Art Partners had been keen to spend more time with protégé Keon Hall from Collie. He’s an aspiring artist with whom we had done some creative bits and pieces in 2013.
Thus, on April 16, we enticed him up from Collie to spend the day with us.
Setting the Tone with Andrew Frazer
The first trick up our sleeve was to have Keon rendezvous with artist Andrew Frazer, the creative head behind the Re.Discover mural project in Bunbury’s CBD. Keon and Andrew met up in Bianco on Victoria Street to view Keon’s portfolio.
Andrew – a wise and generous man and a masterful conversationalist – had several practical pearls of wisdom for Keon (and the rest of us). He encouraged Keon to keep a note pad handy, to pull it out to make a quick scribble if something came to mind, and to tuck it away for future consideration. Andrew, who emphasized that even a scribble can be powerful, presented Keon with a note pad as a gift to encourage this easy and practical way of capturing ideas.
The two then strolled around the CBD to have a close look at a few of the murals that had been painted by Andrew and Kyle Hughes-Odgers.
Keon was intrigued by the vibrant colours and size of the murals. At one point, he used his hands to create a telescopic effect to help him zero in on details.
Portrait Painting with Simon
Keen to support the portrait category in the upcoming Dardanup Art Spectacular (May 16-18), Keon’s afternoon was dedicated to completing a painting.
Art Partners Consulting Artist Helen Seiver hosted a mini-workshop in her Capel studio, and Bunbury water colourist Simon Hemsley was invited to mentor Keon. Simon is a patient man with an exuberance for life and art which we thought would be an ideal compliment for Keon.
With a volunteer model wearing a colourful orange beanie, and encouragement from Simon, Keon began the art exercise by using charcoal to capture the essential qualities of the subject.
Keon then switched to acrylics on a canvas hand-built by Helen. Although he was relatively new to the workshop’s medium of acrylics, he was an attentive listener and responsive student.
It was clear that Simon’s pearl of wisdom – his oft repeated refrain throughout the process – was quite simply: “look at the model,” “look back at the model,” and “don’t forget to look at the model.” This bit of wisdom is a great reminder to all of us. How often are we looking, but not really looking.
Keon painted a fabulous portrait. Simon also completed a portrait of the model using the same colour pallet. The two completed works have been called Girl in a Beanie (I) and (II).
Keon had a remarkable level of energy that didn’t appear to waver as the day wore on. We suspect that this enviable state of being is related to his youth, but also to his level of fitness. Quite simple, he rides his bike. He has a vitality that comes from huffing and puffing a little (or a lot), and this served him very well during his day with us. Needless to say, remembering to huff and puff is a great pearl of wisdom for all of us.
Girl in a Beanie (I) and (II) will be on display at the Dardanup Art Spectacular taking place on May 16, 17 and 18 at the Dardanup Hall with an Art Trail through the Ferguson Valley. The opening and awards night is on Friday, May 16 ($20 or $35 per couple). All works will be for sale. Tickets for the opening and awards night are available at the door and include local wines and a light supper.
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