Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Creative Drawing.

Peter Kreet. "Seated Nude."
Pen & ink.

There are several approaches to drawing depending on the personality of the drawer. An analytical mind may feel that accuracy should score highly on any scale of competency. At the other end would be people who greatly value the spontaneous, even the gestural act of mark making. Then there is the drawing of children were the inner instinct of what a child feels about what they are representing has central place. This type of drawing greatly appeals to me as it is that free spiret, that spontaneous interpretation of what ever is being drawn, it's life force that is so wonderful.

Spontaneity has many faces, children's drawing most certainly is one category, Matisse and his fauve friends form another. They loved the life and vigor of this open approach in both drawing and painting. Drawing is more than simply an exercise in hand and eye co-ordination, it is also a journey of investigative possibilities for different ideas. Its' practice, unlike painting demands a far more intimate approach. A certain degree of intentness is required without the author descending into a ridged interpretation of their subject.

A sketch demands a rapid path to produce a free expressive outcome, otherwise the result will be tentative, unsure of itself. There must be a ridged economy of means, so the visual outcome is to a certain extent symbolic, a blue print if you like. An expressive sketch dosen't need correction to any extent, it is purely a moment , an impression of a situation or moment in time. To me this the most rewarding drawing and naturally the most difficult to obtain. It must capture the moment, attempt to capture and possess the subject.
Many critic will argue that this is a very emotional and not a professional approach, but I feel this is the most intimate way of interpreting the world.

A viewer needs to move up close to a drawing, to create a close relationship in order to fully understand the dialogue. The intent in drawing is simply to make an immediate mark on a surface without inhibitions, to express your relationship with the subject. Creative drawing allows another person to view the world through an others eyes, to see the world through their prism and experience and understand an others temperament towards our world.

Peter Kreet "Japenese Bridge, Hoi An"

Peter Kreet "Waiting for the bus"
Brush & ink.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Road to Ithica.

After a week or so in Salonika we decided to cross the central mountain range to the western coast of Greece .Little did we realise at the time the grandeur of the country  we were about to pass through.  Boarding a rather old bus on the outskirts of town we set out to travel across Greece, hopefully in our quest to discover the lost city of Odyssey when we reached Ithaca. Even today great uncertainty still surrounds the exact location of this legendary Trojan Hero's palace.

A vast expanse of mountain of tops, melting snow and perilous slopes greet the eyes, the sides of which were covered with wild chestnuts and ash forests. Small villages and hamlets clung to the mountain side, often their deep gullies had been turned into narrow terrences to bury the dead. This was the territory so vividly described in many books on the Greek Civil War. Houses perched on hill tops surveying the scene looking for an approaching enemy like an eagle. At times our bus would edge around the sharp corners, as the road plunged hundreds of metres into the abyss, these roads were not built for the 20th cent. Albania was not far away in the distance and my thoughts drifted back to what I knew of the Greek Civil War. I tried to imagine what it must have been like,  the various political factions fighting each other, at times brother against brother,  trying to stay alive in this hostile landscape. The Communists had their route to Albania, while the Nationalist had to dragged their supplies and re enforcements across this wilderness. Then there was the poor peasant families caught in the middle, having to keep changing sides in order to survive. The women abused by one side then the other, it must have been hell on earth.

Slowly the trees turned to pine as the road continued to cling to the mountain side, the now rocky landscape covered in snow stretched as far as the eye could see. Suddenly we were above the cloud cover, basking on a sunlight peak a worthy home for the gods. Such is the road to Ithaca. Gradually we descend after several hours of unsurpassed mountain vista to Ianina on the shore's of a lake before turning south to Preveze. Fittingly we crossed to Lefkada by boat and the realm of Odysseus.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Beethoven's Nine Symphonies.

Last night [26th] Sebastian Lang-Lessing conducted the first concert of all of Beethoven's Symphonies. It is an appropriate gesture from the Chief Conductor's final concert series, after  eight years at the helm of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Playing all of Beethoven's Symphonies over ten days would be a challenge to most orchestras and to the best of my knowledge this is the first time it has been attempted in Australia. Beethoven is complex in more ways than one and requires considerable dexterity to play all the symphonies one after the other.I must report that the TSO played the First and Third in a most impressive manner.

The choice of Beethoven's symphonies as his parting gift is all the more pertinent as the Third was first performed in public in1805, one year the establishment of Hobart and the settlement of Van Diemens Land. Beethoven holds a special place not only in many music lovers hearts, but as a commented democrat. His music
there for acts as a bridge between Classical and Romantic music, but also stands as a symbol between the ancien regime and the modern world.

