Posts by Leonie Andrews

I am an artist of the landscape of common objects. Discarded items and suburban life fuel my art practice.

Back to the cafe

Back sketching at our favourite coffee shop this morning.

So good to get back to our favourite cafe.

I spent some time thinking about what I wanted to sketch, which was one of the key points in the workshop I did with Richard Briggs last week.

Trying to leave out unnecessary details.

I was interested in the relationship between the hedge across the road and the small hedge close to me. But then I realised that I really wanted the focus to be on the cluster of small stools in front of the hedge.

A small table and stools.

While completing this sketch it dawned on me that the shadows of the stools were also fascinating. One set was being cast by the sun and the ones you see in the painting were cast from the light reflected from the plate glass windows of the cafe. Sadly time and a lack of paper meant that I didn’t make a third sketch, but perhaps I can work on that next time.

Moving along

Today I have finally taken up my needle again and have had the pleasure of stitching these beautiful eucalyptus dyed silk squares sent to me by @bluedorritt as part of the Opening Stitches project.

Stitching on silk squares dyed with eucalyptus, original stitches by Sue Butler

It has been quite a frustrating being unable to stitch, and this project started to drift away from me.

A second silk square.

Now I am better I have had to reacquaint myself with the project.

A close up of the stitched square.

Somewhere along the line l had missed stitching these two squares that were sent to me some months ago. Fingers crossed that the paperwork tracking all the contributions has now been sorted out and I can get back to the making.

Bound shadows

My collection of Loungeroom Residency photos is now flatter and comes with it’s own shadows!

Shadows from shadows, my newly bound photos

My inner ‘neat person’ (who knew I had such a thing) tried to tell me to cut off those wavy edges of paper. I told her to b*gger off.

It has also found a safe home in a box I recently received, which will now be re-purposed into a book case. Peeking through in this photo is a word from my very basic book ends – a recycled postcard glued on either end.

Residency following on

The first outcome of my loungeroom residency is this concertina book. As you can see it’s a work in progress.

A work in progress. All my shadow photos for the past 11 days.

I am assembling all the shadow photos l took over the past 11 days. There are quite a few which didn’t make it to Instagram. I have now wrestled this unwieldy dragon under several dictionaries. I’m not quite sure how long it will take to flatten properly.

Catalogue Collages

Sometimes we are so confused and sad that all we can do is glue one thing to another. – Lynda Barry

Those words from Linda Barry struck a chord this week, so the other day I made some collages.

I seem to have a thing about using clothing catalogues. This catalogue I particularly liked because of the bright colours and the patterns used in the clothing.

Photo inspiration for first collage.

I always aim to make more than one collage at a time. My inspiration started with a photo taken earlier in the day, but after the first collage the work started taking on a life of its own. That is one of the best things about making collages.

In the end I made 5 works. One of them in particular is already leading me into a new piece of work.

The first collage.

The second collage I loved all the stripes.

Collage number 3.

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Collage number 4.

The final collage.

The other unexpected result of this work was, by including words in the collage I accidentally made a spam poem.

Spam poem #6

Spam Poem #6

P.S. During my residency in Japan in 2016, I also made collages from beauty catalogues. If you want to have a look here is the link you will need to scroll to the bottom of the post.

PPS Lynda Barry can be followed on Twitter or Instagram @thenearsightedmonkey.

A Loungeroom Residency

Over the next week I will be undertaking an artist residency in my lounge room. It wasn’t planned, but an unexpected injury to my back has made it otherwise. The toughest call was having to withdraw from the formal residency I was about to start under the auspices of the Craft ACT Spring Residency. But then, I realised that I could undertake an artist residency in my own home.

Day 1 shadow photograph.

At this point I have to acknowledge that before I became concerned over my own temporary setbacks, I failed to acknowledge that many artists deal with such problems on a daily basis due to a whole range of physical, social or psychological reasons. I apologise.

A model, a theme

For my residency I have used the model proposed by Lenka Clayton for A Residency in Motherhood. Her model provides both a format and concrete examples of ways to work under constrained circumstances. This excellent resource was drawn to my attention by the fabulous Dr Ruth Hadlow whose master classes have been a major and ongoing inspiration in my work .

At this stage my daily exploration of shadows has become my default theme. I support this proposition by a quote from Ellsworth Kelly who said:

I realized I didn’t want to compose pictures, I wanted to find them. I felt that my vision was choosing things out there in the world and presenting them.

Resources

I have all the resources of my extensive library to select from and all my materials to use. I didn’t have to pack anything to take to this residency. If anything the greatest danger is paralysis from too much choice.

Day 2 shadow photograph.

Limitations

The biggest limitation I have at present is my physical ability to sit up for only limited periods of time and having to be careful not to overuse my dominant arm. I have finally discovered using the microphone on my tablet in order to reduce additional stress through typing. It works! Sometimes.

Interruptions are another cause of problems I would unlikely to experience in a formal residency. Social media management is also a major issue for me.

Work so far

Yesterday I made some collages inspired by one of the photos I took earlier this week. I used a clothing catalogue, which I am inordinately fond of making collages with. I will show you these in a separate post.

Enough for now I need to rest up. I plan to attend a screening of a documentary on Rembrandt this afternoon. Hopefully rest and medication and my wheat bag will get me there.

I would be really interested to hear of your own experiences of working with limitations and constraints in making art.

D3 shadow photograph

PS

I just wanted to say that I’m in good hands and my back issues seem to be slowly resolving so no need for anyone to worry about my condition.

Eindhoven sketches

The last main stop on our travels around the Netherlands was Eindhoven. It was rather different to other cities we visited. It seemed quite quiet, possibly because it was university holidays.

While I am probably the least car fanatical person around I was encouraged by positive comments from other non-car people to visit the DAF Museum. There certainly was lots to see and even I have to admit that there were lots of interesting older cars to sketch. The cutest car of the lot, a 3-wheeler nick-named ‘the portable raincoat’, was right in the entrance foyer, but there was no suitable place to sit and sketch. So I settled on sketching this 1963 sedan the Daffodil.

The 1963 Daffodil, DAF Museum Eindhoven.

One of the contemporary architectural highlights in the city is ‘The Blob’ designed by Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas. This building is a commercial space and is close to two other related buildings which provide access to bicycle paking. I must say it was a real b**ger to draw. I gave up on trying to draw the whole thing and focused on one end where the glazing makes it look like a partially deflated rugby ball.

One end of The Blob, a commercial space in the centre of Eindhoven.

On a more traditional note is Sint Catharina in the city centre. Despite its Gothic look it was designed by Petrus (Pierre) Cupyers and built between 1859-67. It replaced an earlier derelict medieval church on the same site. Cupyers was definitely going for the over-the-top neo-gothic style, influenced by 13th century French Gothic churches. The two towers are different from each other. The slender Ivory tower symbolising the purity of the Virgin Mary and the chunkier one representing the strength of King David. Whatever. It made for two interesting elements to paint.

The Virgin’s tower on the left and King David’s tower on the right. Sint Catharina Eindhoven

The last thing I sketched in Eindhoven was what I could see from where we were having dinner. Looking at a tower block which was catching the evening sun I tried to use some techniques I had learnt at Symposium. I focused on sketching what I was interested in, not using ‘local’ colour and working using warm and cool colours to highlight the buildings.

Final sketch of Eindhoven. A pleasant street view with a cyclist turning up at the right moment.