Thursday, 29 November 2012






Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A Work in Progress - with Felicity

Title:            (Work in Progress) 
Details:         Mixed Media, consisting of acrylic paint and ink.
Size:            1 metre x 1 metre 
Created:       November / December 2012
Artist:           Felicity Thomson Payne @ Thomayne

Lights in the Sky

Title:            Lights in the Sky (Currently on Exhibition) 
Details:         Mixed Media, consisting of acrylic paint, ink and bitumen.
Size:            1 metre x 1 metre 
Created:       November 2012
Artist:           Dickson Payne @ Thomayne

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Linear Disappropriation

Title:             Linear Disappropriation SOLD 
Details:         Mixed Media, consisting of acrylic paint, ink and bitumen. 
Size:             40" x30"
Created:       November 2012
Artist:           Dickson Payne @ Thomayne

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Friday, 23 November 2012

Weekend at Thomayne's

We figured we might as well take advantage of our yard sale and put some of our work out for people to see. If you are in Ringwood, come and drop in!
A possum was so struck by the beauty of the work that it fell out of a tree to take a better look.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Evolution of Style - My First Painting

When I decided to write about the evolution of my painting style, I had to take a large step back to try and gain a sense of perspective. I doubt that I have ever taken the time to consider the style with which I paint.  

After much thought, I identified common stylistic traits in my work as follows:

- Bitumen and recycled materials oriented
- Minimalistic
- Geometric / Line based
- Focused primarily on color and texture
- Stenciled
- Multi-layered
- Industrial in either style or content. 

To try and understand the evolution of my style, I have gone into some detail about each of the above points:

My First Painting and the Use of Recycled Materials and Bitumen

As previously discussed in a prior post, I like to use bitumen on the majority of my paintings in some way or another.  Whilst I enjoy using bitumen because of the texture, it is not the reason that I choose to use it. 

I remember my very first painting, which I made back in the mid to late nineties, when I was in my late teens. It was a horrendous piece that was made in a sudden burst of confused inspiration.
It was made from recycled materials from my parents garage, namely on old water damaged framed print of my grandfathers that was ready to be sent to the rubbish dump. So rather than waste a perfectly fine board, I ripped the frame off and used the particle board backing as the base for my first painting. 

I distinctly remember searching through my parents garage trying to find anything that would help recreate the image that was stamped in my mind's eye on to the recycled particle board.

After a tenuous morning of going through a whole lot of junk, I ended up finding a various array of bits and pieces that would probably have been better found in a recycling depot.

I started the process by gluing some eggshell foam to the backing board and covering it in a thin layer of instant cement. I then added parts from a broken pair of binoculars, some fencing wire and a busted lamp shade fitting, among other things. Somewhere along the line I found some old green paint and a broken butter knife, so I cut and painted some geometrical shapes into the foam to create an industrialesque landscape.

My first abstract painting had now come into being. In all honesty, it was crude, awful and simple, but I really loved it. It was genuinely inspired and I was happy.

Unfortunately though, with time, it deteriorated terribly. The foam disintegrated and the cement cracked. It was so bad in fact, that I no longer have the painting - I had to dispose of it.

So, I figured that the next time I painted, it would be without the foam and the cement. 

After spending quite a bit of time pondering what to do next, I realized that whilst it was terribly impractical and limiting, I really did love using the cement. I then decided that I needed something like cement - but more flexible. Quite literally. And that it where the bitumen/rubber cement came into play.  Ever since, I have used bitumen/rubber cement in most of my paintings.

Work in progress November 2012 (image 1)


I have always loved minimalism, as it is refined, reserved and efficient, something that is the total opposite of who I am personally. When I was younger, I spent countless hours in art galleries, refining my tastes and understanding more and more about myself as a person through interpreting the art of so many other artists before me.

Indeed, a lot of my favorite photographers are minimalistic in their style and it is clear to me that it has carried across into my work.

A favorite saying I love is 'Minimalism is not about the lack of something. It is simply the perfect amount of something'.

I can definitely say that the way I measure when a painting is finished, is by identifying when the painting has attained that 'perfect amount of something'.

Work in progress November 2012 (image 2)

Color and Texture 

With color and texture, I wade deep in the colors of the simple and everyday things that surround me. Generally when I take photos, the object of the photo is of very little significance, whereas the color and texture means everything. 

