Collage with Handwriting and Printed Plastic

Collage with split painted circle 001 for web

Words, Patterns, Proximity.

Collage with Watercolour, Printed Plastic, Sand, Acrylic

116/172mm

Sometimes i like to draft poems by writing with a brush. As you can see, I decided to slice up an old draft, and intersperse it with one of the patterns I had painted (each with diluted black watercolour).

The bits of blue printed type are just the cut ups of a used plastic bag. Rather than do a grid pattern over the whole piece, I chose to leave a diagonal space, and then got the idea to cut a circle from an old painted texture I did last year, with sand texture gel and acrylic.

My little circle cutter tool is just like a protractor with a blade, and is very easy on my hands. I cut the circle in two to make it more interesting, and placed each half back-to-back, well, just to see what the effect would be. As I stood back and contemplated, it made me thing of the data stream of media on the internet, and how two sides of the world can be near and far at the same time.

 

Recent Experiments in Style and Technique

Female Portrait in B and W 001 for web

Pensive Face

Oil on Oil Painting Paper

210/275mm

With this technique I am attempting to minimalise detail, and use the graphic power of  intense lighting in black and white. It is very inspired by the expressions on Byzantine mosaic portraits. Also you will notice the enlarged eyes and the closeness to the eyebrows.

Left hand 1 001 for web

Left hand #1

Acrylic on Panel

160/225mm

This is my first try at using a palette knife. I did end up using a little brush work as well. The idea is that it will be easier on my rheumatism, and strain the hand less than using a brush. Also, it should allow me to incorporate a more expressionistic style. My left hand was the obvious subject matter.

 

Geometric Abstract Painting in Repurposed Frame

There are many old picture frames, which in their day would have been expensive, but which, over time succumbed to scratch marks and dents. The trouble is that you can’t really restore most of them, and you can’t just paint over them, as they have a shiny varnish which the paint won’t stick to.

I purchased a rotary power tool with sanding bits especially to get into all the difficult areas where my rheumatoid hands don’t want to go. My idea was basically to give these frames a whole bunch of dents while sanding the varnish off, and to then make a DIY crackle effect to give the frames an “antique chic” look.

The undercoat of this frame was black, which, once dry, I painted PVA glue onto, and straight away applied white acrylic which I had previously mixed with some cornstarch to give it a slightly coarse texture. I took a few snapshots with my phone to give you all a glimpse at how it turned out:

Abstract circle in square crackle side 2

Abstract circle in square crackle1

Hand Painted Sacred Symbols

It occurred to me that the watercolour with salt technique I’ve been developing would look good with well known sacred symbols, since the effect definitely makes me think of what we refer to as the formless void, where limitless Chi awaits to be manifested into form and structure.

The pink lotus was the first one I thought of, since water is indeed symbolic of the void, and the lotus blooms on the surface of the murky water. The blue could be symbolic of the “blues”, or of peace.

Pink lotus on blue painting

 

Next on the list was the Yin and Yang symbol, otherwise known as Taiji.

Yin Yang on blue painting 001

I thought that I pretty much knew what this symbol was all about, but when you do the actual drawing, you learn some interesting things:

  • It actually contains five circles, and three centres.
  • For those that think this symbol justifies the view that there are no straight lines in nature, it might help to consider the vertical axis which aligns the centres of the two small circles.
  • When looked at as a line drawing, devoid of any black or white, it’s easy to see that the two circles which form the heads of the yin and yang look very similar to a double wave form, or double helix.

yin yang design

 

Mixed Media Abstract Painting with Reconstituted Frame

There are so many discarded frames out there which really were good looking in their day, but have been through the wars over the years. I purchased one for about two dollars, removed the faded old print within, and painted glue over the top, upon which I then sprinkled talcum powder. The reason for this was that I was making no real progress trying to sand it back, so I thought the powder would give me a new surface for the successive paint layers to grip onto.
Then I chose to make a DIY texture paste by mixing one part white acrylic, one part talcum powder, and half part PVA glue, with water to achieve my desired consistency. The surface of the frame was already dented in a number of places, so my aim was to give the paint a rough and bumpy look.
I have added a close up so that you can see how I got some incidental crackle effect, which was unintended, but I think I will use this intentionally in the future.
With the circle series that I’m working on, I am purchasing frames first, and making the pieces to go with them.

reconstituted frame

 

reconstituted frame close

Three Mixed Media Collages with Circle Motif

Circle #5

Circle #4

medium blue back inner and outer circle black segs framed frontal

 

Well, as you can see, I have been continuing on with the series of works devoted to the centred circle motif. For these three pieces I went with a lighter tone of blue for the background, and a subtler texture, by way of using finer sea salt with the watercolour.

The circles, cut from paper primed with sand texture, and poured onto with various acrylic colours, you will notice are slightly smaller than the black circle onto which they are glued. This is for practical reasons, and I think it gives the added effect that one is peering into a portal. The segments cut out of the circles I see as suggestions of euclidean space in three dimensions, and as relevant in two dimensions as quantities, judgments, or phases in a cycle which contains its own novel feeling, atmosphere, or mood.

We use the term “sync” a lot these days, and maybe the third piece could be seen being “out of sync”. Two dimensions, or entities co-existing, but not resonating, perhaps.

Symbolic Abstracts Exploring the Circle

For the series of abstracts I am currently working on, I have chosen one symbol: the circle. Why the circle? Well, there is no particular preference for any geometric shape, it’s just that I had to chose one, and then allow the series of works to evolve around the use of this shape.

It is a very inclusive symbol, and seems appropriate for bringing together my technical and stylistic approaches to reference philosophical and psychological themes.

I am a big fan of Joseph Campbell’s writings where he cites the circle as being the best symbol to describe the hero’s journey, which I like to think of as a healing journey.

Here’s a little dialogue he had with Bill Moyers in regards to the circle.

The hands-on mixing of colours, building up of textures, and making intuitive decisions is what I think of as the existential aspect of my artistic practice, whereas, the introduction of measurement and proportion incorporates the metaphysical and rational Platonic aspect. I want the works to be expressive, as well as decorative, chaotic, yet ordered, small in size, while expansive in their effect.

A4 size circle with green for web

A4 size circle with green close for web

After painting the shape of the circle, I then cut a circle out of pieces of paper which had first been coated with a base colour mixed with sand texture gel, and had had some acrylic pouring and blotching done to them.
I then sliced out a section from this textured circle to reveal the colour underneath add further interest.

These sections could be thought of as phases in the mythic journey, or just as phases in time. The thing I don’t like about analogue clocks and watches is that they can trick us into thinking that we just repeat the same cycle over and over, like clockwork, but don’t account for the unique weather, mood, or challenges of any particular cycle, or phase within that cycle.

Circle on blue with black and black frame for web

Crircle on blue with brown and square frame for web