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Complete your creative bookshelf

At Thames & Hudson Australia, we pride ourselves on our ‘museum without walls’, our books which explore every interest and spark creative energy.

Product photography and styling: Jackie Money

Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing our top titles for key interest areas, from lifestyle and architecture books, to activities, puzzles and games.

Complete your creative bookshelf today.

Complete your lifestyle bookshelf

Discover a heady mixture of our favourite books on topics spanning plant medicine, floristry, home plant care and career advice in the creative industry.

READ MORE ➔

Product photography and styling: Jackie Money

Coming soon…

  • Complete your activities collection
  • Complete your fashion bookshelf
  • Complete your picture book collection
  • Complete your architecture bookshelf
  • Complete your art bookshelf
  • Complete your interior design bookshelf

Posted on May 20, 2020
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The art and musing of Ken Done

Playful, vibrant and bold, Ken Done’s artwork is truly one-of-a-kind. In the Ken Done: Painting Australia series, Ken captures his love of the Australian landscape, from the joyful shout of Sydney and the Aussie Beach to the calm beauty of the Outback and Reef.

Scroll through some selections of Ken’s work below, carefully curated from each book and accompanied by his charming commentary.

Story by Jackie Money

SYDNEY

Sailboats on music sheets
The Wednesday Race I, 1980. Oil crayon and ink on paper. ©Ken Done

“The world-famous musician James Morrison is an old friend. He once released an album of music inspired by a number of my paintings. In one song he gave a musical notation to the way I had placed my drawings of yachts in this work, The Wednesday Race. Who could ask for more?”

– Ken Done

Book cover of Ken Done's Sydney
Cover design: Evi-O.Studio
On the cover: White Opera, yellow sky, 1998. Acrylic on canvas. ©Ken Done

BEACH

Sunbakers at the beach
Sunbakers II, 1995. Acrylic on canvas. ©Ken Done

“This work was one of a number I showed in my first exhibition in Paris. The picture of the sunbaker by the famous Australian photographer Max Dupain is one of our most revered images. I’ve made numerous paintings using the iconic form as a graphic device, always with reverence and respect.”

– Ken Done

Book cover of Ken Done's Beach
Cover design: Evi-O.Studio
On the cover: Balmoral I, 1993. Oil and acrylic on canvas. ©Ken Done

OUTBACK

Ned Kelly in a canyon
Nolan canyon, 2019. Oil on canvas. ©Ken Done

“When I look at the Outback, I often think of Sidney Nolan. One of our most influential artists, I was lucky enough to meet and talk with him a couple of times. For me, he will always be the Kelly figure looking at the landscape.”

– Ken Done

Book cover of Ken Done's Outback
Cover design: Evi-O.Studio
On the cover: Postcard from the Bungle Bungle, 2001. Acrylic on canvas. ©Ken Done

REEF

Sea creatures
Drawings of things in the sea, 1993. Oil, acrylic, oil crayon, pencil and ink on canvas.
©Ken Done

“A jelly and a fish. Then a jellyfish. Lots of things you find in the sea. This painting, now in a big Japanese collection, is fun. Some images are tight, and some I’ve played games with. Being underwater should always be fun.”

– Ken Done

Book cover of Ken Done's Reef
Cover design: Evi-O.Studio
On the cover: Zebra fish, 2013. Oil and acrylic on linen. ©Ken Done


Posted on February 26, 2020
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The First Colour – an extract from Chromatopia by David Coles

In this extract from his new bestselling book Chromatopia, author and master paint maker David Coles looks at the origin of ochre – believed to be the first pigment used to create human artworks.

The oldest human artworks still in existence are vivid depictions of animals, humans and spirits that were created using ochres. There is evidence of their use as far back as 250,000 years ago. Ancient ochre artworks are found all over the world, from the earliest cultures of India and Australia to the famous cave paintings of Lascaux in France.

Naturally occurring iron-containing ochres of the earth provide a wide range of yellow, red and brown colours.

The natural mineral could be collected or dug-up and then simply ground against a harder rock and water added to make fluid. Later civilisations refined this process to include washing the ochre of impurities, drying and then grinding to a fine powder. 

Yellow ochres are an impure form of iron oxide called limonite. They can also be roasted to produce other hues

by placing on a fire or in an oven. A moderate heat turns the yellow to orange; stronger heat makes the colour turn red. These roasted red ochres are often called ‘burnt’ (for example, burnt sienna). Naturally occurring red ochres are richer in anhydrous iron oxide called haematite. They also vary widely in shade, hue and transparency.

There are many earth pigments whose specific colour comes from natural mineral admixtures. The pigments known as ‘umber’ contain iron plus manganese oxide that lends a greenish hue. Iron-oxide-free earths are not strictly ochres, but it is important to include them here as their use alongside the true ochres is significant throughout history; white earths from pipe-clay, black earths of manganese and the light green pigment terre-verte (green earth) from mineral celadonite.

Text © David Coles from CHROMATOPIA, published by Thames & Hudson.

Photographs © Adrian Lander

Chromatopia by David Coles is out now.  AU$49.99

Posted on September 7, 2018