Showing posts from March, 2013

Back to Acceptable Flesh or "It's not just pretty lines and colours!"

In my last post I spoke a bit about the themes which drive my work. I realise these have been less explicit of late than when I started out with my blog. I think it is about time that I revisited them, not least for my own benefit. Over the last couple of years these themes have been no less important to me, but have influenced as a gently embracing undercurrent rather than as a forceful driving energy. I recognise I lose sight of the bigger picture so often and need to take time to re-evaluate and remember. When I started writing this blog I was motivated by a passion to communicate the meaning behind my abstract work. "Acceptable Flesh" as a concept was the focus I needed to make a body of work which I planned to exhibit as an immersive experience and as such, an entity in itself. In reality, every piece I make mines the same seam of inspiration. "Acceptable Flesh" is primarily about my struggle to deal with my socially unacceptable body. I have neither b

From my gallery: "Bloom"

When I began working on "Bloom", I felt a bit overwhelmed and excited at the same time. This piece is one of the largest I have worked on, measuring 100x150cm. But I do love to work on larger pieces, allowing more free rein to be bold and expressive. I think it feels a bit like being able to speak out louder and truer and more likely to be heard while the rest of the time in the "real world" it's more like voices lost to the wind. I suppose that's one of the most important aspects to me of being an artist: the work I make is witness to my feelings of being alive in this body even if my voice is unheard or pointedly ignored. I'll write more about this in my next post. "Bloom" is about a sense of growing stronger, more vital and vibrant. I built out from the canvas with wireform mesh stitched and stabbed through the surface to accentuate the idea of expansion and growth, not constrained by the tiny box which is deemed fit for us to in

Encaustic Comments (part 3)

For the last couple of weeks I have mixed: beeswax damar resin chalk pastels India ink graphite powder carbon paper encaustic pigments silk fibres and yarn rusty metal shards torn cotton scrim paper fragments with heat from table top stove and blow torch with assorted natural hair paint brushes with various scraping, gouging and engraving devices with manipulative hands and a HUGE amount of wonder, excitement and fun This is what I made... All original pieces are 15cm x 15cm

Encaustic Comments (part 2)

I have been experimenting all week with my newest encaustic accoutrements and I have had such a good time! Melting, stirring, dipping, dripping, brushing, scraping, marking, embedding, rubbing, gouging. I have spent more time that was reasonably necessary smelling the beeswax and lifting still warm globules to mould with my fingers. Watching the bloom on the surface fade under the smoothing of my hand. Fusing the layers of wax to each other with my heat gun was fine when I was working on the little boards but when I progressed to the first bigger piece, I realised that I definitely needed something more powerful. I always knew I wanted a proper blow torch, although I think in my head I was confusing blow torch with flame thrower... There is a huge array of flaming tools out there! As I wended my confused way through the ranks of blow torches I worried over temperature degrees, weights, burning attachments, safety features and costs. All kinds of wild scenarios flashed befo

From My Gallery: "Impressions"

With broad palette knife, thick acrylic structure paste was applied in adjoining swathes across my canvas. Next a well distressed strip of beaten mulberry bark pressed down repeatedly, making its mark and memory. Then as mirror image, the bark embedded for balance alongside its imprints and left to dry out. Paint poured and water sprayed and dropped from a height. Last thoughtful and well placed brush strokes and smudges. The marks we leave in thought and action as we move through our lives. To view more of this artwork, see it on my website here:

Encaustic comments (part 1)

I thought encaustic art was all about painting with a little electric iron and brightly coloured wax. That singular notion didn't offer enough for me to explore further with the result that a vast rich seam of gloriously sensual artistic activity passed me by for so long. I don't quite remember what led to the earth-moving moment when I looked again but I did and it did! I do remember I was left breathless when I saw work by artists such as Roberta Lee Woods and Alicia Tormey. I was enthralled and immediately set off on new travellings to unexpected and unconsidered places. There followed several weeks of gathering pieces of required paraphernalia including a little table-top stove, cradled boards, and surface thermometer. To these I added some tools I'd used for ceramics, along with carbon paper, pastels, graphite powder and India ink. My trusty heat gun would take on new fusing dimensions. I read books, looked at lots of images online and watched YouTube videos to