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.
(Graeme) Okay folks, well we are back in New Zealand again. Fantastic, love this
country, love the people, and we're at an area called the Manukau
Peninsula. I got that right? (Paul) Yes, you did. (Graeme) That's fantastic.
And we're with a very talented gentleman today, Mister Paul Coney.
Paul, (Paul) How do you do? Nice to meet you. (Graeme) welcome to the show. Wonderful to be here. Now Paul's
work is really exceptional. I mean you look at Paul's work you can see that he has
spent literally hundreds of hours involved in what he does.
Your work initiated really through dealing with depression
when you were a kid. And it was the loss of your mum that this all come
about. And your absolute fascination with nature.
(Paul) Yeah, my mother died when I was about fifteen.
It was quiet a protractive illness (Graeme) Yeah. (Paul) and I found it quite traumatising.
I suppose you could say I didn't deal with it. I
coped with it, but I didn't deal with it. So basically what
did is I suppressed everything, every emotion I had
about it, and I just carried on and put one foot in front of the other
basically. When you do that I think we all know now that
it takes it's tool and these emotions don't go away, and you end up getting
very depressed, or end up with an anxiety
disorder which is exactly what happened. (Graeme) But you did use,
you used your work to a sort of a little bit like a phoenix.
(Paul) Yes, absolutely. (Graeme) You rose out of that, yeah. (Paul) I did watercolours
for probably over twenty years. I was absolutely fascinated with watercolours.
and the techniques. You have to preconceive watercolours
and the planning of them, strategies, etc, etc. But after twenty
years I guess I started to feel a little bit stale with
the medium and I wanted to change and do larger
works basically. With watercolour you're always a bit limited with
size of the paper, (Graeme) With the size. (Paul) the framing,(Graeme) Yeah. (Paul) the glazing
of the work it starts to get quite heavy for walls. (Graeme) Yeah. (Paul) Were
canvas like this they're light and they
fit a modern interior really, yep. (Graeme) Well what we're going to be doing today
is that Paul works with photographing
his wife and his grandkids. I mean lives in a beautiful area right down near the beaches.
I love your water scenes. This delightful Chantilly with the young
lady in it going down to the surf, and that's exactly what we're going to be doing today.
We're going to be going your beautiful wife (Paul) Yep. (Graeme) and your granddaughter
in a beach scene. I'm going to step out of shot and I'm going to let
Paul make a start and we'll discuss a whole bunch of things as we go through. But
really, really talented guy; you're going to be quite amazed.
(Paul) The first thing I do when I start a painting
is I try and sort out which colours I'm going to use.
I always use a limited palette as I find
this helps with matching the colours. Maybe at a later
date if you have to reapply something on top.
So the colours I'm going to use today
is Colbert Blue, and I'll put the Colbert Blue here.
I set out my palette the same way
pretty much every time. I have blues and cooler
colours this side. I have over here
which I can make a dark out of, and I have warmer colours this
side. I usually have two whites as well.
One for the cooler colours, one for the warmer
colours. Cause I find once you get if you get
a little spot of blue and white, and you use yellow
the whole thing turns green, so it's better to seperate them.
I like to set out and mix all my
colours before I start so I don't need to do that in the middle of a painting.
Okay, I'm now going to mix up some
paint. So I've got my palette knife and I'll do some darks first.
So a bit of the blue, I can see I'm going to use
this for the shadows, so I want a kind of
neutral dark that will turn into a grey.
It's hard to see what the actual colour of it while it's so dark, but
if we get a little bit of white and mix it in
you can see that's turned out a relatively neutral
grey, perhaps a bit on the blue side, but that's okay.
The cardigan's brown on Marietta.
So I'm going to make a browner version of this as well,
and again do a bit of a tonal range of it. (Graeme) Now you've got an amazing piece
that you've done called Albert Park Fountain, and it's a magnificent
piece, of one of your florals are something that you're very famous for.
And also a piece called Cardinal de Richelieu. The one thing that you
do find fascinating is water drops, and reflections in what water
actually does. And you can see in this piece the water actually over
the flowers is quite amazing. (Paul) I do love water as an added element
into my paintings. I love all the effects of water.
