Elaine d'Esterre

Contemporary Visual Artist – Paintings, Mixed Media and Etchings


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“Passage of Time at Lake Mungo”

The painting below happened quickly, almost too quickly because I didn’t record its early stages. They began as a torn up ghost print from my failed attempts at viscosity printing. However I retained this piece of pink and blue texture on BFK Rives.

The first layer consisted of the torn shred placed in the bottom left of the composition. Months later I had left over greenish turps and in an absent minded moment I poured it onto the canvas surrounding the BFK Rives ghost viscosity texture. Later I purposely applied a few dark areas and lines, an orange strip and I enlarged the pink texture into a dune shape which I felt alluded to Mungo-ish colour of this arid region.

I recalled that Lake Mungo originally until 24,000 years ago had been a thriving water-filled habitat that supported Indigenous civilisation. So I mixed together several types and consistencies of blue and let the paint flow randomly across the canvas.

White lines indicate direction of water flow and time line. I partly obscured the blue shape with misty blues, re-established the blue but in an atmospheric haze of ‘distant time’.  I dribbled a white wash over the white line and dripped blue washy blobs into it. The idea was to represent a transition through time from the blue water of abundant life to pinks and orange representing gradual desertification.

Time's Passage at Lake Mungo

 


Two Self-Portraits at Mungo

Final Stages now titled Painted by Lake Mungo. In this painting I wanted to depict how the landscape paints the painter rather than the artist imagining that he or she dominates it.

In Painted by the Sunset at Mungo I tried for a similar idea in the final stages of this painting.

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Brachina Gorge, Flinders Ranges, South Australia

Revision

Must be the time of year and another image bit the dust. Not that I was totally unhappy but I thought that the dimensions of the board didn’t suit the image which would be better on a larger canvas.

Untitled

Untitled

The image was about a feature of Brachina Gorge termed The Golden Spike, a band of rock rising from the gorge floor part of a vertical curved ridge.

Usually renewing a painting is a messy business however this time it happened very quickly, not the normal sequence of events. I poured on several tones of the purple pink landscape colour, having blocked out the area I wanted to retain, namely, The Golden Spike. I had in mind the long leisurely stroll along the gorge as my friend and I searched for fossils. Instead of heads appearing in the composition as usual, the paint swirled into two figures. As I like to combine the real with the unconscious, a recalled dream memory that seemed to happen as the paint did the work with the figures merging into the landscape but at the same time partly separate in their own world, almost about to enter an arch of time back 500 million years.

Into Brachina Gorge


Revision of “Detritus 2”

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Detritus 2

Detritus 2, 2003 – 2016, mixed media on board, 92×120 cm had languished in my storeroom for several years and was exhibited recently and then put away. As I set about  bubble wrapping it something said “wait a minute I see in my mind’s eye a  call for a little improvement”.  I usually resist making so called improvements because I liked the original altho it felt a bit heavily red-brown. The urge for orange prompted me, and after all it had been inspired by my being in Katherine Gorge back in 2001. My memory was of an orange weathered edifice, so off I went hoping that I wouldn’t mess it up.

I remixed in gesso grated pastel, acrylic and a touch of crimson red gouache knowing that the adhesive quality of the gesso and a little cad. yellow acrylic had lasted for over 10 years without fading or deteriorating by flaking or crumbling.

The crumpled canvas simulating a rock face also remained in good condition and had absorbed pigment which hadn’t faded.

In my drawn section with indian ink and done on site and then later in my studio incorporated into the composition, I depicted small pieces of vegetation that littered the gorge after a wet season deluge which deposited them on a ledge where a group of us were painting.

After much pouring of different colours and tones, letting them settle in formations that resembled the textures of the place I felt that the painting had more body. The composition changed slightly too with the introduction of a dark vertical line on the left and removal of the orange direction lines now covered with a large passage of earthy dusty orange.

I’d like to think that the viewer’s eye is drawn further into the image altho I hope I haven’t lost too much tension in the process. I like to create tension between the observed aspect done on site with the imaginary background, which encases it, produced in my studio.

 


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Maggi Jean’s Exhibits at Muddy’s She-Shed Anglesea

Collagraph and Viscosity Printing

I am in Muddy’s She-Shed, an original boat shed converted into an art studio  where Maggi Jean’s sensitive, poetic and thoughtful artwork is displayed. I love the way, within in her iconography, she used a basic shape that on one hand evokes the depiction of a mountain and at the same time by juxtaposing a similar shape above it the viewer can see the shape of a wave.

The statement beside the image describes her intent.

The technique in which a collagraph constructed from bark arranged onto a plate of cardboard and then shellaced to seal it and then  printed by way of the viscosity method, enhances the imagery because the two textured  basic shapes are read by the viewer differently; one as wave and the other as a mountain. Bark texture reads as both mountain and water.

Gelatine Printing 

Gelatine prints can be arranged as sculpture as well as make beautiful books.  I like the hanging sculpture almost a relief-like mobile that can hang beneath a framed print.

I combined one titled Brown Algae by Maggi Jean with one of my etchings, inserting the print under the frame. Image book invading imprisoned framed etching under perspex!

 

My etching titled Reflection, 2011 about the point Roadknight rock form, sand, rock pools and reflections is now accompanied by Brown Algae . The sea weed textures enhance the image. By placing seaweed on top of a gelatine ‘plate’ rolled with colour the artist places paper over all and then hand prints with paper.

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