Archive for Echostains

Altered art book page 19 continued Beyond the Veil again

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, DESIGN, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , on February 28, 2009 by echostains

This is my 90th post!  Do I want a medal for it? YES!

Continuing with page 19 of my Altered art book:

I thought that this extract from my dissertation would go quite well with page 19 of my Altered art book:

-magician tarot card from the Rider Waite Smith pack

-magician tarot card from the Rider Waite Smith pack

“The idea of the artist as magician is not a new one.  The act of creating out of nothing could be in itself, an act of conjuration.  In a sense, all art is an illusion.  The actual act reality of the feeling that the artist experiences when he paints – by the very act will go into the painting: making the painting a physical reality.  Hopefully, there will be a reciprocal exchange between viewer and painter.  Sometimes this will be a deliberation on the painters behalf: sometimes, accidental communication may be established.  Many ‘tricks’ may be employed by the artist/magician that he will have learned through his apprenticeship in the arts.  Where it is possible to depict sadness or pathos in a figurative narrative painting through the learning of the craft, what actually are we admiring when we look at these images?  surely this art is more about the ‘cleverness’ of the artist as a magician and, if that be so, then the subject matter then becomes secondary.  Through abstraction, it is possible to provoke emotional responses through colour and form in a non figurative way – reaching the viewer directly through the senses…..” 

 
 

veil-

veil-

 

“My large canvas ‘Veil’ incorporates drawing and painting.  Gestural marks made with soft pastel were stroked onto the canvas.  These sweeping marks were then smudged with a damp brush and when dry, worked into again.  This provided a framework, albeit a blurred definition of the drawing.  Subconsciously, a uniform rhythmical pattern began to emerge which I then began to work against with white acrylic paint in places.  The whiteness of these spaces began to detract from the work, so these were washed down again with watered down soft pastels.

 
 

veil-fragment

veil-fragment

“A period of contemplation then ensued, enabling me to digest the information and empathise with the painting.  Working with ground pastel added to the powdered filler, a wash was made: the work taken outdoors and then the wash dispersed.  A battle between control and accident then ensued.  By physical manipulation, the wash was dispersed and alllowed to a certain exptent to meander where it would.  But additional coloured washes had to be more controlled, so as not to disturb too much the other washes (which were still more or less liquid).  Fine washes of acrylic were used to further emphasise part of the painting: blending the colours, transcending isolated areas.  A period of assimulation followed: a digestion of the information that has been put down and a sense of empathy for the feelings this painting invokes.  Selective areas were then brought to the foreground, the intention being  – to ‘float’ or transcend the background  with soft colour that glides in and out over the surface, whilst subtley emphasising or bringing to notice, a sense of depth.”

Lynda M Roberts BA Hons 2004

This is an extract from my  ‘Echostains’ Dissertation 2004

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The Creeping Woman in the Wallpaper

Posted in ART, WORDS AND COMMUNICATIONS with tags , , , on February 24, 2009 by echostains
creeping-woman-

creeping-woman-

 

This painting ‘Creeping Woman’ is part of the ‘Yellow Wallpaper’ (part 3 of the ‘Echostains’ project).  The ‘Yellow Wallpaper’ is  a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.  If you have read it, you will see where this piece was coming from.   I wanted to get on with my Altered art book today but I have had absolutely no time to myself – AGAIN!

Media used; acrylic paint, plastic canvas on cotton canvas appro 24in x 18in (private collection)

Blue Animation from ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ Echostains

Posted in ART with tags , , , , , on February 22, 2009 by echostains
blue-animation

blue-animation

 

‘Blue Animation is part of the ‘Echostains’ project.  The project is about communication – all types.  In the third part of the project (The Yellow Wallpaper), gestural marks are made to ‘suggest’ shapes, thoughts, feelings, etc.  ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ is a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and tells the tale of a woman having some sort of breakdown, who begins seeing things in the wallpaper.  It’s a good story…. and scary!  Read it online through the link.

I have used colours related to Disney to suggest the actual ‘animation’.  Whilst the technique is mostly gestural, there a a few recognisable forms in there.

Media used; Acrylic paint on canvas approx 18in x 12in (private collection)

Favorite Art: Tapies, ‘This is a Body’

Posted in FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2009 by echostains

tapies-1964

 

 

tapies-1964

I thought I would start a new catogory to intersperse with my Altered book work, the Echostains paintings and the general musings.  The criteria for this section is that it has to be art that I LOVE, and where possible, art that I have actually seen in the canvas.

this-is-a-body-tapies

 

 

this-is-a-body-tapies

It is the invisibility: what we can’t actually see, that give us the urge to communicate.  ‘ I saw ‘This is a Body’ by the artist Antoni Tapies  (b. 1923 Catalonia Spain) at the ‘Encounters’ exhibition in 2000.  The image is exactly that:  just part of a body or the outline of a body which has been scratched into a marble dusted layered surface that has been built up.  But it is the way that the image has been carved into the surface: the deliberation of the artists hand that comes across, and the narrative that the body has with the surface, that communicated with me on an emotional level.  The experience was like a wave – a sudden wave of empathy, understanding – reciprocal and felt between painting and viewer.

tapies_greyochre-1958

 

 

tapies_greyochre-1958

Note: ‘This is a Body’ is a photo taken from my dissertation ‘The Artist as Magician’.  Nothing can do justice to seeing the real thing.  I think this applies to any artwork, a reproduction will always be and look a reproduction. 

