Welcome to the newly updated Sea of Pain website. Other urgent things kept pushing it to the side of the plate for a while but late's always better than never. Exciting things have happened (and continue to happen) with the playing cards in the last year and work is already underway to develop what has been a very good start as far as establishing a new brand of playing cards goes, many thanks to the publisher, Bruce Rendall, for all his hard work. Apart from a fairly major reworking of the entire deck design for future editions which is already well underway, my main aim now is to spend as much time as possible in my studio working on originals in graphite and pastel.
I am also now writing regular drawing articles for "Artists- Back to Basics" magazine so I'm sure 2011 is going to be an incredibly busy one here in the Sea of Pain. I will update the website more regularly ("yeah, yeah", they say) as new originals and card deck editions become available.
To all the people who have visited the website and checked out my art, the site has been up for over 4 years now and is attracting more hits all the time, millions from 80 or so countries, thank you for all your support, it means a lot. The journey continues................
Jan 2011 update
WATCH THIS SPACE, major website update coming soon. Sorry about the delay, 2010 turned out crazy busy once the cards hit the fan, I hoped they would be popular but had no idea this would happen. Thank you to all the many thousands of people who bought a deck or decks (or a lot of decks in some cases), both here in Australia and all over the world. So much happened in 2010 that I didn't have time to get to the website, not just with the cards but quite a few other things as well. It will all be on the big update which is the job at hand, it's that long overdue that it has pretty much turned into a complete revamp of the whole website by default. Keep checking back over the next few weeks, you won't have to look hard to see the changes when they come. This wesite has been up since Jan 26th (Australia Day) 2007, so it will be four years right about when the big changes come. Thank you to everyone who have hit on it millions of times, and thank you for your patience when nothing changes on the site when I am out on the artistic tundra lost in the studio for extended periods.
Mar 2010 update
........just found out Whiteknuckle New Standard playing cards has won deck of the month in the Netherlands.
Feb 2010 update
................and we're away. Whiteknuckle New Standard playing cards are finally here in Australia and available for sale. If you want to buy a deck/decks please visit our Whiteknuckle card page.
There will be signed A4 and A3 prints of the card designs available soon.
There will also be high quality authentic Whiteknuckle leather card cases available, each one hand made by the King of Spades himself, who is a leatherwork adept.
The entire Sea of Pain site is going to be pulled apart and put back together after the big exhibition in April/May in Maryborough, with some Brett A. Jones framed pastel originals up on the site for sale for the first time (unless they all sell at the exhibition). I'm trying to work my way back to the graphite studio but the pastels are a lot of fun.
In the meantime grab a couple of decks of these first edition Whiteknuckle New Standards while you can as there are only a very limited amount and they are already going very fast, there will probably be one more update before the exhibition to remind you all it's the 24th of April in Maryborough, all the best to all who have been watching my progress on these cards for the last couple of years. I'm finally finished, who'd have thought?
Brett A. Jones
Nov 2009 Update
The Whiteknuckle playing card designs are finished. They are currently being manufactured in the U.S. and will be available for sale early in 2010. Wow, what a mind blowing journey across the tundra that was. I'll write all about it later, in fact there will be some fairly major changes to the Sea of Pain website in 2010, but for now I'm happy to just get some of the finished designs up to show you.
I'll be having my second solo exhibition using all the playing card material in the form of the entire deck framed individually in A4 size and all hung on the gallery wall together as a complete design. It will be held at the Maryborough Art Gallery in April 2010 in my art societies excellent new home in the foyer of the Old Wintergarden theatre on Kent St. Maryborough. This venue is perfect to show off the entire deck to it's best advantage and will be a very big night. All are welcome. Further details will be posted in the exhibitions and displays section as they become known.
An article about the cards will be published in "Artists Palette" magazine around March, 2010.
If you would like to pre-order a deck of Whiteknuckle New Standard playing cards please email me, and leave your details and you will be guaranteed a deck when they become available early 2010. The decks will be of the highest quality, poker sized, printed by U.S.P.C.C. in Ohio.
Price per deck will be $11.10 AUD including postage and handling anywhere in Australia. Overseas and multiple orders most welcome, postage to be calculated. Please don't send money or cheques, just contact details(preferably e-mail) you will be contacted with payment details as soon as the cards become available. There will only be 10 000 decks in the first print run, and are bound to be instant collectors items judging by the absolutely overwhelming reaction so far and the hundreds and hundreds of orders already received so far from Australia, England, Germany, and France just from word of mouth. This update is the first online showing of any Whiteknuckle New Standard playing card designs anywhere, so if you would like a pack from the first edition, get in quick, first in best dressed (contact details won't be divulged to any outside mailing lists, to be used solely for the reasons described).
Signed A4 card designs on 260gsm glossy photo paper are also available framed and unframed (would look great on games room wall), please e-mail email@example.com for details or enquiries.
Workshops and Awards sections also been updated.
O.K. here's a taste of 5000+ hours of effort, hope you like them. Thank you for being so patient and continuing to support the Sea of Pain website, it's much appreciated,
This update is very overdue, due to the ongoing obsession over the playing cards I am designing. I know I said there would be some previews months ago, but I am keeping the designs close to my chest until Aug-Sept, when they will be close to being launched into an unsuspecting world as the new standard in playing cards.
WATCH THIS SPACE.
I will be conducting a 2-day workshop in Kenilworth (inland from Nambour over the Blackbutt Range, Qld) at the end of Sept, "Secrets of Freehand Drawing". Please see the 'Drawing Classes and Workshops' section for further details.
I am involved in a group exhibition with my two star pupils, Pam Price and Jacob Ditchmen. They have been coming to my classes for over a year and have both improved hand over fist. The exhibition opens on the 8th June, 2009 at 5.30 p.m. at the Old Warehouse Gallery, Kent St. Maryborough and runs for 2 weeks. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The display will encompass a wide range of mediums and subjects. Please ring me on (07) 41287682, or gallery director Ann Bowden on (07) 41231614 for further details.
'Art Show Awards' section has also been updated.
The next update should be around Aug- Sept and will definitly include some of the Whiteknuckle card designs.
Also check out the updated links section and have a look at the Maryborough Art Society website (of which I am a member). The society is attracting new members all the time with it's progressive and freindly atmosphere and will shortly be moving to better premises, so if you are interested in joining please ring Ann Bowden (Gallery Director) on (07)41 231614 or Margaret Johnston (Society Stalwart) on 41 234577. All are welcome.
Thank you for visiting the Seaofpain website, your traffic is very much appreciated,
Brett A. Jones
November 2008 update
Welcome to the Sea of Pain Fine Art Productions website.
-I am currently designing an entire pack of playing cards. It is proving to be a monumental job, and has crossed the border into obsession to the exclusion of all else out of sheer necessity to have any chance of a completion date. I'm very pleased with the results so far, watch this space for previews hopefully sometime around the end of 2008. They will be worth the wait.
Thank you for your continuing support, the website receives a lot of hits from all over the world. Once the cards are in production, I will be back into the graphite, and trying my hand at pastels after attending the USQ Mcgregor winter school in June. In the meantime, here are a couple of graphite drawings I managed to complete this year before the playing cards set in,
Brett A. Jones
Dec 2011 update
Well a million things have happened in the last six months. For a start I have learned to do the digital uploading side of the website so as you can see I have gone mad and chopped, changed, altered, added to and updated every page in the Sea of pain. There is now a poetry section as well as much, much more detail, information and images which are all new. The site is continuing to get more and more hits from all over the world, I plan to keep it much more freshly updated and current from now on as I can now do it myself (long, long time coming. Very, very happy about it). I did a two hour drawing demonstration for Discount Art Warehouse in Auther St. Fortitude Valley in Brisbane a couple of months ago which went over very well and has led to me being invited back to do a full two day freehand drawing workshop in late February 2012, check the drawing workshop and classes section for full details, I will also be on their u-tube channel as their "graphite guy" with a series of short videos explaining different aspects of freehand drawing technique so watch out for that, three have been made already and more will follow. I will put the links to them on this site when they become available. I am very happy to be associated with Discount Art Warehouse as from what I saw when I was down there they stock a BIG selection of top shelf art materials but without the top shelf prices. They didn't pay me to say that either it's just what I reckon.
I have been writing the "Pencils Down with Brett A. Jones" column for Artists Back to Basics magazine for a year now and have received nothing but enthusiastic and positive responses to the articles which is most gratifying especially considering the addled consciousness
those words strung into sentences are spewing forth from. So thanks, it gives me a real blast to think I might be helping others improve their own freehand drawing skills so they can also taste the addictive pungent freedom of creative infinity.
I held four very well received 6 week freehand drawing workshops in Maryborough during the course of 2011 and will be doing more of the same in 2012, in both Maryborough and for the first time Hervey Bay. The first two in Jan/Feb are already booked out and places are starting to fill for the May/June ones so check the drawing classes and workshops section for details if you are interested in attending.
The Whiteknuckle playing card deck redesign has already accounted for hundreds and hundreds of studio hours in 2011 and is looking like being finished sometime in early 2012. the next two deck editions will hopefully be available later in the year depending on a few intangibles.
I managed to get some original art started and finished this year (although nowhere near as much as I would have liked). My plan for 2012 is to disappear into my studio and fly insanely out onto the artistic tundra with the rear vision mirror ripped off. Once I have dealt with the website design, playing cards, workshops, u-tube videos, drawing articles, washed the Bull Terrier and polished the Ducati anyway. A haah ha ha ha ha ha.
thank you to all my supporters of whom there are many, your expressed goodwill for my mad tilt at artistic infinity simultaneously humbles me and gives me the space in all the various realms of existance to continue to never look back (I don't look back anyway but it's nice to know you care).
Please let me know if you like (or not) the website in its new form. I will be adding more and more content and shifting stuff around as the impulse strikes me now I know how to,
Brett A. Jones
June, 2007 update,
Thank you to all those who made it to the launch of Sea of Pain Fine Art Productions in February. Over 700 people came to the opening night which the Maryborough Art Society tell me is the biggest crowd by far to attend an opening night of an exhibition in the 60 year+ history of the society. It was a very special occasion for me after a lifetime of striving to establish myself as an artist. I am already back in the studio working on a whole new body of work, thank you also to all the people who have visited this site already, it will be getting bigger and better in the future so keep checking back to see what's new,
Brett A. Jones
26th Jan, 2007.
Welcome to the Sea of Pain Fine Art Productions website. I started Sea of Pain Fine Art Productions as a registered business in September 2006 to sell fine art originals and limited edition fine art prints of my art work. I have published four different hand signed and numbered A2 prints with certificates of authenticity of some of my works in graphite so far and plan to print more as time and resources allow. Thank you to all who pre-ordered prints which enabled me to finance the $20000+ necessary to produce them to such a world class investment quality archival standard. I will be having my first solo exhibition to launch both Sea of Pain Fine Art Productions and the first four lim ed prints as well as a thirty year retrospective display of examples of artwork I have done leading up to now. It will be held at the Old Warehouse Gallery in Kent St. Maryorough. All are welcome. Please feel free to leave any feedback or comments (see feedback section). all input is much appreciated,
Brett A. Jones
April, 2012 update
It just seems to get busier and busier here in the Sea of Pain studio, I must be my own worst enemy as I just want to do more and more in less and less time. My chronic back problem acts like an engine governor to an otherwise insane acceleration curve. No complaints though, I am living the dream and never lose sight of that reality. I have managed to pry enough time out of the alloted heartbeats to do an update. I want to thank Cilinda Atkins of Atkins Art Works for both her very patient assistance in teaching me how to do my own updating and all her endless hours of her own time she freely gave to help me turn the Sea of Pain Fine Art Productions website from the mad womans breakfast it was to the smoothly operating and highly organized vehicle it is now. Thanks Cilinda, there is just no way on Earth I could have done it without your help.
