Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Architectural drawing and paper preparation

We knew that architectural drawing was going to be hard.
First we prepared paper with colours and stains as you can see below.... dirt, coffee, waterclour. But the purple and blue were made by the coloured berries below the picture. Some people also applied colour using flower petals from the garden.

Then when the paper was quite dry,  we covered the sheet with charcoal

 then we chose a subject and worked on rubbing the charcoal off again to create the white, and filling in with black compressed charcoal  to achieve the darks - you can just see the colours of the preapared paper peeping through

Pastel drawing

This was a new technique for me,
Start with the basic drawing using a mid tone - a contour drawing essentially in a colour not related to the subject - in this case, persimmons.
I chose purple.
Next step is to fill in the lights and darks using complementary colours - again, not related to the local colour - i.e. greens and blue for sky etc.

The next step is to complete the drawing with local colour - i.e. the colour you can actually see, but leaving some of the under colour showing in a sketchy kind of way.
It was a very challenging exercise set by Suzi Davidoff, but it was rewarding as the finished work has a depth that would not be there otherwise.

Solar Plate Etching

These are the proof prints from the plates I created on the Flatbed Press Summer Intensive at La Romita.
They are black and white - to see what is on the plate. Now I need to add some colour and chin colle etc to mae them come alive and be a bit more interesting.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Last drawing of the course

I was keen to draw together some of the techniques and ideas that I had gathered over the 2 weeks.
I began by preparing paper with some ink stain and some watercolour.
Then I pasted rice paper prints from my printmaking series on top of the paper and let it dry thoroughly

Then I took myself out into the garden to where I drew on the first day of the drawing class, and chose the same bush (it meant I could stay in the shade) and spend the day drawing on and off.
And here is the final  result.
I think that it worked well

Chine colle

This is a test plate that I chine colled. I had been trying to determine the right density of black and white for a transparency to make a solar plate, and my teacher Katherine in kindly made a small plate for me to test. It is  about 4 inches square and I quite like it
Chine colle is when you combine the print with another loose piece of paper - in this case it was yellow paper.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Drawing with Suzi Davidoff

This is the first charcoal drawng I did on the course with Suzi Davidoff as my teacher. She is a very inspirational and enthusiastic mentor. We started with an ink and charcoal wash - being careful not to cover too much of the page. Then we went into the garden and did a contour charcoal drawing using a soft charcoal pencil. I focused on an oleander shrub and began contour drawing - 90% looking at the flowers and leaves. and 10% looking at the paper. This contour drawing formed the basis of the drawing - the skeleton. Then we went back and sometimes kept the line from the initial contour drawing and sometimes just left it in the background or sometimes erased it. The drawing was built up and eventually finished using many layers of drawing and charcoals. Here is a detail to explain how the contour information sits in the background.

And the finished work

I love the technique

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

From the garden in Terni

 a very hot summer day - some plants from the garden on the marble table


Saturday, July 13, 2013

At Terni

Here I am in Terni on  drawing and printmaking workshop. The venuue is La Romita and it is a piece of paradise. Up on a hill - an old (ex) monastery, with wonderful cooks and a luscious garden.
The first week is printmaking using a a solar plate - exposed to UV - to make a printing plate.
First assignment - work out what marks do when the etching process takes place.
Here is my test plate:
The first is a sketch on frosted  transparent acetate
 The first print was so dark nothing much came out. This is the second (ghost) print.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

MAXXI National Museum of XXi Century Art

Top of the list on arriving in Rome was a visit to the MAXXI. It is a new museum - opened in 200. The architecture is stunning.
There were several exhibitions of Italian 20th century artists. But the exhibition that I enjoyed most was called 'the sea is my land'  photographs by 22 artists originating from countries bordering the Mediterranean. The show was sponsored and commissioned by BNL to celebrate its 100 years in business.
Two works really appealed:
Taysir Batnijis  "Watch Towers"  2008. From a distance they looked like the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, but when you look more closely you can see that they are indeed images of watch towers. They were taken by the artist in the West Bank and some of them had to be taken in a hurry to avoid difficulties with authorities.

The other really favourite work was by David Maljkovic and was called "Recalling Frames" 2010. These works were a montage of stills fro the Orson Wells film "The Trial" based on Kafka's novel. The film was shot in Zagreb in 1962.
The artist included images of his own, taken a the same locations as those in the film.
The collages are very eerie and evocative. People float in and out of the sections of the montages - and the mood of The Trial, and the bleakness of the locations is Zagreb gives the works an existential feeling

Monday, July 8, 2013

Walls of Rome

walking the streets of Rome looking at the Roman walls.......

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Melbourne to Hong Kong to Rome

 Being in an aeroplane for close to 20 hours ..allows lots of time to watch movies and read. A luxury in itself.
The view of Hong Kong where we stopped over for 2 hours was sensational