Sometimes, I just want to take a dive into some of my photographs, and absorb and touch the color and texture as it envelops me.

My desire was to try and carry this over to my paintings. 

Composition plays a large part in making the color and texture interesting. In my experience, the choice of contrasting colors can either bring life to the piece, or kill it.

Stenciling, Lines and Geometry 

Stenciling has become a core part of my paintings, as I have found that it enables me to add lines, shapes and dimension to each of my paintings. With stencils, I am able to create what ever shapes I choose. It also helps me to create the atmosphere, story and environment that I am wanting to establish.

Together with multi-layering, stencils help to add depth to the piece, and it can help enhance the color and texture also. 

Put simply, lines and geometry just make me happy. It gives me a sense of creative order and a means to keep a painting on track. It is a focal point, and it gives me a way to keep a point of perspective. 


The layering in my paintings was inspired by my wife and her artistic style. Felicity is a printmaker and painter and her work focuses on a style known as 'mark-making', a minimalist approach consisting of one-of-a-kind marks, to produce beautiful and minimalistic abstract pieces. Felicity primarily creates works on paper, and layering is an inherent part of what she does.

When Felicity and I decided to create a collaborative painting back in 2005/2006, we combined different layering techniques to produce a wonderfully detailed piece that we have kept in our personal collection ever since. From then until now, I have continued to use multi-layering in my paintings.  

Work in progress November 2012 (image 3)


The industrial theme in my paintings is the possibly most difficult to write about. Ever since I was a child, I have always been a vivid dreamer. My imagination was so intense it was almost life-like. By that, I mean that when I dream, it is usually very detailed and hyper-real.

Some of my favorite dreams were in an industrial environment. To this day, one of my favorite places to visit when I meditate is an industrial landscape from my dreams. I guess it was inevitable that it transferred as a visual style into my art.   

Evolution of Style 

I must confess, I have enjoyed looking back to see where my style has evolved from. If anything it gives me a greater sense of focus. 

But like most things, my style will is on a constant evolutionary path. It will be interesting for me to see how it changes as time goes on.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Art of Being an Artist and a Parent

Prior to Felicity and I becoming parents to our two fantastic children, we had all of the time in the world to dream up beautiful images, create fantastic art and think of ways to expand our creative landscape. 

We used to take what we had for granted and time fluttered away like leaves in the wind.

Of course, with every significant lifestyle change, there are compromises to be made.

This year I decided, things had to change. Our son is now in school and our daughter is headed for kindergarten. Even though time is still limited, the kids are now getting old enough to comprehend that their parents have needs too.

With time – changes in lifestyle are inevitable for everyone.

Felicity and I chose to be parents, and we are extremely grateful that we did. Without doubt it is the best decision we have made together. Rewarding and fulfilling.
There are only two major compromises that made a significant impact and they both appear obvious in hindsight.
The first was the loss of time.  What was once a fairly bottomless resource soon became incredibly finite.
The second was flexibility. No longer could we stay up all night mixing paints, prepping canvases and doing print runs.
This was particularly difficult for Felicity, as night was when her creativity popped out to say hi.

Everyone expects that when they have children that there are going to be constraints on their time and flexibility. But I doubt that many prospective parents realise just how much an impact children will truly make on their life. Nothing prepares you for it.

For quite a long time, Felicity and I put our art to the side - and found to our dismay that not only had artistic creativity become secondary to the needs of our children (as we had somewhat anticipated), but it had eroded almost overnight.

Of course, I still took photos - but with a lot less regularity. Painting and printmaking had become non-existent. For six years our creativity had rescinded into nothingness. During that time, we knew something that was truly fundamental to the core of who we are had been severely compromised.

So I have started painting again, doing a record number of paintings this year. I have expanded my photographic portfolio threefold. Without doubt, I have enjoyed every minute of it.

I found that time management works wonders. Half the trick is realising that you can be creative, spend time with the family and work a full time job. 

If I have a spare half an hour, I can prep a canvas and start cutting stencils. If I have nothing scheduled for Saturday morning, and the weather is permitting, I can get out and start painting. If I have the kids on bed at night, I can do some post processing on photos.

In all sincerity, I think that the trick is to stop making excuses - to yourself mostly. It can be done. You just have to make the effort to include it in your busy schedule.

