Monday, September 26, 2011

The Sketchbook Project 2012: Surfing


I'm loving the Art House Co-Op's 2012 Sketchbook Project.  I've been plugging away at this little book for some months now and it's been interesting to see my own style and process evolve throughout that time.  My theme "A Path Through The Trees" has been a great way for me to explore not only my interpretation of this journey, but ways to capture scenes that offer insights into where this path may lead.

My sketchbook is almost finished, just a few bits and pieces to complete then it's off to Boston to be included in this wonderful world tour.  It's even going to my home town of Melbourne, Australia.  In honor of that journey, I wanted to include a page that is inspired by, and dedicated to, Australia's Indigenous population.  The Australian Aborigines have the most beautiful and elegant way of telling this history through dot painting.  Some of Australia's Aboriginal artists are among the most revered artists in the world. I grew up surrounded by all of this and to me it is one of those cultural icons of Australia that is both under appreciated and poorly understood.

Australia is an island nation who's energy is drawn from the searing red desert of the outback to the glittering blue waves of the ocean.  Surfing and swimming are our national pass-times and most Australian's grow up within some measure of proximity to the water. We all end up with a love for the ocean and yearning for the Australian bush.  I am no different.  These are the things I miss most about my homeland.

So to capture all of this, I created this page. It is inspired by the gum trees of Australia which hug many of her coastlines.  I remember many childhood summers trekking from our camp site in Torquay Victoria, through the bush and out onto the beach.  The vast white sands and the pounding surf dotted with many surfers was always something to behold.

This was done using my treasured Neocolor II's on black gesso. I applied the acrylic paint over the top with the flat end of a skewer.  One dip in the paint, one dot.  It's a very meditative process, that has little structure beyond the sweep of the water.  The colors evolved on their own, as did the shapes.  It's a crude representation of a very ancient art form, but one that was done with reverence and respect.

If you'd like to learn more about using Neocolor II's, hop on over to Balzer Designs this coming Friday. I will be Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's guest blogger and I'll be giving some tips on using these luscious little sticks of color.

Thanks for checking in. xx