Monday, December 29, 2008

Knowledge which is acquired...

It's that time of year again when I need to get busy and create the thirteen works for the 2009 International Collage Exhibition and Exchange. It'll be the fourth time I've participated and yet again I've left it to the last minute! But this time I have an idea! Previously, I've rummaged through looking for inspiration to come from a piece of text or an image, or a drawing or photo, but this time I know what I want to do for the whole series. I wonder if it will make the process any easier!

The image is from the 2006 exhibition. It was exhibited in the 8th International Collage Exchange exhibition at Turchin Center at the Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. I started with the drawing of the baboon (white pencil on black paper) and added the bars (like teeth). Quotations printed on computer, magazine collage, and some text from my own teaching materials. It's a probably obscure comment on compulsory eduction. The title of this post is the title of the work.

To see previous exchanges look:

here for 2006
here for 2007
here for 2008

there's a link on the sidebar for how to participate but you can click here

The exchange and exhibition is organised and run by Dale Copeland...and she does an amazing job. There's an online exhibition of pieces for sale, one from every artist. One work from every artist is exhibited overseas somewhere. And the rest...well, Dale sorts through them and every artist receives a package of 11 (or 12 if the sale pieces doesn't sell) collages back.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Artist, Friend and Wild Horses

I'm kind of cheating this week ... haven't got anything new to post so I'm posting some links to the blogs of a friend, artist John Mulvay, who writes rather interesting posts. He's got three blogs so take a look around all of them. He's very active in the local arts community...mural artist and life drawing tutor, has exhibited, won an art award (probably more that I don't know about) and been a guest exhibitor. I added the Sundays' version of Wild Horses to my music playlist here in reference to a print he has just put on one of his blogs. So, in the absence of artwork from me, have a look at John's recently mounted mural, his own life drawings and his very pregnant looking goldfish.

Oh, and that's a very quick and rough sketch I did of John listening to music at Chambers one Friday night.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mixed Media Life Drawing 10 December 2008

Our group met for the last time this year and again I made some took some collaged printmaking paper along, A2 size. I spend so long picking out particular pieces of paper that I want to put on these, forgetting that much of it will be obscured with paint and then dry media.

I used compressed charcoal and conte mainly.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Mixed Media Life Drawing

Again I prepared some collaged printmaking paper. I used a French Grey Conte pencil for much of these. The sheet with two figures on it is smaller, A4 size, and I used a black Artline pen which, amazingly, did not seem to mind being used upside down. I was using an easel.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Life Drawing 26 November 2008

I've been meaning to create some collaged paper to take to drawing and finally I managed to throw some things together yesterday. I used a good quality printmaking paper to have sturdy background, and used binder medium to apply old text (from my collection of 100+years old books acquired specifically to use in artworks), and papers from magazines and scrapbooking materials. On top of that I quickly brushed some acrylic paint with medium to thin it down. Because it was done in such a hurry there are wrinkles and lumps.

I did three drawings using some of these as a base, and it was an interesting exercise. I can see I have to take care about where dark pieces are placed. I had one interesting dark piece of paper that I don't want to obliterate, but to enhance the drawing I'll have to lift that area out with light media of some kind. I might work on with these pieces at home, using modelling paste and paints, pastels etc. The bases are sturdy enough for that. I used a stick of graphite which was good to work with but doesn't photograph well and tends to reflect light. It might be a better idea to begin with willow charcoal and then moved to a more solid media once the basic drawing is blocked in, willow would wipe of the surface quite easily if I wanted to make changes. I'm thinking 'aloud' here.

The other two drawings are on A2 cartridge paper, the warmup drawings and then one quick drawing blocked in roughly with soft pastel.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Life drawing 19 November 2008

All done on brown or buff paper in mostly compressed charcoal and pastel. I scribble over the paper first in colours then draw on top of that. Mostly I block in the form lightly with a short piece of compressed charcoal, using it on its side. I then begin to draw, aiming to get one look, commit and draw.

The painted sketch is done in a new product I picked up yesterday...can't recall name (my materials are still out in the car)...its watercolour in a tube with a brush, you take the lid off, turn the collar to 'on' and paint/draw. The brush isn't the best (they're for children...) and if you squeeze the tube ink can run down the page - though that could be used to effect. It was interesting to try them out, but difficult to control, and a limited colour range of red, yellow, blue and green.