There are three new graphite originals and one new pastel original in the fine art for sale section and one new addition to the awards section with a "Best Exhibit in Show" from Ballan in Victoria which I was extremely surprised to pull off. The six week freehand drawing workshops are becoming more and more popular with two done this year already and the next two beginning at the start of May in Hervey Bay and Maryborough (almost booked out, ring now if you want in) with two more in September/October already taking bookings. Some of the attending students have gone on to hold their own exhibitions, sell their work and win prizes at art shows so congratulations to all who have taken the ball and run with it. I spoke to a married couple a couple of days ago who had completed two of my 6-week freehand workshops and after looking at their latest freehand work in graphite, pastel, and coloured pencil I have to say there is every chance they will beat me out of any of the prizes at the local art shows this year with their excellent freehand drawing (hello Wayne and Helen).
I was also invited to conduct a 2-day freehand drawing workshop at Discount Art Warehouse in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane in March which was very successful and had great results from all involved. There is a good chance it will happen again down there sometime this year so if you are from Brisbane and would like to attend a freehand drawing workshop contact Discount Art Warehouse and register your interest.
The latest issue of 'Artists Back to Basics' is out in the newsagents with the latest two of my 'Pencils Down' articles in it, I continue to receive great feedback and encouragement from all quarters on that front, thank you to all the people who have told me how much they enjoy reading and benefit from my words scribbled down and strung into sentences, it's very gratifying to know I am helping others get on board the freehand drawing insane train. Heh heh. It's been about 18 months now since the owner of Woodlands Publishing offered me a permanent drawing column in his new publication and there is no sign anytime soon of either him sacking me or me running out of words on the subject of freehand drawing so thank you very much Simon for the opportunity to write my knowledge down and seeing it published in a glossy internationally distributed art magazine. Very groovy. I like. My plans for the rest of this year involve creating much more original art in graphite, pastel, and coloured pencil too if I can fit it in and hopefully finishing off the Whiteknuckle playing card design re-work and seeing it published in it's new form.
With the workshops, articles, playing cards and the fact I am the only staff member of the Sea of Pain studio (staff responsible for all studio maintenance, cleaning, ute repairs, dog repairs, etc, etc) and the fact I also like to play with old motorbikes when I get the chance (ha) means I just take all days as they come, there are nowhere near enough hours to go round especially with the backpain activity governor 'managing' my time for me to ever 'get there' but as I say I am living the dream, loving the journey and extremely happy about that. Enjoy your drawing if you do it and remember the heartbeats run out one day........
Brett A. Jones
June, 2012 update
Discount Art Warehouse in Brisbane have asked me to do another two day freehand drawing workshop in their excellent workshop area on the 21st and 22nd of July, there are already seats taken so if you want to be in on it either ring Gayle at the warehouse on (07) 33 581968 or contact me here at the studio on (07) 41 287682. Further details have been posted in the "Workshops and Classes" section of this website.
I have also been asked to be included in a "Masters" exhibition at the Australian Woodworkers Expo being held at the Maryborough showgrounds on Saturday 14th of July. I will be there all day with my Cosmic Guitar. I'm also going to take along a bit of art and some decks of cards in case anyone's interested. For further details about it all please ring Gloria Banting on (07) 41 297252.
I have just finished the latest two 6-week freehand drawing workshops in Maryborough and Hervey Bay, the continuing response and excellent feedback (and booked out classes) have made me decide they will be a regular feature three times a year from now on. They will be held in both Maryborough and Hervey Bay in Jan/Feb, May/June and Sept/Oct.
There has also been demand for private freehand drawing lessons which I have been doing for $50 per lesson. Anyone interested is welcome to contact me (41 287682- firstname.lastname@example.org). There has also been some demand for online critiques which I am now doing and which will become a regular feature as soon as I find time to set up the website to accomodate such a thing. they will be $20/critique which will consist of 2-300 word report and any follow up questions answered. Any enquiries about this service can be directed to me (41 287682- email@example.com).
OK, time for more coffee and disappear into my drawing board for a few hours,
August, 2012 update
Bookings are now being taken for the January 2013 freehand drawing workshops, the September ones are booked out but sometimes there are late cancellations so if you would like to put your name in, a spot could open up.
The latest workshop at Discount Art Warehouse in Brisbane was a success, hope to do more down there possibly next year sometime.
I have continued the insanely busy schedule in the studio with a plan to gravitate back to the drawing board once all magazine deadlines and workshop preparations have been dealt with. All is on target for producing some more original art, it can be very frustrating as my chosen style of drawing just takes up so much time. I have thought about it lately and have realized that it has to be OK as it is really the only way I want to draw. Each day is a new one and the clock and calendar are back in the bin where they belong.
My back continues to deteriorate and is a constant source of torture, my eyes are starting to show signs of wear and tear but my resolve just keeps growing in strength to push the limits of the dream to their infinite conclusion. The sky is blue and the tundra beckons.................
June, 2013 update
Well, first of all my apologies for letting it go so long between updates, it's crazy that 10 months have gone past since I last did this. They have been a huge 10 months though, that's for sure. I am doing the 6-week freehand drawing workshops as a regular thing now three times a year, always starting in January, May, and September. Saturdays in Maryborough and Sundays in Hervey Bay. The latest dates and details are in the 'Drawing Classes and Workshops' section, the classes fill fast so book early if you want to secure a seat in the next round of workshops in September. I have posted a few comments from people who have done the course in the feedback section, to find them go to the homepage, click on 'Other Stuff', then 'Feedback'.
The 'Pencils Down with Brett A. Jones' column in Artists Back to Basics magazine is now well into its third year and is going from strength to strength, thank you very much to all the people who have contacted both myself and Simon the publisher with positive feedback and messages of support.
The biggest news of all since the last update back in the misty past of 2012 though is the new Woodlands Publishing magazine "Drawing with Brett A. Jones". Last year on September 12th Simon rang me and asked me if I wanted to be editor of my own magazine about drawing. I was already pretty much booked up between the studio, ongoing articles for Back to Basics, ongoing drawing workshops, and projects in other mediums either started or fretting in the wings waiting their turn like demented gnomes but as is normal with the profoundly detached from reality, I took it on with great enthusiasm and just let my compulsive madness deepen accordingly to suit.
It goes a long way to explaining why updating this poor website (and a lot of other stuff) unceremoniously slid so far down the list of priorities. I have worked frenetically since last September till the first week in May, hitting the deadline for submission with hours to spare. I am going through the process of editing the actual page layouts as I write this, the magazine itself will be available for sale for $9.95 in newsagents (and from this website) by August/September this year. It is going to be printed on thick art paper and the almost 20 articles and features will run to 100 pages. It will be an annual so the clock is already ticking for the deadline on the 2014 issue (vol. 2) but I already know what has to be done there and what will be in it so all that remains is the actual work to make it a reality.
The entire Sea of Pain studio and workshop has descended into a constant state of freakish chaos with more and more ideas, projects, repairs, modifications, etc taking place all at once so the dreameth thickens and runs hot across my fevered brow. All as it should be. Another project currently consuming me consists of stop-motion animation of my developing artworks in various mediums. All necessary equipment required will be designed and made here from scratch apart from the cameras of course. I plan to make up, play, and record backing music for each work, with a different instrument for each work. There's instruments laying around the joint everywhere, they might as well be made useful. In fact the whole project is not only somethinng I have wanted to do for many years but also very much appeals to me for bringing it all together as far as needing engineering, photographic, musical, artistic, and computing skills to make happen, all of which will be done in-house here at Sea of Pain. I think it could very well be seen as an art form in its own right. All very exciting but will take quite some time to bring to fruition. Watch this space.................................
Other ongoing projects include woodcarving/turning/sculpture, coloured pencil and pastels, poetry, motorcycle customising (several ongoing projects), an ongoing and seriously cathartic development and evolution in my workshop itself to make the perfect environment in which to create three dimensional kinds of art including of course the motorcycling sort (a really well sorted out and functional mechanical amd engineering workshop for artistic purposes has always been part of the lifelong dream, it keeps by necessity and compulsion being pushed aside by the drawing). Speaking of which the omni-present obsession with 2B graphite continues of course. There are a million other motivations and short and longstanding ideas and projects swirling around in my head that I won't bother writing down here now as I really have to get this done and back to the current goals of finishing off some of the 7 half finished works in graphite littering the studio, repairing and maintaining some of my deteriorating and hopelessly ignored jury-rigged surroundings, and moving forward into some unbroken snow before I paint the walls with my brains because of the excruciating pain. In other words, situation normal here in nirvana apart from the intensity knob being cranked way too high. I'm seriously going to have to bump it up a bit more yet to get to that virgin tundra snow.....................
September, 2013 update
The first issue of "Drawing with Brett A. Jones" is now available for sale all over the world!!!!!! What a surreal feeling, so much work went into it, it's almost too hard to comprehend its actual existence. It's turned out just beautifully, Simon went all out and printed it on thicker than normal paper of a higher quality than the normal standard with a 260gsm art quality card cover and made it a collectors edition. There are 100 pages with no advertising (normal magazine is 85 pages with ten pages of ads), 41455 words and 142 images so for $9.95 you get a lot of drawing magazine for your money. By all accounts it has been extremely well received so far, thank you very much to all those who have contacted both myself and Simon the publisher with positive feedback, it means a lot to both of us to hear that it's all been worthwhile. Work on next years issue is already well underway with a release date planned for September 2014.
In the meantime I will be officially launching Issue No. 1 of Drawing with Brett A. Jones on Saturday the 28th of September at Gatakers Art Space during the "Gatakers by Night" celebrations so if you want to meet me in person and get a copy of "DWBJ-1, Collectors Edition" signed than please come along between about 5:30 and 8:00pm. There is a few things taking place there that night so it should be a happening little scene I think.
I will also be at "Creations at the Harbour" gallery at the Urangan Boat Harbour between 2:30 and 5:00pm the next day (the 29th) signing copies and answering any questions anyone has about my drawings, workshops, playing cards, etc. There is a lot of stuff planned in the near future so come down, have a look around the gallery and make yourself known.
I'm working very hard at the drawing board every chance I get and have almost finished the next work in graphite "Upon Reflection". It's been driving me crazy. Of course.......
December 2013 Update
Well, by all accounts the first issue of Drawing with Brett A. Jones has been a hit and all is on track for issue No.2 (Sept 2014). In the meantime I have been approached by fellow artist Kelli McGregor and been invited to be a part of her Creative Escapes workshop program. It's designed to give people from outside the Maryborough/Hervey Bay area the opportunity to attend week long workshops in this area with the chance to visit this beautiful part of Queensland as an added bonus. I agreed to do a couple of week long freehand drawing workshops a year as I have had quite a few enquiries from people in other places over the years about my workshops so thought it might give anyone interested the chance to attend a freehand drawing workshop without having to stay around here for 6 weeks to do it (a few people have come from as far away as Melbourne to do just that but it's a big commitment, much easier to stay in the area for 5 days).
The first one will be towards the end of March 2014,details arein the "Drawing Classes and Workshops" section, or you can enquire and/or book directly with Kelli McGregor on (07) 41 233047 or 0488 001314 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the reality of being the editor of my own international art magazine. Hard concept to keep a hold of when I look out the window and see the same old studio yard badly in need of mowing and same old letterbox falling to bits. Stuff like that never gets much of a look in when there's drawing and writing to be done.
I'm my own worst enemy in a lot of ways, I have just had a very rare couple of weeks break from the art/words/teaching side of things and have been down in my chaotic shed happily playing with my old Italian motorbikes. Just another form of art to me but it's time now to get back to the drawing board (and get ready for the January workshops, and get working on the next Artists Back to Basics deadline. there are many things planned for 2014/15. Maybe the letterbox will get it's long awaited rebuild in 2016. Maybe not.
