G’Day viewers, My Name is Graeme Stevenson
and I ‘d like to invite you to come on
a journey of creativity and learning,
G’Day viewers, My Name is Graeme Stevenson
and I ‘d like to invite you to come on
a journey of creativity and learning,
and adventure through this series,
Colour In Your Life.
There’s an artist in every family
throughout the world,
and lots of times there’s an artist
deep down inside all of us as well,
so grab your kids, your
brothers, your sisters,
your aunties, uncles
and mums and dads,
and come and see how some the best
artists in Australia do what they do.
(Graeme) Hi guys, welcome back to
Color In Your Life. We are up in Noosa
North Shore, is that right?(Glenise) That’s right.
(Graeme) It sort of seems we had a
bit of a drive to get here, and we are
at the studio of an amazing lady, Glenise Clelland.
(Glenise) Welcome, welcome Graeme.
(Graeme) Yeah wonderful, and you’ve
probably seen some of the shots as we
walked up to Glenise’s studio.
(Graeme) Without a doubt, I’ve been
to a lot of artists studios in obviously putting
this program together. This is stunning.
(Glenise) It is. The situation is amazing, isn’t it?
(Graeme) Oh it’s the most amazing…
And there’s this massive lily pond outside
and you can hear the ocean crashing on.
(Graeme) And we are literally
miles from nowhere aren’t we?
(Glenise) Well as the crow flies, we’re only two
kilometers from Hasting Street.
(Glenise) Nobody knows we’re here.
It’s the best kept secret in Noosa.
(Graeme) It is fabulous but the studio… and literally
it’s a studio gallery, I suppose you could say, isn’t it?
(Glenise) Yeah, I invite people to come.
I have an open studio from time to time.
And if people contact me… (Graeme) Yeah.
(Glenise) I can arrange visits here too.
(Graeme) It’s fabulous. It is without a doubt
one of the best I’ve ever stepped into.
(Graeme) Your history really comes from designing,
obviously you’ve painted a lot when you were a child,
(Graeme) but you’re also a
Haute Couture designer…
(Graeme) …designing women bridal wear?
(Graeme) …and have won a lot of awards
in conjuction with that as well.
(Glenise) Yes, that’s correct.
(Graeme) Also won Enterprising Woman
of the Year from Quentin Bryce,
(Graeme) our Governor for some of the things
you’ve done. Can you tell me a little about that?
(Glenise) Well if I start with my
bridal designs… (Graeme) Yeah.
(Glenise) …there’s probably a lot
of people out there watching today.
(Graeme) And I designed your bridal gown,
because I literally designed hundreds of
bridal gowns. (Graeme) Wow.
(Glenise) So I went from bridal fashion,
which is really quite extravagant and
you can really do some wonderful things
(Glenise) with designs and with textures
and fabrics; was my great love. And I went
from there to the Brisbane Arts theatre
(Glenise) and I was a costume designer there
for many years. So again it was more extravagance.
(Glenise) It was more color. It was more design,
and that lead me to other careers along the way.
(Graeme) And that really does
come out in your work as well.
(Graeme) You’ll obviously see a lot of
the work popped up in the show today.
(Graeme) But you traveled the islands a
great deal as well. PNG, Fiji, Vanuatu, where
I use to live as well. (Glenise) Yes, yes.
(Graeme) Solomon’s – New Guinea.
(Glenise) Yes, Tonga.
(Graeme) Yeah, there’s a lot of that influence, or
that island influence comes into your work as well.
(Glenise) That’s right. I was very fortunate
because my husband worked in the islands,
(Glenise) and I was able to go with him and travel
and actually get absorbed into their lifestyle.
(Glenise) So, it wasn’t just a tourist view of what was
going on. I was actually living amongst the people.
(Glenise) And I found, I absolutely adored the shapes
and colors that were in the islands. (Graeme) Yeah.
(Glenise) And that’s what came out in all
my paintings when I started to paint.
