Friday, December 29, 2006

Inspiration Part 2 - End of Year Review

Well here are the artworks that formed the collage in the previous post. The artists are: 1. Timothy McDowell; 2&3 Marisse Maas; 4. Darlene O'Connor; 5. Nancy Selvin; 6. Martin Puryear; 7. Steve Briscoe; 8. James Casebere; 9. David Prifti; 10. Aparna Agrawal; 11&12. Sally Smart (BTW, I have no idea why this collage has January 2003 on it - Picasa just did it automatically!)

It's interesting to view them all in one place like this and see what stands out to me. As I mentioned in the last post, I've set myself a challenge for the month of January. Other than photos and digitally alterred images, I really haven't done that much work on paper. I've spent the past year learning some techniques - some home printmaking, some transfers, collage, a little mixed media and a little encaustic, but I don't really feel that I have a "style" or direction. I am hoping that by working intensively (well, for me) for a month something will begin to emerge that I can continue to develop. It always amazes me when I look at the work of other artists and their style is so recognisable. I feel I am still in an experimental stage, trying this and that, and really don't have much of an established aesthetic or way of working on paper.

I selected the works above because they all really speak to me aesthetically and I want to try to identify colours, marks, etc to work with over the next month. So I'm going to try to identify what it is about each artists work that I respond to....

When I came across Timothy McDowell's work on the net I had an incredible reaction to it. I just find it soooo beautiful. I love the antique paper he works on, the fine pencil and watercolour work and the vintage nature-based imagery he uses. I also love that style of composition - sort of a cross between a collage and a mosaic in an integrated piece.

Marisse Maas is one of my favourite Australian painters. I love her use of line - not quite outlining the object and sgraffito. As a potter, this is a technique I know well. Her compositional style is similar to McDowell's.

Darlene O'Connor and Nancy Selvin are American ceramists and they don't have a huge web-presence, but I stumbled on their work while researching print and ceramics. Although I am looking at doing mixed media work now, I can envisage transfering some of the ideas into clay when my energy improves. The fine printed line work on O'Connor's work appeals strongly to me and I love the rough slip finish on Selvin's terracotta bottles.

Martin Puryear does wonderful etchings that demonstrate the beauty of line, texture and pure forms - a good lesson for both ceramics and 2-D work. I've only found this one series of Steve Briscoe's work, focussing on text and bunnies! I love text and I'm a sucker for cute animals! Will I be including any cute animals in my future artworks? Who knows, but never say never!

James Casebere is a photographer who has a series on water-filled interiors. This is not something I think I'll be pursuing soon, but it does relate to a recurring dream from my childhood, so I included this image as a reminder for the future. David Prifti uses light-sensitive emulsion to "transfer" his photographic images onto all sorts of objects. This relates closely to some work I've been doing for my Masters, so Prifti was included here as another "note to self".

Aparna Agrawal is another artist whose work really excites me. As a ceramic artist, I find it much easier to think in 3-D than in 2-D. Agrawal has made sculptural works using paper with wax and thread, and I am hoping these media might work for me too.

Sally Smart is another terrific Australian artist. I love her style of working with cut-outs on the wall. This is something I have been thinking about for over 2 years. I envisage a giant collage - where the wall operates as the support surface. I also like the strong black silhouette style of Smart's imagery. It relates to shadows which I have often included as part of my own work with objects. If I do create 2-D work, I'll like to integrate it into this type of larger work.

Finally, the colour scheme seems pretty obvious - I've worked a lot with greys, blacks and whites in the past, and I also love sepia and brown. I see there's a touch of red in there too - sounds perfect!

I hope you have enjoyed this little trip around these favourite artists of mine. It's certainly been useful for me as a precursor to spending a month exploring a new direction. Stay tuned to see what comes of it all - if anything....

and I want to take this opportunity to wish everybody who has visited my blog a safe and happy time in 2007. I am especially grateful to those who have visited more than once and those who have left comments for me. Blogging has become a genuine source of friendship and a wonderful way of reaching out from our little boxes in the suburbs. You have all touched my life in a way far beyond my expectations. Thank-you!


  1. Hi Amanda,
    Just like to wish you all the very best for 2007, may it be all that you hope and dream it to be :)

  2. Anonymous1:15 AM

    What a wonderful selection of ceramic pieces, etchings, collage you made! Beautiful!