December prints

A few prints, one produced at home, and the others at printing group.

This print is produced with Akua inks, on a smooth card, and I used my printer at home.  The print is taken directly off some old wallpaper that came from my parents house.  The original illustration of what I think may be a conifer is pale green, but here I used red and it suggests the NZ Christmas tree – Pohutukawa!  I used this print to make Christmas cards for family and friends.

Christmas-print-web

 

I’ve always had an interest in pottery, probably because of the glazes, but I really like the shapes of vessels and I am also presently researching cardial ware pottery.  The next two images are of prints I made using a piece of flat, smooth polystyrene packaging that came with food from the supermarket (nice to recycle!).  I traced the outline, cut the shape out and used a pointed etching tool to impress the marks.  I am still learning, so it is helpful to have an image I can work up on a block quickly, then be able to concentrate on the printing process itself.  I used two small pieces of polystyrene joined with masking tape at the back, and the marks and pits on the surface of the polystyrene helped to suggest the surface of clay pottery ware – as you can see below.  I really think these printing block are artworks in their own right.

Cardial-ware-block

I found the cardial ware pottery image by Joanbanjo on Wikimedia Commons.  The neolithic pot is described as decorated impressed ware, from the Cova de l’Or de Beniarrés, (5000 – 4200 BC) in the Museu de Prehistòria de València.  I used water based printing ink and dry paper for these works.

 

Cardial-ware-Villanova2-print

Cardial-ware-Villanova-print
Credits:   http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AVas_amb_decoraci%C3%B3_impresa_cardial%2C_Cova_de_l’Or_de_Beniarr%C3%A9s%2C_Museu_de_Prehist%C3%B2ria_de_Val%C3%A8ncia.JPG

By Joanbanjo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons from Wikimedia Commons

Finally from the garden, a photo of poppies for 2014 – red for love and tinged with white for peace.

I wish everybody a safe and bountiful 2015!

 

Poppies-for-2014

Transported from old to new dye possibilities

P1210737

It is now August, and I started this post in March…   Time passes.  It now feels like home.  Seeds of a new beginning – seed pods of Wharariki, the New Zealand mountain flax plant.

Oxford in the early morning sunlight – Mt Oxford hills seen from the town.

Sentinel-trees

At the beginning of 2014, a ‘sudden rush of blood to the head’ started a process that before you would have believed it possible landed us in another house in the same town within a month.  It does not feel like a home yet, but we are settling our nerves now, coming out of the upheaval.  People wonder why we did it, but the old place, gorgeous as it was, needed  younger, stronger custodians than we could give.  We thought it would take months to sell, but it happened almost immediately.  I really miss the plants and the beautiful views;  trying not to think too much about it.  However, I’m finding new curiosities and opportunities and living in the town will possibly force us out to the wild places that we neglected.  We really had a semi-wild place in the garden to keep us occupied.

Before we departed I managed to do a few solar dyes.  Some of the colours from last summer were still in their dye pots, so I popped in swatches of woven wool – Viburnum tinus, Privet berries, and Hypericum perforatum seed heads.  I also tried Rosemary twigs – lovely smell!

In early January I started a solar dye with flowers and another with leaves of Alchemilla mollis – the flower dye is below with a painted sample of the dye directly on the page.

Alchemilla-mollis flowers

In the dye jars, the yellow colour appeared almost immediately but I got a stronger colour from the  Alchemilla flowers.

A-mollis-flower-solar

Another solar jar was gradually receiving – over a fortnight – red hollyhock flowers that fell off the plant.  Previously I have steamed the hollyhock flower heads onto silk, and the colour was a bright pink, quite different to the result on wool.

Hollyhock-solar

 

The dried swatches as in my test book:

Feb-solar-dyes

One of the last photos I took at the old house.  Althea that I grew from seeds.  Will start again.

Althea

Snow in ‘summer’ along with high winds!   This is the view that greeted us a few days after we moved house.  Very dramatic welcome…

March-snow-wind

Our new house is just over one year old, like a doll’s house, and we have a garage full of stuff to be sorted, given away or reallocated somewhere.  There is a lovely patch of weeds down the road – some old friends and some new rather ferocious looking ones too!
Ferocious-weed

This knotweed is an old friend – and a walk in the park led me to some knotweed – Polygonum aviculare it may be – from which I have obtained a yellow.  So there are possibilities.  The knotweed below was growing by the footpath.  I have brought some of the prostrate polygonum from the old garden.

Friendly-weed

Mallow

weeds-fence

Yellow-with-plantain

Finally, a sentimental note.  A move like this presents your belongings to you in a different light.  You find things you had forgotten, and other possessions take on a new life.  I happened to look through two Stanley Gibbons stamp albums that belonged to my father.  The books are large and heavy, and lots of the stamps are missing, but not on this page, however.  Towards the back of the book, this 15-year-old listed the number of stamps he had collected:  on 10 March 1929 he had 1315.  I read this on the 10 March 2014.

pennyred

Colours from a Landscape

I am currently showing some pigment colour swatches at the Dunedin Botanic Gardens, and in October I am doing a workshop on making paint.   This exhibition was facilitated through the Blue Oyster Gallery in Dunedin.  Also included in the show are some natural pigments on paper – eco prints – and some raw pigment.  The two artworks on paper show colours from Waikari (green)  and Ashley Gorge (pink and green)  in North Canterbury.  Many thanks to Clare Fraser from the Dunedin Botanic Gardens who is in charge of the venue.  I think the colours look fantastic presented on black paper against the lovely red walls of the Information Centre!

The pigment swatches each show a colour found at a specific location which is named on the swatch.

Image

Appearing below are some of the photos I received from Jaime Hanton, Blue Oyster Gallery, Dunedin, who kindly photographed the show and installed the work for me :

Dunedin Botanics 1

Dunedin Botanics 2

Dunedin botanics 3

Dunedin Botantics 4

This is not my anticipated installation for this show as the initial selection was stolen.  My box was left on the pavement by the courier company and disappeared overnight.  The items in this box were some of those in the photograph shown in the display case, bottom left corner.  If, by any chance, they turn up, I would just love to have them back.  They represent five years research, experiment and recording.  I have given up hope of ever seeing them again, however, and will re-build as much of the information as I can…  Worse things happen, and I ‘count my blessings’.

 

P1160373

 

 

 

Dunedin Botanics 6

Shells were traditionally used for paint containers!

Eight Waters

Exploring the Invisible

This fascinating site has details of  a new project with artist Sarah Craske that seeks to explore the nature of water –  here showing the differences in pH of water collected from natural water courses.

img_1210

Here’s the link  –   Eight Waters.

Eco Printing on Paper

As part of a series of tests for printing plant colour on paper, I put paper and eucalyptus and hoheria leaves in between two pieces of paper in an ice cream tub, added water and laid a ceramic tile and stone on the top to submerge the contents.

Eucalyptus on paper

Tub and contents prior to soaking.Tub