Thursday, 14 August 2014

Melbourne Art Fair 2014

I spent today at the Melbourne Art Fair. It is always a wonderful thing to see what other creative people are doing. The range of work was unbelievable. Here are some of the works that got my attention today...





The Melbourne Art Fair runs until August 17. For information, ticket prices and more visit:

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Mixed media painting process...

With all of my new studio space I have recently felt the urge to do a work on canvas and thought I would share the process with you.
I tend to paint like I create any other piece of work, with a basic idea in mind and then letting it all come together organically. I like to add layers and textures in my work and the colour choices happen as the work progresses. I never have a colour palette in mind when I start.

Initial sketchbook drawing

Base colours laid down on a recycled canvas.

Home made stencils are used to add pattern to the background. Torn sewing patterns are collaged onto the hair. The facial details are highlighted and the base colour for the skin is applied.

Work is done on the skin tones.

Texture medium is added to the flower and collage elements are placed on the hair. A white wash is rubbed over the face to tone down the skin tones

Facial details are highlighted again, flower is repainted, more collage elements are added and a white wash has been rubbed over the background.

A blue wash has been rubbed over the hair and stripes have been added to her top.

Blue ink has been brushed over the hair. Flowers have been added to the background and more line work has been done.

Finished piece.
Highlighting done to some of the collage elements and colours rubbed onto hair. Lips and eyes also highlighted and line work is touched up where required. I have also widened the neckband on her top.

As the painting progressed my lady started to change her pose. I decided I wanted her to be turned a little more towards the viewer, while still looking away. She also became softer and more vulnerable looking.
I hope you enjoyed seeing a work in progress.
If you have any ideas for a name for her please feel free to leave a comment. There will be a little prize for the best name. Prize drawn 10 August.


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

In the news

Welcome back.
It has been a busy term so (in between program planning and proposals) I am looking forward to hanging out with my kids and playing in my studio.

I found myself in the local paper this week. They were writing an article on the facility where I teach Recycled Art and so my lovely friend David and I had our photo taken.
The classes finished today and everyone is looking forward to coming back next term. If you would like to join us, we would love to see you. The classes run on a Tuesday morning during school terms. Anyone can join. If you have no artistic ability, have created art before or would like to try something new, this is the class for you.
Please note that from Term 3 the class has been renamed Mixed Media Art.

Contact Preston Neighbourhood House for dates, cost and any other information you require.  218 High St, Preston VIC 3072.  (03) 9484 5806

We spent today creating Angels and Big Cats.
Here are a few samples of the great work the group produced.

Angel (demonstration piece) 

Red Cat and Growly Lion

Tiger and Angel

 These pieces were made using recycled cardboard and papers, vintage book pages,  oil pastels, acrylic paints, stencils and stamps.


Starting in two weeks I will be adding regular tutorials on this blog. It will be like a bag of liquorice allsorts...a variety of techniques in a variety of styles. Some I will design myself, others will be fantastic finds from the web. So keep an eye out.

Until next time....

Friday, 13 June 2014

My New Studio

Happy days,
for the first time in years I have a studio in the house. No more traipsing out to the garage when it is wet and cold. No more having to put ice packs with my materials in the Australian summer heat. I am doing cartwheels I am so happy.
I thought I had better post some photos while it is nice and clean - before I start working and it looks like a teenagers bedroom!

I will stop pinching myself to see if I am dreaming and get to work enjoying this space.
Till next time....

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Art Classes and more...

Hi there, I hope all is well.
Things have been pretty busy but I can finally relax for a day or two.
The big move is over and I finally have my new studio. It is not quite set up, so fussy me will wait till next time to show you how it is looking.

