Thursday, January 16, 2014

Working large again ...

 Getting onto larger canvases again has been a good development over the last week in the studio. This first image shows the tentative start on the fresh canvas on the left.

I did have an idea of where I wanted to go with this... but not quite the colours.

I wanted the work to be loose and the linen surface to show through... that I was clear about.

After some consideration I decided I didn't want to persist with this cobalt blue.

I used Sepia ink to wash over the cobalt blue paint to tone it down considerably. The colours started to settle as a consequence of that.

'Seed collector's notations' 90 cm x 100 cm, acrylic and ink on linen

This is the painting more or less finished... four days later. I'm tempted to finesse a few areas... so I say more or less finished...  lightly!

close up of the work

The title struck me early one morning. I was thinking how these small symbols, dots and marks are like records, the documentation of seeds saved and counted, but not just in one place, by one person though. These notations are like inscriptions across time... the act of recording that countless people through history have done in order to take stock of seeds being saved. Long time inscribed in notations representing seeds.

In linguistics and semiotics, a notation is a system of graphic or symbols, characters and abbreviated expressions, used in artistic and scientific disciplines to represent technical facts and quantities by convention.[1][2] Therefore, a notation is a collection of related symbols that are each given an arbitrary meaning, created to facilitate structured communication within a domain knowledge or field of study.
Standard notations refer to general agreements in the way things are written or denoted. The term is generally used in technical and scientific areas of study like mathematicsphysicschemistry and biology, but can also be seen in areas like businesseconomics and music.

'Seed collector's notations' is a name that settles on this work so as if it had been painted with that in mind form the start. NB: This text come from Wiki... please google Notation to find this page!


notation (countable and uncountableplural notations)
  1. (uncountable) The actprocessmethod, or an instance of representing by a system or set of marks, signs, figures, or characters.
  2. (uncountable) A system of characters, symbols, or abbreviated expressions used in an art or science or in mathematics or logic to express technicalfacts or quantities.
  3. (countable) A specific note or piece of information written in such a notation.

The next work from the week is this one below. Drawn to work in colours I associate with the rainforests of far north Qld I began this work by creating blocks of colour onto which I began by hand-printing the motifs in alternating colours.  

Lino-printed seed capsule cross-sections of the species Ternstroemia cherryi

Image found here.
The attraction to this symbol is partly in the balance of the 4 sections containing the seeds... and that in this abstracted interpretation of the actual seed capsule they form loosely a figure 8 or, one could say, an eternity symbol.

So as a symbol this is both universal in this form and particular in its direct reference to the species 

Fruit, side view, cross section and seed. Copyright W. T. Cooper
Image from here
Its been a while since I've worked with such intense colours ... it was something of a leap of faith. 

Today I attempted to photograph the work which is close to finished. 

I found it virtually impossible to get a photo that gave the correct proportions ... so with these shots I didn't worry about that. The composition is defined by the horizontal selvedge in the top section of the work. I had some linen fabric that wasn't quite the right size so in the end I made the fabric selvedge joins part of the composition ... something that's been a compositional device in my work for a number of years in some works, emphasising the natural fibre and a certain rawness.

Image taken in my studio gallery

'Ode to the Cherry Beech - Ternstroemia cherryi'

This image was the best as far as capturing the textural qualities of the work. All I can say is that its a painting best seen in the flesh for true representation of colour, texture and composition.

It's at that point I could call it finished but I will sit with it first!

Time to get some more stretcher frames and keep working whilst the inspiration's there.


Mlle Paradis said...

love that last one! i'm in the painting studio again too...but i've got lots of catching up on you to do!

Sophie Munns said...

Great to hear Mlle P!
Thanks for the note... yes... catching up ... I must come visit and see what's happening in your part of the cosmos.

Anonymous said...


ArtPropelled said...

'Seed collector's notations' .... I love it just as it is. Love the title (and the thoughts it conjures up)and everything about it.Now hurry up and get more canvas while you're on a roll.

Anonymous said...

love them both, so vivid, so distinct, glorious!

Sharmon Davidson said...

"Sees Collector's Notations" is a delightful title for a wonderful painting; I am especially captivated because I am just beginning to get into seed collecting for my home garden, and thinking about doing some more 'seed-oriented' art. I absolutely love the saturated and luscious color combinations on the other one as well. Keep going, these are magnificent!