The music transcends emotional high and lows, textures and mood-swings interchange throughout the performance without hesitation. the beautiful variation in tonal contrasts and melody were a delight. Hobart is going to miss Sebastian greatly, as over the years of his stewardship he has lifted the TSO to new heights. This suit of Beethoven's symphonies will long be remembered as a treasured parting gift.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thessaloniki-Cultural Capital of Europe

Church of Evangelistria, Thessaloniki.

In 1997 Salonika was declared  Cultural Capital of Europe, an idea developed by the Greek actress Melina Merkouri as Minister of Culture in the Greece. It involved a city being nominated by various National Governments, during the year countries from the four corners of the globe send a variety of exhibitions, musical and theatrical performances, writers and artists conferences to the host city. Salonika as Thessaloniki is commonly called, staged some two hundred individual events throughout the year, so that no matter what time  you visited, there was always going to be some thing worthy of viewing. It would be hard for me to pick and chose what was best, but some events I was lucky to see are worth a mention.

One of the most popular exhibitions would have to have been the treasures of Athos. The morning I visited there appeared to be just about every women in Greece, queueing to view items that are hidden from female eyes. I feared that they must have been disappointed, despite some wonderful Cretan Icons and the large collection utensils that keep the monks company in their hermit like existence on Athos Peninsula. Only males allowed are allowed to visit ,this collection of Greek, Russian and other Orthodox monasteries.

Salonika has a large and diverse mix of nationalities. At the time of independence it was the largest Jewish city in the world, in fact Greeks were a minority. The large populations of Armenians , Bulgarians, Albanians all seem to be represented along with half the nationalities of the planet. This seems to have produced a very handsome population, stunning women and good looking men, all dressed to kill, the result of centuries of hybridisation. Another side effect of this was the numerous exhibitions, theatrical , musical performances during the Festival dedicated to these ethnic groups. The Armenian painting exhibition was disappointing, it was an historical or retrospective survey from 1840 to 1980, the works were all owned by Armenian families still living in Salonika of which there seemed to be a large number.

The Museum of Modern Art proved to be a surprise, the building being a work of art in itself not that you could tell from the outside. The interior however was consisted of a large light well raising three stories with a green glass staircase in the middle. The floor itself was also glass exposing sections of  Roman and Byzantine   
walls and foundations. The bottom of the staircase rested on a marble plinth and occupied about one third of the floor space. At each floor galleries radiated out like spokes of a wagon wheel, these were of a more conventional nature. One was exhibiting the work of a Greek textural artist of the Tapie type. He had started  working in a gestural style in the 50's and then developed through the use of shadow to his current photo montage work. Another exhibition nearby was Goya's war etchings the details at times being hard to view.

Umbrella Sculpture. Symbol for Thessaloniki Cultural Year.

Saloniki's Harbour frount with the unbrella sculpture.

This multi cultural identity became the main theme and symbol for Salonika's year in the sun.
Large sculptural umbrellas were commissioned to run around the harbour boulevard, these symbolised the shelter the city has offered to displaced and homeless people over the last two thousand years. They were very beautiful and most appropriate. In a strange way Thessaloniki is not a Greek city, but has gone beyond this definition. As Alexander the Greats city ,this is also appropriate, as he was the first world leader to suggest the natural unification of humans kind. He ordered his officers to take foreign wives in order to integrate all the different nationalities of the world into one. Unfortunately the policy did not survive his death  subjecting the world to centuries of war. The harbour's edge had been used to exhibit some fifty large outdoor sculpture , but once again the work was somewhat uneven, but some of the figuretive work was of a higher order.

"Nude". Outdoor sculptural exhibition.

The evenings were taken up with theatrical and dance performances. One that still remains in my memory was the Nroirayya Sinthese an Athenian modern dance group, who performed a series of related dances focused on what one would call women's issues. Rape, child birth , violence and so on, the impact was very stark and dramatic and studding with a minimum use of stage setting support. Before leaving Salonika year  I should mention one of the public sculpture dedicated to the death of university students killed by tanks during those dark days of the rule by the army junta. I believe they were holding a march when the tank much to everyone's disbelief ran over them. People today still leave flowers at this site.

"Martyrs for Freedom"

One evening Heather and I discovered an old Turkish Haman, now a fish taverna. The establishment had an array of wine barrels suspended on the back wall. Each had a plastic hose running from the barrel to a tap from which you could refill your wine jug.  Not that one needed to as Greek hospitality kept sending over jugs of wine from other tables when ever they felt ours was looking too low. This establishment seemed to attract all sorts of characters who from time would start to play Rebetica music at a moments notice. It was not dissimilar to an Irish pub were anyone could start to entertain. We spent the evening with a couple of young Greeks who were still arguing over the outcome of the Peloponnesian War. this is one of the great qualities of  the Greeks, time stands still, so that it is possible to become passionate about events that took place several thousand years ago. There is a saying in Greece, when you have three Greeks you have two parties and one break away group.This is what makes the country such a delight.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Peter Kreet, Sale of Works on Paper

This is a random selection of drawing in my print drawers. Most are unframed, and are appox.300x400.
The life sketchs are smaller A4. ALL ARE FOR SALE . PAY BY PAYPAL.
Send me a note via our comment section in this blog.

