The latest from handmark articles

jock young ― pared-back prints

Published 22 September 2020

Acclaimed painter Jock Young reveals a pared-back look with his striking linocut prints.

Gouache and oils of a still life, or boats bobbing on the water, may be synonymous with Jock’s work, but along the way he has always experimented with linocut as part of the artistic process.

“My art is all about distilling the elements of a landscape, and linocuts are the perfect way to achieve that,” he says. “They offer a reduced version of reality and have a certain roughness about them which appeals to me because I like working in broad shapes.”

His offerings in Handmark’s Works on Paper exhibition are testament to this. Jock uses the rough-hewn strokes of linocut to bring the sitting room of a Cradle Mountain hut to life.

Jock began experimenting with linocut back in the early 80’s after being inspired by the prints of acclaimed Tasmanian artist Kit Hiller. Since then he often produces both linocuts and paintings of the same subject.

“I have turned linocuts into paintings. But mostly I use paintings as a subject for linocuts,” Jock tells us. “It takes a long time for me to produce a composition that I am happy with, and so once I have done a painting it is really interesting to explore it a little bit further in the medium of linocut.”

acclaim for handmark artists ―

Published 22 September 2020

Print-maker Melissa Smith and Painter Helene Weeding have been nominated as finalists in separate prestigious art prizes.

Helene Weeding’s raw reflection of COVID quarantine impressed the judges in the Caleen Art Award, which will be announced in early October in NSW’s Cowra Regional Gallery.

Her Isolation Diary was created during a traumatic family time. In April Helene’s young grandson was rushed to Melbourne for a medical emergency. After racing over to see him, Helene used art as a means of softening the blow of quarantine on her arrival back in Tasmania.

Fourteen daily diary entries capture Helene’s loneliness: On day one she finds the experience of being locked in a Launceston hotel room ‘daunting’. A solitary watercolour apple sits on a jar: “As well as being a social commentary about the impact of COVID, this is also a very personal work that reveals the de-humanising effect of isolation during what was a very fraught time,” Helene reveals.

Print-maker Melissa Smith turned to the silence of the bush to impress the judges of the Sunshine Coast Art Prize, which will be announced in mid-October at the Caloundra Regional Art Gallery.

Her sublime work, Reaching into the Stillness, was selected as one of 40 finalists. In it we see a scattering of wildflowers which “punctuates the background of trees and sandstone shelves” of a bush landscape “layered in its own history and stories.”

With the Sunshine Coast Art Prize open to all mediums and subject matter, Melissa says she is “honoured and humbled to be chosen as a finalist.”

katina gavalas ― comforting art

Published 22 September 2020

As we struggle in an uncertain world, the beautifully delicate prints of Katina Gavalas wrap us in nostalgia and comfort.

New art by Katina takes pride of place at Handmark’s annual Works On Paper exhibition. She hopes they transport the viewer back to the time when the world was a more peaceful and certain place.

Intricate swathes of lace, and beautiful sheer fabrics draped over the hint of a female form are Katina’s trademark. Reaching back into her past, Katina’s prints may reference a beloved piece of embroidery sewn by her grandmother, or a treasured swatch of fabric that caught her eye years ago.

“Much of my work is about family heirlooms, like trinkets passed down through the generations,” Katina reveals. “They are a tribute to the workmanship of these beautiful pieces which evoke past memories.”

Works on Paper will feature three of Katina’s just completed prints. All of them reflecting her transition from fashion designer to artist: In Red Roses the female body is celebrated and swathed in a sheer fabric; A lace slip in Sunday Grace echoes a bygone era; while a delicate petticoat springs to life in Romantic Essentials.

“It’s always about fabric and dressing the body,” Katina explains. “And I hope when someone sees my work it brings joy by taking them back to a time when they felt warm and comforted.”

one to watch —

Published 22 September 2020

Finally, congratulations to artist Melanie McCollin-Walker who recently featured as one of ABC’s faces of Tasmania. Melanie’s fascinating story takes us from the beaches of Barbados to her new Tasmanian home. Well worth a look! We will be exhibiting Melanie’s sublime landscapes next year at Handmark Gallery.

jock young ― painting the bay of fires

Published 21 August 2020

Landscape artist Jock Young calls the Bay of Fires one of his ‘favourite places to paint’. Not surprisingly, he has chosen to lead his ‘Art Walk’ to this special spot on Tasmania’s northeast coast which is famous for its stunning scenery and orange tinged boulders.

“I was up there last Saturday, painting on a little hillock, and it was one of the most classic painting views I think I have ever seen. A mixture of those lovely big orange and grey rocks, turquoise sea with perfect surf and white sandy beaches,” Jock reflects.

Next May Jock will be sharing his favourite spot on a four-day ‘Art Walk’ to the Bay of Fires. As all the accommodation is based at one luxury lodge, the focus will be on leisurely walks to find the perfect painting location, with much of the day spent brush in hand.

Jock says this pristine environment is perfect for both the novice and experienced painter. The landscape is a wonderful mix of simple and complex, and everywhere you look there is wonderful contrast. As Jock points out, muted landscapes with lots of greys and sombre colours can be challenging for the novice painter.

“Sometimes when you paint everything is just right,” Jock shares. Perhaps painting ‘en plein air’ with this acclaimed landscape artist on his Bay of Fires ‘Art Walk’, could just be that winning combination.”

