Skip to main content
Now building my TET.Life Store.

Hazel Dooney: Inspiration for Independence.

I don't care much for Hazel Dooney's Art - at least not her recent artistic style of lead pencil, ink and watercolour that she's presented since 2006. I think it's important that I mention this as a preface for this article.

It's not the dark themes or graphic, sexual content of some of these works that turns me off. I really have no problem with this kind of subject matter. What bugs me is that, as one artist looking at another's work, her current style just looks too easy.

Which is not to suggest it is easy at all. It just looks that way. It looks like experimental works ripped out of her visual diary and called 'finished art'. They look like paintings still in the planning stages.

Ordinarily I'd go for her more expressive style in other lesser known artists. Usually this style is a break from the monotony of landscapes and rural settings I see in the various regional community galleries. Someone who isn't inspired by yet another tree with sheep grazing in the distance. However Hazel is something of an Australian icon. Perhaps I expect to see something more... 'crafted'.

Excuse me while I choke on the word 'crafted' (a word more obscene than anything Hazel creates and calls 'art').

Now that I've finished this lengthy preface lets get to the point of this article. I aspire to achieve something like what Hazel has achieved with her career. Independence.

Independence from galleries, art dealers, and the whole traditional career path that chokes the life out of many emerging artists before they even get a start. It's said that artists are the last people that should promote and sell their art but look at Hazel... she's doing alright.

In an interview she gave to penseyeview.com Hazel revealed some very scathing opinions about traditional galleries and their system of promoting art...
I think one reason why I've worked so hard to be free of the traditional, institutional and gallery system is that I have always viewed it as a parasitic business that eventually leeches not only artists' souls but also their independence. I felt I'd sold my soul when I first exhibited.

I've exhibited in galleries many times since, but my relationships with them nowadays tend to be one-off and always at arms length. I have been very, very successful without them, handling my own sales, inventory management, client and public relations, and so on. These days, I almost resent paying even the modest commissions I negotiate with my exhibiting galleries: I look at it as renting space. I don't think they do much else for me. They don't have a clue about actually selling.

I loathe the environments of most commercial galleries and nearly all art institutions and museums: most are so sterile, too similar to one another, and badly laid out. I like my shows to be multi-dimensional, like a good, non-stop party – I hate the pseudo-reverence that most galleries try to foster towards art.

Hazel also threw a few punches at Australian Galleries and the Australian art scene...
Australia is parochial, mean-spirited and most of its publicly acclaimed or awarded contemporary works are knock-offs of far more original overseas works. Australian institutions and galleries also lack a deal of originality – and certainly they are more interested in having control of artists than nurturing and encouraging them. In the context of Australia's suburban homogeneity – it defines what Americans refer to as 'white bread' – any kind of risk, but especially creative risk and originality, are actively discouraged. And we haven't inherited our Anglo-Irish forebear’s tolerance of eccentricity.

I'm reluctantly subscribed to Hazel's online newsletter. I really don't care for her art but I admire her determination to get to where she is today. Whilst I probably wouldn't agree 100% with her views on galleries (I think she goes a little too extreme in her summations) they do reflect my own thoughts about why I have no interest in being represented in galleries.

My ego thinks that galleries would be falling over themselves to represent me if I would only show some interest. The reality is, my art is probably too 'crafted'. Not only that but people think I'm more of an 'illustrator'. My work should be in children's books. Which means it probably lacks personal expression and is too accessible (like you lot have any clue about art!).

If Hazel Dooney can do it then so can I. So can you. If you're an artist then read her interview, visit her web site and subscribe to her newsletter.

I can't guarantee you'll learn a a lot but so long as you know Hazel is still being independently successful, you'll always have someone to inspire you to do the same.

Comments


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog, Creating My Oddessey.

You should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse.

We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against - the original exterior of the house - and the light …

Finding Time to Skate - Swap a Skateboard Session into Your Weekly Workout Routine

A common problem among skaters dealing with work/life commitments (typically older skaters with families, careers, or both) is finding the time to actually spend on a skateboard. In fact, life in general getting in the way of skateboarding, is what often leads so many to drop out of the sport, only to rediscover it later, once everything else starts to even out.

I'm certainly in that category. Never really giving skateboarding away altogether but only using a skateboard to get from A to B, when I didn't have a vehicle, for many years. In the last couple of years I've been trying to get back into the sport properly, i.e. building up my trick list and skating for fun and not just to get from A to B.

The problem is I have so many interests, projects, paid work, and more, that I would often leave skateboarding to the end of my day. Kind of as something to look forward to. Except I wouldn't be that motivated to really improve because my mind would be fried from everything …

Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) *Spoiler Free*

Ten years in the making and Marvel finally releases part one of the Avengers versus Thanos, A.K.A. Avengers: Infinity War.

After seeing all 18 films in the MCU prior to this, and liking most of them, I was pretty confident this movie would not disappoint.

Other than a few minor issues - that are all my personal taste and in no way reflect on the quality of the film - it really delivers. Thanos is indeed the big, bad villain of the MCU that we've been antcipating.

Book Review: How to get a Billion Views on YouTube - The Braille Skateboarding Story

In How to Get a Billion Views on YouTube professional skateboarder, Aaron Kyro, gives you the Braille Skateboarding story in the form of a practical guide to growing a YouTube channel into a full time career.

An easy and quick read that never gets lost in too much detail. As a result, even if you're not growing a skateboarding channel, the content is still very relevant and not difficult to see how it transfers to whatever kind of channel you are trying to build.

I’m here to tell you ANY passion no matter what it is can make money.- Aaron Kyro
The book is more a step by step guide to starting, growing, and running a YouTube channel as a business. However where it differs from other books on the subject is that almost every piece of advice is related back to what Aaron and the Braille Skateboarding team did on their journey with actual examples of process and content.

The last third of the book is a much appreciated overview of YouTube's analytics simplified so you can clearly…

Movie Review: Deadpool 2 (2018) *Spoiler Free*

Deadpool 2 is a fun black comedy on par with the first film. Right now I can't really say one is better than the other but I can say they're equally as good.

Before seeing Deadpool 2 I watched the first movie. My take is, if you do like the first one better, much of that is down to never having seen a Deadpool movie before, and then having that film just knock it right out of the park. (I feel the same about the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. The first one has the edge because I'd never seen that kind of movie before with those characters).

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard.

I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned.

Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board.

The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your front toe downward, mid drag, causing the front of the board to drop away from your foot. I demonstrate this method in my v…

Making Money with Stock Photography and Skillshare Courses - Two Real Life Experiences

I'm a big advocate for earning a living online through various business opportunities that you can start with little to no up front capital. Two that I've often mentioned are stock photography sites and creating an online course.

Personally I haven't done either because I've gone down the Print on Demand, Blogging, and Selling Digital Products path of making money online, starting with next to no capital. Though I am planning an online course in the near future.

However, I recently came across two videos that dive into the detail of earning money through stock photography sites and creating online courses that I thought were really worth your time if either sounds like something you want to do.

Earning Money with Stock PhotographyRachel Lerch is a photographer who spent three years earning a living through taking photos for several stock photography sites. In this video she gives a very detailed run down of her business, and pretty much everything you need to know goi…