So last night I had a break through with my self-esteem my miserable companion within myself and painted for 5 owerrsssss
I sat down and asked my intuition what is up how can I stop mentally beating myself into a pulp
Luckily I was sat in front of my desk easel and recently found an artist I really like called Michaël Borremans so got a painting of his out of my sketchbook and just started painting it!
Although I thought I’d hate having music on at the same time as painting it totally works if you’re wanting to paint for a long time, you drift, and surprisingly you can focus more on what you’re doing, or less and just let your body glide. I think it’s proven to be better for learning as well. Check out Improvement Pill’s videos on YouTube.
Another YouTuber that I’ve seen preeeetty much all of her videos is Robin Clonts’, check her out she’s very funny, does art skits, plus tutorials, tips and the like. Her videos helped me get motivated and pretty much pull confidence in myself from seemingly nowhere (I know, it’s inside but seriously when is it ever) (jk inside pls free up) ok.
So I listened to her acrylic tutorials even though I don’t do landscape stuff right now but I’m wanting to do some plein air very soon anyway.
Occasionally, Unsettling America will select and showcase featured artists for their contributions to the discourse of decolonization. Today’s featured artists are Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes of Dignidad Rebelde:
Dignidad Rebelde is a graphic arts collaboration between Oakland-based artist-activists Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes. We believe that art can be an empowering reflection of community struggles, dreams and visions. Following principles of Xicanisma and Zapatismo, we create work that translates people’s stories into art that can be put back into the hands of the communities who inspire it.
We recognize that the history of the majority of people worldwide is a history of colonialism, genocide, and exploitation. Our art is grounded in Third World and indigenous movements that build people’s power to transform the conditions of fragmentation, displacement and loss of culture that result from this history. Representing these movements through visual art means connecting struggles through our work…
Idk why this dumb embed isn’t working but can you please watch Holley’s video All Round the Bend it’s so nice, it captures in the song his belief in divine intervention to create his artwork and that his artwork’s direction really comes from within.
Holley is a man of many myths and talents. Born in Jim Crow-era Birmingham, Alabama, as the seventh of 27 children, Holley traveled across the South and held a wide array of jobs before making his first artwork at the age of 29.
Well known for his assemblages, Holley incorporates natural and man-made objects into totemic sculptures. Materials such as steel scrap, sandstone, plastic flowers, crosses, and defunct machines commemorate places, people, and events. The exhibition will feature a selection of sculptures and drawings on loan from the artist. In addition to these works, Holley will create site specific installations reflective of the spontaneous and improvisational nature of his creative process.
Thornton Dial was born on a cotton plantation and did steel work, never learning to read or write – and was a self-taught artist. Discovered by Lonnie Holley, he was later approached by Bill Arnett who bought Dial’s work into the white world of art. Controversy that tarnished the two men’s reputations provides insight into the life of black artists and ‘outsider’ art through the eyes of white art institutions. The positive return of the story becomes that the black artist is given legitimacy and been accepted, their art being taken in by the institutions that had initially devalued them.
Born in 1955 in Monto, Queensland, Gordon Bennett lived and worked in Brisbane before his unexpected death in 2014. His bold and humane art challenged racial stereotypes and provoked critical reflection on Australia’s official history and national identity. Bennett was one of Australia’s most significant and critically engaged contemporary artists, addressing issues relating to the role of language and systems of thought in forging identity. He rejected racial stereotypes and freed himself from being categorised as an Indigenous artist by creating an ongoing pop art inspired alter ego, John Citizen, who he considered to be ‘an abstraction of the Australian Mr Average, the Australian Everyman’. In the late 1990s Bennett began a dialogue with the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a New York artist who shared with Bennett a similar western cultural tradition and an obsession with drawing, semiotics and visual language.
Bennett has combined six key scenes in the process of colonisation – the arrival of the fleet, the raising of the Union Jack, the murder, imprisonment and demoralising of Aboriginal people – with stencilled words that stamp the brutality of that process. Using a palette that successively darkens from white to black, he tracks the dismay of Aboriginal people at the invasion of their land to their dismissal as inhabitants of it, using the visual and verbal language of oppression that was integral to the colonising process. To ‘dis’ something in English means not only to disrespect; when used as a prefix it reverses and undoes the meaning of the root word, and can thus ‘refer to negation, opposition, separation, or deprivation’. The repetition of ‘dis’ in each word in Untitled (dismay, displace, disperse, dispirit, display, dismiss) sets up a rhythm; a beat which marches in grim lockstep with each image to its termination in the empty black square of ‘dismiss’.
Gordon Bennett’s art tackles and confronts the complex histories of European colonisation and the narratives of Western art history. His suite of soft ground etchings directly reference the early twentieth-century Russian artist Kasimir Malevich’s painting Black Square of 1915; and the French artist Yves Klein’s passion for the colour ultramarine blue. Historically, Malevich’s painting is considered ground zero; the complete erasure of representation to create a space of feeling and perception. In a related way, Klein’s obsession with ultramarine was an attempt to capture the boundless transcendence of the void, the skies and infinity. Depicting diving boards, angels and black squares Bennett’s etchings reference these utopian ideals, questioning whether it is possible to leap into these so-called essences of Western art history after more than 200 years of dispossession.
All text and images sourced from the MCA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Image source Tate Modern from article Five things to know: Gordon Bennett
On the blue-blocked sections are dates, the following information was provided by the artist:
1788 Colony established. Flag raised.
1796 First legally sanctioned massacre of Aboriginal people – Hawkesbury River area – troops sent from Parramatta.
1799 – First murder trial of five whites for the murder of two Aboriginal boys – found guilty but released – pardoned three years later.
1802 – Pemulwuy killed and decapitated, his head sent to England.
1803 – First colony established in Tasmania
1804 – First massacre of Aboriginal people in Tasmania, at Risdon Cove.
1813 – Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson cross the Blue Mountains into Wiradjuri land.
1824 – Massacres of Wiradjuri people.
1838 – Myall Creek massacre in northern New South Wales. First white man hung – against public opinion and in a retrial after acquitted in first trial – for the murder of Aboriginal people. This creates a climate of secrecy around further murders.
1857 – Yeeman people (near Roma, Queensland) massacred.
1861 – Largest massacre of whites by Aboriginal people in reprisal for hundreds of Aboriginal deaths, at Cullin-la-Ringo Station, Queensland by the Kairi people.
1869 – Tasmania, William Lanney – touted as the last Aboriginal male – died. His grave is looted and skeleton stolen.
1876 – Tasmania, Truganini – touted as the last Aboriginal female – died. Her skeleton is put on display (against her last wishes) in the Tasmanian Museum.
1928 – Coniston massacre in the Northern Territory, near Yuendumu. Those responsible vindicated in an official (cover up) inquiry ending 7 February 1929.
1971 – Yirrkala, Gove Peninsula, land rights thrown out of court.
1972 – Aboriginal Tent Embassy set up in Canberra. Gough Whitlam elected and Blue Poles by Jackson Pollack purchased for Australia (public outraged).
1976 – Truganini’s bones cremated and her ashes dispersed in the wind.
1992 – Mabo case is won – Terra Nullius overturned.
Information provided by the artist
Gordon Bennett’s paintings in the late 1980s and early 90s were informed by theories about appropriation – the borrowing of images from other artists and visual sources – and by post-colonial theories about identity and history. Appropriation allowed Bennett to refer to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal art, and situate his painting in a fluid area between these two overlapping forms of contemporary art.