Oil painting techniques and tutorial with Jacki Burke I Colour In Your Life

Oil painting techniques and tutorial with Jacki Burke I Colour In Your Life


G’day viewers, my name’s Graeme Stevenson, and I’d like to invite you to come on a journey of creativity and learning and adventure through the series Colour In Your Life. There’s an artist in every family throughout the world. Lots of times there’s an artist deep down inside all of us as well. So grab your kids, your brothers, your sisters, your aunties, uncles and mums and dads and come and see how some of the best artists do what they do. (Music Plays) (Graeme) Well okay folks, welcome back to Colour In Your Life. Well we are down in Torquay, in Victoria for todays show, and we are with an amazingly talented lady, multi-award winning lady, Jacki Burke. (Jacki) Hello, Graeme. (Graeme) Welcome to the show. How are you? (Jacki) Very good thank you. (Graeme) Fantastic. You’ve got a fantastic studio as well; it’s just brilliant. (Jacki) Yeah, yeah it’s beautiful. (Graeme) It’s really, really cool. You’re a landscape artist, you’re a portrait artist, you’re a workshop teacher. I mean a big time workshop teacher. (Jacki) I love it. Love teaching. (Graeme) So what are you most passionate about with your work? (Jacki) Colour and atmosphere. Painting the beach, painting people, painting people with a story. (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) I love it when a portrait is a bit of history for people in the family. And colour, colour is it. Colours the in. (Graeme) And you use a spatular, palette knife quite a lot as well. (Jacki) A lot of the time, yep, yeah. (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) I do make it look easy, which I’m always getting yelled at by the students, (Graeme) Well that’s, that’s the idea. (Jacki) I don’t realise it’s the flick of the wrist. (Jacki) Yeah, that’s the whole idea, come and learn. (Graeme) Well that’s just experience, (Jacki) Yeah. obviously so. But we’re going to be doing a seascape today. You’re like five minutes walk from the beach? (Jacki) Oh, totally, yeah, yeah. And never get sick of painting it. There’s all different iconic places around Torquay. There’s Rocky Point which we’re doing today, so there’s lots of history there for different people. There’s… people get proposed to there. People walk there, people grow up there, rock pooling and all that. (Graeme) Cool. (Jacki) But there’s all different places along the coast. (Graeme) Well it looks like a beautiful scene. (Jacki) Endless inspiration. (Graeme) Congratulations. Well I’m going to step out of the shot, which is what I normally do of course, and I’m going to let Jacki take over and take us through what she does. It’s going to be great. She’s a very, very talented lady and this is going to be a beautiful scene as we go along. So I’m out of here, and I’ll let you take over. (Jacki) Okay. (Graeme) Okay. (Graeme) Okay Jacki, look I can see you’ve made a start on this piece that you’re going to do, now is that acrylic bases you’ve got there? (Jacki) No, I sometimes do, do acrylic, but today I’ve got oil base. (Graeme) And what, what oil paints do you actually use? (Jacki) I’ll use any, but I do like Art Sprectrum because they’re reliable and I promote them to my students, just because if you’re going get an Ultramarine, it’s definitely Ultramarine, and they’e a nice texture to paint with. (Graeme) Yeah, I think they’re a great quality as well. Always good canvases as well? You’ve got many… (Jacki) Yeah, I don’t go for the cheap ones, they tend to warp and things like that. And I get quite active with my palette knife, so they have to be sturdy. Okay, so I’m going to mix up some sky colour I think. (Graeme) So you’ve been doing this for thirty years? (Jacki) Oh, probably a bit over that now, my first oil painting I still have, and I did that when I was pregnant with my son, and he’s thirty-two, so thirty-two years. (Graeme) Wow, wow. And self-taught, but you know, who were the influences with your work as you went along? (Jacki) Look, I studied art in High School, but didn’t take it any further, and I probably loved Turner, loved Moet, and I’ve never lost my love of that. I love Dali as well, I did a whole series when I was a lot younger of surrealism. That passed, that’s not my bag now, I prefer landscapes and portraits. (Graeme) Yes, really put he elbow in there. (Jacki) Yes, you got to push the paint. That’s a chapter in one, one of the chapters in the book I’ll do, (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) one day, when I get spare time. (Graeme) Yes I’ve noticed by looking at your work that you’re an artist that’s not afraid. (Jacki) Oh, apparently, I do get afraid, I do get scared, but at the end of the day it’s just pigment on a canvas isn’t it? So, (Graeme) Yeah, yeah. (Jacki) and this is my happy place. This is where I love to be, love people coming just to paint and have company. Why wouldn’t you? (Graeme) Yeah, well you’ve got really successful workshops, and classes as