Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Artists Books - Field Notes of an Imaginary Botanist


"Field Notes - Manawa, NZ Mangrove" by Toni Hartill

Last month I began working on ideas 
for a number of projects scheduled for next year. 

Rather than working on distinctively different work 
for each I allowed ideas for one project to generate and feed ideas 
for another and so before I knew it I was having 
an inspiration explosion! 

Which means, believe it or not, 
a VERY chaotic and messy studio. 
But oh so productive. 


 


There were buckets of plant specimens and make-shift flower presses in action; sheets of paper were shredded into all manner of shapes and sizes and lengths of fabric were printed and singed on an open-flame (hmmm that fabric is quite flammable btw!). Collographs, drypoints, linocuts, monoprinting. Gessoing, watercolours, gluing, stitching, cutting, tearing.... it was all happening... all at once... in every direction... on every available surface... so, inevitably... I kept going off on a tangent. 

So, I decided to follow my muse and complete one of these tangents: 
an edition of wee "sketchbooks" or "field notes" of manawa/ NZ mangroves... for my imaginary botanist friend/self.




I have a real soft spot for mangroves. I love everything about them. 
I often pick up the pods and take them home to draw and so I have a journal with multiple images I could readily refer back to. 

 


For some time I've had the idea of creating fake or imaginary "field notes", 
inspired by the many old survey logbooks of my maternal grandfather's, 
so this was a perfect chance to explore this further.

Logbooks of my grandfather AH Pickmere.



I created a series of drypoints which I then hand-coloured. I have only once before created an EDITION of any of my artist books so this felt a little like I was turning a brief spark of inspiration into a waaaay bigger project. And, it wasn't even for any of the many deadlines I have planned for next year - go figure.



Hand-colouring the drypoint images.

Testing ideas for structure and layout.

Adding some distressing and weathering for fake authenticity.

Printing the "fabric" lining for the notebooks.

Folding the structures into shape.








Loving the colours and textures of the "old linen" linings.


The outside surface was printed to look like old leather.

and then I decided I/my imaginary botanist chum would need a pocket for some sketching supplies and somewhere to keep the odd "treasure" I/they would inevitably collect so....






A wee pocket of supplies and collected treasures.

Choosing and attaching the ties to hold the notebooks closed.


Little "stitched" labels for each book.
(Spoiler: no stitching was actually done - its ALL faked!)


The completed books - each one slightly different.


"Field Notes - Manawa, NZ Mangrove" by Toni Hartill
"Field Notes - Manawa, NZ Mangrove" by Toni Hartill


"Field Notes - Manawa, NZ Mangrove" by Toni Hartill

"Field Notes - Manawa, NZ Mangrove" by Toni Hartill

"Field Notes - Manawa, NZ Mangrove" by Toni Hartill

"Field Notes - Manawa, NZ Mangrove" by Toni Hartill

"Field Notes - Manawa, NZ Mangrove" by Toni Hartill




...and finally a wee flyover....










Although I don't have a specific event in mind at which to exhibit these 
I am beginning to accumulate quite a collection of mangrove related works so... 
watch this space.


For more regular updates and posts about my processes 
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Thanks for visiting! 


Friday, 9 November 2018

Updating my blog - a new Gallery of images






Although I get a lot of positive feedback from people who enjoy reading my blog, which btw is absolutely heartwarming - thank you, I also blog for the benefits I gain personally in my own development as an artist. By regularly writing about my work it helps me to make sense of what on earth I am doing and where I may be going with it - which, believe me, is often not very clear otherwise.

By recording my thought processes and techniques I find it is helpful to look back on earlier projects to see how far I have progressed, what I have learned, or even what I had intended at the time. There are often ideas or projects that have slipped my mind so it is good to be able to jog my own memory banks back into action.

In doing a recent "refresh" of my blog, after quite a hiatus due to a particularly busy year, I have again found that despite search aids such as the Labels in the right-hand side bar, it is actually difficult to navigate back to particular posts, and that's knowing what posts I have written. I imagine its nigh on impossible for a visitor to find early blogs.

SO, I have now added a new "Gallery" page in the toolbar at the top of the page where you can scroll through images of most, but not quite all, of my works that I have exhibited over recent years. Links in the Headings will also take you to the relevant posts.

Another way to find possible posts is to simply type keywords into the Search field in the right hand side-bar although, again, this is not always very successful.



Thanks for visiting, 

feedback always welcomed 

and I hope you are able to discover 
some "new"old posts
hidden away 
in the far recesses 
of my blog.


Oh and keep an eye out for other changes I am currently working on 
- a whole new focus 
coming soon!