Tim Bowtell's 'Asha' portrait the first of a series of artwork by NEA artists on display at the Benalla Rural City Council Offices in Bridge Street
Over the coming year artwork by a NEA artist will be on display each month in the display window of the Rural City of Benalla offices in Bridge Street. This is the result of an arts bank leasing project inspired and facilitated by Benalla's Mayor, Councillor Don Firth.
The first painting, now on display in the Council window, is Tim Bowtell's portrait of 'Asha'. .
'Asha' Tim Bowtell 200cm x 150cm
Tim Bowtell loves to paint all manner of subjects and executes them in the most appropriate medium.
Tim is fascinated by building and architectural images – many of his works reflect this. Paintings of buildings of local interest – the Benalla Council Chambers prior to restoration; BPACC; the signal box near the railway station, are now in private collections. Tim’s interest in social issues is also reflected in his work, as in his acquisitive prize winning painting for the 2016 Tatong Art Show, ‘Chinese New Era’.
Street Art painting has taken a grip since Tim had the opportunity to paint a mural in the 2016 Benalla Wall to Wall festival. A further work ‘Sticks and Stones’ was completed for the 2017 festival, and a wall based on his reaction to the documentary film 'Cowspiracy' was recently completed for the 2018 festival.
Tim enjoys creating aerosol works on canvas as well as on walls and enjoys the challenge of commissioned work. He recently completed a commission at the Mokoan rest stop which is much admired.
Tim works from his open studio at NEA.
Maggie Hollins offered an eco-printing workshop on Saturday 10th March as part of
NEA's 'A Brush with NEA' during the Wall to Wall street art weekend in Benalla. Eco printing is a direct print method that obtains colours from plants and creates beautiful designs on material. Participants, pictured learning the basics of eco printing with Maggie, created an eco-printed scarf.
Photographs: Bev Lee and Helen Jeffree
NEA occasionaly offers 'NEA' merchandise fundraising products for sale. A memorable product - the Between the Walls fringe festival event T-Shirt in 2017 - another the 'In Your Face' Portrait Exhibition's Poster Project with sales of a selection of A3 posters, and a prize of an A1 poster, We also published a poster for Tim Bowtell's month as feature artist in September 2017 and printed, though did not sell, Cornelia's wonderful ;Nudey' design as a poster to accompany a weekend life drawing workshop offered by Frank Burgers. .
Earlier year Cornelia designed a large poster 'We are Here' which can be seen in the Foyer Gallery and 'We are Here' cards which can be purchased in the gallery/shop.
The idea of a T-Shirt which could be worn by artisan volunteers on duty in the gallery shop has often been discussed and this seemed a good time to do this. Cornelia suggested using her 'We Are Here' and/or 'Nudey' artwork for the T-Shirts. The possibilities were discussed and it was decided to use Cornelia's 'We Are Here' map design for a generic T-Shirt range and to use her 'Nudey' artwork for a more 'limited edition artwork' T-Shirt,which could perhaps be the first in a series drawing on the artwork of NEA artists.
Time was short--the Wall to Wall weekend, when we wanted to begin selling the merchandise, was looming!.
Cornelia adapted her artwork for possible designs and colour ways. A meeting was held with Jason from local FOBIA industries to discuss designs, colours, sizes and more. Cornelia further refined the design work, sizes were decided on, and the order sent through to FOBIA. FOBIA were 'flat out', but promised they could deliver. The quality of the Between the Walls T-Shirt ordered last year was found to be excellent and we were very keen to use them again.
The first day of our 'Brush with NEA' event arrived and Jason arrived early carrying a large box of T-Shirts. Pricing was finalised, signs written and LIse Darcy did a wonderful job counting stock then presenting it for display on Chris Seeley's 'board table' in the gallery.
There was an early swoop of ordering, purchasing then order collecting by NEA artisans keen to have a Cornelia original nude and/or map T-Shirts to wear in the gallery. There is a discounted price for NEA Artisans and volunteer members.
'We Are Here'map design White & Black T-Shirts are selling for $30, 'Nudey' limited edition Red T-Shirts for $40, with a price of $25 for NEA Artisans and volunteer members.. Printed by local FOBIA Industries, the T-Shirts are same brand and excellent quality as 2017's Between the Walls Shirtsl
Where to from here? It's 'early days', so we are monitoring sales and will review prices after the Easter weekend. Prices are higher than last year, but comparable in quality to T-Shirts selling for more in the city and they are being sold as a fundraiser for NEA. At the same time, we want them to be accessible and worn!
