Friday, 24 March 2017

Vie du Pacifique - Pacific Perimeter Print Exchange

This exhibition of prints opened recently at Estuary Arts Centre, Orewa, 
coordinated and curated by Celia Walker.

The project is an international exchange between print studios from around the Pacific perimeter and coordinated by  Jennifer Sanzaro-Nishimura and Jennifer Stuerzl in Australia. A group of five printmakers from Studio Printmakers were invited to take part and the inaugural exhibition of the exchange took place at Impress Studio and Gallery in Brisbane in November 2016.

The exhibition at Estuary Arts Centre includes the works of the printmakers from Studio Printmakers who took part plus a selection of prints from the previous exchange project including prints from Chile, Philippines, Vanuatu, Australia, Japan and New Zealand. 

Artists were invited to "explore their relationship with the Pacific Ocean culturally, as a source of life and beauty, a source of food, an element of nature and as a place of travel and recreation. They could also take into consideration the dumping ground for human and industrial discardments it has become, and other environmental or political concerns."

The full set of prints from the recent 2016 exchange will be exhibited at 
Whangarei Art Museum from 28th August to 26th September, 2017. 
The full collection of prints will then go into the art gallery's collection.

Participating Studio Printmakers members include 
Celia Walker, Kheang Ov, Nicola Ov, 
Ina Arraoui and Toni Hartill.

"Lifeblood" by Toni Hartill
Caustic etch lino, monotype, blind emboss.

My statement for my work:

 "Growing up in NZ meant I was never far from the sea whether we were in it, on it or under it. The sea is my anchor. It's where I feel grounded and where I return when in need of solace. It’s in my lifeblood through generations of seafaring folk. It’s integral to my identity as a New Zealander growing up with Maori mythology entwining our relationship to this land, Aotearoa and to the sea, te moana. To be at sea under an infinite sky allows me to put the woes of a modern world into perspective and to simply be in the moment."

I hoped to convey a sense of  my relationship with the ocean via an almost meditative quality through the use of printed and embossed patterning.  

A selection of prints for the previous print exchange 
are on display with the five recent works 
until 2nd April, 2017.

Thanks to Celia Walker for all her work in making this project 
happen in New Zealand for the 2016 project.

Its always great working with you!

William Barnhart Workshop

Recently I was lucky enough to participate in one of a series of two-day workshops tutored by Arizona artist William Barnhart. The workshops were held at Studio Printmakers' studio where I am a member. This is a collective printmaking group based in Auckland, NZ. Visit their website to find out more here.

Bill is a painter, sculptor and printmaker. I first became aware of his printmaking when his work was selected as one of the winning artists for the 2015 Mini Print International of Cadaques. In this workshop he shared his techniques for drypoint, monoprint wiping and chine colle as used for his Mini Print works.

The morning of the first day was spent doing drawing exercises to free up our drawing lines. This began simply enough with drawing circles and ovals and moved on to continuous line drawings - a great way to draw. 
The session ended with us all drawing with lengths of dowel taped to our wrong/other arm with a pencil taped to the end of the dowel. Definitely frees you up! And great fun too!

Next we moved on to watching Bill demo the process from whoa to go. 

William Barnhart demonstrates his drypoint technique.

William Barnhart demonstrates his wiping techniques.
William Barnhart's completed exemplar
using drypoint and chine colle.

Then we got stuck in to create our own works.

William Barnhart workshop in progress at Studio Printmakers.

The drying rack soon filled up with our works.

Another exemplar by William Barnhart.

I was pleasantly surprised with what I produced. I had gone along with some images based around themes I am currently working with and an open mind as to how I might use them.

Bill's process gelled with me and I found that I was able to translate his instructions into my own way of working. I had no idea what I would create in this workshop so it was exciting to see what I came up with - very different from anything else I have done, yet still "me."

Drypoint, chine colle prints by Toni Hartill.

