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Posts tagged ‘Rick Amor’

Influencing Me: Looking at Three of My Favourite Artists

There were good intentions to get you an Introduction post today, but unfortunately I didn’t get myself organized and I couldn’t get someone. It doesn’t happen to often, so I hope you will forgive me. Today I thought I might do something else, I though I might take a look at three of my favourite artists and what I can or have learned from them.  I have shown them all to you before, but not together.  This is for you as well as for me, sometimes we do need to just step back and reassess.

Those artists are Rick Amor, Edward Hopper and Antonio Lopez Garcia.  They are three artists that I have loved for a long time and they do influence me and it is a timely reminder that I need to look at them again, see what I can learn from their work.

Edward Hopper

The thing I love about Hopper’s work is the sense of theatre, his work tells us a story.  It is like a scene from a play or a movie.  I like drama in images, and it is something I really try to do with my images, but I think lately I might have lost sight of that.  It is something I need to get back into.  I keep talking about it, but then never seem to do it.

Rick Amor


Rick is an Australian artist and one I’ve met a few times, though he wouldn’t know me.  There is something quite amazing about his work and it shows how big the world is, or how small we are in the world. His work is fictional, in that he creates his own.  The buildings are often real, but then he exaggerates them and puts them together in scenes that are not found anywhere in reality. His work reminds that anything is possible, that new realities can be created.

For me this is quite wonderful and something I need to remind myself that I could do. I’ve been learning so much about Photoshop and my skills really should be up to a level where I could very easily do this sort of thing with my photos.  I have done a little of it in the past, but not nearly enough, and it is time I did something about it.  I keep putting it in the too hard basket.

Antonio Lopez Garcia


Antonio is extraordinary artist. His drawing skills are so amazing, as are his paintings. There is a level of detail that would require a great deal of patience and very good observation skills. The subject of his paintings are almost boring, they are what we see around us. It is the ordinary of the everyday world. We can find art every where really, in our homes, in the areas we live or away.  For me the thing that I find the most fascinating is remembering the ordinary and not disregarding it.

So do you have artists that you find teach you important things about your work or photography? What have you learned by looking at other artists? Do you think it is a good thing to do?

I am going to put the above images and some others into a gallery for you now. I hope they will help you to understand why these artists are important to me.

Celebrating 30 years of Rick Amor at Niagara Gallery

That isn’t the exact title, I think it is more Rick Amor – Celebrating 30 years of Exhibiting with Niagara Gallery.  I couldn’t miss this show, in fact I try to never miss exhibitions Rick’s work.  So I was really happy when I received a comment reminding me of the exhibition, that it finishes soon, from someone who works at the gallery, so thank you for the reminder.  

The exhibition is work done in the last couple of years and gives you a great insight into his work.  

While I was viewing the exhibition I asked if I could show a couple of images of the paintings here on my blog and was given permission to do so.  

15627There are many buildings in his images and I find the presence of people in them quite wonderful, the way the people just allow you that hint of scale, though if they weren’t in the above image I don’t think it would detract from it at all.  

15632I just don’t think this image would have worked without that man working on the side, it really gives you the idea of how big this actually is.  I think you see it the structure in the image but don’t get much idea of scale, and then you see the man, then it suddenly seems monumental.  I love it.  

15647The beach has been a favourite subject matter for Rick for as long as I have been following his work.  I love the way he depicts it.  The way there often seems to be a storm brewing.  I have to say the concrete bunkers look like ones that are at Point Lonsdale.  

The exhibition is on until the 7 September, so if you are in Melbourne you should go and take a look at one of my favourite artists and one that has been a huge influence on my work.  Niagara Galleries are on Punt Road, very easy to find, look for the red and white building that has “Art Does Matter” written on the side.  If you want to buy one, something I dream of doing one day, then you better be quick, there are red stickers on nearly all of them.  

If you would like to see a lot of Rick Amor’s work, then you should also visit his website,

Weekend Wanderings – Castlemaine Art Gallery

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I went to Castlemaine yesterday.  I had hoped to be able to take lots of photos for you of Castlemaine, but it was raining all day, well, pretty much.  We have had some very wet days, very nice to get, but not great when you want to take photos.  I had thought I would get nothing, but I was told that I could take photos in the gallery, with no flash, and I could also take some photos of the opening, and exhibition.  Now, you all know what that I am a huge fan of Rick Amor, so I thought todays post could be about Castlemaine Art Gallery.

Leanne Cole - Castlemaine Art Gallery 1For a relative small country town it has a beautiful gallery.  I believe the building was built to be for the gallery specifically.  It has a lovely light airy feel.  When you wonder around you see some artworks by some very influential Australian Artist, it is very impressive.  There are a few rooms of art.

I was very surprised to find that it only costs $4 to enter, that is so cheap.  It is run independently and really needs the support of the wider community, so people should go and maybe donate a little more.  Of course, those that can, now have a reason to go and see my favourite Australian Artist.

Leanne Cole - Castlemaine Art Gallery 2The opening was very well attended and the room in which the exhibition was being held was crowded and people were overflowing out the entrances.  Above were the speeches, Alex Miller, an Australian writer, opened the exhibition.  I believe him and Rick Amor are longstanding friends.

leannecole-sccag-2715Here is an image of Alex Miller, on the left, with Rick Amor, they were posing for the official photographer and I pushed my way in.

I had the wrong lens on for taking these photos.  I was using my wide angle, as I didn’t think I would be allowed to take photos, so I had to do what I could.

I am going to put the images together in a gallery now, some are from the opening, some from exhibition and some more of the Castlemaine Art Gallery.

