Tuesday, 27 October 2009


Reverie - glue, paper and image, edited and computer generated.

I have been dying to participate in Inspire Me Thursday again for months, but simply haven't gotten around to it. Life is hectic, as usual. But this week - today in fact - I finally found use for the image of Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière that was posted as the week's prompt.

I was stumped looking at this old oil painting, thinking I'd have never been able to interpret or appropriate the image as my own creation. I'm not much of a collage artist, so that was out the window. And I just couldn't be bothered drawing it and stuffing that up.

Then, quite by accident really, this afternoon I stumbled across a list of surrealist techniques on Wikipedia. Whilst looking at some of the awesome things surrealists do, I discovered the idea of "Cubomania". Basically, a photograph or any other image is cut up into small squares. It is then arranged in a manner that aims not to reconstruct the image but rather dissect it, thus scattering complex visual language that may have otherwise been unseen. The eye catches bits and pieces of the composition it would otherwise have overlooked.

So that's exactly what I did. I downloaded the image of Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière from the link on flickr provided within the IMT prompt, then cropped the image and drew up its squares. After having crafted all the lines, the squares where cut, as was a piece of paper to size of the cropped image. I arranged the squares in quite a randomised fashion, then scanned it onto my computer.

From there, I edited the image. I changed the colour to a monochromatic scale. Then, reproduced the image in a flipped fashion - the original image resting beside it - in order to create more interest.

And there you have it, a day dream, a strange reverie created by me and inspired by Madame Rivière.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Mother and Son

"Mother and Son" - 2B, 4B and 8B graphite on litho paper

I finally completed this artwork "Mother and Son" Thursday night, after many hours of sketching and shading. It was due in on Friday as it's my year 11 major work. I'm quite ecstatic to say I got full marks for it, 25/25.

This is based on a legal case involving a mother and son who murdered the husband/father in their family after enduring his abuse for many years. It was said that the mother and son shared a strange and incredibly strong psychological connection, and that the killing was a promise to the son from the mother.

I didn't want to portray the act of the murder (they drugged him and decapitated him with a tomahawk they bought from K-Mart, in case you're interested). But rather, show the twisted individuals who felt they had to kill to be freed from such oppression.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Sugarcandy Mountain

Sugarcandy Mountain - watercolour pencil on paper

I completed this drawing/painting today. I'm not sure what to classify it really, as watercolour pencils confuse me. Your work is essentially a drawing, but you've enhanced it with a brush and water. See what I mean?

I often dream of landscapes like this. Vivid colours and poignant geographic features. Surreal nature, and yet not Dali-esque visions. I couldn't think of anything better to call this than "Sugarcandy Mountain", although looking at it, it's quite the opposite to the crow's alluded heaven in Animal Farm. It's rather apocalyptic, in a children's story book kind of way I suppose. Well, that's what I see at least.

I'm getting to like colour better, but I dread actual paints. I find it easier to work with watercolour pencils if I want that effect - easier to tone, easier to handle. It's been months since I last used acrylic and I find myself shuddering at the thought of "real" paint. The drying time is pain-staking for someone as "now-oriented" as me. There's always a greater level of cleaning involved - palettes, palette knives, paintbrushes, and wiping over any surfaces defaced in the art-making process.

Then there's the worse of it: the stench of acrylics. My face goes numb, with just the memory of it. I've never used oil paints and I've heard they smell worse. So overall, watercolour or watercolour pencils seem to be a better choice. I can't handle the liquid, tubed watercolour varieties though. They have a particular scent to them as well.

Anyway, the holidays are proving to be therapeutic and productive for me.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Old Bird

"Old Bird" - brush & ink, and pen & ink on paper

This afternoon I felt compelled to bring to life a sketch that lay in wait in my art journal. This Old Bird is very much inspired by an even older IMT prompt from around July - "Owl". I actually contributed a photograph of an owl ring for IMT that week, and this quick sketch never saw the light of day again. Until this afternoon that is.

I'm thinking of starting a series on animal masks like this, where the person sort of adapts a characteristic of that animal. This woman with the owl mask is raising her shoulders inwards as if about to squawk or thrust her head and neck out. She's an old and very irritable bird, indeed.

I've never found much inspiration in animals or even been able to draw creatures, as I said when I made my giraffe linocut prints for my mum. But sometimes it's how you actually appropriate a motif to suit your own cause that sets you off.

In The Works...

I know I haven't contributed anything in forever, so I thought I'd give an update. Basically, I've just finished year 11 and commence year 12 at the beginning of the next school term. It's kind of scary, but kind of an accomplishment at the same time... especially considering all the preliminary year exams I had to complete before the end of this term. Phew.

But now with a two week holiday, I have time to work on some art projects which is just fantastic! One thing I have to do over the break, in addition to one other assignment, is get my Body of Work for my art class pretty much completed. It should be fun, but it'll be time consuming.

2B, 4B & 8B graphite on paper

The concept behind it is the murder of a husband/father by a mother and son that I read about whilst completing a media file for my Legal Studies class about 2 months ago. Apparently they shared this really intense psychological connection, and that's what I want to illustrate.

It took me about 8 hours to get the Mother's face done, but I think it would probably have been less if I hadn't had to lose 10 minutes every art class to packing away equipment and ensuring my work had been stored properly. Still, you can't rush these things. So the Son will take as long as it needs to be done.

brush & ink, and pen & ink on paper

I'm really enjoying working with inks still as an alternative to paint. I did this first work (above) a couple of nights ago, subconsciously reflecting some bad news I received lately. I hadn't given it much thought and then bam! It's in my art. The second piece (below) was done about 6 weeks ago after I'd gone to a Parkway Drive concert a few nights before, feeling absorbed by a new culture. I guess it's kind of mirroring what it was like being swallowed by a crowd, although the figure is male.

pen & ink on paper

Other than all this, not much has been going on. Although, a movie is being filmed in my town. It's based on a John Marsden novel, "Tomorrow When The War Began", and it's going to have the same name. Some of my friends are extras, and I'm regretting that I didn't apply but oh well. Seeing my friends on screen is good enough for me :)