Sketchbook Project

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

The importance of simple shapes in my collage

This piece is my latest collage for my sketchbook project. (Once again I’ve used yuzen Japanese paper) I used to think I couldn’t use collage as a serious fine arts medium because I have low fine motor control due to my learning disabilities. My use of simple shapes allows me to have better technique, without sacrificing complexity. I think my best example is this:

(c) Anita Morris 2014

(c) Anita Morris 2014

This collage was made with simple narrow strips of paper. My confidence is growing with collage. I’m intending to do a major piece with collage in the future. How soon depends on finishing my dream scroll, my current painting and a few other things,

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

A progression of art ideas


sketchbook project page 13This is my latest page for the sketchbook project. Inspired by the previous page and wrapping dad’s birthday present. The second blue paper on the page is blue wrapping paper.


sketchbook project page 12

This is the previous page. Inspired by recent reading on heraldry and another page but this time from my main sketchbook rather than the sketchbook project sketchbook.


diamond sketchThis page is the one that inspired page number two. I didn’t consider this a success but the pieces that followed were better.

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Working with found objects and recycled fabrics

My sketchbook project theme is “Middle”. One of the meanings of middle is “belly”. It’s not a meaning I’m exploring thoroughly but inspired the choice of the wrapper of a chocolate block for this page. I made paper snowflakes as a child and have used the same technique here.

The paper being a found object, there is a degree of eco-consciousness among artists using found objects in art.

Divisions (c) Anita Morris 2014

Divisions (c) Anita Morris 2014

The use of recycled fabrics has similar eco motivations. The top layer of the piece Divisions is from a lightweight pair of jeans. All my recycled fabrics are from clothes too worn for the op shops (thrift store). Some artists go to op shops to buy clothes to use as recycled fabric. I won’t do that. The people who buy clothes from the op shops sometimes can’t afford anything else.

My paternal grandma has her basic Mastery from the modern school of Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging), Sogetsu. She has often used found objects in her arrangements, mostly metal and plastic. Recently she has been using a spiral of metal, the width of a wide ribbon, one end balanced on a tube and using different natural materials in it. The natural materials are replaced as they wilt. Her arrangements were the first modern art I saw and she inspires me to use found objects. However found objects are unlikely to be central to my personal practice.

Divisions Price $400 contact Anita Morris to buy.
Or buy of a card of Divisions

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Sketchbook Project: Japanese influenced collage

I’m particularly proud of this page. It’s the result of one of those rare bursts of artist inspiration. The rest of the time artists and writers show up and do the work. This collage was made of thin strips of yuzen (Japanese) paper.

My painting is also coming along nicely. I’ve painted the background colour and pencilled in most of the design.

Buy the card or print of this work

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

A productive artist

sketchbook project page 6

A productive artist produces lots of work to create gems from the rubbish. The trick is to build on those strong works. I consider my strongest works to be “Depression“, “Renewal“, “Making War Unthinkable“, and “Soldier salutes Death“. I also feel that my textile art is strong. None of them feature the faceless crowd motif I’ve been doing so much of. My continuing with the motif is artistically lazy. Expect changes and watch this space.

The art at the top of the post is page 6 of my sketchbook project book. I’ve labelled it “Reflection” because it’s a reflection through the centre line. It’s featured in this post because it doesn’t have the crowd motif and because none of the works built on this realisation from the past few days have been started yet.

Further reading
Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland write more about the productive artist.

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Sketchbook Project: Finding the middle with geometric shapes

The page above I have decided the middle is defined by the middle of the circle and the middle of the line and the distance between the two. This geometric combination has a simplicity to it that I find attractive.

I will post on subjects other than the sketchbook project while I’m working on it. I have drawings and an acrylic painting planned but nothing that I’m ready to share yet.

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Sketchbook Project: the second time around

I did the sketchbook project in 2010 for the 2011 tour. My book was digitised. My improvement as an artist since then makes the contents embarrassing.

I’m doing the sketchbook project 2015 because it was fun the first time and it’s a chance to do something different with different mediums. Oil pastels need protective paper to stop them smudging on the opposite page. While it works fine in my personal sketchbooks, a book that is going both archived and potentially handled by the general public, it is less useful. One book won’t be handled often because of the sheer number of participants. My first book was checked out three times including by my parents when it came here last year.

The second book has the theme of the Middle. The theme takes me away from my usual focuses while still having interesting possibilities. I’m going to call it ‘Meditations on the Middle’. The picture at the beginning of this post is the second of two collages I have already created for my book. Other media I want to use include coloured pencils and chalk pastels.

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