The Bride keeps her Clothes on after all these years

Posted in ART with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2009 by echostains

I found this writing I did a few years ago when I was in my Foundation years at Uni.

‘Art and the Subconscious’

“The French writer Andre Breton wrote his first Manifesto in 1924.  Its main objective being to ‘express verbally or by other means the actual functioning of thought – in the absense of any control exercised by reason’.  One of the first artists to be inspired by this and take it as a direction, was Max Ernst.  He had been impressed by Freud’s ‘Leonardo’ essay, where the artist commented on ‘the beauty of spots on the wall’, remarking that ‘if one looks carefully enough, you will make some wonderful discoveries’.  Ernst tried this by placing a piece of paper on his floorboards and rubbing a black pencil over it and thereby producing a ‘frottage’.  He was surprised and amazed by the sudden increase to his visionary faculties and by the contradictory and super imposed images that emerged…………..”

As you can imagine I couldn’t wait to try this out and made loads of these frottages, non of which have survived.  Max Ernst was a favorite artist of mine and one of my favorites paintings that I was actually lucky enough to see in the flesh (Surrealism – Desire Unbound) at the Tate in 2002.  It didn’t disappoint.  This is what I wrote about the painting  (before I knew any of the political implications) : –

ernst The robing of the Bride 1940

 

 

 

“One of my favorite paintings has always been ‘The Robing of the Bride’  (1940) by Max Ernst.  Looking at this painting always produces a sort of primitive response.  This image was on the first poster I ever bought for my first flat.  I never get bored with looking at this image, I find it intriguing, full of symbolism that I don’t fully understand, yet somehow feel familiar with.

This painting echoes something within me that I have nearly forgotten, yet know sense to be still there, though I am unable to quite bring it to the surface.  The effect this painting has on me today  is the same as the first time I saw it.  The secretive Owl like head dress: the small face wedged on top of the breasts: the dark deformed creature crying on the chessboard floor: the texture of the painting (I know now to be ‘Decalcomania’).  I find these images particularly intriguing.  A metamorphosis is going on that sustains my interest on a deeper level each and it happens every time I look at this painting.”

europe_after_rain-1942-decalcomania

europe_after_rain-1942-decalcomania

 One of the interpretations of this painting is the dangers involved in a marriage of the ‘French bride’  to the ‘German Barbarian’.  This is one of the given interpretations.  Ernst was politically conscious, but his oeuvre was the subconscious and the means of reaching it.  So perhaps this political statement was not his sole intention.  I would like to think that Ernst would not be too bothered whether his painting was appreciated as a political statement or whether it be enjoyed on a surreal level.  I am resolved not to resolve the enigma of this painting.

A Little Light relief: Euphoria Borealis

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART PORTFOLIO MY PERSONAL ART, HISTORY, HOME with tags , , , , , , , on December 30, 2008 by echostains
northern ights (Aurora Borealis) over the fjords

northern ights (Aurora Borealis) over the fjords

Having recently watched a programme about the Northern Lights, (it’s one of my ambitions to see this strange phenomena one day).  It put me in mind of a painting I did in my final year at Uni.  It was the last painting I completed for my degree.  I had done a massive Art History dissertation,  two 1.500 word essays and a 2,500 dissertation on my Personal Project (Echostains) as well as all my paintings.   It is no wonder the final painting came to be named ‘Euphoria Borealis’!  This summed up the feeling of pure relief  (a belly laugh) at having actually completed such a workload on time!

euphoria-borealis

euphoria-borealis

 

http://www.greenlandholiday.com/AboutGreenland/NorthernLights/tabid/67/Default.aspx

Altered Art book page 3 and 4 ‘A Question of Life and Death’

Posted in MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2008 by echostains

p4  altered art book

p4 altered art book

The conversation on Page 4 was one that I found myself joining in with.  The text says;

 

Your mother is dead’ she told him, and he cried because the world had such a dull empty sound.  She tried to explain.  ‘When someone dies’ she said, ‘they go away’

‘When do they come back?

‘They don’t, she said.  They don’t come back.’

Edit: the word because needs printing out again (and spelling correctly)

 I wanted to question that;

Are you sure about that?

(A bit louder) ‘I said,

 

 

page2 detail

page2 detail

 

 

 Are you sure about that?’ 

Obviously, not knowing the answer, I added

‘Is there anyone there?????’

