2017
08.05

Beach Plein Air – finger & brush painting, Bargara near Bundaberg (Australia) – copyright Dennis Mealor

(click on image to enlarge in HD)

Acrylics on canvas, archive – copyright Dennis Mealor 2014)

2017
08.02

Self-Portrait – acrylics & mixed media – copyright Dennis Mealor 2017

Finished painting (sort of) – Self Portrait of Dennis Mealor

(click on images to enlarge in HD)

At THE MOMENT I am enjoying tutoring a U3A course. For those who don’t know, U3A stands for “University of the 3rd Age” – a world-wide organisation that provides the teaching of new skills to Elders. I use that term “Elders” because I dislike some of the other terms such as Seniors, or older people. The word “Elder” stands for dignity, wisdom, and strength. But more on that later. I want to do an article on that very topic on this Blog. Watch this space. Even if you are not an elder. If not, you will become an elder eventually by default. If you are lucky enough to make it as one of the chosen few.

But back to U3A. My course (near Buderim, Q. Australia) is called “Painting for Therapy & Well-being.” U3A tutors do it voluntarily. It is a labour of love. But the love comes back in spades. I took it up for myself. If the U3A “students” get something out of it, that is a bonus. They seem to be enjoying the course so far. And I have been very impressed by their artistic results. What a great reward (for me, that is).

So the task for the class was to paint an expressionistic self-portrait. This is my own result. I was amazed by what the students did. Maybe they will give me permission to put them on this Blog soon. I will look into that. I was over the moon with each of their paintings.

Stage 1 – Self-Portrait

Some of the rules/guidelines of doing the self portrait were: 1. Had to be Non-realistic. 2. Could be childlike. 3. Had to try to show the “inner self” – personality, emotion within, etc.

Then comes the analysis of the  painting: For the class to all have a go at comment, and try to read the subtext of each painting – as well as their own work. I won’t say anything on my painting here. Will leave it to you all (but please be kind). Thanks.

Stage 2 – Self-Portrait

2017
07.31

Blood, Sweat & (Art) Wank – My Comment on Dark Mo Fo’s “Art Installation” by that man


photo minimised to protect the squeamish (a bit)

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-19/controversy-over-hermann-nitsch-dark-mofo-bloody-art-show/8452202 

You might want to click on this link (above) to an “art installation” by the Austrian artist, Hermann Nitsch, or you might not want to. The “performance” was presented at Australia’s Dark Mo Fo Festival at Hobart’s (Tasmania) Mona Art Gallery in June. I won’t describe the event in detail. If you are not squeamish, click on the ABC link above. I have reduced the size of the photo (credit: see ABC article). But in a bloody nut-shell, the event involved a pile of people writhing around with, and on top of freshly-killed animal carcasses. Lots of blood and meat. And in a Kardashian sort of way: Enjoy the High Art.

I first saw reference to this event via Cooks Hill Galleries (Newcastle, Australia) on their Facebook page. My comments to that post are below:

“The trouble with the so-called
High Art scene, is that it has an inbuilt “Anti-Emperor’s New Clothes Switch” these days. This means it is above criticism. All our hands and opinions are tied by this Switch, so that anyone criticising certain art or saying that it is not art, will automatically be cancelled out. Criticism of it, or saying it is not art, is the proof that the critic knows nothing, and is not included in the sycophantic Art Club. The more people say “It is not art,” the more the performance (?) succeeds, and is fed even more by outrage.

Personally, I think anything can be art, as I believe there is no real definition of what art is, or what good or bad art is (I am a former Uni tutor on this – PhD & all that, but am not suggesting I know all – just my view. But I didn’t come down in the last shower).

What amounts to “Art” or “Good Art,” seems to depend on the status quo (no, not the rock band). The status quo at the moment – is essentially the situation where an elite art industry calls the shots (and has somehow injected art with the above Switch of untouchability), which seems to say that this bloody performance is Art, and good art at that. Well yes, it can be art, just like a nail driven through a lobster and mounted on a board can be art. Good art? I don’t know. It is so subjective – unless you are inside the top end of the art industry, and then what they say is decided as God’s word, so to speak. End of story.

I think yes, it is art, but I don’t like it at all. Why not get human body parts (donated cadavers) and do same, and use them to make fun of, say, the Holocaust? That could be art also. But worth doing? Appropriate? I think not.

My best comment for this “performance” – which I think short-circuits the Anti-Emperor’s New Clothes switch (a bit), is “Yawn, another high school-ish attempt to gain attention, so that people will notice the performance. Yes, high school. Attend a high school art exhibition and it exhibits a similar trait: that shock and awe always equals art. But no-one cares what I say (or others), because this art is being successful, going viral, etc. That is all that matters these days. Artists have to promote themselves ad nauseam now. Can’t just be good at their work anymore, whatever Good means. So they resort to High School-ness. It has become a Sad and boring World.”

Footnote: There, I have destroyed all my credibility by criticising this work. So I have little or no effect on those who sycophantically prop up the Art Emperors of the World. They make all the good money, so what do I know? I’ll stick to my little Art Blog here, and occasionally spit my little dummy. Cheers.


Another (visual) footnote (left). So I was wrong. The above is not necessarily just High-School-ish. Just found this drawing from my primary school days. An illustration I did for a poem, about a fox amongst the geese. Oh yes, I loved that blood, and death. Age ten or eleven I think. At least it was only on paper. I think I have turned out ok (a bit).

 

click on image to enlarge in HD

(not as gory as the pic at top – honest)

 

2017
07.30

“Eggs n Vegs” – Still Life Archive (recrop) – black marker pen and watercolour – copyright Dennis Mealor 2017

click on image to enlarge in HD

2017
07.30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
07.24

“Bit Broken” – acrylics on canvas – copyright Dennis Mealor 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(click on image to enlarge in HD

2017
07.23

“MEALS’ SPIEL” – copyright Dennis Mealor 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

click on image to enlarge in HD

(To Cussons Soap Co: Any free cartons of Imperial Leather soap, gratefully accepted)

2017
07.19

On The Beach – circa 1985 (archive) – copyright Dennis Mealor


(click on image to enlarge in HD)

Acrylics on particle board.

2017
07.18

Pagan (revisited) – photo-art copyright Dennis Mealor 2017

click on image to enlarge in HD

2017
07.15

Life Nude – copyright Dennis Mealor 2017 (model, Luna at Buderim, Australia)

click on image to enlarge in HD

oil pastels & pencil