Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sunday at John's

I have to take my camera next week and photograph the amazing etching presses John is building and engineering. Anyway, I actually remembered to go today (forgot last week - "Sunday School" in John's studio for local artists who care to get together and spend a few hours working in company). I worked on more backgrounds, not very exciting to view.. but am enjoying the layering up of the surfaces. Then I started drawing over a couple of them. Just getting started. I noticed some shapes in the colours so began to draw from those, so a lot more to do yet.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mixed Media drawing

Acrylic and oil paints, and charcoal pencil on 50% cotton rag paper.
"Dark Legend". The oil paint was accidental. I thought I'd picked up watercolour. But it was a happy accident, though I had to deal with the brush straight away. Was aiming to put a black wash over part of the base, there are several layers of acrylic wash. Ended up brushing over the oil paint and using it to add texture.

Another character from my stories.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mark making

Some works in progress. Top pic is embossing of one of my collographs on printmaking paper. Then an indian ink sketch on mixed media base. Followed by the beginning of a life drawing on a mixed media base, and the last picture a drawing in progress and I was drawing flat which is soooo wrong, I'll have to start correcting before i get much further, but it's in charcoal pencil so I can make improvements (trying to draw the main male character of a book I'm writing, he's not a real person... he's in my head).

Spent time today at the studio of my artist friend John. We were talking about process and product and he made a comment, "I'm not making art, I'm making an artist." Found that interesting, because I talked in my last blog entry about the making of the art, the process, as being the art. Probably sounds convoluted. It is.

Anyway, we had got together for our "sunday school". John showed me how to stretch canvas, I've never learned to do it properly. And gave me his secret recipe for making a primer to use instead of gesso. I've never liked gesso on on canvas, though I love using it on paper. Makes a great surface to work on.

I had taken a collograph that I made a while ago, and we experimented, John used his wonderful press to emboss some of my paper that I'd taken to work on my mixed media bases. I'll be thinking of how I might incorporate this process in my work. A clean embossing on white paper looks fantastic but I'm all about layering so will have to come up with an idea that fits.

Still working on adding to the mixed media bases but I'm starting to put marks on some of them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Creating a surface as the background is an integral part of the work. I create surfaces using acrylic media mostly. Scumbling, working over and over, adding and taking away. The actually process of making this surface background is as important to me as the image I place on top of it, and the act of creating it is the art as much as the finished piece is, if that makes sense! The physical action of building up layers and visual texture is essential to me and creates my feeling about the piece, and I’ll work on that until I feel ready to put an image on the surface. I'm working on expensive printmaking rag paper. On canvas I've used modelling compounds, gesso, impasto gel, tissue and more.