Working in series, vieiwng a painting in context

These are just a selected number of images from the FA-series.This series, like most, consists of roughly 1000 images.
to understand a particular work it is advisable to view it in the context of its series.
I ,unintentionally, work in series. A series is concerned with the (pre-conceptual and/or pre-rational) exploration of things such as colours, tones,
form, shape, composition, texture and much else.
When an artist completes a work, the meanings projected on it, the interpretations made of it a work and the interpretations made of it
depend on viewers and their perceptions and the artist has little or no control over it.
To view series go to my site – ulrich 27/01/2014seriesFA – ARTGalleryUlrich

Contemporary post WWII art.

Yes Andrea. I always, unintentionally, work in series and in this way explore and develop certain techniques, etc. Then I reject that and commence again as if for the first time. I see my work as explorative.

Contemporary art , after World War II, the explorative and experimental artists, concentrate on the surface of the support. They, we explore what and how painting is, how it is executed, the process of painting as making ‘marks’ on paper’ The, we do not attempt to depict or represent objects. If any objects are depicted , they are merely the result of such explorations and not their aim.

Previous to this art are labelled as modern, not contemporary.


art statement – video: found in a cellar

Paintings found in our Chateau’s cellar 3 (curated 7 July 2013) (

) (and

fa467 fa369 fa367 fa269 fa264 fa249 fa247 fa246 fa226 fa176 fa167 ab59 ab59a ab68 ab69 ab27 fa12 fa26 fa69 fa76 fa127 fa146 ab58 ab56)of work by Ulrich de Balbian created by curators for the DE BALBIAN ART FOUNDATION.



We’ve seen the FUTURE of ART = Ulrich de Balbian My explorations in visual art MAKE THE INVISIBLE VISIBLE. My paintings are intended to assist in beginning not merely to look at art (and ALL areas of existence), but to SEE or perceive. We direct our eyes, ears anf other senses at objects but we do not actually register them meaningfully in our minds. My work explores, investigates and breaks down to its essential elements the socio-cultural practice and tradition of western visual art. My own work should not merely be perceived in a critical manner, but the entire code of this practice and tradition should be questioned and analyzed pre-conceptually. Art like music can be universal, for all people from all ages and cultures. My work attempts to assist viewers to begin to experience in a personal manner (as if perceiving for the first time,. like a new born child, without any personal attitudes or cultural pre-conceptions and assumptions about art and all aspects of existence) not only the particular work, but all visual art. And, not only the tradition and socio-cultural practice of visual art, but all art forms, and all aspects, areas and dimensions of existence on this planet. The phrase: my art makes the invisible more visible, refers to the above statements.

Why I present the same work in different colours (see Facebook posts –

ab11abcde ab11 ab11a ab11ab ab11abc ab11abcdThere are a number of reasons why I present the ‘same’ painting in different colours, sepia, monochrome, etc(  see myFacebook page for these posts –
Here are a few of them –
1) it makes one realize that changing the colour/s of a painting, the painting appears to be different;
2) one becomes aware of things, eg forms, composition, etc, that one was not aware of when perceiving the painting in (or AS) just one ‘set’ of colours;
3) that the viewer should apply this experiment and its effects to the work of other artists and other works of art. Imagine for example when a certain van Gogh, Klee, Picasso, Kandinsky, Miro, el Greco, Raphael, etc, etc is presented in a different set of colours…  Imagine perceiving things we encounter everyday are perceived in a different ‘set’ of colours, tones, etc – a sunrise, sunset, a friend, your parents, your dog or cat, your house, room, bread, car, scrambled eggs (for example as blue, red, green, black etc).

4) The variations in colour, tone, etc are endless, as are the consequences and implications of changing the colours of a certain thing.

It should be obvious that I reflect deeply and carefully about all I do.

being artly – becoming the artist you want

You want to study art, you like the concept, the creativeness, the idea of exploring with others, the notion of taking a journey through your mind and creating anew… you know your parents and some friends may be against it preferring you take a more common path, but nay, you are beckoned by the romance of paint, the structure of materials, the bohemian lifestyle etc and nothing will stop you.

