Saturday, August 10, 2019

Thursdays in the Gardens

As part of my Artist in Residency at the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, I am drawing or painting somewhere in the gardens on most days. On Thursdays I have been posting my location on social media so that other artists or sketchers can join me. This week I was working in the Japanese Garden on Thursday and was joined by eight other sketchers.

Robyn Bauer sketching in the Japanese garden

I was tempted by the winter sunshine but after starting my drawing I soon realised I was getting far too hot, plus the glare from the paper made it very difficult to continue and I had to move to the shade. I still continued on the same drawing from a different angle. I should know better being a Queenslander. I won't make that mistake again.

Pinus Thunbergii, Robyn Bauer

The twisted forms of this Japanese Black Pine were the main focus with the pond in the middle distance.

Sketchers in the Japanese garden

There were dozens of school children who were intrigued to see artists at work and they stopped to watch for several minutes.

Sketchers in the Japanese Garden

As you see we had a lovely group out enjoying the perfect winter weather.

Hard at work

This shelter provides a great resource for artists to see and work, rain or shine.

Robyn Bauer sketching

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

August workshop - Botanical Collage

Using the outlines of flowers, leaves, seedpods and branches, this workshop focused on the use of collage.

I prepared nine collages to illustrate different techniques that could be employed.

Robyn Bauer Botanical Collage

Paper was prepared first with a swish of acrylic ink.

Robyn Bauer Botanical Collage

Various papers were sourced, including napkins and tissue paper. This provided the first layers.

Robyn Bauer Botanical Collage

There is some stenciling done here with paper doilies. Posca pens on the top layer.

Robyn Bauer Botanical Collage

I realised fairly early in this process that using large pieces of coloured tissue provided a transparent layer of colour that linked disparate elements.

Robyn Bauer Botanical Collage

There are bits of wrapping paper on this one and the black ink was added with a twig. Purple flowers painted with acrylic.

Robyn Bauer Botanical Collage

The one above probably has the most collaged areas of all of them. The four flowers have multiple layers of petals. I have ripped up some of my own paintings into petal shaped pieces. The coloured lines are Posca pens and an ink drawing in the middle.

Robyn Bauer Botanical Collage 

Sometimes if an area becomes too complex you can always collage some white paper over the top such as this white flower on the left.

Robyn Bauer Botanical Collage

This one started with some acrylic ink splashes, then tissue paper then ink and Posca pen.

Robyn Bauer Botanical Collage

This one is based on a painting I had already done of a lotus flower from the pond near the library. Lots of tissue paper to indicate the leaves.

Robyn Bauer Botanical Workshop

Lots of information about the different approaches on the white board behind.

Botanical Collage Workshop

As an extra source of inspiration I bought along my collection of fabric flowers.

Half way through

We worked the surfaces from broad backgrounds to details last.

Botanical Workshop

In the photo above you can see some of my framed collages on the back table.

Robyn Bauer Botanical Workshop

I had such a variety of papers we considered tonal values as we went.

Robyn Bauer Workshop

So many approaches covered meant there were many different outcomes from the group.

Fun with the flowers

As you can see above there was some wearable art experimented with.

Student works

Finally the results. Some outstanding responses. Some of the students continued these at home and I've seen the results on Instagram. They really came alive with some final touches.

July Workshop in the Gardens

Mark-making was the focus for the July workshop.

We talked about close, close, close observation and a response to the natural objects I provided such as leaves, seedpods, branches and other bits and pieces sourced from the forest floor. Although texture was the main focus we discussed the nature of creativity and the value of interpreting the source material.
Other concepts covered included

* The freedom to "play" with art materials
* Getting to know what various media are capable of
* Importance of the accidental mark
* Responding to a place/object
* Working with contrasts ie. Light/Dark, Heavy/Faint, Complicated/Simple,
* How blind contour drawing can help with the integrity of response

We used monoprinting, frottage, drawing and wax resist with ink.

A few photos below.

Robyn Bauer Workshop Preparation

A large variety of media was used but the most fun was had with oil pastels and various dilutions of black ink.

Diluted ink and wax resist

Brushes and twigs were used to apply the ink. 

Robyn Bauer with class

You can see the table centre is full of fabulous botanical bits and pieces found throughout the forest floor.

Class hard at work

There were some very creative outcomes after careful observation.

Posca pens make a good final layer

Textures were also created with sponges dipped in ink.

Studio Chaos

Photo above shows some of the chaos in my studio at home during preparation for this workshop.

Cat helper

My cat (@barneybauer on Instagram) wearing a camellia hat while helping. He doesn't look too impressed.