It has been a very long journey and even once I was given my contract and even though I had already completed the Deck, it is still nearly a year long publishing process to go from artwork and manuscript to a publication in a bookstore.
This whole past year I have continued working on two books focused on my work with Nature, a non fiction and a fiction book and a smaller work of Flowers. Ahhhh and The Decks! I have another three decks in various stages of completion as well and it is a monumental task to create the artworks and to write the manuscripts for each. Especially so as I work in a fairly decent size in lino and wood block printing. I also paint these prints in my much adored gouache, another very slow process that involves building up layers of glazes.
My writing involves a lot of research of the Botanical Sciences and cultural, historical and mythological studies. To bring it down to a page in Guidebook is days, weeks, sometimes months of work. I do this alongside the creation of each artwork.
My fine art focus is to deconstruct what my eyes see to get to the spiritual center of what my heart feels and what my study and research illuminates for me to produce these images and that is not something I can do sitting in front of a computer screen or studio easel. I have created a little nook in my garden that is Sydney Winter friendly to sit and write and create in and I do as much in the Field as is possible.
Even though I have travelled and lived throughout the world, there are some places I haven't been to of course. These flowers in place have been a challenge so this has involved extra consultation, research and work to ensure complete authenticity in bringing them into my Decks. There is no Flower or Plant that I haven't experienced the presence of in my work. Here are a few images from upcoming decks for you to enjoy now.......
All ~ 21 x 30cm wood block print in ink on recycled paper & gouache
May Nature Always Bless You with all that You Need! Cheralyn xx
Well here it is, the Art Prize I've entered before and one I've hung in (been successfully accepted) a few times. Environmental Art Prizes and I go way way back, back to a time when there wasn't any or even any sections within Art Prizes. I would enter the sculpture section and have to include my life's focus of environmental issues in my artist statement. Not so these days, which is fantastic.
I have always used my art as a way to inspire others to care more for the environment. I found Art Prizes a fantastic way to spread the message easily and widely. People would be drawn in by the interesting art and then, as I witness when watching, they would "GET" the message.
Warringah Art Prize 2011 successful entry "Sirens" 59 x 48 x 33cm sculpture and assemblage of found objects from the beaches of Warringah aluminium cans, plastic drinking straws, foam fishing floats, beer bottle top, esky lids, fishing tackle, fishing line, various nets and meshes, bottles, metal signage, plastic pieces, light bulb, broken glass, plastic bowl, metal light fitting, fabric, wire, bead, broken piece of a wharf paint, ceramics
"Shiny Shiny Right Down Beside Me" solo exhibition - Reconciled Rejections, Manly 2010 sculpture and assemblage of found objects 47 x 22 x 17cm
Petite Exhibition Mary Place Gallery, Paddington, Sydney 2009 40cmx20cm garden shears c1950s, silk flowers, butterfly earring, silver liquor glass, candle stick, bottling lid c1960s, salt shaker c1940s, wire, modeling clays, doll arms, paint, polish paste tin c1930s
Mermaids created from beach waste, flowers from rubbish found on hikes, animals and birds from household waste, gods and goddesses and shrines from the trinkets we discard have been my usual portfolio.
This year I decided to look at how I could improve my personal studio practice and further reduce any waste. As I also sketch, draw, paint and create in lino print, I have a lot of paper waste. Anyone who has enjoyed any sort of Print Making will know, the waste from a run is a issue. I have been using my waste as scrap paper but really I wanted to reduce my footprint completely. This is how "The Waratah Run" my entry in this years Waste To Art Warringah Art Prize, was born.
I have collected all of the damaged prints, the ones that didn't turn out perfectly, the images that I wasn't happy with once painted and created one work with them. Even the size of the work was determined by the amount of waste from the run.
This is an unpainted lino print from the run
And this is a painted one:
Yes some of you will recognise it! ;)
I then drew out in free hand a replica of the print image on canvas (an old canvas that I mended & re-purposed) and cut all of the discarded prints to collaged. The entire image was then painted.
I love the process and it will now be what I will do with all my print runs so that nothing remains to justify afterwards.
So this is my entry this year:
"The Waratah Run" 102cm x 77cm Mixed Media: Reused canvas, damaged linoprints, paint, ink, charcoal
Good luck to everyone who has entered this year. We all hold our breath and wether you have to do the slow walk to collect early this week or the happy dance on opening night, remember, whatever the outcome, you did it! You gave it a go, you created something, you are "Daring Greatly" and living with PASSION!
