My work is getting simpler as I get older. Now 63, I have over 40 years’ art experience. I’ve tackled everything from photo-realism to abstraction. What interests me at this point in time is trying to say ‘a lot with very little’. This is not as easy as one may think. Those who are critical of such work often fail to realise the challenge artists who work this way have to face. I’m fortunate that I have a lot of experience in decision-making when it comes to planning my artwork. I’m rarely interested in ‘photographic artwork’ these days, but it’s so popular with many artists and the public alike and it sells!

All artwork has value, but there are times when I see brilliant, individual work and and there are times when I see ‘rubbish’. It’s all a matter of opinion. Work that is popular is not always rated highly with art critics. Being ‘different’ is more important (and necessary) these days with so many ‘artists’ about.


flat b

.My last exhibition in March, was well received and sales were very pleasing. This was a collection of semi-abstract work in coloured pencil. Tasmania is quite conservative when it comes to art, but I have noticed lately a change, albeit slow, that has seen a greater acceptance of drawing and digital art. My next show in September is a (deliberate) collection of realism, semi-abstract and abstract drawings in coloured pencil.

Today, I’ve included some examples of my latest forays into the world of digital art, (a secret passion of mine)t that feature the tulip fields of Table Cape in Tasmania’s North- West seen in very simple terms. I have tried to give each artwork a ‘feeling’ of the Table Cape landscape. Each work is around 50 x 75cm and I’ll have them printed on clear acrylic. I chose this medium to obtain clear, sharp and vibrant colours. I’m not sure when and where I’ll show this work, but I suspect that some will be seen at the Brave Art Gallery in Longford.

It’s early days and I have a lot to do before I have some printed and mounted, ready to be hung. I want to get this imagery fully resolved and marketed the right way.  Although more needs to be done, I enjoy experimenting with ideas, techniques and art mediums. I am essentially a coloured pencil artist, but all artists need an ‘escape’ now and then in order to keep their mainstream work ‘fresh’.

Maybe one day, I’ll switch mediums.


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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12 Responses to MINIMALISM

  1. Donna Ryan says:

    How do you ‘do’ digital art? Photoshop? Illustrator? Something else entirely different?

  2. Donna Ryan says:

    I also understand what you mean about the concept of minimalism being more difficult than people realise. When I had a job, I was a copywriter. What a lot of people don’t realise is that the art of copywriting is all about minimalism (not always, sometimes ‘long copy’ is in order). That is, getting the marketing message across with only as many words needed to make the statement. That’s why you get slogans and tag lines such as, “Just Do It”, and “Coke adds life”. What people don’t realise is that to get to these basic statements, the writing can start out with many, many words, sometimes paragraphs long, and it’s worked at and worked at and reconceptualised until only the number of words needed to get the message across in as powerful way as possible. Good novelists do this, too. The finished writing looks simple and easy, yet a basic powerful sentence can have started out as very wordy and flowery to begin with. It’s honed down and whittled and re-worked until the words produce a powerful visual. I was always one of those people who didn’t understand abstract art, but I got a sense of how tricky it is when I watched a DVD about producing semi-realism. Most of it came out of the artist’s head! And I realised in that moment that that would be terrifying–trying to produce something that actually looked ok or meant something from out of thin air; without a model or photo to go on. That would be hard, to produce something that actually had some impact. So I suppose those are my thoughts on minimalism and my experience with how much more challenging it is – especially abstract – to produce work. I think you are very brave!

    • artkleko says:

      It’s great that you understand the principles of minimalism, Donna, not many do! Our society is losing its ability to imagine. The big problem with realism is once you have seen an image, what else is there for you to discover when you view it again? I’m not saying that all realism is unimaginative, some artists use this very cleverly in their work and I applaud that. I also applaud those who ‘go against the grain of popularism’ and try and make people ‘work out’ what their art is ‘saying’.
      My abstract art is based on my observations of the landscape. I’m always in charge because I’m working with the ‘known’, not making it up as I go. I do though, take risks now and then, but I’m confident enough to try the ‘unusual’ when appropriate.

  3. Denise says:

    i for one enjoy your brave new world. it is ver yvery very hard to move intoit but as your long time fan. I can on;y wish great sucess for your endevor.

    • artkleko says:

      Thanks Denise for your continued support, I value it very much. I’m not sure if this ‘departure’ will bear any fruit, but I’m enjoying the experience!

  4. Dale Lysle says:

    Richard, your work is wonderful……less is more……..

  5. These are wonderful, I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed following you for the last two years and seeing you journey into the abstract. Fascinating and insightful as ever. Thankyou. Karen

  6. merril thompson says:

    yeah, agree! The first stage for people is to enjoy a ‘photo’ painting with some emotion in it, then as they go on, they gradually come towards abstract, minimalism, etc.
    re digital work, there is a digital group on facebook called Holographic Lounge Room Experience which specialises in holding digital art shows once a month for a solo or group artist, the work is not necessarily done on a computer, but photographed and projected onto a wall at a public showing for comment, enjoyment & sale. It is based in Launceston but has members all round the place, worth investigating.

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