Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Canvas Rehab

'Night Vision' (formerly Nightlife) 1.2m x 70cm 

Whoa, I didn't realize how long it has been since I last posted! I have been so caught up in all the end of the year, Xmas, food, drink, etc stuff! I thought that a good way to end the art year would be to go through my 'canvas rehab' corner as I call it...all the failed, half finished, not quite right stuff :) I painted this one earlier in the year and sent it to a couple of exhibitions but I was never happy with it. I have changed to whole colour scheme, toned down some parts and brightened other parts up. I have also added the snake (what do you think of the texture on it?), poured some ink and added some resin 'windows' containing some nocturnal insects - two moths and a tiny scorpion. I like it much better now, unfortunately I don't seem to have taken a photo of the original piece (if I have I can't find it!). Anyway, stay tuned for the next rehab candidate! Cheers!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

something small and quick

Sorry for not posting regularly at the moment, things have been so busy. This is my second attempt at this tree in pastel. The first was quite large and the paper was buckled due to water damage so I decided to cut my losses and do a small version and see if I could work out some of the kinks. I don't normally have a huge struggle with water but for some reason this one really gave me the whoops! anyway, I have filmed it for my youtube channel so hopefully I will get it edited and up in the next week, then you can see me blunder my way through! Cheers for now :)

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Almost there

Nearly you can see, I have added my little windows, one has the Christmas beetle, one has an Old Lady Moth and some rust, and the last one has a little poem about night life from a vintage book and some handmade paper, a couple of real feathers off some random bird and a pencil drawing of a Tawny feather. You might be wondering why I am not using the real feather? I had an assortment of feathers identified by the Ornithology Curator at our museum and it turns out it wasn't a Tawny feather after all :( Never mind it is still beautiful! I have added some handwritten script with some sciency sounding stuff - white across the dark areas and black across the light areas. I am still waiting on one more thing I want to add and then my friend Catherine (who is a framer as well as an artist) can help me work out a creative frame for this fellow, I have some ideas but knowing me they are porbably all really impractical :) Cheers!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Wanna see my studio? :)

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So as you can see, I have gone back to playing around with pencils again! Can't seem to keep my mind on the job at the moment (actually I am waiting for some art supplies to arrive before I finish my frogmouth). So, do you want to see my studio? If you think you can listen to me drone on for 15 minutes or so about absolutely nothing, just follow this link :)  Studio Tour   Cheers! Have a great day :)

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

another update :)

Moved along a little...I am going to add this little beetle as a nod to the diet of these birds :) When we changed out our old door locks I kept some of the parts including this old brass ring that has a lovely patina to it - its also the perfect size and shape to cast the little beetle in resin...happy accident! Still mucking around with placement of everything. The next two shots are the next pages in my little book of rust...anyway, cheers for now..:)

Sunday, 9 November 2014

somethings cooking :)

Yay, I finally have something brewing :) Only just started obviously...but started nonetheless! Podargus strigoides is the fancy scientifical term for Tawny Frogmouth. These are my favourite Aussie bird. They are nocturnal however they aren't owls. They are fairly common but you rarely see one as they have the most incredible camouflage. Hopefully I will be able to do it justice when this is finished. It all started last week when my other half found a tawny feather while we where walking the dogs. I had already been toying around with this canvas with some kind of  coral reef idea in mind but it wasn't working, when we got home from our walk I put the feather on the canvas and voila! I had inspiration at last. I am kind of toying with ideas of adding old picture frames in various places, some hanging out from the canvas, this way I can include the feather and some of my handmade papers with out glueing which often changes the way they look. Still very much a WIP though. The last picture is a little board book that I am altering with various faux rust effects. I bought 6 of these little board books second hand and I am going to use them as 'recipe' books for different mixed media techniques. I have been filming each page of this one so we shall see if it works as a Youtube vid. Anyway, cheers for now, have a great day! :)

Monday, 3 November 2014

dum de dumm

Last week I couldn't even sleep properly for all the new ideas floating around my otherwise empty soon as I went in my studio it was like I had forgotten how to do anything. I have been through this before (along with many other artists) and I know it will pass, but for now I am going to give myself permission to just tool around with my new Inktense pencils and do some much needed tidying up. I also made these little ATC size feathers (wow, I have been working hard). You might remember recently I was part of Seth Apter's challenge to post pictures of our messy studio tables? Well I felt a little shame (only a little!) so I have had a big clean up - above you can see my sickeningly tidy work table (there is definitely something wrong!). I do however have a couple of new youtube videos in the pipeline so I think I will work on them too. :) Cheers!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Decompressing :)

