Thursday, 27 July 2017

Still obsessed...

with patterns, I just cannot stop doodling with gel pens on black paper.

There's something about the intensity of the colour contrast that does it for me.

It seems to me that the repeated patterns create a state of relaxation

and the empty spaces tell a story, too.

I can hardly get enough of doing them, and I'm afraid the house will soon be overrun.

I suspect these will soon be housed in their own little book...terrific, another creative project!

Because patterns are invading my mind, I was playing with a set of coasters that were on the coffee tables, naturally arranging them into various patterns (doesn't everyone?). It was fascinating to see the four mandalas that arose:

Noticing Klimt's mastery of pattern and colour made me wonder if there is richness all around us that I'm just not noticing. What patterns are you seeing in your life?  Are they physical, or something else entirely?  I'm wishing us a day of noticing them all.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Summer is just the best time...

...for leaf printing, and it's hard to get enough of it.

This last week, Lynne Mizera joined me here in the studio for some leaf play.

We ran 'leaf sandwiches' through the Sizzix machine using a variety of papers:

You can see the mottled green cardstock did NOT take a print too well!

Dusty Miller foliage on watercolour paper

Top: grasses on printer paper  Bottom:  grasses on watercolour paper

Japanese Maple on watercolour paper

Horse chestnut leaves on Strathmore cardstock

Virginia Creeper leaves on Stonehenge paper
When the leaves came off the Sizzix machine, we put them to another use, taking the Gelli plates for the run.  As is usual, the first print is less than exciting, leaving white gaps where the leaves have been,

Lynne's monoprints
but the ghost prints are truly lovely.  I love how they pick up shadow colours from previous prints to add to the colour lusciousness.

These ghost prints will need very little enhancement to complete them, and the organic richness is fabulous, don't you think?

The first prints will be fun, too, since some of that doodling time is coming in handy as I fill in the empty spaces.

I'd love to know how you play with leaves in the summer.  Do you paint on them?  Do you print them? Emboss them? Use them as stamps? Do tell in the comments below, and if you have a link to some photos, we'd love that too!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

I'm a sharing kind of person...

...and I thought I'd share some of my favourite artists with you today.  These are friends I've made over the past few years on the net, and firm friends because I LOVE their work.  Please take a look at their blogs and leave a comment if you're inspired to do so!

Alice Saltiel has been a fine artist friend for many years now, and her forays into the world of mixed media just thrill me.    Her painterly sense of colour and texture take this field to new heights.

Alice in Wonderland © Alice Saltiel Marshall
Deann at the Whimsey Asylum (Love that name, don't you?  Anything that playful has to be fun!) is a digital marvel, and I never know whether I'll be laughing hysterically or in tears at the beauty (and often both) when I visit her blog.

All You Need is Love  © Deann Williams at The Whimsey Asylum
Laura Leeder, a local artist and dear friend, is a delightful watercolourist, specialising in the rich florals she finds in her garden. Her fabulous patterning reminds me of William Morris' wonderful wallpapers.

Abigail Floral © Laura Leeder
Another great local friend Eileen Gidman, presently on a creative hiatus while building a new home with her husband, is a master with textiles and watercolour.  We've had some great play dates, and I just had to show you this apron she created at one of them.  She sewed aprons for the three of us (Laura, Eileen & Win) and this was her gorgeous finished project.

Apron patterns © Eileen Gidman
We're fortunate to live in an artist-rich area, and a recent addition to the valley is Lynne Mizera.  Believe me, she's a welcome one as I'm not the only crazy one now!  Lynne's a whiz at utilising throwaways and turning them into art pieces.

Zsuzsa Karoly-Smith is a British artist whose work just thrills me.  Her layers and colour choices always have me drooling.

Journal spread © Zsuzsa Karoly-Smith
Tracy Woodsford's Sojourner blog is always a delight to visit, and given that she lives in Australia, it's quite the trip.  I so appreciate her thoughtful and considered take on life and art and am always inspired by her posts.

Calloused Heart © Tracy Woodsford
Susi (aka Frobelsternchen) hails from Austria.  Her eclectic pieces always please me, but I'm particularly fond of her teabag art!

I could go on and on, of course, but instead, I suggest you visit the pages on my blogroll to the right. These artists inspire me, make me laugh, make me think and generally lift my life to the max.

