Recent work 2021

I have been making books, prints and other things…

Imaginary botanicals with rock paints.
5/10 EV Herbarium Exotica I C Wilson 2021

A Travellers Journal. I followed the Handmade Book Club instructions and made a 2022 Planner – don’t know how I will cope with that concept… Canvas painted with runs of Golden Acrylic High Flow ink.
Before Christmas I made a few small travellers journals to give as presents. This one’s cover was made from the carton of a six pack beer – just loved the colours.

I took part in the show – Oxford Papermakers: Waiaraki Eyre River Project 4 – 28 November 2021
Alison Fleetwood, Katie Hallam, June Inch, Casey Macaulay, Elaine Steenhart, Tessa Warburton and Celia Wilson

  1. A collage of dry point prints showing the exotic weeds, coloured with local rock pigments, that thrive on the local braided river, Waiaraki/Eyre River. The course of the river near Oxford is depicted – adapted from images on Google Earth. I have used some paper that we made from these weeds. I started this work at the Printmakers Open House at the Oxford Gallery.
2. A bit of fantasy to show the local environment from river bed to mountains: Collaged handmade papers from the river plants, local rock pigments, and home made charcoal rubbings of collagraph plates. The backing paper is Harakeke paper made by Mark Lander who made the hollander beater that the Oxford Gallery Papermakers use. The Tree Lupin is painted with ink from gorse petals.

More about this show can be found at the gallery website under ‘Exhibitions’:- https://oxfordgallery.org.nz/

Open House Printmakers: New Work

We set up our new exhibition at the Oxford Gallery, on the 6th October. As you can see we have very different approaches to printmaking.

OPEN HOUSE PRINTMAKERS : NEW WORK

Kathy Anderson, Jo Ernsten, Casey Macaulay, Ruth Stanton-Mcleod, Kris Waldin, Tessa Warburton & Celia Wilson

7-24 October 2021

Kathy Anderson

Casey Macaulay

Ruth Stanton McLeod

Kris Waldin

Tessa Warburton

Jo Ernsten

Here is my submission.

For this set of hand coloured prints I concentrated on the flora and fauna of the River Eyre/Waiaraki to show the displacement of bird life by introduced by exotic plant life.  The plants take on an imaginary shape, though based on actual plants.  These prints were influenced by medieval illustrations;  I felt our present day understanding of nature is in some respect no different to their ideas of what exotic animals might look like.  My work always comes out ‘pretty’ no matter how hard I try to make it the opposite! I really enjoyed painting these prints.

Ed 2/5 EV “Herbarium Exotica V” Celia Wilson

A Wrybill is the bird shown in this print.

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.

Screen Shot 2019-01-07 at 9.23.05 AM.png

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.

2018-05-24 03.00.16-12018-05-24 03.02.34-12018-05-24 03.11.27-1

(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

Seeds, hips and twigs

I completed a Skillshare course on botanical sketching by Laura Ashton, and was really pleased to get a few tips that really helped!  So pleased to find a use for some of my dried plant material.

 

IMG_4621

Spring 2016 in Oxford, North Canterbury

Catching the spring before it fades…

A low of -1 degrees Celsius overnight, but a clear blue sky this morning means now I can get the washing dried on the line!  Snow on the mountains arrived as well.  I could not resist taking the camera out to record the plants in the garden.

I always fight between clearing or not clearing the ‘weeds’ as clearing them disturbs everything in the flower beds.  Then when the dry, hot days arrive I think the weeds would help to keep the soil moist.  But I know that the strong weeds would overtake the cultivated plants.  The vegetable and fruit trees and bushes are looking at their best just now.  Lots of Ladybirds – hope they and the birds do a good job controlling the aphids.  It is a balancing act between taking action and just observing.  A new location brings a new set of conditions.  I am intrigued at the different biodiversity existing in two locations 2 kilometres apart from each other.  We have fewer birds and habitats for them here than at the last place.  I’ve started reading my permaculture book again.  Need a jungle.

There are some lovely black blue iris flowers just opening – will they make some dye?

My painting, the last image, now looks just like Spring!

