Bridget Guerzon Mills

Bridget Guerzon Mills has inspired me to look into how I could incorporate Encaustics into Mixed Media works. She works with layers of textures and colour in paints, photo images, organic matter, stitch work and wax. She suggests that interests and passions are paramount for developing a personal style and voice, and to be authentic by never following someone else’s style. It is in the mistakes that we find our footing so just create, create, create and make heaps of mistakes. Her artwork is a personal dialogue and the themes stem from cycles of life, growth and decay, memories and the passage of time. Guerzon Mills creates paintings, visual journals and facilitates workshops where she teaches her mixed media craft and shares wisdom of how to discover ones own creative voice.

Bridgette Guerzon Mills 'Aftermath' (2014) Encaustic with mixed media Bridgette

Bridgette Guerzon Mills ‘Aftermath’ (2014) Encaustic with mixed media Bridgette

Reference: Images and information Retreived on 2nd April 2014 from http://www.guerzonmills.com/encaustics

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Before I get to work

In order to be a practicing artist I discovered very early on this month that I had certain needs to be met. I need to be authentic, to feel like I have a purpose, and to nourish my creative impulses.  So ultimately, I had to get really clear on how to meet these needs, because it is my unique voice, what I want to say in my work that will at the end of the day nourish my soul and sustain my art practice.  This was really frustrating to be so ‘in my head’ about it, when all I really felt I should be doing was to start working, like Chuck Close advises see previous post.  But now I’m graciously accepting the process that it took knowing that at least my conceptual foundations have been laid and I have a strong sense of my voice and purpose.

So, what is my voice?  I had no idea until I did an exercise that my tutor gave me, putting together 10 of my favourite artists with intentions of making connections, so that I could see what they all had in common.  I soon discovered that I am drawn to: Illustration, Mixed Media Sculpture, Digital and Traditional Mixed Media, and Printmaking of all sorts (most recently I have been fascinated with Photopolymer Etching as it satisfies the photographer and printmaker in me. See gallery below for the selection of artists that I chose in the exercise.

 

The common threads are works that tell a narrative, feature people or creatures or both, surreal juxtapositions, and a good dose of whimsy.  These connections didn’t surprise me, but what did surprise me was that these concepts lead me down a pathway of quite a political approach to my practice.  Which stands to reason, as I want my art to be a provocation. Using my art as a form of storytelling (another love of mine) and inviting the viewer to consider their own experience of being human, ones place of belonging in the world, and in the body, and also the choice to live consciously alongside our fellow human beings and the other creatures of the planet.

My voice resounds with :

  • humanitarianism
  • optimistism
  • animal and human consciousness
  • philosophical
  • awareness of Self
  • reflection
  • poetics

May it serve me well in the World!

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

Evaluating the Process of ‘Adaptation’

I thoroughly immersed myself in the conceptual stages of this brief (in previous posts) and found I could have stayed there for longer than 2 weeks. The reason why I was so engaged is because I finally broke through my barrier of ‘not being able to draw’. Drawing in 3D, then the process of transferring images into 2D sketches using a light box, has been so insightful as to how I can foresee myself developing my drawing skills in the future. I have always struggled with perspective and scale, and this trick of the trade has opened up more possibilities for me to learn and become comfortable with a pencil in hand.

I am pleased that my intuitive capabilities were not disregarded but rather enhanced in this brief. Even though this meant that whilst I was engaged so deeply in creating with my hands, I forgot to stop and photograph developmental stages to add to my documentation later. I have learnt to trust in the creative process, knowing that things will develop naturally on their own accord, without my needing to have an expectation of any certain outcome.

My major turning points in this project were a new perspective on drawing that I feel confident in, the inspiration to use Adobe Illustrator as a drawing tool and ultilising the Intron Press to print these designs onto silk and aluminum for feature wings, and the beaded wire alternative to constructing the bugs, giving them an elegant but also mechanical juxtaposed aesthetic.

My only disappointment in this brief has been the low tech quality of my hard sculpture handcraft skills and box frames. If I had longer to refine my skills that were developing towards the end of my process, I would have replaced some of these creatures with more sophisticated models and built wooden shadow box frames with glass casing. I predicted that this would happen, and found it easy to accept as a part of the process as an artist. Many of us are actually our harshest critics. Wouldn’t you agree?

I have completed this project with an awareness of the difference between a low tech or sophisticated outcome and presentation. This making the end product either suitable for selling or not. My ambition is to develop my skill-set to the level where I can create works suitable for selling to customers. I have many ideas to explore in the next two years of degree studies – none of which feature insects of this kind. But I am grateful for the experience of creating them, as it resulted in acquiring very valuable insights and skills that will serve me well in the future.

Stitch ‘n’ Verse series

My foremothers would stitch, crochet, embroider, knit and spin yarn.  It was my intention in this project to acknowledge and honour the threads of their work and hearts as they run through my veins as naturally as the blood that binds us. From the beginning the process of transforming cloth into form has struck me as magical. And, over the years, that magical process has had its way with me, leading me from hobby to art. Fiber Art fills me with a sense of pride and sincerity, and has proven a most responsive media for translating my creative visions into form.

I sew from the inside out. Though I work quite deliberately, consciously employing both traditional and innovative techniques, my unconscious is the irrefutable project manager.  The organic nature of this work frees my imagination and provides many opportunities for serendipity and materiality to influence the finished product.

‘Stitch ’n’ Verse is a document of the poems and fibers created and collected by my favourite forbearer Joan Russell (1923-2006).

Ways of Seeing – a Right Brain Investigation

In this recent module I was encouraged to embark upon a pathway, which held the most resistance for me – which is painting.  Step one was to challenge conventional ‘ways of seeing’ (our project title). Step two was to challenge my  self-limiting beliefs about being an artist.  My intention was simply to explore and discover how I may develop my confidence and skills of painting and drawing over the period of two weeks. An investigation into how I see my self developing as an artist, with inspiration and guidance from the art movement Surrealism and the art theory of drawing with the Right side of your brain. Through this I would find new ways of representing my ideas and creative processes, rather than relying on words constantly, I would learn to draw my thoughts and ideas.

I began by creating an ideas book solely for drawing/thinking titled it my book of A-Z’s – with the intention of drawing anything that had the essence of being strange, humorous, provocative or amusing.  However, I didn’t get beyond B in my A-Z book of drawings, because I was led to explore the sketch as a series of paintings that I have to show you in the next few days.

There was the risk that I would tend to create works that appear ‘Cliché’ and I therefore had to consider seriously what my images would represent, and ensure that they were not obviously blatant and boring (another few B words I could attempt to draw).

a pretty dead bird