(Graeme) That’s fabulous. But one of the things
that – and I think it’s very important,
(Graeme) you’re very rounded in
the way that you approach your work.
(Graeme) And really a purist artist
in the fact that you put a number of factors
together to get to the final work.
(Graeme) I suppose it’s like building a bridal gown
as well. You start with the drawings.
(Graeme) And you go from there. So what
we’re going to do is, we’re going to have a
look at some of Glenise’s drawings.
(Graeme) And then from there give you an idea of
how she develops the drawings and then we’re going
to come across to another pastel. (Glenise) Yes.
(Graeme) And then go from there and move to this
piece here and we’re going to work on this today.
(Graeme) so, let’s go and have a look
at some ofthose drawings.
(Glenise) Right. (Graeme) Great.
(Graeme) Well as you can see, I mean, part of the
journey of art, and you’ve had an extensive journey,
(Graeme) obviously traveling through
a lot of parts of the world. Going to the
major museums… (Glenise) Yep.
(Graeme) …being influenced by Matisse,
Gauguin and Picasso.
(Graeme) But a very, very important
part about being an artist is to keep a visual…
and it even says it on the front there.
(Glenise) Visual record.
(Graeme) Visual art diary.
(Graeme) But it’s so important
in producing your work isn’t it?
(Glenise) It is for me yes. Because drawing’s
always been the strong point for me.
(Glenise) Of developing an idea and developing what
I’m seeing, so when I do go traveling like this, I always
have a little sketchbook in hand – (Graeme) Yeah.
(Glenise) never far from it. But I don’t actually
sit there and sketch or draw as I’m looking at
the people. So say for instance something like that
(Glenise) I don’t actually sit there and
draw it then. But I take a little visual
record, which I really think is important in art.
(Glenise) If you possibly can, is to look
and see what you going to record
(Glenise) in your brain later on that can
come out on a canvas or on a bigger drawing
or somewhere else. (Graeme) Yeah.
(Glenise) And we don’t know how much
information we’re always recording.
(Glenise) But if you train your mind and
you go out with a little sketch book like this,
and you’re going along the road
(Glenise) and you see someone going along, or
perhaps pushing a pram, or a mother carrying
a baby, or just something very, very simple.
(Glenise) As soon as you can get back
to your sketchbook.
(Glenise) As soon as you can get back to your
sketchbook do a little thumbnail sketch of it.
(Graeme) That’s a great idea.
(Glenise) And you can gradually train your mind
(Glenise) to reproduce that later
when you need it. When you want it.
(Graeme) It’s a good point because we only,
as you say about the recall, we only actually recall
about 2% to 3% of the scene – (Glenise) Yeah.
(Graeme) with a conscious level.
(Glenise) Yes, yes.
(Graeme) So it’s really important to get as
much information down as you can. But obviously
working towards where we’re going through the day,
(Graeme) and you’re obviously using pastels
in a lot of these as well, plus pen and ink.
(Graeme) I mean, just amazing to see
all of these journeys of what she’s done.
(Glenise) Just little jotted notes really. They’re
something I might just see a little tiny skerrick
(Glenise) and I’ll think, “Oh, I want to
record that,” so I’ll rush back and do it.
(Graeme) and even the perspective
of the figures as well, everything you’ve got
there just sort of helps to build it.
(Graeme) But the one we’re working
on today is the gorge? (Glenise) Yes.
(Graeme) So, we’re going to go and have a look at
the pastel that you’ve done which is sort of the prelim
(Graeme) to get to the painting, to develop that…
I suppose it’s a fairly surreal
(Graeme) or expressionist type of
work that we’re working on today.
(Glenise) Yes I’m not a genuine landscape artist
as in you might think you need a horizon line
(Glenise) and a few vanishing points and
things like that. I rather take elements
of what I’ve seen. (Graeme) Sure.
