I’ve been getting reacquainted with working in pen and watercolour. It’s been ages. Too long, really. So I thought I’d ease back into it with a few abstract patterns. One thing led to another and the four mini (3″ x 3″) artworks below are now for sale have sold on Etsy.
“The painter needs all the talent of the poet, plus hand-eye coordination.” Robert Brault
I read an article last month that changed my mind about working in series — it’s something I haven’t been interested in doing… until now. Here’s an excerpt from ‘Reasons for Artists to Make Art in Series’ which I found on www.artbusiness.com:
“In a way, you can compare making art to writing a novel or composing a poem. Very few ideas can be adequately expressed in single chapters or verses as compared to how thoroughly they can be treated in entire novels or poems. The same holds true for art.”
The author, Alan Bamberger, went on to talk about a series providing context and taking viewers on a journey, and I had one of those ‘a-ha’ moments. How many times have I seen a work of art and then visited the artist’s website only to be confused by seeing artworks that have nothing to do with the one I first saw? Don’t get me wrong — I love variety. There’s definitely a point at which, for me, seeing art that is too much the same turns me off. Fortunately there are many different ways of working in series so that a body of work tells a story or appears connected, and that’s what I’m interested in exploring.
I’ve spent the last few years painting all sorts of things in a variety of different styles and I have a pretty good idea of what wakes me up and holds my attention, creatively speaking. So now, as well as going off on my experimental tangents, I’m going to start organising my art into novels and poems — two metaphors that make complete sense to me. And that brings me to today’s post. I’ve started working on a series of aerial landscapes based on photos I took on a memorable flight over the Canterbury Plains in 2013. More WIPs to follow soon.
WIP — sketches (please click on the image for a clearer view)
A couple of weeks ago, my talented friend Della made these fabulous mugs, handed me a ceramic glazing pencil, and told me that I could draw anything I wanted on them. What a brilliant opportunity to try something new (thank you, Della).
Because the mugs are so deliciously quirky, I decided that the designs had to be quirky too and opted to decorate them with some of my little ‘Thank You’ stick figures. I took photos of the mugs and played around with size and placement possibilities in Affinity Photo (yes, that’s right, NOT Photoshop… but that’s a story for another day) before committing to drawing on the mugs with the special glazing pencil (see below). I’ll post more photos of the mugs once Della has glazed and fired them again. I can’t wait to see how they turn out.
Pen vs earthquake #6 – Christchurch Art Gallery, 2016
I’ve finally been into the city to take the last of my ‘pen vs earthquake’ photographs. The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu was closed following the 22nd February 2011 earthquake and only opened its doors to the public again last December. The building may look fragile but it not only survived 2011’s big shake, it was used as Civil Defence HQ for seven months after the event. Most of the repairs to the building are now complete and the new and improved gallery looks better, and shinier, than ever.
The sketch was originally part of astudent projectin 2011. The art gallery photographs were taken a few days ago. Ben Heine’s ingenious Pencil Vs Camera images inspired the series.
P.S. Five years on and we’re still getting the odd quake ― we had quite a big one on Valentine’s Day, of all days! My thanks to those who contacted me to see if we were okay. Yes, we’re fine. We’re still not in love with earthquakes, but we’re fine.