Art-making often begins as a young child with a simple line scratched in the sand, or dirt, a line 'taken for a walk' on a page... thanks to Mr Klee, or a line of thought that gets us wanting to try and visualise it in some tangible way later in life perhaps!
And maybe returning to drawing a line is an elemental human act that can reminds us of our earliest scratchings and links us universally to ancient gestures that live within us. We are many things even though we think ourselves so modern, so contemporary, so hip or current and new.
But what if we are always in essence that young scribbler, or a tribal being making a mark in the sand... even if we have forgotten our essential selves, or our tribal ties or lost our way amidst the clamour of "now". We can get awfully caught up in striving and keeping "the wolf from the door", in honouring our undertakings or stretching our vistas.
When we put our hands in the earth to dig, weed or plant we remember something from the long 'now' ... or perhaps when we walk a hill, or swim in a body of natural water... get connected with earth physically.
Maybe drawing lines is a way for entering the long-now!
Around 2004 I was doing a lot of putting hands in the earth, tending my garden which I'd grown from scratch starting 2002.
Often immersing myself oat this time in the ocean, and ocean pools, watching movement in water and shifting visual imagery from being inside this vast body of water... I would go from this immersion and engagement with looking, back to my studio, and take up a colour and make lines that spoke to the sensation of having being there. A daily or frequent baptism ... a routine plunge that somehow also simultaneously plunged me into the long-now, the body of never-endingness that is the ocean in our minds at least.
In the early 2000's we weren't thinking of plastic oceans every time we dipped our toes in the universal pond. Whether we consciously know it or not there is much in our heads now when we encounter the long now and the everyday thats tiring our psyches and begging questions be answered.
But I digress... and will come back to lines and line-making by showing you this 'drawing-painting' of mine from early 2006. I'd been working my way through 4 years of abstractions in line, shape and colour in the studio at the house that became my first ever real home-of-my-own in January 2002. Ruminating on New Science at that time, emergent thinking on the role of dialogue, dipping into some ideas from Rudolph Steiner, reading a great smattering of ideas and writers ... all whist working (almost full) time teaching across curriculum in secondary school... my mind thus being variously soaked in some rather far-reaching ideas.
Perhaps thats why this work evolved as a means to distill something of the disparate influences and experiences... and if swimming in a fluid mass that is the ocean was the way to dissolve the hard edges in my world then maybe these art works were the means to map the process somehow.
I like that the lines here as crossing over, meshing and touching but separate too. Coloured circles create form but remain transparent enough to perceive whats co-existing with the layers of lines... lines that form squares ... circles and squares in dialogue and moving!
Form and formlessness in co-operation. There's quite a message in that dynamic tension. This work above is essentially a twin to the 50 x 70 cm artwork that won a prize in a Regional Award show. Similar works, one a 120 x 120 cm canvas, the other a 10 x 10 cm miniature, were highly commended and I missed the Awards night due to my car breaking down and deciding to stay home and have a glass of wine in my studio because ... why bother going anyway!
A closer view...
In the morning I was contacted with news I'd won a generous prize, and picked up 2 highly commendeds. I remember reacting as if it had happened to someone else... how nice for her I kept thinking. Although it was exciting and confirming to have an eminent art professional judge the work as worthy, and later encourage me to commence a Masters of Fine Arts ... in time I found I was needing to break out of the confines of these lines that were holding something in that needed to be released.
That created confusion from some close observers who weren't expecting me to want to move on from here at all. I'd been acknowledged for this work and needed to build on it surely! I talked to numbers of people at that time and sound someone my age who'd worked on startlingly fine work and had to give up after constant eye strain. Perhaps the close-ups show why my eyes were starting to feel it and why I instinctively decided to save myself further eye problems. I'd already worn glasses since age 6... and the feeling to have the line be more fluid... not just describe fluidity from the arrangement of shapes.... but to get that line moving gain became more of a necessity.
I started assembling this post at 5.30am on waking this morning. A chance to think through the series of works I was assembling to put up on my new Online SHOP.
This shop is a first step... so more of a viewing platform for people to then email me about works. Because I've been slow to set it up Ive ended up emailing photos of available works to interested people in the last week whilst I sort the material to put online. I've really got to get that up to date and decide whether Big Cartel is a good way to formalise my tentative step into online selling after Xmas.
So... would I sell this work above when it represents such an important phase in my developing practice and is now virtually the only remaining work like this I have. Instead... I can make Limited Edition prints if needs be I realised. That's been a great avenue for sales of more affordable work... or making something available where I've not wanted to part with an original.
And so... to the shop.
But now that I have a new studio with a good gallery space on one side and I'm continuing to run a project that pulls me to work in several different directions, including taking on residencies and some teaching work, it seems like a store that can be managed around various commitments might be ideal.
Ive been finding which of the works on paper to sell as originals over the weekend. Then there are the quality archival Limited Edition prints to add as well. Plus some works on canvas and linen to put up.
Here are some works I've brought out:
30 x 24 cm - watercolour and coloured pencil
30 x 24 cm watercolour and coloured pencil
Series of 3 works each 45 x 15cm - mono print, lino and paint
I think this one has a new owner!
Next: Series of works on paper 60 x 42 cm... Unique prints also painted and some just paintings on paper. Most based on QLD Rainforest fruit seed-capsule motifs.
the stripes return
each work is 30 x 42 cm... image taking 2 works at a time
working with different colours is a revelation at times...
in tropical plants one sees a lot of this striking pink
This is a larger work on paper 70 x 50cm... in acrylic and ink
larger work with close-up below
Five lino-printed works beautiful cotton rag paper
a close up reveals the appealing edge on this paper
And to finish off this one is on a very lovely but lighter paper so I won't be
putting a big price tag on it. Once framed it will be be quite a durable work.
Its a large work and has so much rhythm in it I would love to see it framed!
NB: Limited Edition archival prints will be available for this work "Sensitive chaos II" in several sizes on high quality watercolour paper. Inquiries welcome for any of the work shown here.
I have to go off to purchase some fascinating plants that have been set aside for collection... I wish you a peaceful Sunday and week ahead!
Last thing ... I found a simple little quote to sign off on this weekend of remembering one of great light who walked this planet:
Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.