Buds II

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Number 2 of what could be a series – six of which I feel are almost there. I’m hanging them on the walls in my studio, waiting for them to ‘speak’ – more colour? tone down or highlight an area? add more ‘features’? Sometimes it takes weeks before a piece is silent and lets me put it on the shelf. I did the ‘base’ last summer in a flurry – I could almost call it inspiration – but it was more of finding the right colours to use. Kept looking at them but nothing moved me to start drawing. Did try though but had to erase my efforts. Colour is what I start with and with the monoprint I’m leaving it up to the unpredictability of the print to create a structure. I can now use a quote from Braque “Let us forget things and consider only the relationships between them” – in this case colours instead of “things”.

Flow II

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Although this has been numbered as no two in the Flow series it has a number of predecessors. (Note to self, get a grip on documentation.) I experimented with painting gesso on 300 gram watercolour paper and continued with watercolour and coloured pencils. It has been a fight to reconcile the raised brush strokes of the gesso with the layers of watercolour but I decided yesterday that the struggle must stop here. The result is ambiguous, is it something growing, flowing or just a snapshot of light in a (colourful) glade? Or the remains of a structure?

Unless I suddenly see another possibility of portrayal I am now releasing it from my control.

Fra Angelico

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Some time ago I was leafing through a Dutch book about Fra Angelico, printed in Antwerp 1941. (The book has a paper sticker with Boekhandel Krooneman, Jansstrasse, Arnhem. It has had quite a journey in the 70 years since it was printed and is now in a small village in Sweden.) I started noticing the fabulous fabrics hanging behind Maria and child in many of Fra Angelico’s paintings. So the pattern on the yellow background is copied from a painting (1437-1440) that is now in the St. Marcus museum.

The luxurious brocade fabrics were of course only for the wealthy and powerful in the upper echelons of society so it is appropriate that Maria with child are sitting in front of a shimmering wall of silk. I used a ‘frame’ to place plants and a planet in a similar position of importance.

Fra Angelico is a monoprint with block printing colour, watercolour and colour pencils.

Pods

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Pods 50.8 x 40 cm

So this is a landscape/animal/seed combo – not only can images be manipulated. Boundaries are being challenged – it is easy to fall into an apocalyptic mood. I have been inspired by Patricia Piccinini’s creations although I started my Fur drawings before seeing her work.

Red Landscape

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Red Lanscape 74.5 x 97 cm

Despite their appearance I have some sort of landscape, or landscape/animal combo, in mind when I create my Fur drawings. A bit contradictory then, I admit, to call them Furs but that is what most viewers describe them as. They are in my mind ‘maps’ showing elevations, streams and other landscape features – obviously not urban environments – but what you might possibly find if you’re out for a stroll in an imaginary forest. The red colour is a sign of warning – what will happen if we continue behaving as an invasive species ….