“Salamanca Hillside”

45 x 65 cms

Digital image and Luminance coloured pencils on Arches watercolour paper.

Own reference.

I’ve had a strong interest in digital art for the past 20 years, my love of coloured pencils 31 years. They have always been ‘well apart’ when it has come to my artwork. I’m passionate about coloured pencils and until recently I’ve championed them as a single medium.

When I left Tasmania last year, I took with me my entire collection of coloured pencils, about 3,000 (32 brands) and for the first 8 months while my wife and I lived in Cairns they were all I needed. In February we moved south to Port Macquarie and I began to think more broadly about the type of art that I’d been doing and where it was headed.

Buying an iPhone 7Plus late last year was a ‘game changer’. I started taking more photos than usual and ‘played’ with them to see what I could create. I’m experienced in Photoshop and a few Apps and it wasn’t long before something new and exciting emerged. But that was only the beginning, I wasn’t satisfied so I kept experimenting until last month I begin to see possibilities for ‘mixed media’ work and the first result is at the top of this post, with another (below) as a ‘work-in-progress’.

At last I’ve found a way of combining my two favourite mediums. I also have a passion for gouache painting and I will include this in some future work. But why make such a shift after 31 years of coloured pencil art?

The answer is quite simple. I can’t keep doing the same thing year after year in the same way. I know there are artists who do, but I get bored with too much repetition. I have deliberately tried to vary my approach when using coloured pencils; different themes and different styles. It was time for another challenge.

This new direction is a major challenge in more ways than one and it’s required a great deal of research and it will continue to do so. Each of my pieces will be unique in that they will be single edition prints that have been hand-coloured and/or hand-painted. I’m using quality materials and a variety of subjects.

“Salamanca Hillside”, is my (historical) interpretation of what existed at the Hobart (Tasmania, Australia) waterfront now called ‘Salamanca’, home of the iconic ‘Salamanca Market’, a big tourist attraction every Saturday. There is a former quarry behind the market site where landfill was taken to establish the port of Hobart. What is unique is the ‘black Sun’ hovering overhead, actually a convict leg iron, a reminder of the state’s cruel history, not only concerning its early penal system, but the way the indigenous population was treated.

“Ancient Landscape” (48 x 60 cms) is a work in progress and was inspired by the landscape around Coffs Harbour, to the north of where I live.

It’s early days and time will tell where this new journey will take me.


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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12 Responses to THE CHANGE IS MADE

  1. Lorraine McNeair says:

    Love your Ancient Landscape Richard.

    Lorraine McNeair

  2. Wonderful that a new direction has evolved for you Richard. It is as it should be in art if one is to be continually ‘challenged’. It seems to be working well 🙂

  3. charlee2 says:

    Your work is very interesting and quite inspiring. You already apply your pencils in a way that is not usual and I enjoy the results. Looking at “The Change is Made ” it is hard to detect which is digital or which is pencil….is there parts within the overall…..or is it layers? Regardless, please carry on.

    • artkleko says:

      Thank you, Charlee. I’ve laid the pencil lightly over a lot of the digital areas. Being soft, the watercolour paper readily accepts the pencil. I wanted a lighter look, hence I used a gentle approach which is in sharp contrast to the way I work with pencils on pastel board!

      • charlee2 says:

        OK so now I am intrigued…Are you printing a photoshopped image onto watercolour paper and then working pencil into it. You must have a woohoo printer to work at 45 x 65 cms.

      • artkleko says:

        I have my prints done professionally. I could never afford such a big printer!

  4. Great Richard. It still looks like “Richard’s art” as it should! My newest change from a master of change is encaustic as I am sure you are aware. Can use a lot of stuff in that… photo transfer, oils, some inks, charcoal, pencil, oil pastel embedded shells, leaves etc. Isn’t exploring new directions such fun

  5. Its so satisfying to get involved in a new development! This is a very nice idea, you are still getting to drawing a traditional way, but starting from a new point. Recently I have been working into monoprints with coloured pencils, so a similar approach. I am enjoying the serendipity of unexpected results.

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