Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Self Portrait

The project in one of my process art classes a few months ago, was to do a series of Self Portraits using clay, charcoal, and tea, coffee and ink.

For the first one we were given a mirror and a large lump of clay.
Sitting comfortably and holding the clay in our hands, we did a guided meditation.
We then placed the clay on the desk in front of us and with our eyes closed, were instructed to carefully and slowly feel our face, ... our ears, ... our head ... and our neck. We did this a few times using both our hands, first our fingertips and then our whole hand.
When we were done, we started to mould the ball of clay into a self portrait. We could look at our refection in the mirror and at times we closed our eyes and worked intuitively, feeling our way around the clay and occasionally referring back by feeling our faces and heads with our hands.

You would think that with all this care taken to explore your own face, and to carefully mould it out of clay, you would manage to achieve a pretty close resemblance of yourself  in your final sculpture.

So, I ask you, with tears in my eyes...

Who the hell is THIS Guy !??   LOL

Self Portrait in clay

Self Portrait in clay - side view

Charcoal sketch of Self Portrait in clay

Self Portrait in charcoal

Self Portrait - wet on wet using tea, coffee and black ink

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Last Dance - mono prints

Printmaking (or Graphics as it was called) was my favourite subject when I was in high school. I've done the odd etching, woodcut and lino cut over the years and have always dreamt of one day having my own press. It is therefore not surprising that my favourite Process Art classes have become the ones where we work with Mono prints.
The class started with a guided meditation, which I always find really helpful. It calms your mind and helps you to switch off, or change gear, after a busy day.
We spent some time paging through magazines and tearing out pages of colour, texture or images that grabbed our attention. There was also a selection of items such as bubble wrap, textured fabric, lace, flowers, leaves etc. that could be used to make texture or patterns in the ink. We were free to experiment printing onto different papers, including the magazine pages we'd torn out.
My many printing experiments done on various papers, including some magazine pages.
When we were done, we stuck all our prints up on the wall and quietly sat and looked at them. We were to choose two prints that could then be worked into by adding colour with ink or pastels.
These were the two prints that stood out for me. They felt like they belonged together.
Last Dance
As always, the artwork that I do in these classes ends up reflecting something that is on my mind or in my subconscious at the time. In the days before this class I had been thinking and worrying a lot about my father who is ill and was due to start radiation therapy. I had been preoccupied by thoughts of human mortality, the fear of death, and the fear of, and inevitability of, one day losing my parents.
I called this work "Last Dance".