Art, Identity & Place

How wild places, deep time and archaeology inform my contemporary art process

Human figures, quick sketches in charcoal

Line Drawing with faces and figures

I enjoy different types of drawing experience. After the quick sketch exercise my next challenge is a more fully realized drawing. The one displayed titled The Lovers is a 40 minute compressed charcoal and pastel drawing where the line and gesture conveyed a sense of immediacy.

The other drawing experience is one where I employ a slower more considered way of drawing more suitable for etching and drypoint. This technique is one way where I express the sense of a quieter mood and stillness shown by the work titled The Keyhole Image 2. This is a single print rather than one of an edition where two plates were printed separately as part of the one image.

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The Keyhole Image 2, 2009, intaglio and drypoint on rice paper 25×30 cm print, 50×38 cm paper,

from the series titled Natalie with the Gaze and the Glance.

Life-drawing once the central discipline of art practice has in many art institutions has been neglected and replaced by different technologies. But in order to create a three-dimensional form on a flat surface skills like perspective, foreshortening and knowledge of anatomy are necessary. The placements in a composition of tonal values, colour and texture rely on application of this basic knowledge. Understanding of form, space and then mark making is what life-drawing is about. Line,  evidence of our visual thinking, exploration and research  comes first in my practice.

On another level images of the human form, types of identity, interaction, mood  and drama always engage me. How we define ourselves in a changing world, what we see and what we ignore, and why underpin return to images of ourselves.

The Lovers, 2003, charcoal and pastel 75×56 cm.

Human figures titled Lovers, 2006, life drawing of female and male figures by Elaine d'Esterre

Lovers, 2006, charcoal and pastel 75×56 cm

Author: elainedesterre

I have been producing oil paintings, mixed media, prints (etching), digital prints and drawings for many years travelling to the Australian outback and overseas for inspiration and further education. My formal education consists of a PhD in painting and a BA in printmaking and my artwork is represented in public and private collections. My purpose and ongoing challenge is to create a gender-balanced and environment-focused iconography within the Western canon of European oil painting. These themes find expression within imagery about time, memory and identity as well as in geomorphology of evolutionary and environmental significance.

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