Elaine d'Esterre

Feminist Visual Artist – Paintings, Mixed Media and Etchings


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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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.


Collagraphs about Mungo

Collage from previous etchings are mixed into the second collagraph, whereas, in the first, I combined a torn collagraph element with another piece of collagraph. This grey piece of rectangular shaped BFK Rives printmaking paper, obtained from a ghost washy print that picked up some ink remnant left on the plate, resembled part of Mungo’s terrain between the red dust bearing hills and the pink dunes.

In the second image the soft grey area was printed from another washy (drop of gum turps. and a little oil ) ghost print which being very liquid spread across to the edge of page as it passed under the roller. Then I combined two pieces of torn image, one consisting of an intaglio and the other a drypoint on perspex from past leftovers, into ‘seeing heads’. The beige surround alludes to viewing as tho through a frame.

I was trying to depict two types of vision into a single image. One head is sightless and ‘sees’ as if from below the landscape and ‘becomes’ the landscape, and the other sighted head and torso view the landscape through and with perspectival visual construction.


Mungo Hairdo

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This painting began as a depiction of a wind swept poet with letters and words transported in the wind and then onto her forehead. It didn’t work, cast aside and changed the idea to inspiration by starlight which also didn’t work and looked a bit stilted. Weeks passed. In frustration I poured 2 paint layer together and left them in the sun to dry and forgot about for the rest of the day. One greyish layer thinned with turps and a little oil flowed on top of an opaque creamy oilier layer.  Instead of the whole surface being totally changed the paint had ideas of its own.

The poet with the Afro hairstyle morphed into poet with Mungo hairstyle, incorporated into a windswept tree shape that seemed appropriate after the battering we received in a sandstorm.

I like the rawness and immediacy of the paint strokes in the earlier versions and feel that at this stage I may have fiddled too much even though I liked the unexpected imagery caused by paint tensions.