Monday, April 20, 2015

Some images from the Mixed Media and Printmaking Class at Wanaka Autumn Art School

piercing paper to add a tactile layer
Roz embellishing her book covers
reclaimed book page - gesso + rust
mini art journals made with reclaimed pages/paper
Bec's collagraph - printing embroidery
Barbara's solar prints ready to be cropped and collated into a picture.
 Imagery from her photos of a previous work place in Australia. 
Claire's solar print coming off the press.
(Paper was trimmed after printing or printed as a bleed print
 so we did not have to be concerned with registration.) 
Elizabeth's solar print from one of her sketches
Multiple images exposed on one plate
A selection of gelli prints, cyanotype and solar prints
A selection of print work by Patricia -
real peacock feathers and bits of wool were exposed directly onto solar plate
Needless to say the week flew by and I was sad when it was over. Hopefully there will be the opportunity to teach at the Wanaka Art School again!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


From the Open Arts Newsletter - Open Arts members have  first option but I am happy to take a waiting list in case all places are not subscribed.

Saturday 27th – Sunday 28th March
This is to be held during the first weekend of Almost an Island. In the Mac Bay Hall supper room. 
Tutored by Lynn Taylor - a foremost print maker and teacher.
The workshop is a one day course – and there are two of them – the Saturday and Sunday – there are six places available each day – the cost around $90.00.
The course starts at 9:00 am and finishes at 5:00pm.
This is a great opportunity to learn the skill of print making.
For further information and to register please contact Lynn directly!
Email – or phone her on 4780983.
There has already been considerable interest in this workshop so don't hesitate, it will be well worth while!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reclaiming Book Pages

I got inspired by a pin by Janina on Pinterest which links to her blog -  Yes!  Altering the pages of old National Geographics. 

 Scoring magazines was the easy part - plenty in N.Z op shops. However I could not find a stockist for  Citrasolve. I tried Desolve it, also a citrus based cleaner, but it was not strong enough. I could not stop there so Googled and found another citrus based product d-Limonene.
selection of altered pages

 Sometimes small 
areas of text show through.

Ordered it, tried it - found it really hard to wait the 30 minutes for the reaction to process and I could not find a sponge brush. Some success though - but on my trial ones I  found the intensity of the marbling and colour a bit full on for my intent. Instead I came up with this method which appeals to me greatly - the pages create beautiful backgrounds which will work well interleaved into pages of a tactile sketchbook.It was an enjoyable process to do - creating a process sense of under erasure/ the palimpsest

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Autumn Arts School

I'm teaching a mixed media class....but there are many other courses if that is not your thing and you want to be in Wanaka at a stunning time of year.

Lynn Taylor - Wanaka Textures, a print commissioned as a wedding gift.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Art and Science - IceFest

As a development from the frottage table top I made for the Art and Anatomy project I was asked to make relief plates that could be used as an educational tool in the NZ IceFest. Students provided drawings of sea creatures and together Dr Jenny Rock and I translated these onto transparency film and processed them in solarplate.

Drawing of krill by one of the students that was made into a frottage plate

These screenshots and the video link give a glimpse of the texture rubbing action (around 3:10).  

Today I was delighted to receive an email from Jenny with an extract from the thesis of Lydia, one of students involved - seems the activity was a great success.  "This meant that visitors could create a picture to take away with them. The rubbings were aimed at kids (under 12), however they were popular with many people older than this too. We estimate that around 95% of children who entered the exhibition created a rubbing. Over the 16 days the exhibition was open, about 3600 rubbings were made (this number was estimated because two 180m rolls of newsprint were used, with each metre producing approximately nine pieces of paper when cut up). "

Sunday, October 19, 2014

5 hole Pamphlet stitch Mini Journals

I took two one day workshops to accompany the Poems In The Waiting Room exhibition 'A Palette of Poetry'.

Book/print classes take a lot pf preparation and on this occasion I was happy to have Vivienne, one of the participants, come out to my house a night or two prior to the class and gesso over many book pages. These pages were then dry and ready to be reclaimed into found poems. In an added bonus Vivienne  introduced us to the erasure poems of Mary Ruefle, perfect! . Thank you Vivienne! Other pages were covered in gesso and used as base pages to assemble poems and print on.

Everyone made their own 'words' and images out of solar plate - the UV bulb was running hot both days. These were printed on an etching press - something visitors to the gallery enjoyed seeing in action. Towards the end of the class we sewed up selected pages into small 5 hole pamphlet stitch books - this is simple bookbinding but effective for holding about ten pages together. One of the delights of bookbinding for me is seeing the way new readings are created when different pages juxtapose and everyone did a fantastic job of selecting, editing and arranging pages to maximise this.

