New Website – lynetteweir.com

http://lynetteweir.com/

http://lynetteweir.com/

Australian Artist – Linocut Artist – Lynette Weir

Many of my longer term blog readers will remember my old website – soulsong.com.au – I was able to build this website using a brilliant online management system that a friend had developed over 10yrs ago. Back then there was no wordpress or any other website builder you could access to build your own site. This system was ahead of it’s time – a login in system where you could build & manage your own website. Unfortunately it is no longer being updated so I needed to find an alternative. After much searching around looking at what was on offer from the many online management systems, I settled on using wordpress as I really like using this system. I have been using Elegant Themes for the last few years but could not find a way to build a simple easy to navigate system for my website that was similar to my original soulsong one.

I had been meaning to try out the new theme – Divi – for a while. It offers a non code dependent builder (my knowledge of code is extremely limited) & Woo Commerce compatibility. When I looked at it initially it looked complicated.

If you follow me on twitter etc you will know that a couple of months ago I fractured my ankle so have been stuck at home unable to drive or do a lot (could not even do artwork as it meant I needed to have my foot down & it ached). So I decided it was time to bite the bullet I spent several hours viewing youtube videos showing how it all worked. It was well worth spending this time to research how the page builder & modules all work as it made things a lot easier in building my website.

I have pretty much worked it out now but there are still some things I need to finish so obviously I will be tweaking things a little more & some of the images need to be updated.

In the meantime I would be very grateful of you let me know what you think & if there are any problems navigating the website.As a final aside: Please note that I do not get any commissions nor have any links to Elegant Themes – I have always found their support forum very helpful & I love the new Divi Theme they have developed for its flexibility to build the website I have been trying to develop for ages.

Australian Alphabets – Fine Art Linocuts Tutorial Video

– Australian Alphabets by Lynette Weir –

The process of developing my

Australian Wildflower & Wildlife Alphabets

Waratahs! Waratahs! Waratahs! – Waratah Tryptich – A Fine Art Linocut

Waratah Tryptich Fine Art LinocutWell anyone who has followed me on this blog for a while will know I LOVE Waratahs.

*Drawing Images-WARATAH 2 ILLUSTRATION 1 WEB

There is such a majesty & structural quality to these particular Australian wildflowers not withstanding their bright red colouring with deep green leaves & the fact the flowers occur on long stems coming up from the ground. They really can be ‘seen from afar’ as their name means.

Waratahs 41. Waratah

For a while now I have planned to do a Tryptich design using waratahs as a kind of companion print for my Flannel Flower Tryptich. This particular print was a commission for someone as a gift for his wife’s birthday. Did I mention I also LOVE flannel flowers too?

93 Flannel Flower tryptich

Last year after my shoulder surgery I found it really difficult to work at all for a few months which was most frustrating! I knew I had to slowly get back so I started with thinking through ideas for new designs & taking some photos.

Eventually I was able to at least draw so one of the first artworks I started on was my Waratah Triptych.

I already knew I wanted to make it into a triptych & I had taken some photos pf both red and white waratahs over the years so decided to incorporate both into this design.

WHITE WARATAH WEB

I worked as I usually do. First with the framework for the design, then trawling through the hundreds of images I have of waratahs and finding suitable ones for this particular artwork. This process is interesting for me as I gradually reduce the amount of images I want to work with so I refine the vision I have for this work. I ask questions like – is my point of view from below or above? do I want to abstract any of the images or stay more true to for? How simple do I want the work to be visually? How much black do I want to incorporate? DO I really want to keep the defining structure I started with or would I prefer to break out and change it a little? or a lot?

Eventually I end up with a series of images which I will use as the basis of the work. I then start the drawing.

SKETCHBOOK - Flannel Flower & Waratah Trytiches WEB

Drawing is a process I love and have always loved. I feel that all artists no matter their medium of choice a strong skill base in drawing will always hold them in good stead. It teaches you to look more closely and especially in my case where I like the get the wildflowers I use botanically correct. Even if in the carving of the wildflowers compromise is made as to how they are depicted due to the process of carving lino, I know that they have started as botanically correct.

