After Motherwell wins with NZAG

As a member of the New Zealand Art Guild I regularly enter their Masters Month competitions. The most recent competition was to produce a work inspired by Robert Motherwell. This piece won the NZAG Masters Month competition for Feb/March 2009. As I said when I entered it, I started off inspired by Motherwell and then got right into the abstract expressionist thing, and this is the result.

It’s 30×30″ in acrylic and ink on gallery wrap canvas and is for sale on ArtFire.

After Motherwell #1

After Motherwell #1

A portrait by Jeanette

Huh? Okay, let me explain. Jeanette Jobson is one of the artists involved with Watermarks, a blog I follow. I hopped over to her blog last week to see what she was up to and commented on something I saw. Nothing unusual in that.

The next thing I know, we’re friends on Facebook. Cool; it’s great to be networking with other artists. For Jeanette’s birthday she was drawing out the name of someone who’d commented, to do a portrait for and I won. Wahoo – I am so excited! The photos I sent Jeanette are shown below.

My  Mum is turning 85 in late June. As many of you know, Mum has chronic health problems and was not meant to live this long, in fact 2 years ago now the health system started putting palliative care in place. So this birthday is special. And have a watercolour portrait, done by Jeanette, to give to Mum is extra special. Thanks so much Jeanette, I am so appreciate of your generosity.

Monoprinting on fabric

My friend Trisha and I have a private challenge going on, where we each create a textile piece once a month and share the process, and results, with each other. I am running a bit behind, however…

I have been seeing a lot of artists doing monoprints and linocut lately, and that got me thinking. Today was THE day, Taranaki Anniversary – an extra day off work to do art with. Cool!

I simplified the photo using ‘cut out’ in Photoshop, reversed it and printed it out. I drew the basic lines onto acetate then painted it with acrylics. (they dried a bit too quick on the heat really). I did a quick test run on some scrap paper and was satisfied I had the basic shapes. I’d already washed and ironed some very pale fabric, but left it vaguely damp. I re-did the paint on the acetate, laid the fabric down, put paper over the top and rolled like heck with a brayer. I lifted it off quickly before the two bonded together and there it was – my first monoprint on fabric. I repainted and lifted off another couple, so I would have some to play with.

This is much more abstract than last month’s work, and I’m pleased with that. I want to do some stitching on top of the paint now, to put some details in here and there. Oh, and while I was at it, I layered the base photo and the fabric monoprint on top of each other in Photoshop – just to see what would happen.

Original photo and fabric monoprint, layered in Photoshop.

Full tide #1 – enjoying our beach

I have been really intrigued by the Watermarks blog; a collaboration between some fabulous artists who are all inspired by water in one form or another. The artists are Vivien Blackburn, Lindsay Olson, Katherine Tyrrell, Laura Frankstone, Gesa Helms, Jeanette Jobson, Tina Mammoser, Sarah Wimperis and Ronell van Wyk.

Stay with me through a little geography. Where we live, Patea, is on the west coast of the north island of New Zealand. Patea is built on top of 200 foot cliffs, only about a golf course width back from the edge in places. From our home, at the beach end of town, we look out across the golf course to the Tasman Sea. About 2 minutes drive away is Mana Bay and the sea walls that give the fishing boats access to the sea – being the west coast, the seas can be treacherous. The road down to the beach settlement, about 10 houses in all, is quite steep and has a couple of lookouts along the way.

At the beach itself, there is a jetty, the sea walls, two beaches separated by the Patea River which flows down from a hydro dam, a rock wall that protects the far shoreline and a beach that is really a tidal river edge. All the sand is black iron-sand; the Japanese mined here for iron-sand until the early 80s.

I love to go down there are look around; sometimes I take Mum down, just to get her out of the house for a bit. In summer the iron-sand gets incredibly burn-your-feet hot. And to that the summer colours of sunset in our clear skies, and the feeling can be one of almost overwhelming heat. Hot skies, hot sand, hot colours, hot summer air. All against the beautiful clear blue of the Tasman Sea.  

I have been working small again, 4×8″ on gallery wrap canvas, and exploring how I feel about summer at the beach here. This one, Full Tide #1, is for sale on ArtFire.  There’ll certainly be more to come; I love the colours, and the memories that inspire these works.full-tide-11