I'd love it if you would tell me who inspires you in the comments below (and do, please, include a link - we can always copy and paste!).  And if you visit the blogs noted here, please tell them you appreciate their work; I know I do!  

Thursday, 6 July 2017

You've had your sneak peek...

...along with a more comprehensive look at the recent Material Change show that was held in Kimberley last month. I thought I'd show you some more detailed photos of a few of the works that went into it.  All show pieces incorporated a change of materials (most of them would otherwise have been headed for the landfill) which were repurposed as a work of art.

Darcy Wanuk and I both did a cocktail boot for the show - this was my version.

'Who Needs Gucci?'  Altered Cocktail Boot © Win Dinn 2017

A small painting incorporating discarded wine bottle shrink capsules sold at the opening.

'Squaring the Circle V' 4 x 4" mixed media on canvas  © Win Dinn 2017
This little 'painting' is a favourite for the combination of cast-off blue jeans and coffee bean bags.
'Blue Jean Nosegay' 4 x 4" mixed media on canvas © Win Dinn 2017
The flower in this painting was created from a piece of fabric donated some time ago by Eileen Gidman, a dear art friend.
'Eileen's Flower' 4 x 4" mixed media on canvas © Win Dinn 2017
I shot this photo just before taking the piece down at the end of the show.  I love how the shadows make it look as though there are two hands playing the instrument!

'Ukulele Gone Wild' altered child's toy © Win Dinn 2017
This wall hanging incorporates texturing templates that have been too well used (by myself and students), bottle caps and discarded candy wrappers on the coffee bean bag support.

'Retired' mixed media burlap wall hanging © Win Dinn 2017
 This is my all-time favourite book sculpture to date.  I think he/she/it/other looks totally alien!

'Expat from Arcturus' book sculpture © Win Dinn 2017
 Another burlap and blue jean piece, this one is much larger than the 4 x 4 Blue Jean Nosegay.
'Squaring the Circle IV' 2' x 2' panel © Win Dinn 2017
The leftover bits of burlap went to create these coasters...I've really come to enjoy deconstructing burlap since there are so many ways to play with it.

'Pick up a Sixpack' burlap coasters © Win Dinn 2017
I love the knock-your-eyes-out red fabric centre in this occasional table (there's a painted one, too - but that's for another post)'s totally true that Red Is Best in my world!
'Fire from the Centre' refurbished  table © Win Dinn 2017
I'd love to know how you incorporate 'headed for the landfill' objects in your art.  Add your ways in the comments below; there are just so many ways to play with oddments I know I'm missing some!

Thursday, 29 June 2017

I've been on holiday... the studio, doing nothing but playing.

I've been doodling up a storm with gel markers on black paper.

While the metallic ones photograph poorly, they're fun to use and give the original pieces a good deal of sparkle.

Even the white pencil on black has some great impact, and with the coloured ones, I've already incorporated some into a journal cover.

I can't seem to stop; I worry that my family will starve, the rivers will dry up and dust bunnies will creep out of the house and take over the world as I work my way through this current obsession.

I also spent a couple of afternoons this past week playing with Lynne Mizera in her studio...we got heavily into her supply of Pebeo products, testing the Vitrail colours (check out that intensity!!!!)

as well as the Cerne Relief, the Prisme and Moon paints.  While this test project is pretty butt-ugly, I had a lot of fun doing it and could see how one could get addicted given the possibilities.

I tested both the Vitrail and the Relief on a panel that had been sitting around waiting for action.  I first added six different sections of mediums over top of a red cheesecloth monoprint including (clockwise from top left) fibre gel, no addition, texture gel, bird seed in heavy duty medium, clear tar gel, white opaque flakes and glass beads.  I scrubbed the sun yellow Vitrail over all and added a splash of red to the bottom.  The black Cerne Relief, while adding nothing to the overall composition (what WAS I thinking?), was fun to do!

I also rolled some printed paper scraps into fake beads and will incorporate them into something sometime in the next decade.

All in all, my Meandering Muse kept me well occupied this week, even if it was doing nothing that but playful exploration.  These are the things that lead to the 'something more' that leads to the bigger and better.  I 💖💖💖  studio play.  How about you?

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