Skip to content

Accumulative

4 October, 2016

I am part of Arts in Oxford’s latest exhibition, starting on Saturday 8 October 2016, which is a group exhibition by Stratum showing prints, painting, pastel works and sculpture as well as a large collaborative work.

You are invited to a  ‘Meet the Artists’ afternoon from 4 – 6 pm on Sunday 16 October, and four members of the group will be in the gallery working on three consecutive Sundays from 16th October.

 

invite-square-email

Advertisements

Solar Dyes: From Purple and Red to Green

31 December, 2015
tags: ,

Spring brought the peonies, one of which had deep red petals which went into a dye pot with pieces of silk, wool and cotton.

Peony-picture.jpg

Painting of Aoraki – Mt Cook behind the flowers is by John Horton.  These peonies were a gift from Viv and Nancy!

This is the amazing colour that appeared…Peony.jpg

My next test was with a ‘new’ kumara variety called Purple Dawn.  [Kumara is a sweet potato, which Maori brought with them to New Zealand.]  My friend Casey Macaulay told me how she had experimented painting with the red cooking water and how when vinegar was added the liquid turned bright green – I just had to try for myself.  The silk and cotton absorbed the red colour, but the paper was different as seen below.  I forgot to wash the kumara, and I think the ‘bits’ in the dye came from the skin.

The green-yellow fabric at the top is old cotton t-shirt rag, I had the same pink/green result when I dropped the dye onto the surface.  The dark dye brush mark is with vinegar added, the pink mark is straight out of the solar dye jar.  Note how the silk and cotton stay pink.

Purple-Dawn-Kumara-1.jpg

For the next test I cleaned, peeled and shredded the kumara, and added some sodium acetate to a separate portion of the dye.  The vinegar (sodium acetate) did turn the dye green, but the colours were so different. I probably should not have prepared the kumara quite so much!   Casey has different water to us so that may explain the paler green results I had.

 

Purple-Dawn-kumara.jpg

By this time I was getting really confused by these results – you probably are too (!); I did a further test in my workbook to see if the paper there gave different results.  When I put a blog together I try to get the photo image colours correct (via Photoshop).  Here however,  if I alter the pink, the green is wrong.  So I would comment that in the scan of the workbook page below –

The top left blob has a distinct dark purple edges and the overall colour is slightly green with a purple tinge

The top right hand brush stroke should be pinker

Both the Kumara No 1 tests colours should be bluer

The Kumara No 2 tests; neither should be so green…the one on the left is a pale brown.

Kumara-workbook1

If you are still with me, there is more!

My next solar dye was with the paler red peonies (in the photograph at the top). The silk and cotton took up the dye with no problem, but the addition of some vinegar brightened the colour on the silk and cotton.

Pale-peony.jpg

Hollyhock petals were collected during the summer of 2013/2014 in the old garden; I kept these in the freezer.  I tried  India Flint’s ice-flower dye method as described in her book Eco Colour whereby you place the frozen petals directly into warm water, but the water I used was hot.  The result was almost instantaneous – a deep dark red.  I put silk and knitted cotton in the solar dye.  The knitted cotton only partly submerged and what emerged was a mix of pink-red and green – again.  I also added some vinegar and salt to portions of the dye.  Images below.

Hollyhock.jpg

The bright green mark at the centre of the knitting was caused by the sample left to dry over a piece of metal.  The grey colour that appears sometimes is where the material was not completely submerged but some colour has been transferred by osmosis it would seem.  I do fold or scrunch up the cloth as well and for these tests am not bothered by colour variations .

Hollyhock-test.jpg

Later I used the original dye for further tests.  Just great colour harmonies here.  Green and blue-green marks made by copper pipe.  The paper is kozo.

Hollyhock-2nd-test.jpg

Hollyhock-Kozo.jpg

 

Hollyhock-copper-pipe.jpg

Hollyhock-green.jpg

In these tests, all the silk and cotton was originally white and unwashed, no mordants used, just the salt and vinegar added afterwards to separated amounts of dye liquid.  The chemicals in the paper seem to affect the dyes.  I could try applying soy milk to the paper and letting it dry before painting  on the dye.

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!

IMG_1664

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

IMG_1656

 

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

IMG_1647

 

 

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

IMG_1774

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 –

IMG_1747

IMG_1746

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/

 

robyn webster, artist

webrobynster@gmail.com

Quartz

Quartz is a digitally native news outlet for the new global economy.

Holly Henry

Illustrator

Paperslurry

- A mixture of hand papermaking -

Exploring The Invisible

Works from a Liberal Scientist that reveal the hidden machinations of the natural world: the third way

The Botanist in the Kitchen

where botany meets the cutting board

The Roaming Ecologist

Searching for a healthy land ethic and learning from nature

Welcome to the Artists Alliance blog!

We're here because without artists there is no art.

Art is a Way

Art blog by Elsa Mora

mutabilia

subject to change

the CEHG blog

Computational, evolutionary and human genomics at Stanford

Natural anarchist

Lisa Hudson's Blog

Alpenglow Yarn

curlie's rovings

envirohistory NZ

People and the environment through history

Discoverylover's Blog

Snippets of my life...

in my backyard

Earth pigments, paint, painting, printmaking, eco colour and visual arts; Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand

EngLaId Visual Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

URBAN F

REVIEWS BY ABBIE