(Glenise) And if I have recorded them in
little sketches, and it might be a bird here,
and it might be a water-lily there,
(Glenise) and it might be a huge cliff somewhere
else, and a waterfall. Then I try and put all that
together in one painting. (Graeme) Yeah.
(Glenise) And the aim of it is to try and get
other people who have traveled that same journey,
(Glenise) maybe in Kakadu or maybe in the
Kimberley or somewhere in Australia, to actually
relate to what I’m putting down. (Graeme) Sure.
(Glenise) So they don’t have to go along and say,
“Oh, I remember that gorge,” or,
“I was there on that particular rock.”
(Glenise) because it’s not quite like that.
(Glenise) It’s a generic feeling
that I’m trying to express.
(Graeme) Absolutely. Well let’s go and have a look
at that one, we’ll briefly have a chat about that,
(Graeme) and then I think we’ll move
along to thepainting. (Glenise) Okay.
(Graeme) Let’s go for it.
(Graeme) Okay, start to finish.
(Graeme) We’ve got three processes.
Now you’ve actually worked out a sketch.
(Graeme) Now whose – this is actually for a client?
Is it a commission?
(Glenise) No it’s not. It’s something I’ve been
thinking about. I often think that my paintings
start off by just a little thumbnail sketch like this.
(Glenise) And then they simmer a little bit and
until they boil over, and then, I end up with a
bigger one, and sometimes a bigger one again.
(Glenise) So, it’s all a process that’s
going in your mind all the time.
(Graeme) You’ve got a great way of
describing it: “it boils over.”
(Glenise) It feels like that.
(Graeme) Alright, as this boils over into this
one here, from there – you spend a lot of time in
the outback as well haven’t you? (Glenise) Yes.
(Graeme) I think that this is a really, vitally
important part if you’re going to be an artist
like yourself, is to really get out into nature.
(Graeme) And you’re surrounded by nature like
I haven’t seen in a long while. But this is a
compilation really isn’t it, of the ideas of gorges?
(Glenise) That’s right.
(Glenise) Because I’ve traveled
through far North Queensland.
(Glenise) I mean all Australians should
take a trip some time at some stage
through Central Australia.
(Glenise) Through fat North Queensland,
through far Northern Australia.(Graeme) Yeah.
(Glenise) And this one actually relates
to the Kimberley, which is over in the
north of Western Australia. (Graeme) Yeah.
(Glenise) And there, I was just blown away
by the amazing colors, this brilliant blue
sky like you only get in North Australia I’m sure.
(Glenise) And then those wonderful strong
oranges and other colors that came through.
(Graeme) Yeah, and you’ve used pastels
and paint on this
(Graeme) to get it were it needed to go. And
obviously keeping it there, this is a visual reference
for you as well as you’re working? (Glenise) Absolutely.
(Graeme) And then you’ve got your sketch
as well, so there’s a lot that’s going on to bring
your pictures together. (Glenise) Absolutely.
(Glenise) Yes. But it is about training your
mind and if you start, say with life drawing
as a very first step in everything you do,
(Glenise) and then move on to little
sketchbooks, which you take with you.
(Glenise) And you train your memory to
always record what you’re seeing and doing,
(Glenise) then later on, it’ll come back
to you when you want to do some more
work on a canvasses or anything else.
(Graeme) Excellent. Alright, well I think
the audience is probably chaffing at the bit.
It’s like, “Show me the paint!”
(Glenise) I want to get into it.
(Graeme) Okay. Well, let’s put that over there and I’ll
step back and you can start on the process then.
(Glenise) Okay. (Graeme) Sounds great. (Glenise) Yes.
(Graeme) Alright, you’ve got a very impressive
brush there at the moment.
(Glenise) Ready to go.
(Graeme) Absolutely. And you’ve
obviously made a start.
(Graeme) Now, you’ve got some number
two medium, this Art Spectrum medium here.
(Graeme) But, you’ve actually put another
medium down before this haven’t you?
