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! :)

Monday, 13 October 2014

And then...

Ok so as you can see, this canvas is so large I have resorted to using it as a work table while I paint! I think sector green is almost there, I have added some little semi hidden, whimsical creatures to represent the animals of the forest that we might not even know are there. I also toned down some of the harsher greens. I have kind of transitioned in to sector blue violet now - added some tattered wing feathers made from old torn up paintings and tomorrow I will drop in some more inks and some metal leaf - I need to hurry up with this one because it is due in an exhibition in 11 days! yikes

Thursday, 9 October 2014

and then...Heavyweight Title

I have had a couple of busy teaching days so not much progress to show. Slowly chipping away at the sector green :) Have added some Citrus leaf skeletons - these are great for giving subtle texture and if you keep the treatment of them simple (I have added a little copper leaf over the top) and transparent they tone everything down nicely and keep their lovely fragile quality. In the other corner of the ring - a pastel that began as a demo and now is calling me to finish - the bottom of the paper is a bit buckled though (leaky roof again) so I am going to have to flatten that somehow before I tackle the water - anyway - I am off to check out everyone else's blogs! Cheerio :)

Monday, 6 October 2014

and then....

Not much to show yet really, just some close ups to show some of the textures in the ink, I have added some more newspaper articles and some rice papers - at this point I am just fiddling and musing - in fact a lot of the time taken on a piece is spent looking at it from across the room, then a flurry of action...then more looking :) I have decided to break up the background into three sections, one is more towards green/turquoise tones, one is more reds/oranges/yellows and one is more magenta/blue/violet shades, then to bring them together little bits of these shades are shared amongst each other (if that makes any sense!). Anyway, this is warts and all so even if this is a terrible struggle with lots of painting over and redoing, I will show you!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Supersize me

York Society Pastel CommentsYay, my canvas finally got here! First step is to print some relevant environmental articles about logging old growth forest (the hypocrisy of using virgin printing paper is not lost on me but I try to minimise by recycling the scraps as note paper). Next is the funnest bit - collaging all the pieces, including handmade papers, tissue paper, gold and copper leaf. Then some random stencilling with modelling paste and its time for the ink. I dribble the inks around in a semi thought out way, trying to avoid muddy colours and keeping the design in mind. The inks are then sprayed with water and allowed to mix of their own accord. The image below is how it is at this moment - I have placed the plastic wrap that the canvas was shipped in and also some old bubble wrap into the wet ink and now I have to wait for it to dry. Also some exciting news! Yesterday I was so lucky to receive the Pastel Prize at the York Society Art and craft fair for 'Carbon Based'. This is the second year in a row that I have won this prize and I feel so lucky. To top it all off, the judges were two very well respected Western Australian artists - Dr Drewfus Gates and his wife Dr Chelllinay Gates, I was so nervous taking my award that when Drewfus put his arm around my shoulder for the photo he noted that I was 'vibrating'! How embarrasing :O Follow this link if you would like to see the judges comments!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

waiting, waiting, waiting

Ok I know this is pitiful, but I have an excuse. I ordered this huge canvas, then I worked out no-one could fit it in their car so I have been waiting 2 days for 'overnight' delivery by courier. So hence all I have done is mill around my studio, putting random washes on things - including the bird. Sometimes these can lead to new ideas but at the moment all I can do is wait yawn boooorrring :)