Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"The Imagineer"

I always seem to finish a piece late in the day then expect to get a good photograph! It turned out darker overall than I'd like so I might work on it a little more. This has some bronze paint on it, and some white and Payne's grey acrylic, and ink. Paper collage on art card, approx 8" x 10".

Radioactive Eden

I think I must be close to 13 collages for the 9th International Collage Exchange, seems I've been working hard on them for ages. Shall have to have a sort through tomorrow. The title comes from some of the elements in the image. It's paper collage with ink and paint.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

"Stories to Tell"

Approx 10 x 8 inches paper collage on art board, with ink and paint.

Defining Beauty

This is paper collage on art card, with some ink and paint, approx 8" x 10".

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

"Mixed Messages"

Yesterday I spent hours cutting, arranging, and just could not get anything together. I didn't have an idea to start, and it was only after a long time thumbing through old books and magazines that an idea started to evolve. Then I remembered looking at a magazine and noticing the mixed messages being sent to readers (which all seem to add up to "be perfect") and this is the piece that I ended up with. Magazines like the ones I was using are filled with articles that suggest everything can be changed, solved, corrected, perfected whether it be physical, emotional, lifestyle.... and then one can be happy! Magazine collage 8" x 10".

Sunday, January 21, 2007

"An Awkward Place"

Paper collage on watercolour paper - some paint and ink, mounted on black art card. I'm looking forward to completing enough collages for the exchange so that I can get on with painting. My head is full of ideas I want to explore and I wish I was more diligent about using a visual diary to record and then explore them. Mostly I scribble ideas down on bits of paper - if I'm out, the back of a receipt in my bag, or if I'm asleep and wake with an idea I rummage around in the bedside drawer for something similar. Then I come across bits of paper lying around with these notes about ideas I've forgotten, or I'll almost remember something and can't quite get it and don't know where I wrote it down. Despite years of being organised in my job, and years of academic study, I'm as absent minded as ever.

"Looking Back in Years to Come"

I called this one "Looking Back in Years to Come". It's what I was thinking of when making it

but I didn't really mean to spell it out so clearly. However, it's mounted on navy art card and the title written there so can't change it now! Magazine collage on watercolour paper.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Collage 9 base & I've been painting

The paintings are:
36 x 12" canvas "Above the Burning Ground"
24 x 12" canvas "The Burning Ground
both acrylic.
Collage - magazine collage, text from old book, and imagery from my own photographs.
Not sure if any of them are finished. Paintings I hang on the wall in my studio or in the hallway outside it, while I'm deciding if they're finished (are they ever?).
I've been quite industrious even though we're watching tennis day and night. My eyes are sore and the body is protesting too many hours sitting!
postscript 3 February
Above the Burning Ground is layers and layers of acrylic glaze. I use acrylic mediums, eg flow medium, and though it might not show in the photograph so well, it has many colours.
When I was painting them I didn't really have a true idea of what they were - I knew they were landscapes and that was about it. My son said one of them looked like "Mount Doom". I almost named it that but that wouldn't be very original, and I needed to find my own title. As they progressed and I was building colours I decided they were burning land and named them around that. Wasn't sure where the idea came from, thought maybe it was in the back of my mind that there are bushfires in Victoria, Australia. I posted the photographs and initial post, and a couple of days later there was a fire close by, at night, and we looked over to see ...burning ground. Turns out a neighbour decided to burn a huge pile of pine stumps and branches (he's just had some of his pine tree stock felled), despite a fireban. It had very quickly got out of control so the fire service arrived, the police arrived, and the neighbours arrived. Watching the fire, and then walking over to look close up, the scene reminded me of my paintings. So, do you believe in omens?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Chapel of Unredemption

This one went together reasonably smoothly. The canvas board has textured art paper applied with gel medium. After dry, I collaged on the images, some poetry by an anonymous author, a piece of text from an old (100 years old!) novel, and stickers. The butterflies are on vellum (have mentioned before my difficulty with that). I cut them out, placed them on one side of doublesided sticky paper, then cut them out with a scalpel. Touched up with thin acrylic glaze.

Soul and Mine Illuminate

is the name of this painting in the mine series. The photographs are from www.marthamine.co.nz and show the proximity of the pit to the township (metres away), and the Cornish pumphouse before, during and after the move.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Transformation transformed

Well I went straight upstairs and did terrible things to this canvas. I mixed a dark blue paint using flow medium and put it over most of the canvas then scraped it off while it was wet - maybe a mistake. The figure disappeared and I had to be quite vicious to get it back. I then touched something up with a wet brush and later noticed a dribble had left a trail, and quite liked that so flung on some water here and there to get the same effect. Was a bit wet so dabbed with tissue and removed some spots of paint right through all layers! I then got out my favourite and much hated by others gold paint and rubbed that on all over the place. It was then after 7pm so the light isn't very good but I've taken a photo of this poor work in progress and it looks like I'll have to aim for the next challenge.

