Saturday, June 23, 2012

Duck feathers


I tried some more prints with the gelatine plate today.  I was trying some capelin that I defrosted but they were still a little too cold and damp to work well so I hunted in the barn for other things and while filling up the water bucket for Lucky and BD I picked up a few of their feathers and thought I'd try them.

These are the results.  They do make great imprints for the plate and I loved that turquoise blue colour as the base, providing contrast but not too strong.

One other print from last night's gyotaku prints with the star fish didn't work out as well as I wanted, so I played around with adding some colour to it today.  Shots of bright pigment in watercolour overlaid the original acrylic.  Despite the dark blobs of original error, I like the potential for adding additional colour overlays for these prints.

I've put a few of the pieces up on Etsy for sale.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gyotaku gel prints

 Polar Star

I had seen the new Gelli Arts gel printing plates for sale and read more about them online.  I made a gelatin plate from scratch years ago and while it worked well and lasted reasonably well, it was time consuming and a bit fiddly.  Also, they're not the best things to use in summer.  If we had any heat that is, but that's another story. These gel plates are reusable indefinitely with a little care and I wondered if I could incorporate some gyotaku into them, so I ordered a 6 x 6 one to experiment with.

Acrylic paint is used as the medium instead of ink and any object placed on the wet surface then removed will also remove the paint, leaving an outline, so I figured it would be a type of reverse gyotaku.

I gathered a few starfish that I had lying around, as fresh fish were in the freezer (yes, I know that's a contradiction - fresh and freezer :) but you know what I mean.

Applying the paint to the gel surface is simple but very easy to arrive at mud.  The first print was a bit like that but the imprint of the Northern Sea Star and shells and bubbles contrasted well and some shots of colour still came through.  Every mark or ridge in the paint shows through and adds to the interest in each piece.

 Movement North

I pushed for more colour with the second print and got more of what I was looking for and the large and small sea stars came through well.

41o46' N, 50o 14' W  SOLD

The last prin,t shown at the top of this pos,t is my favourite.  A polar sea star which has nine legs and is purple, is an amazing beastie.  I went with prussian blue with a little cerulean and a touch of orange.  I like how the orange becomes a light source, but very subtle. The variances in value and colour are much better in person as is usually the case.

These are all 6 inch square printed on Kinugawa Japanese paper with a generous border on all sides.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Study of clematis bowl

I've been in a bit of an artistic slump lately, likely due to the fact that the day job keeps me fully occupied and often spills over into off time, either physically or mentally. Its funny how much mind set and the ability to clear thoughts plays in the act of creating.  At least for me.

I'm also sitting at a crossroad of wondering where I want to take my work.  I've been on the water theme for awhile now, as well as gyotaku and while I do enjoy them, I seem to be void of new ideas around that theme right now.

When ideas fail to materialize, I find it useful to look at other artists' work as well as look at different subject matter.  Reflections are one of the things that draws me to fish and water and the spill over into hard objects such as glass uses all the same principles as does creating water, which is probably why I enjoy it too.

Early this morning I played around with an idea for a new, detailed painting and this is the resulting study.  Rough yes, but the concept is what I was looking for.   This little bowl is a piece made by Maling in the UK between 1934 and 1940 and belonged to my grandmother. Its no more than 3 inches across and the same in height.  The swirls of blue lustre on the inside and the transfer panel of clematis on the outside always fascinated me, but I balked at the idea of painting it because of the detail.  Right now, the detail is what I need to clear my mind.   I put the bowl on top of a little liquor glass to balance and it became the composition without thinking too much more.   Once I find the right lighting and get a drawing in place I'll be on my way.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cape St. Mary's

I've finally made progress in the studio.  In the clean up part anyway.  I've even found things I was looking for months back!

On the painting front, its been slower going, but you simply trade off one thing for another, don't you?  This past weekend I went to Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve to photograph the nesting gannets there.  Its a 1.4km hike over the cliff trail that is a bit rough in parts, but you end up overlooking the nesting site, Birdrock and are literally 10 or 20 feet away from thousands and thousands of Northern gannets.

I don't do heights and cliffs well, so for me this was a little heart in mouth at times, but I managed and got some great photos.  The weather cooperated with sun there which helped a lot, as its so often foggy there on the edge of the southern shore.

There were herring gulls and several types of murres there as well, but the gannets outnumbered them all.   They are unique birds and I love their pale ochre heads and that wonderful blue eye ring.  Last year I completed a painting of  a gannet flying over the ocean - Vertigo.  Now I have lots of resource material for new pieces.