well with fantastic local ladies and gentleman that come along and be part and parcel of what you do. (Jacki) They do and they all end up having their own style, (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) although originally they are quite often attracted to my style, and I think that’s just because it’s free, and it makes them feel like they can be free. (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) So then when they do come along I want them to paint their way. Yeah, they’ll pick up some skills from me, but definitely encourage them to have their own style and way of being. I’m here to say that’s you, you paint like that. (Graeme) Yeah, that’s part… (Jacki) And then they get it, and then they say, oh I do, don’t I, because it appears in more than one of their painting, whether it be their brush stroke, or their sky. (Graeme) And even the brushes that your using there are sort of large. Are they Neef brushes that you use? (Jacki) This one isn’t, but all the green ones are a Neef brush, (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) and they’re obedient I tell the students, because they are flexible, they’re accurate, and they just do what they’re told. They’re not too expensive; they’re a little pricey. There’s three different ranges in them, but I go for the top of the range, otherwise I go through them to quickly. (Graeme) Yeah. You sort of get what you pay for. (Jacki) Absolutely, absolutely, and I think that’s why the better quality paint you can use the better. (Graeme) So the area that you live in Jacki is very inspirational (Jacki) It is, the Surf Coast, (Graeme) without a doubt, yeah. (Jacki) down at Torquay, Victoria. (Graeme) And do you often get down there to take your own reference photos? (Jacki) As much as possible. I’ve just deleted about three thousand photos because my camera, my computer was getting full, (Graeme) Aha. (Jacki) and so I had ten thousand, I now have six thousand. (Graeme) Okay. (Jacki) at the moment, because there’s a whole lot that need to upload. I do go down there and sketch with watercolour. (Graeme) Yep. (Jacki) Different sky, different ocean, every time we drive past the ocean its a different colour. (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) It could be emerald, it could be grey, it could be slate, it could be deep blue. It can even have tropical hues of greens and blues in it like in Hawaii, which down here in the Surf Coast and it’s not warm at all here. (Graeme) So you’re onto that palette now. You were saying before you would just like to sometimes paint with the palette knife. (Jacki) Oh, I do, and I love it because if you have a couple of dry layers, it will actually allow the other colours top come through. (Graeme) Aha. (Jacki) And nothings in concrete with a palette knife – everything’s changeable. You can use your brush to just finesse it. So I’ve got a little bit extra here which I just want to soften a little bit, because the water will go over it, which I’ll get some water in, in a minute. I just want to get some of this rock in. (Graeme) It’s great to see that your versatility as well, from being very loose with the palette knife, and knowing what to do to going to some of your portraits which are actually quite detailed. And you’ve got some fairly well know athletes, and celebrities that you’ve painted over the years as well. We’ve got one of Ron Barassi. (Jacki) Yep, Ron Barassi, he’s the most lovely, lovely man. (Graeme) There’s one of Mick Malthouse as well. (Jacki) Yep. (Graeme) That’s a great piece. (Jacki) Kevin Sheedy. (Graeme) Kevin Sheedy as well, and Tommy Hafey. (Jacki) Yep, Tommy Hafey, that was actually done from a photo. He passed, but having football fans in the house it was just one of those that I had to do. (Graeme) Aha. (Jacki) And I use them predominately for fund raising for the clubs. (Graeme) Yeah, you’ve actually done a portrait of a very famous Australian artist, Ray Crooke. (Jacki) Ray Crooke, yes. Yes I actually had the fortuitous of meeting him. His a good girlfriend of mine, his niece, (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) yeah, we went up there and spent some time with him. He was just adorable. And shortly after he passed, so it was quite sad. (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) The family actually brought the portrait, because it just captured him, how he sat in his chair where he would go through all his memories. And he had pictures of Margret Olley, and George Johnson, which he won the Archibald with. And yeah, he just went through all his memories and it was a really lovely time; he was a really, really sweet man. And got to see all of his actual work, and he painted portraits of Margaret Olley, and they were all there, so it was just a really special opportunity, and I’ll be forever grateful for it. (Graeme) He was a bit like the Australian Gouguin wasn’t he? (Jacki) Oh definitely, yeah, and you can see that in his pieces. (Graeme) So you’re really sort of throwing that paint down onto the canvas. (Jacki) Yes, I like more paint is chapter three in the book (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) when it gets written, and the students will attest to the fact that yes, more paint makes life easier. You’ve got to have fun. You must have fun with your paint. (Graeme) But there’s one thing I’ve noticed about your work when you get close to it, it’s very textured, (Jacki) It can be. (Graeme) very tactile.