The reflections, the highlights you get with water, the
refractions of light you can get with water into the shadow. I
really feel it a adds another dimension to any
scene. (Graeme) It's amazing, absolutely. (Paul) Okay, now
I'm going to put the first tonal values on.
I'll grab my mahl stick which I always work with,
and I think I'll start with the
darker tones in Marietta's cardigan.
So I'm just getting about the right tonal value,
and I just start putting the darker tones
in like this in the shadow of Marietta's cardigan. Now
everything on this side of Marietta is pretty
much in shadow, so I'm putting the darker bits
on first. But shadows are quite interesting things, because
you get reflected light back into them.
You get lots of colour changes,
and basically I'm just trying to get some folds in first
quickly. (Graeme) It looks like
a pretty flexible brush you've got there as well? (Paul) Yeah, these are just soft
brushes, they're just nylon brushes. And actual
in fact shadow is usually, I find it's quite
continuous so I don't stop
where it changes like I'm doing shadow
on the hair now, but really it's not that different from
shadow on the coat where it's
dark, it's dark basically. Shadow just falls indiscriminately
on everything; it doesn't pick and choose.
(Graeme) That oils running out quite effectively. What...
are you using a medium? (Paul) Yep, I basically use
I like Liquin as a product. (Graeme) Aha.
(Paul) Liquin - it helps the paint come
off the brush quite easily. It's fast drying
and it holds the paint together I think,
so the paint doesn't flake or
whatever. But it's nice to use. (Graeme) I'm just looking at
this piece called Champagne on Ice, and there's very, very
few dark spots in there but there's so much shape and
texture. And there's virtually no dark colours except on
two edges. (Paul) I wanted that painting to have quite a sort of
potpourri feel, a very pet-ally fee.
And the softness of the roses, I wanted to bring out
the softness of the rose petals. Now here
quite often on shadows you get reflected light.
So I can see a little bit of grey happening
in terms of reflected light back onto the cardigan. So
again I'm swapping to a smaller brush and I'm going to go
to a tonal value of grey here,
and just put it in where I see that reflected light happening.
(Graeme) Now you do, do a lot of commissions as well. (Paul) Yeah.
I like doing commissions very much. (Graeme) Yeah, cause you work with the client. There's one
particular piece which I think is a really great piece.
It's called Greg's Family, and you've basically got this gentleman and his whole family
working on the car outside a shed. They all know who they are.
But what a fantastic approach for a different idea for a portrait. (Paul) Yeah, well I feel
that it encapsulated more than just a portrait.
It encapsulated Greg and the character of his
family and the character of his life. (Graeme) Yes. (Paul) He's a
dairy farmer and it just showed
like the farm sheds. Greg
was a very keen mechanic, was proud of his Douge
car too, which he'd worked on and brought up to scratch.
So that was featured in the painting as well.
Okay, so what I'll do now is just move
the easel up a little bit,
and with this easel it's just a matter of lifting it
and changing where the dales are.
It's very easy. A friend of mine made this for me, and I find
it much easy than quite a lot of other quite complicated
easels which you can buy. (Graeme) The easier the better, yeah.
(Paul) So with the flesh
tone, I'll just do a bit on the leg here,
on Marietta's leg. I've mixed up some flesh tones
and how I'll start is I'll put in
this bit of the shadow here
which is called, it's normally called the core shadow.
And it's usually a little bit
darker than the rest of the shadow, because it's not really
receiving any reflected light back into it.
It's a band that kind of goes down the join of where the shadow
meets the light. And I've got a
general rule of saying it's usually darker
where the shadow meets the light, which is the core shadow.
(Graeme) That's correct. (Paul) Yep. (Graeme) So you generally start your paintings
directly onto a white canvas? (Paul) Yeah, I normally,
I normally do. Some landscapes it's a good idea
to put down a ground colour if that colour appears, or that tone appears
quite often. But normally I
just like starting on white, yep. (Graeme) You've got another piece here called
Creme de Cream, another beautiful floral piece.
What was the motivation for when you really started to
do the florals? (Paul) I do love doing the florals. I like
the detail in them, all the different textures.
