Waikawa Walks Pigments

Waikawa Bay is near Waitohi/Picton on Queen Charlotte Sound, and they are connected by a track through the Victoria Domain Park. There are other tracks in the Domain and you can walk to end of the peninsula; The Snout. We tried most of these three tracks and here are a couple of photos:

We were staying in Waikawa in February 2020, and these pigments I collected during the walks. These were three different clays and one harder rock (the red pigment). I am trying to catch up with testing these pigments. It made a relaxing task compared to working towards exhibitions!

I rather like the #4 pigment, has an slight green colour to the brown. The sample “#5” in the photos above is the first paint I made at the workshop in September and is #4. Just to confuse us all. It is interesting how yellow pigments can give a variety of darker colours. After the last Workshop in September I posted images of some of the paints made. These paint tests are made with the full strength paint, so the colours are quite dark. I have watered down the red paint, and I also rub some of the pigment powder on to the test page, for the record.

Paint Making Workshop

My most recent workshop was held for a group of local school children.

They were very quick to understand the paint making process, and made lots of bottle tops of paint – on average four each.

I had not tested the Waikawa ochre pigment before, so I chose it for the paint making demonstration. I used watercolour medium of course, as that is my favourite binder. Another muller print to add to my collection.

The students used commercially ground natural pigments, as I do not have enough of my own hand ground pigments for a large group and, anyway, the fineness of these pigments makes it easier for the students to mix into the binder. We used pigments from Roussillon and Natural Earth and Mineral Pigments.

They really enjoyed painting with their own paints! Some of their paint is shown below.

Birdlings Flat Pigment

rock, pigment, file

Not sure why I had not tried this method of making pigment before. The volcanic rock is mainly red but has a lot of other minerals in it, and as you can see the ground pigment varies in red-brown colours. The ground pigment fell through the file onto the paper. I made paint with the pigment you see here.

Brown-red watercolour paint

The lower left swatch of paint wet in wet shows how the different pigments can separate out. This is on 100gsm paper in my test book, so the cockling of the wet paper has enhanced the separation of the different pigments.

I had been reading up on middle stone age pigment manufacture which included tests of possible way of extracting the powder. The article discussed direct grinding on the grindstone and I wondered why I had not tried this before (even though I knew about this method). I don’t have a grindstone, so the file was substituted. This method will work well on this type of rock which is relatively soft compared with some of the water-shaped rocks of rivers I see. So on rocks similar to the one here, I will definitely use this in preference to my hammer!

‘Direct grinding is the most efficient method to extract fine powder from softer shales and siltstones.’

Rifkin, Riaan F. “Processing Ochre in the Middle Stone Age: Testing the Inference of Prehistoric Behaviours from Actualistically Derived Experimental Data.” Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 31.2 (2012): 174–195. Web.

Catching Up

Have not had the time to post much in the past couple of years. So here goes…

Clay, in one form or another seems to keep popping up in my artworks.

Here I was getting ready for the Turanga library workshops in January. Some of the tools of the trade, including at the top right my first muller in 2007 – a stone with one flat side to it. You can still see the colour of the last pigment that was ground with it – it worked ok, but you can get a finer powder using the glass muller to finish the process. I used a concrete tile as the grinding base. I now use a stone pestle and mortar to initially grind the shattered rock or clay. Making paint is the art process I seem to want to return to. To see what colour will appear during the printmaking process.

Pot and vessel shapes are another obsession. I like the quirkiness of painting images of ceramic pots in my clay-based paints.

But I do also use ‘ordinary paint’ – see what happens when I follow one of Peggy Dean’s Skillshare classes! (‘Discover your creative style’.)

But there’s more… like actually making ceramic objects which I have been doing over the past year with Ruth Stanton McLeod’s guidance. It is a tray, not a pot this time however.

A few objects in front of Janie Porter’s landscape painting: My daughter’s papier maché bird; a horse’s leather shoe (used in Victorian times to protect the grass when grass cutting being done, so I was told); pebbles and a slice of rock; an art nouveau pewter pot; and one of my first ceramic pots. On the left is more Oxford chalk and clay watercolour on board.

Below is a rock (kindly given to me and collected by my dear friend June Inch) from near the top of Mt Oxford – and the paint. The colour comes through as a little too green in the photograph, and I’ve tried to correct it …

Finally, here is a ceramic-watercolour combo: one of my pottery efforts – works great!

Making Paint at Turanga – Christchurch City Libraries

I am super excited to be showing how to make paint at the Turanga library next Sunday 13 January.

There will be a demonstration in the morning for children, and the workshop for adults in the afternoon.

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LOCALity

I took part in this exhibition, and showed some of my paintings made with ink from empty seed pods from Harakeke (NZ flax plant).  I also held a paintmaking workshop.

Here is the published information:

Last days for the exhibition LOCALity at Arts in Oxford, 72 Main St, Oxford. Exhibition closes Tues 10 July 2018.

LOCALity: a group exhibition exploring location, materiality & positioning

Arts in Oxford is pleased to present a selection of artworks by Canterbury artists Mark Adams, Mike Boot, Tony Bond, Cheryl Lucas, Elfi Spiewack, Tessa Warburton and Celia Wilson.

Artists each have diverse, unique practices but collectively are themes of rural life that connect all the works. Local geology, farming industry, water issues, native and introduced flora, recycling, repurposing are all reflected in this curated exhibition.

Images by Arts In Oxford.

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(You can just see my artworks on the wall in this photo above.)

Press Release:

Art_in_Oxford_LOCALity_Press Release_final-1

LOCALITY JUNE-JULYLOCALITY JUNE-JULY

Printmaking Workshop

Colours of Canterbury and other places, made at this morning’s printmaking workshop at Arts in Oxford Gallery.  Many thanks to Jo who made these lovely paints.

 

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Paintmaking Workshop

 

I am holding a paintmaking workshop on Saturday 23rd June.  If you are interested please book at the gallery to reserve a place.

We are also holding two other workshops to accompany the exhibition LOCALity now on show at Arts in Oxford, North Canterbury.

Locality workshops square

Paintmaking in the Gallery

As part of our group exhibition, Accumulative, I will be in the Arts in Oxford Gallery this Sunday 23 October from 10.30 am until 4 pm making paint from rock from the Canterbury area and further afield.

Hope to see you there!

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Carbon Footprint

 

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We’re all in the joke mood at the moment, that is if you are doing an assignment for Art of the MOOC.  It has been a real battle for me to think of a joke related to a social issue or a social movement.  My attempts just sounded so silly, but after going on line to find some, I thought mine were not that bad after all…

So how about:

When is a thinking person’s coal mine empty?  When it’s mindful.

When can coal see?  When it’s fossilised.

Then I thought, if I am making paint from coal (which was my intention), to sequester it, for example, I need a link to paint and pigment.  Luckily, my brain caught on, and I came up with using charcoal (which is also carbon).  Now, as there is a good possibility that prehistoric man also used charcoal to paint or draw with, aka cave paintings, I could somehow make  a joke that linked carbon, pigment and paint.  I do have some coal left over from when we had a coal fire (oops, but we only used it once and we had to travel 100 k to buy the coal)…  but the charcoal came from the woodturning stove and the tree came from the garden and it did seem a little more environmentally appropriate.

So my joke for Art of the MOOC was:  Was there a prehistoric carbon footprint?  No, they used their hands…

I made a video of the paint making process which can be found on my Facebook page.  www.facebook.com/celia.wilson.56   It is also on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/147520835, and I have a link to Twitter…

 

 

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