VIP Art Event 2010…

This is set to be a big event for the Artists involved, but also a great event for those with an interest in Art and the incredible chance to dine at Parliament house in Victoria. Book early so you don’t miss out… Note most of the artists have been interviewed right here, take a search and see their works and what’s driving them…

To find out more about the Environmental Expressionists art movement take the link and see more. The evening will also serve as a fundraiser to create scholarships for prospective Visual Art Students at TAFE level.

The event will also showcase works from each of the Artists in the Fields of View traveling exhibition.


Evolution series, the first images – Steve Gray


Here are a few images of the first stencil paintings I have done… results are okay so far. this comes from an earlier post about the idea check it out here.




I’m liking the texture and the colours are so far just three off whites.

Amy Guidry – Artist

Amy Guidry is from Lafayette, Louisiana and is represented by three galleries, Wally Workman Gallery in Austin, TX; The Oak Street Gallery in Hammond, LA; and R. Coury Fine Art in Savage, MD. Amy says she has been making art almost all of her life, her works are mainly Acrylics on Canvas. Her web site is at and her blog is

So Amy, How do you describe your work, realistic, stylised, abstract, narrative, symbolic, other? Hmm, if I had to simplify, I’d say surreal.


One word or statement to describe your current works?
One word – detailed.

Can you give us a more descriptive outline on your current works.
My new work is more surreal than it was and I’m going back to an approach more in line with the original Surrealist movement- taking images from dreams, not altering them.

Why are you an artist?
I’m doing what I love to do.


What did you do before or during becoming an artist?
I’ve always been an artist, except I went from being a jewelry designer to being a painter.

What is your earliest memory of art?
This isn’t my earliest memory, but it’s my most significant one. My mother let me use a set of oil pastels and I was amazed with the colors and texture. It was much better than my crayons.

What or who inspires your art?
People, really. How we live and function, independently and with others, as well as with the rest of the natural world.

Have your artistic influences altered over time (e.g. artists.)
Not really. I remember being interested in Surrealists such as Dali and Magritte at a young age. Now I’ve just expanded the list to include younger, living artists.


You know you are successful in Visual Arts when…
Artists you admire enjoy your work.

What can you tell us about your planning and making process for making art, and has that altered over the years?
I keep lots of sketchbooks and refer back to them all the time. Some ideas fit a series I’m working on, while others may be used later. I’ve always worked this way except that over time, I’ve learned not to be as self-conscious about my ideas since I’m the only one who sees them.

How important is the clarity of concept to you, prior to starting an artwork?
It’s important once I’m taking something to canvas, but not so important when I’m working in my sketchbook. I have an “anything goes” policy there.

How important do you think craftsmanship is to artistic creation?
Extremely important. Everyone has ideas, but artists are the ones that execute those ideas with skill.


Do you have much contact with other artists?
Yes! I know a lot of artists locally and nationally, especially thanks to the internet.

Working towards an exhibition, is it a daunting task?
No, because I make it a habit to stay on top of things and be organized.

Some say the lifespan of many “artists” post educationally is about five years, any thoughts on that?
That’s news to me. I think artists today are very business-savvy and working hard to dispel the “starving artist” myth.

If you could have any piece of artwork in your personal collection, what would it be and why?
Anything by Hieronymus Bosch or James Ensor.

Can you name a favourite artist or three… and why?
As mentioned, Bosch and Ensor, and I’d add Odd Nerdrum. All three have a surreal, dark feel to their work. Bosch and Ensor were doing this even before the Surrealist movement began.


Do you keep an Art Journal or Visual Diary of some kind?
Yes, the sketchbooks I never throw away.

What happens to works that “don’t work out”?
There’s no such thing to me. All my sketches are saved even if I use them years after their creation. Anything else I’ve taken to canvas has been well-planned before execution

Do you aim to break the rules of basic composition, layout etc or do you ignore the “rules” and just create?
I don’t consciously think of any “rules.” If anything, some principles may have become ingrained in my process, but that’s the extent of it.

Musical influences, Okay this is about Visual Arts but most artists have favourite music they enjoy while working or just in general what about you?
My taste runs the gamut, but I tend to listen to a lot of Imogen Heap, Blonde Redhead, Basia Bulat, Jeff Buckley, and Sia.

