The Importance of Experimentation

I have come to realise the importance of experimentation, not just in the studio, but with life. I’m not talking about anything life threatening or physically painful, but just enough to push yourself out of the comfort zone. Why? Because stretching yourself in one area releases courage in another.

Experimentation in my arts practice shakes up my routine and forces me to reconsider my process as well as introducing me to new ways of discovering texture and mark making. Is it uncomfortable? – yes, does it always yield good results? – no, is it worthwhile? – absolutely!

The images below are those I considered worked, I used a mix of media; acrylic, pencil, pastel, ink, and watercolour with various bushes.

The image below did not work as a stand alone image, however, there is something in the washes of greens and the high horizon line, sitting next to the hard bristle strokes of the purple marks that I will be further exploring…nothing is lost.

Last year I attended an online workshop with Louise Fletcher an artist and tutor from Yorkshire in England. I am repeating this workshop this year. The six acrylic squares at the start of this post is part of the first exercise from her course, it is a great way of loosening up and having fun with acrylic.

Tonal Landscape Study – Muhunoa NZ

It was a little grey and overcast this particular day as we ventured out on our bicycles for breakfast and coffee. Unfortunately the heavens opened and down came the rain so only time to capture the scene taken on the Muhunoa East Road by camera and later working a few sketches from this in the studio.

Starting from an abstracted horizontal study I rendered this back to the original sketch. Media used included; water soluble pencil and carandache crayon, gesso, ink – both permanent and water based and soft pastels.

Work is approximately 14″ x 7″ on Fabriano Artistico 300 gsm HP paper.

“Found Myself Dreaming…”

“Found Myself Dreaming” 21″ x 8.5″ mixed media on Fabriano Artistico paper. Layers of ink, acrylic, water soluble crayon, pencil, and charcoal with a mix of brushes and tools. There were moments of ‘ugly’ in the process as there are for many paintings – you just have to keep going and see where the responses take you. The still image is a closer capture to the contrast of the work, the video was lit from above and I feel brightened the work somewhat.

Below is a quick slideshow of some of the layers of my process that went into this piece.

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