Decision making is a slow process – I began this set of drawings back in March, or it may have been earlier than that. The first step was applying random marks with Liquid Pencil, which is so often my go-to base medium, to the small (10 x 8 cm) paint swatch cards collected from my local hardware store. The only intention I had was that each panel should have individual integrity, but also connect to the ones next to it, and I wanted a flowing form, reminiscent of clouds, or ink floating in water, something that felt ephemeral.
Working into the drawings is enjoyable and satisfying – the base marks suggest where I should intensify, develop marks, add colour or scratch away areas. The photo above shows the work in progress – the top row has just the soft base marks, the bottom row has been drawn into and developed. This is most clearly seen when you enlarge the image.
Once I had drawn into all the panels I had to decide how they should be presented. So many options! They could be mounted and framed all together, either in two rows (as above) or in 3 or 4 shorter rows. Or they could be connected and become free standing, maybe as a concertina book, or something else. Anyway, after much thought, experimenting, fiddling and testing, I decided on two free-standing pieces, each with 6 panels.
With the first six I mounted them on light card, then joined them with thin Japanese paper, which gave very little flexibility, so the resultant form would not bend or fold, but stood as a gentle curve.
I decided to treat the second set differently, as a concertina, so mounted the panels again on card, but then pasted them onto mulberry paper, which is thin and flexible, but strong.
Both have been entered into art competitions, but in these strange times who knows what will happen, or even if the exhibitions will go ahead. Below are close up images of the panels.
None of your pieces of art are ever still. What do they have in common? Dance. Just as the five orchid drawing was a dance, so is every one of these panels. When you look at them enlarged it is like putting them under a microscope. Suddenly their world is opened up to us and we see the fantastical creatures which have elements of all your nature studies (that you do when camping) – for instance dried up insect skins, bones or foliage. No longer are they nature studies but have transmogrified into the imaginative dance of the weird and wonderful.
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I hadn’t occurred to me that there is so much movement in my work, but as I look back I can see you are right Julie. Life IS about moving isn’t it – and the joy of dance enhances anything! The sense of seeing things under a microscope adds to what I am trying to achieve too, finding tiny elements within the larger.
I agree with Julie, you have so much movement in your artwork. I loving seeing these studies that morph into dancers that move over your paint chips (pages). So interesting to look more closely at and see micro worlds or movement.
Thank you Cathe – movement is life isn’t it. I’m pleased that sense has come through in these marks. I enjoy finding things I never knew were there when I start working into these!
These are just exquisite, Anna. I also see the movement. It could be dancing, swimming, flying. Whatever—just beautiful. I love your use or how you have mastered liquid pencil.
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Thank you so much Nancy – the Liquid Pencil is so useful for starting work like this, it gives a good basis to take further. These are quite meditative to work on!