Combining poppies and inky layers

I’ve been doing more trials with home cut stencils, inky layers and poppies. I guess the main thing I have in mind as I try these out, is getting my hand and head really familiar with the poppy images I want to use so they become my own, instinctive, art language.

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Making a new art journal

I’ve been converting an A5 notebook into an art journal for the coming year. I usually have more than one art journal on the go. This one’s role is to encourage me to draw more often, and make notes of ideas as they flash though my brain. I coated all the pages with gesso, and have spent a few afternoons painting, inking and stenciling to get rid of much of the whiteness. I’m nearly finished and the process has been very therapeutic as I mourn the loss of Mum, and incredibly messy. I can’t wait to start gluing bits and bobs into it, drawing on top of the paint, and generally just using it – not storing it, putting it on the bookcase and leaving it there or making it too precious to use.

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Making signatures

I’ve starting making trial signatures for a swap I’m involved in. We each make 11 sets of signatures, and send off by the 20th Sept, and signatures back from a variety of amazing artists. You can see more about it here.

I have been playing with some quite heavy watercolour paper, and have decided it is a bit *too* heavy. The other day I ordered some lovely paper from Gordon Harris, and I’m going to have a play with those tomorrow. I’ve got some mixed media paper, rice paper, watercolour paper and one other – escapes me for the moment just what it was. So far I have stuck with black, white and red, and have been using foam stamps, old credit cards, a spray bottle, stencils and marker pens. The mark making is too dark for the look I want; tomorrow’s lot will be a bit less obvious. Here’s what I have been doing so far:

 

More on the Freezing Works

Last night was one of those nights where all I wanted to do was paint – not sleep, work, or whatever – just create something. Turns out it was the full moon. Along with many other creatives, I suffer from “full-moon-itis”! About 10pm I gave in and opened a packet of A4 size Hahnemuhle watercolour paper. The 300gsm is heavy enough that I can work on it without needing to stretch it; perfect for doing mixed media at my desk, and it’s a lovely surface to work on.

I have done a lot of works inspired by the old Patea Freezing Works over the last few years, and since going to Italy in 2010 I’ve also done a lot of works that involve poppies. Last night I combined the two and depicted the freezing works site regenerating, with poppies growing where the land has been disturbed, just like in Cassino, Italy. I kept one derelict building at the far right, and a few ‘ghost’ buildings along the horizon, where they still exist in my memory. I used Golden airbrush acrylics, a super fine Sharpie pen, Faber Castell aquarelle sticks and Caran D’Ache Neocolors, then added text in Photoshop.