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.

Queen Charlotte Sound… under the tutelage of Lyn Diefenbach.

I had the privilege of studying under the amazing Lyn Diefenbach an incredible pastalist based in Australia. This is the resulting piece, a riverway that feeds into Queen Charlotte Sound. Approximately 12″ x 14″ a mix of Art Spectrum, Rembrandt and Schmincke soft pastels on Colourfix board.

Queen Charlotte Sound – riverway

“Cow Parsley”…I think it’s going to rain.

I know it’s a strange title but in keeping with the recent weather here in the North Island of New Zealand. I painted over the beginnings of a still life composition that wasn’t quite coming together. A number of layers later the final image immerged…

Video shows the process of building acrylic layers prior to soft pastels.
Felt it needed greater definition of contrast.
Was tempted to stay at this point but wanted to challenge myself a little more.
“Cow Parsley”…I think it’s going to rain. Approximately 29″ x 21” mixed media on Fabriano Artistico paper. If you click on the image it will take you to the Landscape Gallery where this piece is available for purchase.

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