(Jacki) It’s not always. But yes, it can be, and that’s because it’s layers and I think that comes from being inspired by the water down here, because it’s all over the rock pools and the tides coming in and going out. There’s always seaweed, and different textures. I’m just getting some water in, get that horizon on. (Graeme) You’e still just working with that one brush? (Jacki) Yeah, I have lots of brushes but I have my favourites. So I just want the horizon, and the water, and the rocks to sort of connect. (Graeme) Aha. Yeah, when you look at what you do, there’s another piece I’ve got up here called the Lily Trail, and I think colour and light seems to play a big part in what you do. (Jacki) Yes, yes, they’re from up at Byron and all over the world I find lily ponds in the most weird places. (Graeme) Aha. (Jacki) And I love them, I have no idea why. I’ve never seen Monet’s gardens, but I just love them. They’re always different, always pretty. So I’m just mixing up some colours now for some more rock shape. I’ve got to get that definite shape of Rocky Point in. (Graeme) So what are the colours you’ve got down there? You’ve got Yellow Ocher. (Jacki) Yeah, Yellow Ocher, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, some Ultramarine to help create the darks, and a bit of Naples Yellow. So the Jarosite rocks down here are quite definite in their colours. (Graeme) Yep. (Jacki) So I’m just going to get my reference photo for a sec, cause Rocky Point is a very definite shape, and for it to be recognisable I really want that pointed edge to be in. I’ve got a little more rock here than is actually in my reference, but I still have to get this just sketched in, and I like sketching that in loosely with the paint. And then there’s a little, little pathway here that I want to get in, and that’s because that’s where I see all the kids doing their rock pooling, and going through with their fishing rods, and things like that. So, but then this main Rocky Point, I just want to get that sketched in the right shape. (Graeme) Yeah, I see that you sometimes you combine the human form in your landscapes as well, but their very sort of distant characters. (Jacki) That’s what we see down here, just people strolling the beaches. It’s never detailed, but that being said many people that have commissioned work from me, I’ll paint in the person they want to give the painting to, (Graeme) Aha. (Jacki) and usually from photos. And just by the tilt of their shoulders, or the tilt of their head, even though it’s quite out of focus, you can tell that’s John or whoever it is. (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) They’re always quite amazed, but it’s a lovely thing because John or whoever it is will go, that’s me. (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) And that’s, that’s the part of painting that I really love; the fact that there’s lots of memories involved. (Graeme) There’s one called Misty Walk, (Jacki) Yes, yeah. (Graeme) which sort of classically explains that. That beautiful acqua that you’ve got in the water there. (Jacki) Yep, and the people are just strolling along because down here all the locals love it when the tourists sort of disappear, (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) and then we get our beaches back. And you can go down there and it is only you and one other person, or just you and your dog. So that’s the base of the rocks. I’m getting some of the negative spaces in there, but it’s looking a little heavy, so I want to put some paler colours in just at the base here. So you can see I’ve got some of the rock plates in here, but I actually want some water, and some foam just to sort of catch on the edges. And you can see where I get some palette knife effects and I’ll just leave them. That’s, what I say to my students, that’s art; that’s magic leave it in. You’ve got to leave in what you like, not take it out. (Graeme) There’s another one you’ve got it looks like you’ve dripped the colour. (Jacki) After the Rain, that was a trip to Vietnam, and they had the tropical rain there, and the mist and it just captured me. I’ve still have that piece; I won’t sell that one but (Graeme) Great painting. (Jacki) and there’s lots of fond memories, and that’s when I talk about the the memories of paintings. You know, everyone can take photos and take selfies, but there’s something more in a painting. A bit more character, a bit more capturing the essence of it. (Graeme) Yeah, so with your workshops I mean you’ve had very successful workshops. Now if somebody wants to come and talk to you about doing a workshop