May Nature Always Bless you with all that you Need! Cheralyn xx
PS... an update: I GOT IN!!!!! Happy Happy Dance! :)
There is a General Section as well and a Youth Section for you all round Art Lovers and there is the Waste to Art Section which features Environmental Art. I'm not the only one in there! Lots of amazing, beautiful and very important works are always such a major element of the Warringah.
I have been inspired since I was a child by the early Botanists.
My heroes where those on the tall ships and pack horse trails, those who tagged along, had other 'duties', or perhaps even lead the expeditions, who collected, drew and wrote about the natural surrounds of their adventures.
talking about and sharing Nature with friends last year
I do remember my first spark of wonderment. It was while as a very young child in a classroom learning about the exploration of a land, a teacher passed around familiar xerox smelling sheets of paper the toner fluid overpowering my senses. This time, instead of the usual pictures of uniformed men offering trinkets or horses overloaded with saddlebags of shovels, ships sitting in harbours with rowboats heading for beaches in coves, I had before me faded pages from diaries.
Arthur Bowes Smyth journal
Looking around the classroom I couldn't work out why the usual babble of my classmates hadn't halted in the same way my world had stopped in this epiphany. Beautiful line drawings of leaves curved around words, delicate flowers overlapping each other to use all available space on a page while nodding to each other over the prose, the very first observations of the person who had sat with them. though I usually sketch while out in Nature, sometimes the plants I grow or are gifted to me are an inspiration
I became lost in the school library and then the local one as absorbed the world of the early Botanists. If you ask if I thought I would be an Artist when I was a child, the answer is not really, I wanted to be an Explorer! It wasn't the travel, it was to have gone on a great expedition with journals and my mind to fill with the world as painted by Nature there.
I will scribble, quickly take notes & thoughts as I sketch, sometimes around my subject, sometimes on separate pages and even rubbish I've collected on my way, whatever is handy! My journals are messy, stuck together, joyous collections of my journey.
As a teenager, Science Fiction became my friend, of course it did, because here WAS an unexplored place and as read the tales of Asimov, Clarke and so on, I put myself on these worlds, capturing the plants, the creatures, the terrain, perhaps just for myself but recorded in sketches and in snippets of thoughts in a cloth-bound book tucked in my spacesuit somehow.
Star Trek or Star Wars.... COME ON.... what do you think???? "Space: the final frontier......... "
Ellis Rowan is my hero... my hikes, my adventures, my walks, are nothing at all compared to the bravery and the dedication of Ellis but she inspires me in so many ways through everything I do in my life.
BUT I was also very much lost also in a world that, to this day, is the heart of all that I do. The early Botanists. Their names to me are old friends, the pages of their precious journals contain the poetry that warms my soul and lights my imagination. Ellis Rowan, Louisa Anne Meredith, Flora Martin, Jane Colden, ...... theses are just four of the women who's stories, journals, artworks and sketches I still love, adore and admire greatly. None, as much as Ellis Rowan.
Louisa Anne Meredith My Messages from Nature postcards and books that I create from my sketchbook drawings & notes, featuring my writing and poetry are inspired by her work and my early childhood memories of reading this book in particular. Most Australians know the importance of this "Some of my Bush Friends in Tasmania" as it is Australia's first published book of poetry
one of my early journal entries
On travelling and living overseas I found the worlds of Jane Colden, Alice Lounsberry, Marianne North and as I read their stories, stood in their worlds and looked out, I thought that though I could never be as they had, there was other work, to connect the old world and the new world together. I was more interested in the actual meanings of the Flowers and Plants, of the things that they held unto themselves and recording those elements as best as I could. postcard that I created with a sketch & notes I created on my of my hikes ~ more are here: Messages from Nature: Postcards to share
That is the adventure I am on today. I am out in the field and I am researching Nature's Blessings in their place and capturing in my journals the energy, the messages and the beauty of Nature as I find them. I know I will never discover a new plant but I hope, through the inspiration of those who I admire so greatly for their bravery in the field, in their defiance of societies expectations and in their love and dedication of Nature that I will attain a greater and deeper understanding of the connection between us all is and how not only it can help us but we can help it.
I am thankful, I am grateful and I always acknowledge the great works and the inspirations I have found in the work of these my mentors. They have taught me to research, to learn the value of adventure be it in my own backyard or across the world. They have put a fire in my heart to never give up, to respect nature and to really listen to what she is saying to us all.
May Nature Always Provide You with All that you Need! xx