Feb 23rd, 2014 update
I have been invited to join the R.A.T.S (regional artists and tutors) which is an association of professional fine artists from the Wide Bay area. I have accepted so am now officially a rat. Part of their activities include an "open studio" program which means any interested members of the public are welcome to visit any of the rats studios on the first Sunday of each season (Autumn, Winter, etc). The first open day will be Sunday, March 2nd 2014. The other rats are Kelli McGregor, Gina Davey, David Probyn, Val Macintosh, and Monika and Inge Bayer. To find out more about the whole R.A.T.S. thing and the open studio days in particular go to www.alpha31artgallery.com.au/rats.html
The January freehand drawing workshops are finished and were very successful with much progress being made. The next workshops start in May 2014 and are already more than half booked so if you want to take part, write your name and contact phone number on the booking lists at either Gatakers Art Space in Maryborough or at Sandy St. Gallery in Urangan, or contact me directly (41 287682- 0401 543327 or email@example.com) to secure a seat. Bookings are also being taken for the September 2014 workshops, for more details go to the workshops and classes section on this website.
I am back in the studio with a vengeance trying to finish the cover drawing for "Drawing with Brett A. Jones- Volume 2" and developing the content of the entire magazine. There are as usual a large amount of other artistic projects hopping from foot to foot in the wings with routine impediments of ever-present mongrel back pain, time, and sanity being the only limiting factors. As well of course the drawing itself, which seems to be taking longer and longer to do, the longer I do it for. You'd think I would get faster at it as I went along but it seems the longer I do this for, the better I get at it and the more important each tiny detail becomes to me and the more I see and understand the ifinite choices involved in freehand hyper-realism.
September 19, 2014 update.
WellI'll start this update with what has almost become a routine apology for it being so long since the last one. I think I've exceeded critical mass as far as what is possible to do with time and spine included in the mix. Everything goes into the things that are happening here, which have actually lately started to solidify into a fairly solid plan for the next couple of years. Now I just have to do it all without dropping my lunchbox. A few things that have happened since the last update are:
#Drawing with Brett A. Jones- Volume 2 is on sale where ever good magazines are sold. It was just as huge a task as last years and like last years (Vol.1) is 100 pages with no advertising, and is I think an excellent follow-up to the first one as far as what the various articles explore. I really want to thank Simon the publisher for the chance to do these annuals and my layout designer on the mag, Tara, without whom the task would have been impossible.
# I am writing the advice column in a regular feature called "From the Drawing Board" in new art magazine Creative Artist. It comes out every two months, the 1st issue is out on the shelves now and the 2nd issue is due out anytime. If you want to ask me a question for the column please email firstname.lastname@example.org. It can be about any aspect of art whether technical or philosophical, I'll do my best to give a constructive answer.
# The Six Week Freehand Drawing Workshops in May were very successful, the September workshops have just begun and are both all but full. There are already bookings in both January, 2015 workshops, all the dates and details are in the Workshops and Classes section if you are interested in securing a seat.
# I have been asked to do a workshop at the Gympie Regional Gallery so I will be doing a three day freehand drawing workshop there in early November 2014. If you are interested in further details go to the Workshops and Classes section.
# I have set the dates for my next (3rd) solo exhibition, for more details scroll to the bottom of the Exhibitions & Displays section.
# Oh, yeah. I finally had to bow to the inevitable and build a new letterbox, mine ended up being a living indictment to the fact that plastic actually is in fact bio-degradeable. Well, falls to bits into powder sized peices anyway. I was finding my mail blown down the street too often as there was more holes than letterbox in the end so I pulled the trigger on the long awaited new fancy letterbox. Only took 20 years......the new one is made from scrap metal and aluminium, ferro-concrete, and rocks so it should also be the last one.
# Lots of hours of drawing at the board, whenever there is the slightest chance, today is a long-put-off "everything else day" so I think I'll leave it at that for now so I can smash a few more non-drawing jobs. things are ramping up here to another level so I'll get back to it,
Jan 11rd, 2015 update
It's all going to be about the coming 3rd solo exhibition in Nov 2016 from here on in. I went to bed on 31st Oct and realised the clock had just ticked over "less than 2 years till opening night". I laid there for many hours thinking it all out and trying to see such a big thing clearly, the only conclusion I came to was that there was altogether far too much to get done in the time remaining to me so I was out of bed before dawn the next morning in the new paradigm, since then I have just smashed to bits the vast bulk of the remaining work on two of the main features of the exhibition, the two new decks of cards and the centrepeice, a vintage motorcycle that I have gone to town on with lathe and hammer. I have crossed the boundary into the last realms of obsession where there is no safety zone or care reserve. The last year was just crazy as far as effort put in and plan moved ahead but there will have to be an increasingly larger scale and sustained battering of the remaining tasks to make it to the honey pot. November was all about the cards, December was nothing but motorcycle surgery, January is all writing, teaching, drawing. The pain causes dizziness and vomiting at this level but that just reminds me I must have the machine sufficiently under load aaaaaaaah ha ha ha ha. Here's the cover of DWBJ-2 and a couple of teaser shots from the explosion of activity in the latter part of 2014. I'll be writing more stuff here and posting more images this year as the playing card project progresses toward manufacture (I'm going to be throwing my hat in the Kickstarter ring) so keep checking back. Please don't hesitate to contact me about playing cards, workshop and private lesson booking, and if you have any questions for my advice column in Creative Artist.
March 28th, 2015 update
Quick update, all is tracking on target (astonishingly). The new playing card decks are for all intents and purposes finished, including the boxes. There are two very different decks based on the same design but very different in their overall look. One is full colour and the other is a "ghost" deck which means the only colours used are white, black, and red. One of the next rockets to be fired is the big push on the Kickstarter crowd sourced funding thing to try and gather the necessary capital to bring them into existance. That will be a bit later this year once I have done the next impossible round of magazine work including the huge mountain to climb to make Drawing with Brett A. Jones- Vol. 3 a reality. It is going to be a great issue with things like portraiture, fine detail, and the art of suggestion comprehensively explored as well as a big photographic tour of the creative chaos that is the Sea of Pain Fine Art Production studio in all it's desperate glory. The vintage Ducati is also coming together with multitudinous mechanical and aesthetic nightmares being miraculously overcome one after another.
Please watch this space as it is all getting very serious now. I'll keep you up to date on the Kickstarter crowd sourced funding as it gets closer, in the meantime it's time to get back on the galloping horse and hold on.
Nov, 2016 is starting to haunt my dreams. At least it leaves no room for nightmares (except for old Ducati based ones, ha ha ha)................
August 25th, 2015 update
well where do I start? What a trip. My head is spinning and I feel like vomiting from the tormenting back pain but I am moving forward still. In fact moving forward faster and faster on several fronts. Since the last update five months ago (Five Months!!!!!!!) I have done so much in the studio. The playing card project is all consuming at the moment, the entire 130 odd designs are finally finished (well, except for a few more last touches to the tuckboxes anyway), I am now onto the stage of organising the technical side of loading them all onto the digital cut files ready to be printed.
Another stage reached is that I am about to actually make some mock-ups of the two tuckboxes, not only to check what the designs look like in actual box form but just as importantly to let everyone else see the boxes as well. I have spent a week or more solid preparing a whole heap of digital images and ten thousand words or so about the whole Jones Playing Cards thing for my Facebook page manager Sharyn, I haven't got time to do what I'm doing now let alone start trying to figure out how all that works, thankfully the universe sent a cloud of butterflies called Sharyn into the studio yard just when it was needed most. My brain just isn't the right kind of animal for things like Facebook and Twitter and all that kind of thing so I've always dodged it like the plague up till now, partly because I am very leery of anything that would distract me from the focus on the studio work, and partly because I don't generally care what the other 6 999 999 999 humans are up to as long as it doesn't stop me from the insane tundra trudging going on here in several directions at once. She is out in the black soil country in her old bus at the moment fishtailing in the black mud but she always flutters back when she's ready. I am here on my own most of the time which is one of the reasons she is such a great studio manager.
Trouble with dodging social media in it's entirety is that I want to (have to really) raise a heap of dough to actually pay for creating 20 000 decks of cards so I am going to have an almighty shove at the Kickstarter thing. It falls in the same category of "extra stuff I just haven't got time for" though, so the wonderful Sharyn has stepped into that particular breech too, she has already got it well underway, part of her research into it revealed the fact that you really should have some kind of socail media presence at least on Facebook, leading up to the big 30 day Kickstarter crowd sourced funding appeal period as apparently that's how a lot of humans communicate with one another these days. I told her I'd rather comb my hair with a rusty cheesegrater than try and add the whole Facebook thing to the existing pile of things I have to juggle in the next year so hail mighty Sharyn, Brett A. Jones facebook page manager extrordinaire. She is also the Kickstarter manager, and Sea of Pain Fine Art Productions studio manager which means she is the interface between Sea of Pain and United States Playing Card Company.
She has already established a solid connection there and has worked with Nikki from USPCC to provide me with all the technical information I need to charge relentless into the last stages of digital manipulations required to make the designs a reality as beautiful playing cards. I am going to be posting some images of the new deck designs here in the latest news section in the very near future. I have just managed to fight my way clear of the latest in a long string of digital nightmares involving computers, computer programs, email server settings, satellite telephones, mobile telephones, and various other associated devices whose sole purpose in life seems to be to constantly test your self control, temper, and nervous system. Anyway, all that is a huge part of why of if it wasn't for Sharyn I doubt veeeeeerrrrry much whether I would be able to successfully coerce something like a facebook page into any sort of useful existence.
All the other aspects of the coming exhibition are all going swimmingly despite the pain levels making me wonder how I stop from painting the walls with my brains. The old motorcycle being built and customised to a truly insane level for the centrpeice of the exhibition is all back together and is just waiting on some time for the final push to get it all fettled up and running, the magazine work is screaming along apace. Drawing with Brett A. Jones Volume 3 is now available in the newsagent I have heard, the latest articles in Artists Back to Basics are out on the shelf, and I have just submitted the material for the 8th issue of Creative Artist magazine. Eighth!!!!!! Already. I wonder what happens to the time sometimes. Oh yeah, that's right, I'm a crazily committed crippled artist trying to run across the tundra in several directions at once. The fact I keep forgetting that just shows shows how dissconnected to reality I truly am. Speaking of being an artist, the actual freehand drawing is going great too with some awesome progress being made on that front, the hardest part is finding enough time for it as it is just so extremely time consuming.
Time to take the studio dog for his walk up the hill. Then the sky will be black and I can drop like I've been shot. Tomorrow looms anew too soon. I'll be making the next update very soon, not in five months, more like 5 days, so watch out for the coming flurry of activity on seaofpain.com. And see if you can check out the new Brett A. Jones facebook page if you're into that kind of thing, it's going to have more and more stuff posted on it to do with the cards in the next weeks and months, Brett.
September 3rd, 2015 update
Right, lots has happened in the last week or two. The NDD (No Dramah Darmah) has been extensively argued with and reluctantly had new life breathed into it finally, my good friend and motorcycle mechanic wizard Mark Elliott came around and we had at it until eventually the bike was sitting there with the engine running smoothly and exhaust sounding beautiful after many years of silence. There are still some issues to deal with but it's just awesome that it goes after the extreme amount of time and effort I put into it over the last year or more. I would have just kept fettling it up today but I have received a modified digital die cut file from USPCC this morning via Sharyn that had been holding up the forward progress of the playing card project so I have thrown a sheet over the bike and am firmly back on deck with the ongoing playing card battle. It's all hotting up in a big way as Sharyn has started the big push on facebook leading up to the big Kickstarter.com funding appeal slated for October. Which is only a few weeks away. I have got the latest Brett A. Jones Freehand Drawing Workshops starting in a fortnight but in the meantime I will be getting stuck right into the process of turning all the (130 or so) card and box designs into "print ready files".