with you, how will they get in touch? What’s your website address? (Jacki) You do to Jacki Burke art dot com dot au, or you can contact through the form that’s on the website, and tell me what you’re interested in. People utilise many, many local B and B’s (Graeme) Yes. (Jacki) People sort of usually come in on a Friday and go home on a Sunday, and either do a resin workshop on the Saturday, or just simply stay and do a whole painting weekend. It just depends on what they suit and what dates suite them. Girls weekends, hens nights, come and stay for the weekend, have some fun. I can design a workshop around what you want, and just have some fun with it. You also end up with a piece of artwork that’s a great memory for the weekend. (Graeme) If people want to come down and be with Jacki for the weekend, and be in this beautiful area and go down to the beach and see these wonderful scenes, you can go to Jacki Burke art dot com dot au. (Jacki) That’s correct. So in the actual water in front of here, you can see here I’ve got some of the burnt colours and the ocher colours. The rocks down here are made out of Jarosite, which is iron. There’s a lot of history from the Aboriginal days down here, where they would have the opportunity to find their food and things to eat, and oysters and whatever. But in here, in this actual rock you can find little fossils and things which come up as little disks, and it’s just all again a part of history and what happened you know, millions of years ago. (Graeme) Little ammonites and things like that. (Jacki) Yeah, yeah, and there it is right down three hundred meters from where I live a little bit of history from the world. So… (Graeme) That goes back to the Devonian period and the precambrian (Jacki) Well, probably. (Graeme) which is about five hundred million years ago. (Jacki) There you go. So it… I don’t know, it’s good for kids to see that and not loose touch with it. (Graeme) Makes you realise we’re just here for a speck in time. (Jacki) Well it does, and I think my little spec wants to leave paint in peoples lounge rooms, so that they have their bit of history. (Graeme) Mostly on the walls of course. (Jacki) Absolutely. (Graeme) Just looking at this picture called Sea Spray, which is just beautiful. I mean you can look way, way out to the horizon and see those really thin little clouds. And as you were saying, you don’t really realise how tied up you get with corporate world and modern life, and until you sit down and so something like what you’re doing right now. (Jacki) That was one of my favourite pieces. That was a series of four pieces, (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) and they sit in the office of an eye and ear specialist down in the Epworth Hospital. (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) I love it when a person gets their commission and they, you never quite know what they’re going to say. And it’s always a nerve racking thing for you as an artist, and when he walked in he went wow, and it was real, and I thought thank God for that. And yeah, and so he’s got that and went on to get a piece where he surfs, which was down at it’s called the Boobs, (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) and I’m not a surfer, but apparently it’s an amazing place to surf. And so he has that in his personal office, and then the rest are scattered all around his waiting room extra. And a big resin in the entryway. So you can do a combination of decorating a whole house so, cause there’s different mediums and different flavours for each room. (Graeme) That’s amazing. So you also exhibit in some wonderful galleries down here as well. You’ve got, is it in Ryrie Arts 101 in Geelong? (Jacki) Ryrie Arts 101, yeah, (Graeme) Ryrie Arts. (Jacki) I just had an exhibition there. (Graeme) Yeah. You’ve got Eagles Nest Gallery in Airey’s Inlet, (Jacki) Yes, pieces are always down in there. (Graeme) and the Seaview Gallery down in Queenscliff. (Jacki) Yes, they’ve just taken a couple more pieces, so (Graeme) Excellent. (Jacki) all out and about. And of course I can sell my pieces from my home gallery which is in another part of the house. (Graeme) Aha. (Jacki) That works quite well too. So… (Graeme) And what about the winery? (Jacki) Oh yes, I start that next week. I’m the in-house artist for Leura, Leura Park Winery, and they have a sip and dip night, and they are going to have me teaching people how to do their pieces while they have a little sip and a little bit of an hors d’oeuvre, and it’s a really, really fun night. Lots of fun with playing around, hopefully not dipping your brushes into your wine, but they are very nice wines. So I’m just going to refresh my paints. Using a palette knife you do go through quite a bit of paint. I’m going to add a couple of new, what I call guest colours, (Graeme) Bling colours. (Jacki) bling colours, cause I’m coming to the final stages I hope. And I still need a little bit more in my darks. I love using Prussian Blue for my final bits and pieces in there. (Graeme) Aha. (Jacki) But