Thursday, August 21, 2014

Recent pastel paintings

These are two soft pastel paintings I have done recently on Wednesdays when I meet with others to paint.  I am enjoying returning to pastels, my favourite medium.

I photographed this still life set up under the trees at Floriade many years ago and decided to paint my interpretation of it with bright colours which I love.

Still life




This grevillea flower closeup was waiting to be painted.

Part of a grevillea flower

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Some Mixed Media Paintings

My canvas was covered in glue and sand sprinkled on it  to give a rough texture when painted with acrylic paints.  The idea was to give a feeling of Edward Hopper's work.  He was a mainly urban painter and often at dusk or night.  I only had a photo of houses in the daytime so I have attempted here to give a night look by making the sky dark and light in the windows.  It was fun to do.

Urban view in early evening

I had covered a canvas with crushed tissue paper and painted the whole area in yellow ochre.  It had been sitting around for a few months.  I was searching for a design idea and began drawing flasks.  To contrast with the curves of the flasks I began drawing triangles and using different colours for decoration. Most of the yellow ochre was covered although this was not the original intention. Another piece of work that was fun to do.

Fun with flasks


This collage was made for the Squares Exhibition that has just finished at Strathnairn Gallery.  I always love this opportunity each year to do something different on a small canvas.  I decided to do a collage using all the advertising stuff that comes in the mailbox and newspaper every day. The  background at the top has painted paper covered with semitransparent Lutradur polyester sheet.  I have called it Baubles Collage. 


Baubles collage

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tiffany Lampshade in 'Poppy' Design

I have been making this lampshade for over three years but finally I mounted it on a stand today and put the lights on. Although there are some things not quite right as it was hard to make, these all fade into the background when it is lit up.  I am very pleased.  The diameter is about 52cm so it is quite large with three globes.

While cutting and foiling the glass it was impossible to know just what the colours would be like with proper light behind.  I had problems with oxidation of the solder as I hadn't realised it was not good to have some of the panels exposed to air for years.  Using fine steel wool over all the seams to get it off was really hard and the result not perfect.  Then it was hard to get the black patina to take well too.  But the colours work and that's all that matters in the end.

Tiffany Lampshade 'Poppy' design

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Photobook on Mexico, Guatemala, Curacao & St Kitts





Mexico and Guatemala by Ruth Lathlean | Make Your Own Book

This is my seventh photo book thast I have made using Blurb BookSmart software.  Gradually I am scanning many of my slides from my travels and making books.

You can view this book in fullscreen and it is also for sale in the Blurb.com bookstore. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tryptich painting - after Matisse

I've been working on this huge tryptich for the last 6 weeks.  Michael Winter's class is looking at the work and style of Henri Matisse.  We were to paint an interior with at least one person in it.  Most were looking at photos of home but I decided to use a quirky photo I took in 2006 when I was in the medieval city of Carcasonne in the south of France.  I was alone and looking for a place for dinner but I think I was the only person eating - everyone else was drinking!

We were to join 3 canvases together to make a tryptich. The size influences the way one sees and paints. It was quite an experience.  The final size is 2.3m x 1m  (or 90" x 40").  Even balancing the canvases on the easel was hard with clamps used at the back.

The painting was drawn in charcoal and painted in acrylic using six tertiary colours which were harmonious.  I feel that the painting is more about colour than anything else - and Matisse also used unusual colours.  I made areas of impasto/texture and also flat areas with emphasis of line in places.  It was great fun to make this painting and I've already decided what to move and where to put it on a  high wall in my house.

Click on photo to see a larger size.

Tryptich painting - after Matisse

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Still life painting & tapestry weaving

This was a small still life acrylic painting I did a month ago when there were plenty of peaches around.  I looked at Itten's Elements of Colour" and tried some unusual harmonious tertiary colours as my palette.  I was about to start a huge tryptich and wanted to experiment with colour.  The theme is Matisse's indoor compositions and paintings - lots of colour and pattern. The large one is still in progress 1m x 2.2m in size.