I'm going to be building on this website asap to accomodate the new Jones Playing Cards decks but for now I'll give you the link to the Facebook page that will have more and more info and images on it about the cards as we get closer and closer.
Sea of Pain Fine Art Productions (or in other words me and the studio dog) is having an open studio day on this coming Monday the 6th of September as part of the ongoing open studio programme held by the R.A.T.S (Regional Artists and Tutors) of which I am a member. All are welcome to come and check out the studio/workshop from 11.00am till 4:00pm. Give me a ring on (07) 41 287682 if you want to but it's not neccessary, just turn up. Free coffee and biscuits (hmm, I better buy some coffee and biscuits). There are 6 or 8 of us I think this time round (there are four open days a year, the first Sunday of each new season, this is the Spring open days) with all our studio doors thrown open to the public, all round the Fraser Coast area. All the specific details are on the R.A.T.S website.
Keep your eye on this space, it's getting hot in the kitchen now, I'll be updating on a regular basis, cheers, Brett
September 28th, 2015
Red hot here now, been so hectic it's taken me two days to get around to posting on here that
WE HAVE LAUNCHED THE KICKSTARTER FUNDING APPEAL
for the Jones Playing Cards What a massive task to get both full decks and boxes displayed, explained and described. As well as all the costing involved in working out the pledge prices for the various reward options. It's up and running now though, it will be going for the next 28 days, if you are at all interested in the playing cards or the process involved in trying to raise the capital to make them a reality, please go to the Jones Playing Cards project page on Kickstarter. The link is
It's going to be a nerve wracking month. We'll see if all my plans and insane levels of painful hard work over nearly ten years is really going to result in a feed of fruit or not. I would have posted some images here but there's no point as they are all up in all their glory on the Kickstarter page and even more images and words all about them on the facebook page devoted to them, the link to which is in the last post.
Just re-read the last post, should have mentioned that the bike I was talking about is the is going in the coming big exhibition as a centrepeice. It had to be a going concern or it's not really really motorcycle art, just motorcycle-shaped art.
The latest issue (No.3) of Drawing with Brett A. Jones magazine is out on the shelves in the newsagents. With all the card project intensity of late I almost forgot to mention it. It turned out to be a fantastic issue with a lot of great articles on drawing. If you can't find a copy in your local paper shop let me know and I can arrange one in the mail.
The current six week freehand drawing school is at the half way mark, it's all going great, either I'm getting better at it or people are learning faster, hmmm.
The current actual drawing I am doing is all I can think about, it very well be the best drawing I have ever done. The trick is finding the time to put pencil to paper with the JPC cauldron on full boil. I am in high gear there, and intend on also re-entering the pastel studio in a hail of multi coloured creative gusto.
First things first, Kickstarter. With a nervous system like a rubbish bin full of balloons and easily frightened cats. cheers, Brett
November 2015 update
Well as usual a huge amount of things happened in a very short time here. Since the last update we have:
# Done the Kickstarter thing. Learnt much, got the word out there about the cards, didn't reach funding target of $30000 but it was worth a shot.
# Found through sheer chance a card manufacturer that has far superior die cut registration, as well as much stiffer card stock like I wanted from the start so we have changed the plan on that front and are now firmly established with Legends Playing Card Company.
We are also now doing four decks instead of the original two. It was going to be a Standard Colour deck and Standard Ghost deck, now both decks will have a red back and blue back versions. This meant much more work to provide the necessary finished designs for two entire face (deck) designs, four card backs, and four boxes. That work is all now complete. While going though the transition from one card manufacturer to another I have also made what can only be described as vast improvements to the court card designs and the ghost deck card back designs. There has been another whole round of brain smashing digital nightmares concerning software compatibility, program problems, technical issues, equipment dramas, and NBN satellite reception that is more farce than anything approaching what could be described as a service. We have battled through and over all these things and are now at a stage at which:
# All designs are finished for all four decks.
# I know exactly how to load all the designs precisely and effectively onto all the Legends digital templates.
# The deposit has been paid.
I plan to have all designs on print ready templates in the hands of Legends Playing Card Company by the end of November, including all decks, all boxes, and the design for the tamper-proof security seal. We will definitely have the new decks here in hand by March/April 2016.
Latest Creative Artist magazine deadline met a few days ago.
I am meeting the imminent deadline for the latest two Artists Back to Basics drawing articles right now.
Bookings are being taken for the January 2016 six week freehand drawing workshops.
The No Dramah Darmah (centrepeice for exhibition) is finally ready for it's first test ride after ten years off the road and a complete frame-up comprehensive custom rebuild.
The current drawing is coming up as maybe the best I've ever done. Trick is beating all the above far enough away with a stick to get to actually sit down at the drawing board.
I will have at least begun the next large pastel work by the end of the year, the subject and composition for the next two large pastel peices is done and it only remains to get busy with the pastel dust.
The crazy ride continues and intensifies as I always knew it would. The wheels are all still on (so far so good) and I am entering the last full year before opening night at full speed, full intent, stretched thin, with a weather eye out to see and smash any problems as they arise. I would not have made it this far or fast if not for the amazing level of support and assistance of the studio manager Sharyn, who has done all the massive amount of research, communication and organisation behind the Kickstarter campaign, facebook page for the playing cards, communication withthe playing card companies, and all the other little things like providing actual cooked food to eat etc. When she's here anyway, she's not called the Cloud of Butterflies for nothing, she flutters in and out with the wind.
Anyway, writing this is also NOT drawing at my drawing board and there is a lot of magazine work to do today and tomorrow at least before I get to even crab eye the drawing board so I go,
my spine feels like frayed cable, but,
the plan unfoldeth,
January 29th 2016
well the final run to the line is upon us. 2016. I'm sure it was only a fortnight ago I had nearly three years to go. Hmm. January is nearly goneski already, time for a quick update here and then back into the crucible. The only reason I am even away from the drawing board is to deal with images and text for exhibition invitations/blurbs/order forms/ecetera. I just want to draw but there's no dodging some things. Lucky for me I have got a manager to skull drag me back off the tundra when unavoidable or I may never come back. I figured I better scribble something here as well before I drill some more heartbeats into the drawing board. Anyway, time for the bullet point update:
* I am approaching 500 hour mark on current drawing of a shovelhead Harley with a bloke (actually the King of Diamonds) sitting on it. It's been nearly 10 years (!!!!!!) since I did the last motorcycle themed drawing, I'd forgotten just how nuts the complexity and risk for disaster is with this kind of undertaking in freehand graphite. It's quickly become the over-riding and primary challenge in the studio. It has to be finished asap to have enough time for all the rest of the many tasks to be smashed before November 4th. I hope to have it finished by the end of Feb. I read the last update in which I had hoped to have had it done and been moved on to the pastels by end of year but that was utterly unrealistic based on the hundreds of hours I subsequently put into it over the last 2 months solid. It will be the 2-D centrepeice of the exhibition which is only fitting since the 3-D actual exhibition centrepiece is a motorcycle. The original plan was for several motorcycle drawings but several unforseen, long winded and extremely frustrating nightmares with technology (phones, computers, software, email accounts, all had a turn at sucking days, weeks, and months out of the available time, I must have lost at least a few months getting past it all) made sure the final list of available original artworks was going to have to be re-evaluated accordingly. There will be 14 graphite and half a dozen pastel originals now.
* The current six week drawing workshop is underway and going well, this weekend is the third of six classes. The Hervey Bay class is full but for the first time ever I had to regretfully cancel the Maryborough class as there was only a few bookings in the final shake-up, not enough to go ahead with. The next classes after this school start in May, see the Classes and Workshops section for further details. There won't be any September workshops this year as we will be far too insanely busy with exhibition preparations. There will be January 2017 workshops between the Maryborough exhibition in Decemeber and the Gympie exhibition in March, and also a four day freehand drawing workshop held in the Gympie gallery during the course of the Mach 2017 exhibition.
* There has been an extremely positive response to "Drawing with Brett A. Jones-Vol.3" and I have started serious work on Vol.4, the article list is becoming clear and work necessary to bring to fruit by deadline in May is already well underway. It will be out on the shelves round Aug/Sept this year and will have articles on graphite, pastels, and playing cards as well as the usual features.
* The motorcycle centrepiece for the exhibition is finished.
* The playing cards are past the digital proofing stage (which all four decks passed with flying colours) and we await the imminent arrival of the hard copy print proofs which are being brought into existence as we speak. Once we have seen and (hopefully) approved and signed off on them, a new era of the project begins as we move from pre-production into production.
Now, where's the pencil...........
March 31st 2016
Well the last 2 months have been almost an ordeal too far but we are still tracking well despite my mental, physical, and nervous systems being pushed far too far past all semblance of sensibility or sanity as far as how much a koala can bear. There is several exciting bits of news so I'll drop them in with bullet points like I have seeming to be doing for the last few updates.
# The long winded latest freehand graphite lunacy is finished. In the end it took all of 683 hours to pull off successfully but is now in frame and slipping into the recent past instead of smashing my brain, heart, and soul into little bits on a minute by minute basis. It's turned out great but I have to say I'm over drawing that kind of composition for awhile now. I always knew a Shovelhead Harley with rider in full sunlight and full side view would be the 'perfect storm' as far as complexity and maddeningly fine detail and super subtle proportional perspective and it didn't disappoint. It's a drawing I have been planning on tackling for many years and I can only say I am over the moon that I am now past it and into the cool gentle mental and psychological breezes of what comes after (no matter what that is it couldn't possibly be as brain breaking as what I have just put myself through).
It's working title was "Potato Potato Potato Accentuate Alternate Syllables" (long haired bikies will be laughing, everyone else will just frown in confusion) which is a bit mad and a reflection of the alternate reality my mind has been residing in during this last SUMMER FROM HELL on the drawing board. It's actual title now is "When We Were Free". Much better and a direct reflection of how I feel now I am free of it's universe of literally nerve wracking minute details and light effects.
# Since I signed off on the bike drawing I have already started and finished two new full sheet pastels, also planned for a long time but waiting their turn in the wings behind the Shovelhead madness. I was in such a rate of desperate full flightedness by the end of the full throttle run to finish the graphite I flew from pencils to pastels without taking a breath and am very happy with the result. The two new works are of a pair of Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos called "Red Tailed Romeo" and a pair or Pink Galahs called "What a Galah". I'd actually just keep on smashing hours and days into the pastel studio now except for the fact that a LOT of other non graphite of pastel related tasks that need smashing into submission are overwhelming me like a cloud of angry sandflies, such as............
# This website, which is LONG OVERDUE for a big fat tweaking, almost a complete rebuild really but I don't want to scare myself too badly with terminology. As a computer expert I make a good pencil artist but as with all other aspects of Sea of Pain I will hammer it till it is done or dead. This update is the first flush but there will be some BIG updates and changes to most other sections once the digital dust has settled.
# Jones Playing Cards The first fours decks (12000 in total) of JPC's are in full production and all but ready to hit the floor hot from the presses/collators and diecutters/wrappers etc at any tick of the clock. They might be finished and ready to rock and roll by the time I have written this, it could already have happened. It's probably already happened. That's the stage we're at, the production confirmation email could drop into the inbox any old time now. Once that has happened there will be a mixed gross box (144 decks, 36 of each deck version) raced onto a big airplane which will fly them here. The rest will come on a big boat and hit Brisvegas round early May. I'll take the battered studio ute and trailer down and bring them home from there like I did with the Whiteknuckles 6 years ago. 6000 decks will be a bigger load by far than the WK's which were big enough but came here over 3 editions in numerous chunks over the course of 2010. This one will be a very satisfying roadtrip on many levels, more than happy to do it in the dead of night at a very steady pace with an ice coffee or two and a good pillow for my back, it's been a 10 year trip to get what's about to happen to actually happen, that last long drive home in a busted-arse ute with a big heavy load will be puuuuure pleasure.
