Monday, September 26, 2011

Days Away From Finishing!

Now, it's been about a month since I put out the call for your help to name this painting.  And I've been working on it every afternoon - and on my weekends when I'm not editing my books.  Now, I'm up to the final week of finishing it up.  
The background is almost finished, the flowers have to have their finishing touches applied and it needs to be signed.  But there is one vital thing - the most important thing - that needs to be applied to this painting!  It needs a name!  And instead of me picking the name, I've had people suggest to me that there ought to be a poll to see which name is the most popular.  So, you'll see at the top - above the Followers - is the poll of all the names.  Which ones do you like?  Please put in your favourites - you can vote on more than one - and on Friday, I'll pick the most popular.  Otherwise, I've posted the photos of the painting from beginning to end below.

I'm so happy with how far I've gotten with this one; as well how it's turned out.  I didn't know it was going to turn out to be such a lovely painting.  And the list of names I've received thus far really suit it too.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Short History of Collage

Collage has a long and distinguished history. You can study early collages of the Japanese or Dutch, for example, and then revive an old idea with a new twist, giving a contemporary look and feel to an ancient technique.  And seeing how far back it goes, it's amazing how many people don't know its history; as the origins actually begin with the invention of paper in China around 200 B.C.

The earliest examples of paper collage are the work of twelfth-century Japanese calligraphers, who prepared surfaces for their poems by gluing bits of paper and fabric to create a background for brushstrokes. Later, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in the Near East, craftsmen cut and pasted intricate designs and used marbled papers as part of the art of bookbinding. Later, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, nuns made bookmarks trimmed with cut and colored papers, which they carried in their prayer books. Frequently, the materials used were selected for their symbolism, a practice that continues in contemporary collage.Renaissance artisans of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in western European countries pasted paper and fabric to decorate the backgrounds of coats of arms in genealogical records. Cut-paper silhouettes appeared in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century. Craftsmen in prehistoric and primitive societies in many parts of the world used seed, shell, straw, feathers and butterfly wings as collage material. Shamans and holy men in some societies secured these and other materials to masks used in sacred rituals. All of these materials appear occasionally in artists’ collages today.

There were a few serous collage artists in the late nineteenth century, pasting intricate paper cutouts onto backgrounds. Hans Christian Andersen created illustrations for a book this way. Carl Spitzweg made collages for a collection of recipes with cutouts from woodcuts, which he colored by hand and pasted onto marbled papers. In the last decade of the nineteenth century, graphic artists arranged type and bold, cut-out shapes to create theater posters and illustrations. The introduction of photography led to photomontage, the combining of photographs into artistic arrangements. In time, the photos and posters themselves became collage material.

The twentieth century shed an entirely new light on collage. Katherine Hoffman stated that “Collage may be seen as a quintessential twentieth-century art form with multiple layers and signposts pointing to the possibility or suggestion of countless new realities.” Art historians generally attribute the first use of collage in fine art to Pablo Picasso in 1912, when he glued a piece of patterned oilcloth to a cubist still life. Next, Georges Braques incorporated wallpaper into his artwork. The two artists experimented with papiers coll├ęs as an extension of cubist principles. Instead of creating an illusion of reality, they invented a new kind of reality, using textured and printed papers and simulated wood patterns on their drawings and paintings. Imagine the storm of controversy that followed these experiments. The use of foreign materials in paintings inflamed critics, adding more fuel to the creative fires of experimental artists.

Today’s collage artists invent exciting variations of these ancient collage techniques.Today, two-dimensional paper collages are still a significant means of expression. Collage holds a permanent place in the lists of major media, along with drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. While it is often used alone, collage is also combined with other media (painting, drawing, and printmaking) in various forms of individual communication. 


Susan Krieg 

I've been doing collage on and off for a while now; and thought to upload a bit about it for you all.  I did cut and paste a lot of this work; as I didn't know much about collage, however, there's more about this type of art on this link.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Name That Painting - Update

Now, as you all know, I've been running a competition to name one of my archival paintings which I'm currently fixing up.  This has been no easy task as I'm now up to doing the background and detailing work before signing it; and I don't like to rush this part.  However, I will let you all in on the names that have been submitted to me; unfortunately, not many of you put them down in the comments as I had hoped.  I won't put down the names of who's titles are whose, just the titles suggested to make this fair.
Secret Flowers
One Fine Orchard/Flos Campi
Star Fish Flowers
Garden Starfish
The Flower Burst
Flower Power
Stella Maris
Power of Flowers
All of these are brilliant titles; however only one will win the prize of arty bits'n'pieces - such as brushes, paint, sketch books, pencils and other cool and useful artist's things.  I'll be drawing this competition by the end of this month - 30th, September, 2011.  So, if you'd still like to enter, there's still a lot of time left.