An occasional blog by Beverley Lee
March 17 2018
A message from Meralyn Vincent from 'A Brush with NEA' team.
"Thank you to everyone, including Ruth Mollison, Edie, Kylie Pitts on the coffee cart, Justin and Simmon with the kids murals, Cornelia for her T-Shirt design and all the volunteers who put in hours during 'A Brush with NEA. (Please accept my apologies if I’ve missed someone)
I just wanted to say THANKYOU for all the effort you all put in... it was a cracker of an event for NEA and I’m pretty proud of the results.
We did a wonderful thing for the community and I feel like we’re on the map in a lot of people’s minds.
High five everyone,
DO YOU HAVE 4hrs TO OFFER NEA?
While NEA's artisan volunteers provide the bulk of 'labour hours' at NEA, non-artisan community members also volunteer at NEA.
VOLUNTEER AT THE GALLERY SHOP
NEA is looking for enthusiastic people to help with customer service in the gallery shop.
It could be 4hrs a week, fortnight or month. It's up to you! If this sounds like you, please contact: Seamus 0418 540 156
VOLUNTEER AT MUSIC AND ART EVENTS
NEA is looking for qualified, enthusiastic people to help with the music and art events we hold from time to time. You must have an up to date RSA Certificate. If this sounds like you, please contact:firstname.lastname@example.org
We run on the energy of volunteers!!
Come, join our friendly community of creative people.
LIFE DRAWING at NEA!
Wednesday evenings 6:30 - 9:30pm
Commences Wed 7th Feb.
and continues through Feb 14th, 21st, 28th, Mar 7th and 14th
Easels with drawing boards and clips provided.
Please bring your own paper and drawing materials.
Painting (on a reasonable scale) can also be accommodated.
A break with tea, coffee and bikkies is provided.
A gold coin donation would be much appreciated.
$110 when paying in full for all 6 sessions on first night.
$22 per session casual.
Cash only, so the model can be paid on the night.
Note for casuals; there are 10 easels readily available
with preferences going to core participants. Seating can also be arranged.
Please contact Frank Burgers (0488676127) to book a spot
or come in to the NEA shop and pay over the counter.
Expressions of interest can also be recorded at the front counter.
Upstairs workshop space
North East Artisans, 122 Bridge St, Benalla.
Hosted by Frank Burgers, NEA member.
In this workshop, we will be using underpainting techniques with water colour, acrylics and pastel to experiment with different effects in landscape and portraiture.
Some materials will be supplied.
Full list of required materials will be supplied on booking.
Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th March
10am - 4.30 pm
North East Artisans' Upstairs Studio
Bridge Street (opposite Hides' Bakery) Benalla Vic 3672
for 2 days
Bookings phone Jenny Paull 0407 856 048
Payment must be received by Friday 2nd March.
A MARCH SPECIAL EVENT
A BRUSH WITH NEA
complementing the WALL to WALL Street Art Festival
March 9th-12th 2018
A selection of workshops and activities
to celebrate the joy of creativity.
Preparatory workshop for 'Paint Presto' with Janet Leith
Create a painting or drawing of a Benalla building or street scene using selected techniques & mediums whilst working plein air. Students will be instructed through various approaches & techniques to develop confidence working out on the street.
Paint Presto is an art event held in November at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues where artists paint an artwork in a day and then exhibit the next.
Intro to Jewellery Making with Sally Wallace
Learn the techniques for making your own earrings, bracelet or necklace. This taster workshop is a chance to discover whether this hobby is for you.
Gold Coin Donation for materials and use of tools.
Felting with Annie Longmuir
An all ages activity following a demonstration of felting a flower, you will be guided in making a felt bangle. Cost: $4.
Eco Printing with Maggie Hollins
Eco printing is a direct print method that obtains colours from plants and creates beautiful designs on material. In this workshop you will learn the basics of eco printing and create an eco printed scarf that you will love to wear.
Wood Carving with Seamus
Whittling wood has been around for as long as there have been implements with which to do it, stone, bone, bronze, iron. It is a gentle meditative activity where the doing is as important as the end result.
