Wednesday, 18 September 2013


During the second term of my process art classes, the focus was very much on letting go of your inner critic. It was about surrendering to the process and not worrying about or planning the end result. This was done in a number of ways, from passing your work around the class where each student got to add something to your work, to working with a blindfold on.
In this class we prepared pages of rubbings, blindfolded. We chose various textured or patterned objects beforehand that could be rubbed over with wax crayon. We worked quickly and filled each page without much thought given to what we were doing.

The pages looked something like this:
Page of rubbings done with wax crayon.
Once we'd filled a number of pages with texture, we lay them out on the floor and were asked to choose one that "spoke" to us. One that seemed to have a hidden image.
I unfortunately don't have a photo of what my chosen page looked like before I worked into it with tea bags and inks.
I saw the outline of a woman's face with her hair pinned up. She had a thin elegant neck and her eyes (the birds) had luscious false eye lashes. I darkened the background with a wash of black ink to bring her out into the light.

The final artwork called Geisha

Detail of the face with the 'bird eyes'

Another detail of the artwork 'Geisha'

The week before I did this artwork, I bought a pair of false eye lashes made from feathers for a friend. She was going to Afrika Burn and I thought they would be a great accessory to add to her fancy dress outfits. Of course I wasn't thinking of the false eyelashes at the time of creating this artwork.
When I looked at the woman in my final work, the name 'Geisha' immediately sprung to mind even though she does not look Japanese or have black hair.
The term "geisha" is made of two Japanese words, (gei) meaning "art" and (sha) meaning "person who does" or "to be employed in".
The most literal translation of geisha to English is "artist".
Well, I suppose I am a "Geisha" in training. :)

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