Leafy Sea Dragon
Inktense, soft pastel, Uniball pen

This one is for the sketchbook only :) I have been so serious lately about art that I needed to muck around and just have a play. So I have forgotten about my rehab canvas for a while...its the end of the year as far as exhibitions go so I might as well relax :) Anyway, I thought I would stuff around with the different pencils I have purchased piecemeal over the years and discovered that I really like the Inktense - so much so that I think I might buy a set! This piece is just doodling around with Inktense, a couple of soft pastels and my Uniball pen on watercolour paper. Its not really meant to be a finished piece and I really enjoyed drawing and painting just for the fun of it :) Have a great creative weekend! Cheers :)

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The reality of creating

I had a really great weekend at our society's annual exhibition. I sold two paintings, one of them was 'Flight' (first photo). I wasn't really ready to part with this piece yet because I had grown quite fond of it, but it sold for a good price, I also sold Soft Morning (the pastel with the eggs and chick). Which brings me to my thoughts on the reality of creating art...I want to make art that I am proud to exhibit and offer for sale, and has meaning and integrity in its evolution. When I saw my new piece, Habitattered 2', hanging in the exhibition I knew deep down it wasn't good enough...the composition was poor, the finish was hurried and I had lost the feeling of the piece (probably from biting off more than I could chew). That is the reality of art - two pieces hanging side by side - one I felt good about, the other, blargh. But, once again, that is the reality - when I shared this piece step by step I had no idea if it would turn out well and that is just how it goes sometimes. It's good because it keeps me grounded and reminds me that part of success is failure. So the next few photos are 'Habitattered 2' painted over with gesso, then the process of problem solving begins with paper spread over the surface and some glued down now...I like it better already - I know it is a complete redo so I hope you will follow along with this ones rehab! Cheers! :)

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Phew last minute again!

Hello! Yay just finished to drop off first thing in the morning, I always think I will have stuff finished in time and I always overcommit...I just subscribe to the thought 'bite off more than you can chew and chew like mad'. Anyway, here are a few close-ups of the finished piece, I was pretty lucky with this one...the main problem I had was time. It didn'ot help that my other half pointed out the neck on the Cockatoo was way to long at the last minute, (to be honest I thought it was too, but I was hoping no-one else noticed) so I needed to adjust that and then I decided to make some fake rust panels to go around the edges - that was actually a lot of fun! Of course then I had to make them wrap around the sides - that was less, apart from the tweaking it will probably get once the exhibition is finished - this is 'Habittatered 2'. Thanks everyone for all the lovely +1's along the way...I have really enjoyed knowing you were all following along :) Cheers!

Monday, 20 October 2014

And then...(approaching the finish line)

So now I have added a bit of texture to red zone and painted in some tail feathers utilising some of the collage paper in the background. If you were wondering what I meant by 'finding shapes within shapes' yesterday let me try to explain. In the second last photo you will notice the blue/violet areas. I 'found' these shapes with paint, in between the larger shapes of collage, texture etc. I paint these in the same way I would paint any shape - dark tones through to light tones - trying to 'sculpt' interesting passages through the negative areas of the piece.This is a technique I kind of worked out while using pastels and have adapted it to acrylics. I think one more day on this will see it done...fingers crossed :)

Sunday, 19 October 2014

And then...

My apologies for anyone following the progress of this piece...I have been rampantly busy the last few days...I won't bore you with the details :) Anyway, I have moved it to my big studio easel, this is definitely the best thing I have ever purchased (artwise) you can see it lays flat as well as sitting upright and it takes quite large canvases easily. I have been working on the wings which are in the violet zones, and started the tail feathers, which are in the Orange/Red zone. I have been starting with a layer of collage paper, then adding opaque acrylic paint with a small brush, trying to find shapes within shapes (this part can be quite time consuming but soothingly mindless), then dropping inks, spraying with water and then I have been collaging old shredded paintings from long ago as wing feathers. These work quite well as they are easy to fray and they already have interesting colours and abstract shapes on them. I have also added some scrim randomly. Oh yeah and during the week this awesome silk waste arrived, the colours are incredible but I am having trouble trying to work out a good method of attaching it without it darkening - Impasto medium seems the best so far but even then as soon as the fibres get wet they darken a lot...this might be a good medium for works that are framed behind glass so the colours can be appreciated. Anyway, back to work, I only have 3 more days to finish this! :)