Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lines - Part II: conversations in paint...

On Saturday three of us came together for a conversation with paint and crayons...

Imbi Davidson, Lara Nobel and myself. 

We had a grand time ...what's better than virtually 8 hours of immersion in colour and talk when it's so central to what you are thinking about ... and each of the three people present bring their own world of ideas and orbit of movement and activity.

We started by drawing with the non-dominant hand to music...
ideal for getting to that space of responding through the senses and feeling self rather than the brain in overload! We drew for a while then a large piece of paper was found for us to try drawing if  conversing .... 3 hands moving all over the paper .. confusion about the space and whose marks were where. It didn't matter... it set the mood for the explorations to follow!

large work by Imbi, Lara and Sophie ... oil pastel on paper

Lara Nobel - 5th year architecture student at UQ

Lara and Imbi


Imbi's work from the afternoon - paint is her middle name!

imbi davidson

lara nobel

some of the material we were looking at through the day...

Scribbly gum bark that Imbi brought from her land south of the border. 

string paintings I was working on

lara nobel

Lara's first works in colour in ages... Uni demands mean its very rare for her to get near a box of oil pastels let alone paint. Her drawings  for her work are architectural and in black and white ... certainly not free and explorative like these she explained. 

It was great to se what she was doing ... a few more sessions and her former passion for art-making would be fully revived no doubt.

lara nobel

worked on this canvas in the later afternoon. Id pre-prepared the
underlayer so I kept working with string as I had for a couple of hours.

Hopefully I might be able to get some images of Lara's fantastic work for her 5th year of Architecture at UQ... not sure that I can access mages for her online... so back later with that. A little more on Imbi now before I close this post. When she exchanged emails last week and said
"happy you are in stripe land...i think my stripe phase is permanent...oh dear! "
I was so looking forward to collaborating with a fellow lover of the stripes ... and the conversations certainly flowed ... from her current masters on stripes... no... actually on botany and much more .. which was excellent to hear all about and pull apart. The places she has lived and all the stories that flow from that. It was also fascinating for us to reflect on the differences between how we think about painting and such and what it is for Lara to consider some the themes we discussed from her work in architecture.

Work found at Imbi's blog -  links to her shows. Read a great story from The Australian about her work.

Well.. I hope to spend more time like that about fired up and productive ... yet it was so relaxing and such a chance to unwind!

Lines - part I: the elegant string theory...11 years on!

Take a piece of string, dip it in paint and away...

On Saturday I worked for 8 hours with two other engaging and inspiring people ... see the next post Lines -Part II. When it was all over I took out the camera and went through what I'd done that day,

Then I grabbed the concertina book I'd created during the painting course I was doing at Victoria Uni in 2,000 when still living in Melbourne and in a really stressful phase of trying to balance things so I could continue painting. In that way that life sometimes does... when you cant work out a solution to a dilemma with your mind then enter a drama that gets you moving.. for me a housefire saw me pack up and move interstate. So... what was going on in the pages of this concertina book that was quiet exciting and felt it could be pushed in lot of directions was quickly abandoned and only one or twice since have I worked with this material and ideas to any degree of application as on this saturday.

Things Imbi talked about re relocation shifting your work was very relevant for me in 2,000. The house fire left me with a huge need to put domestic needs before art for a time... and I stopped working in this loose style as below for the next years on the whole.

I guess I could try and photograph the whole book.. it needs a long room to open out fully.

the materials used were paint and mixed media, 
fabric, string and collage of various papers and fabric

 I recently realised I realy liked some of the pages and it got me thinking about why i had I continued to leave these ideas untouched. I guess things surfaced and I have not completely failed to reference this work... it was great to really get into it on Saturday.

The following post gives a glimpse of picking up with some early string ideas as do the works at the top of this post from saturday. Why the elegant string theory? 

I saw a show on this concept from New Science around 2003 and it just spoke to me... intuitively I guess there is some link between my string drawings and the idea of multiple dimensions of reality. Certainly at the time I was working with string my life was a series of clashing realities and something had to be resolved.... and quick!
Far better when one is able to ride the waves of change with some sense of  rhythm.

More to think on here!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

'Colours of Nature' Workshop at Percolator Gallery - 9th July

On Saturday, July 9th, this group came along for the second workshop at the gallery. Another wonderful group - we started with drawing to music ... bit not just any music... it requires something quite atmospheric, perhaps ambient or classical music works well... something distinctive but with varying moods and dynamics ideally.

Drawing with one's non-dominant hand is the task... and standing up works better. By the third piece of music we had moved around and paired people off to converse on paper. It night have been chilly but the mood was far from it.

getting used to drawing with the left hand and sharing the paper is quite a task...

music pulls one into a very particular space...and then when that space is shared
its a whole other thing!

an interesting ways to be with someone you've not met before....

working with a grid to explore colours that are usually ignored

this participant was a very fine drawer usually working in black and white exclsively ... so this was quite a departure!

once gain... exploring the unloved colours to see what could come of it!

In the afternoon we worked to prepare grounds that were quickly painted using a variety of processes and sticking heavily with colours outside each person's usual range. The idea was to completely avoid white... but to stay away from safe or known colours.

When those grounds were dry the class worked with the various natural objects at hand ... allowing some of the accidental effects of the paint surface to play apart in the drawings.

pomegranate as the starting point for this work ... really liked what was happening here with the colours.

the black seaweed skeleton on the left is actaully the real item ... we  were quite fascinated at how the composition in the background made such a fabulous base foe the drawing in white ink... had to leave the black seaweed juxtaposed like this for the photo. 

A wonderful background for these delicate leaves

what a pleasure to see these colours underlying the drawing of the pods.

something quite haunting about this one... love that the colours have shifted into another realm ...
 the nuances of colours in nature can invite us to think more about the particularity of things...

everyone was so busy in the afternoon... more and more work seeemed to be flowing from this table.

participants took such joy for their experiments with colours, the layering and transforming of ideas.

Add caption

a small macadamia seed in it half open pod ... this one went through various stages with it colour rendering
exciting to see it grow into something strong and rich with colours layered over one another.

interesting layers  and things happening in this one

the visual diary tracing the origins of the found natural objects. 

working with layering of white ink over thick oil pastel

 There was a lot of energy in this class ... considerable work started, ideas to take home and continue on with!

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Blogging for me is an extension of keeping a journal which I have done in various forms over the decades. The difference being this is not a closed book! I like that it offers an opportunity to explore that which concerns me as an artist and as an individual about living and participating in this vastly complex, unquestionably exciting yet unnerving time in human history. Through the blog I hope to increase the possibilties for cross-pollination which I believe can strengthen the sense of being part of something both personal and universal that is vital, expansive and refreshing.