Thursday, 31 January 2013

X-ray Monoprints


I am a bit of a hoarder. Not one of those hard-core hoarders that you see on those tv shows, just a minor hoarder of things that I may be able to use one day in my art.

That's why I have every x-ray I have had taken, plus my husband's and my kid's. Surely that wonderful pliable plastic could be used for something?  I thought of stencils when I packed them away, but yesterday I decided to do some monoprints for my 'L' letter of the week. Of course when I decide to do something I want to do it NOW! Not tomorrow, not in a few hours and not even in 10 minutes, but NOW!  So I was madly searching for a surface to roll out my paint on when I thought of my x-rays. 

Beautiful! I chopped it to size, rolled out black water mixable oil colour. laid down some rice paper and free handed some gum leaves on the paper. Peeled back the paper to reveal the print below, which I later applied a watercolour wash to.

Here are some others that I printed but left as is.  I love the texture left by the paint on the x-ray.  In some places you can see the slide marks made by the brayer.

The print below, I drew straight onto the paint laden x-ray, laid the rice paper gently on top of the x-ray and lightly pressed the paper onto the x-ray with the side of my hand.

What a fun afternoon!  

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A to Z minus J

So, what letter am I up to this week? Mmmm must be 'L'....but wait....what happened to J !!!

Poor forgotten J, I just skipped right on past it.  It must have been hiding in the corner at the party, quiet and shy, not standing up for itself, just a wallflower.  Trying not to be noticed, not wanting to be noticed, not wanting all the eyes of the party on J.  Invisible.  
Yeah, I can relate to that.

So why don't we talk about Jealousy for J.  Read Margaret Olley's biography and see if you don't feel a bit of jealousy for the life she has led.  

Her life, to me, is everything I imagined a 'real artist' would lead.  That bohemian lifestyle, parties, painting trips, overseas travel, close friendships with artists that would all become well known, and painting. Painting was the core of her life and she did it with passion.

I have passion too.  But mine is spread between my family and all that it involves as well as art.  At different times one takes a more prominent role than the other so it is a constant give and take.  While reading Olley's book I would yearn for a life like hers, then I would think of my family and realise that I could never forsake that experience for art.

I will never be a Margaret Olley and while her life sounded so exciting, I'm happy with mine. She has inspired me though. She has inspired me to paint. To just get in that studio and paint. She has also given me the green light to paint what I love - still lives. 

What artist/s inspire you and why?

If you want to read her biography - Margaret Olley 'Far from a still life' by Meg Stewart.

Monday, 21 January 2013


I've been reading Margaret Olley's biography recently and remembered a part where she and an artist friend did some rubbings.  So as we have a bowl full of untagged random keys I used them to do some rubbings of my own.

Who remembers doing pencil rubbings of coins as a kid then cutting them out and playing shop with them?  

Sunday, 13 January 2013

"Igloo in Australia"

This week letter is 'I'.  It doesn't make sense, especially living in Queensland where summers are hot, but the first word that came to mind was "igloo".  Go figure!

No, don't groan, I didn't paint an igloo.  I tossed up 'indigo' and 'ink' and thought I might do an ink drawing.  Then I remembered my glass ink pens I bought last year in Eumundi and thought I would share these pieces of art here instead.

Aren't they beautiful?  They are made by Wolfgang Engel who has a workshop in Tina Cooper Gallery Eumundi, Qld.  Wolfgang is a Hot Flame Artist who is known for his beautifully crafted glass objects as well as his glass pens, an ancient tradition from Venice, Italy.

I visited the gallery in May 2012 and Wolfgang was there making small glass animals and had many of these glass pens with stands available. The nibs are spiralled and hold a good amount of ink. I have not used them yet, I am happy to display them as a piece of art and enjoy their beauty and craftmanship.
You can read more about Wolfgang here Wolfgang Engel

Friday, 11 January 2013

Tea Cup

This week my letter is 'I' but I've been working on something else. 'I' is still to come.

I have been collecting old crockery for quite a few years and have some Carltonware, Johnson Bros, Meakin and other bits and pieces.  It all started from my Mother's Shelley tea set which I fell in love with at a young age.  She received it for her 16th birthday, 63 years ago.  My Mother passed it on to me quite a few years ago as she knew I loved it and would look after and cherish it.

I am considering doing a series of paintings based around a  cup of tea so was looking for a teacup and saucer.  Originally I wanted a red one or something modern, but due to lack of enthusiasm for shopping and a great lack of shops anyway in my area, I settled on a teacup from the Shelley set.  The pattern is called 'Blue Spray'.

I seem to have developed a 'thing' about gold leaf and find it creeping into my  paintings of late.  I'm not sure about the orange background but have decided to leave it as is.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Stamping with Vegetables

I cut the end off my celery bunch yesterday 

and look what I saw

A Rose!

So I did some stamping on some brown paper and some white cartridge paper.  

A celery rose. How easy was that. 
 I might squirrel away the brown paper for future use in a collage painting.
And I may start looking at vegetables in a whole new light!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Red Hat

Got to love a big red floppy hat, not that I wear them, but they always look good on models.  

I drew this with black ink and a nib pen straight on to the paper without any preliminary drawings. I was feeling lucky!  Added some ink washes then went over the hat in red ink.  Jazzed it up with some torn brown paper, cut to fit around the hat, then added a few drips and spots then a touch of orange ink to the lips. She looks ready for the races.