The reason there will be only 6000 decks on Oz is because the other 6000 will be staying behind in Taiwan as Lawrence Sullivan, the boss of Legends Playing Card Company in Hong Kong, has offered to have Jones Playing Cards represented and available for sale on his own LPPC website, so all orders from the rest of the world outside Australia will be facilitated from there, with all Australian orders handled by Sea of Pain Fine Art Productions, with hyperlinks between both websites to avoid any and all confusion. This means a huge postage saving for customers overseas and potentially opens up the "R.O.W." including Asia to our cards in a very real way. As they say the breaks come to those already pushing hard on the door. We are already cutting promising tracks of wholesale enquiry (Well, Sharyn the manager is anyway) into USA, UK, Asia, and hopefully NZ and Europa as well, she has really been just lining ducks up so far, once decks and JPC display/freight boxes are available she can drop the reins and start the business of distribution in earnest. This website update is one of the biggest peices of the puzzle which she has easily convinced me now (this morning) transcends importance over sharp pencils and blunt chunks of colour.
# Drawing with Brett A. Jones- issue 4 All is in motion for the next issue of Drawing with Brett A. Jones. More than half the reason the date for the 3rd Solo Exhibition was set for late 2016 (4th November) was so there would be all four issues of DWBJ done and available for the exhibition. I say all four as it was always going to be nothing short of a miracle if I made it to the fouth issue, if for no other reason than I would just run out of art. My kind of art (the graphite anyway, which will always be the hub, the fulcrum, and the pinnacle) of my creative madness takes inexorably huge chunks and entrails of time and brainspace to get back off the tundra with so back in 2011 when this all came up I always knew it would be all but impossible to pull off. Woodlands Publishing offered me my own drawing magazine in any format I wanted, it was my idea to do 100 page annuals for four years. Even then it struck me as all but impossible but I just had to try and smash it though once it had started spinning in my mind so here we are. On track for the fourth and what will be the last for awhile. There's always more to say and more to show when it comes to drawing but there will have to be a rebuilding period in 2017 first after the lunacy of the last 3-4 years.
# Brett A. Jones 3rd Solo Exhibition We are very close to knowing the complete list of works for the first time which is very exciting indeed. The plan has (and was always going to) for various unforseen reasons, contracted and expanded exponentially since inception back in 2010 (pretty much as soon as the Brett A. Jones 2nd Solo exhibition had closed) but the main four mediums in the original vision for the 3rd Solo have all made it to the final list (fine art originals, motorcycle art, playing card design, and the four DWBJ issues) as well as some recent (but not that surprising) additions such as projected images, a poetry section, specific lighting, and a temporary Sea of Pain workspace which will be an exhibit unto itself and included in the list of works as such. Plus other stuff and no doubt stuff I haven't even had the first itchy inkling of yet. Time is of the essence now but except for the final graphite which I have already started the originals, motorcycle art, poetry, and the playing cards are either done and dusted or tracking on plan like trucks with no brakes.
I've never been in more pain or worse health which according to the doc is the result of nervous and mental exhaustion but it was always going to be thus on a tundra burn of this magnitude. Teetering on the edge of the abyss is and always has been the best place to creatively, just never been here for so long with so little in reserve before. Yee hah.
The Cloud of Butterflies is here on deck at the moment feeding me more than nuts and grapes and clearing the path ahead with her ever increasing experience of being the manager of the Sea of Pain, as well as performing her own miracles as far as taking care of everything (in ever larger amounts) behind the actual drawing, writing, designing, teaching, and general creative scheming.
April 4th, 2016
Amazingly after the last update a few days ago, the very next time I heard from the manager (the same day I wrote the last post) she told me the final invoice had finally arrived for the playing cards which has now been paid in full. This means the entire 12000 decks of Jones Playing Cards have been manufactured and are now in the process of being made available to the public. I am madly rebuilding the Seaofpain website (this one) to accomodate the JPC decks and the Legends Playing Card Company website in Hong Kong is also undergoing a major rebuild, part of which is to add Jones Playing Cards to their catalogue. Within the next week or so I expect to have squeezed and tweaked the Sea of Pain Fine Art Productions website into it's new form, Lawrence Sullivan tells us he is in the latter stages of doing the same to the LPCC website so it's looking like Jones Playing Cards should be available for online purchase very soon. There will be an update here the moment they are released for sale. Lawrence is air freighting the first gross box of stock to us now.
There will be hyperlinks on both sites: All Australian orders will be fulfilled by Sea of Pain Fine Art Productions.
All R.O.W. (rest of world) orders will be fulfilled by Legends Playing Card Company.
This will save our Australian customers a lot of postage as their orders will be shipped from Australia. It will also save the rest of the world a lot of postage as well as their orders will be shipped straight from source instead of having to be sent here first. My only task now is to prepare this website so it will under reconstruction till the next update so if their are any glitches in the meantime your patience is appreciated. The studio can always be contacted directly by either phone (07) 41 287682 or email email@example.com
After 10 years we are nearly there. Holding an actual deck of JPC's will be a surreal reality soon. Or a realistic surrealism. Hmm, back to the far more abstract reality of website wrangling. Rather be skritch-scratching a sharp 2B but this is a happening thing. Only made possible by my good friend Cilinda giving me an intense refresher course a couple of days ago, back to it..........
10th April, 2016
Well, I have done the big number on the entire website and now am waiting on the new JPC decks to turn up, once I have got a few to play with I can create the images I need to finish off the Jones Playing Card page and do the final polish on the entire site.
# We have also taken the opportunity to aquire SSL certification as part of this revamp, so http://seaofpain.com is now https://seaofpain. It wasn't as simple as we had hoped but is now all done and in place, so the site is now certified and verified as secure and a safe place for online purchases (not that it wasn't before).
# A big part of the latest update is to make the whole website more smart phone and tablet freindly, we have been doing experiments along the way to make sure it presents well on a phone screen (including increasing text sixe from now on).
# Lawrence from Legends Playing Card Company is flying to the manufactuerer today for final quality control checks on the JPC order and will be sending the first air mailed gross box of cards to us, we expect them in hand here in the next ten days or so.
# In the meantime I have shifted camp to magazine land and am hard at it creating the content for Drawing with Brett A. Jones- 4, Artists Back to Basics 7.1, Creative Artist-14, and the next Creative Artist Annual.
# Amongst other things.
23rd April, 2016
The first stock of JPC card decks arrived by airmail a few days ago (the rest left on a ship 2 days ago) and I am currently finishing off all tasks necessary to having them available for online purchase from this site. Lawrence is doing the same on the Legends Playing Cards site, the target date for simultaneous worldwide launch is in a week from today.
There has already been a large amount of updating carried out on the seaofpain.com website in preparation but now I have all I need to bring it to a finish. Which is just as well as I am also working flat out on several fast approaching magazine deadlines and getting everything ready for the next six week freehand drawing workshops starting in a few weeks.
Watch this space for the official online release of the new Jones Playing Cards.
Our ship gets into Brisbane on the 8th May and Lawrence is waiting to hear that the half of the stock left behind has been warehoused there and is ready for orders to be fulfilled. So it sounds like another week or maybe even two till the launch. The big updates/rebuild is finished here and we are read to go on that front, I'll launch the new Jones Playing Cards page when we go live once decks become available. Watch this space...
In the meantime I am working flat out on Drawing with Brett A. Jones- issue 4, with a deadline only a week away. So it looks like as soon as I'm done with that I'll be doing the 350km drive to pick up 6000 card decks. It will be pure pleasure, I can't wait. They've turned out beautiful, might even be in danger of having a game of cards for the first time in 20 years if I'm not careful.
10th May 2016
We are live!!!!!!!! Jones Playing Cards are now available for sale.
for further information or to have your order filled by our prompt and courteous staff.
18th May, 2016
We've unpacked the uncut sheets and worked out the storage and postage
2nd June 2016
Lyn Montgomery from Harbour Gift Gallery at the Urangan Marina complex asked me if I'd be 'Artist of the month' there for June so I set up a display yesterday including some playing cards. I am very much concentrating on other things than selling cards at the moment like overdue mag deadlines and the fast approaching exhibition opening on November 4th (where the cards will be launched), but for anyone interested in purchasing a deck or two pre-exhibition they are available at the Harbour Gift Gallery. I will be there in person drawing on Monday 13th June and Thursday 30th June between 10- 12 o'clock.
Alan (from 'Out of the Square' framing)and I have worked out a way to frame the uncut JPC sheets so there is glass both sides and can be hung either way, the uncut sheets are beautiful, they turned up with the shipment of cards, they are now all signed, numbered (50 of each) and carefully stored. They're available for purchase from this site on the playing cards page.
Now it's back to the ever growing intensity of 2016 for me. I am all but ready to submit the content for Drawing with Brett A. Jones- 4, and madly trying to concentrate my efforts in the remaining (large) joblist for the exhibition amongst a lot of other stuff like graphics for the JPC retail box, which after great efforts by the manager and myself is nearly ready to be manufactured.
4th August, 2016
Well another 2 months have rocketed by, we are hammering away at the various necessary tasks in the lead up to the BIG EXHIBITION opening on the 4th November. I am working like a crazy person on the last original graphite for the list of works.
The fourth issue of "Drawing with Brett A. Jones" has been written, arranged, submitted, edited, and must be printed by now, just waiting on news of it's public release which will be sometime in late August/early September. It's a great issue with articles on very advanced graphite technique, half a dozen on freehand pastel technique, and a couple on playing card designing and drawing, along with other articles on other aspects of drawing. It was always going to be touch and go as to whether Vol.4 would make it into reality. It has and I'm extremely happy about it. Look out for it in your local newsagent or pick up a copy at the BIG EXHIBITION in November.
The playing cards are absolutely beautiful, incredibly happy with how they turned out, even sat down and had an actual game of cards with them for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I never played a game of cards with the Whiteknuckles so it was the first time I'd ever played with my own card designs ever. The new Jones Playing Cards far exceeded my expectations for playability which was always the primary consideration during design.
"The Cardists" have given them a glowing review on u-tube and they appear on their 'top 10 decks for 2016' review, Jones Playing Cards came in at No.1
The manager and I are currently int he process of building the huge framed card design display component of the fast approaching BIG EXHIBITION, which we have to wrap up in record time so I can get back to the drawing board to finish the LAST DRAWING in record time so I can go on to building the poetry section, doing last repais and adjustments (and exhibition clean) of the "No Drama Darmah" motorcycle art centrepeice, and a million other things that there is no time for but can't be left out, of the......
BIG EXHIBITION (can you tell what's hammering my brain yet). See you on opening night at 6pm on the 4th Novemember at the regional art gallery in Pialba,
For U.K and western Europe customers interested in Jones Playing Cards, please proceed to JPplayingcards
6th August, 2016
Quick update for a couple of very important things. JPplaying cards in the U.K. now has Jones Playing Cards available for all customers in the United Kingdom and western Europe.
For all Aussie customers they are available from Sea of Pain Fine Art Production, either purchased direct from this site or on ebay, where they are listed.
Eddie from Gamblers Warehouse in the United States has also now stocked them.
For the rest of the world you can go direct to Legends Playing Cards to buy your Jones Playing Cards.
For locals in Hervey Bay in Queensland they are available at the Gift Harbour Gallery in the Urangan marina complex.
They will be being rolled out across Oz in the next year or two, we are insanely preparing for the BIG EXHIBITION starting on Nov 4th in the Fraser Coast Regional Gallery for now, with way too much to do and way not enough time to do it all in.
I have surrendered finally to much stronger pain killers to even make it slightly possible of winning through to Nov 4th without it being a big fat fail, Sharyn is here atm slaving alongside me performing miracles as usual but will be gone again soon enough.
One last HUGE bit of news, The Cardist on u-tube has released his 'top ten decks for 2016' and JPC came in at NO.1
check out the review and also the review on the actual deck, pretty groovy, thanks Ashley.
