Category Archives: Research & Analysis

Elisabeth Cummings

Australian artist Elisabeth Cummings’ career is going well and her painting is getting more attention.

“I’m not mad about it in lots of ways,” she said. “I like anonymity.”

After years of what Cummings describes as “quietly working away” practicing her art and teaching, the painter and printmaker has had in the past six months had a show in Hong Kong, plus two highly successful exhibitions in Sydney.

“In the last 20 years I think I’ve grown more confident,” she told the ABC.

Her landscapes and interiors are on show at the Manly Art Gallery alongside Lloyd Rees and Brett Whitely.

The only surprising thing about it is that she is 81 years old.


Article by Phillipa McDonald:


William Eggleston resources

The American Suburb X website has a great collection of films, articles and interviews about William Eggleston, one of the key taste makers of the last 40 years.

He is one of those artists after which the medium is never quite the same. These people are very rare.


John Wolseley at NGV

John Wolseley‘s exhibition ‘Heartlands and Headwaters’ at the NGV Australia is not be missed by anyone interested in drawing, painting or Australian art generally.


“The different geographical features and unique plant and animal forms of these wetlands are depicted in the finely worked drawing and rich watercolour washes that characterise Wolseley’s work. Many also combine collage elements and markings made ‘in collaboration’ with the natural environment. Through this way of working, which includes burying works and drawing with carbonized wood found in the bush, the artist subverts traditional approaches to the depiction of landscape. These works celebrate the beauty of the Australian wilderness and encourage an understanding of the significance and environmental fragility of these remote and little-known sites.”

Wolseley_Sphagnum BogLake InaWolseley

Exhibition link:

Picasso’s sketchbooks

Pablo Picasso left us a vast number of his sketchbooks, forming a sort of visual diary of his thought. At different times in his career, Picasso would go back to the sketchbooks to draw as a way of clarifying his ideas, and often, you can see quite radical developments happening picture by picture as he looks at the problem he was trying to solve first this way and then that way.

Famous examples are the sketchbooks of 1928. He was becoming more interested in sculpture and at the same time trying to find a new visual language for his painting, which he felt had come to a halt. There is a striking dialogue happening at this time between the two mediums, where his painting had become very sculptural and his sculpture was showing different ways of thinking about visual space, lessons which he carried through into the next phase of his painting.

Pablo Picasso, sketchbook 1928

Pablo Picasso, sketchbook 1928

These drawings are still lifes (from his imagination) but also human bodies. At the time, he was on holiday at Cannes, spending lots of time on the beach.

“In France the foreshore is also a place to look and be looked at… a place of institutionalised voyeurism where staring is sanctioned, encouraged and enjoyed. Picasso’s art was shaped out of intense looking and he enjoyed the strutting and preening which he saw before him. The bathers provided only part of Picasso’s subject matter. Nature supplied an alternative, for on occasion Picasso phrased the human anatomy in the language of objects seen and found on the foreshore: broken shells, smooth stones and weathered driftwood.”

[Holloway, M (1984) Picasso and women: painting as if to possess. In Picasso – National Gallery of Victoria 28.7.84 – 23.9.84. Art Gallery of New South Wales 10.10.84 – 2.12.84. Edited by P. McCaughey & J. Ryan. Canberra: ICCA. p. 227]

Notice the beautiful use of simple lines to describe three dimension forms; an extraordinary example of hatching and cross-hatching as a drawing strategy.

Lynda instructional videos

All Melbourne Polytechnic students, faculties, and staff now have access to, an online subscription that teaches the latest software tools and skills through high-quality instructional videos taught by recognized industry experts. Users can set up individual accounts to enable access to approximately 2,500 training videos on a broad range of subjects, including business skills, photography, design, music and video, home computing, animation, and web design and development. New courses are added every week. Access 24/7 on and off campus — even from your iPhone, iPad, Android device, or mobile phone — and watch entire courses or single tutorial videos as you need them. Exercise files let you follow along with the instruction as you learn, and bookmarks help you keep track of what you’d like to watch.

You can access Lynda from the library home page or go directly to the guide: