Friday, December 14, 2012

in search of a way to add to a rich vocabulary...

In recent work Ive been using the pod and seed capsule motifs cut into lino that I worked with when in Cairns 2 months ago. This says a lot about my approach. Instead of working on further developing lino-cutting as a medium (unlikely) I am most concerned with exhausting the possibilities of colour,  composition and approach with the ten motifs I already have. And then not even using all of those.

Here I took a roughly cut, not even square metre of quite a dull green cotton fabric I'd had sitting around for a long time and played around with building layers and seeing how the blurred, raw image might look on fabric. This technique I can pull of perfectly making the prints onto paper, then using a brush to add and subtract to resolve the work.

On fabric it is a less precise and more random effect.

Did I like this approach on fabric?

Not sure ... thankfully I had the good sense not to interfere so it could be completed as an idea  to ponder at leisure. I'd like to think I might be getting better at holding off. Perhaps one of the hardest lessons Ive had in the studio. We all have our curious traits and foibles that if not reigned in result in work that could become samey, even tedious at times. 

That said there is a lot to be said for the slow and dilligent working over an idea ... many traditions and  artists the world over understand the benefit of the disciplined application to skills and process. In the 20th century novelty was everything ... yet many have decided it was going against their nature to have to pay heed to novelty above all.

Ever eclectic I still like to take the middle ground on this... find novelty within certain parameters... hence the reworking of such simple and formal motifs yet with an eye for reinvention and fresh seeing.

working raw

liking some of the subtle areas and compositional elements

the underneath printed layer I did first is is evident in part

loved the opportunity to push around colour in this.

On a different note... an earlier work with the seed-capsule cross-sections

Acrylic on linen

 Working with a single seed capsule motif on this one... I happened to be listening to a wonderful discussion on Tiwi Island artists on Radio National. Such outstanding printmaking (and other art forms) come from this island off Northern Australia that I felt very humbled pottering around with these simple forms in the studio. In a way, however, they are imbued with cultural significance for me... albeit a largely personal language which only perhaps manages sometimes to intimate something of the interconnection of all things.

Once again I feel I could work these ideas over and over till I settled on the kind of composition that works best...  more minimal perhaps?

In contrast these small 10 x 10 cm squares gave me a chance to play with the potency of the form as symbol, the element of design and such. I like to sometimes create "loaded" symbols that may speak to the sub-conscious mind more than 'here and now' mind. A vocabulary of motifs that have a life-force living quietly in them and are reflective of the enormous variety of forms to be found in the realm of biological and cultural diversity.
Ive been thinking a lot about forms of late. With our narrowed down, mindlessly-got-at attention span we often end up with a really narrow range of visual ideas pushed at us everyday... the McDonalds way. As an artist I wonder if I'm able to "knock on the door" of the subconscious mind of occasional viewers... is that possible or likely... I do feel it to be a good thing to think on the kind of noticing we do. There is a lot of fetish stuff about ...and advertisers get off on that... and it gets blanded out through the rehashing of the obvious day in and day out.

I want to be somewhere else.... adding something to a rich vocabulary.

Back soon... there is  more to share

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Me

My photo
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.