Vale Adam Dunbar. My beloved friend, companion, unlikely muse, soulmate. You were the best. You will remain forever in our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dunbar and Abi-Hanna families, Adam’s battle buddy Danny and their military brothers and sisters. With deepest condolences, the Dooney and Heriot family. #adf#veteran#lestweforget
You can't see it in this photo but Adam's eyes were the same colour as the brightest blue on his shirt. His gaze was penetrating and soulful. I spent time with him recently. We talked and comforted each other. I didn't know the end was coming. Regardless, I have nothing but love, trust and respect for this man.
I will take some time out to grieve and then return to my work, as previously planned. Please know that I have the support of my family and close friends and am taking care of myself.
Big Pin-Up: Miss March is being re-offered for sale on the secondary market through art dealer Peter Anderson, director of Art Nomad. Painted in 2011, Miss March is one of my best executed works in high gloss enamel on canvas. It measures 152cm high x 180cm wide. Please note that I have no ownership of the artwork and I'm not represented by Art Nomad. I'm simply letting collectors know that one of my high gloss enamel paintings is available. If you'd like more information about Big Pin-Up: Miss March, please contact Peter Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org #hazeldooney
Photographic Study for Artist Reading (Reboot: A Democracy Makeover to Empower Australia's Voters by Richard Walsh), 2017. #hazeldooney#richardwalsh#reboot#democracy
Recommended reading for anyone living in a democracy. I don't pretend to understand the art of governance. However I'm interested in how civilised societies function and ideas about improving systems. Special mention for noting "George W Bush has devoted his political after-life to creating bad art" (p. 71).
In response to requests and in celebration of the 2nd printing of Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (which she announced yesterday on Twitter): "Photographic Study for Artist Reading (Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay) in Colour", 2017. #hazeldooney#roxanegay#badfeminist
My personal commitment has been delayed by a couple of days so I'm still online, for now (catching up on email correspondence).
Photographic Study for Artist Reading (Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay), 2017 (detail). #hazeldooney#roxanegay
You can see another photograph from this new series on my Twitter (hazeldooney). I tagged Dr. Gay in the photo however I prefer her Twitter feed (rgay) because she talks more there. She's smart, insightful, composed, raw, tender, a consummate professional and an example of a woman owning her accomplishments. Plus she claps back with a cool mix of acerbic wit and grace.
On a different note, I have a personal commitment to attend to and will be offline for the next few weeks. I'll open up more (in writing and art) – and post new works from the Dooney Lives series – on my return.
After years of shaving my head I wanted long hair again. I didn't know what to expect. I hadn't seen my natural colour or texture since I was seventeen. It turns out my hair falls in thick, loose curls and is rapidly turning grey. The baby hair above my right temple (where I had Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in 2012) is a patch of platinum silver. The same colour-devoid strands are scattered unevenly over the rest of my head.
When my hair was still only a few inches long I asked Belinda Jeffrey (@belindajeffreycolourist) to dye it blonde. I consulted Belinda because I admire her precise use of colour. As an artist, I know it's not easy to custom-mix beautiful shades of cream, honey, caramel, burnt toffee, mocha and so on using paint. Belinda creates subtle shades of these colours on hair – which, unlike paper, is an unpredictable base medium. But she told me she preferred my natural colour, including the grey. I insisted, so she added tones that complemented instead of covered my original colour. Although they were beautiful, I realised she was right and have let it grow out naturally since.
Yesterday I returned to Belinda's salon, @laboutiquehair, with longer and greyer hair. Kim Edwards trimmed the ends and reminded me how to take care of my unruly mane: let it be. #thankyou#laboutique#belindajeffrey#hazeldooney
Study for Refined Face, Cowgirl, 2017. Gouache on 300gsm 100% cotton watercolour paper in medium texture. Image size 17cm x 28cm, paper size 29.7cm x 42cm. #hazeldooney Happy 50th Birthday Joe!
This series of faces continues my exploration of idealised, homogenised beauty. The kind of beauty that used to be an openly constructed, aspirational fantasy. But is now endlessly emulated by women on social media, often as a way of inserting themselves into advertising. It is a cartoon beauty – to which we are becoming increasingly accustomed thanks to airbrushing, filters and selfies taken at angles that 'improve' the curves and symmetry of bodies and faces. It's an aesthetic that spills into everyday life. These days, foundations are marketed using the terminology of airbrushing and Photoshop, promising to 'blur' the appearance of pores, blemishes and fine lines to create 'flaw-less, photo-perfect' skin. Even the bone structure of our faces can be temporarily altered using contouring make-up (once used only in film and professional photoshoots, in part to counter bright lighting which flattened facial features). It feels good to look at my "Refined Face" paintings because the colours, lines, symmetry and seamless application of paint are harmonious. But they are an illusion. To paraphrase René Magritte, they are treacherous images: this is not a woman, it is a representation of a woman. The facial features are an impossible ideal. However we have become so well trained by advertising and pop culture that instead of recognising and taking pleasure in (or intellectually considering) these representations, we women often compare ourselves – or others compare us – to them. And then we attempt to re-create ourselves to match.
Colour palette for a gouache on paper commission that I completed this morning. I'll post a photograph after it's delivered, so I don't ruin the surprise.
It's taken a while for me to get used to painting in a studio without great natural light. Working on this piece helped me to adapt. Now I've figured out how to best use the lighting I have, I'm looking forward to resuming a larger gouache on paper commission. I'll return to posting the text and photographic works in my Dooney Lives series soon. #hazeldooney
Studio visit with @charleswaterstreet, a long-time collector of my work, before we shared brunch at my local cafe @barangolopizzeria (an oasis in suburbia). Charles deserves his scandalous reputation. Yet he's always been a gentleman with me – and a delightfully provocative conversationalist. #hazeldooney#charleswaterstreet#barangolopizzeria
Dooney Lives No. 19, 2017 (detail). Lead pencil on 300gsm watercolour paper, 15.5cm high x 12cm wide (6.10 x 4.72 inches). #hazeldooney
It's my birthday today (a happy one). From tomorrow I'll take a few days off social media. My soul needs some time out from screen time. I love the intellectual stimulation of connecting online. However my other senses need to be fulfilled too. Back soon.
Dooney Lives (In Pictures) No. 19, 2017 (detail). Instant film (1/1), primer, metallic gold gouache and lead pencil on 300gsm watercolour paper, 15.5cm high x 12cm wide (6.10 x 4.72 inches). #hazeldooney
Artist life. (Technically, this is not a breach of Instagram's guidelines. Nipples are obscured by sunlight and angle of the camera. Vulva is concealed by shadow. But I'm sure someone will report it, so I guess I'll find out if moderators agree.)