Peter Kreet "Church of Ayioi Apostoloi'"
Watercolour  & ink on paper.
$150. unframed.

Peter Kreet "Plaka, Athens"
Watercolour & ink on paper
$150. unframed.
Peter Kreet "Sheep's Heads"
Pencil on paper. unframed.

Peter Kreet "Joy"
Watercolour & Ink on paper. unframed.
Peter Kreet "Olit"
Watercolour on paper.unframed.
Peter Kreet' Baby"
Pen & ink drawing. $60

Peter Kreet" Nude" No.3.
Pen & Ink drawing. $60

Peter Kreet "Back View"
Pen & ink drawing.$60

Peter Kreet "Plaka Laneway"
Watercolour on paper
watercolour sketch on paper.

Peter Kreet "Child"
Watercolour & ink on paper, unframed.

Peter Kreet "Blue Shutters, Phuket Town"
Watercolour on paper, unframed.

 Peter Kreet
Pen & Ink drawing No1. $60.

 Peter Kreet
Pen & Ink Drawing. No2. $60.

Peter Kreet "Coffee Strip, Hania"
Coloured pencils on paper. Framed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Athen's Plaka District.

View from the Australian Archaeological Hostel, Athens.
Coloured pencil, Peter Kreet.

The first night I spent in the Plaka district of Athens several years ago, I wrote what one could call a pose/poem.

Sound of a  cat's wail and hiss at dawn,
dogs bark amongst
the sound of rumbling garbage trucks welcome dawn.
Laying in bed, listening,
to bottles roll across the cobble stones,
broken glass mixed with  night's memories.
Lets' spend another evening within the district's embrace.
Standing at the window, watching dawn's fingers
marble the Attic sky
unchanged in their slow dance across time,
since Homer first cast their part
a thousand years, no two, three have passed.
Mingled voices raise from street below,
then melt into the soft drone of
an engine as it slowly edges across the city.
Light grows sharper, voices  stronger,
loud motor cycles punch the soft warm air
to jolt memory towards other thoughts.
Athens has a presence that must be felt to be understood.

Plaka, old Turkish Quarter of Athens.
Watercolour sketch. Peter Kreet

Athens is not everyones' idea of an ideal city, but with such a history and mythology it is hard for any visitor not to be moved. Captured by the Ottoman Turks in 1456, four hundred years passed before the skies cleared. On  independence it was little more than a country town, its Acropolis in ruins, it required knowledge of the past to hope for a better future. The Plaka is the oldest part of Athens, the old Turkish the foot of the Acropolis. Despite the tourists ,the Plaka offers the visitor a lot in atmosphere and history. As recently as the 1970s , its' cafes and bars offered refuge to students during the rule of the Generals. All had secret exists at their rear to allow escape in the event of a police raid. I always make a point of visiting some to hear rebetica  music in these establishments, the bouzouki music of protest and sorry made famous during those times by Theodorakis and other composers. Music that the Asia-Minor Greeks brought with them from Smyrna's nightclubs with their repertory of songs about hashish-dens, gambling, prostitution, theft etc. This bouzouki  music was given fresh life in the 60's and 70's,  Maria Farantouri was in full flight along with many young composers. These songs rallied the students and Greeks in general to resist the torture and disappearances of so many during these dark times.

Athens is full of contradictions, its modern population arrived after the First World War ,in 1922/3 when the Greek population of Turkey was exchanged for the Turks still living in Greece. The result is a rather ugly modern city over laid on an ancient one. Houses were needed in a hurry. Still there is the Acropolis and many fine museums specialising in Antiquity. You may stroll along the Agora, where Socrates corrupted the city's youth, rebuilt by the Americans and now used as a study centre. The patterned shadows at certain times of the day create works of art on the marble floor.

Agora, Athens [ ancient market]

Between my drawing trips around the city I would discover many interesting dens and galleries. One that particularly took my fancy was called The Centre for Hellenic Tradition on Pandrossos Street, Plaka, a Greek version of an Irish Pub. The owner had taken upon himself the responsibility to save the traditions and folk art of the Greek Island before they were swept away by the tide of modern day tourism. Musician would drop in at anytime of the day and play bouzouki music, some would sing. Various groups would take turns at performing, while many patrons of the establishment would dance among the tables. It was a great atmosphere, drinking strong local wine or ouzo and eating traditional snacks. The music was very impromptu and seemed to drift up into the air in the manner of a column of smoke, not unlike Zen mediation music, just a single note moving through space.