I also want to get some of this magic turquoise happening. Turquoise is one of the hardest colours to mix, because it’s actually the way the minerals react with each other (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) that is part of it. So I’m going to but a little bit of the turquoise in the water. So the days changes a little since from the beginning. And that’s what artistic licence is. Maybe my mood’s changed, I want it to be a little bit more turquoise towards the horizon, and then I’ll pick up those colours in the sky. So long as it all looks connected in the end I’m happy. Okay, so I need to balance out the sky now. So pretty much whatever colour is in the water, I’ll put a little bit in the sky, even the rock colour has got in there, (Graeme) Yep. (Jacki) because it actually connects it. And the eye’s an amazing thing, you’ll actually really connect things you wouldn’t expect, and that’s the whole thing about art and the interpretation of art. One of the first things is people go, oh clouds aren’t grey and white, they’re all sorts of colours. So I’ve got one of my favourites Prussian Blue here, I want to darken up some blue, but also add in some umber. So blue and umber to me make a gorgeous dark. I try and tend to make my own blacks. You can use black, but i just like making a version of black for shadows. So I still need some shadow under there, so I’ll use bit of a brush here. (Graeme) Yes, if you black out of the tube it tends to deaden the area quite quickly. (Jacki) It can. The only time I use black is like out of a tube is in the portrait in eyes, or some Asian hair, but I’ll still tend to add a bit of blue in hair. The reason I haven’t just put my darks on straight away at the beginning, cause I actually really like the rock textures here are so lovely, and so interesting, I like little bits showing through. So rather than just loading it up with all the darks, I really enjoy letting it develop. So now for the front rocks I just need one of my favourite colours, Australian Red Gold, which I’m sure a lot of you do use it. It is just adds a bit of spark. Fantastic on gum trees and all sorts of different things. (Graeme) It’s a great colour isn’t it? (Jacki) Oh, fantastic, yep, and you can cut it right back, like you can mix it with pinks, (Graeme) Yeah. (Jacki) and it’ll just give you… you can mix it with white. You can mix it with anything really. (Graeme) It’s sort of like luminescent then isn’t it? (Jacki) Oh, it’s just magical, and it’ll just give this a bit of a sandy pop, if I wanted to lighten it a little. Get some colours in here, cause it is definitely the colour of the Jarosite when it catches the light. There’s some beautiful scenes that I’ve done from down at Point Addis, and that’s a lot of the rocks that catch this colour. Bells Beach, all those they just… Australian Red Gold is the answer. And a lot of the colours I do use in this sort of painting are straight of the tube, they’re not blended, but I do a lot of the blending on the canvas. It’s just something I’ve always done. So this is getting a little bit wet now, and I think I’m going to do exactly what I tell my students. I’m going to finish it. It’s got the water and the colours that I wanted. There’s a little bit of cloud here which I’d just like to soften a little. Just a touch, so it looks like it’s the way clouds are here. I’m happy with that. (Graeme) Nice fan brush. (Jacki) Yeah, just a little fan brush, little bit of magic. And now I just need a little bit of foam, because it’s just coming in over the rocks, but just a small few little flicks. Keep it foam clean. A little bit over this one, and I think that’s about it. I think as I would say, sign it – it’s done. (Graeme) It looks wonderful, really, really well done. (Jacki) Thank you, Graeme. (Graeme) Okay, guys, another fantastic day with a very talented lady. Jacki, it was great. (Jacki) Thank you, Graeme. It’s been a pleasure. (Graeme) It was wonderful. As you can see, the finished result is a really magnificent piece of work. Now if somebody would like to come to your workshops, and I suggest that you do. It’s a beautiful area. Jacki’s got great facilities, and around this area Torquay’s a magic place. Lots of air B n B’s, lots of places to stay. Your workshop address again is? (Jacki) Jacki Burke art dot com dot au. (Graeme) Yes, so come in and go to the enquiry form and sign up, and you can come along and do the workshops with Jacki. Also, you can come and see us on YouTube and Facebook, and in colour in your life dot com dot au. Lots of people in there these days. Come in and say hi to us, there’s lots going on; sign up and be a member. We’ve got huge amounts of people in these days; it’s really amazing. And we’re going to head off again around this beautiful state of Victoria. Go and see some other people. But as we always say before we go – remember: make sure you put some colour in your life. We’ll see you next time guys. Bye now. Bye-Bye.

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