Friday, May 25, 2018

Homage to Pro Hart

by Jenny James for Lisa Jones

Pro Hart was an incredible talented artist from the remote town of Broken Hill, New South Wales. His life's work includes beautiful brolgas, cricket matches, horse racing and never to be forgotten adverts for carpets.

For those of you who missed out... Pro Hart used to take a huge amount of food and throw it around on a brand new clean carpet. "Painting" a dragonfly! The cleaning lady used to enter the room and say "oh Mr Hart!" before cleaning the carpet, making it look brand new again. I think it was advertising Scotch-Guard or a special kind of carpet. I think it was LeCornu Carpets but could easily have been someone else! This is his family's website ...

My homage to this amazing artist started with wandering around his website and googling for pictures because our books show only the silver mines and cricket matches. I was originally going to do something with the brolgas but the kangaroo (or dog, thanks Annabelle) caught my eye.

I used the smooth and creamy Jane Davenport acrylic paints and painted the basic areas of the painting.

Thinking Outloud...
In hindsight, I should have used artists' paint because now I know the real difference. It isn't just the quality or quantity of pigments, the brand or even the price. Artists or professional paints don't change colour as they dry and the acrylics don't have a mind of their own, blending with each other at their own accord. Mind you, Dylusions paint, while it dries slightly different colour to the wet paint, doesn't seem to blend as much as what Jane's paint did.

You know, it could easily be just my technique - the wannabe professional fulltime artist! lol :) The Egyptian painting didn't behave like this and neither did the Cheshire Cat, so maybe its because I was trying to emulate Pro's strong abstract style of bold lines and strong contrast - I should have used a binder or medium as I painted or at least over each layer. Colour shift I can work through when I know its going to happen, and only matters if I'm trying to match something else.

Of course now I have a real excuse, I mean reason, to order in the Winsor & Newton professional paints that I've always wanted...! lol :) I'd buy Jo Sonja if I could but they're as rare as hens' teeth. Except that has to be pushed back again because Miranda has just released a new collection of stamps and stencils... see you in a minute, off to fertilise that money tree!

Homage to Pro Hart, finished painting. Acrylic on paper.
I didn't take any step by steps... but here's how the painting came about... using browns and greens I added the bushes and gave the trees leaves. Next I painted the trees at the front, the middle tree then the twisted tree.

I added a wash of yellow to the ground and green into the shadows. The main fence was painted with a back and forth mix of sandy-creamy-offwhite and dark brown. The dog and roo was next, then the blokes (I love how they still look like people yet have no details as such), finished the trees and added black to selected areas like the dog, roo, blokes and trees.

Mum walked in at this point and I told her about the colours misbehaving - so after a discussion on why she uses fixative so much, I got out the matte medium and added it to the paint for highlights (white and green) on the trees, leaves and the little fence at the back. And added more red sand under the bushes and in the shadows, and finally, fixed that mess of a tree - again. lol :)

But all in all, it turned out ok! I really did enjoy myself cos I love love love painting! Even with the paints having a life of their own :) lol :)

Thanks to everyone who commented in FB and said how wonderful it looked. Lisa has it now and still loves it even after seeing it in real life, so I'm thrilled :D Love a happy ending!

Thanks so much Lisa! xx


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