Posted in Uncategorized on February 7, 2016 by artkleko

BLOG DONATION“A quiet morning at Lillico Beach” (Tasmania)

30 x 30 cms, Luminance & Polychromos pencils on pastel board.

I have just completed a small drawing that I’m donating to the Christ Church Longford’s annual art fundraiser, that will be held over the first weekend of March. This event involves quite a few local artists, many of them being well established and commanding good prices for their artwork.

Selling one’s artwork is the greatest challenge that artists face (even greater than creating art in the first place). The market is fickle and it’s getting harder every year. If that’s the case, why donate some of your art?

Personally, I think it’s a good thing that you are prepared to support a cause and share your work with somebody without a fee. It makes one feel good to give. It’s good publicity not only for the cause you are supporting, but for your profile as an artist. It may also lead to sales of other work that you have produced. It can show that you are not simply ‘in it for the money’.

Although I am a full-time artist, I do it for the love of creating and sharing art. Every sale I have is a bonus, but not all bonuses are derived from sales.


I’M Back!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18, 2016 by artkleko


It’s been 12 months since my last post and more than 2 years since I was regularly posting, but I have decided to pick up the conversation where I left off, and start reporting more regularly about my art journey.

A lot has happened over the past year, the highlight for me was becoming a grandfather for the first time!

Art-wise there has been a lot happening, too much to report in one post, so I’ll post related articles in the coming months.

I’m now with Gallery Pejean in Launceston, where I’m holding my next major exhibition which opens on February 5th.

I have attached a photo of my latest drawing, “Autumn Landscape”, 60 x 80cms. Luminance & Prismacolor pencils on Canson pastel board. This is the latest in a series that I have been doing on the unique landscape of the Midlands area of Tasmania, Australia. I’m getting more abstract as I move through this series, and I’m keen on simplifying the details of my subjects, hoping to ‘say a lot with very little’.



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2015 by artkleko

Natural Carpet
100 x 41cm – Digital Drawing

Another year has come around and already I am planning what to do over the coming months. I am involved with an arts weekend at the end of next month where I will be demonstrating my coloured pencil technique, as well as displaying some of my latest work. In April I will exhibit my first ‘serious’ collection of digital drawings at the Brave Art Gallery, in Longford, Northern Tasmania, Australia.

I started ‘tinkering’ with digital art in 1999, but it wasn’t until last year that I arrived at what I considered was drawing that was worth displaying. Early indications are promising with the first 3 of 4 digital drawings sold. This will be a small collection (around 10), as I am showing in the smaller Gallery B of Brave, but I am up to the challenge of presenting something that will be bright, cheerful and I hope, interesting.
I have included a photo of one of my short-listed drawings.

My subject for this exhibition is the tulip growing area of Table Cape. After 2 successful coloured pencil exhibitions of this area last year, I wanted to try the subject in digital form. It’s time-consuming and challenging work, but I am enjoying the break from so much coloured pencil work.

Should an artist work in one medium or should they try a variety of mediums? I enjoy my coloured pencil work so much that I forget to try other ways of expressing my ideas. For a long time I have been interested in digital art, but I’m doing it to compliment my cp art, not compete with it, although I wouldn’t hang both mediums together. My pencil work has depth and texture, while the digital art is sharp, clean and ‘flat’ with a shiny finish.
As with my cp work, I have several drawings ‘under construction’ at the same time. I like variety in during my studio time as the type of art I do requires a lot of patience.
Maybe variety is a good thing after all.


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2014 by artkleko

TWIST“Twist and Shout”

80 x 50cm – Luminance and Prismacolor pencils on pastel board

For the past 18 months a lot of my artwork has been about the outstanding annual display of colour at Table Cape in Tasmania’s North West, beginning in late September through to October. In March I held an exhibition at the Brave Art Gallery in Longford, that featured 26 drawings, 9 of which were inspired by this region. This coming Sunday (Sept 28th) sees the opening of my latest exhibition that features 24 drawings at Table Cape, and featuring Table Cape’s tulip bloom.

This exhibition features realistic, semi-realistic and abstract work and is NOT about the tulips, it’s about the intense colour and its impact on the thousands of visitors that flock there each year. I will post a report about this exhibition in the coming weeks.

During the time that I have ‘explored’ this theme, I have endeavoured to be ‘different’ and constantly change the way I’m ‘seeing’ my subject. This has resulted in a variety of ‘interpretations’. My latest has centred on ‘distortion’. I have deliberately twisted and distorted rows of blooming tulips in somewhat of a surreal way. I quite like this way of seeing, and I’m interested to see where this journey will take me.

Art is just not about producing pretty pictures; it’s about taking risks, being different, being yourself. I feel compelled to try new ideas as often as I can. Working in themes is a great way to explore ideas without producing the same thing over and over again. After all, all artists are individuals, aren’t they?



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2014 by artkleko

S & S“Landscape Debris, Lake St Clair”  WIP

80 x 37cm – Coloured Pencil on Pastel Board

Coloured pencils have been my preferred medium for the past 26 years. During this time I have come to know my medium well, but I’m still learning and this was well illustrated this week when I took delivery of another 2 brands of pencils to ‘try’. Pencils aren’t my sole medium; I also enjoy painting (acrylics), pastels and digital art, the latter being of particular interest to me.