I hope if you can make it to Castlemaine you will go and see Rick’s amazing work.  I love seeing it.  Though I might have to go back another time, I didn’t really get to see much of it, too many people, but I would like time to study the work and take it in.  Maybe go up on a day when the weather is nice and I can take some photos of the town as well.

I am off to Whittlesea today, so this post has been written earlier and scheduled.  I have to photograph a cycling event, bit worried about the weather, but we will see what happens.

Influencing Me – Rick Amor

Don’t forget you can also view this post on my self hosted site, just click here.  I would like it if you would all start following that site instead of this one, this one will start being made redundant at some stage.

Today, I thought I might start something new. Normally I would do a tutorial on this day, but I have decided to change some things, so today I am going to do a post on one of my favourite artists, why I like them and how they have influenced my art practice.

To start this new series of posts off, I thought I would introduce you to Rick Amor.  Rick is a Melbourne artist and I have loved his work for several years.  I even read a book about him, not something I have done a lot of.  I do read a lot, but I find a lot of books about artists very heavy and hard to read.

He does quite a few self portraits, and this is one of them.  His paintings have a very realistic feel about them, but they also have a very textural element.  I am not very good at descriptive stuff, so please forgive me if I don’t go on and on.

The reason I like his work is that realistic element, but it is a reality that you won’t find in Melbourne, or anywhere really.

Image Courtesy of Niagara Galleries

Image Courtesy of Niagara Galleries

In the book, I read about how he will take photos of places and when he gets into his studio he will do a painting that is a combination of several of those images.  You look at the work and you know that he has combined several things together.  I really like how he makes that work.  It is something I wanted to do in paintings and drawings, but I didn’t have the patience.

Image Courtesy of Niagara Galleries

Image Courtesy of Niagara Galleries

Here is the idea of the ocean taking over, or the world disappearing.  I am not going to pretend that I know what he was trying to say.  However, these images really do appeal to me, the quietness of them, the way everything so much bigger than we humans.  He nearly always puts people in his paintings.  I try not to.  I love how the images appear to be abandoned, which, if you know me, you will know that that is something I really like.

Image Courtesy of Niagara Galleries

Image Courtesy of Niagara Galleries

This, I believe,  and I could be wrong, is the bridge that the trains travel on between Flinders Street Station and Southern Cross Station.  There used to be a bridge over the road down the Spencer Street end of Flinders street, and he has painted it here, but I can tell you that the scene does not look anything like this or ever did.  He has changed reality to suit what he wanted.

Rick Amor is represented by Niagara Gallery here in Melbourne and seems to have a major show every second year, with a smaller show every other year.  I try and get to as many of his shows as I can.  If you go the website of Niagara Gallery you can see a lot of his paintings from over the last 10 years, well worth a look.

As I said, I think of him as an artist that has been a great influence in my own journey as an artist.  He is one of many, but he is a major one.  So I thought I would have a go at doing an image today that is similar to what he does.  Sitting On the Beach

This is an image I took at Montsalvat, I have placed it on the beach and put a sunrise behind it.  I don’t think it is necessarily great, but I love the idea of it, and this is a direction I want to go in more this year.  I want to plan my images more and do better images like this.

Because of Rick I realised that it was possible to create my own realities, I just needed to learn how.  I think I am beginning to get those skills now.

More from the Scouting at Heide

Several of you asked for more images from Heide and I thought I would do more images from the garden.  Perhaps look at some stuff that worked, or didn’t, then maybe when I go back for the real trip I will have a better idea of how to photograph some of these things.

Strolling AroundThe gardens at Heide are just as famous as the Gallery.  They are well worth walking around and checking out.  The paths are so lovely.  Beautiful trees.  In the morning it is perfect.  I must go back one evening to check out the evening light on the gardens.

Cows GrazingThese cows are in a large area.  The artist who made them is Jeff Thomson and the cows have been there for a long time.  When my girls were little a visit to Heide wasn’t complete until we went to see the Corrugated Iron cows.  They aren’t looking as good these days as they did when we first started visiting.

When I go back I would choose a different angle to photograph the cows.  Perhaps from the other end.  It is too hard to work out what the one closest to us actually is.

Rick's Running ManI tried to get a good image of Rick Amor’s Running Man sculpture, but I really wasn’t happy with any of the ones I got.  It is a hard sculpture to photograph.  I suspect to get a good one of this, I am going to have to try a few different things.

The gardens are so lovely and peaceful, I think they would be perfect for some portraits, so I am going to see if one of daughters and her friends will come and let me take photos of them.

Revisiting Melbourne

Today I went into the city of Melbourne to go and visit the National Gallery of Victoria.  We got into the city a little early so we went to Melbourne Central and I had another go at photographing the shot tower.

It looks a little plain compared to the first time I photographed it.  Remember the post titled Melbourne Scanned, the Shot Tower had a plane riding around and a balloon, now it is just a tower.  Shame really.

I was trying for a different angle here and wanted to show the high rise that is right next to it, but it didn’t come out too well.  If you look really hard you can see it.

This is a walk way that goes around the old post office building.  Beautiful old building.  It was the post office until 10 or 15 years ago, now it is full of shops and cafes.  I liked the way the lights hit the ceiling.

This is an amazing building and I know it is one of Rick Amor’s favourite buildings in Melbourne.  Rick Amor is a Melbourne based painter, I love his work.  If he loves this building, then I love this building too.  It has been completely redeveloped, but it is so nice to see that some of it has retained the original architecture.

It was a great day in the city and thanks to Judy for coming along and making the day even more enjoyable.  I have some photos of the gallery and of St Paul’s Cathedral, but will leave them for another time.


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