The scribbly sketch is five 1 minute poses drawn in Crayola Twistables on white cartridge paper. All drawings are on A2 size paper.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Life Drawing group

John Mulvay runs the life drawing class at Waihi College (in Waihi, New Zealand). He provides the easels for those who wish to use them, organises the models, makes sure the room is heated for the model to feel comfortable. He provides tutoring for those who require it, and leaves us alone if that's what we want. Also provided are diagrams of skeleton and sometimes interesting drawing books. There is a quote on my blog from a favourite book of his. Every week I look forward to this short uninterrupted period of concentrated drawing.

This is a link to a couple of photographs of the life drawing class in progress.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Life Drawing 12 November 2008

All done on buff paper. The centre picture is done in a red chalk pencil with some addition of pastel. The others are in compressed charcoal, conte and/or pastel. I used a very thick compressed charcoal stick which didn't allow for fine detail.

New Zealand election 2008

I voted on Saturday. Although record numbers registered, overall voter numbers were down...a lot. Why is that? I don't understand why people don't exercise this democratic right. Sophia Elise has written an interesting article about take look.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Life Drawing 5 November 2008

Some of the drawings from this evening - on lightweight buff/brown paper with pastel and compressed charcoals. I roughly ran pastel over the paper before drawing to add some colour. The orange and black drawings were quick warmups.

The group gathered in a music room at a local college as our usual room wasn't available ... hence the guitars.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Life drawing

And the previous week - some sketches - I forgot my drawing media so I borrowed a pencil and drew on brown and buff paper.

Life drawing sketches

It's a while since I uploaded anything from the lifedrawing group. Here's a few in different media, pencil, Crayola twistables) and pen.

Jonas Gerard - Inspiring to watch

I found this on Cath's blog...had to share it is a joy to watch this artist at work. You can click on a video of him painting to music - fantastic to watch, and also an interview with the artist. I love his exuberance!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Zealand Art Guild - new website

The New Zealand Art Guild has just transformed its website.

Artists have their own individual profiles now - including me.

Do take a look.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I decided I wanted to glaze my painting "Chain Reaction" (see earlier post)

I used an acrylic glaze - didn't even think about the possibility the ink might not be waterproof after drying - and the ink started to disappear! Luckily I didn't go over too much of the painting but some areas area seriously affected. Frustrating!! Usually I like a matt surface, but for some reason I decided I wanted a shinier one on these works. Of course, it is a learning experience, and a good one too because if the painting went to another person and for some reason got water on it, I suppose the ink would have run!

So, find some waterproof ink. Or even perhaps a black pen instead. Would be quicker than working with the fine brush and ink. I've not had a lot of luck in the past to find an ink pen that didn't bleed.

Any advice gratefully received.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Watercolour sketch of Barbara

who was showing me watercolours ... and working across the table from me...and I made this quick sketch of her.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


is a medium I'm quite frightened of! I think it is perhaps the most difficult to use. My artist friend, Barbara, has created gorgeous, colourful works in watercolour, including mixed media works. She spent some time with me today teaching me something about how watercolour works, how to apply it on the paper and so on. I won't show any of my less than exciting results but I enjoyed seeing how the paint moves in water, and on dry surfaces, and the colours that can be created. I think I've got a bit more confidence to try it out again. Here is a picture of a rooster that Barb painted and I loved the simplicity of it, the way the paint worked on the head, that little line on there that she painted and his gorgeous tippy toed feet. AND Barbara let me bring him home! Thank you Barbara.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Life drawing 24 August 2008

The coloured one is the Crayola large size Twistables, with some compressed charcoal. The others are drawn with some compressed, some willow and some white charcoals. The top picture isn't quite right, is it? The model, as you can see from the other drawings is slim; seems I've drawn more of a pregnant figure. I like the media that I used, compressed conte - umber. The thicker black lines of the other drawings are done with a huge piece of willow charcoal - about 1" thick - makes the most fantastic black marks - and the most intensely blackened fingers.

The size of the paper for my drawings is A2. Time for each was between 2minutes and 10minutes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Life Drawing 17 August 2008

The warm up drawings are done on lightweight buff paper, compressed charcoal with white conte. The others are on white cartridge paper, compressed charcoal and soft pastel.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chain Reaction

is the title of this mixed media work (acrylic, indian ink, canvas 50x40cm). This is part of a series I am working on which is very different from anything else I've done.