Recently I have been discovering watercolour as a medium and making small studies after Bonnard and Matisse to try to better appreciate their use of colour.On wednesdays I join other painters at the Oakine’s Community House,Dodges Ferry,Tasmania and we often “have a try” with each others “stuff”.Being in a group like this is a novel experience for me as i usually prefer to work alone or in distance collaborations via mail art and assembling books. Out of this experience i have been experimenting with the pigments in relation to wax resist and found that the Cotman’s watercolour by Windsor and Newton, best suits my method with the required transparency, yet vivid colours. Payne’s grey has also emerged as a big favourite and i am already topping up my half pans with a tube, a tip i have gleaned from other painters in the group.
Recently i attended a workshop for sculpting bull kelp, the thick seaweed that grows off the east coast of tasmania.Its strange stuff to work with,thick and slimy to start with like a rubbery leather, then as it dries it shrinks rapidly turning black,brittle and hard.The series of vessels i made are still changing shape several months later. Fun to experiment with, its other name is Mermaid’s bladder.
photograph by Paul Amyes.
Flowers and fabric 1 still life drawing recently curated into “best in price range” collection on Saatchi Art Online. Winter weather has had me working indoors on a still life series with gestural mark making.The darker Tasmanian light is leading my palette into exploring blues,grey and black with darker melancholic feel. Is this Tasmanian Gothic creeping in?
Abstract painting from new series “Landscape not made”. This work continues the theme that i am working on about the burnt areas of Tasmanian bush [forest] that is regenerating and is derived from the study notes for landscape painting.These start as small collages made in series, then i pick the best to work up bigger on canvas. media include acrylic paint and graphite on canvas.
Altered film photographic print. Flip Flop or Aussie” Thong”,at the base of a boat house,Ochre Beach,Dodges Ferry Tasmania. Film lomo colour print 100 ,camera Holga 135 BC ,hand painted with gouache and inscribed with intaglio print making tool.
Altering these “duffers” i.e. prints that were rather dull, has been a lot of fun and is sort of leading to a series.Well received on Red Bubble [Thanks Guys!] and good for the wallet as recycling/ reusing everything is vital to a sustainable arts practice.Knowing that the lomo photography would be a rather hit and miss affair [and that is part of the appeal] hand altering the prints is a nice cross over to painting and scratching the emulsion surface feels pleasantly taboo, like cutting up old books for the first time, or planting a yarn bomb.
A visual poem/asemic writing work hot off the studio table.This is part of a series i am working on called Disruption,some of which will be sent to an exhibition Networked Disruption curated by Vittore Baroni. the style of visual poetry [where text intersects with visual art] i favour, is just a shade off abstract art where the letters become just another mark in the range of available shapes.The colours are my new Tasmanian palette taken from burnt logs,grey skies and lime green new growth foliage. A sense of place comes into all the work.
media used include atelier interactive acrylic paint,alphabet stickers from the $2 shop,part of a decorated envelope sent by an artist friend, on Draw and wash textured paper by Artist Spectrum.
Sketching for the abstract landscape series Lazarus Rises. The site i am using is the Woodvine’s Reserve Forcett,Tasmania. Many trees are still very blackened by the fires, but the green regrowth is incredibly vibrant,especially when the sun shines. Picking up charcoal to use in pictures,taking frottage [rubbings] from bark and ferns to collage into work, its almost sensory overload. After this second drawing session i got caught up photographing old tin sheets at the homestead,another obsession waiting to be explored further.
Equipment used fishing tackle box to carry drawing materials to the site,moleskine journal with one concertina page[ built in elastic is good to anchor the page in windy conditions] and lumix FX01 camera.
photograph by Paul Amyes