elainedesterreart

original expressionist/surreal visual art.


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‘Interrogating Rock’ – intaglio & metal leaf

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I produced these images on paper by intaglio technique and black ink using a zinc plate. The process began two years ago having done the black and white intaglio I wanted to experiment with metal leaf as a composition element. It was a struggle to apply the leaf ( copper, gold and silver) with ink resulting in several mistakes and badly printed efforts with the leaf tearing and printing in places not intended.

But my disappointment lifted when I looked at them from a distance and saw in these altered random elements an unintended continuation of my environment/geology theme with human interaction as integrated part, not separate from it. So the messy metal leaf became ore bodies as I recalled a period in my life when I lived in mining towns and ventured underground at a copper mine in Tasmania.

The first 3 images worked with some trimming but the others needed chine colle as a composition element and in one I scraped away part of the leaf. In another 7/10 print I combined a plate from another series about Brachina gorge with the first plate as well as applying gold leaf and chine colle.

As a result this type of edition, because although the images vary I retain in each print an element of the first print ie the black intaglio, is termed a variable edition. I prefer this way of printing which can look painterly, perhaps, to traditional editioning where multiples of the same image make up an edition.

 

 


Stages in Mungo Painting with oil and frottage

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Mid way through this painting titled Red Soil Trajectory 3, 2017 I felt uncertain about how to complete this image. I was partly happy with it but it seemed to lack a sense of mystery and timelessness so characteristic of this ‘moonscape’.  I think my frustration shows as I turned the composition around and upside down but ended up as usual with my original concept.


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More exploration of Lake Mungo in oil paint and frottage

These two oils began to take shape after pieces of frottage, that is rubbings taken from part of the lake bed, were incorporated into a larger composition. The 3 pieces of frottage in the large painting titled Soil Types at Lake Mungo, 2017, consisted of absorbent printmaking paper and graphite for the rubbing and gesso slurry in which crumbled pieces of soil partly adhered.
The oil painting process back in my studio happened in stages beginning with a washy layer building up to an opaque surface but leaving dribbles and wet in wet random texture suggesting erosion and staining of the Mungo lunette through rain causing red dusty soil from hill nearby to seep through the dunes.
In the smaller painting I tried to express another version of this phenomonon not as close up but the way that the dune was situated in a context where the whole landscape was under stress from the climate. I applied the paint more impasto using a trowel and making the paint and landscape textures compatable.



‘Space and Place : Elaine d’Esterre & Nicky Perkin’ (continued)

The exhibition opening was successful with sales and inquiring comments, a poetry reading by Patricia Sykes who composed a poem titled Desert Poet in response to one of my paintings and much discussion about ideas informing our work and the way that Curator Sally Groom created a visual dialogue between the images.


‘Space and Place : Elaine d’Esterre & Nicky Perkin’

In The last few posts I described how my collages about Lake Mungo, The Pink Lakes, Anbangbang Billabong and Ubirr Rock were constructed. Now they are part of an exhibition at The Art Space, Anglesea, Victoria titled ‘Space and Place : Elaine d’Esterre & Nicky Perkin’. Sally Groom as curator has arranged the oil paintings and prints in a way that emphasises the topic. Insightful analysis of our artwork is a helpful to the viewer.

The last touch to Evaporation at Lake Mungo 3, before Opening night on 11th April between 5 – 7  with live music – guitarist Gavin Cross.
However we are open this weekend and Monday so come and preview the artwork and have a chat with the artists at all times . An additional Meeting the artists session is programmed for 15th April 4-6.


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Collage and Texture

When I compare collage and mixed media compositions with oil painted compositions sharing the same topic, I become aware of how different media often suit particular topics.

In this case contemporary art about the environment and the forces of nature somehow is suited to the dryness of rice paper as well as handmade paper as they become simulations of the earth’s surface and landforms. The dusty terrain, desiccated rock surfaces, cracked salt-laden and powdery surfaces and dry sand depictions, although semi abstracted, seem so much easier to portray with various collages than with the lush textures and viscosity of oil paint. Impasto especially can look too lush when alluding to Australia’s ancient land.

One solution to attain the powdery delicate but ancient bleached look was when I mixed grated pastel into gesso and then applied liberally on top of gesso ground whether on canvas, paper or wood surface. I usually begin with this technique but am often not quite satisfied with the end result so I will keep on experimenting.

I feel as though this small series has ended for now and oil painting is calling once again back to psychological portraits where oil paint is a sympathetic medium in which to portray subtleties  and nuanced tonal values.