Monday, September 19, 2011

September Already.

At the beginning of February, I wanted to begin painting again; however I didn't know where to start.  You see, there are many things that can cause us to stop painting - or making our own type of art - and it's usually what's going on around us.  For me, it was new neighbours.  They weren't just new, they were rude, horrible and noisy.  For a year they didn't settle and just made my life dreadful; as well as everyone else's.  So, my artwork came to a grinding halt.  No matter what I put up on easel, I either couldn't touch it or couldn't finish it. 
So, at Christmas, I made a promise to myself that this year I'd get in and do some work; even if it meant getting outdoors and working from a portable means (like Van Gogh did) outside my studio; at least I'd get something done!  Well, I thought to show you all the finished artwork I've done this year.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I do love it when a painting feels like a jigsaw puzzle and everything just falls into place; particularly when I'm working on an old painting which was never completed.  I've almost completed all the flowers on this painting.  The next part will be the background.  I'm so happy with well it's gone thus far.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Knitting Workshop a Creative Blast!

Today, I went to the Logan Art Gallery to attend a knitting Master Class put on by Chris Zantis; who has an exhibition there (it's in the first gallery; and is absolutely brilliant).  On arrival, there were some ladies who had all brought along their knitting bags and goodies with them (something I had thought of bringing; but decided against it). Anyway, the Gallery was late in opening and we were all out the front for a few minutes introducing ourselves for a little while.

Once inside, Chris introduced herself and we put our bags inside the workroom and were shown around her exhibit in the first gallery.  
She explained how each piece came about and what materials she used; and where she arrived to have them.  The talk went for about an hour or so before we all went into the workroom and Chris showed us how she did some of the stitches she has been doing in her works; and a few of us took notes; then we tried it out.  I stuffed one lot up, but improvised (as we're encouraged to do so).  Anyway, we learned how to do a cord, make a skirt with the wool and adding on was a lot easier than I thought it was.  She made it a more fun than knitting has been in the past. 

Then, came the imaginative part.  We were invited to try out making a piece from what we've learnt that told a story about our lives right now.  I began knitting with really bulky wool made a little piece with different stitches.  Then I grabbed some wool and made a cord; and then, I worked on stitching it to a grater... part of attaching it to it was stitching pearls on it and tying bows of yarn onto it as well!  I had a ball with it; calling it: 'Chained to the Sink!'.  And Chris saw it and loved it immediately crying out that she needed a camera; which Judy (or Leslie, I don't know who as I was concentrating on my work) took a few photos of it.  Chris asked why it was called that and I said I live alone and it's all I seem to be doing:  washing up all the time, and they all laughed.
I loved working with knitting and yarn in the different ways and integrating the kitchen materials with it all; it made knitting a lot more interesting and fun.  We got to take home our work too.  There are still some finishing touches on my grater I've got to do, but I'm happy with my work otherwise.  Until my next post, keep creating! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Update on the Archived Work and Competition

Well!  Since I last posted here, I've had a great response to the Name This Painting Competition.  And I've also been working hard on this one too being pleased with how it's coming along. 

First sitting:  not much had been done in this one; just colour sorting.

Second Sitting: I completed the orange flower and part of the brown on the right side.

Third Sitting: Began painting the background an off-white to fill in any gaps before going on.
 I have been painting at night when there's nothing on television; and just before bed too as there's always something on this painting that needs fixing up.  So, It'll be finished before long - I know it - and the name will be picked out.  In my next post, I'll put up the list of names that have been suggested.  I know that there's only been on comment, however others have seen this on another site, and have bombarded me with names.  If you have a name for this one, don't hesitate to place in the comments below; you never know, you may win the prize of arts goods such as brushes, paints, small sketch books and other useful items.  This is an international competition; and I will post the items off via air mail so you will receive your prize as soon as possible.  Otherwise, keep entering.  This painting won't take long to finish.