Lucky for me, I paint and photograph. I carry my camera with me pretty much all of the time. I do this for several reasons. One is that when I see a shot, I need to capture it before the opportunity passes. And secondly, if I didn't have my camera with me, then I would have to return to the location at a later date and hope that what I wanted to shoot was still there.

So in short, I found that there were two lessons to be learned from this. One, to take the opportunity when it presents itself. And two, be prepared (and before you ask, no I was not a boy scout).

And so I try and take this philosophy with me wherever I go. So far, so good

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Use of Art Filters in Photography


A Common Debate: 

Is there Creative Integrity in using Art Filters in Photography?

With the success of Instagram and Hipstamatic (to a lesser degree) and the boom of 'phoneography', the use of filters in photography is an intensely debated topic on blogs all over the internet.

However, the debate seems largely redundant, as the new methods of 'instant' photography are only gaining in popularity.

What would have happened had the world debated how the instant gratification of a Polaroid was taking the integrity out of photography?
So, there seems little point in buying into the argument here. Instead, I will explain why the use of filters works well for me. 

Personally, I believe that a filter can’t turn a poorly composed photo into a memorable image.

When engaging in 'phoneography' I dabble in using filters almost all of the time. This is largely due to my wanting to work the image in a manner similar to how I work a painting.When working a painting, I will layer it, and strip it back - ad infinitum. I do so in order to create, manipulate, or enhance the colour or texture of the painting.

And so the same principle applies with my photographs. In my opinion, the only difference is that the paintings are a real life format and the photography digital.

Being an untrained photographer, I am not so concerned about whether a photograph follows the rules. The only rule I truly stick to is making sure that the image composition is correct.

If the image is engaging, regardless of what camera was used to create it, or what filters (if any) were used, then the photographer has been successful in accomplishing their task.
Even when I am shooting with my gorgeous Olympus OM-D EM5, I still make good use of the filters. As discussed in an earlier post, the accessibility of quality art filters on your camera is invaluable. I often commence a shoot with the use of filters in the back of my mind when planning the shots.

So, in my humble opinion, the use of art filters in photography does have creative integrity. And for more than one reason. Even more so for me, as filters are a necessity in achieving the creative results I desire.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Developing Online Presence

Facebook Versus Blogging

Felicity and I recently re-evaluated how we make our online presence more effective.

Being artists, our main focus should be in what we create, rather than how we should present it to the world.

Previously, we spent a solid twelve months attempting to build a network on Facebook.

Halfway into the year, Facebook rolled out the ‘Promote Your Post’ feature which has had a significant impact on our exposure on our Thomayne page. Since then, our appreciation of Facebook has diminished considerably and been replaced with disdain.

Over a period of several months, we started noticing a ‘levelling off’ of our network exposure. As people who are less than impressed with our limited time being needlessly wasted, it came to a point where we decided to walk away from Facebook and focus our attention on a more productive outlet.

For those who do not manage a Facebook page, Facebook has made changes where only a very small percentage (I believe it to be approx. 30%) of your followers see your updates on their news feed. Facebook have done this in the hope that you will be happy to make payments to receive the exposure you previously received for free.

In response to a barrage of criticism, Facebook repeatedly stated that they limit updates in this manner in order to stop people’s news feeds from being bombarded with posts.

So, it seems that they are apparently looking out for our best interests. But contradictorily, in return for a hefty payment, they are willing to forget about our best interests and return that exposure.

On our news feed, I noticed people complaining about the lack of exposure due to the Facebook restraints. So it seems we are not the only ones disappointed with the service.

Upon talking to a friend who is more social media adept than I am, I decided that creating this blog and starting off a fresh account on Twitter was the way to go.

And so here we are. I guess only time will tell whether it will be successful or not. But I can say so far - so good.

I am interested in what your thoughts are on this, so don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Part One - Michal Rovner

©Michal Rovner

I remember the time I was first exposed to the art of Michal Rovner. I was still living in Maitland, NSW and I had driven to Newcastle with my mother to visit my grandfather who was in a nursing home dying of motor neurone disease.
On our way home, we stopped off at one of my favourite bookshops. As always, I wandered around and found that I wanted to buy half of the shop.
In the sale bin, I found a book that would forever change the way I would perceive art and in particular, photography.
The book was Michal Rovner – The Space Between. I am not exaggerating when I say that it completely changed my creative perspective.
©Michal Rovner

As a University student, I had zero chance of paying $50 for an art book. Lucky for me, my mother knew by the look in my eyes, that it was something special and so she purchased it for me.

