Wednesday 16 September 2020

Aos Dara/Umha Aois Symposium 2020 Part II

I started writing about the Aos Dara/Umha Aois combined symposium, in which I was a participant, last week. Details of the symposium and my preparations for work can be found in that blog here. As I had the paper prepared with graphite already, I began drawing with my trusty Staedtler eraser, as per my proposal. I was glad to have some green graphite, because after being in Tomnafinnoge wood, I did not want to limit myself to dark, grey works. However, I was  very pleased with this drawing and the subtlety of the green graphite on the tree worked. I did several other drawings on graphite, which I was not happy with, so of course, I am not showing them! (They'll be binned soon enough.)

My original intention, when preparing several sheets of paper with black acrylic, was to paint images in white only. However, as I mentioned last week, the colour of the forest so impressed me that I didn't think such a minimalist approach would work. I really liked that image of the lightning tree and got out my oilsticks to do more justice to the colourful tree.

When I make collages I tend to tear the paper into shape rather than cut. This facilitates a certain amount of unexpected results in the intended shapes as well a beautiful deckled edge, showing off the original colour of the paper (in this case, a creamy white).

Another image that I repeatedly used as inspiration, was that of the small mushrooms which could be seen in networks growing from mossy, fallen tree limbs, and I even spotted a circular Faerie Ring of small mushrooms. While I definitely did not think my graphite, and black & white acrylic drawing experiments with mushrooms actually worked, the jury is still out on the collage.

The acrylic collage that I thought worked best was Saplings. I had experimented with this image several times in other media, with always problematic results, yet I kept on working on it as I really liked the image of trees and ferns that could be seen at one of the forest entrances.

I was guaranteed that one piece would be displayed in the group exhibition, but I chose two to frame as I couldn't decide whether I preferred the sombre Lightning Tree or

the colourful Saplings. I brought both of them to the gallery and said they could choose either. Happily both pieces will be in the group exhibition that launches on Culture Night 2020.

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