Once we get past the three exhibitions there will be must updating on this site, including an ever-growing list of JPC retail outlets.
Oh yeah, nearly forgot, keep a weather eye out for Drawing with Brett A. Jones- Issue 4, due out anytime now.
Now, back to the lastdrawing on the list of works. Tic, tic, tic. Down to round ten or twelve weeks to opening night, it's going to come right down to the wire.
2nd September, 2016
well we're now about 8 weeks out from opening night on the 4th of November and all is coming together somehow someway. Jumping from one job to the next and back so have jumped here for fast update on a few points:
* We now know the opening night date for Maryborough when the exhibition moves there from Hervey Bay at the end of November. So dates then are:
Friday 4th November- opening night in Hervey Bay (Regional Gallery in Pialba at the Main St. end of Old Maryborough Rd.)
Friday 9th December- opening night in Maryborough (Gatakers Art Space in Maryborough at 311 Kent St.)
opening night at Gympie Regional Gallery in March 2017 TBA
* The last original artwork on the list of works for the exhibition is finished.
* Drawing with Brett A. Jones- Vol.4 is now a reality, the publisher has kindly rushed me 300 copies so that is another huge box ticked for the exhibition.
* The main body of the card display component of the exhibition is finally back in it's Pandora's box after a truly epic battle for reasons there is no space for here, and the remainder is being framed at "Out of the Square" as we speak. There will be over 100 framed works of one kind or another.
* Motorcycle art centrepeice needs quite a few more 'finishing off' operations and adjustments, as well as final exhibition wash and polish, all scheduled for October after all other exhibition related tasks and paperwork have been bludgeoned into submission.
* I am hard at it now on the graphics for a retail display box for a dozen decks of JPC's, and a DL brochure that will be available for free where decks are sold.
* The next Six Week Freehand Drawing Workshop starts on the 11th September in Hervey Bay, still a couple of seats available, please see Workshops and Classes section or ring me on (07) 41 287682 for further details if you are interested in joining the class.
22nd Sept, 2016
time for another bullet-point staccato vomiting of good news, marks hit, and other interesting stuff now we're less than 6 weeks from "too late to do anything about it now" night. Well, to me anyway. I'm never sure if anyone is even reading any of this which isn't such a bad thing, there's worse fates than standing alone screaming into an empty abyss. Anyway..
* All the graphite and pastel originals are accounted for, in studio, been given whatever attention necessary to render them exhibition ready.
* Last couple of dozen exhibition items being framed this week.
* The motorcycle art centrepeice is exhibition ready. I managed to very effectively napalm myself in the process of carrying out the last few touches. As it turns out half a jam tin of automotive contact glue is really flammable when heated. Well, more exploding fireball of napalm than just "fire". Anyway by the time I managed to get it out of the studio I was very much on fire (front and back of shirt, face, hair, left hand, right arm) as was the floor, back door, back steps, raincoat hanging next to door, etc. As soon as I got the tin outside (2nd try, 1st go at "tossing" an expanding fireball the last few feet out the door resulted in it bouncing off the door trim and showering me with flaming glue), I put my head under the tap in the tubs but I really couldn't say I was having too much success putting myself out after lots of tries until the manager threw a wet towel over me and I ripped my burning shirt off. Reeeeeeealy lucky Sharyn happened to be here when it happened. Not dead. Studio not burnt down. Got burnt a lot but eyes ok and 'not dead'. Aloe Vera miracle mucus saves me again (not like I haven't been on fire before), was back fixing bike same day (heated glue up a different way) and started drawing workshop next day.
* Most of the exhibition paperwork (a lot) is done and more dates settled on...
... For example: opening night (or maybe even afternoon- actual time TBA) will be Saturday 4th March in Gympie and I will be doing a 3-day freehand drawing workshop there on the 10th, 11th, and 12th March(go to "Workshops and Classes" page for more details)and if enough interest maybe even a 2nd 3-day workshop on the 24th, 25th, and 26th.
* Current September drawing workshop in Hervey Bay is well underway and is progressing swimmingly with a good company of ten enjoying the experience. Next six week workshops in both Maryborough and Hervey Bay already have several bookings. Dates and details are in "Classes and workshops" section.
* Jones Playing Cards retail display box project has finally borne fruit after several false starts, the prototype has been tweaked and tweaked again and now the deposit is paid and we have 1000 boxes being produced. I've also designed DL sized cards with "more info" and a QRcode to JPC page on seaofpain.com. 5000 are being printed this week also which will be available from sleeves fixed to back of retail box.
* There has been reports of increases in sales from our OS retailers of JPC decks, since "The Cardists" on you tube pronounced JPC decks No.1 in the world for 2016 and several other reviews etc. Very welcome news here in the sea of pain, we relentlessly barged the JPC dream forth into a very different playing card world to the one the WhiteKnuckles inhabited waaaay back in 2009. Nice to know I can still sell a deck of cards to a stranger, thanks people,
27th October 2016
* Well here we are, the day before drop off day for entire body of work for exhibition. I am in a lot of pain, sick in the guts and cloudy headed and super-manager Sharyn isn't in much different condition but we are ready for tomorrow apart from an unsurprisingly substantial list of 'last jobs' including picking up last minute full size pastel from the framer called "Sulphur Soar" and an insane attempt to start and finish at least one three panel cartoon and get it in a frame in time to add to the catalogue. There are 126 individual items for the show (125 framed works and the motorcycle art centrepiece), plus the projected image display (over 450 images), backing music to be quietly playing in the background (186 songs specifically selected for this exhibition)and all the 'artist-in-residence' gear, which has predictably snowballed into a logistical nightmare of it's own. We're ready there too though, I will be set up to draw in both graphite and pastel, write, and do digital stuff too if necessary. As well as an old lounge chair for me to lay on do deal with back nightmare when required.
* I am being interviewed by ABC radio on Nov 2 and Channel 7 news on Nov 3, opening night is Nov 4 at 6pm at the regional gallery on Old Maryborough Rd. Pialba in Hervey Bay. All are extremely welcome to attend. There will be a string quartet playing and free nibblies, juice, tea and coffee and a cash bar. It's lining up to be a bit of a gala event, you'd be mad to miss it. I'm going.
* There has been happenings with the Jones Playing Cards- "The Cardists" on youtube have proclaimed JPC decks to be not only in the top ten decks worldwide for 2016 but No.1 which is pretty damn cool. Even better they have released another video "Deck Wars- Whiteknuckle cards Vs. Jones Playing Cards" which is awesome and very clearly shows the extent of the changes made since the WK days. You'll have to watch the video to find out who won the war.
* I've just submitted the material for my "From the Drawing Board" feature in Creative Artist magazine. It's the most recent writing gig I have taken on but I noticed that this is the sixteenth issue already so I've already been doing it for two and a half years, time really does flash past when you're obsessing on several things at once.
* I had to race down to Gympie to pick up a drawing from the Gold Rush art show so I had it in time for the exhibition, I took the opportunity to establish the first few retail outlets for Jones Playing Cards while I was out that way. So if you just can't wait till the exhibition opens to get your hands on some decks, they are now available from
Lychee Divine- in the old Information centre next to the Puma service station on the highway near the Maryborough South turnoff.
Tinana Post Office- Tinana Rd. Tinana.
The Barber Shop- Pallas St. Maryborough.
* I will be going through the entire website after the exhibition dust settles and updating/adding/re-organising most of it. It's been online for almost ten years launched Jan 26th 2007) so despite a lot of work and development of it since then parts of it are starting to show their age so look out for many additions and improvements in the new year sometime. Exhibition first.
Hope to see you on opening night. One of them anyway, just to reiterate:
Hervey Bay Regional gallery- 6pm Friday 4th November 2016.
Gatakers Art Space- 6pm Friday 9th December 2016.
Gympie Regional Gallery- 1:30pm 4th March 2017.
See you there !!!!!!!
11am- 4th Nov 2016
All set up, looks crazy good. See you all there at 6pm tonight for the opening.
I am doing an artists floor talk on the 6th November at 11am, the opening is a celebration/social event but I am keen to go right into a detailed explanation and dialogue about how it all the individual works, all six mediums, and the entire exhibition is interwoven into one big artistic composition.
This is it then over the top, a one and a two and a........
17th November, 2016
Quick update, exhibition opening went off beautifully, whole main gallery was filled with people, thanks to all that came along for the trip, your visible support means more than words can say. I've been in gallery every day since then as artist-in-residence from 10- 2 (10am -1pm on weekends)and will be for the remainder of the exhibition. It's been both hectic and peaceful, sometimes it's busy with people and activity, sometimes I am alone in the huge room with everything I've obsessed on in the last 6 years ringing the walls and a studio in the middle to work from. Very trippy and I am enjoying every second. I am drawing with graphite and pastels and doing a lot of writing for deadlines that have crept up on me during the final insane week of delivery, arranging, and hanging 126 items. Here's an 11 minute interview from ABC radio for anyone interested. They asked good questions, the interviewer had done her homework. I'll be posting a couple of images from the exhibition here with more news about it as soon as I get a chance, watch this space. In the meantime, here's my actual voice for a change instead of written words strung together
opening night tonight at Gatakers Art Space in Maryborough, 6 for 6:30pm. There will be four exhibitions opened including mine in gallery 1. The pull down from the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery, moving, and rehanging and arranging of everything in Maryborough was incredibly hectic and painful but I expected nothing less, trying to stay in bed today so I can actually move well enough by this afternoon to make it to Gatakers tonight, but thought I better just do this today. It all looks excellent up there, a very different arrangment to the Hervey Bay exhibition but in some ways it looks even better. Much less space but some creative curating and culling sorted that out. The WhiteKnuckle part of the display was left at the studio, only Jones Playing Card designs made it this time plus the other five mediums of course (freehand graphite, pastel, writing, poetry and motorcycle art). There was no room for the projected image show so we arranged to borrow a huge plasma screen and my freind and neighbour Klaas built a special computer out of bits and peices to make it work as a monitor for the 500 or so images. By all accounts it will be a big night tonight, all are more than welcome (311 Kent St. Maryborough). For now I am going to lay back down, so far past burn out and so much back pain for so long nothing's much fun right now but tonight will be a blast I'm sure. Hope to see you there, Brett
8th Feb, 2017
I'm going to do a long overdue large (website wide) update soon (ish)but figured for now I had better say something in the meantime after all the hoopla leading up. The first two (Hervey Bay and Maryborough)parts of the 3rd Solo Exhibition are done now, with Gympie in March the fast approaching next spinal nightmare. Actually I'm looking forward very much to exhibiting in Gympie at their beautiful old Gympie Regional Gallery, which used to be the original Gympie School of Arts building. I'll be doing a 3-day Freehand Drawing Workshop in the workshop area of the GRG during my exhibition, the workshop dates are 10th, 11th, and 12th (Fri, Sat, Sun)March. If there is enough interest there can be another 3-day workshop on the 24th, 25th, and 26th March. Check the "Workshop and Classes" section for further details on that.
The current Jan/Feb six-week workshops in Maryborough and Hervey Bay are running well with everyone making good progress and enjoying the experience, with a few already booked into the next workshops starting in May.
Unfortunately the May/June booking I had with Gatakers Art Space is no longer viable as the council is carrying out what are described as wide ranging changes and improvements to the 'front building' consisting of the life drawing on the top floor, the print space on the bottom floor at the rear and the room I have always used at the front of the bottom floor.
I have booked the Maryborough Art Society's workshop space right across the road now for the May/June workshop, I used to hold them there years ago but crossed the road to take advantage of the A/C, but since the air-conditioning has been removed from Gatakers anyway and May being Winter I'm sure it will be very comfortable, in fact it was always a beautiful room in Winter, I'm looking forward to going back to my roots, a change is as good as a holiday as they say and at least the MAS room hasn't got any cast iron posts in the middle of the room.