(Glenise) Yes I start with a number one medium,
because I like that to dry fairly quickly.
(Glenise) And get the message down that I
have in my head, before it boils over.
(Glenise) And if possible, then I’m
going to coat this whole canvas with a number
two medium, and then I’ll work into that.
(Glenise) And I’m much happier if it’s
got a general uniform surface to work on and it
doesn’t get all patchy as I go. (Graeme) Okay.
(Glenise) Because different pigments
soak up the oils in different ways.
(Graeme) Sure, definitely. Alright,
well let’s have a look at that then.
(Glenise) Yes and also please note
I’m wearing gloves.
(Glenise) This is new for me, because for
many years, I didn’t wear gloves.
(Glenise) I’m also supposed to be wearing
the mask, but I won’t do that today.
(Graeme) Okay. But you
know very, very true.
(Graeme) Particularly if you’re
spraying and things like that.
(Graeme) You know people don’t realize,
I’ve been doing this for thirty years, you’ve
been doing this for just as long as well,
(Graeme) and after a while
they will soak into your skin.
(Glenise) And also, I’m brain dead so…
(Graeme) Doesn’t look like it to me.
Okay, let’s have a look at this then.
(Glenise) If the painting doesn’t work,
that’s the reason, it’s the turps.
(Graeme) It’s so rich. I mean this actual medium
reminds me of when I was a little boy painting.
(Glenise) In my day, I mean many moons ago,
we really only painted in oils. We didn’t have
the luxury of acrylics. (Graeme) Yeah.
(Glenise) So my basic grounding
was in oil painting.
(Glenise) And that’s where I learnt from some
marvelous tutors and learnt different techniques.
(Glenise) I’m wanting to try and recall the
wonderful sunsets that I used see when
I lived up in Cooktown. (Graeme) Yes.
(Glenise) So as I said this painting you won’t be able to
identify it on a map and say, “I’ve been to that place,”
because it doesn’t really exist. (Graeme) Yep.
(Glenise) It’s in my imagination, just putting
all these colors that I know, some of them
might remain there. (Graeme) Yeah.
(Glenise) And some might get eaten up by another
layer that comes up over the top, who knows.
I start off with a plan,
(Glenise) but the plan doesn’t always come
out exactly how I have it in my head.
(Glenise) Sometimes the painting seems to take
over, and you end up with all sorts of things
(Glenise) happening on the canvas that you
didn’t expect to happen.
(Glenise) But I like that, I like the unknown.
Now I’ve got to try and hold in my head the visions
that I had when I was exploring these places
(Glenise) like Kakadu and the Kimberley. And that’s
really hard, because up in North Queensland
there’s an intense heat and you can walk
(Glenise) for hours through the bush and
then you come to this wonderful tranquil pool
at the base of a waterfall.
(Glenise) And I come back here to my studio,
because I am a studio painter
(Glenise) and all of a sudden, I’ve got
to try and remember that feeling I had
when I got to that little pool,
at the base of the waterfall.
(Graeme) It’s always a great privilege for us as an
audience and me, as an artist myself, to be able to
come into the studio of people like Glenise.
(Graeme) they don’t allow people to come
in here, so it’s a real privilege for all of us,
with all of the artists that we have.
(Glenise) Yeah. Well painting’s actually
a very personal thing.
(Glenise) It’s really something between the artist
and the canvas and later on comes the viewer.
So, until you’ve got it right… (Graeme) Yeah.
(Glenise) …you don’t want anyone to see it.
(Glenise) And that’s the big problem with
making this particular program isn’t it?
(Graeme) We’re all very privileged to be here.
So now we’re getting quite dramatic. You can
see that wonderful juxtapose of those colors.
(Glenise) It’s luscious isn’t it?
(Graeme) So where do you get a lot of your
inspiration from? I know it’s obviously from
nature but, you know,
(Graeme) what happens in your life to bring
you to a place where you go, “This is something
essential I have to do,”
(Graeme) and, “These are the things I need to paint.”?
