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 …

Filming Myself Skateboarding - Finding a Balance and a Reliable Video Editor Phone App

I like filming myself skateboarding. The problem is I'm not interested enough in the filmmaking  process to film great shots or tell a compelling story each video to compensate for my lack of ability on a skateboard.

It's not that I'm bad at skateboarding, and I understand there is an audience of people who like to watch how other beginner (or aging relearner) skaters progress. I'm part of that audience.

As much as we love watching pro skaters video parts and competition runs, for many of us that level of skating isn't as relatable as watching someone going through the same struggle we're having with trying to land basic pop shove-its and kickflips.

I recently broke the drought of not making skateboard videos for the past six months by posting a new driveway skateboard session that I filmed, edited, and uploaded from my phone. You can watch it below.



This video would have had a bit more of a story had the bit in the middle, where I gave my initial thoughts on …

The Star Wars Saga: Episode II, Attack of the Clones *All Spoilers*

Continuing my series of posts, as one of my local TV stations shows every Star Wars movie in order, every Saturday, for the next six weeks leading up to the release of Star Wars, Episode VII, The Force Awakens, here is my response to and thoughts on Star Wars, Episode II, Attack of the Clones.

After The Phantom Menace I just wasn't interested in seeing Episode II in the cinema. I don't think I made any effort to see it or even had any anticipation for it's release.

The Star Wars Saga: Episode 1, The Phantom Menace *All Spoilers*

One of my local TV stations is showing every Star Wars movie in order, every Saturday, for the next six weeks leading up to the release of Star Wars, Episode VII, The Force Awakens in theaters this Christmas.

I plan to watch each film, at least two of which I've never managed to watch all the way through. Then I thought I'd blog about each movie here. Not so much a review but more my thoughts about the film, ranging from what I like, to what I see as a problem and maybe my thoughts on original trilogy re-releases and updates.

This post I'll start with Episode I, The Phantom Menace but first, a little history of my fandom.

Embarrassing Yourself with Doof Doof Music

Ever since Spinal Tap popularized the notion of turning an amp up to eleven audio systems have been rising to the challenge of louder, more awesome sound.

In particular, car audio systems have embraced the notion of the bigger the noise the better the sound must surely be. What I'd like to know is, if these sound systems are so good, why do they make all music sound the same... Doof, Doof, Doof?

You've all heard them. Pimped up cars, with audio systems seemingly worth more than gold, volume blasting way past eleven. Sound waves booming long before you make a positive visual on the car... Doof, Doof, Doof.

It has to be the audio system right? Surely all these people can't be playing the same tune? Doof, Doof, Doof.

Could it be that the more money spent on a car sound system the less musical range it will actually play? Maybe these people can't afford to buy music after purchasing the audio system so they all play the same demo track? Doof, doof, doof.

In my own car I have a…

Book Review: Brand It Purple by Ashley Knoote-Parke

It seems almost redundant to review Brand It Purple given you probably won't find a hard copy edition without digging into the second hand market. The book's author and publisher, Ashley Knoote-Parke, seemingly, disappeared off the face of the Earth around about 2015. Which is a story in itself.

However, the book is still a very informative guide and, while not specifically targeted at women, many may relate more to a book written by an experienced female entrepreneur.

Brand It Purple is a personal marketing and branding guide released in 2009 by then, star on the rise author, Ashley Knoote-Parke, an English born, South African expatriate, who made Adelaide, South Australia her home.

There she started her own publishing company releasing a photographic, coffee table book of South Australian sights, along with books showcasing female, then male, entrepreneurs. As well she published 'Brand It Purple'.

I came across the book being sold at a discount price at a weekend mar…