pattern hunt

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When hunting for patterns in my surroundings, my eyes were captivated by the geometry of this brick path. A decorative path that goes to nowhere in particular, I pondered on the intricacies of the way its pattern curves around although its structural lines are completely straight. An interesting pattern that I could explore every crack and crevice of – but had I not hunted for a pattern today, it would never occurred to me to step off my walking path and find the curious spaces in between. This was a great exercise to compel me to slow down from my daily tasks and experience simple joy in a simple moment, spurred on by such a simple thing.

“Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences. I was a child, which meant that I knew a dozen different ways of getting out of our property and into the lane, ways that would not involve walking down our drive.”
Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

 

This is a response to a photographic prompt from Susannah Conways #august break project

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Why do we take selfies?

Photographer Vivienne McMaster teaches others how to see the beauty around and within you. In an ‘August Break‘ photographic prompt this week she asks:

Why do we take selfies? Or why might we want to?
We may want to because it is a chance to feel seen, by ourselves.
Or because it allows us to tell the story of our day, of our lives.
Maybe because it is a tool for seeing ourselves in a new way.
And because we are as worthy of being in front of the camera as anyone else is.

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Selfie with son

My favourite way of taking a selfie is when my arms wrapped around a loved one. My family and friends are my world and I feel humbled when I view upon my life from the outside looking in. This shot reminds me of my connectedness to family, our place of belonging in this world, the joy we experience when together, and that it’s these precious little moments that need to be remembered often. My son is growing stronger and smarter each and everyday, and although now he is not so keen to have me snapping happy in his face like I used to, he was super keen to be up front on this day – because we were in it together!

I encourage you to join ‘The August Break’ photographic project with me and take a selfie today. Let’s explore how it can be a way to connect with ourselves and the world that surrounds us!

#augustbreak Thanks Vivienne!

 

I invent more of me everyday

We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Letting our past decide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves. And maybe it’s our job to invent something better – Chuck Palahniuk, Choke 

Linda Plaisted

The works of award winning photographic mixed media artist, Linda Plaisted have captured my attention in “Photocraft: creative mixed media and digital approaches to transforming your photographs.” by Susan Tuttle and Christi Hydeck.

My recent ideas of layering images in an etheric and dream-story way has already been successfully achieved by Plaisted in America. Plaisted’s award winning work is on a similar track to what I had thought to be a unique idea for me to pursue in the next stage of my and photographic art, however, I will not let this realisation stop me from exploring this idea.

I need to trust that I am still a unique artist and at the end of the day, no one does anything the same as another. So, off I go to explore layering nature images and self-portraiture together. My only intention is to combine these elements that I have a deep sense of reverence for. I have no end ideal result in mind, just thoughts of layers of transparency, blending modes at play, intimate, ethereal and contemplative images with a digital encaustic aesthetic.

Whats interesting is that Plaisted also works with encaustics, as seen below:

References:

Hydeck, C & Tuttle, S. (2012). Photocraft: creative mixed media and digital approaches to transforming your photographs. Ohio, USA: North Light Books.

Plaisted, L. (2013). Linda Plaisted Fine Art Photography and Mixed Media. Retrieved from http://lindaplaisted.com/

 

Just get to work he says…

All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of work itself…If you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction.” Chuck Close

I am really struggling with getting back into the study year and just getting work done as Chuck Close advises. In the first few weeks, I learnt how to create Photopolymer Etching film, for printmaking. This was something I felt I could really sink my teeth into, and was all ready to expose my prepared film, only for the process to be stopped by a broken vacuum on the exposure unit. Since then, my focus has gone off on other tangents and hasn’t landed into any particular interest for the brief ahead of me. In the process I have procrastinated getting work done – remembering that work is what makes stuff happen in the first place. At least this thinking time had enabled me to consolidate my view, and my voice as an artist. I am contemplating extending my skills on one or two of the forms of media below.  Obviously, I need to refine my thoughts. It’s fine for me to utilise all of these media for projects in the future, but I will need to decide which of them will best express my concept and outcome for this semester.

Photo Montage with Photoshop, Printmaking in particular Photopolymer Etching, Illustration using paint or pencil, Fibre Art, Clay, or Soft Sculpture. I think its safe to say at this point, that I will be a mixed media artist. I feel like a fledging sitting on the precipice about to embark upon my first flight – excited and really hesitant. Wish me luck!

 

 

 

 

Kathy Klein

Kathy Klein is the intuitive creator of these mandalas (sanskrit meaning – ‘sacred circle’) made from natures bounty. This avid collector of wild treasures tunes into the creative process in a ritualistic way – ensuring that her experience is both meditative and meaningful for herself and the people who adorn walls with her limited edition prints, or for those fortunate people who serendipitously come across them on their travels amongst the landscape. I am truly inspired by her desire to create in a ‘connected to cosmos’ way allowing the treasures to take their own colourful forms and energy, seemingly without a pre-meditated (excuse the pun) outcome. Her works are obviously linked to higher intentions and I am comforted to witness the actions of a kindred artist taking a profound step into claiming such. Klein has provoked me to really stand in my power as an artist who honors our co-creator in all that becomes manifest.

Kathy Klein is a devout lover of plants, animals, people and the divine presence within all.  She creates the danmalas by first centering herself in a meditative devotional space.  Next she gathers flowers and natural objects while her mind is kept in mantra, resting in the immaterial. Then, through an act of grace and giving to all, she allows the materials to fall to the will of creation patterns.

 

Reference:

Retrieved on 26th November 2013, from https://www.danmala.com

The Sum of Things

Painting of Dancers on stage by Nik Helbig, 2009
20x90cm, acrylic on canvas

To sum up the year of Level 5 Bachelor of Visual Arts & Design at Ideaschool in a few words is tricky. The short story is that I now perceive myself to be a new artisan who has not yet acquired her entire tool kit, as apposed to only being a ‘wanna be’ (Just like I’m a ‘wanna be’ dancer on stage).

Although I thoroughly embraced the briefs of Pattern Universe and Self Portrait, my future steps started to become really clear during the Documenting Arts module, where I found creative possibilities opening up before me. Prior to this, I found myself meeting brief requirements with comparatively little belief in my ability and direction.

I find meaning in the handcrafted and beautiful functional objects combined with philosophical or poetic concepts. Topics of surrealism, fantasy, whimsy and mind/body consciousness intrigue me.  Keeping this in mind, what I intend to create next year are pieces of work that are for purposes of adornment and decoration of home and hearth, and of the person in the context of hard and soft sculpture.

The technologies I plan to apply include; photography, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for digital art and photographic manipulation, print technologies, small object sculptural methods (soldering, enameling, heat treatment of metals), and fibre art. I will be enrolling in a correspondence paper in Photoshop as an additional elective in Semester one 2014, to extend my limited knowledge of digital media. I also plan to continue my blog postings, drawing practices and document my creative ideas and art research over the break.

Although I have many ideas to explore I will be mindful of avoiding any predictable outcomes. I have learnt that unique and interesting works of art always come about as a result of play and exploration. This is my primary focus for level 6, to develop a signature aesthetic that is one of a kind and appealing for customers. Speaking of which, I am looking forward to developing a business model and embarking on the journey of becoming a Mixed media Handcraft Artisan and colleague to many talented artisans in the local and global communities of the Arts.

Thanks to the many at Ideaschool and our wider community who contributed to the success and enjoyment of Level 5  2013! I curtsy to you all in respect and admiration.