Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

A sketch for a self portrait


This sketch is for a self portrait I intend to paint. I started by sketching half my face with shading, then added contour lines. The contour lines are going to be painted in non-skin tones. I haven’t decided on the exact palette for that yet. The other half of the face is going to be painted a flat blood red.
Selfie of artist
This is the selfie I started my sketch from. Why a selfie? I haven’t mastered the trick of looking at an mirror, while drawing at the same time. As for photos, I consider my selfies more honest than staged photos. Photos of me smiling are as strange as the dead serious Victorian photos.

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Aset in Gold

The most obvious change to “Aset, Goddess of Sovereignty” is that I’ve added her gold dress and the hieroglyph on her head. I’ve also extended the wings and the under painting for her cleavage. I have to go over that last area again because mixing burnt umber and titanium white in exact amounts is difficult.

Other than that the remaining work is details. Her facial features, stylised feathers for the wings, and details for the background.

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Aset WIP

I’m working on a painting called “Aset, Goddess of Sovereignty”. Aset is the Goddess of Sovereignty from Ancient Egypt. The Greeks called her Isis. I’ve started to block in some of the main areas. The wings aren’t staying black although I’ve drawn her twin Nebt-Het with black wings.

Aset sketch

This is the initial sketch for the painting. The dress hasn’t been done on the painting because unlike the sketch, I want to paint the dress in gold. I needed to buy a tube of gold paint at the time of painting.

Quick note on names

I don’t use the Greek names. I follow the Ancient Egyptian gods to as they were understood in Pharaonic Egypt (I don’t even really like calling it Egypt that’s from the Greek too). When the Greeks came they melded their gods with the local gods. Most Ancient Egyptian goddesses are solar. The Greeks made them lunar. When Aset became Isis, she went from being a powerful woman who was also a magician and had chutzpah to being a cuddly mother figure. She had always produced, cared for and protected Heru-Sa-Aset but that was part of her role in ensuring Set was deposed following the death of Wesir (Osiris).

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

My first painting: from rough sketch to pencil outline

society has always been influenced by queers sketchThere are two things that determine how I make art – cost to get it from start to exhibition, and the limitations of my Non Verbal Learning Disabilities. I looked at my works on paper and realised how much it would cost to frame them all if I got to have a solo exhibition. There are lots of options for textile arts for hanging without framing a piece. The options in fine arts are far more limited. It basically comes down to two; paint on canvas or sculpture. My Non Verbal Learning Disabilities mean that I find it very hard to visualise 3D objects. I am unlikely to ever make sculpture. I’ve chosen acrylics over oil because acrylics are mostly non-toxic. The exceptions are pigment specific.

The above rough sketch is for my first painting. The black paint splotches aren’t part of the sketch, they happened later.

Society has always been influenced by QueersThis photo looks down upon the pencil outlines on a prepared canvas. It was cheap canvas so I added more gesso, then painted the background.

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Dream scroll WIP update

This is what I have done since my last blog post. I’ve been asleep a lot and spent three days trying to find a pathology centre that could draw blood for my three monthly blood test *grump*.

In better news the next State Trustees Connected Exhibition will be in February 2015. I have a couple of ideas including a monochrome blue portrait of me at about 15 or so. This would be a departure from my normal style.

Speaking of exhibitions: the dream scroll will be going to the embroiderers guild annual members exhibition.
Saturday August 9 -Sunday August 24, 10.00am – 4.00pm daily. I’m hoping to having work accepted for the Bayside Art Show but confirmations aren’t out until 1 August.

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

New work for the Embroiderers Guild (Victoria) Annual Members Exhibit

The 2014 Annual Members Exhibit
Saturday August 9 -Sunday August 24
10.00am – 4.00pm daily

Location: Embroidery House
170 Wattletree Road, Malvern 3144

I intend to have a piece of work in this exhibition. The turn in date is in late July. I have nothing finished that I’m happy to submit. I missed out last year because I was moving. In 2012 I had two pieces in the exhibit. I’m starting my dreams themed scroll and putting my current work aside.

I’ve made a sample for this piece already. The kanji in that sample is going onto this dreams themed scroll. I learned Japanese for roughly a decade. I’m a Japanophile, but not Manga and Anime, more Shrines, Temples, Kimonos, Karate and Ikebana. Each piece of coloured fabric in the piece has its own story. The background will be plain calico.

