Working on the Hokitika Gorge

Over the weekend I spent some time working on slightly larger paintings inspired by the Hokitika Gorge, following my visit after Easter. These are on Hahnemuhle 300lb watercolour paper using heavy body acrylics and water soluble crayons. I love the granularity of some of the mark making.

Do I know what the shapes mean to me yet? No! But that’s okay. I’m happy to sit with not knowing, because that’s often how my art works. What I do know is that the shapes are embedded in what I’m doing and critical to the works.

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Paint under my nails…

I’ve had an arty sort of day. I’ve worked in my art journals, but also felt inspired to grab a canvas and spread some paint around. Not sure if it’s finished yet, will leave it lying round and see what I think. As usual, there are messages in my art journal pages, which some people will recognise as relating to them…

Last night Tony, Sandra and I went out for dinner then enjoyed the Rocky Horrow Show shadowcast by Flash Mob Taranaki. I haven’t laughed so much in years. “Eddie – drawn, not sketched…”

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It’s beginning to look

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … at least on my craft desk. As I said to my sister Ailsa last night, why buy 20 Christmas tags for 70c when you can use $100s of dollars of product and oodles of people-hours to achieve the same thing? I occasionally see a meme about crafting being cheaper than a therapist, and just as good for you. That’s just not true; if you buy enough supplies, it’s way dearer than therapy ūüėČ

Also, Dimmie has hung our exhibition in Eltham for ArtsFest – thanks so much for all your hard work Dimmie. She sent me some quick installation photos before her phone ran out of battery.

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Trying an acrylic pour

In the last few weeks I’ve seen a few people trying acrylic pours. I have a spare canvas I’d tried something on and it hadn’t worked out, some old foam cups, and some PVA glue I don’t like. Tony has CRC in the garage. So, all the key ingredients at my fingertips.

Huge thanks to YouTube artists who have so generously shared their process. The basic process for a dirty pour is

  • put a push pin in each corner on the back of the canvas so the paint drips don’t stick it to the work surface
  • mix glue, water and paint in individual cups – ratios vary from artist to artist
  • mix a double batch of white
  • add a little silicone (such as CRC) to each OR as you mix into the final container
  • pour layers of paint into your final pouring cup
  • add silicone if you didn’t add to each colour
  • once you add silicone run a paint brush handle or something through once or twice – do not stir
  • cover the canvas with some of the runny white paint
  • put the canvas on top of the cup, tip it over and give it a moment for the paint to run
  • remove the cup and watch the paint spread
  • tip the canvas to move the paint around
  • heat with a heat source such as an embossing gun to remove bubbles & create ‘cells’
  • leave to dry – it will take days…

Mine hasn’t dried yet, so it will be interesting so see how it looks.

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Playing in my art journals

A week or so back we brought all my art supplies into the house. I love having everything in the one room and, to my surprise, it has ramped up my desire to paint again.¬† I’m playing round with ideas in an old ledger book, and getting up early to paint.

I’ve also done a new 20×30″ canvas for our room. I wanted something with gold and red, so did a small test piece then the bigger canvas. Because the final canvas is much bigger the look isn’t quite the same, but I’m fine with that. It feels a bit like a scrap of mad Victorian wallpaper to me! My only disappointment is the canvas, a deep edge Winsor Newton, is warped so isn’t sitting flat to the wall on one side.

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Last year a library friend and I started an art swap – each month we sent off a background for the other person to paint something floral on. We got a bit behind for various reasons, and have been catching-up. Over the long weekend I’ve used 5 backgrounds she sent me. It’s such a fun way to work, and really pushes me to try different looks.

Memories and dreams

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.

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364 pieces of art

I used to blog a lot, as a way of showing my art process, and to clarify my thinking. Over the years FaceBook became my avenue for some of that, but it’s not as good. Too many distractions, and hard to see progress over time. And of course FB changes the rules from time to time, often with little warning. I’ve not been creating as regularly as I used to, yet it’s good for me – even 10 minutes a day helps and makes me a happier, and therefor¬†better, person all round.

In lieu of¬†over-ambitious New Year‚Äôs¬†resolutions I won’t keep,¬†I’m committing to making a small piece of art every day. I’ll probably work on index cards so I can take them with me if I’m away from home. I painted every day for a year once and it was great. Sure, in the end I didn’t manage¬†every single day, but it was fun anyway!

I’d like to draw better, so¬†I’ll be incorporating¬†an element of drawing into some pieces. Along with the art, I want to think out load more, and commit those thoughts onto my blog. As an introvert¬†I find it’s good for me to have somewhere to put my thoughts down. So, yesterday was a rest today – today, the 364 pieces of art project begins.

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Playing with layers in the chaos

I have a couple of days leave – replacement days for working Easter – so have been creating all kids of things in amongst working on the newspaper and some other bits that I need to get done.¬† As you can see, when I get really into creating mode my desk can get a bit overloaded. Mind you, a friend who is moving countries once her house sells¬†just gave me a huge pile of beads and glitter, which hasn’t helped the state of chaos because I’m not sure where to store them in my stash yet! (thanks Doris –¬†I appreciate¬†it and will love using it all up)

The journal page was inspired by one of Donna Downey’s Inspiration Wednesday videos¬† I love the way she works in layers,¬†her videos are always fun to watch and she’s really good at explain both her thought process and her art process. If you want to check out her videos a quick search of Donna Downey on YouTube will do the trick.

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