(Glenise) Well, I think a lot of the
time it’s to do with my background.
I’m a mum, I’ve got three children,
(Glenise) I’ve got some wonderful grandchildren,
and my new series of paintings is all about
something called: “I Am Woman”. (Graeme) Sure.
(Glenise) I like the concept of woman as being
the deliverer of life and linking all the cultures
all around the world. (Graeme) Yes.
(Glenise) So woman is very
important to my whole psyche.
(Glenise) So, that’s where I think my new
paintings are coming from.
(Glenise) And I have – putting my women in my lake,
I’m putting them around my trees. I’m putting them
absolutely everywhere. (Graeme) Yeah.
(Glenise) So, that’s the direction
I’m going at the moment.
(Glenise) But then every so often I turn back
to something else that I really love too,
(Glenise) which was the Australian
landscape, so I go back to that.
(Graeme) Definitely, okay.
(Glenise) What I’m trying to do is to leave a little
bit of the color coming through from underneath
(Glenise) and eventually they might turn into lily-pads,
or some greenery, or something floating in the pond.
(Glenise) So I’m trying to do a little bit with
positive and negative shapes, like that.
(Graeme) And there’s a real sweeping
aspect. Now this is obviously the bird…
(Glenise) Yes. (Graeme) …that’s in there?
(Glenise) Yes, that’s going to be a bird. But the
bird might be a little bit transparent, so there’ll
be a little bit of color coming through as well.
(Graeme) You’re obviously in a number of galleries,
I mean, Glenise has had a very successful career.
And the gallery in Noosa, is Harbourside is it?
(Glenise) Harbourside Gallery at Noosa.
Yes that’s a nice little gallery full of local
artist’s work. (Graeme) Sure.
(Glenise) And I exhibit there. I can
arrange studio visits, which is rather
nice for people to come and see
(Glenise) how the artist
works and where she works.
(Graeme) Trek out to the studio.
(Glenise) Yes, yes. Oh and not far from Noosa.
And also at C Gallery in Brisbane.
(Glenise) And C Gallery is a very progressive
gallery down in the Emporium of Brisbane.
(Graeme) Sure, excellent, yeah. You can see the beauty
of them on the camera, but obviously to physically
(Graeme) see the painting is a
completely different thing because you can
see the tactile sense within them.
(Glenise) That’s right yeah. You’ve got to
stand in front of a painting and actually
have it speak to you.
(Glenise) That’s how I always view art and think,
you know, the great masters, I’ve been over in great
galleries in Europe and places like that,
(Glenise) and there’s nothing more stimulating than
to stand in front of a Matisse or a Picasso,
and just gaze at it you know,
(Glenise) and you think my goodness, that didn’t
show up in the books.
(Glenise) And the illustrations. But the actual
painting just comes back to you the whole time.
(Graeme) That’s wonderful isn’t it?
(Glenise) Yes, I love it.
(Graeme) Just to stand in front of Monet’s
Water Lilies, the trip, it’s just huge isn’t it?
(Graeme) Like thirty or forty feet
long I think it is. It’s amazing.
(Glenise) And you see the brush strokes and every
little detail that the artist intended. Where as in an
illustration, it just doesn’t happen like that so.
(Graeme) That’s very true.
(Glenise) That’s right.
(Graeme) Well we’re making some beautiful
progress here. Those colors are just dynamic.
(Glenise) I always say to the people too who
say, “I’m not artistic,” or something like that.
(Glenise) And I say, “How do you know
you’re not artistic?” And they’ll say,
“Well I’ve never tried.” (Graeme) There you go.
(Glenise) So as I say, “Well go and try, you know.”
And my husband has taken up art now after many,
many years of using the left-brain. (Graeme) Yeah.
(Glenise) And he’s absolutely enjoying it. It’s a
wonderful way of expressing yourself. Absolutely.
