Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Been a busy week as I put out a newsletter for the Ehlers Danlos Foundation of New Zealand. I remember the first one I did in 1996 which only went to twenty households. Now I am putting out over 150 three times a year. Just addressing the envelopes alone takes two and a half hours.

I have also been working on exercises for my art course. Have times when I feel really happy and others when I think I'm completely useless! Having to work so quickly is proving challenging as I don't have time to obsess over detail and also working in different styles is proving a challenge.

There are three exercises I found interesting. Firstly painting without a brush but with items found about the house. I used bubblewrap, cloth, sticks, a palette knife, crumpled up paper etc. When it came to complete an entire painting I chose the view from my front window but without the road running through it. I was meant to take only half an hour on this piece but ended up spending an hour. The painting is A3 size which means it won't fit on my scanner but this view shows the left side of the landscape.

The right side of the painting shows another few poplars and the view across the fields. The sky was done with a rag dipped straight into paint, the tree trunks were with the side of corrugated cardboard, the grass was done with carded wool (merino gives a soft effect) and the poplar leaves were finished with cotton wool. The colours have been distorted with scanning as the grass was much more green.

This yellow girl was another colour exercise designed to break down the tones in a picture. Using only two colours we were to paint a portrait from a magazine with the dark colour representing the shadows and the lighter colour the highlights. She looks a bit jaundiced but at least still resembles a human being.

Finally in drawing we did a few pictures with torn up photocopies which we drew in all their distorted glory. I made a photocopy of a photo from a real estate brochure and then tore it up and rearranged it so that although the landscape still looked faintly realistic it also looked a bit "off". Unfortunately the scanner cut off the right side of the drawing but this really only included a few shrubs and cows in the foreground.

Today I begin colour theory which is something I'm looking forward to and hopefully I will have time to do some of my own painting this afternoon.

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