Adding Texture … and being brave

I have a need for texture in my work and have been experimenting with different ways of adding depth and texture to my work on paper.  This week I have revisited collage and started to explore a new medium – cold wax.  Treading gently at first, I have added a little wax to my watercolour paper based pieces and am liking the effect.  Here are some of the collage images started recently at West Dean College:

West Dean Collage 3

This next piece was completed in one go – acrylic ink, wax, charcoal and a little collage material from my trusty drawer of bits

Distant cliffs collageAnd finally, this one, compiled from three pieces which I did whilst on holiday in Scotland last year.  I had quickly dashed off a series of three sketches – I liked the immediacy and vibrancy of the marks but each felt incomplete.  Remembering what I had been told by Cas Holmes last year, I threw caution to the wind, tore the pieces up and reassembled them – there they are before and after:

 

Scottish collage

I’d love to know what you think – I won’t be offended so do shout!  Thanks

Light and Shadow

Abstract shapes original

I am almost exclusively interested in landscape in my art work although my outlook is a little broader with photography.  I recently came across the original images that I took whilst on a short holiday in Lanzarote in 2014 and, as I am now further along my artistic path, saw them with fresh eyes.  I was particularly drawn to the shots that I took which considered the strong light and shade of that November in the Canaries where the shadows cast were so different to those that we see here in the UK.  I began to instinctively want to crop them to emphasise the abstract shapes created on the walls around our villa.  I played with photoshop a little, altering light and dark, shadow and contrast and saw that a single starting point could yield a vast range of images by using different crops and treatment.  The next step will be to recreate what is seen here using paper and various mixed media – primarily ink, gels, charcoal and my latest find, cold wax.

There may be a lesson here to show that it is always worth re-visiting work years later and seeing it anew – you may be surprised at the potential in what you had discarded.

Abstract shapes 1

Light and dark 1.jpg

Light and dark 3.jpg

More Walls 3More Walls 4.jpg

Walls Crop II 3.jpg

Here are just a few examples – I love the simplicity of form yet opportunity to play with texture that exist here – what do you think?

Light and dark

As we enter Autumn I am remembering those days earlier in the year which yielded such lovely shadows.  I thought I would look back at some of my photographs and drawings which made use this striking contrast of tone:

Shadows, Lanzarote

Lanzarote

Shadows at the verge.jpg

Wild Carrot, Chidham

Elderflower shadow 4.jpg

Elderflower, Chidham

 

What appeals to me with all of these images is the strong dark against light.  Where an image, in photography or art, uses light against dark and then dark against light it is known as Counterchange.

Even a simpler use of dark and light can add drama to an image.  I like to use a limited range of colour in my work and always try and remember the value of white space in a picture.

Quink plus pen at Cowdray Ruins.jpgThis sketch was worked en plain air at Cowdray Park in Sussex.  The quick was laid down in the studio beforehand and on site, I looked for a view that could use the marks that I had made.

Telegraph poles StoughtonThis pen sketch of telegraph poles uses simplicity of tone to create a strong image.  Both of these drawings were undertaken on a course taken by Maxine Relton – you can see her work here.

Close up Wood, Fishbourne
Blurred lines

The contrast is much less here but I still like the simple tones.  Working in monotone helps us concentrate on mark making and composition without the distraction of colour and much as I love colour, I find  myself drawn towards a simpler range hues in my work.  What do you think?

 

It’s all about texture

During my Foundation Diploma at www.westdeanorg.uk I undertook a series of courses working on both paper and fabric.  Reflecting on what I had done over the two year, I realised that the work which got me most excited was that involving texture. Whilst I enjoyed printing in various forms, the flat and pristine outcomes just did not resonate with what I am all about which is texture, movement, mark making,  serendipity, rough edges and a certain rawness.

favourite-trees-on-blue-and-red-fabric-overlaid-e1506176630887.jpg
Cyanotypes

Earlier this year I spent time with the lovely Jilly Morris – doing a course called “Visual language – marks, textures and surface.”  I knew immediately I saw her work that she and I were on the same wavelength and so it proved!  In fact, in between booking the course and undertaking it, a couple of people said, “I know who you should do a course with ….” which further endorsed my feeling.

If you like what I like, I thoroughly recommend a course with Jilly – here’s a taste of what we did – it involved sandpapers, stickers, wire brushes, sticking tape, beeswax, pastels, and WD40 to name but a few!

Jilly Morris 1

Jilly Morris 2Jilly Morris 3.jpgJilly Morris 5.jpg

These are really simple starting points.  Each of Jilly’s pieces comprise many layers and I look forward to further experimentation.  So far, I have been playing with salt and saline solution, lemon  juice, PVA glue and masking tape, liquid soap, candle wax, various polishes, sand, golden texture mediums and cold wax medium.  I am restricting art media to acrylic ink and charcoal powder for the time being.

Why you should draw more and photograph less

One of my co-students from West Dean College kindly shared this link:

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dk1eHm0PNnjo%26feature%3Dshare&h=ATMIYXo4Gx08CoBaEpszFkoafhf2DDwHTw_LAa0iXDe51qmIPpG2ZnYu9WjeLvu5fOQ8W1u8n-5yNJQa0mighIK0gyEZpf_LX_bzN8-RsTQT0aGMPi-QxltJ7plLB5DvaC4IQlclBcwxGMommw24-IB4uwTLpLIYSBv1Ygfq43N5VA-TY8geZHB-txfuZxbsCJ-JplQvWvv3FlMeZNaeEcd3Sear6FPpbSfacS7ymthQEvog8gEn4DchoIF4MB2iRbq0j4_5eaQuH1w

which I think follows on so well from what I spoke about last time, in that it is about REALLY LOOKING when you are out and about in everyday life.  I would argue that being a photographer can also make you look but it depends what type of photographs you take.  My husband is an excellent photographer but tends to see the big picture of a beautiful landscape or interior

Sun and shadow on the reed beds, Fishbourne
I took this photograph of Reeds and burner at Fishbourne

whereas I will always notice the small things.

 

Found on the beach - Coffee Jar close up 2

The image above is actually a close up of a jar of coffee that had been abandoned on the beach.  I dare say most people would have just seen it as rubbish, but I was immediately drawn to the colour texture and marks made by the random seepage of water into the grounds.  It reminds me of the rust on the burner in the reeds above.