Waratah Tryptich DEsign 2 Waratah Tryptich DEsign 3

These are the final drawings of the three panels of the triptych.

SKETCHBOOK & DRAWINGS - Waratah Trytich WEB

When it comes to working the drawings into designs that can be carved I again work through creating black and white inked versions. This refines my designs and allows me to experiment with what I think I may be able to carve. These days after having to have shoulder surgery, I really value the ability to still be able to carve my linocuts so I guess for me if I have a clear template of what I want to carve it means I will hopefully will be able to a long time into the future.

Waratah Tryptich DEsign 5

I then transfer these final designs onto the lino ready to carve.

Waratah Tryptich DEsign Transfer 2 Waratah Tryptich DEsign Transfer 1

I must say after initially deciding to start small when starting back carving I just could not resist getting stuck into these three larger panels! It was weeks of carving and I must say did challenge my shoulder’s capacity to comply & caused a bit of pain. But I do have the most wonderful masseuse and physiotherapist who both help keep me on the straight and narrow & take away the pain!

And to printing!

For this particular design I decided to just do a colour rough using photoshop just to get an idea of the balance of the colour before handcolouring.

Waratah Tryptich - Colour Photoshop

Finally I get to print the designs and then handcolour them! Finally I get to see the original concept from a few years ago actually come to fruition. I am really pleased with the results.

Waratah Tryptich SCAN WEB

Seaside Wildflowers – The Development of a new Fine Art Linocut

Lynette Weir - Seaside Wildflowers - Oct 2013 WEB

SEASIDE WILDFLOWERS – CREATING A FINE ART LINOCUT

The centrepiece artwork for my new exhibition at the Northern Rivers Art Gallery is a new linocut – Seaside Wildflowers.
Back in February I was approached by the Northern Rivers Art Gallery Director Ingrid Hedgcock, to exhibit alongside an exhibition of the Master Woods Craftsman & his students. For me it came at a time when recently becoming an ’empty nester’ & my shoulder was looking like it was going to recover after surgery & allow me to work – carve – again. It was also when I really need to get my arts practice back on track after a few years of life being too hectic to gain a consistent approach to my work.

I made the decision that I would work on finally completing many works I had been developing over many years as well as creating the centrepiece for the exhibition a work based around the Wildflowers synonymous with Ballina.
I will talk more about the other works in the exhibition in future posts but will start with the Seaside Wildflowers & where it all began.

In the process of creating this work I took some video footage & sill photographs with the idea of creating an education video showing my process from the inspiration through to the completion of the artwork.
I have always loved the seaside – the beach, the rock formations, the sea, the wildlife & of course the Wildflowers or flora. Even though I grew up in Sydney we spent every holidays by the sea at my grandparents in Yamba. Woody Head was another favourite place where my great uncle & Aunt lived, it is a truly beautiful natural place. We also spent a lot of time over where I now live on the ‘plateau’ region behind Ballina with my other grandparents – not that far from the seaside. As kids we would spend many hours going to the beach but also exploring the surrounding landscapes. So I know this region really well.


I start this particular genre of my work with research – some of this is ‘formal’ – flora studies of regions, plant identification lists but also I go & spend some time wherever possible wandering around the region taking photos. I like to see the flora/Wildflowers I am going to be drawing & document that in my own photos. By taking my own photos it also give me the opportunity to explore the process of visualising each wildflower or plant & how & where that might be represented within the initial concept of the artwork exploring different images of the particular plant. I look at things like the structure, colour & overall impression of each.
As I have talked about before, my work starts with ‘flashes’ of ideas scribbled into small sketchbooks, on post it notes or on scraps of paper.

For Seaside Wildflowers it began as a quick sketch on a post it note which I have now stuck into one of my small sketchbooks with additional notes & ideas. For this artwork I have drawn on the flora lists of the region, the council guides for flora in the Ballina Shire, books of flora of the region, my own explorations of the Ballina seaside region, my own photographs of specific species & finally my memories of childhood holidays alongside living in this region for over 20 years.
One of my abiding memories of the flora or Wildflowers of this area is the stunning Pandanus – Pandanus tectorius or Screwpine.

