Elaine d'Esterre

Contemporary Visual Artist – Paintings, Mixed Media and Etchings

Photograph of seascape at dawn, Forces of Nature 3, from Point Roadknight


Seascape showing the Forces of Nature

Yesterday with both the sun and tide rising there seemed little to catch my eye. A low misty cloud drifted across the sun. No chance of a colourful image or interesting reflections on wet sand.

As I walked to the point strong contrasts appeared with

Dawn seascape, photograph, Forces of Nature 1, from Point Roadknight

Dawn seascape photograph Forces of Nature 1

Photograph of seascape at dawn, Forces of Nature 2, from Point Roadknight

Photograph of seascape at dawn

Photograph of seascape at dawn, Forces of Nature 3, from Point Roadknight

Photograph of seascape at dawn, Forces of Nature 3

back-lit clouds and rock and ocean spray silhouetted against the sky. As if a ritual site of a sacred landscape I enjoyed juxtaposing the rising sun with a specific rock.

Ancient rocks, Banded Iron Formation on the floor of Dales Gorge, Karijini National Park in the Pilbara Western Australia


Landscape, Ancient Rocks in the Pilbara

Etching technique consisting of intaglio and chine -colle enabled me to express and evoke a feeling of mystery and the sense of the sublime when confronted with the age of rocks and their significance. When in Dales Gorge in Karijini National Park I felt awed by the depth of the rock-forming steep gorge. On the gorge floor strata within the rocks alternate from pink brown and red purple. This layering caused by oxidation of the iron laden ocean when oxygen produced from stromatolites photosynthesis gradually entered the Earth’s atmosphere.  The striped pattern built up from the ocean floor as early as three billion years ago. Water cut through the gorge over millions of years as  land gradually uplifted.

Several etchings are artist’s proof  and  require fine tuning before I print an edition. I print small editions because I prefer to change the plate and produce one off images because it enables me to see the subject in many different ways.

Etching about ancient rocks in the Pilbara,

….…and then the Ocean Rusted 4, 2013, etching and chine – colle 25×12 cm

Landscape etching titled ...and then the Ocean Rusted 3, 2013 by Elaine d'Esterre about ancient rocks in the Pilbara

...and then the Ocean Rusted 3, 2013, viscosity technique and chine – colle 25×12 cm

Landscape contemporary etching titled ........and then the Ocean Rusted 2, 2013, about a process of ancient rock formation influenced by a trip to the Pilbara.

…...and the the Ocean Rusted 2, 2013, etching and chine – colle 25×12 cm

Landscape contemporary etching titled ........and then the Ocean Rusted 1, 2013, about a process of ancient rock formation influenced by a trip to the Pilbara.

An artist’s proof in the series titled .….and then the Ocean Rusted, 2013, intaglio, 25×12 cm

Landscape contemporary etching......and then the Ocean Rusted, A/P, 2013, etching and chine- colle by Elaine d'Esterre. The image was about how strata of ancient rock built up parts of the Pilbara 3 billion years ago as oxygen introduced into the atmosphere caused the ocean to rust.

Artist’s Proof titled, ….and then the Ocean Rusted’, 2013, etching and chine – colle 25×12 cm

Landscape contemporary etching titled ........and then the Ocean Rusted , artist's proof, 2013, about a process of ancient rock formation influenced by a trip to the Pilbara.

……and then the the Ocean Rusted, A/P, 2013, etching and chine- colle 25×12 cm

 .....and the Ocean Rusted series, 2013

AP for ...and then the Ocean Rusted series

Landscape artist's proof etching and chine - colle for...and the Ocean Rusted 4

Landscape artist’s proof 4 for…...and then  the Ocean Rusted

My trip to the Pilbara in April this year can be read and viewed with photographs and frottages done on sight in my first posts on this blog.

This week I tried more proofs on different textured paper – rice paper, a thickly textured but porous spongy handmade paper as well as Fabriano.

I think line crispness suffered due to too much texture and the second last one looks too scrubby.

I love the intensity of black and my idea was that it would evoke a sense of mystery regarding this 3 billion year old clue to a momentous moment in Earth’s history.

I discovered a blog titled geo-aesthetics which sounded more accurate a description to my imagery than the term contemporary landscape because the content as well as the form is central.

The address of the blog is geo-aesthetics.blogspot.com.au


Sunrise Photographs

My expectation and anticipation yesterday as I quickly drove to the beach was to capture the image of the rising sun seen  through a colourful and gradual burnt off low cloud and sea mist. I was sure that if I hurried along the edge of Point Roadknight toward the point I would arrive at the rock edge as the sun rose. Not this time.

As the minutes passed not a glimmer of light or faint glow could be conjured from an opaque wall of cloud.

View from the beach

View from the beach

Cloud at Point Roadknight

Cloud at Point Roadknight

Cloud at Point Roadknight

Cloud at Point Roadknight

Return to the beach

Return to the beach

I thought it a wasted effort and with rising tide I returned to the beach, however the rock profile in the foreground echoed the misty distance. When I momentarily glanced back I noticed how at the same time cloudy mist obscured and revealed  different aspects of the rock formation.

Rising tide

Rising tide

Rising tide and thicker cloud

Rising tide and thicker cloud

White line of foam flows over reflection

White line of foam flows over reflection

Illusion of merged tide line and foggy cloud veil-like appearance

Illusion of merged tide line and foggy cloud veil-like appearance

About to leave when the sun made a feeble attempt to disperse the cloud. Approximately half an hour had passed witnessed by the sun’s position above the horizon line.

Sun and cloud

Sun and cloud

Sun, cloud and wave

Sun, cloud and wave

Before I left the beach two hooded plovers scurried across damp sand and came into view. Moody tonal type of imagery is quite hard to chance upon and was a rewarding experience when I had expected bright pink/ orange almost chocolate box-like misty atmosphere.

Hooded plovers

Hooded plovers

Many artworks including etchings were inspired by forces of nature at Point Roadknight. Some of them are for sale and can be viewed at etsy.com/shop/elainedesterre


Oil Painting Commission continued

Final Stages of Commission

Final Stages of Commission

Final Stages

At this stage I built up paint layers as an attempt to suggest shallow water on the left side of the composition. However still required is more structure and clarity of focus. Simplification of the colour with more tone might strengthen and give more solidity to the land form. A balancing of the form and the process of its disintegration through erosion needs more attention.

Untitled companion oil and mixed media

Untitled companion to Commission 1

Untitled companion to Commission 1

Untitled companion painting, detail

Untitled companion painting, detail

This composition also needs the structure strengthened and more tone to the left. A little more warmth in colour on the left and getting some overly busy areas consolidated are my next stage in the process. The image of the detail is the busy area under scrutiny.