Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wandering, wandering... for 45,000 years

Time to share a journal post for September with you all, before the month completely runs out and I get too far behind. Life has been hectic of recent times with illness and work committments but now the committments are done and I am free to art away again, Yay!
Pat over at The Weaver of Grass, asked me a little while ago to share my collage process with you all, and I said I would once the crazy work stuff was over.

So today's the day. I thought we would start with one in a journal. Journals are a great way to thrash out ideas, techniques and allow you to makes mistakes and learn without pressure. You don't have to share them with anyone and they are just the greatest learning tool EVER!!!. So what if it all goes horribly wrong? It was cheap, you lose nothing but time and a little of this and that, you learned something, and you can just turn the page and start again! Yay to the freedom. And no one ever has to see it if that's how you feel, woohoo obligation free experimentation!

So here's the start of Septembers page.

At this stage the page has a coat of Gesso and some tissue paper stuck to it. I used mat medium but feel free to use whatever you like, remember to experiment that's a major part of what you are doing here. I wanted a tissue background and I have zillions of tissue patterns left over from when the kiddies were little tikes. How jolly convenient!

Next its time to splash around a little paint and develop the background. Now I did have some preconcieved ideas here. Objectives to achieve. I wanted bright colours. The page was going to be a reflection of Australian colour and light. It's bright here, bright light and colours so thats what I add to the page. A little stamping is added to the background for interest.

A smudge here and there, fingers are great tools, LOL!

Now lots more paint. What colours do you imagine Australia to be?
Reds, golds, and earthy tones inland. Lots of greens and blue shades along the coast.
I wanted to represent the inland areas in this page , so bright golds and reds, a little green and


Some scratching here and there, building up the layers and visual interest.

Now for a bit of focus. What do you want to say?

I want the page to speak to you about my home in terms of its texture and colours.

I add a gel medium transfer onto some calico, I like the rawness of it.
Its an iconic Australian image. The kangaroos and the setting outback sun.

I add some stamped numerals and some wording to boost the imagery. I want the message to get across, and I have something to say.

And there it is...

I am wandering, wandering...

45,000 years of history incorporated into the page. (well at least visually I hope!)
Australia is an ancient land. The aboriginal peoples ancestors migrated here approximately 45,000 years ago.
European settlement only a tiny 231 years ago, give or take a few days, LOL!

Journal page -gesso, tissue paper, acrylics, ink, calico, gel medium transfer, paper, bark and text.
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Dorian's Picture in Black and White

The lovely and enormously hard working Alicia Caudle over on altered bits has just put out the latest bumper edition of her eZine.
The latest theme is black and white and honestly she has sooo out done herself here. The zine is so enormous it has had to be uploaded in two sections. It is jam packed full with art from an amazing array of artists. Honestly there is something in there for everyone and you can access it for free. What are you waiting for!!!

Stop!!! At least wait to read the rest of this post first, LOL!

I will be so terribly disappointed if you don't as I'm in it!!!

Here's the cover, a sneaky peek at everyones work is in there somewhere.

My own contribution is an assemblage based on the Oscar Wilde novel 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'.
A fabulous read if you have never gotten around to reading it and you like gothic horror novels, and it is relatively short if you have limited time to spare.
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (wow now there's a mouthful and yes he was Irish) was one of the most notorious and successful playwrights of the late Victorian era. He is probably best known for his play 'The Importance of Being Earnest' (which I also love) and his biting wit. Wilde lived what could possibly best be termed a colourful life and 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' probably reflects much about his views on the social circles he moved within as the novel is set in Wilde's contemporary times.

Oscar Wilde

The story first appeared as a short story in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890. I have used a copy of the magazine image and altered the colours to greyscale to fit in with the black and white theme. Wilde did several rewrites of the original story adding further background material to flesh out the character of Dorian Gray. The end result is a classic piece of gothic horror which still rates as a good read today.

The basic plot revolves around the central character, Dorian Gray and a portrait painting of Dorian done by an artist friend who is taken with Dorian's beauty. The artist introduces Dorian to Lord Henry who espouses hedonistic views and gradually Dorian becomes aware that his beauty will eventually fade and in desperation wishes that the image in the portrait would age instead of himself. The wish is fulfilled. Dorian gradually begins to slip into Lord Henry's hedonistic life, surpassing his mentor and eventually his moral decline leads him to explore a life of vice and sin which eventually lead him to commit a series of murders to enable him to continue living his decadent life. The portrait changes with each new sin committed, twisting and aging the subject as it reflects Dorians debauched life. Dorian of course remains unchanged, still the vision of the beautiful youth, but underneath the shell lies a corrupt and degraded man.
Here's the original cover of the Lippincott publication in which the story appears in print for the first time.

In order to represent the story in an assemblage it was necessary to reinvent the idea of the 'portrait' from the story. To convey the sense of change that the portrait undergoes I decided to remove various sections of the portrait to represent the change the picture undergoes as Dorian slips further along his path of moral decay and decline. In the portrait for the assemblage only the eyes of the portrait remain, the rest eaten away by Dorian's decline into hedonism. The background is the altered Lippincott cover, changed to gray scale in keeping with the b&w theme. The other supporting items relate to the various sins Dorian commits over his life to continue his decadence unopposed.
Here's the piece.

The piece formed quickly as they sometimes do and you find yourself in the zone. I was thrilled to be in Alicia's zine and especially when I look at the other artistic endeavours included here. The range of pieces for inclusion is astounding and I love everyone's differing ideas and pieces within the central theme and can't wait for the next one. (I have already started on some ideas!) Alicia has slaved away tirelessly to get the mag up online with the result that she is in need of a good rest and recuperative period. Hope your feeling the love hon, enjoy your rest you well and truly deserve it. Thank you for all your efforts, they have been amazing!
So there you have it. Please visit the mag here and drop in to Alicia's blog and leave a little love
to let her know you took the time to visit. It is truly inspiring to find people who devote huge time and effort in order that we can enjoy these publications for free. It isn't everyday you can say that anymore. You can also visit the other contributing artists blogs. Their contact details are on the mag too!
Two pieces of interesting info from researching Dorian Gray and Oscar Wilde!
1. Quote from Dorian Gray-
"Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter... it is rather the artist who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself."
True I believe. Our art work speaks volumes about us, the artists, and loudly too!
2. Just a month before his death Oscar Wilde is quoted as saying, "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One of us has got to go."
(I know what he meant, LOL!)
Sadly the wallpaper won.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Snowed Under

I've been snowed under with work committments and have been ill as well, so not much happening in blog land here but I did see this over at Patty Van Dorin's blog and it made me smile, so here it is for you too!

Love the Beatles, this song and Cirque Du Soleil.