Elaine d'Esterre

Feminist Visual Artist – Paintings, Mixed Media and Etchings


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.


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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Abstract Etching Collage

A moment when torn remnants of failed intaglio prints came together mentally. Something drew me away from my planned oil paintings and diverted me back to pieces of an old ‘jigsaw’. Unarticulated at the time, compositions that slipped away from my mind but returned and demanded unexpected attention.

The first image titled Leaving Lake Mungo, 2016 in diptych format, consists of a collagraph with an image of a dune that joins to an intaglio from which a figure is pulling away to merge into obscurity beneath layers of chine-colle and pieces of collage.

The second image titled Planning to Dive, 2016 refers to an older series of images titled The Diver, 2011,  an allegory about a type of creative process. it consists of intaglio, collage and torn intaglio, transparent paper and pianola paper with punctured holes as well as a piece of pastel paper with frottage.

The Goddess Return, 2016 consists of  a collagraph on top of which sits a small intaglio joined by transparent paper over silver leaf. The goddess image ‘joins the sky and earth’.

Leaving Lake Mungo, 2016Planning to Dive, 2016IThe Goddess Return


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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From Rust to Rock 2014, 39x19 cm print, 50x35 cm paper, intaglio, frottage and collage


Abstract Landscape Etching (intaglio, chine-colle, collage) ‘Triptych’

 

The triptych has a history dating from the late Middle Ages to early Renaissance and was designed to tell a story. It consisted of a central panel with two smaller side panels placed behind the high altar. In an era before the invention of perspective this format was a device that illustrated the drama of the main protagonist, quite often a crucifixion scene, with supporting roles on the side panels .

Famous people and members of the aristocracy also found this form useful for secular story-telling, for example there is a triptych featuring a centrally placed Martin Luther accompanied by side panels that illustrated  his deeds; a type of curriculum vitae writ large. This type of portraiture was commissioned not only by aristocrats but members of the ‘middle class’.

By reading this abstracted landscape (which belongs to the series part of which is shown on my website Home Page titled And then the Ocean Rusted 2013-2014,) in a triptych format a viewer could detect an allusion to a type of geological narrative. In a way the central panel summed up the action on the ‘side panels’. It was all about rusty sediment.

The purchaser of these three prints decided to hang them together in ‘triptych’ format. I liked this arrangement. In comparison with the traditional triptych format the print on central panel is smaller than the prints on side panels. However the central panel/print although smaller attracts the eye first due to the intensity of colour and contrast in the composition, but also the larger surround of printmaking paper creates another contrast. The textures of chine-colle on rice paper and the frottage while enlarging both the panel/print images has a softening effect and gives the central image room to ‘breathe’.