The image on the page is a ‘Spirit’ photo with a ‘Spirit’ standing at the back.  The woman who looks like she has a tablecloth in her mouth is actually emitting ectoplasm: a fascinating substance that seems to have died out now in Spiritual circles.  This ectoplasm eventually gave form to a spirit or so they say, though I’ve yet to hear a spirit confirm this.  The spirit world seems to have moved on now: it’s all mod cons now: orbs are the new phenomena.  Transformation of communication again.

Life and Death are fascinating questions (or are they both statements: facts?).  What IS life? And what exactly IS death?  We know that there IS Life (well, as we know it), but what is death?  Is there life after death?  Perhaps there’s no death, only a kind of life that goes on and on.  I have always been extremely interested in the preservation of dead bodies.   That’s probably due to a subconscious yearning for Everlasting life .  In that sense, I am no different from an ancient Egyptian.

Seti 1
Seti 1

Mummies fascinate me: whether they are embalmed, desiccated (dried out) usually in a hot climate like the dessert

 

 

Peruvian mummy 1200 to 1400

Peruvian mummy 1200 to 1400

 or preserved in watery bogs.

Tollund Man Bog body

Tollund Man Bog body

It is the preservation of the body (and the soul) that interests me.  It was for one of those reasons I went to see Professor Gunther von Hagens ‘Bodyworlds’ exhibition when it came to Brick Lane London in 2002.  

 

Von Hagens, known as the ‘Plastinater’ (I shook hands with that charming man by the way; his hands were cool…) had called into the exhibition to give an interview to a TV station.  There was also red paint (that at first looked like blood) on some of the backstairs: some kind of a demonstration protest had taken place. 

 

 

 

Dr von Hagens Bodyworlds exhibition

Dr von Hagens Bodyworlds exhibition The Plastination process involves removing fats and bodily fluids from the body: this impedes decomposition. The fluids are replaced with certain resins, silicon rubber, epoxy and elastomers. The material is then hardened and cured with light gas and heat, resulting in permanence.Human body from the Bodyworlds exhibition

My husband wasn’t keen on going to this exhibition, but even he thought it was fantastic.  We didn’t find it morbid or grisly though, though it’s hard to get away from the fact that these are dead people.  Some of them are celebrating things they did in real life.  The professor is no artist though and some of the tableaux could be said to be in bad taste.   I think his attempt to ‘lighten’ what is a controversial subject matter, may have backfired somewhat. But I do think that his intentions were honourable and he really wanted to show how these  body parts worked and what went wrong when they didn’t.   It’s not often that we see exactly what a deceased lung looks like…or a brain haemorrhage, yet these and other illnesses kill us.  When I looked at these illnesses, I felt that I was looking  death in the face (the causes of death) and that the ‘mystery’ had gone: the machine had broken: here’s what has broken it.

 

I gazed in wonder at these dead people who looked back at me.  They were just like me: the same species.  Only they were dead and I was Alive, looking at them: looking at these fantastic, miraculous machines – because machines we are: I couldn’t help but be acutely aware of the ONE difference between me and them: the spark of Life  which I hold within myself.  For that reason I found the exhibition a super Life affirming experience.

 

 

 

 Life affirming! Not death affirming, that’s inevitable.

This leads onto the other question though: is there life after death?  Well if there is, we sure don’t need the body to live it.  In that way, that’s where the Ancients went wrong, they thought the soul was nothing without the body it inhabited.

http://www.bodyworlds.com/en.h

At University, in the Foundation years I came across an artist that dealt with the spirit world.  This man claimed that he communicated with the dead and transmuted their communication through his art.  Austin O Spare dealt with the subconscious. O Spare who was very interested in the Occult and Ancient Magic claimed that some of his brushstrokes were directed by spirits: those who inhabited the Spiritual realm and that his art was automatical, springing from the subconscious.    I wrote an essay about this that I will put on this blog called ‘Art and Subconscious’.  O Spare was one of the artists I used in my research.  I first came across O Spare in an article in the Fortean Times (lots of interesting and thought provoking stuff in this magazine). 

http://www.forteantimes.com/

 

 

'Existence' from the Book of Satyrs by Austin Osman Spare

'Existence' from the Book of Satyrs by Austin Osman Spare

  In an interview with Hannen Swaffer, (An extract from Adventures with Inspiration  Hannen Swaffer) O Spare says about his art; –

“In some cases the ideas are the result of my inward psychical experiences,” Mr. Spare told me, “things I have not necessarily seen, or outwardly experienced. In others, the drawings are automatic, started with no idea as to what form they shall take, and completed without conscious direction.

Laugh aloud Zos answered by Austin O Spare

Laugh aloud Zos answered by Austin O Spare

For more info about O Spare;  

 

 http://www.banger.com/spare/index.html

 

http://www.austinspare.co.uk/zos.html

http://www.austinspare.co.uk/zos6.html

Media used page 4; Acrylics, inks, silver card, rafia, photo copied images

Pages 3 and 4

page-two-three-and-extramap

page-two-three-and-extramap