Painting -

Acrylic on Canvas 12 x 24"
I thought I might have a go at one of the regular art guild challenges. At about 3pm I went up to the studio to paint. The work has to be ready and listed for sale between 8 and 9 pm tonight. I've created something for their theme of 'Metamorphosis". It was VERY hard to stop. At one point I thought I'd put tissue all over it with medium because the white is so stark (even though it's not absolute white on the painting) and see what that did but I forced myself to leave it alone. I started out with a very brief drawing intending to show a kind of figure from above but the foreshortening made it look very weird so I turned the entire painting around and redid the figure from a different angle. I spent much time scraping using the side and point of palette knives. I used to do that years ago and really like the effect. Another temptation was to take brushes and dab all over the whole thing to make it really abstract. Again I managed to stop myself. I usually avoid colour by using ochres and umbers. Of course I ended up muddying things. At the moment I'm dithering over whether to put a navy blue glaze over it and scrape it back so the colours show.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Collage 7 Base made

Went back to studio and played with scissors, paper, glue again. This is what I've got so far and I managed to stop myself from going further. Maybe a night's sleep will help me figure out what I'm going to do with it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Collage No.6 Idle Hands

Again I've used a piece of canvas with paint, tissue, ink and more paint. Then used binder medium to attach magazine collage and the bones of the hand are from an anatomy colouring in book. I will probably leave this one as is. It's attached to a piece of heavy art card and is straight, though it doesn't look it. I'm considering embellishing the card around the collage later.
Have had a couple of disastrous days of really ruining a couple of works. Once I've completed 13 works good enough to send away, I think I'll post a photo of all the disasters! Today I spent hours making a magazine collage, entire board covered with several images. Then I put on a few butterflies - some on that vellum paper (awful, curls, wrinkles, had to really forcefully push down and dry with the hairdryer quickly and still they wrinkled - maybe I should have used the double sided sticky paper), and some from a magazine. I could see my theme there but the colours and images I'd chosen created a very boring complilation. I then brushed over some thin watercolour white, dried it, then crackle medium, let it dry, then brushed over white acrylic in places and on the edges, and a touch more gold (tacky I know but I love the gold). Ended up looking totally awful which I knew would happen. I knew I should give up on it 2 hours earlier.

Another piece, I'd glued the paper images onto the board and as some were of different thicknesses scraped over modelling paste which nicely levelled things off. It dried quite quickly in places so I got some fine sandpaper and lightly sanded it. Ha! Took off paper all over the place. Then I brushed over some transparent red and ended up with a spotty reddish board with shadowy images showing through. Quite a nice smooth surface though so at least I can use it again.

Now that I've typed all that, I'll be brave and put up a photo of them but I'll take it off a bit later! Laugh as much as you like.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Collage No.5 "Wonders of Modern Technology"

Again using the grid idea. This one went together (to my satisfaction) fairly quickly - about an hour and a half. One goal was to try and be aware of balance. I didn't get home til late, and with my habit of cogitating (is that the word?) for ages before actually beginning to create something, didn't think I could get much done today - its been such a hot and humid day. But it worked. I used a different 'glue' this time - binder medium. I don't like using it with acrylic paint - which dries fast enough for me at the best of times - but noticed it said on the label that it could be used as collage adhesive. Dries nice and flat, Cara - still used the hair dryer though.

"View to Nowhere" provisional title for Collage 4

After struggling with collage backgrounds on a couple of different bases I came away from the studio and sat down to read an art magazine article that talked about grids. Somehow that seemed to inspire me so back I went and created this collage in about an hour- what I had in mind at the time was the situation of sweatshop workers! It's a bit rough and ready so I'm not sure if I'll leave it as is. I used the hair dryer rather viciously to dry between gluing/painting so it is a wee bit lumpy. Maybe I'll put in in a press - perhaps one along the lines of Denise'shttp://lostvoice.blogspot.com/ .

Sunday, January 07, 2007

They are all our sons

Today I wasted quite a lot of time ruining a couple of collages - hopefully I can use them by collaging onto them as bases but what a lot of frustration! I was layering paper collage with images from old magazines, then I used paint in thin glazes. When that dried I used a palette knife to scrape over modelling paste to fill in gaps between the pieces, and as that dried scraped it. That damaged the surface a little bit but it still looked good, with the dark imagery showing through the thin paint. I decided to lightly sand to remove some of the remaining paste but that was too much for the papers and they started to distintegrate. I also ruined another collage by going too far on an original photograph that I was scraping. As I've well and truly glued it to my base I'll have to put my thinking cap on and figure out what I'm going to do now.
Today I came close to finishing this collage. I'll let it sit for a week or so or I'll mess this one up too! The photograph isn't that great - taken on an angle as the light in my studio was so strong - so the left side of the image is slightly cut off.
...later, decided to leave this collage as it is and titled it as above...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

"Princess Dreams"

I think this one is finished. It's on canvas which is painted then tissue and gel medium applied, followed by ink "writing", art card, sticker and memento, some art tissue paper and a piece of tissue from a dressmaking pattern. Mounted on art card.

Monday, January 01, 2007

January 1

So, did I do any art today? Yes, I started one of my collages for the 9th International Collage Exchange - this one is untitled as it's not finished...I think.