In your pursuit of becoming “Artly’ or the artist you want to be, perhaps you want to make sure that what and who you are is loaded with integrity, humility, ability and energy, not just “passion” and an interest in being part of the art scene, thinking that the parties and “cavorting” with like minded people will somehow make you some fabulous artist, or the Muse of some fabulous Artist.

I can’t prove to you that doing any of these things will ensure you become a successful Artist, an A grade student or any other measure or Artistic success, but years of observing Exhibitions, Art Students, chatting to Gallery Directors and interviewing Artists in has given me some insights.

Take a look online and do your own research and find articles on Artists talking about what it takes to be a success and you will find a mixed bag of incredible advice and ideas on striding forward. Not all of the information and advice will you be able act on but learn well the ways of success to ensure you give yourself the best chance of moving towards your goal.

Let’s get started with a list of pointers.

Get busy – It’s one thing to have a creative idea, and another thing entirely to bring it to life, think then make, build your skills and abilities by doing things and making mistakes, learn how to handle the materials you want to work with, eventually the mistakes will become less, your ability to create things should improve.

Explore creativity – My experience has been that not a lot of Art teachers teach how to be creative, it can however be learnt. Make it a thing worth your learning so you don’t have to put up with creative blocks and can keep producing and exploring with little fuss.

Likers and haters – Social media will have probably taught you there are both, the same with art, some viewers will be haters due to jealousy, some will be lovers because they believe it is the thing to do, “Oh I love your work” is an ego boosting validation of what you do but that can be fairly hollow, friends and family who cannot articulate the details of why they love your work may have good intentions but may lack a deeper ability to tell you why, explore the ‘why’ question often.

Beware of the stereotype – At art school one of the Lecturers referred to Van Gough as the Artists Artist, selling little, seemingly driven by his art, lived a passionate life etc. take a look at the art people you come across is it really  necessary to have purple hair, radical makeup, wild ideas and party like a demon to make you an artist? of course not… nor do you need to struggle and give up on living normally (making money etc) to find the roots to your creative endeavours. I figure there is a time for being eccentric and a time for not being eccentric (which may or may not include purple hair…)

Keep going – People can give up when things get tough, people lose sight of their goals, people do all manner of things when the ‘chips are down’. Persistence helps, goal setting may help, working through rather than giving up may lead to fresh insights and may lead to more positive productive outcomes. One of my Art Teachers used to say “It’s the plodders that get by” so plod, and put one foot in front of the other.

Try stuff – Just because you choose to paint does not mean you can’t make sculptures or any other form of art. the same with styles, give things a go, I figure it’s all about exploring, reinventing, testing and pushing boundaries. Try new things, if you are a realist, try abstract, try collage, try drawing, who says we have to have a ‘body of work’ that is consistent and shows progression. This may again be part of the stereotype that could be holding a lot of people back.

Ask – There are heaps of people who are more than willing to assist you, ask for information. Artists, Gallery Directors, other Students, Teachers, Art Store staff, Framing businesses, and the list goes on. I have had people contact Artists I have interviewed on this site directly and have a chat about details of their work and I don’t know of any of the artists who have knocked back the chance to have a chat. You can learn a lot from engaging with all these people and more. The amount of brilliant knowledge out there is immense, the more you ask the more you can learn. Keep asking, keep searching. Finding out what will make you the sort of Artist you want to be comes from exploring and chatting to learn more, do more and be more.

Become an overnight sensation – If you know anyone who has become an ‘overnight sensation’, look hard,  you will soon find they were probably a hard worker, chugging away in the background for many years before they were discovered or made a breakthrough that put them on the world’s stage as an overnight sensation. If they look sensational and young they probably started out earlier than you.

There is crap you have to deal with – Creating Artist statements that people may not read, rejection from Galleries, rejection from grant applications, rejection from those who may love you dearly, things you try that don’t work, sitting in a gallery and watching how many people don’t turn up. This list could get endless, but know that crap happens and you have to deal with it. Breathe in breathe out and repeat, get tough and move on, if the crap starts to define you it may lead to difficulties later on.

That’s my list, like it… let me know by adding a comment, don’t like it… do the same! :)

Regards, Steve Gray

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