Friday, March 27, 2009

Zero tolerance for technology (yesterday that is!)

Obviously today technology is my friend again. My husband made the PC much better and today it's working!

Yesterday though, I took a break and painted for the day. It's a move away from my usual people on a smaller canvas - this canvas is about 100cm x 80 cm, and is a commission for our room by my husband. I'm using colours I don't usually paint with, I'm a bright colours girl and this is in neutral earthy tones - I'm more used to wearing them than painting with them. But it will do me good to have a change. As you can see from the photos I've drawn a band of Celtic knots down the left side of the canvas, and on the right hand side are two swirls, a very loose interpretation of the New Zealand koru. I suppose it's a painting to symbolize the two sides of my life on the two different 'sides' of the world.

On a technical note, the koru are made of thick jute twine which I glued onto the canvas then covered with tissue paper soaked with PVA glue - you can move the tissue around slightly with the glue brush to give interesting texture and it also helps to hold the jute onto the canvas. I will paint over it in acrylic paints when I'm happy with the texture and layout. A few years ago I took a book out from the library, I think it was called 'The Celtic Knot Workbook' and it taught a wonderful method of drawing Celtic knots using a grid method. You simply plot points, join them up and them draw the 'ribbons' along these lines. At first it really feels as if the whole thing is not going to work, but as long as you remember that the ribbons go alternatively under then over the ribbons it intersects with you can't go far wrong. It's very meditative as after a few minutes you just slip into it and the only awareness is of the progression of the ribbon. It takes patience and practice but it really is worth a try. I'm still working out of my exercise book that I practised the lessons in, but one day I hope to draw some knots freehand.

I'll post pictures of the work as it progresses because I think it's always interesting to document your work and also to share the process with people. I'm sure all artists would tackle the same project in completely different ways.

It was very restful painting. I've been concentrating on items to make for a craft stall and neglected my painting which is my first love. I need to do more! Still, all creativity is great to me and I'm really enjoying this plethora of artistic activity!

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