Elaine d'Esterre

Feminist Visual Artist – Paintings, Mixed Media and Etchings


‘Painting’ with Paper (continued)


Point Roadknight Littoral 2, 2016, collage, 30×40 cm


Point Roadknight Littoral 1, 2016, collage, 30×40 cm


Foreshore Sunrise, 2016, collage, 40×30 cm


Rock Pool, 2016, collage, 50×30 cm

Materials used in these collage compositions consist of handmade paper, failed viscosity prints, and their ghosts and a piece of frottage in Point Roadknight Littoral 2.  Once again I have ransacked my remnant department and the images almost arranged themselves, I think because of the way I am immersed in this coastal area and its atmosphere.

At dawn and pre dawn I often wait for low tide, no wind and some cloud before I capture  the transient nature of different elements such as the juxtaposition of water and sun, sand and reflections, rock face reflected in rock pools.

The photograph informs my work (as well as taking frottage) in a round about way that seems to make a slowly developing  mental pattern that over time distills into an image/s.




‘Painting’ with Paper


Snowfields 2, 2016, viscosity print and hand made paper, 50x35cm


Snowfield 1, 2016, viscosity print and hand made papers, 50×35 cm



I began with a stiff cardboard plate onto which I made rock-like texture with modelling paste mixed with glad wrap. I wasn’t happy with the viscosity prints that were far too gluggy. Time passed then I got an urge to tear then into the pieces. In collage mode I rearranged the various pieces that partly held together.

I added differently textured hand made papers of varying thickness which I torn into shapes that became a balanced composition.  A deeply coloured and  heavily textured foreground was toned down by an application of a semi transparent sheet of hand made paper in Snowfield 2.  Part of the structure from the viscosity print remained in Snowfields 1 and distant mountains tied in with layers of collage building the foreground. The last image titled Littoral and is totally abstracted through juxtaposition of ghost printed textural papers of varying thickness and randomly torn shapes.



Drought Imagery on my Homepage

I completed these eight etching collages last year when I sensed that atmospheric conditions could herald another drought, hopefully without the severity of the last unforgettable one.

The mind/scape iconography of floating heads and ears especially are meant to indicate the way in which some sounds set off an unexpected stream of images – an underworld where fears and insecurities reside.

The existence of the images was almost like an omen, as I took them from my plan draws after a year, that jolted me now that an El Nino weather event is now controlling our weather system in 2015. And as I re-photographed them on my verandah, large spots of rain spattered them but very, very briefly, as true to form, the rain fall abruptly ceased.

Hardly projecting a sense of joy, they resemble a drought ravaged landscape – a bit withered and colourless.

Sounds of Drought 3, 2014, etching collage

Sounds of Drought 3, 2014, intaglio, drypoint, chine-colle and collage  

LANDforms Preview (Mungo cont.)

The oil painting titled Red Earth Trajectory at Mungo 2 refers to Mungo’s pink sand, the deposition of red soil from nearby hills and erosion by wind and water. Bed of Lake Mungo and Evening at Lake Mungo are collagraphs from the same plate but with part of the displaced print moved to the left in Bed of  Lake Mungo and chine-colle and collage combined with metal leaf in Evening at Lake Mungo. Ive just noticed how Evening at Lake Mungo, 2015 resembles Igneous 1, 2004 on the invite. Basic shapes are there but slightly rearranged even though one is a large oil and the other a small collagraph. Gone around in a circle!!

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LANDforms Exhibition Preview (Mungo)

Three more from LANDforms continuing with works about Lake Mungo. Weathering and Beneath the Sand were accidents. They started as collagraphs using tissue paper and glue placed onto a zinc plate. I used the zinc plate hoping that it would be more durable than cardboard or wood but paste and Bondcrete gradually wore down after many experiments. After taking a print I like to drip gum turps and a drop of oil onto the inked remnants left on the plate and then take a ghost print. Weathering was the result consisting of small bits of gold leaf, hardly visible, that mingled with the ink, oil and turps. More luck than good management was how the liquid ingredients stayed within the print of the plate’s edge.

Beneath the Sand began as a failed viscosity print over which I incorrectly placed gold leaf which peeled of in places revealing reverse viscosity ink layering. Two layers of transparent paper allowed the main shape to print in silhouette making the shape beneath resemble a below surface rock conglomeration.

I like the nuanced and layered Bleeding Sand print, and while less happy accident it depicts the multi layered types of process that occur within the dune, Rain and wind carry silt from low red hills turning the lunette pink through seepage. Ink was combined with chine-colle and silver leaf on red paper.

I double printed the collagraph plate revealing and obscuring parts of the prints as I hoped to emphasise the vertical downward movement of water and silt.

Many images of Mungo began with a frottage taken from a landform at the site. When I return to my studio I incorporate it into a larger composition. I wondered if making the collagraph in a way that inadvertently resembled a frottage got the impetus moving as I usually put frottage into oil painting or mixed media rather than into a printmaking technique?.

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Mungo Collage and Sounds of Drought

Both these images, the composition and forms were arranged randomly, settled into this format as I pushed around each element then blew air onto the, at first, carefully arranged pieces of collage and then let hand made paper waft around and land anywhere. A bit more shuffling around, walking away, letting a few more elements land around central pieces of imagery, tearing more paper, overlapping to obtain transparencies and nuanced areas until the desired effect settled in my mind.

The pieces of collage consisted of torn drypoint etchings, intaglio etching, pastel and handmade papers as well as dotted pianola roll paper.

Collage with Drypoint Etchings about Mungo

I continue this Mungo series with the addition of three more collages consisting of pieces of printed collagraph, gold leaf, handmade paper and pastel paper on BFK Rives print making paper. The strange glow of sunset on the Mungo dunes has eluded me in the past as the chocolate box look was an ever present danger. But I’ve often tried to depict my sunrise and sunset feelings of excitement, anticipation and joy.