Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Collaborative Connection to Nature

This year I've began a creative collaboration with fellow artist Catherine Money.  Catherine and I have known each other for many years, sharing a passion for printmaking and the natural world.  Our collaborative partnership is exploring the notion that everything in nature is interconnected.

Our collaborative activities this year include 2 exhibitions.  Starting with Hanasho Flower & Art in July, we're exhibiting 'Of Banksia and Birds' - a reflection on the connection between flora and fauna, focusing on the banksia species and the birds that inhabit those environments.

In August, we're holding an exhibition and artist in residence event 'Insight + Onsite' at Maroochydore Regional Bushland Botanic Gardens, coinciding with Wildflower Week.  We will both be working on site at the gardens and invite everyone who visits us to participate in a large collaborative artwork.  We'll also be running some printmaking workshops there.

As a lead up to these exhibitions, Catherine and I have been engaging in a postcard swap between ourselves.  As we live over 80 kilometres away from each other, this art activity enables us to have a visual 'conversation' about our collaborative art practice.  Its an opportunity to make small artworks without pressure or expectation and the reverse side of the postcard shares some poetic text or information about our topic.  I'm really enjoying receiving Catherine's artworks in the mail - a little creative surprise in my letterbox amongst the bills and other boring day-to-day stuff. Her drawings and collages are just gorgeous!

The postcards will be on display at our 'Insight + Onsite' exhibition in August.

Below are a few samples of the postcards so far.....

Catherine's Postcard - drawing, collage, printmaking.

Another of Catherine's postcards

The reverse side (my address has been blanked out)
My drawing of a burnt forest of banksia trees -
accompanied by haiku poetry on the reverse side

My zentangle drawing of a banksia cone

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Buzzing with drypoint and monoprinting

In my studio I recently created a drypoint plate of a bee, using a piece of smooth plastic and an etching needle.  Drypoint is a form of intaglio printmaking, where the ink is forced into an etched line and then printed.

This is my drypoint plate and my etching tool which
I used to draw the lines into the plastic.

This is one of my first test prints.
 I've hand coloured it with gold ink.
I printed my bee drypoint plate several times (called an 'edition'), reinking between prints. I then used my Gelli-Arts Printing Plate to create a monoprint background, using gold and brown acrylic paint with a stencil and paper circles.  I made a paper silhouette of the bee image which I held over the drypoint print when monoprinting, so it wouldn't get printed over.

My chicken wire stencil, which looks like honeycomb
when printed.  The stencil is made of plastic not wire, so it
doesn't damage the gelli plate.

You can see from the images below that each print becomes a one-of-a-kind artwork even though the drypoint bee image is repeated in each one.

With the monoprint in the background, I was aiming for an impression of a hive. In some prints the paint is a lot brighter and the imagery sharper than in others.  And that's what I love about monoprinting - no two prints are ever the same.