(Graeme) Okay, well we’re going to start, or you’re
going to start… (Glenise) Yes. (Graeme) …to try
and put our bird in. (Glenise) I am.
(Graeme) So you’re just using a wet
rag with some turps or something?
(Glenise) A little bit of turps on the end of the rag.
And that’s why the gloves are good, because it’s
not going on my hands. (Graeme) Okay.
(Glenise) So I’m just going to mark out
where I think the bird should go.
(Glenise) And just put in a generic bird. It’s not
actually going to be one that somebody can recognize,
say, “That feather’s out of place.”
(Glenise) or anything else. It’s going to be
a white bird that you see so often anywhere
you go around wetlands.
(Glenise) And I want some of
the color to come through.
(Graeme) Sure. You’re really just
sort of pushing that paint aside?
(Glenise) Yes. So I can put
some white over the top.
(Graeme) So this is where we actually
start to use the white?
(Graeme) And this species
that we’re painting?
(Glenise) Oh, it’s called I think a Glenise Bird this one.
A combination, a combination of a lot of birds
I’ve seen over a long period of time.
(Graeme) Beautiful white birds,
they’re usually quite stately.
(Glenise) It looks like an egret.
(Graeme) It is a bit like an egret.
(Glenise) And it’s really the representation
of the tails like the waterfall is it?
(Glenise) Yes. (Graeme) Okay.
(Glenise) It’s supposed to
sort of continue on and flow.
(Graeme) Yes, it’s imagination. It’s a great thing
to have. Even the fact that you’re using that rag.
(Graeme) And you’re sort of pushing the paint in, and
then you’re taking it off and…(Glenise) That’s right.
(Graeme) …it’s really just a sense of your
expression – using everything you’ve got at hand.
(Glenise) Well, there’s no rules so why not?
I’ve found the gloves very useful.
(Glenis) To be able to go
(Graeme) Oh, thinking about –
when it comes to that. Yeah.
(Glenise) and smudge and do whatever I like.
(Graeme) Obviously getting
things in your skin as well.
(Glenise) Yes. Now I might change
him a bit as we go, as to whether I want to
sweep a little bit more down here.
(Glenise) So we’ll sort of take that
one as it comes.
(Glenise) But that was the general idea of
having birds, having waterhole, having the huge
cliffs up there. And little trees up here on the top.
(Glenise) Just to give them some… other than
just being green blobs at the top. They need
little tiny trunks to show how that,
(Glenise) how big they are if you like, and how
many there are. And where they stand.
(Glenise) I might put a little bit more
green over the top of some of them.
(Graeme) Such fine work, even with a large
brush. Okay guys. Glenise, a fabulous day.
(Glenise) Thank you. Oh, I
should have taken my messy
glove off shouldn’t I?
(Graeme) No, no it’s alright, I’m used to it.
After thirty years I’m definitely used to it.
(Glenise) So full of oil paint, yes.
(Graeme) But it was wonderful and you are
brilliantly talented in this… (Glenise) Oh, thank you.
(Graeme) most magnificent studio up at Noosa.
(Glenise) Well this is the place to be inspired. If
I can’t be inspired here where can I be inspired?
(Graeme) Absolutely. Your website address is?
(Glenise) Yes, www.gleniseclelland.com.au.
(Graeme) And they can Google your name?
(Glenise) They can indeed and they’ll find out
everywhere that I am.
(Graeme) She’s not to hard to track down.
And you can come in and see us on Facebook
as well on Colour In Your Life.
(Graeme) Plenty of people in there
these days and obviously come and
see what Glenise is doing, and everybody else.
(Graeme) And also our website address
(Graeme) But, as I always say,
and until we meet again, remember…
(Glenise) Make sure you Put Some Color In Your Life.
(Graeme) Absolutely. See you guys. See you next time. Bye now.
All credits go to Graeme Stevenson (Colour in Your Life)