Latest Art Guild Challenge

The most recent NZ Art Guild Challenge is this: If you are not already – become familiar with different styles and eras of art that encompass text in a fine art context; e.g. Modernist era (pop art, futurist, dada, expressionist, minimalist) or a contemporary context (mail art, computer/digital art, text as image)
You may like to consider some of the following artists: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichenstein, Colin Mcahon, Ralph Hotere, Barbara Kruger, Billy Apple, Rene Margrite, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns

Create an artwork that encompasses one of the following categories:
– Text as image: e.g. Billy Apple, graffiti, concrete poetry
– Object and text: Choose an object and incorporate some text relating to this object – you do not have to be too literal!
– Text and image: You can use text in an abstract way or in conjunction with abstract images/patterns or with landscape.

I enjoy Cy Twombly’s work, and have been using more of my own photos as a base for works recently, so this is what I came up with. Mixed media: photo, calligraphy pens, white out and digital.

I Love Patea.




NZ Art Guild challenge – Ralph Hotere

This fortnight’s NZ Art Guild Challenge was to base a work on the works of Ralph Hotere. Fantastic! But so much to choose from; dark and brooding paintwork? A cross? Sketchy lin drawing? Aluminium? Text? Oh, the choices … and all of them appealing.

I spent some time on Google images, looking at some of his works, then got out a couple of books I have of his works, and perused the pages. Finally, I decided on black and white with text. I started with a back background and added white pastel, white wax pencil and white gel pen. Next, I erased some of the pastel to give me some lines in the white. I scanned it into Photoshop and added a semi-transparent layer with the words of a HIM song, Like St. Valentine, in white using a font that’s based on my own (untidy) handwriting.

Hotere & HIM; Like Heaven

NZ Art Guild challenge

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

Bloom revealed

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?

NZ Art Guild Challenge #18 – winner Most Creative

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.

NZ Art Guild Challenge – ‘where the wild things are’

The NZ Art Guild runs regular challenges and, although we had a break over Christmas, it’s to get back into it. This is what it says about the first challenge for 2010 on the Guild website:

Welcome back to our fortnightly challenges, I’ve got some great challenges planned this year to get you thinking (and hopefully creating!!!). Here’s the first one for the year….
Challenge: Create an artwork inspired by a given book/movie
Using the book or movie “Where the Wild Things Are” as inspiration to create an artwork.  There are no other restrictions, all forms of media may be used.

All forms of media? Okay then, sounds like a good chance to exercise some creative muscle. I hauled out some old scrapbooking supplies and got to work. The final piece is 20x30cm, mixed media – paper, paint, pens, fabric, ribbon, glue, brads. Nothing like a little bit of nonsense to lift my spirits!

'where the wild things' are mixed media collage

Graffiti it – NZ Art Guild challenge

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.

grafitti 001

Old house – latest Art Guild challenge

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:



Winning entry, and a shared win too

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…


Missing Dad – digital entry for Art Guild challenge

Missing DadThe 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.