Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Women of Substance Monoprints

I've been working on a small series of prints that divert from my usual theme of the natural world and birds.  "Women of Substance" is a print exhibition celebrating all things female, and is part of the 50 Years of Print celebrations this year.

Yes I could have printed images of chickens ('old chooks', referencing a nickname for older females) but I was drawn to a paper-cut silhouette that my mother recently gave to me.  The silhouette of her profile, cut out in black paper, was made by an artist in the Showbag pavillion at the Brisbane Exhibition ('the Ekka') in the late 1950's.  

To me, the paper-cut represents a time capsule - it tells me a story about my mother, capturing her in her youth at a time which she was just beginning her adult life, full of promise and probably excited by the Ekka atmosphere that day.  The paper-cut is also a symbol of how over the years the Ekka has supported traditional arts and crafts, with displays and fierce competition in the categories of 'women's home interests' including cooking, sewing, stitching, and painting.

I've named this series of prints "Side Show Alley".  This is the name of an area within the Ekka that has all the stalls with games and rides.  I remember Mum spending a lot of time at the lucky ticket stalls at Side Show Alley.

Also by repeating her silhouette in my prints also gives the feeling of one of the game stalls there - the laughing clown heads in a row.  Remember them?  Sort of spooky but they lured you in to pop a ping-pong ball in their mouths!

Prior to printing,  I did a colour swatch
to plan my colours.  I did this because I wanted to
get away from my usual colour choices
but had to make sure it all still worked.

The original paper-cut silhouette
which I used to make my stencils.

Printing in progress.  The leaf featured is a Silkyoak -
this is a feature tree in our family home'backyard, so it
was the focus of my life as a child.  I also have
a SilkyOak in my own backyard today, a seedling
from the original family one.

After printing, I used a sepia marker pen to outline
some of the images to help them 'pop'
into the foreground.

One of the finished prints, in a series of 7.

This is probably one of the most successful ones.
I hope Mum likes them too!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Printing with Weeds

What is a weed?  That's a question I've been considering lately during my research.  A plant in the wrong place?

As part of my upcoming Tambo exhibition 'Big Smoke, Little Smoke', I'm currently working on an artwork using weeds, with a working title of 'The Journey'.   I've been busy collecting 'weeds' from around my garden and local spaces, carefully pressing them between papers before monoprinting them onto envelopes.

The idea behind using envelopes is to reference the movement and spread of unwanted plant species. Envelopes are associated with the postal system, carrying messages from place to place.  I've also recently developed a fascination with the inside of envelopes - there's a myriad of designs and colours.  For this project I've focused on blue patterns.

The finished work will be installed directly onto the wall using pins or tape, with the envelopes slightly overlapping and flowing down the wall.  I've completed about 30 prints, and I'm aiming for at least 50.

So instead of spraying my weeds with poison or throwing them in the bin, they're been immortalised in my artwork and helping me to tell my story.  And....there's less weeds in my garden.  Win Win!

a pressed weed on the plastic plate, ready to be printed
My growing pile of prints

I love this silhouette print with the
envelope pattern showing through

Ghost print on envelope

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Monoprinting Workshop - 2 places left

My first workshops for 2016 are the ever-popular monoprinting workshops.  I've got 2 spaces free on Saturday 16 January.

Email me if you're interested in attending, details below.

Date:  Saturday 16 January 2016
Time: 10am - 3pm
Cost: $80 includes all materials
Location:  Tarragindi
Suitable for:  Adults and Young Adults
Enquiries & bookings:  email me at sandy_p09@hotmail.com.

This workshop is perfect for beginners or anyone who wants a refresher.  We'll be creating monotypes - one of a kind images using leaves and found objects.  We print the images onto various papers with artist quality oil based inks, using my studio etching press.

The emphasis is on having fun playing with colour, shape and line, as well as sharing your successes (and failures!) with other like-minded people.

By the end of the day you'll have completed a least 10 prints and be full of creative inspiration.

At the end of the day I can also demonstrate monoprinting using a gelatine plate.  I sell Gelli-Arts plates and rollers should you wish to continue with monoprinting at home without a press.