elainedesterreart

original expressionist/surreal visual art.


Unfinished Paintings from ‘Eye and Site’

Behind several stacked paintings placed in a category titled Eye and Site, a topic of vision I found two images that I had been unsure about for a few years. They began as an experiment where I tried combining etching with oil paint on a finely woven canvas. The printing ink adhered quite well so I stretched the image over a frame and then had a go at trying the oil combo.  Even though I gessoed around the etching somehow the oil bled into it but not enough to obscure the highlights. The random bleeding gave the face, traditionally rendered,  a surreal appearance and my depiction of a light fitting and its shaft of light then merged with the distorted image of the face. I like playing with form and light and how they both distort, in a graphic way, figurative imagery.

Well these distortions seemed to tell me that on one level light could also look  form-like and then form merge into light. On another level, light was meant to elucidate form but here it obscured it. So I was partly happy put them aside to ponder, ponder. Much later however apart from looking raw I began to see them differently.

I wanted them to say something about how in darkness we see back light years and in day light our vision is limited to immediate objects. Then I thought of how, by including the image of my head torch like a miner’s lamp fastened to my forehead, it might improve the composition and what it was that I was trying to say. So I blurred the original light source leaving a faint shape indicating a transition from light shining onto a form to light coming from it.

Now I am resisting the urge to dribble pink paint onto the image or should I leave it? Is this another ‘light is in the blood’ or is  ‘light in the blood’ the same as light in the universe? Yes looks like another pink ear coming up.

A clearer head this morning so I’ve let things be.

 

 

 


3 Comments

Weano Gorge and Fragments

 

Post exhibition slump and scratching around in my studio, gathering together half done images left in mid-stream when I focussed on exhibition preparation. It is so easy to overlook a piece of paper put aside temporarily or put in the too hard basket when something else captures my imagination. However I found a half-finished etching with frottage that was part of my series about the Pilbara and the gorges at Karijini National Park. This one about Weano Gorge was dated and sited on the frottaged rice paper.

Somewhere in the process back in 2014 I got to the stage of shredding and tearing up parts of the original etching; areas that were badly printed, ink too thin or the opposite, sludgy, that were discarded and the best bits retained. I keep these pieces of original intaglio or collagraph and put them in a box containing many remnants consisting of torn rice paper, handmade paper, sketches or any other piece of interesting imagery, textures, lines, tones or colours. Unexpectedly one of these remnants completed this image.

The original process consisted of printing the black intaglio, wiping  the light areas in order to intensify the highlights. Over this print  I placed rice paper containing a frottage taken from the gorge but the image looked incomplete so months later I added reddish pastel and then a piece of red paper, now partly obscured.  The next layer above consists of a rectangular shaped torn piece of paper containing part of the original intaglio but the opposite end of the original image. The torn image had fallen out of the remnant box and onto the floor where it caught my gaze as I rubbed in the red pastel and collaged the line of red paper on the left into the composition. The remnant seemed to ‘jump’ into the composition and now sits happily in its spot I think-fragments of paper and rock fragments.

Gorge Fragmentation, 1/1, 2015, intaglio, frottage and collage

Gorge Fragmentation, 1/1, 2015, intaglio, frottage and collage


4 Comments

“Landforms” 2015, Reflection

Three artworks from my series titled And then the Ocean Rusted were the first to be sold on opening night. What was very heartening was the ‘return’ of “Karijini” to Perth in Western Australia by the purchaser, artist Susan Griffiths who works in similar media using frottage, but pushing it further than I do, and is exhibiting in Perth as I write.

The second image was about Weano gorge. The purchaser had embarked on an extensive bush walk in Karijini National Park in an area referred to as the Pilbara, at this particular location, descending into to this very deep gorge where to viewers from above, situated at the lookout, a person below was barely visible. My frottage was taken from the rim of the gorge.

Rust 1 taken home by an artist, ceramacist and scientist who also walks in out of the way wild places. I heard on Radio National a very apt description by Andrew Denton who referred to this exploration in the Outback as, quoting from memory off the top of my head,  ” the search for wild places that imprint on the heart”. Loved it.

The other wild place, Lake Mungo, while not 3 billion years old like the Pilbara, is known for its 40,000-60,000 (circa.) archaeological Indigenous history and its haunting landscape.

Occasionally a viewer would ask what V.E. stands for – Variable Edition. This type of edition stands in contrast to the traditional Edition where multiples of the one image are reproduced, for example 1/100 up to 100/100.  A large edition is possible with a zinc plate and a larger number of images may be reproduced from a copper plate which is harder than zinc. However a collagraph plate is often not as robust and degrades quickly, cardboard especially and even on masonite – like material the surface texture may be fragile.

My reason for variable editions has nothing to do with these technical factors but is about boredom which descends when I just reproduce one image after another. My brain demands continual push and pull of the pictorial, textural and formal elements in various compositions and formats to feel satisfied. Then I often see things in different ways taking me off in other directions or a further development of the one I’m working in.

The purchasers of these three images love the environment and are engaged in various activities both employment, activism and hobbies that nurture out habitat.

Tidal Surge, 2010, intaglio and collage 26x16 cm print, 48x35 cm paper

Tidal Surge, 2010, intaglio and collage 26×16 cm print, 48×35 cm paper

Closer to home Tidal Surge is from my series Return to Sand and Water about erosion at Point Roadknight along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria areas and tracks of which are frequently walked by the purchaser. As years roll on more and more of this intriguing landform gradually being lost to the sea diminishes in size and texture. For instance the often termed Petrified Forest that is a part of this small promontory, consisting of mineralised root systems that resonate with images of ancient ruins, has eroded into rubble with very few ‘columns’ remaining. I feel as though I am recording one effect of Climate Change as seas rise.