As some of you will know, I have been doing some full day art workshops at a local primary school. That was a lot of fun and I slept well those nights! I met some fantastic kids and some of them were really interested in the life of an artist. It was pretty intense as I has 5 groups a day with 55 minute lessons. We were working on collage with the theme being Healthy Living.
The first ones were done by children in Prep- Grade 3. Their focus was on 'My favourite fruit and vegetable'.
The second collages were done by children in Grade 4-6, who were focusing on 'What makes me healthy (Nutritional, physical, mental and emotional)'. They did a great job.

The Recycled Art Classes have been going great. It is such a fantastic group and we have a lot of fun. The only complaint is how fast the time goes.
For the first two weeks the group have been making houses from wood offcuts, recycled papers and found objects.

For the past two weeks we have been working on collages. Firstly by making our own decorative papers to use, with paint on newspaper. Then by Using a stencil to create the main 'character' to build an image around. These were done on old book pages. The students then chose their favourite piece to frame. I think they look amazing and I am looking forward to seeing how they interpret next weeks lesson.

See you next week





Monday, 19 May 2014

Workshop week

Hi all, hope you have had a fantastic week. This week is shaping up to be a busy one with three classes/workshops on the go.

PNH Phone: 9484 5806
Tomorrow is the first session of my Recycled Art Workshops. We will be creating mixed media buildings inspired by my 'Home to Roost' series (see photo), using wood off cuts, old sewing patterns and more. I will put some photos up next week. There is space for a couple more people so if you are interested contact Preston Neighbourhood House to book.

Wednesday is Drawing and Painting classes. I love turning up every week to see what everyone is creating and helping them on their journey. Thursday is an art with kids day. I am working at a primary school all day running workshops on collage, with a focus on healthy bodies. It is a full on day with 5 groups of kids with 55 minute workshops each. Here are some photos of some of the work from the Prep-2 children from last week.

                                                                                                         They have been creating a plate with their favourite fruit and vegetable using ripped paper on one piece and cut paper on the other. The Grade 3-6 children are doing a silhouette where they fill the head with a variety of ways we keep our body healthy. We are looking at nutritional, physical, mental and spiritual health. A lot to fit in less than an hour but the kids are all doing a great job.
 I am rounding the week off judging an art competition at my daughters high school. Middle school students are designing a metal piece based on a haiku they have written, with cash prizes up for grabs. I am really looking forward to seeing their designs.
It doesn't look like there will be much studio time this week- good thing I enjoy teaching as it's looking to be a fun week. Hope you have a great one too.


Monday, 12 May 2014

Happy days

Hi there.
Well its back to work after a lovely Mothers Day. I got spoilt with some lovely presents and dinner with my beautiful kids and husband. My favourite thing every year though is the cards my children make me. The gorgeous drawings and the funny things they write just make my day. To all the mums (or dads doing it on their own) I hope you had a wonderful day full of love.

I went to look at my new studio space yesterday. I am so excited to be getting an indoor studio! My current one is a garage, so space wise it is amazing but its either too hot, too cold or leaking. Only a few weeks now and I will have a beautiful space to work in. Happy days.

If you are out and about in Preston on Wednesday morning I will be at the Preston Neighbourhood House Open Day. Pop in and have a play with a quick workshop I am running from 10:30am-noon based on recycled art. There will also be some samples of my work on display. 
Additionally I will be around from 12:30-2:30pm running the Drawing and Painting Class. So pop in and say hi, try Tai Chi and maybe even win a door prize. The opening is at 10am.

Preston Neighbourhood House:  218 High Street Preston VIC 3072 
Ph. 9484 5806

© Kelly Gatchell Hartley
I am feeling exceptionally excited at the moment. I have booked my tickets and will be in Mexico for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
 I plan to go to Mexico City, be in Oaxaca for Dia de los Muertos and then head up to Guadalajara.I can't wait!
I know I am going to need a BIG suitcase for all of the treasures I will be bringing back as I love Mexican folk art.
If any of you have been on a Mexican adventure, I would love to hear all about it.

Until next time, have a fantastic week
Kelly xxxx
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