Learn some basic cuts and how to use a knife safely. Have a go at shaping a piece of wood into something beautiful such as a small figure, or something useful such as a spoon. You might also want to let the wood inspire you to create an abstract masterpiece.
The workshop will be run on an informal basis, with opportunities to watch before having a go, sit around and chat, and meet people.
Making dragon eggs demonstration with Merv Beamish
A magical demo on how to make your own Dragon Eggs.
Personal Mandala Workshop with Meralyn Vincent
A lovely opportunity to take time out. Commencing with a meditation to quieten the mind you'll be guided in creating a simple mandala arising from the stillness.
Woodwork Demonstration with Chris Seeley
Chris will demonstrate the creative skills of wood turning.
Round Robin drawing with Frank Burgers
A fun session of building upon what has come before...
Graffiti Mural with Justin Hunter
An all ages event guided by street artist Justin in painting a mural for one of our courtyards.
Art Mural with artist and monk, Simmon Tan
An all ages event incorporating Bhuddist and Australian themes in creating a courtyard mural for NEA.
Keep an eye on this website for further details of dates and costs. If you are intersted in doing any of these workshops please register at the NEA front desk.
"..Learn the ingredients that will set up a tight plot right from the beginning, then apply those concepts to your story as a whole. By the end of the workshop participants will have a basic plan and opening lines for a short story that will keep readers hooked from beginning to end."
NEA, 122 Bridge St East, Benalla Friday February 9 6 to 9 pm.
Please make sure you RSVP to email@example.com for catering purposes and to let Carla know if you have any dietary requirements.
The Lost Trades Fair in Kyneton is coming up on the Labour Day weekend. This is a key event in the calendar for Schloss - Good Ol' Toys and Collectables. Tim Schloss's unique wooden toys and quirky collectables are all handcrafted, with nearly all made from recycled or salvaged wood.. They are eco-friendly and great for the imagination., Tim, a founding member and past President of NEA, exhibits work in the NEA gallery; regularly participates in "Meet the Maker' events and offers workshops such as the 'Personalise Your Own Sword' workshop being offered at 'Lost Trades' and the successful 'Billy Goat Stool making workshop held at NEA in January 2017.
A number of other North East Artisan members also work in wood using traditional methods.
Garth Mitchell, whose walking sticks can be purchased at NEA, commenced the time consuming process of making hand made bespoke walking sticks 15 years ago after becoming a collector of walking sticks.. Garth searched the ‘net’ to find out more about the design, structure, materials, styles, etc of walking sticks. "Although little was available in Australia, I found that stick dressing was a very popular pastime in the United Kingdom, with many sites dedicated to product, technique, style, and so on. With that I was hooked!”
Garth, who now belongs to a stick making guild in the UK, cuts and shapes the sticks by hand, using rasps, planes and spokeshaves. Mastering joints and polishing requires patience and skill. Garth prefers to use Australian timber and to contrast shank and handle. "Handle styles are generally the traditional English styles - Cardigan, Derby, Crutch and Crook, and, to be somewhat technical, in most cases I admit to a horn or timber spacer over a reinforced tenon joint”.
Seamus Foley, also a musician and poet, can often be found at NEA whittling objects which he is now incorporating into jewellery. Seamus uses traditional methods in pursuing his love of musical instrument making, restoration and repair in his open studio at NEA.
Chris Seeley's love of rare and recycled woods and traditional joinery methods is evident in the beautiful tables, trays and other objects made in his Butter Factory workshop in Swanpool and on sale at NEA. Chris is a master craftsman of fine furniture. From old salvaged timbers Chris creates wonderful new pieces using traditional methods of joinery.
Schloss - Good Ol' Toys and Collectibles followers can see Tim's work and enrol in 'Personalise Your Own Sword' workshops at the Lost Trades Fair at the Kyneton Racecourse from 10 am Saturday March 10 and Sunday March 11. .
"Craftsmanship, skill, tradition, forgotten arts and rare trades. Find authenticity, meet the makers - if you love bespoke, handcrafted, artisan trades and skills - do not miss this event. Incredible makers practising their trades; coopers to carriage builders, silversmiths to stonemasons, glass blowers to gunsmiths, over 100 makers at the biggest gathering of traditional tradesmen and women in the country. Be inspired by the 'art of handmade'."
