Friday, May 30, 2008

Doodling in my new Moleskine

I was given a voucher for Gordon Harris, an art supplies store, I bought a Moleskine...finally...and some pens. I'd checked out sources for these beautiful journals in New Zealand and I'd only found them available at Christchurch Art Gallery, so I was thrilled to find a new stand at Gordon Harris in Hamilton. Extravagantly bought the larger one - 13 x 21cm. I'm just going to doodle in it. I've a few other visual diaries on the go - for painting, design/printmaking and drawing that are pretty messy, lots of scribbly writing, bits and pieces stuck in.

These are the first two pages that I've drawn on. Actually I'm starting from the back of the book. The first drawing was of the girl on the rocks. Next day I continued on the page above, trying to link it in some way.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

When you're strange

These are a couple of odd mixed media self portraits. I think at the time I was inspired by Francis Bacon, an artist whose work fascinates me. I was going to do more with them but decided to leave them as they were. The acrylic paintings have other media on them - it's not cracked glass!

I see that a triptych by Bacon broke a record for contemporary art auctions this week.

On You Tube there are videos of a documentary that I've seen previously where Bacon is interviewed. It's a fascinating documentary. Bacon takes the interviewer and the film crew to his studio - that is an eye opener.

There is also this little video of faces painted by Bacon...

If you're interested in watching the documentary, it's split into several parts. I won't post the actual videos here but the links are:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Life Drawing 14 May 2008

Here are three of tonight's drawings. The drawing on black sugar paper is done with a variety of media - compressed charcoal, conte, Neocolors, and sticks that look like conte but I think might be a dryish type of oil pastel. The drawing in the centre is on a nice buff cartridge paper with a French conte pencil, and compressed charcoals. The top drawing is done with willow charcoal - haven't used that in ages.

Our drawing class is funded in the community education classes at a local high school by the ministry of education - our town is only about 4000 people so the number of classes are a limited, and there is apparently a requirement we have 8-10 people and it looks like we might not make that. In which case the class will not continue. That is a real disappointment. Given the size of the town I would have hoped there would be some leeway to support classes like this. The fact that funding isn't consistent has got a lot to with numbers I'm sure. We had good numbers to start with, the room was full. If the class hadn't been cancelled and then started up late and at short notice I think we would have done better with numbers.

And how many tutors are there around who are prepared to bring a trailer full of easels, boards and provide clips, materials and other resources, ring around organising models and fit in with the whims of community education funding?

Waihi has a history of being a town of artists and craftspeople - a life drawing class should be well attended. Perhaps it's something to do with the demographics of the town. Are people prudish? Too cosy at home to venture out at night? Shy? Maybe people don't draw any more? Maybe. I hear the photography class is oversubscribed.

Oh well...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Printmaking experiments

Some snapshots of a few of the prints I made during the printmaking course with Bev Truloff.

The prints in the first photograph, apart from the red collograph print, are gelatin prints. When I was told we were going to try this, I took a look on the internet to see what they were all about. I wasn't that interested in them, thought it might be a good thing to do with students. BUT when we started making these little prints the next morning I loved the process! You brush thin acrylic paint or watercolour on the gelatin plate, lay over the paper and press by hand. There is something about the fluidity of the medium on the is so different from using ink on a hard surface to print from. The grey print is the most liquid looking of the three in the photo, the others I'd laid paint on thickly in places to see the effect. I made a lot of these little prints, it was fun.

When I went to buy printmaking paper the shop had pretty much been cleaned out and the paper that I did buy had a texture on it that didn't lend itself very well to my printmaking. I've just bought some new paper so I'm hoping to get back to the collographs this week. The red and black prints are two collographs that I made, the red printed first and the black second. I've some ideas for exploring this idea further. The green print is a probably a monoprint - I rolled the ink on the perspex plate, and then drew into the ink by laying over a paper drawing into which I'd cut lines. The coloured image in the same photo is a mixed media monoprint with watercolour and oil based ink.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

My painting for the NZ Art Guild 2008 collaborate project

Participating artists were each sent a board prepainted (in this case cadmium red medium) on which to create - mine is an acrylic painting based on an image I am working with at present in a variety of media.

Each of these boards will be put together to create one large artwork which will be exhibited in the annual NZ Art Guild exhibition at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland, in July. At the conclusion of the exhibition the artwork will be auctioned with a 20% of the profit being donated to charity.

The project does have a title and theme but I'll write about that later when the painting has gone on exhibition.