Approaching Graham Fransella’s studio I hear guitar riffs emanating from the former fish and chip shop which has been Graham’s creative space since 1999. The large interior holds a printmaking workshop, replete with etching tools, hot plates and associated paraphernalia, leading past a guitar and amp (where the avid guitar player unwinds) to a light filled painting studio with easels caked in paint conveying a journey of colour through Graham’s oeuvre. Graham is equally skilled with an intaglio burnisher as he is with a paintbrush, as evidenced with awards for printmaking as well as being a finalist in the Archibald, Dobell and Sulman Drawing Prizes, and winning the AGNSW Wynne Trustees Watercolour Prize five times.
Geoffrey Carran is a painter and illustrator from New Zealand who now lives in Jan Juc, Victoria.
Since childhood Carran has filled journal after journal with visual ideas, plans and working drawings. If he wants to understand something, he draws it. “I never thought of it as art,” he says. “I never thought of it as a separate entity from anything else. Art’s a good way to explore anything and everything. It was easy to apply myself to.” He always intended to become an artist, undaunted by naysayers in late high school who told him he’d never make a living.
From the Age Spectrum section’s ‘Meet The Maker’ column, painter and textile artist Lucas Grogan:
Grogan left home early and studied art at Newcastle University between 2003 and 2008. By his own admission, he “failed spectacularly”, but learned on the job about life as a practising artist via volunteer and paid jobs (from gallery attendant to exhibition installer and floor manager) at artist-run and commercial galleries in Newcastle and Sydney.
His break came in 2008 at the age of 24, soon after he began exhibiting his two-colour paintings and embroidered textiles. “I was lucky enough to be put into the … sideshow for the Biennale in Sydney,” he says. “I was the youngest, the only student, and things sort of took off from there.”
Photo by Simon Schluter. Article by Kath Dolan.
The Age newspaper on a Saturday contains a section called Spectrum, the general arts and ideas supplement.
Spectrum always contains a column called ‘Meet The Maker’ where they profile a creative artist of some kind and discuss their training, work history and their professional practice. It’s a great resource for all of us who are thinking about future career possibilities. I recommend you look for it every Saturday.
On 21 February, their subject was puppet-maker Rob Matson, who just like you, studied art at tertiary level before finding the area he was most interested in.
Matson studied art at RMIT, trained as a teacher and taught for a year before deciding to seek his “fortune” overseas. In 1983, on the eve of his departure, he had his mind properly blown at the Australian International Puppet Festival in Adelaide by US-born, Munich-based Eric Bass’ moving meditation on ageing, Autumn Portraits. “I was just completely captivated by it and I thought, ‘That is what I want to do'”.