The work of artisans Tim Schloss, Garth Mitchell and Chris Seeley can be viewed and purchased at North East Artisans. Seamus Foley has an open studio at NEA.
Occasional blog by BL
January 21, 2018
2018 Dates for TableTop Games at NEA. Get them on your calendar!
Valerie started felting after retiring from a career in science. Using merino wool (sourced from Euroa, Victoria) and silk for embellishment, she makes wearable art, mainly in the form of scarves.
A member of the Victorian Felt Makers Inc. and Shepparton Textile Artists Inc., Valerie's work has received awards including 1st prize for textiles at the Milawa Gourmet Region Art Show in 2014. and highly commended in 2015 then 1st prize in 2016 at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo.
Valerie's scarves are worn by many people, both locally and overseas. Valerie is happy to do commission work to colours of your choice.
Valerie can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
"I hope to start life drawing at NEA within the next 3 weeks, quicker if the response from you guys is overwhelming!
What I need is for you to: call me or email with a resounding commitment.
To keep things simple, I ask you to pay the full amount ($110) on the first evening in cash please.
See flyer below (or download here) for details.
Mervyn Beamish - 'Artisan in oils and oil pastels, with a side genre of ‘steam punk’'.
“Described by others as a ‘Reluctant Eccentric’, my trademark is a badge studded kangaroo skin hat more commonly referred to as ‘me ‘at’ as in ‘Where’s me bloody ‘at?’.
My life is reflected in my art as a series of ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’ experiments, thus art is, to me, a celebration of life. Each completed piece is the fruition of a challenge.
Primary mediums are oils and oil pastels often moving beyond traditional colours to use roadside dust, genuine ochres etc. I seldom use a brush preferring more rudimentary tools such as window cleaners squeegees, cooking implements etc and am a constant rummager of hardware, cooking and bric-a-brac stores for mark makers.
Computer, sketchbook and camera are the instruments within my art reference laboratory”.
Quick Facts on Merv:
Home: Benalla, Victoria
Where would you most want to live and create/write etc? Benalla!
Comfort food: ‘I love frozen yoghurt icy poles’
Artistic Influences: Tom Roberts; Dennis Hopper; Geoffrey Smart; Cornelia Selover
Current reads/films/exhibitions attended: ‘I watched ‘Frida’, on the artist Frida Kahlo, last night’.
What are you working on at the moment? ‘A portrait of a family member’
What was the first work you exhibited publicaly or sold as an artist? ‘It was a long time ago. My mother was quite a well known artist, I think it was bought on the off chance I might follow in my mother’s footsteps. It was an oil painting of a New Guinea native looking through greenery…it was pretty awful really.’
How has your background/ background influenced your artwork/creativity ? ‘My background includes growing up on a farm; working as a builder and labourer; compiling the Canberra/Goulburn Telephone directory. I returned to school, then worked for the Post Office and in public service jobs including a stint as a draughtsman in PNG. After this I went to art school, then worked in industrial design and as a freelance writer and editor. I inherited my creativity from my mum, who was a prolific artist. I’m not really an urban painter. The fact that I like painting country, bush scenes comes from my farm background. The colour and openness gave me an astute feeling for colour. Colour mixing has always been intuitive for me. I love teaching art – I really do. I like community teaching, I’ve done lots of this in Sydney.’
What’s the best part of being an artist? ‘The meditation. When I get depressed it takes me to another world. It takes me to my daydream world. It’s meditative. Most paintings I do as a challenge, to prove I can do them, to experiment.’
What’s the worst part of being an artist? ‘It can be a challenge to my self esteem. I have needed to get out of the habit of comparing myself to other artists. Like swimmers who swim against their own times, I have to watch that my self esteem doesn’t go down by comparing myself to other artists. I’m fortunate that I don’t have to sell to live…’
What’s the best (or worst) advice you’ve received about your work? ‘Hard to say… I think the main thing has been the encouragement to keep going and keep experimenting’
What’s been the most significant moment in your artistic/creative career so far? ‘An invitation to exhibit and show my work in New York and since then a number of other overseas destinations. When I sell something, it’s a boost to my ego, if nothing else. When a workshop is going well, that really is a thrill…when a workshop sells out and people keep coming’’
What do you find most challenging about (your field of work) ….. ? ‘A fair question. Myself, I think. I find if I have a break it’s hard to get back into the flow of things. I’m renovating a house at the moment and have to force myself to go back to painting’.
When you’re struggling with a painting, where do you look for inspiration? ‘Often I’ll change the medium I’m using – change from oil to oil pastels. I’m always searching the internet for inspiration. I do a lot of digital art, most paintings are planned digitally, not photographically’.
Who do you picture as the ideal viewer/audience of your work? ‘I love teaching…my ideal audience is someone who is managing to get inspired to paint’
Whether creativity in different areas can be taught is often debated – what’s your view? ‘Anybody can be encouraged to be creative – some fall in to place more easily than others. We can’t all be Rembrandt. If the motivation is there, creativity can be brought out, as the human mind has a creative factor to it’.
Where and when do you prefer to work on your art? ‘I prefer to paint in a studio, but I also like plein air painting… Lately I’m all over the place. When I have access to a studio, I’ll work all night. Lately I work in the morning; snooze in the afternoon, go to work at night’
What do you listen to when you work? ‘These days, nothing. The deafer I get, the less noise I want. If I do listen to something, I play it over and over. One of my paintings was painted to the sounds of Meatloaf’s ‘Midnight at the Lost and Found’.
Do you buy your art supplies online, in an arts store, or both? ‘Both. I buy online, but the value of going to an art store is in the advice and range of art supplies. Most art stores have online stores.’
What’s your advice for someone wanting to be an artist in your field? ‘If you want to make a living as an artist, do a marketing degree! Experiment by yourself, go to community workshops, or if you have the opportunity, go to art school. This teaches you to be an artist, not just skills. Troll YouTube – it’s a universe in itself’.
When not painting , what do you like to do? ‘I read a lot; use computers; work on websites and watch television. I’m a gardener, too!’
If you weren’t making or supplementing your living by being an artist, what would you be doing instead? ‘I’d still be writing. I started writing as therapy as I’m dyslexic, but I just took off. I’d be writing, or a grey nomad, maybe.’
If you could go out to dinner with any artist, who would it be and why? ‘Dennis Hopper. His paintings feature a lot of people in situations – he has way of marrying people, emotions and locations in a wonderful way. The other is James Gurney, He teaches so much information in his blog and in his books.’
What’s the art work that’s had the most significant impact on your life and work or an artist– and why? ‘Artists like Tom Roberts. I like the Australian bush artists. I’ve always been interested in and affected by Geoffrey Smart. My side genres include steam punk.’
Do you have a philosophy for how and why you create? ‘No – not that I know of. It’s up to the beholder to decide’
At the beginning of the interview you said you are currently working on a portrait of a family member. What do you hope viewers will take away from this? ‘It’s in the eye of the beholder. I want to create an emotion, for them to see something that’s relevant to them, not to me’.
Merv was interviewed at Rambling Rose Café, Benalla on Tuesday January 9, 2018 by Bev Lee.
Merv has an open studio at NEA , exhibits at NEA and runs workshops including 'Make your own Oil Pastels' and 'Realistic Abstract'. . His work is currently featuring on the NEA website home page and on NEA's FB page., Merv is working towards an exhibition in Violet Town later this year.
You can check out Merv's recent work on his website www.mervynbeamishartist.com .
We welcome these new artists who have joined our NEA family over the past months. Our gallery shop and upstairs studios have been injected with many new creative expressions from these talented artists
Valerie Clements - has created some wonderful textiles..
Michael Laubli - 'Critterz and Bits'- a wonderful collection of whimsical re-purposed metal works.
Jan McQuitty - offers her stunning nature art in a variety of practical products including cards, placemats and framed prints.
Ruth Mollison - 'Molificent Nosillom' - has settled into her upstairs studio. You can view her work in the walk through space leading to the upstairs workshop room.
Phyllis Sullivan - a wide range of intricate machine embroidery pieces ranging from the very small to large wall hangings
Glass Inspirations by Natasha Young - shares with us her glass mosaics and beautiful jewellery pieces.
We will share more information about their work on the website in the coming months.
Bald Archy Exhibition
Benalla Street Art Wall to Wall Festival
Benalla Street Art Map
Benalla Youth Action Committee
Juddy Roller Wall to Wall
Benalla Art Gallery
Shepparton Art Museum
GANEAA (Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance)
Wangaratta Art Gallery
Table Top Games at NEA