Encaustic Series by Vicky Reisima

The ‘Elements of Random’ series were conceived from my desire to combine the natural world with geometric patterns, highlighting the synergistic and beautiful relationship that can be witnessed between them.

This series of works were created in response to my desire to experiment with encaustic wax. After combining photographs with vector images in Photoshop, I went on to transfer the images onto calico fabric with the Intron Heat Transfer Press. Before fusing them onto wooden box frames, I couldn’t resist passing them under the sewing machine for old times sake. They are currently on display in the Can Print Exhibition in Hastings Community Art Gallery (Hawkes Bay, New Zealand from 21st July-02 August 2014), and available to purchase should you wish to have them adorning your walls.

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Everything begins with a circle

The circle draws attention to it’s centre and content that it encircles. I am fascinated with circular forms made by either nature or man. We see them everywhere! Its a topic that keeps arising again and again in my creative process and I am still quite sure that I am going to explore this further, if not in this brief then certainly in the future.

Indefinable yet ever present, it is nothing at all. It is the formless from, the imageless image. It can’t be grasped by the imagination. It has no beginning and no end. This is the essence of Tao. Stay in harmony with this ancient presence and you will know the fullness of each present moment – Lao-Tau, Chinese Philosopher (6th Century BC)

Reference:

French, K.L. (2012). The Hidden Geometry of Life: The science and spirituality of nature. London, UK. Watkins Publishing.

Monochromatic Paint Play

Today I played with acrylics and moulding paste to create an image resembling a sea urchin. I enjoyed surrendering to the possibility that the method to my madness (which was an absolutely free styled approach) may not have been successful, however I do believe that it resulted in an interesting accumulation of textures, patterns and shapes that nature has inspired. Being a basic exploration of acrylics, this exercise certainly allowed me to play and discover how paint behaves again. Having been exploring 3D construction and keeping up with my photography, means that it has been a while since I last picked up a brush. Good fun! I look forward to painting with colour, oils and possibly watercolour next week.

Screen printing: An exploration

Once I had my pattern outcome decided upon, I set to the task of screen printing it. I immersed myself into two solid days of experimenting with colours, textures, surfaces and layering of ink. I wanted to use colours that would compliment my final outcome (which I haven’t revealed yet of course), so I stayed with medium and light tones in aqua green and blue, violet and raspberry. I intended to always layer two tones on top of each other, to give a more interesting and complex design and visual effect – and it resulted in a shadow effect having the appearance of the ink hovering above the surface. I experimented mis-matching the layers which although made for an even more complex design, but I preferred the above stated effect, so I stuck to the original plan to off set the top layer in a different shade of colour. I could have spent days playing with different papers and images to print onto, but I needed to step into the next stage of the creative process, by printing finally onto fabric.  I chose vintage woolen blanket scraps to print onto, because I am a lover of textiles and fibre art. Recently I wrote about The Indie Craft Movement, and expressed how inspired I was by the many contemporary artists and designers who use old school crafting techniques and materials in the modern context to express themselves artistically.  I decided then that I would like to explore this approach in my own practice, and this project brief was the suitable place to do so. These are a few pictures of my samples, that were not so striking in colour. The other prints that were a success have now evolved into the final outcome, which I will post next!

Passion for Pattern

After creating a the ‘Patterns in Nature’ to use in this months project brief, I went on a side path to explore how I could manipulate the pattern and its elements on Adobe Photoshop.  These are my most successful outcomes in the short time I had to side track, and the results left me feeling really excited and curious about delving into further experimentation outside of this project brief. I am intrigued by how pattern simply evolves in it’s own way given the chance to do so. Photoshop and Illustrator have enabled me to experiment with just a few of infinite possibilities.  In a lecture about Patterns in Nature, I was told that as artists we need to understand patterns, as they are the order and structure of all things connected.  Patterns provide us with knowledge and familarity, which is why I feel so passionate about pattern in all its forms from nature or otherwise.  We find patterns in language and mental processes, mathematics and science, sound, music and technology, human and animal anatomy, in natures cyclical seasons. It is no wonder then, that we are drawn innately to pattern.  For more about pattern and how we perceive them, check out Jason Silvas clip  ‘To Understand is to perceive Pattern’

An Artful Life: Kahori Maki

Born in Japan 1961, Kahori Maki is an acclaimed artist/designer, having produced many works in various disciplines including illustration, installation, painting, graphic design, and object design.  Working as an active freelancer since 1994, Maki has collaborated with leading brands and companies such as Designworks, Shiseido, Levi’s and McDonalds.

In addition, Maki has been working on Solo exhibitions and her works have featured in numerous fashion and design magazines.  Her un-mistaking recognisable style is seen extensively in posters, commercial advertising, window displays, interior walls of buildings, fashion shoot back drops, textile prints and even on cars. This month, Maki’s work covered the walls of an entire warehouse for an audio-visual event in Brooklyn.

Maki’s stylised imagery, regardless of where she features it, is striking and tends to provoke mystery with its edgy, dark, fluid and organic forms. Her designs depict nature in its beautiful power and seductiveness, portraying the exotic and the eerie.  Maki’s designs are always nature inspired, but her signature monochromatic illustrations are far from traditional depictions of nature.

(Maki is) one of the first fashion illustrators to identify the dramatic impact of the natural forms through dark monochromes rather than the more traditional soft pastels

Furthermore, Maki juxtaposes her work by placing it in the extreme urban environment or context – factoring in her philosophical concept of how urban life is deficient of nature.  A concept marvellously complimented by the surreal and dark moody nature of her work, portraying her deep connection to the less desired aspects of nature.

I am not afraid of looking into the shadows and shedding light on the beautiful creatures that live in the twilight worlds

Maki talks about connecting the aspects of nature to a part of the human soul, and I interpret her work as an expression of the depth and mystery contained therein. I find myself also connecting this quote above to the human soul, and what may lay within the darkest corners. I too, am not afraid of looking into the shadows of my own soul and shedding light on what may be there. What beauty and treasures are still yet to be discovered?

Finally, I am inspired by Maki’s love of nature and the darkness of it that some may find oppressive or grotesque. Many of her works convey to me the idea of portals into other worlds. She expresses the melancholic with such elegance; one cannot help but be allured into the realms of swirling, meandering lines and forms.

The work of Maki has influenced my current project significantly. I have drawn upon her concept of combining animal and insect life with fauna and flora, and placed the bold outlines of them in a perfectly random occurring pattern.  This research has led me to have confidence in taking an organic and bold approach to pattern, and I have explored and developed numerous possibilities for an outcome in this brief, of which I hope to experiment with further in the future. For the mean time, lets see how my project for ‘Pattern Universe’ has developed.

Watch this space.

References:

IdN. Wayfinding+Signage: Kahori Maki. IdN , v17 (n5), 56-57.

Maki, K. (2010). Works. Retrieved May 28, 2013, from Kahori Maki: http://www.k-maki.com/

Quinn, B. (2009). Textile Designers: At the Cutting Edge. London, UK: Lawrence King Publishing.