If you stopped doing art right now would you miss it?
I may as well be dead.


What discourages you from doing art?
Nothing discourages me so much as distracts me – emails and phone calls have to be limited.

Are their special aspects to the making of your work that you want to share?
Nothing special except maybe my magic paintbrush… Just kidding.

The business or marketing side of Art can be a challenge to some, what are your thoughts?
Anyone can learn about business. There are lots of resources out there, you just have to put the effort into it. Otherwise you’ve got a roomful of paintings and nowhere to show them.

Is your art, “art for art sake…” or a matter of “art for commercial viability?”
My work is for MY sake… not for a gallery, not for a critic, and not for what I think is “popular” or “sellable.” I paint what has personal meaning to me and what I can be enthusiastic about. Nobody wants to buy art from someone that can’t even be enthused about their own work.

How do you feel about earlier works in people’s collections / ownership?
I always feel the need to improve and surpass what I’ve done before, but I still recognize the value in past works. As long as it’s a “good” piece overall, that’s what is important.

Is your work process fast or slow? SLOOWWWWW.

What would you say are the top three things, which make you successful as an artist?
Talent, ambition, intelligence.

Some say a measure of an artwork is the ability for it to hold a persons attention or cause the viewer to come back after an initial glance and become captivated by the work, is that so for your works or an intention of yours?
I’ve never intentionally approached my work that way, but I’ve been told by others that they feel the need to get a closer look and that they tend to take more time looking. That’s always nice to hear.

Some artists are more “at home” isolated in their creative process, while others revel in being part of a group to bounce “ideas off” how about you?
I work on my own in my studio. I love to get feedback, but that’s after hours. Otherwise I wouldn’t get as much done.

What or how do you respond to the term “Starving Artist”?
It makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Have you won any awards?
Yes, I guess the most memorable being my 1st place win in American Artist Magazine for their 70th Anniversary Competition.

What is your working routine? Do you listen to music while you work, or stay up late for instance?
Let’s see…I listen to music, I paint all day but sometimes I do overtime if I’m about to finish a piece anyway, and I have, on average, 4 cats sitting around my easel at any given time.

How often do you work in the studio?

How did your first solo show go?
Great! The place was literally packed with people. I had complete strangers coming up to me, telling me they liked my work, giving me the thumbs-up. I couldn’t have asked for a better show.

Do you have difficulties getting into galleries?
I don’t know if difficult is the right word. Applying to a gallery is equivalent to applying for a job. It’s all about presentation and professionalism, which requires hard work, but I wouldn’t consider it difficult per se.

Did you have an inspirational teacher, and how did they affect you?
My art teacher throughout junior high, Mrs. Harris. She encouraged me to try out for the Talented Art program, which I got in, and was always very supportive of my work.

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Compiled and edited by Steve Gray © 2009+

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Evolution of an art series – Steve Gray

Hi All this should be a short log of a new series I am about to launch into, drop by and see what happens as I work to produce a bunch of pieces. Cheers Steve Gray….


I’ve had an Art idea in my head for some time now, even while creating the last “Harm” series, which was a big part of the Regionalis group show I was part of earlier in 2009.  It will use similar colours, I still have a few containers of those colours from that series and will aim to use similar paint application. I will be doing it with acrylics on heavy cotton rag water colour paper about 5 x 7 size, so they should be quick and flow readily (I can only hope!)

The first of two cutout "stencils"

The first of two cutout "stencils"

From the Harm series (see the direct log I wrote on it.) you can see the colours and read about my approach to that bunch of images and the concepts etc. Mainly though check out the images around July in the log I wrote, which uses the word harm white on white on canvas, with heavy textures. The way the words went on (paint wise) and the subtlety grabed my attention, so this new series is an attempt to explore this.

It will almost be a study, but I err to see it purely as such and am thinking of it as an essence approach to the whole colour and texture devices used earlier. Some will be thinking I probably should have done this lot first before starting the harm series as a study into the colours and textures.

Both stencils ready to go.

Both stencils ready to go.

So with two stencil I am aiming to leave the edges as raw paper for ease of framing and the top one will create different textural arrangements on the page.

Concept… Probably looks to the average viewer as a simple exercise in colour but those who have checked out the harm series would be a little skeptical of such a simplistic view. So lets see what develops…