This week we find the artist within. Our station leader talks about how he helped us discover our individual artistic talent while Tim displays some of the results of Allan’s art classes. We lose, on average, seven minutes of daylight every day. As the night grows longer, Ben describes the magnificence of a phenomena that happens in a dark and clear night sky.

The artist within

I have not given an art class before, but as an artist myself I believe within everyone there is an artist and if you are willing that artist can be found and will emerge. With that in mind I offered Thursday evening art lessons. We had 17 starters and, with a few dropouts who decided it wasn’t their thing, we have a dedicated group of 12 who are making some real progress.

We did start with some pretty boring technical lessons on how to draw and how to get into that focused state of mind to really be able to do credible pieces so the first couple of lessons weren’t that much fun but foundations are foundations. And what a great investment those couple of weeks were for the new works that are starting to emerge! Already we have an artist with a signature style that could take him places, another guy is doing a portrait of his wife that will melt her heart and another is developing his quirky humour into a unique form of self expression.

Was funny to see the, “you are joking” faces, when I put pumpkins on the table and asked people to draw them but it was the pumpkins that did the trick. It all suddenly made sense and the works began to come out as something with form. Lord Casey was a model one week and, while each drawing was very different, each one was identifiable as the subject. Last week we started at 7 pm and I had to kick them out at 10 pm — they just wanted to keep going.

Now we are casting a wider view as styles and genres are beginning to become favoured by different artists with one person’s trash another’s treasure. My enjoyment of Picasso is not to everyone’s taste but so far we have tried everything from Warhol to traditional Japanese landscapes.

Allan C

Art with Allan

As most will know our station leader at Casey is Allan C — aka George Clooney. Allan is a man of many talents and one of these is his artwork. He has a portfolio of interesting, inspiring and eclectic pieces which range from charcoal sketching to large, abstract canvasses. Allan offered to teach anyone who was interested and give us insight into the world of art. He runs weekly classes that half the station attends religiously to take time out and get inspired.

Below is a picture of Scott B, our station chef, with his latest works. Scott is great with colour and to me has a 60s pop art feel with richly saturated colours — already a distinctive style emerging. Scott has a cleaver at his side during art classes which ensures that his paint is not stolen. He is quite protective over his favourite colours!

Next in the talent bag is young Ben M — aka Patrick Swayze. Ben’s first few pieces have been great. He has a great eye for detail and works in a medium he enjoys or a subject he is passionate about. This is seen with his choice to recreate the famous great wave of Kanagawa. Ben also enjoys wearing tea towels at art lessons as he believes it helps his mind release creativity — a little different but like Allan has always said ‘whatever works for you’.

Third person on show for all you station news readers is Leon H who is our tech from the Bureau of Meteorology. Leon again has a great talent base and also works with subjects he is passionate about. He did an exceptional recreation of Vincent van Gogh ‘Starry Night’ and this is where Leon excelled as he has a good eye for smaller detail. Leon also likes to draw trees which is a pity as we are a little short on trees at Casey, but he is getting by with some interesting photos and other pieces of art. Below is Leon’s oriental piece from last week which is looking red hot! It is worth getting Leon’s signature now on some of his early pieces as he could quite possibly be the next van Gogh. There have been reports on station that Leon has been spotted painting in his frock, a sight not to be missed apparently.

Doug is another quiet achiever. He hardly speaks a word at art but this man is clever as he is soaking in all Allan’s wise words and this shows at the end of the evening. Doug produced a great pencil landscape last week, which everyone had eyes on! Doug also has a remarkable talent of being able to draw left handed and still take VNJ calls on the radio.

Allan has always said that truly becoming a good artist takes more than just raw skill and talent — developing an individual style is at the heart of being a good artist. Mark J has a great individual style that we have all seen from his very first piece of work. Below is one of Mark’s early pieces which is my favourite. He does this amazing colour shading that is really effective. Again Jono is another signature worth getting early.

Jukka has certainly shown the class he can rise to the top! His last piece of work, which is a zebra recreation from a famous artist, had all our eyes boggling out of their sockets at the end of the evening — great use of colour and sharp lines. Jukka is also our ‘brew master’ so he is often found painting in the brewery as the smell of fermenting hops releases his creativity. Again different, but it’s also important to be comfortable in your environment to produce world class pieces.

Next in our talent bag is Matty. I reckon Matt has a pencil or a pen in his hand as often as he has a spoon in the milo tin. Matt has a real street art style. Matt truly does have a exceptional artistic flare and will continue to improve as he puts in the time. Pictured below is Matt with his painting of a Hägglunds and Allan’s portrait of Matty. Matt sometimes resembles a viking.

Second last for today is our mighty doctor. Chad is producing quality artwork. Below is his latest piece which shows good use of shading and an unusual combination of a woman with a male head. Chad is one for experimenting with wild styles. His charcoal artwork is proudly sitting on the easel I made him for his birthday.

Last on the list is a few of my own charcoal pieces. Not really sure where my style is heading but I sure do look forward to Thursday art classes to unwind, have a laugh and experiment.

Until next time!

Timothy N

Nighttime dancing

Slowly as the hours turn to days, the days into weeks and the weeks into months. Well you get the picture. Our daylight hours have started to dwindle and it is now at the point where we go to work in the dark and finish in the dark. It can be a bit of a pain sometimes as time can get away on you and let’s face it: it’s so much harder to wake up without the sun.

Regardless of whether you love or hate the diminishing hours of daylight, everyone young and old turn into little kids as they watch the night sky, hoping that they might catch a glimpse of a fluorescent light show that can sometimes dance across the sky for hours. This is commonly known as aurora australis.

Ben H.