly holding less livestock and becoming weed infested as suburbia took over. The farmer who was only to aware of the fate that awaited the farm.The hot summers that dried out the paddocks and the houses that large trees had yet to grow around, and truck loads of lawn mowers. By the way I grew up mildly dyslexic so if my words are all arse about you know why. Perhaps I should just leave them as I write them and keep it intersesting.
 
OHV-92x183LR.jpg 

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February 6, 2012
Working on the docks. Day 3 Artist Blog.

Day 3 on the docks. Artists life.

I completed my third day on the docks. Still tired after the 3.30am, Sunday morning shift so productivity on the art front has been a little slow. I always seem to have a productive slump after delivering a show as we did last Thursday to Yering Station. Cleaned up the studio though so I am ready to charge tomorrow providing I don't get the call from the docks. It's been refreshing though, working on the docks after just working in the studio full time for the last 4 and half years. It seems to breathing some new creative life into me. Art sales have been slow the last few weeks although the London show sold alot of smaller pieces, which is typical at the moment and I believe I may have sold a bigger one post show, so thats good news.Working on a project for the Archibald and Doug Moran art prizes which I am super excited about. Will tell more as it unfolds. It's funny thing having to do employed work for the first time in 14 years. I feel more determined than ever to be as successful as I am capable as an artist.

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February 5, 2012
Working on the docks.
Woking on the docks. Life as an artist.
Just did my second day on the docks as life as an artist has been a little challenging of late. It's pretty interesting work with lot's of artistic inspiaration all around so I think if anything it will only enhance my artistic career. It's always good to get out of ones own bubble and experience something new. Today was as windy as hell and it felt like you would be blown into the water if you did not hold your footing. Started at 3.30 am and finished around midday with a couple of hours sleep in between. My job is to help tie the ships to the wharf when they come in. There are ropes and lines going all over and it is far more complex than I could have imagined. Was meant to start at 3am tomorrow again but just got a call to say we will be starting at the far more gentlemanly hour of 8am.Wish I could show some photos but there are no cameras allowed as it is all high security. Thats also frustrating because I really want to make some screens up from whatI am seeing every day.
 
My good friend and fellow collaborative artist David Bowers sent this to me. I love it. Infact this is pretty much how I live. When I was in college I got a poor pass for my art history thesis. I had about seven books open and was "sampling" from each of them. My lecturer said that she believed it was plagurised but could not identify the source. In the words of Mad Max's mechanic when he was asked how he put the the interceptor together he replied; " a piece from here and a piece from there, I dunno man it just happened...." 
 
plagiarism.jpg

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February 3, 2012
Yerring Station

Setting up 2 February at Yering Station in the Yarra Valley Just over an hour from Melbourne. Beautiful place to visit. Show runs for till 18th of March

 

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