This japanese craft print (cotton) I bought to make a skirt. I didn’t buy enough fabric because I hadn’t taken measurements recently enough. It’s now going to be part of the scroll. I suspect japanese craft prints are based on patterns traditionally woven into silk kimonos worn by young women, adapted for the western market. The patterns are too busy to be traditional prints for cotton made for the japanese market.

fabric 2
I bought this when I was stash building immediately after committing to reverse appliqué. I was trying to buy reds, greens, yellows, neutrals. I mostly had blue and purples before that because they are my favourite colours. I did buy some of those colours but not with this japanese craft print.

fabric 4
This one was bought for this project. This is the real deal. Yukata fabric is for cotton for kimonos that used to be for everyday wear. They are still in limited use. The traditional weave for Japanese fabric is narrow, 36 cm. Kimonos are assembled in strips. The blue and white floral pattern is a traditional one.

fabric colours and sample
This is a very rough layout to show colour relationships on a neutral background. The sample is also to one side.

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Australian themed textile WIP

I started on the reverse appliqué on the print of Australia today. That’s two hours sitting at the sewing machine plus time spent cutting.  Even then I wanted to do more but when my back is sore from sitting, it’s time to stop. I’ve had a virus that made me even more fatigued than usual and when I recovered, life became busy. This is the first chance I’ve had to sit down at the machine.

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Successful Digital Print

Unlike last week, this week my digital print was successful. It’s not perfect; some of the ink was left on the transfer paper. Transfer paper is best known for making homemade witty t-shirts but with high enough quality there are a number of textile art applications. I think the overall effect of the transfer looks like old newsprint. The map wasn’t solid black to begin with. The newsprint look is appropriate because the overall piece is about the suppression of the history of the bloody slaughter of Australia’s Indigenous population. Also I intend to use reverse appliqué to finish this piece.

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

How technology has changed my life

A lot has been written about technology changing society. My life has been improved by technology. I have what is called Non Verbal Learning Disabilities. I was in grade 5 before I could read. There is one symptom, this post is most concerned with. I have very bad fine motor skills. (As measured by a test called a WAIS) This means I have very slow hand writing and very slow hand stitch speed.

A series of laptops saved my education (and the quality of the teachers helped). My struggle prior to the first laptop was to get what I knew out of my head and written down. The frustration of being bright and not being able to show it was extreme. I finished secondary school then university. I am proud to have a Bachelor of Arts with majors in history and Japanese language.

I learnt hand embroidery before I thought I could be an artist. The blog of Mr X stitch made me want to be an artist but I didn’t have the confidence. It took a then-lover pointing out how creative I was for me to take the first steps.

Textile art is an umbrella term like dry media. My early textile art was hand embroidery. I discovered that A4 pieces took roughly 12 months. Anything smaller doesn’t stand out at exhibition. This is not efficient enough for an artist building a portfolio. Adopting a drawing media helped – oil pastels was not the first. But learning to do reverse appliqué on a sewing machine is as revolutionary for my textile art as using a laptop is for my education.  My reverse appliqué already has changed my style of abstraction eg. Divisions.

The WIP at the top of the post is called ‘Tipping Point’ and it’s a commission and the last piece of textile art I will do entirely in hand embroidery.

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

5 starting points for a new piece

tram and powerlines 5

For those familiar with Melbourne, (Australia) I took the photos at the corner of Toorak Rd and Chapel St, looking up. The first, however, is on the corner of Commercial Rd and Chapel St.

tram and powerlines 4

I’m going to use 3-5 of these photos as digital prints as a starting point for another piece of reverse appliqué like Divisions.

tram and powerlines 2

While I could use the digital prints in the layers, I’m going to use them to create surface area instead.

tram and powerlines 3

I’m releasing these photos under creative commons license. I’d love to see any work created from them.

tram and powerlines 1

Creative Commons License
Tram and power lines 1-5 by Anita Morris is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://anitamorris.net/5-starting-points-new-piece/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://anitamorris.net/contact-anita-morris/.

All content © Copyright 2016 by Anita Morris.
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