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Carbon Footprint

2 December, 2015

 

Handprint1

We’re all in the joke mood at the moment, that is if you are doing an assignment for Art of the MOOC.  It has been a real battle for me to think of a joke related to a social issue or a social movement.  My attempts just sounded so silly, but after going on line to find some, I thought mine were not that bad after all…

So how about:

When is a thinking person’s coal mine empty?  When it’s mindful.

When can coal see?  When it’s fossilised.

Then I thought, if I am making paint from coal (which was my intention), to sequester it, for example, I need a link to paint and pigment.  Luckily, my brain caught on, and I came up with using charcoal (which is also carbon).  Now, as there is a good possibility that prehistoric man also used charcoal to paint or draw with, aka cave paintings, I could somehow make  a joke that linked carbon, pigment and paint.  I do have some coal left over from when we had a coal fire (oops, but we only used it once and we had to travel 100 k to buy the coal)…  but the charcoal came from the woodturning stove and the tree came from the garden and it did seem a little more environmentally appropriate.

So my joke for Art of the MOOC was:  Was there a prehistoric carbon footprint?  No, they used their hands…

I made a video of the paint making process which can be found on my Facebook page.  www.facebook.com/celia.wilson.56   It is also on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/147520835, and I have a link to Twitter…

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 11.10.34 AM

 

 

Walks in the Waitakere Ranges

15 November, 2015

Have just found this draft which was started late last year, so I thought I should finish it.

In November I spent a week near the Waitakere Ranges just north of Auckland, and had the opportunity for some lovely bush walks.

IMG_1653

Paddocks and regenerating forest – Manuka a nursery species.  Ponga, tree ferns, Kauri alongside the track.

IMG_1697 IMG_1701Close up of Kauri bark.  Gorgeous!

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Crossed this stream.  Typical of the bush streams in the area.  This one is near civilisation.

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Definitely not in the bush! Planted at the entrance to a property. Looks like a Black Eyed Susan vine Thunbergia alata.

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Kawakawa , Macrocarpa excelsum– lovely holes in the leaves from it’s friendly co-habitant, the Kawakawa looper moth caterpillar.

I managed to find some pigments – mainly hard clay, and some small clay pebbles, rounded by the running stream water.  I’ve never seen these before, was quite a surprise.  Because they are wet, the colour comes off on to your fingers, and you can easily mark another harder surface.  I thought perhaps that could have started the use of clay as paint…

 

 

 

Bees need saving from neonicotinoides

11 November, 2015

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I have a bee in my bonnet at the moment regarding the use of neonicotinoids in our home gardens.  Neonicotinoids (such as acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam) are present in insecticide sprays and sold through garden centres and hardware stores.  The use of such insecticides has been linked to bee colony collapse.

Radio NZ reported

 “that a recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health found high levels of neonicotinoids in six pollen samples from New Zealand. Veteran pesticide researcher Dr Meriel Watts who now works as a consulting scientist for the United Nations and other organisations, said that was a threat to bees that the EPA has consistently refused to acknowledge.  She said neonicotinoids did not stay on the seed, but were absorbed by the plant and in turn by the insects that fed on it, including bees. “They are taken up by the growing plant from the seed coating and dispersed throughout the plant throughout its lifetime,” Dr Watts said. “So they appear in the pollen, they appear in the flowers, they appear in the fruit and vegetables we eat and they appear in the little droplets of water that plants exude in the early dawn.”

Another use for this insecticide is for coating seeds. There is a useful background discussion of the issues above on – http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/284413/nz-urged-to-follow-us-pesticide-ban

So keep your garden safe.  Spray free is so much better – let nature find the balance.  I do not use these ‘quick fixes’, and have found that after a few years the soil improves so much and plants thrive better, fighting off diseases.

Earth’s life systems are more important than making money.  It seems to me that these company’s inventions and their interventions in the natural balances of the planet are given precedence over the damage they do.

Poppies in our garden –

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I have just visited the NZ Beekeepers Association website – http://www.nba.org.nz/learn/beneficial-plants-for-bees/

Below is their useful list for encouraging bees.  Why not let your brassicas flower, and have a weed bed – or just don’t cut the lawns in places – so you build up your plant diversity.  There is also information on tree species useful for bees nutrition.

Our garden is quiet at the moment, for the bees are not finding flowers to their liking; the spring flowers finished, the fruit trees have flowered, the kale and cabbages flowers gone to seed – I will have to find plants that flower now!

