Posts Tagged ‘ dog ’

It’s All In Black ‘n’ White

Snake_Etsy

So a while back I posted about how I had recently found the etching/drawing medium of scratchboard – mainly to supplement my inability to make woodcuts easily while I live in New York away from my home & studio back in Australia.

Well not much has changed geographically but I feel like taking the time to update here, my initial impetus, to say that drawing on scratchboards has dramatically changed my artistic desires and inclinations – not only my composition skills and speed of which I work. Thankfully there is no monetary motives to me creating, so I do exactly what I feel like unhindered. But like any new path you find yourself on you end up exploring the possibilities, testing yourself and as always trying to find the best way to get that thought, that idea, that (barely in focus) picture in your head out and onto the page.
Molis

Eagle

I have said it before but I can’t draw (in the traditional sense). I have had no schooling in making art and put a blank white page in front of me and all you will get in return is my paralysis. While I do pull most of my inspiration from the modernism of early 20th century European art (Futurism, Dada, Bauhaus, and in particular Der Blaue Reiter and German Expressionism) it is not what I feel compelled to try to make. There is a certain realism that I am drawn to when I create that stands in contrast to my inspirations. It is as if, no matter how strange or beautiful or disturbing something of mine is – it could equally exist in the real world – as if it was a photo as much as any other document.

Woodcuts have for a long while given me an “in” to creating but of late I have started to consider the how and why of it. Scratchboards in particular have gotten me thinking. I don’t actually have the answers to the amorphous how and why but this much I have worked out.
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SNP_etsy

I draw/carve/scratch/print because it gives me a positive feeling of worth. There should be nothing surprising in that though.

I often draw the thoughts I don’t have another outlet for, be it verbal or otherwise. Sometimes I simply draw the things I want to think about but don’t want to talk about. Even the time spent creating gives me the space to better understand what I am trying to clarify in my own head. And….   sometimes it’s just a picture, nothing more.

I find the ability to erase, modify, update or reset, detrimental to saying what I want to say. I question and second guess just about everything I do so working in mediums where the cut can’t be undone, the area removed can’t be replaced means that moving ahead is the only course of action. I trust my first impressions and there is a strange honesty in one’s ability and intent when your first attempt is your only attempt.
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There is something inherently foreign to me in the way a painter or illustrator add to an image (each line, each layer building upon the last). I have always been drawn to the idea of taking away. Stripping back until you find that perfect spot where you can illicit the maximum reaction/emotion/dialogue with the minimum amount of information – equal to a sculptor I suppose.

I love going black to white. Finding the negative space, coming to something almost in reverse. It’s like slowly turning up a light until you are finished and the room is illuminated for the first time.

With magnifying glass in hand, of late I have relished the smallest of detail. Creating lines and shapes, so very deliberate but just about impossible to see when standing back and looking with the naked eye. In the way you look at pop art or even billboard sized posters – finding that the image is just a collection of separate dots arranged just so as to fool your brain into identifying it as the content and not the physicality of the actual item.
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Now none of this was really the reason why I sat down to do this post. I figured I would just give an update on what I have been drawing of late. But as with such things, the above is what I think about while I work away. The above is me watching me work and wondering what the hell I am doing and why I am doing it instead of going outside or spending time with my friends. The above is what came to me as soon as I started writing.

Why I creative things has always been as interesting to me as the actual creative practice itself. I blame all that philosophy I studied at university…

Ps: my instagram account @againstthewoodgrain is where I put up most of my scratchboard, prints and other creations. Usually about five minutes after I have finished if it has all worked and I am so chuffed I want to show everyone.

Pps: if you are not already aware, my online store on the Etsy website (search: alexgillieswoodcuts) is where I sell my prints and my scratchboard originals.
Scratchboard#8

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Busier Than Ever

There’s so much happening that I might need to break things up into several posts. Heaven forbid I find the time to fill you in more regularly…

So my recent idea to turn one of my latest woodcuts into an affordable and comfy t-shirt was a resounding success and so a huge shout out of thanks has to go to everyone who snapped one up! I had a few extra made up and so there will be another chance to get your hands on one but more of that soon.

Front

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Back

Owl-Tshirt2

A big thanks goes to Matt Deasy of 7th Disaster for doing such a great job on the screenprinting of these. Really people, look him up for anything you want hand printed!

So a while back I said to stay tuned because I had lots of things happening before the end of the year. Well it’s all happening now.

I recently received the vinyl version of the debut album by High Tension when they came up to launch the album. Sure it looked great on the cd (see post below) but boy doesn’t it look better nice and big on vinyl? Stoked!

HTvinyl

And just last weekend I got my hands on the latest 7inch single by Melbourne band Harmony of which I (again) did the cover art for.

Harmony_1

It is the band’s third 7inch and the prelude to their second album which is out early next year through Posion City records. The band’s guitarist/vocalist/all-round-great-dude Tom Lyncoln is into sharks and so asked for a shark from me. Who am I to refuse? And so it was.

Here are all of the band’s singles, with the cover art for all of them done by me. Happy doesn’t even start to explain what it means to look at all these together.

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Sometimes doing artwork for great bands feels better (even though it is harder) than carving and making prints for myself but none of that comes even close to when something like this happens…

Robb Knaggs Tattoos

This is my friend Robb. Great guy and really talented musician. He recently took off to travel the world but just before he left he told me he wanted something that would remind him of home and this is what he wanted.

Printsml

Obviously the print represents something personal for him but I do find if nice that the Currawongs that hang around my house, gave me the feathers in question and that I captured in this print have unknowingly traveled so far.

CurrawongwoodcutThat also makes two people who have gotten a woodcut of mine tattooed. I think I might have to start planning to be the third.

That’ll do for now. More news soon.

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