A few weekends ago I was one of privileged few to be able to attend a workshop in Taupo, tutored by Willian Barnhart, an American painter, sculptor, printmaker, to name a few of his many skills. The focus was on using collaged papers as a backround, then creating a drypoint plate to print over it. The skill was all in how much ink to remove so that the ink remaining enhanced the final plate. In between answering our every need, William was quietly working away on his own plates, and this was an additional bonus as you could see his working methods...methinks hes done a few!! Below are the results of the 2 days....
Each year a small town an hour away from here, Whanganui, hosts a Fibre Arts Symposium that attracts tutors and artists from around the world. It is a 5 day residential event, held at a Girl’s boarding school. It is a wonderful time, mixing with about 100 other creative people and having meals provided for us, where we can keep on nattering.
I chose to go to an American collage artist whom I had been following for sometime on PInterest…Donna Watson. The title of the workshop was “Collage in the Spirit of Wabi Sabi”. This was perfect for me as for some time I had been drawn to that Japanese aesthetic. It is a way of looking at the world, accepting the beauty of imperfection, transience and impermanence. I recommend the book “ The Japanese Art of Impermanence “ by Andrew Jupiter.
To generate material to use in the collages we used Gelli plates to print onto any ephemera that we had brought, but also beautiful handmade papers such as Tengucho, Chiri, Unryu : some were fine, some had texture. It was interesting watching people’s personal colour palettes develop as the week went on. Donna gave us some guiding principles as to different layouts we might adopt to construct our collages, but from then on we worked individually. Donna came to the rescue with various possibilities for piece placement if something wasn’t working, but in general it seemed to come together in the end.
Donna was generous in sharing her work with us, they were 10” x 10” immaculately presented collages on a firm backing. See her work on my pinterest page:
Below are some photos taken in the class, and after them is a link to my printmaking page where there aare collages that I subsequently produced at home.
An assortment of papers were prepared
Selecting papers that might go together
By shifting one small piece of paper can make all the difference
Experimenting with geometric and organic designs