Michal Rovner is a painter, photographer, video artist, and writer and is reportedly the world's most successful Israeli artist.

As an Israeli, Rovner's earlier work focused on the concept of borders, both national and cultural.

Her intense photography is frequently bleached of all identifiable features. It appears to be the product of a distant memory, a personal place distinctly removed from both time and space. The images identify with a strong sense of place – a bare landscape in the middle of a desert of nothing.

©Michal Rovner

For me, the subject matter was less important – I felt a strong pull from her images and I was able to connect with the image as an alternate, but perfectly viable perspective of reality.

Rovner is a varied artist as she works across various media. Her work has contstantly evolved over time.  A selection of her photographic work can be found on Artnet.

Also, another excellent collection of images in book format is her collection Fields.
If you are interested, in finding out more abot Rovner, I have managed to find a fantastic (and rare) BBC interview that you can read here.
Thanks to Michal Rovner for being an inspiration, because I feel comfortable photographing items for no other reason than to capture the colour and texture that is inherent to the item being photographed. There is something so special about seeing something intriguing and amazing in the commonplace and the familiar and being able to capture it for prosperity's sake.

©Michal Rovner

OMG It's An Olympus OM-D

The Olympus OM-D EM5
One impressive camera indeed.

When I first saw the Olympus OM-D camera, it was love at first sight. Really. Seriously.
I first came across the camera when Felicity and I went and explored the various exhibitions at the The Digital Show in Melbourne earlier this year.

I found it difficult to leave the exhibit, even though it was close to closing time, as Olympus had several OM-D cameras on display for everyone to play with. And did I want to play.

I was immediately taken by the following impressions:

* The ease of use

* The comfortable manner of which the camera sits in your hand

* The clarity of the shots and the realistic colour representation

* The speed of the auto focus and the shutter speed.

So, I went away with the booklet and day dreamed all the way home. I knew without doubt that the OM-D was going to be my next camera.

That said, as always, I never purchase anything, particularly something as important to me as a camera without doing some detailed research first.

So I started wading through the massive sea of reviews online and it became difficult to locate one that held the delicate balance between a strong technical investigation of the camera and a genuine opinion based on personal experience with the camera. 

Then I found a detailed review by Tech Radar and it made all the difference.

With impressive specifications, it looked to be the perfect camera for a street photographer.

So after successfully convincing Felicity that we just had to have a new camera, I went and purchased one.

And it did not take long to find so many things to absolutely love about it:

* It is weatherproof – whilst it is not waterproof it is splash / dust proof

* The sharpness - the photos taken are sharp and vivid

* Famous Olympus colours – the colours are vivid, true to life and just beautiful to look at

* Exceptional art filters – it is extremely convenient to have quality art filters that are easy to access and look stunning. When shooting in raw mode, you can try various filters on the one image. Love it.

* The wonderful tilting OLED touchscreen monitor (which is great for taking photos at different angles – particularly good for shooting from the hip as I am quite tall)

Tilting Touchscreen Monitor
Tilting Touchscreen Monitor

* Fastest autofocus in its class at the time of its release.

* The world's first image stabilisation system that uses a 5 axis system intended to combat body shake for vertical, horizontal, pitch, rolling and yaw.

5 axis system
 This is by no means an exhaustive list of the excellent functionality that this camera provides. The more that I use it, the more impressed I am.

More than anything, I suppose, I love that it takes the right shot, first time round. I find that I don't have to keep re-taking the shot to ensure I got it right. It saves me a lot of time.

There is one downside to the camera, in that it sucks up the battery very quickly. I expect that it may have a lot to do with the 5 axis system. So I recommend that if you are looking at purchasing this camera, that you pick up a spare battery also.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Art is the Window to Man's Soul

“Art is the window to man’s soul. Without it, he would never be able to see beyond his immediate world; nor could the world see the man within.” - Anon

Polaroid Love

Polaroid Love

For most of my adult life, I have held an intense love affair with Polaroid cameras and Polaroid film. (I get shivers down my spine at the mere mention of Polaroid film). With the discontinuation of production of Polaroid films in 2008, it seemed that our extensive collection of vintage Polaroid cameras were bound for a life of shelfdom.

