Reflecting on July

I like to do a reflection at the end of each month, thinking about what I have achieved. Most months there are about 8 to 10 things that I look back on as worth celebrating. In July I had 3:

  • I helped see the Fella through a difficult time in hospital, so that now he is well and getting on with things.
  • I helped my Mum recuperate from her pneumonia. She is now in rehab, and while frail, is much better within herself.
  • I got ready for my first solo exhibition.

So, only three, but what mighty big achievements they were! No wonder there has been little time for anything else. And no wonder I am well over hospitals.

The other day I took my paintings up to the Old Auction House in Kyneton. There are 20 of works, all trees in some form. You know of my fascination, some may say obsession, with trees. This is some of them laid out, ready to be packed up for travel. (The orange labels are my cataloguing process, and are removable.)

Tree paintings

A selection of some of the individual trees.

and the Tangled Trees series ~ watercolour and then embellished with machine sewing.

Then there are some others.

I thought you might like to read my statement that will hang with the paintings.

Trees have always been a part of me. My grandfather worked in the forests of the Dandenong Ranges and Dad took us camping in the bush, off the beaten track. I remember learning the word ‘silhouette’ when Mum pointed out the shapes of the trees outlined against the sunset.

It was during an artist in residence at Mountain Seas Resort on Flinders Island that I first noticed the shapes of the melaleucas and their wonderfully twisted trunks. I was further inspired by a trip across the Nullarbor Plain, where the trees glistened and swayed. A recent artist in residence at Police Point in Portsea, organised by the Mornington Peninsula Shire, opened my eyes to the coastal moonah habitat. 

It is the shapes and rhythms of the canopies and the twisted branches and trunks that inspire me. I have explored them with many different media ~ watercolours, oil pastels, ink, sometimes embellishing the watercolours with machine sewing. I have created tapestries of trees and landscapes. 

In this exhibition there are individual trees and dense, tangled thickets of trees. No matter what the medium with each work I want to capture the feeling of air moving through the branches and then contrast the twisted trunks. There is a joyous freedom in exploring these ideas.

As well, each piece is a reminder of precious, fragile habitats that need us to treasure and protect.

The details of the exhibition:

8th August to 2nd September

The Old Auction House 

Mollison St

Kyneton, Victoria

 

So July has gone and August has many things to look forward too, especially being able to take Mum to Kyneton to see my work hanging. What are you looking forward to?

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More trees

I have really appreciated the feedback you give me for my oil pastel trees. You have left me so many positive comments, as well some sales.

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Image and photograph copyright: Anne Lawson 2017

Oil pastels as a medium still excites me. In fact tomorrow I am going to a workshop where watercolour and oil pastels as mixed. You can imagine how my eyes lit up when I saw that one advertised!

I still have a lot to learn about colour, but I know that putting some colours side by side will make each one sing. To create with oil pastels I layer marks over other marks, as well as sometimes smudging the marks together. My usual method is to just pick up the colour that seems right; usually this works, but sometimes it doesn’t. I have decided to try  more rigour.

So I started my experimenting with a colour wheel.

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Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2017

The triangle in the middle of the wheel shows the hues that make up a split complementary. Those three were my my dark, middle and light tones. What would I get if I limited myself to these six pastel sticks?

First layer were the blue and purple, to create the dark park underneath the canopy. Some smudging to merge the marks.

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copyright: Anne Lawson, 2017

The browns add some vibrancy.

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Copyright: Anne Lawson, 2017

Adding the light pastels creates the magic because they also smudge the other marks. Can you see how the yellow over the blue has created a blue-green? And how it changes the colour of the browns? So the six original colours have mixed to create more, and unexpected ones too.

IMG_5550
Image and photograph copyright: Anne Lawson, 2017

The next stage is to draw the ink branches and trunk. In black ink or brown? Probably brown, but maybe not…..

And after that I might have a play with another split complementary.