This fortnight’s NZ Art Guild challenge was “Experiment with shape and colour to communicate meaning. Choose a sound and convey it in an artwork using a maximum of 3 colours (you may also use black and white in addition to your 3 selected colours)”. I use the Guild challenges as a chance to free up and have a play. These are the details I posted on the Guild forum with my piece:
Title: The (art) noise in my mind
Medium: mixed media – paint, ink, rubber stamps, coloured pen
Size: 210x135mm (in one of my art journals)
Colours: Red, blue, pale aqua
The writing says “I need to spend time on my art each day or gradually the noise from all the ideas becomes louder and louder till I can’t hear myself think anymore.”
The (art) noise in my mind
A while back I showed you the piece I did for this year’s annual collaborative work for the NZ Art Guild. Finally, after much anticipation, the finished work has been revealed in its entirety. I think it is our best work yet. “Bloom” is a unique artwork which comprises of 64 individual artworks by 62 artists from all over NZ. The theme of this artwork is New Beginnings and Growth. This artwork will be auctioned on Trademe from July 17th with 100% of the proceeds donated to the Mental Health Foundation. (Keyword search is NZ Art Guild). The finished artwork is 1.3m x 1.3m – Mixed media – wood frame. You can see a full list of participating artists here.
I am proud to be part of this venture each year; it’s a great way to work with other artists on something bigger than any of us. The Mental Health Foundation is a very worthwhile charity and I am pleased to be a small part of supporting their work. Can you spot my piece below?
The NZ Art Guild challenge this time was to illustrate a saying, using only 5 colors including black and white. I chose “on a wing and a prayer” and entered a digital piece using only blue, yellow, black and white. The finished piece is 10x15cm and titled “on a wing and a prayer”. The prayer is a Shinto prayer for world peace.
Update: this piece was the winner of the Most Creative award. Thanks to everyone who voted.
The current NZ Art Guild Challenge is graffiti. Given the recent awful graffiti on my work place I was keen to try this one, and make it more about art, less about vandalism.
Title: Cath was here, 2009
Size: 21x30cm on Art Spectrum Colourfix paper
Medium: Background – acrylic, inks, rubber stamps, stencils, pastel. ‘Cath was here, 2009’ added digitally.
Inspiration: I have had the start of the background sitting round for two years, knowing one day I would use it. I have added another couple of layers to it today, then scanned and added ‘Cath was here’ in Photoshop.
You might remember that a few posts back I showed you the reference photo for the latest NZ Art Guild Challenge. At the time, I was sure it was the colours that would inspire me – and I was right. I tackled the subject twice today; once in acrylics and once with ink, oil pastels, soft pastels and acrylics. Neither are an accurate representation of the image and in one I have moved windows, resized some parts, generally messed with it a bit. In the second I was thinkng mainly about colour blocks, the Impressionists, ghosts (don’t ask!) and light.
For me the NZ Art Guild challenges are a great opportunity to tackle a subject, style or material/s I might not normally go for; a chance to have a creative play with no real pressure. So here are my two most recent entries:
The piece of work I posted about yesterday won the ‘Most Creative’ award for the latest NZ Art Guild Challenge, and shared ‘The People’s Choice’ with Sharlene Schmidt. You can read about Sharlene’s winning entry here.
The next challenge looks equally exciting, I can’t wait to get into it. The reference photo is shown below – we can be inspired by it in an way we choose. The actual instructions are “Use the following reference image to create an original artwork in any media you choose. Your creation may be a direct and literal representation of the reference image or be inspired by parts of it. This is your chance to be as creative as you would like”. I think the pinky red, green and turquoise may be calling my name…
The current NZ Art Guild Challenge is lines. I took some photos of Mana Bay yesterday, where the Patea River meets the Tasman Sea. They photos are full of lines; lines of old wharf poles, the line the sea wall, the horizon line, the lines of waves. I have layered it with a photo of my late father, Mansel, who during World War Two was Able Seaman Barker. I then scanned a page from the diary he kept of his return journey home, leaving Liverpool on the 2nd November 1945 and finishing December 18th in NZ waters. Seeing lines of Dads writing still makes me miss him…we are lucky to have his diary as they were not supposed to keep one. Dad hid his and just braved it out when they said they’d be looking for illegal goods before disembarking.
Finally I have added John Masefield’s poem “Sea Fever” as a top layer. Although he did not talk about it, I believe Dad loved the sea. The two of us often swam together in the sea when I was a child. I miss you Dad, and always will.
The most recent challenge was to base a work, in some way, on the works of NZ artist Marilynn Webb. To be more specific, the rules say: Artwork must be an original interpretation based on the artistic style or subject, a straight reproduction, or your individual interpretation of the Master Artists’ work.
Being me, I chose what is perhaps a less iconic work to be inspired by – contrary to the last, that’s me. The piece I have done is digital, based on original paintings of mine, plus a scan of my hand used as is and then manipulated in Photoshop. The finished piece is: Cath’s hands, after Marilynn’s.
Maerowhenua River - The Place of Maeroero by Marilyn Webb
Here’s my entry in the latest NZ Art Guild challenge, which had to involve memory in some way, and only use two colours plus black and white. I drew the pears from memory, so that’s the inspiration part.
Title: Purple and Yellow Pears
Size: 20cm w x 23cm deep
Medium: Acrylic on white AS Modigliani paper. Black, white, Windsor Purple and Deep Cadmium Yellow acrylic paints.
The NZ Art Guild runs regular challenges and I try to do all of them as a way of stretching my artistic wings. The most recent challenge was to use one of 5 suggested songs (all by New Zealand musicians) as inspiration for an artwork. Here are the details of my entry:
Title: My husband, my hero
Media: watercolour and digital. Watercolour portrait, then hand lettered lyrics in black. Scanned and added semi-transparent white text in my own handwriting font over the top. Size: 10x13cm
Inspiration: Dreamin’ by Scribe. One of the verses says “And I wouldn’t of made it if it wasn’t for you. You picked me up every time that I fell. When I was going thru hell, you told me that I would prevail“. My husband Tony really is my hero; he uplifts me, he understands my need to shut myself away and do my art, he sticks with me through all lifes up and downs.
This piece was voted “most creative” entry for the challenge, and got some lovely feedback, with one person saying they could see my love for my husband shining through – I am so glad it shows. Tony, this one really is for you.