I am not ashamed to admit that Felicity and I mourned the loss, and we expected to do so for a very long time.

However, In 2010, The Impossible Project announced the release of two monochromatic films, the PX100 and PX600, which are compatible with the SX-70 and 600 type cameras, respectively. Colour films were initially released in 2010 for SX-70 type cameras, followed in 2011 with the release of improved colour films for Polaroid 600, SX-70 and Spectra Cameras.

So, it seems, some good folk were trying to keep this wonderful, timeless photo format alive.

But before I dust off the Polaroid camera collection, it is worth mentioning that the price of the re-released films is quite restrictive. Not too many people will be too willing to spend a minimum of $25 - $30 for just eight exposures.

In any case, some of my favourite photos were taken with a Polaroid camera (like the two detailed photos below). I used to take it with me everywhere and take photos whenever and wherever the urge took me. Fond memories indeed.

I guess that smart phones and digital cameras have taken the place of where Polaroid left off.

Perhaps it is time for me to accept that the Polaroid Love was good whilst it lasted.

Our photographs can be found here.
The Long Walk
Internal Flux

Just Itching for an Etching

Print Sale

Due to running out of storage space, we are offering some of Felicity's beautiful etchings. These are much treasured prints direct from our personal collection. These images are wonderful when framed and are full of detail and ambiguity.

Drypoint Etching - Untitled 

Unique State - No edition
Etching Signed and Dated 1998
Image size: 98 x 148mm / Paper size: 205 x 280mm
Purchase - $99.00

Drypoint and Aquatint Etching - Untitled

 Unique State Etching - No Edition 
Etching Signed and Dated 1998
Image size: 97 x 145mm / Paper size: 230 x 305

 Purchase - $99.00

Drypoint / Aquatint Etching - Untitled

A homage to Deborah Halpern (Artist / Sculptor from Melbourne Australia)
Etching Signed and Dated 1998

Image size: 95 x 145mm / Paper size: 205 x 285mm

Purchase - $99.00

Softground Etching - Untitled

Etching Signed and Dated 1998
Edition 1 of 8 (last one available)

Image size: 95 x 130mm / Paper size: 225 x 305mm

Purchase - $99.00

Sugarlift Aquatint Etching - Untitled - Black State

Etching Signed and Dated 1998.
Artist Proof (A/P) available, as well as an edition of four. 
Image size: 145 x 195mm / Paper size: 225 x 305mm
Purchase - $99.00

Sugarlift Aquatint Etching - Untitled - White State

Artists Proof (A/P) - No Edition. 
Etching Signed and Dated 1998

Image size: 148 x 197mm /Paper size: 238 x 320mm

Purchase - $99.00

Weatherboard Series

Art from Recycled Materials

There have been plenty of times as an artist where I have not been in a financial position to purchase canvases in order to paint.

One Saturday, Felicity and I jumped in the car and did a 'hard rubbish run'. For the uninitiated, in suburban Melbourne, residents put their hard rubbish out on the front foot path for the local council to collect and dispose of. This can include anything from fridges and furniture, to industrial off cuts and general rubbish. Anyway, off we drove around our suburb to see what we could find. On this particular occasion, I fond some pine board from a chest of drawers, and a few other items (which will show up on here later). 

I wanted to recycle the wood, that would have otherwise ended up rotting in a pile of waste. So, being someone who loves urban art, I decided that I would make use of the recycled pine boards and 'weather them' in my own unique way. 

To achieve this, I hard to gouge some marks and use some bitumen. Then it was time to paint and whitewash the wood to give the pieces some subtle colour and texture. I then burnt it back with the heat gun, wearing away the paint and bitumen and starting all over again.

The nature of urban life is central to these pieces, which can be seen through the industrial, age worn, weathered appearance.

These are relatively small, easy to hang pieces, which would look good as a full series, as twins, or as singular pieces.

If purchased as a set of four, we will provide a special discount - and the total price will be reduced to $330.00 (A saving of $62!).

 Weatherboard I - Purchase - $98.00

 Weatherboard II - Purchase - $98.00

 Weatherboard III - Purchase - $98.00

Weatherboard IV - Purchase - $98.00

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