Our Guest Speaker for the KAS December Meeting was Peter Griffin .
Investigation, Influences and Distractions
The art of Peter Griffen is influenced as much by the classical painting of the Renaissance as by the serendipity of abstract expressionism.
Indigenous art from different parts of the world (in particular Australia) and its
relationship to the natural landscape influence his work also, producing powerful abstract images that speak from the past
From our Meeting Reporter:
Peter Griffin was guest speaker at our Christmas meeting. Speaking of his art, he said “You have to keep yourself entertained”. His demonstration certainly kept us entertained. Peter describes himself as being “in and out of abstraction” and he paints all the time. Influenced by artists as varied as Vermeer, de Kooning, Picasso, Matisse Klee and Miro, and the aboriginals, he paints in acrylics, oils, water colours, and sometimes he starts in acrylics and finishes in oils. His works can take moments to finish or many years – one work was started in 1978 and only finished in 2015! “With abstract painting you don’t know where you are going but off you go – go for it!” Sometimes he starts by taking a line (with a paintbrush) for a walk, either on wet or dry paper. “To do it well you have to focus and feel you are connected to brush and brush is connected to paper and it is really important work, paint and make good marks” he said. “The marks won’t be the marks you would make if trying to depict something. When the paper is wet the line loses control and accidents happen and the painting becomes alive”. Sometimes he starts with the image and then cuts in with the background, which he feels gives different shapes than if the background were laid down first. Other methods included decorating what you have done, or echoing the shapes in differing colours, or destroying what is on the paper and creating something else over the top. He enjoys the act of glazing and uses polymer gloss varnish, which can be used as a clear glaze in many layers, or mixed with colour. For example, red with light blue glaze for richness. Or the complementary colour can be used on the top glaze for a dirty more subtle dimension. “As you are painting the picture, you are climbing a hill” he said. “As you climb the view gets better but you see another hill and you go down your hill and destroy some of the painting so that you can go higher on the other hill. You don’t know what the view will be at the top of the hill until you get there.” Peter is currently exhibiting in the 40x40cm exhibition “small Images-Grand Visions” at the Wagner Art Gallery Paddington, and in the Australian Watercolour Institute exhibition at the Gosford Regional Gallery.