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/

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.

Earth Paints

I usually put left over paint from my tests into wine bottle tops and attach a piece of paper to record the location, the date made and/or date collected and the colour. Here’s a selection that I pulled out the other day.

Waimakariri Green Pigment

A page from one of my test books, showing this green sedimentary rock from the Waimakariri river. I make these tests every time a new paint is made. This in my ninth A4 book.

Okuku Yellow

I found this pigment at Okuku Saddle, situated north of Oxford, in the Lees Valley.

This was a chunk of loess from beside the road and above is the watercolour and gouache paint made from this pigment. The colour of the paint is reasonably true – varying from light tan when thick, to yellow when diluted with more water. The circular shapes are created by pressing the muller on to the paper and the patterns form as the muller is lifted. The top right impression was made with a wetter paint than the impression just below. The paint is reasonably opaque when thickly applied; and the chalk gives a lovely pastel colour. I made this paint again (pigment collected in 2009) as part of research for an artists book I have planned.


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.

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

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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