I have been trying my best to lose some groundspeed since the Maryborough exhibition opened and for the first time in years had the chance to stop and look around but it seems like there is always something to do, make or fix. Trouble with that is that my back and my brain fell to bits long ago and this whole continuing illusion is only existing on the memory of long burnt fumes and needs to crash land sooner or later for recuperative reasons even if artistic gravity continues to be ignored as successfully as up to this point.
Anyway, long story short, all is good for Gympie in March, then a lot of stuff that has been waiting on the back burners for a long time can move into the full glare of insane obsession to be baked in the lurid gaze of infinite perception into the bent perfection of the truly and happily deluded.
Oh yeah, and website update etc....
25th Feb, 2017 Ok, here we go with Gympie. I am madly getting all ready for an early Monday morning load and leave from here with three vehicles full of exhibition stuff bound for Gympie. We will be delivering and helping with the hanging for a few days and then bail back up to Hervey Bay to get ready for the grand opening at 6:30pm on Sat 4th March and the freehand drawing workshop starting on the 17th March. All are welcome on opening day, should be a great with the very popular annual suitcase market falling on the 4th as well, along with three other exhibitions opening as well. I'm sure set up will be frenetic with four exhibitions being hung simultaneously but I have very high regard for the Gympie gallery mob and am sure it will be more fun that anything. Right, back to lining ducks up........
7th March 2017
Ok, the Gympie exhibition is all set up and looks beautiful, opening night is done and dusted and all is well as far as the exhibition now being open for the month of March in the Gympie Regional Gallery, I hope everyone even slightly interested in what it is I have been doing under extreme load over the past six years will try and find an opportunity to go check it out.
The next part of the plan is the three day drawing workshops which I will be holding during the exhibition, originally I had planned to hold the first on the 10th, 11th, and 12th but the dates were moved forward a week which I missed in the frenetic lead up to the first two exhibitions in the Wide Bay, the actual dates of the first workshop are the 17th, 18th and 19th (Fri, Sat, Sun) of March, and now that we are actually in March it has become quickly apparent that the first class is full so a second 3-day workshop is being offered on the 24th, 25th, and 26th of March, this second course of classes has already attracted several bookings so if you want to secure a place before it also fills please contact Sandra Ross at the Gympie gallery on (07) 54810733.
The next six week courses in the Wide Bay (Maryborough and Hervey Bay) will be starting on the second weekend in May, if you are interested in attending one of these workshops please go to the "Workshops and Classes" section for further details or give me a call on (07) 41 287682, always happy to answer questions or book a spot for you.
22nd April 2017
well the final showing of my 3rd solo exhibition has been packed up and brought back to the studio, it's a big relief to have carried the whole concept out to a successful conclusion, especially in the current sales doldrums that seems to have taken hold of the entire art world. I am very happy with how the whole thing turned out and especially the Gympie experience which was very positive and enjoyable during the entire process.
I have been madly trying to play catch ups even since with a massive amount of 'other' tasks and maintenance to be dealt with here in the studio which was all intentionally neglected for the past few years while the many deadlines and projects involving the exhibition were necessarily obssessed over to the enth degree as available time melted away. My back has been making it all a frustratingly glacial process as usual but I have become a master at seeing the silver lining in any situation and my mind and soul are at ease for the first time in years as I pick away at bringing my own surroundings up to an acceptable standard and prepare the ground for the next challenges.
I have updated the "Classes and Workshops" section with details for the upcoming special two day freehand drawing workshop to be held in Imbil as part of the Mary Valley Art Festival this year. If you are interested please check my classes and workshops section or give Heinke Butt a call to book a seat on 0419 024291. Feel free to contact me if you would like to know more about this coming event on (07) 41 287682.
My apologies for not having yet tackled the more than large-ish update/rebuild this website has long had coming, there was always more pressing tasks at hand before and during the exhibitions and now I have been and am very effectively and thoroughly distracted and overwhelmed by the avalanche of non-art related issues overdue for attention, but there is a big catch up update planned for the near future so please check back now and then,
11th July 2017
It's been a hectic period between the end of the third showing at the Gympie Regional Gallery of the Brett A. Jones 3rd Solo Exhibition and now, the big website update has still to be done as I have been flat out with other pressing tasks involving magazine deadlines, playing card distribution, drawing workshops and preparing for the big trip away with the cloud of butterflies and the studio dog. I had a what turned out to be quite unrealistic ideal of what would happen after the holy grail of opening night at the big exhibition, I thought things would slow down or stop for at least a little while but that hasn't happened at all. Since the last update I have written and submitted several Artists Back to Basics magazines "Pencil's Down with Brett A. Jones" articles, a couple of Creative Artist magazines "From the Drawing Board" columns, established some Jones Playing Cards retail outlets in Hervey Bay and Maryborough, and conducted a two day drawing workshop in Imbil as part of the Mary Valley Art Festival, in which I was also one of the judges in the art show, the other being Nameer Davis from the Brisbane Institute of Art.
I wasn't going to enter anything in any art shows this year but was asked to put something in the Maryborough Art Show and picked up a 1st in the pastel section which was a very nice surprise. The main focus now is to escape from the studio for a few months at least and go out on the road in the cloud of butterfly's bus with the bull terrier in a trailer being towed behind. Making the old bike trailer into a suitable mobile receptacle for the studio dog has been quite an undertaking to say the least. We now have an operational rig for that purpose and are in the exit stategy now to try and get out of here asap. I am planning on gathering fresh photographic material for the studio and writing a book while on the road, we will be doing our best to dodge anything that looks like a city or a big town for as long as possible but have to be in Townsville for the cloud of butterflies best freind's wedding in mid-September, we are planning on getting there via Broken Hill so there is a BIG loop through the Woop Woop to look forward to with much silent dusty introspection wandering around with camera and writing paper to look forward to (I hope).
We might be back in a week or we might disappear till Christmas but a good freind and next door neighbour will be house sitting the Sea of Pain studio for us so we are both very much focused on the big leaving now smashing through the (million)unavoidable tasks that need to be ticked off before we can go. I can't remember the last time I actually went on anything resembling a holiday so it will be a strange and wonderful experience I'm sure. I have been trying to find the time and headspace to write a book for years so it's not like I will be totally unoccupied while wandering the never never. If there's no more updates here for awhile you'll know where I am anyway, poking around the scrub with a strange brain, pencil, camera, hippy girl and dog.
I'm already looking forward to getting back and sitting back down at the drawing board and pastel easel again but after the lead up to that last big exhibition I most definitely need a break for awhile not just to gather fresh subject matter but to well.. have a holiday (seems very weird even writing that),
see you on the road, Brett.
ps. Next six week workshops start in January 2018, check classes and workshop section for dates and details. I've been doing Saturday classes in Maryborough for years but I'm going to try Monday classes for the next workshop there.
9th January, 2018
Just wanted to let everyone know the next round of six week freehand drawing workshops are starting this coming week in Hervey Bay (14th) and Maryborough (15th), there are only a couple of vacancies left so if you have been wanting to participate now's your chance. Please check 'Classes and Workshops' section on this website for further details and don't hesitate to ring or email for further details or to register your interest.
So much has happened both good and bad since I last updated this page about a million years ago, way too much to be touching on here but I really will get around to "the big update" when the opportunity arises but for now it's all hands on deck (well both of them anyway)preparing for the start of the January freehand drawing workshops.
Watch this space for a more detailed update, in the meantime happy drawing!!!
3rd April, 2018
Well I have been primarily deeply engrossed in broken and worn out old motorbike bits lately but a lot has happened (as usual)in many other areas of painful effort as well, I told myself come the end of March I would change hats for as long as it took to do "the big update" on this website, time passing has (as usual) turned a too-long-put-off job into a real monster. It's my monster though so I have happily begun the process of taking seaofpain.com to the next level of it's development. There is a very large amount of work to be done, built up mostly from being relegated over and over in the past few years as being of less importance than the endless action on the drawing board, writing deadlines, playing card pressures, drawing workshops and last but certainly not least the recent BIG exhibition preparation, organisation and execution. Now I am past all that I can actually concentrate on other tasks (like this website)and bring a lot of other aspects and areas of the studio and business up to speed.
There is/has been/going to be lots of new news that will be being posted here in the immediate future but (as usual) I can't tell you all of it at once so I'll just keep plugging away till there's nothing left to do on this digital platform of Sea of Pain Fine Art Productions and I've told/shown/made available all new stuff. First thing I want/have to get over/across are the dates for the next fast approaching Brett A. Jones Freehand Drawing Workshops: the next six week courses begin on Sunday 22nd April in Hervey Bay and Monday 23rd April in Maryborough, for more details please go to the Classes and Workshops section of this website or ring me here at the studio on (07) 41 287682.
Watch this space for lots of new features, news, art, information and images being uploaded in the immediate future. Thanks for your interest and for supporting a truly independent freehand artist, teacher and writer, it means a lot, cheers from the ongoing creative fog,
10th April 2018
As soon as I had finished a very large photo shoot of all artwork for the update and seriously engaged with the website (about 20 seconds after I hit the start button) the computer's brain fried for good after many years of ever worsening health. The computer I am talking about has seen me through the entire period since 2006 when I started the business and has handled ALL the website, drawing workshops, magazine articles and playing card designing, it used to be the duck's guts but toward the end working with it was like tryng to cut up a sponge cake with a bag of rocks, you got a result but never the one you wanted. The Sea of Pain I.T. dept (my retired neighbour Klaas) has jury rigged a temporary set up for me by cobbling the hard drive to my online computer so I can keep at the current plan while he builds me a new Sea of Pain offline super computer that will see me right for the next 10 years.
The fine art pages (works in graphite and pastel anyway) are now fully updated for the first time in years (phew, what a job), I've even included images of the 5 or 6 works still in progress so every bit of serious scratching around with pencil and pastel since 2000 is now on the website to see. I want to eventually (everything takes time with ruined spine and extreme OCD drawing techniques added to the mix) work my way through all unfinished works before starting any new original artworks but that will have to be left to the vagaracies of the creative haze that is my mind, I don't try and fight it, just ride it like a rusty pushbike. Time will tell, it always does.
Next job on the block is to try and briefly fill in the large gap in "Latest News" between the end of the touring 3rd solo exhibition in March 2017 and now (a whole year already, they go past almost too fast to keep track). I'll try and stick to the high (and low) lights of the period or it could easily turn into a whole book. A lot happened. It will be a carthartic task compacting 12 months into as few words and images as possible (I've actually started writing a book but not for "Latest News").
Once that's done I'll feel like I've caught up to the present, then I'll move on to the very many other large and small changes and additions planned. I'm going to keep this all moving along so watch this space...........
17th April 2018
I know I didn't say much on here once the 3rd solo exhibition had done the rounds of the three towns (Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Gympie), to tell you the honest truth by then I was far past complete physical and mental burnout and would have just shut down altogether for awhile if it weren't for all the things that needed to be done before the long planned post-exhibition extended road trip in Silver Moon (Cloud of Butterflies' bus) could happen. Part of this whole long promised major website revamp was always going to be to make some kind of organisational sense out of the cobbled together and chaotic 'Shows and Exhibitions' section so I'll get into words and images about all that there and then when that particular grindstone gets a shoulder rub. Once the shows were all over I realised I hadn't spared a single second's thought as to what came after or how I'd get it done, all thought and action until then was solely aimed at successfully bringing all the many exhibition threads together in time.
