Monday, August 29, 2011

Shapes on canvas

Today I returned to oil and canvas for a few hours.  Based off some drawings from a few weeks ago, I had to work on adding colour.  It's hard to choose colours when you don't have anything to base them on.  But this ended up being a pretty fun exercise. 

I'll hopefully have some better shots of the painting directly.

Painting grass - WIP

Thought I'd muck around with painting the grass at home over the weekend.  Such a regular-type thing to do on your Saturday morning.  I wanted to use the tree too.  The grass effect was kind of cool, but I'm not entirely happy with the way the plastic turned out.  I will think on it as I walk past it everyday for a few days and see what happens.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It was just a line drawing and now it's a big thing on my wall

I am continually surprised by how everything in art I think I'm just not going to do, I end up doing.  It's happened over and over.  This weeks contradiction appears to be 'I'm rubbish at drawing, drawing will never play a part in my practice'.  Yet here we are.  My drawings are becoming more and more important in my working process.  This started with a little pencil drawing in my journal which is pretty unstartling, but I was fond of the shapes (the black lines in this piece).

A couple of side views.

I love working into the corner.  It helps with the content of the work (space).

This time I got myself a small roller to apply some more 'painterly' layers to the work (ie: the grey area), as I wanted to try something other than straight lines everywhere.  I think it's effective.  And want to do more more more.

This work is made up of acrylic paint, electrical tape and wool.  A new experience this time 'round, was painting wool.  It may not be clear on the other photos, but half of the strands of wool is painted blue (as above).  Painting wool has a bit of a skill to it.  Had to gesso it first to get the nice bright colour I wanted.  And you can't use a paintbrush, oh no.  You have to get in there and twist the paint into the fibres with your fingers.  Ended up a great element to add to the work though, so it was worth it.

Something I didn't notice when I was working on it, it's rather small.  It's been difficult to start thinking bigger.  I thought this was big when I was working up close, but stepping back, it's really not.  Next time, I'm challenging myself to use the whole of the space available to me.  We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, I have to paint it out again :(

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More of the plot-device-shape

Some more filming this evening.  It's not going as smoothly as I would wish.  I don't think I'm a video camera person.  But I will keep going and see what I can make of it.  This is a still of the work.

I now have some video editing software, so now I need to get going and put all this footage together.
Although the photos do work as works by themselves.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's hard to say goodbye

While I was making this work, I didn't give much thought to the fact that I'd have to part with it.  Today when it came to pulling it down, I was suddenly really attached to it.  But realising that I needed to have a clean slate in order to make more work, I started pulling down wool.

There will be other installations.

Non-symmetrical, incomplete polygon - fini


But here are some other angles.

Inspiration at the traffic lights

Stay with me...

This is a road I cross every day as I walk to the train.  Since starting out doing these works about the fold, about shapes etc, I have been noticing shapes everywhere.  Like on my walk to the train, for instance.  Check out the amazing shapes cut into the road (presumably for the cables that lead to the traffic light sensors).  I actually think these shapes are amazing - that's not strange at all, right?

Anyway, I snapped a picture the other morning, knowing I could use those shapes on my wall installation. 

Here's the work in progress...

For some reason, I had some trouble choosing colours, and had a couple of tries on both shapes.  But I got there in the end.

Those lovely shapes from the traffic lights are actually mostly covered up by the electrical tape shapes - so I think they might re-occur in future works :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Non-symmetrical, incomplete polygon

This work is composed of yellow wool, black electrical tape and mirror cardboard (and of course, pins/nails).  These materials are great fun to work with.  Except for the fact that my hammering skills are less than satisfactory when hammering any lower than neck height.  Yet I digress...

These shapes come from the drawings which are loosely based on packaging-folding templates.  Of course, folded up, this would make a very non-symmetrical, incomplete polygon.  (That's a great name for a work, 'Non-symmetrical, incomplete polygon').  Yet I digress...  I wanted to draw on the wall and then stretch the shapes across the corner to see what happend.  Worked out wonderfully.  But needed more.

I loved the dramatic black lines and the yellow wool together in the previous work, so I started working with the tape.  Do a little.  Stand back and look a little.  And so forth.  Then added some mirror cardboard.  I love that stuff.  I want to use it more!

I'm going to 'sit on' this work for a few days, have a good look.  I have a feeling I will add to it.  And must remember to check out some Judy Pfaff and Sarah Sze work for inspiration.

Dear Journal

Initially when I was trying to incorporate an 'artist journal' into my process, I found it a bit clunky.  What do I put in it and what do I make as 'proper' artworks?  Now it seems second nature to go to my journal, start writing, cutting and pasting, drawing, etc - then flipping back through what I've done before.  Somehow it seems to tie all my ideas together.

Here are a few recent pages.

I heart Kinder squares.


Since I started drawing with electrical tape, there have been a few little developments.  It helps to have potential art supplies all around you - one morning, staring into space, I noticed a ball of wool when I refocussed my eyes.  Of course!  I can do something with that. 

To the studio, not yet knowing what I was going to do with it, but with "drawing" shapes as the starting point.  In the studio I tried out making triangles from the wool (rather like Fred Sandback) over the corner where the electrical tape drawing was.

I pondered for a few days.  Didn't quite seem to be done...

Ah, that's better.  This was today.  

I have now documented, and taken it down - as I wanted the space for another similar work.  Always hate taking down ephemeral work.  It now only exists in the documentation :(

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I made some little shapes today.

I'm calling it a Plot-device-shape, because it's a plot device designed to draw attention to space as part of a short movie. The shape is pulled along a fishing line, so that it appears to be floating through space.  I've borrowed a video camera and I'm having a crack.  Today I have noted, it helps to borrow the download cable when you borrow the camera.  Here are a couple of stills from when I was filming.

Masked Paintings #2

Here are a couple of installation views of the masked paintings I started last week.  I like how cutting the shapes out has made the wall become part of the piece.

Looking at these as documentation, I think there's too few of them.  (OH NO!) That means I have to make more.  I think I need to make a whole wall of them.  I'd better get right on that.  Would like to do something like this directly on the wall.  Perhaps just one shape, really big.  Bam.  On the wall.

Have also been thinking about changing the width of the white masked areas and varying that.  I'll be channelling Mondrian, but that's okay, right?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Masked paintings - WIP

Based on sections of the lines of the folds in these recent photographic works and masked off the lines.  These paintings are a work in progress.  The plan is to cut around the edge of each shape and try them out on the wall in various configurations.  This photographs aren't great, but the colours work pretty well together.

I would perhaps consider making some works on canvas if these are successful, where the shapes float around on the one canvas.

Wool on the stairs

Today a triangle on the stairs. 
Just a test really.  Not sure where this is going from here, but I do love to experiment!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Six Generations?

I'm starting to lose count how many times over I've done the photograph, print, fold, repeat thing.  I think this is about 6.

As with when you photocopy a photocopy, when photographing a photograph, each time you lose detail.  I'm unsure about that element in these works.  As it could come off as just a really poorly made artwork.  In the process I'm using it is inescapable.

I have these pinned up in my studio and will ponder them for a week or so and then decide where to go with them.  But I do like the shapes they make.