Bay of Fires Lodge ‘Art Walk’ with Jock Young: May 6 – 9, 2021

julie payne ― sketching and soaring cliffs

Published 21 August 2020

With its towering cliffs soaring up from the sea, the Three Capes Track is an incredible place to hike. It is also an incredible place to draw. Add to that, the experience of bedding down each night in a lodge after a sumptuous meal, and the Three Capes ‘Art Walk’ is a magical experience.

It is also an experience that acclaimed Tasmanian artist, Julie Payne, will help a very lucky group of people treasure forever, through the creation of a travel journal which will record their own personal story.

When Julie host’s a four-day ‘Art Walk’ next April on the Tasman Peninsula’s Three Capes Track, guests will be stopping along the way to draw their daily observations. Under her expert guidance, they will create enduring memories using watercolours, washes, ink pens and pencils in a special concertina journal.

“I have been keeping journals of my travels for 30 years, and they are among my most treasured possessions,” Julie explains. “In fact, I hardly take photos anymore because what I want to see is far more refined in the drawing process.”

Acclaimed for her dedication to drawing and attention to detail, Julie also has a wealth of teaching experience. Wisdom to share at days end over a fine wine: “This is a chance to have a lovely time with a small group of people, but also to recalibrate the way you are looking at the landscape  and taking that journey.”

Three Capes Lodge ‘Art Walk’ with Julie Payne: April 9 -12, 2021

peter gouldthorpe ― landscape on the overland track

Published 21 August 2020

Drawn by the light and landscape, Cradle Mountain and its iconic Overland Track has been a magnet for artist Peter Gouldthorpe ever since he first stepped foot on Tasmanian soil in the early 70’s. He has walked the Overland Track half a dozen times, and is now excited to share both his passion for the area and passion for landscape art.

In January next year, Peter will be hosting an ‘Art Walk’ on the Overland Track which runs from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. It’s a challenging six-day trek through incredible wilderness, with regular stops each day to paint an ever-changing landscape that ranges from mountains to forests to open button grass plains.

“This is an incredible area to paint. The light and the colours are just so special,” Peter enthuses. “Everywhere you look there is some beauty. Mossy plants, waterfalls, light on the mountains. And then there is the flora, like ancient pencil pines that are just gorgeous in themselves. There is just so much.”

So much in fact, that Peter’s upcoming exhibition later this year at Handmark will be devoted to paintings inspired by his many hikes along the Overland Tracks.

Meanwhile, for his next trek – the ‘Art Walk’ – Peter will be on hand to offer advice, help and inspiration, but says he doesn’t want to be too prescriptive: “I will say – paint whatever you fancy.”

Cradle Mountain Huts ‘Art Walk’ with Peter Gouldthorpe: January 30 – February 4, 2021

walk on the wild side ― exciting new ‘art’ walks

Published 21 August 2020

It’s an intoxicating combination. Sketching and painting alongside an acclaimed Tasmanian artist as you wander through the incredible wilderness.

Tasmanian Walking Company General Manager, Heath Garratt is excited about the ‘Art Walks’ saying: “People these days want to sign up for fantastic experiences just like these.” World-class guides will also ensure world-class service.  Fully catered for, and with all accommodation provided, the ‘Art Walks’ promise to be a magical experience.

“An opportunity to spend quality time in a small group with carefully selected local artists in Tasmania’s most beautiful landscapes is an opportunity not to be missed,” Heath adds.

A black and white world

Published 31 July 2020

The common link that binds the whimsical paintings of Junko Go is the concept of duality, or Yin and Yang.  And, in her latest exhibition this is expressed stunningly in ‘black and white’.

Junko explores how opposing forces are conveyed by colour in this highly anticipated exhibition appropriately titled all about…black and white.  In this most recent outing she explores the concept that these two absolute colours most suitably represent the ‘world of duality’.

“I regard black and white as being in opposition. But they cannot be a harsh juxtaposition, the opposite forces are interconnected and interdependent,” Junko explains.  “I use black to depict negative encounters, such as fear and sadness, as opposed to white that has positive connotations.”

Gentle shades of grey play a vital role by linking the emotional shades between these two absolutes.

Drawing on the gentle Tao religion with its cornerstone philosophy of Yin and Yang, Junko reveals it is this duality that guides her philosophical reflections about our world and life:  “I’m not trying to tell the viewer what to think or classify things. Rather I am just asking: Aren’t we living in a world of duality?”

‘crowne’ jewels

Published 14 July 2020

The latest jewel in Tasmania’s tourism crown – the Crowne Plaza Hobart – has thrown open its doors, and Handmark is proud to have made its mark.

It may be an international hotel, but the Crowne Plaza is unashamedly Tasmanian, and that becomes apparent the minute you step into the foyer.

Four large Tasmanian landscapes greet you. All have been carefully selected, with one even specially commissioned, by Handmark’s consultancy service.

“Even though we are a global hotel, the artwork really raises the whole Tasmanian experience,” Crowne Plaza, General Manager, Linda Collis explains. “The hotel is designed around its local environment – the harbour, kunyani/Mt Wellington, the surrounding bushland – and this is reflected in the art.”

Painter Luisa Romeo has contributed The Many Paths of kunyani; printmaker Melissa Smith has Silenced Flow I, II, III, IV on display; while fellow printmaker Johnathon Patridge has two works in the hotel, Dream as a Dream and The Wastelands.

Images courtesy of Crowne Plaza | Rosie Hastie.