I used to stay at the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens hostel, a voluntary organisation that funded archaeology digs and scholarships to Australian students interested in the ancient world. Anyone living in Australia may join for a small annual fee and use the hostel when ever they visit Athens. At the time I was in Athens to meet up with Professor Alexander Cambitoglou ,who was responsible for the foundation of the Institute.  At the time he was in charge of the Classics Department at Sydney University and had embarked on this most ambitious project. Australia had not been all that interested in the ancient world, no doubt they felt it was all too far away. On this evening we were going to dine at the Athenian Club a very conservative establishment. Unfortunately the only jacket i had with me was a leather one which proved to be too outrageous for the guardians. Still we found a very pleasant restaurant in a Plaka lane, one needed a guide to find it. The wall were covered with dozens of folk paintings from ever corner of the country and the food was some of the best I had found in Greece. It just shows that sometimes the impressive places are not always the best.

Church of Ayioi Apostoloi, Athens. Peter Kreet.
This is the oldest Church in the city.

Sheep's Heads. Archaeological Museum, Athens.

At times I would spend many hours looking at the Orthodox Icons in the many Churches. The Church of Ayioi Apostoloi has many fine examples, along with many other Churches. At other times I would draw the various exhibits in the museum. I have found this practice very beneficial over the years and the references and notes rewarding. My interest in the past has always been central to my life, as a child I was told that if you did not know where you had been, you could not possibly know where you are heading.

Peter Kreet.  Plaka District, Athens.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Peter Kreet,s Art Studio Sale.

Over the years works has built up in my studio. Now is the time for some sort of clearence. This selection of paintings may be purchased and paid for by PAYPAL. Just select and let me know by our comment section and I shall get in touch to work out the details. An agreed price, freight costs, package etc.

The work here has been produced over some fifty years, in that time I have not only grown older, but experemented in many different approachs. Trying to solve new ways of looking at the world.

Paypal is available, contact me via the comment section of this blog.

Peter Kreet   "South-West Tasmania. "Packaged Landscape"  series. 1979.
Acrylic on canvas. 1980s.  size.840x600

The prices are not fixed, so you may make an offer. The prices I have published are what similar paintings have sold for in the past. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO MAKE AN OFFER. THANK YOU FOR READING THIS NOTE.

Peter Kreet  "Tsunima"  2005.
Acrylic on board. 950x610

Peter Kreet  "Fardo" Fragments of memory series. 2009/10
Acrylic on board 1000x700

Peter Kreet  "Nambucca Heads" Fauve experiments
Acrylic on board 610x450

Peter Kreet "Packaged Tour"  Packaged landscape series. 1980s.
Acrylic on canvas size

Peter Kreet  "Flinder's Encounter" 2005
Acrylic on board  1265x920

Peter Kreet  "Road to Hawkes"  Flinder's landscapes  2005
Acrylic on board 1265x920

Peter Kreet  "Walk to a Sacred Site" Flinder's landscapes. 2005
Acrylic on board 1265x920

Peter Kreet  "Corridor Through Time" Flinder's Landscape. 2005.
Acrylic on board 1265x920

Peter Kreet  "Alignment with the Past"  Fragments series. Portugal. 2009.
Acrylic on board 700x500

Peter Kreet  "Nambucca Head 11" Fauve experiments
Arcylic on board 610x450

Peter Kreet "The Bridge"  2005
Acrylic on board.  1265x920

Peter Kreet  "Fraser Island"  Fauve series
Acrylic on board  610x450

Peter Kreet  "Cocktails in Rio" 1978.
Acrylic on canvas.

Peter Kreet  "Kodak View"  1980
Acrylic on canvas.

Peter Kreet 'Cave"  2004
Acrylic on board

Peter Kreet "High Wire" 1986
Acrylic on canvas

Peter Kreet "9/11"
Acrylic on board.
Peter Kreet"Channel Dawn"
Acrylic on canvas.

Peter Kreet "Night Watch"  1986
Acrylic on board.

Peter Kreet "Salome"  2004
Acrylic on canvas.

Peter Kreet "Expulsion"  2003
Acrylic on canvas

Peter Kreet "Barcellona Bathers" 2004.
Acrylic on canvas

Peter Kreet "de Stijl" !995.
Mixed media. wood, cork, acrylic on board.

Peter Kreet "Bottle Fermentation Vat 105" 1995
Corks, Wood& other materials.

Peter Kreet "Export Only"  1985
Acrylic on canvas.

Peter Kreet "Shipwreck No 2" 1998
Acrylic on board.

Peter Kreet"Heading into the Swell" 2004
Acrylic on board.

Peter Kreet "Wilson's Prom"  2004.
Acrylic on board.

Peter Kreet"Long Term Parking" 2005
Acrylic on board.

Peter Kreet " Altro Ego"
Acrylic on canvas.

Peter Kreet "Rustem Pasa"
Acrylic on board. size 1000x700