I often use low tack tape around the edges of Fabriano Mixed Media paper then tape it into quarters. I work across the four quadrants as though it’s one sheet, starting with pencil marks, collage, and paint.
If I work towards a finished image too quickly the work feels stiff and boring. That happened today so I grabbed some Dina Wakley acrylic gloss spray and put puddles onto the sheets of paper, moving it around with a brush or just tipping the sheet.
I lost my grip on the bottle and poured quite a lot of Tangerine onto one sheet. Eek! I tipped it around a bit, then used a paper towel to mop some up. I thought it was probably a goner, and would end up being cut into pieces for collage.
But there’s something magic about clean white edges; works that seem blah can suddenly look amazing. I pulled the tape of the 5 large sheets tonight and – go figure – the one with the Tangerine spill is stunning.
In the photos, the one with the mauve tape still in place is a truer colour, the second is done on my scanner which doesn’t capture colour well.
I’m teaching a class in Greymouth in early December about working in series, for abstracts and/or landscape abstracts. The class packs have been put together, and the classnotes printed out. The class is on Thursday 5 December, 7-9.30pm at CoRe. Book by emailing email@example.com or phoning 03 768 0038.
Here’s a sneak peek of the process we’ll be following!
I have been dreaming a lot lately; usually a sign my mind is very busy, which would be a fair comment. I’ve started a new series of paintings, after going back through old material form my years at The Learning Connexion and doing some fresh research into the artists we studied and whose work spoke to me. I re-read some comments from my tutor, Peter Adsett, and thought about how they apply to my work now.
Once I started painting I found I’d gone right back to being fascinated by the edges of the canvas, and that my memories of the old Patea Freezing Works buildings – which I have painted before – have reappeared. I think those shapes are strongly ingrained in my mind, and appear in my dreams and when I am painting without thinking too hard about it. The first one hardly referenced the buildings, but the shapes get stronger as my hand keeps working.
Here are the three works I have done so far – one may need warming up a bit yet, but I am watching it for a day or two. The white is not as stark as it appears, I kept getting glare on fresh paint from the lower afternoon sun.
From time to time I test out new directions, usually after being inspired by reading about and watching other people’s work. I love watching other artists on YouTube and letting that inspiration feed my work. I don’t want to copy their work and, even if I did, I am a hopeless copyist. What I do as an artist is what I do! Sometimes Tony will see a work and ask if I could do something similar. The answer’s always no. My hands and brain are wired to create in a certain way, so when I watch a lot of someone I can see their influence in my new work, but it always ends up looking like mine…
Recently I have been reading about Flora Bowley, and my dear friend artist Martha Marshall put me onto Jane Davies. Here are to test pieces; I am sure you can see the influence of their style. I’ll be doing more pieces in my art journal until the new way of working becomes part of what I do and feels integrated into my art practice. I’d love to know what you think of these directions.
Acrylic paint. I seen to have rediscovered some of my old fav colours and ‘moves’; it feels good. This is the sort of work I was exploring in my years with The Learning Connexion. This is not a good photo in terms of colour – I cant scan it because that thick line of paint will take overnight to dry….
A friend was asking me recently about some of the paintings I’ve done of the Freezing Works over the years, so here goes. Some of the paintings are about the buildings, others are about the incredible colours of rust and lichen inside the work rooms and other are me thinking about the way in which nature was taking over the land again before to the post-fire cleanup.
Metalwork VI, 16×16″. Sold
Old pipes IV. 12×16″
On the grid. 16×16″
Derelict XI. 16×16″. Sold.
Lights on, no one home. 16×16″. Sold.
Bare bones IIX. 16×16″
Bare bones IX. 16×16″.
Freeze dried. 10×10″. This was done from a photo of some metalwork on the wall; the colours were amazing.
Where’s my knife. Freeze dried. 10×10″. This was done from a photo of some metalwork on the wall; the colours were amazing.