There was a huge variety of works produced in this workshop and in the following one the next weekend. Great to see everyone shining through in their own unique ways.

Wiliam Barnhart drypoint, chine colle workshop
at Studio Printmakers.

Since the workshop I had a couple of days in my studio playing with the process further to see if it was all a fluke. 

First I printed a variation on one of my plates created in the workshop.

Drypoint, chine colle print by Toni Hartill.

 I then created a series of mini prints from a new plate playing with colour, composition and wiping. I was also interested to see how well the plate would print multiple times. 
So far it was holding up just fine.

Mini drypoints by Toni Hartill.

Mini drypoint by Toni Hartill.

I really quite like the "comic book" quality of these prints. 
Something more for me to explore further.

A BIG thanks to Bill for his fun and inspirational teaching!

PCANZ Summer School 2017

The 2017 PCANZ Summer School took place in Auckland again this year at St Cuthberts College in January. The format was different from past years in that this time multiple workshops were run giving participants the opportunity to do a couple of different workshops over the course of the week. It also meant that more people could take part. 

(Click here to read about 2016 PCANZ Summer School tutored by Diane Fogwell.)

The programme for this year's week included six two-day workshops, studio visits and artist talks.
The tutors were Jacqueline Aust (solar plate), Lynn Taylor (mixed media print), Kathy Boyle (plaster prints), Prue MacDougall (solar plate), Marci Tackett (polyester plate lithography), Terri Reddish (artist portfolio).

I took part in Lynn Taylor's mixed media workshop which included techniques using relief solar plate, encaustic wax and collage using found and printed papers and materials onto laser cut shapes. As anyone, who has been a participant in one of Lynn's classes, knows she is a fun and generous tutor sharing her expansive knowledge and many inspirations.

Lynn Taylor demonstrates her techniques for
attaching papers to the laser cut shapes.

On day one we began by choosing our shapes and then printing and sourcing papers and textures to apply backgrounds and patterns to our shapes. 

We also worked one-on-one with Lynn to learn the process of creating a relief solar plate to use in our work. Lynn must have run close to a half-marathon in the first day alone running up and down the stairs with each person to expose the plates outside in the sunlight! Amazing energy!!

Solar plate demonstration

Toni Hartill relief solar plate created for Lynn Taylor workshop.

Day Two began with a demo of using encaustic wax to add layers and effects to our shapes.

Lynn Taylor demonstrates encaustic wax techniques.

With 12 students in the workshop the room was a hive of activity and everyone created unique pieces using a full range of techniques and materials.

Diane Charraz work in progress
Di Harries work in progress
Doona Dold work in progress

Sally-Ann Davies work in progress

Toni Hartill encaustic works in progress.

Having learnt some new skills and been inspired with new ideas and, as is oft the way with how I work, I took a bit of a detour from the main direction of the workshop and went off on a bit of a tangent, still using the shapes and layers of printed papers but diving off into a more sculptural approach.

With one approach, using the subject of the sea washing across pebbles I played with layering the printed surfaces at different heights, using different tones through printing on sheer fabric vs paper and playing with a horizontal structure vs a vertical structure. 

Toni Hartill work in progress.

Toni Hartill work in progress.

Toni Hartill work in progress.
Pebble Shore - horizontal by Toni Hartill

Pebble Shore - vertical by Toni Hartill

The other piece I played with was inspired by my interest in the islands along our coasts. Using the same printed papers and surfaces, I used the structure of a painted rod of wood to form a horizon line and the shapes in the form of hemispheres.

Toni Hartill work in progress.
Coastal Islands by Toni Hartill

This wee diversion was fed from some inspiration I have had percolating away for some time and so it will hopefully lead into a series of new works along this line. 

This is, for me, one of the best things about participating in new learning opportunities. You never know what you will come up with next (or at least, I never know what I will come up with next.) I love the way the brain works and how it throws out left-field ideas at the least expected moment! 

Note to self: work on this idea to take it further!
Hopefully, watch this space!