Adventures in pen and ink

All of a sudden I needed to work on a larger scale. To do this using the techniques I use in coloured pencil would be difficult,  probably wouldn’t result in a nice smooth finish and be very very time consuming. I was creatively stuck and I was worried. Maybe that’s it. Maybe my creative mojo had gone away – maybe forever.

Then I started drawing with lead pencils of various hardness and lead thicknesses. It was fabulous. So then I went to my ink pens and found my creative mojo along with a whole bag of fantastical ideas had returned from its holiday somewhere in the great world of trees, islands in the bay and magical worlds.

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From this to that – again.

Fragile 3 (2)

June 2016 seems to have rolled around very quickly. It feels like only last month that I was busy working on a large piece to enter into the 2015 Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW (see several posts ago). But here we are.

I usually work on a very small scale – in fact I love to work on a very small scale. So it is a huge challenge to scale up into large. Mind you, the winner of the 2015 Wynne was a beautiful miniature work by Natasha Bieniek titled ‘Biophilia’. For this exhibition there is only a limit on how large you can work – not how small.

2015 Wynne Prize

I give myself a challenge to work larger and not too far into it I start ranting and raving inside my head about how stupid I am doing this. Some mornings, it is with heavy feet that I walk up to the studio to begin another day’s work on my challenge. I have to force myself to work through the trials and feelings which can be very overwhelming and tiring. But the joy of coming out the other side makes the process, the hours and hours of patient scribbling and layering all worthwhile. I, like many others before me when their work is finished, sit back and think how on earth did that happen. I’m not sure that I could tell you what happened and if I could do it the same again. The process happens and you just have to work hard in the zone and let it wash over you. The minutes and hours roll on and sometimes I look up at the clock and see that several hours have floated by. The creative process is pretty incredible and almost magical.

Here is the documentation of the process behind my 2016 entry to the Wynne Prize. ‘Fragile’ – a comment on our beautiful world and how it needs to be cared for each and every day.

This work was created using Arches, smooth watercolour board, coloured pencils from Derwent, Faber-Castell and Prisma (I use them all as they each have their own special characteristics), watercolour/gouche and pigment ink. It is 45cm square.