One of the drawings I am currently working on is a study of a group of sticks and stones from the southern shore of Lake St Clair in Tasmania. I have visited this area many times and completed a number of drawings, but I wanted to ‘re-visit’ this subject after a seven-year break. I have also completed a digital drawing on the same theme and I am presently planning a larger coloured pencil work.

Today’s featured drawing is complex and tedious. It contains several thousand small stones and numerous pieces of wood in an orchestrated arrangement. Why go to such lengths to produce this drawing? Why travel 100s of kilometres, take 100s of photos, make numerous sketches, set up and photograph arrangements of driftwood in one’s backyard? It’s because that’s what artists do! It’s not simply a matter of copying a photo and replicating the image. Artists have to immerse themselves in their chosen subject if they want to be true their profession.

What is so special about coloured pencils? Well, nothing really, it’s just that I have aligned myself with the medium I think best fits the way I think and work. I carefully choose subjects that suit my preferred medium.

Anyone who specialises in this medium would know and identify with my journey so far. I’ve had to face (I still do) prejudice, ignorance and non-acceptance about the merits of coloured pencils. I’ve had work rejected, even had some of my framing methods questioned, but still I ‘keep on keeping on’. I am in this for the long haul and refuse to let such setbacks deter me, although there have been times when I have felt like walking away; it’s these times though that make you stronger and even more determined to press on. I think the fact that I have been drawing for such a long time has seen me develop coping strategies when needed.

Coloured pencils may seem a straight – forward medium to work with, but they do present artists with many challenges. One needs extreme amounts of patience, a strong wrist and the ability to concentrate for long periods. I know this applies to most mediums, but cp can be a challenge to master.

On the credit side, I am always grateful for the awards I’ve won and the art prize finals that I’ve made. Every sale is a bonus, particularly for me as my work is often very personal. I’ve never won a popular vote, but I receive enough positive comments to know that there are people who appreciate what I do.

Recently I was awarded Master Pencil Artist Status by the Pencil Art Society of Canada. I treasure this award; it vindicates all that I’ve achieved over the past 26 years. It has also given me the impetus to plan a retrospective exhibition, hopefully next year.

My advice to all artists is NEVER GIVE UP on your preferred medium. Stay focused, stay determined, keep on track. Explore, investigate and keep your work ‘fresh’ by constantly challenging yourself. Don’t work to a formula because there is a danger that your art will look too familiar. Sales should not determine what you paint, your heart will.

If you are really serious about your art, take your art seriously.


CAIRNS ARTescape 2014

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2014 by artkleko

CAS 2014Last week I was  a tutor at the 9th annual Cairns ARtescape, an initiative of the Cairns Art Society. This was my third workshop and once again it was a most enjoyable and rewarding experience. For the second year I was charged with teaching the Beginners’ class, the aim being to prepare my students to undertake one of the courses available next year.

The week was composed of exercises in a variety of skills culminating in an excursion that produced a series of small artworks accompanied by an artist’s statement.

While the week focussed on planning, drawing, painting and writing skills, the underlying aim was to get everyone to see and experience the value of ideas and research as essential components of successful art making.

A wonderful group of highly motivated students made for another get teaching experience. Google the Cairns Art Society site and checkout the photos on display. Why not join us next year?



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2014 by artkleko

DESERTEDWhen given the opportunity, especially when I enter an art award, I like to add a written explanation of my artwork to ensure that the viewer (judge) can match his/her interpretation with mine. Most major art awards demand a written statement with each entry. Not everyone agrees about such statements, as they believe that the artwork should speak for itself. Unfortunately, there are often occasions when the true meaning is lost or overlooked and that’s when the statement becomes a valuable aide in assessing the artwork.

This is also a very valuable exercise for the artist as they can reinforce in writing what their original thoughts were and what the final result was. It is also the perfect opportunity for self-evaluation. The more one writes these statements, the more one comes to understand not only their art, but who they are.

Art is not all ‘visual’, creating images without any justification other than the product itself. Creating art is one’s response to being an individual who has something to say, and everyone should say something now and then! There is a lot of art out there, but so much of it seems to be ‘busy work’, faithful copies, copied because people have the skill to reproduce images. What we ‘say’ with our art is just as important as the art itself. Talking about one’s art is tremendously beneficial not only to an audience, but to the artist; writing about one’s art is the same. We need to be aware that the role of the artist isn’t simply to produce ‘pretty pictures’.


50 x 70cm

Prismacolor pencils on pastel board

Own reference photo

This drawing is almost completed, but there is enough information available for the following statement.

The historic property Cheshunt, is situated in Tasmania’s Meander Valley in the north of the state. The Bowman family have owned the property since 1873. The farm is still active, but some of the buildings are in need of repair. One of these is the former shearers’ quarters. The scene is in fact inside, in what once was the lounge room, looking towards the corridor. The front door is missing, some of its parts can be seen in the corridor.

It’s 9am on a warm, early Summer’s day. The silence is only disturbed by the presence of a shaft of intense sunlight that pierces the corridor. Nothing has changed here for years. A rusty mug lies fallen on a table that once witnessed the laughter of shearers who gathered each year to remove the thick coats from the property’s sheep; not anymore.

One of the few remaining doors carries the scars and graffiti of over a hundred years of farming; there’s nothing to tell anymore.

The floorboards, weakened by years of foot traffic lay still, decaying slowly.

Drums are now the main residents along with a defiant table.

A thousand stories will one day disappear when this building gives up its will to stand.



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