Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Body and Mine

Acrylic and acrylic media on canvas 36" x 24". This is the fourth painting in what I call the mine series, based on the landscape around the opencast gold mine in Waihi, Coromandel. A year ago I had in mind a landscape with a figure somehow based around the mine but it seemed all too complicated. This pose was in some recent life drawing I'd done in charcoal and it reminded me of that idea. The underpainting has been done for some time (there's a photo in an earlier post). I used a palette knife to apply modelling paste over the top of that and finally have got around to painting. There used to be a hill in Waihi, Pukewa, (hill/mountain? I never saw it...), and it was excavated away for the gold mine and in an obscure way this is what my painting is about. In much of my work I have this horizon line which drives my main critic crazy, but it's significant to me - I'm surrounded by hills - and looking out of a window is like looking at a painting, framed, with the horizon line like this. It's only just occurred to me that it's not just standing on the edge of the mine where I see it. It's all around me.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Playing with pastels

The powdery feeling on my fingers is something I don't like at all, almost abhorrent! But I am trying. These are a couple of exercises a group of us tried out when we got together recently at one of the artist's studios. Drawing without looking (covering the paper with another sheet), then crisscrossing over with black lines and then I suppose you could call it colouring in! There were vast differences in outcomes - abstract, realist, cubist. We drew each other but don't think I was with a group of aliens - remember, I said we weren't looking...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Time flies

I've been playing around with ideas after starting a word art project. The ideas I started out with were very literal (the people falling into the book in a previous post ...). So I've tried to leave the words out and just create images. These are two acrylic and mixed media works on canvas (20cm x 40cm). The green one is called "Time Flies in through the Window" and the other one "Time Flies".
Time Flies in through the Window is sold.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Collaborative Journals

are very interesting and a real pleasure to work in. It's exciting to receive one in the mail and see what's been happening in it over the previous weeks. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours working in one. The owner of this journal had a hip replacement a while ago and her pages were about that with pieces from paperwork about what she may and may not do with her new hip collaged with imagery including a wonderful drawing of a woman stretching her body and hips in joyful freedom. I have a hip that was damaged in a car accident which is pretty good at the moment but has an unknown use by date, so I appreciated being able to see this work of Michele's. It reminded me of a Sam Hunt poem called Sara - he released a CD single "Your Body has no Flaw" where he recites the poem with funky music playing (click on the link and there is a 45 second soundbite from the CD there) - I love it. It's a good mantra. I have a lot of his poetry books - on our second date my husband and I went to a bar where The Warratahs were playing, and Sam was also there, reciting his poetry - including a favourite, Wavesong. There you go, quite a lot of personal information ... I don't usually impart that here!
I've collaged in some gestural drawings from a visual diary of mine, (these are 20-30 second life drawings), and then painted the page, and written the words of the poem around the figures. The figures look a bit like boiled lobsters! Couldn't stop myself adding my metallic paint, of course. There are seven artists in this group. Each artist completes a double page spread. There are several of these working their way around New Zealand and it's something of a long term project - it'll be a while before we each have a completely filled journal.

poem by Sam Hunt

Your body has no flaw.
That must be a lie!
Maude Gonne had sad hands,
Angela's temper never opened doors.

Your body has no flaw.
I look for one daily,
the darkness of the valley,
the climb to your jaw.

Your body has no flaw,
I part the earth and sky,
I witness birth,
I pray at a bleeding door.

Your body has no flaw,
buttocks breast and thigh
curved ankles where I lie
your calves...another shore.

Your body has no flaw.
The black shag neither,
nor the blue heron at prayer,
you live outside the law.
Your body has no flaw.

I've also photographed the other two contributions I made in the journal. The first entry was a compilation of ideas from the books I was reading at the time. There are many layers and pieces that fold back to reveal other images. The third image (music and houses) was an idea taken from the work of another artist, ("Union Road", by John Brack) and to be honest, I can't remember why. The wonderful thing about these journals is that they are a place to experiment!