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TV Art Series - Colour in Your Life

BY Diane Michael | 04-Aug-2014
In 2010 internationally renowned Australian artist Graeme Stevenson’s had a vision to create a broadcast television series that would bring art of all kinds to the general public in an informative, interesting and relaxed manner. And so in 2011 Graeme’s passion and focus became the unique TV series Colour in Your Life (CIYL). @Colour_In_Life #PutSomeColourInYourLife

When many other ideas never see the light of day Colour in your Life has found a devoted audience and continued to grow and succeed. With Series 7 now completed and Series 8 ready for broadcast, there are now more than 100 episodes portraying a wide range of Australian, New Zealand and international artists, their styles, materials and processes.

"Colour is a power which directly influences the soul."
― Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art

The last three years have been a long journey for Graeme and his small but dedicated and hardworking production team, but worth all the effort. "It's just great to be able to give artists the opportunity to show their work and spread the word about their talent, says Graeme. I'm always energised and inspired by meeting new artists and seeing their creativity."

The series is shot in high definition (HD), presented by Graeme, and follows a format that revolves around the artist being interviewed as they describe and demonstrate their own process in creating an artwork. Each episode is 24 minutes in length and allows the artist to talk about their ideas, techniques, products, timelines, and their attachment to the final piece. "We generally highlight one artist in each episode which is shot on location in the artist's studio or plein air depending on their preference, says Graeme. We show the artist working on one piece during the episode, but can then include other completed works when we finalise the editing and this gives viewers the opportunity to see the range and scope of the artist's work. " In early 2014, Graeme used an innovative idea by combining the talents of three internationally acclaimed watercolourists Joseph Zbukvic, Alvaro Castagnet and Herman Pekel to paint one painting together. This episode is known as The Three Amigos and was sponsored by Luke Senior of Seniors Art Supplies, and Daniel Smith Watercolour Paints, giving them the opportunity to highlight their businesses as well.

This episode became a hit on the internet and since being uploaded to YouTube it has gone viral, with in excess of 200,000 hits

"He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist."
― Francis of Assisi

Some of the artists who have appeared on Colour in Your Life have been extremely well known, like Ken Done, David Taylor and Barry McCann. However, many are not, and for them there have been positive outcomes, including the opportunity to show their work to more than 350k people which has raised their profile, increased sales and allowed them to reach a wider and more diverse audience.

Graeme receives a lot of positive feedback from artists who have appeared on the show, "now that the episode has aired featuring me and my work, the full benefit of being involved is being realised. I was not comfortable with putting myself 'out there' to that degree, but you've come up with an episode I am delighted to be quite proud of ... I commend the whole experience to any artist hesitating at becoming involved" – Peter Mortimore

"I was inundated with messages that will inspire me for the rest of my life. I will be forever humbled and grateful for the exposure … the inspiration that is attached to the show is overwhelming … I never expected the response that I did received from viewers. It was great to know that I wasn't alone in my creative journey" - Jen Denise Stark "The show is going from strength to strength ... I noticed that when I went to contact galleries in Russia that you were already featured on their sites. My hits have nearly reached 10,000 seem to be growing about a 1000 a week roughly… it has been a wonderful boost to me and I just wanted to let you and all your wonderful team know how grateful I am" Maryanne Holmes

Colour in Your Life is a low budget production by normal television standards, and to be part of the show artists must make the choice to invest in themselves. The cost for one episode is $5,500 but there are rewards involved. Each episode is screened a number of times, artists are provided with copies of their own episode, they can upload images of their work to the CIYL Shop and to the Gallery. Note: Some artists have been able to secure Regional Arts Development Funding to cover the costs of being on the show – you can check with your local RAD Officer on how to access these funds.

Colour in Your Life an extremely powerful ongoing marketing tool for each artist. Artists can use their episode as a digital business card that enables them to showcase and advertise their work to clients and corporations nationally and internationally. As well there is ongoing promotion on the CIYL website and through Facebook, which now has more than 12,500 followers across the globe. Colour in Your Life is currently broadcast weekly in Australia on 7 4ME (free-to-air) and Aurora (Foxtel), and in New Zealand on SKY NZ, Cue TV Invercargill, Gisborne TV, Dunedin TV and North TV New Zealand. However, there are plans to promote the series into the international TV markets of Asia, North America and the UK.

Finally, Graeme will be announcing soon a new NFP Art Therapy project, Paint Your Life – look out for details.