Monday, February 25, 2013

New etchings.

My three newest etchings in the series The Games We Play. One more (Sprouts) and then I will be ready to print the whole series on proper paper!  In the last two etchings I experimented with chine collé. Not completely successfully, I would say. It looks a little bit as though I spilt raspberry juice or something. I might leave it out in the final printing. But it can be a very effective technique and I have seen some lovely applications.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Textures and Patterns #7.

Big Business Skyline - a 5 minute project.

This week there was no time for creativity - the deadline for the 2nd phase for the two books was this Thursday. Working until 3 a.m. in the mornings is not conducive to the generation of bright ideas (nor the energy to execute them.)  But while I was waiting in front of my laptop to assist the typesetter with her queries, and looking at the mountains of photocopies and scans that this project has generated, I noticed the lovely grey hues of the different b&w pages. I quickly cut up a few and made a 5-minute collage. If one cannot fit art into the 5 minutes in between other pursuits, it may never happen ...
Big Business Skyline (photocopies, scans, black pen, white gel pen, glue stick.)

Monday, February 18, 2013


I finally finished my latest embroidery and paper piece. It is almost A2 size - so the stitching took me ages.There is a secret message in there - but what is it? Aha, that is the mystery .....

Evoking the mystery (mixed media: tissue and other papers, gauze, found object, drawing, stamping, paint, ink and embroidery threads.)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Reading, watching, doing #2

[Note: lack of suitable photographs has forced me to draw you some illustrations]

I have started on the fascinating Strangers to Ourselves - Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious by Prof. Timothy D. Wilson. It is an exploration of the adaptive unconscious that reveals the hidden motives, feelings and judgments that determine our actions, and which introspection and psychoanalysis are often unable to show us. I have just got into it (on my Kindle) - but work and TMW (Too Many Words) have interrupted what has been a very good read thus far.

In between the editing and proofreading sessions I relax by reading Lonesome Dove. Yes, I should probably use this time to finish Strangers to Ourselves first, but when I work I find it very hard to concentrate on non-fiction. Too much required from my already overworked brain cells - poor, wee things. Anyway, Lonesome Dove is excellent - I find it extremely difficult to put down and get back to work. Augustus, Call, Lorena, Jack, Newt, Deets - all characters that I am sure will stay with me for a long time. I am only a quarter through, so there is a lot of delicious reading still to be done - yay!! I don't know about you, but when I read a good story I get quite anxious when I get near the end, because I do not want the experience to be over.

After being prompted by my very good friend Svetlana the Mad Mathematician, I took the bold step to start doing an online course on Complex Systems through the Santa Fe Institute (free and open to all). The field of Complex Systems relates to many other areas - natural and social sciences, mathematics, and so forth. Examples of complex systems include ant colonies, the ecosystem, the financial system, our brains ... think fractals and the butterfly effect!  Anyway, as usual I started with great enthusiasm - I finished the first unit (with 9 lessons) in two days. Oh man, what fun! and what is more, I think I understood most of it. I even wrote my first two teeny weeny  netlogo programs in which I created an ant, and made it run around madly in different directions, and then I created a field of grass and made the ant gobble it all up. Aaah, the power of being a creator of beings ....

I do hope that I will be able to finish the course, but sadly, a lack of Time or Brain might prevent me from doing so ...

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Games We Play.

Here are the proofs of my first two drypoint etchings from my printmaking course. While I am learning the process - the scratching, lettering backwards, shading with sandpaper, filing the plate, inking up, and so on, I want to keep things simple, so I decided on a noughts and crosses game for my very first print.

I then decided to expand this into a series of pen-and-paper childhood games - hangman, magic squares, sprout, battle ships, dots and boxes. My teacher suggested that  at the end of my project I make a box to keep my compendium of prints - a brilliant idea!

When I have completed all 6 plates, I want to try and use the chine-collé technique to add a bit of colour  (red, I think) to the prints.

I am really, really excited about this!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Reading, watching and doing ...

I am reading this:

At a whopping 945 pages, it breaks two of my rules (Fall Not into Temptation to Read a Thick Book, and Thou Shalt Not Read Westerns) but I am so enjoying it at the moment that I think I may break my own rules. I am only on page 76 though, so time will tell.

I recently saw William Kentridge's No, It Is exhibition at the Goodman Gallery. What a joy. I also tootled off to David Krut at Montebello where a number of Kentridge's work is on display. Printing on book pages is so my thing, although I know some feel that it is getting a bit old. Anyway, I bought a copy of Nose with 30 prints of his etchings.

I discovered a wonderful series of lectures given by Kentridge at Harvard in 2012 (see here) - if you are a Kentridge fan, you simply have to watch these!

And lastly, I have had my very first dry point etching lesson - with brilliant artist Colleen Ross. I love it!! I will very soon show you my first attempt(s).

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Primary Colours.

Finished these this week.

Red: See No Evil (freehand machine stitching and embroidery on vintage linen placemats).

Blue: Hear No Evil (freehand machine stitching and embroidery on vintage linen placemats).

Yellow: Speak No Evil (freehand machine stitching and embroidery on vintage linen placemats).