We had realised that for the holiday to be possible at all the dog would have to come. Turning my old bike trailer into a dog trailer by 'sticking an old ute canopy on it' proved to be a lot more difficult than you'd imagine. By all accounts we planned heading due west till we crossed the border and then turning left at Innamincka and head south down the Old Strezlecki Track which turned out to be closed to the public and had no signage at all. We went that way anyway on advice from the locals, took it very steady in the bus and it turned out to be the best part of the whole trip by far. Once we got far enough south we'd loop around and head back north through the Alice and Mt. Isa and across to Townsville in time for Sharyn's best friend's wedding. The trailer had to be up to all that or would just turn into a nightmarish liability in that kind of country. The old rusted out and oft-repaired hand made box trailer I started with was twisted and out of square overall which made the task of building a dust and weatherproof dogbox nearly impossible. As usual there was no way back but forward so it was relentlessly done despite that. It turned out very well eventually but was very much past the last straw for my spine (and mental state). It took a lot longer than planned and the year was slipping away so we left the day after the trailer was finally finished with my back in a very bad way and many thousands of miles ahead of us. I could write a whole book on what happened over the following weeks but this isn't the place for that so I'll keep this as short as possible.
After much adventure we got right out into the centre of the Strezlecki Desert. It's truly astonishing out there and we were just settling into spending many weeks picking our way south when out of the blue one morning I had a completely unexpected kidney stone attack. I didn't know that then though, I had no idea what was going on. At the time I was in my own little world about a kilometer from camp wandering around very happily with a camera when the first massive waves of pain hit. Mere words could never hope to describe the 'walk' back to the bus or the six hour drive south over corrogations I reckon you could see from space trying to get to some kind of medical help. The Strezlecki Track was closed in both directions due to rain when we were still 1000k's or so from any kind of doctor so a mine truck driver led us about 40km further south to a short strip of bitumen with the only bit of slightly higher ground and any chance of reception in the entire huge area and stood on the roof of his huge rig with his satellite phone. After an hour and a half of constant effort trying to get through without it cutting out it was finally confirmed a helicopter from Moomba gasfields was on it's way. It took another hour and a half for them to arrive flying into a strong headwind all the way. They say kidney stone pain is the worst kind of all, I'll certainly never forget that 9 or 10 hour period of it as long as I live. I'm very used to dealing with severe chronic pain from my back but this was so far past what you can grit your teeth and hope to bear you end up actually flogging around like a beached fish trying to find some kind of relief while vomiting and profusely sweating the entire time.
The helicopter had an R.F.D.S. pilot and paramedic on board, they took one look at the severely dehydrated state I was in and put me straight on a drip and gave me all kinds of pills and shots before they even moved me. One of the needles was a big hit of Morphine so I'll never forget my first ever chopper flight, watching the Cloud of Butterflies and an extremely perplexed bull terrier looking straight up at me from the ground as I miraculously disappeared vertically into the sky. I'll also never forget the amazing strong tailwind trip back to Moomba, flying flat out 1500 metres above the astonishingly patterned incredibly beautiful desert as the blood red sun slowly set. I haven't got anywhere near good enough words to adequately describe the highly professional efficiency of that awesome RFDS mob, by 1:00am I had been flown by plane across Lake Eyre to Broken Hill hospital in outback N.S.W. where I spent the next three days. They told me the stone had finally passed but another one had shown up in my other kidney during scans which I could expect to enjoy a similar experience with at any point in the near future. Sharyn in the meantime was marooned in the desert for days until the road opened and then had to drive for two days solid through wind and driving rain with an increasingly agitated and cranky bull terrier for company straight through all the country we had worked so hard to take our time wandering through camping and taking art reference photos. Once she picked me up we decided it would be more than a bit stupid with another kidney stone coming anytime to head straight back into the remote Woop Woop (not to mention how far Broken Hill was off our original planned track already) so we headed through Adelaide instead, followed the Great Ocean Rd. straight past Melbourne and skirted the Vic coast east to Orbost, turned left and disappeared back into the bush all the way from there back to the Qld border at Goondiwindi, kept on due north from there and had a few camps in various state forests and crown land (we had to dodge National Parks the entire trip because of the dog). Six weeks after leaving the studio we were back (it was meant to be 12 weeks), Sharyn continued north to her friend's wedding in FNQ on her own and left me and the dog to seriously consider the specific direction of my post-exhibition future.
She dropped in on her way back south a month or so later just in time for the stone in the left kidney to start it's own new horror story in pain, but this time she only had to drive me ten minutes to the local hospital.
After everything my back is now unfortunately permanently even worse than it has ever been before but I can only look at the bright side of it all and just be happy to be back home and successfully past all the insanely unrealistic art, card, writing and exhibition deadlines and endless and unrelenting attention to minute details and massive creative, technical and logistical problems of the last good few years. Phew. I'm now slowly picking away at all the things around here long neglected and abandoned for the duration of the pre-exhibition period and playing catch-ups with important long put off tasks (like this entire website for example).
My big (old) offline computer finally dying permanently a week or so ago threw a big unlooked for but not entirely unexpected onion in the ointment but I am already almost past that with my excellent neighbour Klaas building me a new Sea of Pain custom super computer out of parts and the entire computer area being stripped out, repaired, cleaned, improved and re-organised for the first time since Sea of Pain started back in 2006. It's been a huge week.
Now I've caught up on 'the missing year' in Latest News the next target in sight on this website will be the long awaited "Drawing with Brett A. Jones" magazine section. Thanks to all who have been following this latest push on the digital platform of Sea of Pain Fine Art Productions, keep watching, it's far from over, cheers Brett
Silver Moon and dog trailer west of Woop Woop.
Me 'n Bud the bull terrier a long way from the songline.
The rig west of Thargomindah. The roads are mostly long, straight and very rough way out west. This bit is bitumen (it looks smooth but isn't), a lot is seemingly endless dirt with huge corrogations to munch your spine and turn your dog into a snarling mess.
Cloud of Butterflies at rest back in the Queensland bush
Waiting for a chopper to arrive in the Strezlecki Desert on the only bit of bitumen for hundreds of kilometres in either direction. Never been more remote or in more pain. Bad combination.
Bull Terrier on safari west of Durong. He had an amazingly good sense of direction for a reclusive studio dog.
The other reclusive studio dog with the Cloud of Butterflies, very happy to be back in Queensland.
Dog's water bowl in camp deep in the state forest south-west of Durong. He seemed to instictively know not to hassle them, we all had multiple bees on us the whole time but not one sting, just as well since Sharyn is allergic to bee-stings. We stayed in this camp for nearly a week and explored miles of surrounding bush. We just called it "Bee Camp".
27th April 2018
Another new addition to the website is done, the "Drawing with Brett A. Jones" 100 page illustrated freehand drawing books are now finally available for purchase directly from me here at the studio. I included a lot of images of exerpts from the four different volumes so please check it out!!!!
I am going to now attack the playing card section with much gusto, I wrote some illustrated articles about my entire experience from the WhiteKnuckle days on for the American "Card Culture" magazine when the JPC decks were freshly minted, which ended up being published without image markers or captions which was more than a bit of a shame so I am going to put it all up on here as a way to tell the back story of the playing cards. They go into much detail not just about the logistical and technical highs and lows of the whole trip but also the design process from start to finish. Now I've mostly rolled the drawing book section I have got the playing card section firmly in the crosshairs with the entire section being improved and added to.
The new much improved computer area is fully functional now and already proving to be such a massive improvement over what I had before it almost brings tears to the eyes. The new BIG (big memory, big brain, multiple monitor, up-to-date O.S. and programs) Sea of Pain computer makes me realise just how glitchy, flawed, slow, sick, and stupid the poor old Windows Vista rig I did everything on since I started back in 2006 actually was.
My NBN satellite VOIP studio phone which has been very problematic to say the very least (for years) has now ceased to function as a phone at all. I made the mistake of contacting my service provider to try and improve what was an all but unworkable connection which has resulted in the phone not even having a dial tone for several days now. Despite me telling them I am trying to run a very small business from home they seem to either not care or just don't know how to make their own gear work. Maybe a bit from column A and a bit from column B.
Either way, if you want to contact me till I tell you different, please text me or leave a message on my mobile 0401 543327, it only works at a certain point up in the studio which is where I leave it (so it's not really a 'mobile' at all) but I always check it for messages and reply to all txt and messages promptly. Or you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org . My online computer (as opposed to the BIG offline art computer) has also been a source of great digital angst over the years but nowadays I (at least) always receive my emails. You'd never know we live in 2018 if you judged 'the future' with how well technology works. Better to smile than scream inncoherently in protracted fury though so think of me with a fixed idiot grin as I force/forge my way ahead into new and wonderous realms.
..........and check out the new DWBJ section, it's worth a look, cheers from the digital battleground, Brett
8th May 2018
OK, I've now gotten quite a way further with THE BIG UPDATE since the last post here a week and a half or so ago. The playing card sections are much better now with both the illustrated articles telling the whole story of the card's creation available for your reading (and looking) pleasure, the two part article "WhiteKnuckle to Jones Playing Cards" comes with 42 captioned images and illustrations and takes you from the first inception of the idea to the here and now with everything you need to know if you ever find yourself insane enough to want to create an independent playing card brand from scratch.
I have also done a large amount of work to the "Drawing Classes and Workshops" section with a lot more information and images as well as a long planned new addition of an entire page devoted to showcasing some (but certainly not all) of the best artwork from half a dozen former students of my drawing tuition over the past ten years, including a short overview of each featured artist and a couple of testimonials from them about how my classes have helped them improve their own technique.
I've realised over the years that people have many different reasons for attending my workshops and classes, some just want to learn new skills or try something different, but some want to soak up every skerrick of what I can tell and show them about how I draw the way I do and use it to fuel their own astonishing journeys on the drawing board. Have a look at the new Former Students page and you'll see just what's possible by learning and applying my methods, ideas, and techniques to a blank peice of paper. I've extremely proud of all who have chosen to 'catch the ball and run like hell' out onto their own freehand drawing tundras, congratulations to you all for the amazing results you are achieving.
"38 Merc" by Jim Dowling
Oh and by the way the phone nightmare continues unabated, after nearly two weeks now and many tedious and frustrating hours waiting on hold, fiddling with equipment and being dumb enough to beleive the promises, the telephone has worked for a day or so, it's now back to non-operational and now the actual internet connection has decided to join (or more accurately not join) the party.
Next job today (again) is to go and bother the neighbour (again) to wait on hold for another hour of my life I'll never get back to get fed some more horsesh#t about how to fix the problem and how great the NBN is (it's not). We can be very proud of ourselves as a nation, 40 years ago we had a phone system that always worked, even during storms and blackouts, now we've got one that is incredibly complicated (it must be, even the 'experts' don't seem to understand it or be able to actually make it work for long or at all a lot of the time), so frustrating and destructive to small business and mental health generally. Well done us!!!! If you want or need to contact me, please either email on email@example.com or send me a text on 0401 543327. You can ring me on that mobile number but as my 'mobile' only has reception if I leave it in one (yes, only one) particular spot up in the studio so you'll probably have to leave a voice message.
I'm sure I will eventually get the 'landline' (it's actually an NBN digital satellite phone) working and in the meantime I WILL receive all your texts and phone messages (even to the landline number when it is working again) and will reply to all as soon as I check the 'mobile' phone in it's special little spot. My apologies to everyone who tried (and failed) to contact me to book into the current drawing workshops.
What a future we are living in, where's my George Jetson car, oh that's right it's still an old deisel ute. At least I know it always works like it was intended, judging by the phones nowadays I reckon we might have dodged a bullet with the lack of flying cars.
The poetry section has received it's long awaited update too, with eight new poems up for your inspection and a general tidying up and sorting out of the entire section as a whole, as the entire website will be given all available heartbeats and clock ticks until it's done. The less of them the better as I have got many many creative projects either planned, started or well underway that I am champing at the bit to re-engage with. But as any even marginally sane human will tell you, you can only do what you can with what you've got, and with my ever worsening back condition I have entered a new era of resigned serenity on that front. I've always known that every day is a diamond and the ones in which you can successfully drag your busted carcass out of the swag and make measureable progress on what dreams lurk in your heart are particularly shiny ones. Hope you enjoy the latest additions and improvements, we are still a fair way from done with all this so continue to watch this space.