elainedesterreart

original expressionist/surreal visual art.


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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Original/ Digital Prints – first efforts

The latest David Hockney exhibition at the NGV has some artists and many art appreciative friends inquiring into these types of technique. A few years ago I explored different ways digital images could emerge with photographs wether drawn directly onto my iPad or iPhone or incorporating photographs of oil paintings with digital apps. as a way to completely change the image surface but retain the structure and composition.

Weathered Columns 2, 2008-09, oil on canvas, 214x108 cm.

Weathered Columns 2, 2008-09, oil on canvas, 214×108 cm.

 

 

I could print out the digital images onto small dimension printmaking paper and then rework the surface with traditional materials like pen and ink.

I still need to learn how to manage layers when constructing the digital layers but I imaging it may resemble layering oil painting techniques going from thin lean underpainting up through the layers to the thicker oilier opaque final layer depending on the painting style. Transparencies and semi opaque or semi transparent layers would make interesting texture as an element of the image. It’s also another way to try preliminary versions before launching into a large painting. The digital images could also be expanded into large images and placed photographically onto canvas. Just by using one image as a template it could be manipulated into countless versions transforming from a landscape into something else. Friends have pointed out that within the first digital rendition a head is emerging in portrait form. Turning the composition sideways into landscape horizontal form, a head appears to look out into a strange landscape too. I enjoy this type of response and interaction where different people see different things and reveal aspects of themselves in the process.


Desert Poet

I began this painting last year and it has gone through more permutations than usual because every time I attempted the next layer with what I thought was the central idea, the idea behind the composition changed, and kept changing even though I was sure I had settled on the theme, the statement and the formal considerations of colour, texture etc. On the bottom of the image the texture was real, not simulated, and I think this caused the chopping and changing. Sometimes when checking technical remedies, still I  kept ‘hitting a wall’ .  Any reminders of other solutions to this type of hitch would be most welcome.

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I tried to capture the essential mental activity of the Poet when  writing, taking notes, observations both visual and auditory, and musing about poetry in the desert when we visited Lake Mungo National Park.


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Elemental Landforms at Lake Mungo

A larger mixed media about Lake Mungo consists of frottage taken from different surface areas. I folded a large sheet printmaking paper into three sections aiming to capture samples of the various types of terrain. Graphite was used to take a rubbing from a stone (alluding to the Gol Gol formation on top of which the lunette built) seen in the top right of the composition. The middle section consists of traces of clay and sand (alluding to how the lunette built up into dunes) and the top left section now almost obscured retained a stain as this section of the paper buried into darkened places of the dune, where moisture caused possibly by decaying remnant vegetation,  left an imprint.

Once again, I turned the composition up side down where it appeared to read better for me.

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Lake Mungo Overview

IMG_5807.jpgA radical rearrangement as I decided I didn’t like Red Earth Trajectory at Mungo 2 so it I turned it into a horizontal format and turned it upside down. I returned to my first idea about how to indicated to the viewer a state of mind where elements, that stayed in my mind as I left that vicinity and returned to my studio, could find expression as a memory of the essential aspects of the landform.

 

 

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Adventure and Allegory of Painting at Mungo

This small oil on gessoed printmaking paper began as an incomplete intaglio print as underpainting two years ago. During that time when I left it to dry I became dissatisfied with it and put it away for a while.

My mood and colour scheme had changed from lilac to blue. In the first pink/lilac stage I wanted to recapture the vanishing light at Mungo and its subtle flash of a citrine cold yellow before sunset. The blue rendition was a confused attempt to pick up the theme of how environmental conditions affect shape and image construction that morphed into a ‘listening to the land’ theme influenced by a series of collages titled ‘Sounds of Drought’

A recent science programme demonstrated new techniques and equipment that when placed in strategic places in a habitat could monitor particular sounds, types and  numbers of different creatures at a given time. The data created a picture on computer screen of the health of that particular area. A validition of my images with ears reaching into landforms esp. Mungo perhaps?.

 

 

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Abstract Oil from Mungo

Background

I forgot to record the early stages of layering in this composition, and now the layering slideshow begins over half way through the process. In fact I feel I’ve lost something of the mood and atmosphere altogether. From a dry windy moody cold desert scape to a sunny, expressionist and colourful Mungo influenced composition.

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