So here we've got the highlight in the middle of the
light form there. So I'll just use a little bit of
brighter, slightly brighter white there, and just do that down the middle.
And then because its flesh of course
things need to be softened a little bit again.
(Graeme) I noticed that you were drying the brush. It's important to
get the oil and paint out when you do that. (Paul) Yeah,
I wipe my brush quite often, or all that happens
is I start spreading excess paint around that I don't
really want to. Okay, so now I'm moving on
to the slightly deeper shadow of this other
leg. Putting the darker bits in
and working my way down. A little bit of core shadow there
again as it goes over the ankle and
heel. And of course warming and lightening a little bit
as we move over
to the middle of the leg here. (Graeme) And you've also over the last thirty years, and you've been painting
for forty years, but you also do classes
and workshops for people as well. And you've got your studio
and your home set up for people anywhere in the world, that
can come in and spend time with you here in this beautiful area,
and learn from you, and your very talented wife Marietta,
as well, who's a brilliant artist. So if somebody wanted to come
in and possibly flying out from somewhere across the world.
What's your website address again, Paul? (Paul) It's Paul
Coney dot co dot nz. (Graeme) It's
something that you and Marietta have been putting together, and obviously having
people from all over the world come in and spend time with you while you
teach them these techniques. I think as well, it's such a beautiful area that you
live in. (Paul) Yeah, it's very picturesque here. (Graeme) Yeah.
(Paul) We're close to the beach. It's quite a dramatic landscape
really. Lots of things to paint here. Okay, so I'll
move just on to the refection of this leg as well.
With reflections, they can either be absolutely perfect reflections where
you can turn the whole painting upside down, and there wouldn't be any
difference. Here you've got the shape of the leg being distorted
quite a lot. There's all sorts of things that happen with reflections.
There's no kind of set rule I don't think.
I think that should do with the reflections at this point.
(Graeme) It looks fantastic. What we can do now, is we can move on to
the other piece that you've prepared, so we'll move onto the next one. (Paul) Yep.
(Paul) Now I've got a slightly greyed blue
which I'm going to start with a tonal range.
And some of the sand has got just soft
almost wrinkles in it which I'm going to start put in first.
What I'm doing is called negative imaging.
You do it in watercolour too, where you can
paint dark around lighter tonal values. With this
oil because it's a covering medium, I'm actually painting lighter
tones around the darker toner value of the reflection.
And I can actually cut right into the reflection if I want to
with these lighter tones. Basically I'm just putting bands
of colour on first, and then I'll
blend some of them. (Graeme) Just looking at the piece called
Dappled Lillies, and you can see why there's
painstaking amounts of time that goes into these pieces of yours, cause they're quite
amazing. But the colour contrast and how you actually put your composition
together is quite amazing as well. (Paul) What I go for is the light
and particularly the shadow amongst foliage. You get
so many variations in the shadows, so many shapes. And to me,
shadow is what gives the sunlight life almost.
It brings the whole painting to life. Now this next piece
actually is a watercolour I think you did a while back called Michaela and
Poppies, but an absolutely beautiful piece, it really is.
(Paul) Yeah, that was when Michaela, one of my daughters was about three years old.
With the poppies I've enlarged them, so that
it gives you the sense of the poppies being right in front of your face.
And that in fact lends intimacy to whole,
to the whole scene. You can really feel you're in amongst the
poppies there. (Graeme) In 1997 you were actually the offical artist for
the defence of when Australia ll, I think it was, was actually
racing against you guys for the America's Cup. And New Zealand
won the cup of Australia, and you basically painted the yacht called Kiwi Magic.
(Paul) Yeah, I was asked to do two paintings
of KZ 7 was the yacht. We did a
limited edition run of five hundred prints each which sold very, very
well. And that was a good break for me. (Graeme) Yeah,
gone in leaps and bounds since them - no two ways about it. (Paul) Yeah, thank you, Graeme.
(Graeme) You've got to a stage with this one where we're probably going to be able to move on to
the next piece that you've got, and do a couple of
techniques in that one as well. (Paul) Okay.