These strong ‘structural’ small trees are integral to my childhood memories & they are such a strong presence along the seaside of this region. The fruit which starts as a small green ‘ball-like’ structure & slowly moves to yellow tones & finally a vibrant orange colour is the aspect most people would recognise. For me the depiction of the pandanus would need to include the fruit. Less obvious for many people are the flowers – many would not be aware of the flowers. So I made the decision to make the ‘wildflower’ front & centre for this piece. The flower starts as cream bracts inside which the flower heads develop but the slowly the whole long spike of flowers emerge with the female flowers ending in long spikes of cream flowers & bracts.


The long strap like leaves emerge in a spiral from a central point & form a cluster on the end of the rather tortuous trunk & limbs. I think the pandanus reflects the very nature of growing by the season it’s tough ‘wildness’ & so it was for me to become the pivotal image for this artwork.


I started with many possible flora species I could incorporate into the piece, more than I could actually use & so this is where after setting out the pandanus I explore the size, structure, colours etc of all the possibilities. I see this is the fine art aspect of developing my Linocuts – this is where my training, skill & inspiration as an artist rather than a craftsperson comes into being. I bring my drawing & compositional skills to this process & it can be both the most frustrating as well as enjoyable part of the developing of my artwork.
Once I finish the detailed drawing I work through further developing this drawing into a form that can be carved in Lino which is my chosen medium for this piece.

For me this involves inking the design into shape & spaces.

11 Seaside Wildflowers - TEMPLATE FINAL 1

I then carve this into Lino to be printed. For me these two further processes again involve choices & changes in the translations from drawing to final artwork.


Once the Lino is finished being carved I then print it in black ink & handcolour with watercolour the final artwork.

The hand colouring is not simply a ‘fill in the spaces’ it involves again skill & training in watercolour as a medium including colour, contrast, tone etc alongside the application of the paint.


I have taken some video footage of the processes which is a quick look at the whole process and it is now on youtube.

Music – ‘The Temperature of the Air on the Bow of the Kaleetan’

by Chris Zabriskie

Used with Permission

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/und…
http://chriszabriskie.com/

Launch Event – ‘Wildflowers’ & ‘Geoff Hannah & his Students’ – Northern Rivers Gallery

Just a little Gallery of images from the Launch Event for my current exhibition at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina.

The Gallery was renovated after my launch & now has some lovely timber doors out onto the Gallery Cafe deck which has certainly enhanced the space for visitors.

The process of developing my Australian Wildflower & Wildlife Alphabets

Australian Alphabets - Linocut WEB

Over 10 years ago I worked on an Australia Fauna Alphabet but over the years my artwork, style & designs have developed & so a few years ago I decided to revisit the idea of producing a new Australian Wildlife Alphabet.

Alongside this I wanted to also develop an Australian Wildflower Alphabet.

When I produced the original alphabet & exhibited it I had a lot of feedback about how it would be great for posters or friezes.

Australian Fauna Alphabet

My artwork has always had a focus on Australian wildflowers & wildlife – growing up in Sydney surrounded by the bush was a defining aspect of my life & it is my love of the bushland – both its flora & fauna – that has underpinned my artwork. I have always been drawn to exploring representations of wildflowers & wildlife whether that be drawings, illustration, photography or relief printing all my life. I love to draw others into this world through my artwork to explore the colour & vibrancy of the natural world that surrounds us in Australia.

So about 5 years ago I started to develop these projects, starting in my usual way of working – the idea/concept with small thumbnail sketches of ideas.

DESIGN CONCEPTS DRAWINGS PHOTOS WILDFLOWERS ALPHABETS 3 WEB

I am constantly taking photos & although I have always loved photography – recording events, including family – but I also underpin all my artwork with my photography. I like to look at everything that I draw & to take photos that capture all different aspects including not only the ‘structures’ of the objects/wildflower etc, but also light, colour & design possibilities. I have thousands of photos both digital & printed – and filed!

This image incorporates kind of how I think in this phase of working from the idea into more concrete images.

Photos, sketches, notes contribute to working through all my different ideas.

