Feeling my way to a new direction

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.

Happy 1

cruciform 1

Surrounded by colour

Tony and I have quite a lot of artwork and love living surrounded by it. Some of the works are mine, some are by a very few artists whose work we collect; Tanya Dann, Martha Marshall, and Tina Mammoser.  We also have a few pieces by artists we admire but whose works we’re not collecting, including Sophia Elise and Sharlene Schmidt.

I love creating ATCs (artists trading cards) and have been involved in a few swaps in the last year or so, and I have them sitting on the top of my computer desk so that even while I’m working on the internet the beauty of art is right with me. I love their variety and colour.

I don’t always make enough time for creating work myself, but having so much colour and beauty around me feeds my soul.



Pulling prints

Reading Martha’s recent posts about her experiments with Gelli Plates did two things; it rekindled my interest in print making, and it encouraged me to buy a Gelli Plate. Tony is working in Wanganui today on the ambulance, and left at 5.45 so I have had all day on my own. My sister Ailsa and nephew Rowan arrived on Friday to visit Mum, but left at 11am this morning. Incidentally, Mum was delighted to see Rowan and knew who he was almost straight away. On the other hand she thought the wool scarf I was carrying was our dog, Faith. Go figure!

Anyway…I did a bit of work that needed seeing to, did the washing and the dishes and so on, then out with the Gelli Plate and some Golden Fluid Acrylics, plus some stencils I had cut a while back, and some scraps of corrugated cardboard. I do seem to have a thing for hearts, stars and the stripes corrugated cardboard make at the moment.  I love combinations of teal, bright yellow, deep blue and bright green so thought I’d start with those. I got mixed results, partly because initially I didn’t think to mark where the Gelli Plate sat, so my registration was way off. These are not finished – I’ll probably work over the top of these by hand, adding text and more marks, but I think I’m going to love my new way of making prints. Thanks Martha!

Experimenting with stencils

I’ve been experimenting with stencils and spray inks lately. I find the process quite messy, probably because I forget to put gloves on in my excitement to get started, but I love the results. The inks I’ve been using aren’t waterproof so I have to be careful about using water media in the top layers, but other than that, they’re very versatile.  I’ve also starting making my own sprays by using Golden Fluid acrylics and water in a fine Derwent spray bottle. It means I can make my own colours and the result is waterproof so I can use water media in the upper layers.  Incidentally, I got the spray bottle to go with a set of Derwent Inktense Blocks, and I love them.

I can see all kinds of possibilities with layering images using the stencils. I lent them to some ladies at the library the other day, and they had a great time decorating garden pots using them. We gave the terracotta pots two quick coats of gesso, then a base layer of whatever acrylic colour they fancied and let them loose with the stencils.

In the meantime my friend Martha Marshall has started experimenting with Gelli Plates. Martha makes fabulous prints anyways; she’s a fearless artist who never hesitates to experiment. I’m fortunate to own a few works by Martha and love them all. Anyway, watching the work she is producing with the Gelli Plates makes me want to try incorporating some print making with using stencils. In the past I have done lino cutting and mono prints, so once I have done the next newspaper and sent it to the printers, it might be time to get out the lino cutting tools…

This is the lino I cut for printing the Coliseum

Guess what I bought today?

A new artwork by Martha Marshall; Martha sells as colorpoetry on Etsy. I am so excited. Just what I needed to cheer myself up on a semi-miserable Monday. Mind you, the day is only miserable cos I managed to burn my neck cooking salmon. I am a true menace kitchen, but this was bad even for me 😉  Three medium almost-blisters on my neck. Sigh…

Anyhow, back to the artwork. Here’s the description on Etsy: “Skimming Stones” – Acrylic and pencil on 140 lb. Arches paper, 5 x 7″. This is an original painting on paper, painted with a 7/8″ white border.

This is the sixth work by Martha I have purchased. I have four ACEOs, a 4×4 work on paper and now this one. Two of the ACEOs are floated with wide borders and a modern black frame; the others are waiting for the same treatment. I keep spending the framing money on more artwork instead!!

You know all the talk of recession? Whatever. For the sake of a week’s worth of bought lunches, I have a beautiful permanent addition to my art collection instead. And I have supported a fellow artist who I admire greatly. It’s about what we do with our money, and what we choose to support. And I choose to support fellow artists. So it’s home made sandwiches this week – yuck in my opinion – but worth it.

If you type “Martha” in the search field at top right, you’ll be able to read previous posts where I have talked about my small-but-growing Martha Marshall collection.