 

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!

canterbury-pigments-web

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!

Autumn Leaves on Paper and Cloth

I had the opportunity to collect leaves from a friend’s garden. She has the most wonderful collection of shrubs and trees, all good candidates for natural printing.  I made three separate bundles using paper from three different pre-steam soaks.

Pescia 300 gsm paper  was put in a brew of brown rain water and ivy branch and leaves which had collected in a rusty wheelbarrow. The paper was there for nearly three days. Secondly, and for the same amount of time, I placed Fabriano artistico 360 gsm paper, (synthetic) lining fabric and pre-used poplin cotton in another mordant – an alum and washing soda bath.

Thirdly, a piece of white paper was soaked in a rust bath.  As usual the planned method of preparation flew out the door when I then added a little of the rusty water from this water + vinegar and iron objects on to the lining fabric which was on top of the second soaking pile.

All the leaves were from the freezer. The full sheet of Pescia paper I folded to fit the steamer, as I wanted a large complete sheet for a project that is part of a forthcoming group show. Into the rolled paper and fabric from the alum bath, I put more of the same leaves and bound them up with unmordanted wide cotton bias binding at which point I introduced some dried harakeke roots (NZ flax plant, Phormium cultivars).  The image below shows these two  bundles in the steamer.

Darfield15

Below is the alum Fabriano paper on its cylindrical cardboard core again.  I make sure I roll the wet paper and leaves tightly when rolling up the bundle.  I do find the bias binding works well.

Darfield4

Unwinding this bundle.  It contained vine leaves, cotinus, acer, maple, sycamore and other deciduous leaves – I have to consult the owner about the more unusual plants…  The vine leaves were a glorious blend of reds, greys and black, so I was interested to see the quite stunning result – for me at least!

Darfield3

Another view of this bundle of two sheets of paper – it is the left hand side of the image above, the vine leaf removed.  Some of the vine leaf is still stuck to the paper.  It was removed when dry.

Darfield2

This is a further image of the still wet papers.

Darfield1

I particularly  like the shape of this leaf, which I think is from a tulip tree – Liriodendron.

Darfield6

Here is the lining fabric and the cotton bias binding from the rust paper print.  (If you sew, you will know what that is!)

Darfield5

All the above image are when the material was wet.   So today I photographed the dried and ironed fabric.  Immediately below is the lining fabric, and another image of the same piece.  When I iron the fabric I like to keep the embossing from the leaf veins.

Darfield7

Darfield8

The definition of the leaves is a lovely instance of chance – the darker areas behind the leaf giving the appearance of depth.

Finally, below is the cotton fabric from the alum and washing soda mordant bath: the leaf shapes not distinct.

Darfield9

The tannin bath print (two images below) was not so spectacular as the ones from the alum bath; but still quite subtle.  The definition on the printing paper – Pescia (56 x 76 cms | 22 x 30 inches) – is not so good, but I think there was not enough pressure on the package even though it was well weighted down.  I wonder if the one hour steam was too long, so I will experiment with a shorter one.  It is almost as if there is too much water accumulating between the sheets of paper.  I may have soaked the paper for too long as well.  I should try taking off the excess water by pressing between sheets of butchers paper before laying on the plant material (as you do when printing).  This image was taken when the paper was dry.

Darfield10

This is the ‘back’ below.  I do to know why it is so very mono-colour, but possibly the absence of the vine leaves explains this.  And the alum which always seems to give a yellow/green cast to the colour range.

Darfield11

Here are other papers from this steam.  This is the third bundle, bound with bias binding.  The outer paper was the rust print.

Darfield16

In the photo below, the paper with the oil based ink dry point (to the right)  was included in the tannin bath.  All papers are dry.

Darfield14

I have to say, my rust prints are very rusty.  For a couple of days nothing seems to happen, then there is more rust than I would like the next day.  This is what I mean.  This is the other side of the paper above – and the leaf print is very black!

Darfield13

The top sheet of paper here has some lovely, abstract detail.

Darfield12

This was an exciting outcome for me.  I just love this process.  Many thanks to Faye and Dave Marshall for providing the leaves.