(Paul) Now I want to do
a nice clear sky that's graduated from one
colour to another colour, and from a slightly lighter tone to a slightly
darker tone. So I've mixed up the two colours and two tones
and I'm going to do what's called a saw tooth drawing.
Which is probably the best way I know of
getting a very slow graduation through, and a very even
graduation. So the first thing I need to do I'll get the darker
tone, which is a blue, again a Colbert Blue
which we've been using right the way through, and I'm just going to
quickly draw in the teeth. (Graeme) Like a saw. (Paul) Yep.
(Graeme) So what other artists actually use this particular technique? (Paul) To be honest with
you I'm not sure. (Graeme) Okay. (Paul) I must have picked it up from
somewhere and it works extremely well.
The longer the teeth the slower the graduation.
(Graeme) Yeah. (Paul) The shorter the teeth, obviously it becomes more sudden.
Right, now I'll flatten
the blue basically (Graeme) Yes. (Paul) so it's a solid, they're all solid masses.
The only difficulty that you can have
with this is when I'm getting close to the hair here.
I need to do some horizontal brush work
which sometimes can go over the hair, but I mean being oil
we can easily fix that up at a later date. (Graeme) Yeah,
apart from all the florals you do, your figurative works pretty amazing as well.
And there's one here called Silk n Surf, which is sort of
where we're heading, it's a similar type of picture. But you can see that the sunlight...
This is one of your beautiful daughters. (Paul) Michaela's my eldest daughter, and
that's an antique dress I think and it has silk
and satin in it. Now I find the
sky quite often if I'm outside or driving in the car, and I look at
the sky, I quite often see at the bottom of the sky
it goes slightly yellow. I find it
really lifts the sky if you can have a lighter tone
and a warmer tone coming into the blue.
Now what I do is I'm
going to use a filbert brush. It's
a soft brush but it is quite firm as well,
so it will push the paint. And I'm going to
push it with a horizontal motion that has to be
continuous and methodical.
So I'm just pushing it going upwards
horizontally in a very even way.
(Graeme) Great technique. (Paul) Okay, now you can do the same thing down as well.
(Graeme) So these are just some of the techniques you teach at your
workshops? (Paul) Yeah, these are just a few. There are
many, many ways of kind of approaching a painting and how
to look at a scene and decide how you're going to
go about actually doing the painting. (Graeme) Yeah. (Paul) As you
can see there are still a few little
streaks there. Now I found over time the
best thing, the best way to blend and get rid of those streaks is just with your
finger. So just make sure the end of your finger is clean.
And then very lightly and probably
not horizontally now, do it kind of in a diagonal motion.
Just very lightly skim the surface of
the paint like that. (Graeme) And also one of the galleries
galleries that you deal with in
New Zealand in Aukland, is the International Art Centre that has some very
prestigious artists in there - you being one of them of course.
(Paul) I started with the international Art Centre in
I think the mid to late eighties, and I've been
selling my work there pretty much ever since for
probably over thirty years now. (Graeme) Well we've had an absolutely
fantastic day with you Paul - you're work is amazing. An incredibly talented man,
I think that the rest of the world will be amazed when they see you as well. (Paul) Thank you,
Graeme. It's been an absolute pleasure having you and Sophia here.
(Graeme) Alright, fantastic day with an amazing man,
very, very talented. Went through some processes today which was great.
To end up with amazing results like this it's just wonderful. Paul,
thank you so much. (Paul) Absolute pleasure. (Graeme) It was a great day, it really was. You website
address again is? (Paul) Paul Coney dot co dot nz.
(Graeme) So if you want to come in and have a look at what Paul's doing, and also enquire
about his workshops. It doesn't matter where you are in the world,
if you want to travel to the beautiful islands of New Zealand, it's a fantastic
area. Beautiful scenery. Paul and his darling wife have got
their home set up specifically for that, so come in and make an enquiry,
come in and see Paul. Come and see us on Facebook, YouTube.
And if you want some other information come in to colour in your life dot com dot au,
and we'll see you in there as well. But thanks again, and all the way from New Zealand -
remember: make sure you put some colour in your life. Until we see you next time guys, bye now.