LIST OF NECTAR RICH PLANTS SUITABLE FOR GARDENS (they do say check on those weeds to avoid in your area)

Banksia spp.
Barberry (Berberis spp.)
Bee balm (Monarda didyma, M. citriodora)
Bottlebrush (Callistemon spp.)
Borage (Borago officinalis)
Brassicas (Brassica spp.)
Buddleia (Buddleja salviifolia)
Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
Cabbage tree (Cordyline australis)
Californian lilac (Ceanothus spp., cvs)
Catmint (Nepeta spp.)
Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Clover (Trifolium repens)
Cucumber, melon, zucchini (Cucurbita spp.)
Dahlia (Dahlia imperialis) & varieties
Echium spp.
Gum tree (Eucalyptus spp.)
Harakeke / NZ flax (Phormium tenax)
Heather (Erica spp.)
Ice plant (Sedum spectabile)
Kanuka (Kunzea ericoides)
Karo (Pittosporum crassifolium)
Kohuhu (Pittosporum tenuifolium)
Lemon, grapefruit, orange (Citrus spp.)
Koromiko (Hebe macrocarpa ) & varieties
Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) Manatu (Plagianthus betulinus)
Kumarahou (Pomaderris kumeraho)
Lavender (Lavandula spp) & varieties
Mexican aster (Cosmos spp) & varieties
Mimosa (Acacia baileyana)
Northern rata (Metrosideros robusta)
NZ lacebark (Hoheria populnea)
NZ jasmine (Parsonsia heterophylla)
Persimmon (Diospyros kaki)
Penstemon (Penstemon spp.) & varieties
Phacelia tanacetifolia
Poached egg plant (Limnanthes douglasii)
Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa)
Rewarewa (Knightia excelsa)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Sage (Salvia apiana, S. fallax, S. officinalis)
and other spp.
Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Symphytum grandiflorum
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Tree lucerne (Chamaecytisus palmensis)
Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Wharangi (Melicope ternata)
Zinnia (Zinnia spp.) & varieties

Canterbury Pigments

23 September, 2015

I’ve been working with my pigment rock collection lately.  Re-testing and recording to replace the work I did in Textbook 2 which was lost (i.e., stolen…).  The rocks and earths of the Canterbury Plains produce these colours that are presently on show in “View and Do” at the Arts in Oxford gallery.  All the artists taking part in the exhibition are holding workshops.  The workshops are varied – watercolour painting, abstract design, ceramics, box making and paint making.  Volcanic and sedimentary rocks, chalk and lime are gathered here to make twelve separate watercolour paintings, all 50 x 95 mm on black paper.  Details of the location of the pigments in each painting are  listed below.  The details are in the same order as the paintings:

Canterbury Rock Pigments web

view and Do Portrait

Hot Off the Press

27 July, 2015

Tomorrow's Beginning

Tomorrow’s Beginning

Bro

Boro

Image in Search of a Title

An Image in Search of a Title

Hot Off the Press;  four printmakers showing at Arts in Oxford Gallery, Oxford, North Canterbury

This selection of monoprints is my first venture into exhibiting prints.  I hope I’m keeping true to my art practice of using process and chance to make the image.  I like to use recycled items, such as scraps of paper, cloth and plastic to print with. The scraps are either used as found or cut into shapes or patterns.

Through an interest in Japanese prints and making textile works I discovered the term ‘boro’. Boro is a Japanese word that translates as ‘rags or scraps of cloth, and the term boro is also used to describe clothes and household items which have been patched-up and repaired many times’[i]. The textiles could be passed down the generations and so also become holders of memory, in much same way as in old patchwork quilts.

In this set of prints I have interpreted this textile construction method by reusing the plastic, paper and cloth as the printing ‘plates’, integrating the shapes one on another to create an image that formed itself piece by piece. Would this go here? – What colour contrast will I do next? – the image in effect prompting a response from me.  Memories (for me) are contained in many of the ‘scraps’ used.

The base of all the works is a found shape that reminded me of a kimono, and from this emerged the idea of boro as a process to create these images.

[i] https://furugistarjapan.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/boro-japanese-folk-fabric/

 

Object or Thing

8 May, 2015

Cannot add more to this piece of work.  It sat there for a while, rolled up in the old bible box that my Grandmother used as a hat box (she had wonderful hats).  Then the other night I finished off the bottom right hand corner.  A little piece of family genealogy there, to me anyway…

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Lying flat on the table, it is a thing.  Nothing wrong with being ‘a thing’ – it seems things in our lives are interconnected with our brains and consciousness and make us what we are, allowing us to make new connections.  Is it more interesting as a thing or an object now that I have fastened to the wall?  Does it take on a new identity?  Or has it lost its becoming and is now static – I won’t say dead.   Its new persona invites new becomings, however.

 

 

Object

 

 

hatbox

 

Lovely design on the ‘hat box’.

Green dye from Black Turtle Bean

5 April, 2015

Following on from the previous post about black bean dye –

The next day, bicarbonate of soda was added to the Black Turtle Bean solar dye.  Colour changed to green and this colour transferred to the un-mordanted silk and cotton scraps.

This test needs to be redone; the bicarb was added to the original dye which was probably a bit tired – the beans were ‘going off’ at the time.

 

Black-turtle-bean-green-1

 

 

I also added to the solar dye pot some rolled-up paper, but the green disappeared into a brown-green when applied to paper.   Something in the paper which is photocopy paper reacting with this dye.  Where the pools of dye were deeper the green colour is just apparent.  This paper is stuck onto the test page and covered the swatches in the above image, hence the change of page direction!

Green-turtle-bean-on-paper

 

 

 

robyn webster, artist

webrobynster@gmail.com

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