Just the best - a table full of 'stuff'.

Briar did these beautiful poetic pages with gesso and shellac.

Enough writing - the photos tell the real story.

Some pages were so delicious they were  kept as full
sheets rather than folded into a book.

Individual themes quickly emerged

I photographed this upside down - but a good design looks good
from any angle.

Gill made and printed a map of her hometown.

Covers - embossed cardboard and ink - love them!
Covers made from  old books or painted cardboard. Since I
only had blue buckram (book cloth) I painted some with acrylic
 test pots to have a more interesting colour range.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Art and Anatomy: Hunter Centre, Dunedin, Friday 27th June - 11th July 2014

Most of the first part of the year has revolved around a collaborative project organised by Peter Stupples (Dunedin School of Art) and Dr Ruth Napper (Otago University).  At an initial meeting a group of artists were introduced to a group of scientists (and their research) from the Anatomy Department. What could I find more delicious? As an artist I love sticking my nose into specialist research areas where I have no real skill.  I soak up the new and can greedily satisfy my curiosity with things usually hidden to the public eye. I paired myself with Electron Microscope Technician Allan Mitchell and there I was, feeling  like I was flying over the moon while looking down on magnified slivers of kidney.  I came to learn that part of Allan's technician role is to facilitate the work of scientists in the Anatomy Department. This blended with my impulse to provide creative experiences through art engagement and I put out an invitation to scientists and artists involved in the A & A project to contribute images and have a printmaking session printing translating these images into plate and print. 

Kidney cells under the electron microscope
Printing happened at Otakou Press and Lighthouse Studio
A range of prints Ruth Napper produced in an initial session -
later these evolved into the information being printed onto laser cut shapes

This process is printed as a sketchbook, Body of Evidence. This sketchbook was shaped organically in an evolving way with the input of different participants throughout the project. Who is the author? The artist? The scientist? The audience? What happened in the process of collaboratively printing and shaping a sketch book? Some things I expected and others I did not. People took risks, we seemed to be braver when working together.  Although participants recognised the inherent aesthetic appeal of their scientific imagery, some did not feel creative and felt nervous in coming to a printmaking workshop. Equally, I felt nervous meeting one of the Doctors in his hospital based office. However, it seems all of us like working in something that is not our usual medium. Feedback revealed a recognition of working with and trusting what develops out of the process of experimentation and that  printmaking experiences can  be an agent for changes in thinking.

Cover page printed with Dr John Holmes.
 Book cover is a slide housing case lined with Anatomy Dept blueprints.

Tectonics with Marcus Collinge

Laser cut and printed TEM grid shapes

Rat and my attempts to use a drawing arm on a microscope

Learning surgeon's sutures
Image sources: a stack of magazine spines (Allan Mitchell)
 and a recording of gait (Emily Hill)

I have stolen some sentences from participants: “The essential difference is that I feel a freedom here that I don’t feel in science.”  “I enjoyed this as I had no expectations of a result, it was a fun thing to do. The environment is nice to work in as my own [work] environment is sterile out of respect for the human material.” “Is this heaven? [[The Otakou Press Room]…I can’t quite believe that I got to spend the afternoon doing this.” “It is nice to be part of something communal, to band ideas off each other.” “[This printmaking] is a recording of the juxtaposed physicality between the scientific image and the artful.” “There are not enough hours in the day to explore all the ideas that have come all of a sudden.”
Texture printed from the plastic of aprons used in dissection room,
fragments from Becky Cameron's sketchbook on eye movements,
Simone Montgomery's neuron threads and
Stephanie Woodley's knee research. 

Doctor's notes (from NZ Archives), Lynette Taylor's stencils and laser cut medical dictionary.

Book was displayed in both bound form and loose pages

I am becoming increasingly interested in how audiences can shape or contribute to exhibitions. While Body of Evidence achieved this the input group was only 20 and another art work, Sliver, became the platform for audience interaction. I laid the printing plates out on a table top along with graphite and paper. I have tried many times to encourage audience participation and had grand imaginings of activity only to find people are reluctant to respond. In contrast, the frottage activity took off - perhaps because it is non - threatening or because it harks back to texture rubbings we may have done in childhood.  People became addicted and on days I was there some people stayed making for one, two, three hours! 
It was interesting to go into the space and see what people had been doing while I was absent

One weekend Ruth and I offered badge making - creating a frenzy of frottage and badges

See also