I have lots of these small sketchbooks – I usually carry one with me so if I get an idea for something I can quickly note it down.

DESIGN CONCEPTS DRAWINGS PHOTOS WILDLIFE ALPHABETS WEB

I began my first designs with the wildlife alphabet & explored ways to represent both the particular species & the alphabet.

I finally settled on the underlying idea of rather than using the actual letter, I would take the basic shape of the letter & explore how I could represent the particular species around this construct. I also made the decision to create 26 individual 10cm x 10cm printed images with both a header & a footer.

The next step was to look at each ‘letter’ & particular species that could be used. Sometimes I would work on a couple of different drawings for a letter & some like these caterpillars never made it to the final artwork but who knows where or if they will be revisited for something later.

AUS ALPHABET CATERPILLAR DRAWINGS WEB

I really enjoy this phase of experimenting with ideas & concepts & just the process of drawing is always lovely.

In choosing which images I would use I needed to look at not only the individual designs but also the whole end product – trying to get a cross-section of birds, insects, mammals, marsupials etc alongside colour & design considerations.

Once I had the basic drawings & designs worked out I again inked in each ‘letter’ & looked at the alphabet as a whole. Again changes in individual designs as well as the overall piece as a whole was worked on & developed.

Here are a couple of quick ‘timelines’ showing the evolution of the Hercules Moth & the Echidna.

AUS ALPHABET HERCULES EVOLUTION WEB

AUS ALPHABET ECHIDNAEVOLUTION WEB

Then to the carving, printing & finally the handcolouring.

For the Australian Wildflower Alphabet – I decided to simply represent each wildflower within the 10cm x 10cm format I had chosen rather than use the alphabet lettering shapes I had started with for the wildlife.

In between all of this I have been a Carer for my elderly family members & my sons for about the past 10 years in particular, but at the beginning of this year we became ’empty nesters’ which meant I had a lot more time to actually spend getting back to my artwork!

Over this time I had also developed real difficulties with my shoulder/neck that was significantly impacting my capacity to not only carve Lino but to work generally. In July 2012 I finally had shoulder surgery & set about the slow & steady recovery.

When I was invited by Ingrid Hedgcock to exhibit at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery early this year, it provided the impetus to not only restart my arts practice which had been limping along for the last few years, but to finally complete some of the projects I have had on the very slow burn. This included this long-standing project of the set of Australian Alphabets.

Although I had completed all the individual linocuts for these posters some time ago, I had become stuck on how to develop these onto a poster format & to find funding to actually complete the project.

A few months ago I approached awesome Artist/Printmaker/Designer Joanna Kambourian of Ms Browns Lounge & Lismore Arts Space to work with the design of the poster.

After discussing a couple of different ideas that I was thinking about – you can see a couple of these below, Joanna worked on the final concept design & completed all the pre-press work for production printers.

Australian Wildlife Alphabet EVOLUTION WEB

Then to find a trade printer to commercially produce the posters.

Joanna recommended CJKing Printers who are based in Perth & on the Gold Coast – not far from where I live. I made the decision to use a heavier weight paper that could still be rolled (& springs back to flat) but which I could also get gloss celloglazed.

CJKing have been great to deal with they have produced a rich gloss quality poster that I am just so pleased with.

These posters retail for $20 plus $6.95 for postage in a mail tube (postage includes up to 5 posters in one mail tube) and can be ordered from my website by clicking here – or click on the images below.

They would make a lovely Christmas present (shameful plug :)).

SOULSONG - Lynette Weir - Australian Wildflower Alphabet WEB

SOULSONG - Lynette Weir - Australian Wildlife Alphabet WEB

‘Wildflowers’ Exhibition – Northern Rivers Community Gallery – Ballina

27 November – 22 December 2013

44 Cherry Street
Ballina NSW 2478

Phone: (02) 6681 6167

Opening Hours: Wednesday – Friday (10.00am – 4.00pm)
Saturday & Sunday (9.30am – 2.30pm)
Closed Public Holidays

Ballina Gallery Cafe:  www.ballinagallerycafe.com.au

Geoffrey Hannah – ABC Interview