Acrylic painting - after Matisse


This is a small woven tapestry on the theme Light and Shade that I have just entered in the annual tapestry challenge that is exhibited in New Zealand and Australia. Images are eventually all shown on Flickr.

Light and shade

Monday, March 17, 2014

Morocco - my latest book

This is my latest Blurb book on Morocco.  You can see the whole book here.  Just click the arrow.


 
   
   
   
   
   
   
     
   

 

 
 

 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Some Acrylic Paintings

This semester I am doing an art course called "Matisse - from his room to yours" with Michael Winters.  I always enjoy his courses as he pushes my boundaries and I do things I never thought I could do or even wanted to do. This course looks at Matisse's paintings of indoors scenes and the way he composes, uses colours and applies paints.

At first we photographed lots of angles in our own home that might be appropriate.  We converted these to black and white so we were not influenced by reality colours.  We chose two of these initially and did graphite and coloured pencil drawings on A3.  They were then converted into small canvas paintings in acrylic.  Things were to be stylised, one was to have a border, and one was to have one colour used for 80% of the painting.


Art course on Matisse's indoor paintings

Art course on Matisse's indoor paintings





Art course on Matisse's indoor paintings I then painted this somewhat larger still life made from a cluttered arrangement of objects on a patterned textile. Matisse used pattern and textiles a lot. It was first painted loosely in burnt umber and white. Acrylic glazes were then added to it giving some colour but allowing the background to show through.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Monoprints

Recently I went to a monoprint weekend workshop  with  Jo Hollier, a well known printmaker.  We had a lot of fun working with gelatin plates and stencils as well as trace and reduction monoprints.  We did some by hand printing and some with a pass through the press.  I have uploaded some onto Flickr and here they are here.


Gelatin Monoprints by hand


Gelatin Monoprints by hand

Gelatin Monoprints by hand

Gelatin Monoprints by hand

Gelatin Monoprints by hand

Gelatin Monoprints by hand

Gelatin Monoprints by hand

Trace Monoprint

Trace Monoprint

Reduction Monoprint

Reduction Monoprints by hand and press

Monoprint using acetate stencils in 4 layers

Monoprint using acetate stencils in 4 layers

Ghost print of a monoprint using acetate stencils in 4 layers

Monoprint on Lutradur (polyester) using acetate stencils

Monoprints from Jo Hollier's weekend workshop

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mixed Media Paintings

Recently I spent a full week at the 'Summer Art Experience' run by the Artists Society of Canberra. I did a class in Mixed Media with tutor Marijke Greenway whose work I admired when she taught last year, and also from her website.  This is at www.marijkegreenway.com

These are 4 paintings that I was reasonably happy with.

The first is a small sample of painting (or pouring paint) on to unsized canvas on the floor.  My large one needs to be redone as with a leg problem I had trouble bending down to the floor and my creativity deserted me.




This next acrylic painting was on stretched canvas. Marijke had many photos of her trip to the Kimberleys in northwest Australia and became the inspiration for a painting.




These bell like flowers are from the Eucalyptus Caesia - the canvas was prepared with tissue paper and gesso. I think a different subject would have showed the texture better from this technique.



This Grevillea flower was done with oil pastels on a piece of board painted black. It was interesting to try but not a medium I really like with its oily feel.



We also tried painting with inks but I didn't have much variety in colour, so used some cheap food  dyes. They sort of worked but run very easily when adding layers so I abandoned them. I need to experiment more with different media and supports this year. In February our Wednesday painting group will start again. I'll probably return to pastels for a while but also acrylics as I'm doing Tuesday afternoon classes with Michael Winters.  The course is called 'Matisse:from Matisse's room to your room.'  The classes are from the Centre for Continuing Education at ANU at  www.anu.edu.au/cce