Archive for the ‘drawings’ Category

exhibitions, sooner and later

December 7, 2012
'The Stuff of Life' (detail), Bone powder and Acacia gum on black paper, Peter McLean, 2012

‘The Stuff of Life’ (detail), Bone powder and Acacia gum on black paper, Peter McLean, 2012

The (more or less) annual M16 Drawing prize is on again, and it opens tonight! (That’s Friday December 7th, M16 Artspace, 21 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith, Canberra.)  This is a detail from my entry, a drawing in powdered bone on the ever wonderful Black Hahnemuhle – that’s paper for those not familiar – I’m not sure which is my favourite, Black Hahnemuhle, or Kozo Extra Light.  It’s like trying to compare apples and oranges really.  I’ve only given a glimpse of the drawing, you’ll have to head along to the M16 Gallery sometime before December 21st to see the whole thing, and no, despite appearances and expectations, it’s not a drawing of mountains.  I know a lot of the names on the finalist list, and I’ve no doubt it is a great show that will delight and amaze!

For those who might be in Brisbane come January 2013, I’m currently putting together a new solo show to be held at the Brisbane Institute of Art from January 10-23.  I was drafting some publicity material today, so here’s a sneak preview.  More on In Place soon.

in-placejpg

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wollemi cliffs

October 15, 2012

‘Morning Cliffs’ , charcoal on grey stonehenge, Peter McLean, 2012

 

Once again it’s been a long time between posts.  Lots has been happening since the last one, from  teaching a wood engraving workshop with the Newcastle Printmakers Workshop, to Sydney and catching some of the Biennale.  Then there was lots of time out in the bush, with plenty of walking and exploring and drawing.  The above drawing was made in the majestic campground at Newnes, on the edge of Wollemi National Park, home of the rare Wollemi Pine.  It was hard to stay focused on my drawing instead of watching the wombat wombling it’s way around camp, especially when it bumped into the big Goana making it’s way along the creek bank, but the shadows were changing fast as the sun rose and the frosty morning quickly turned to a hot day.  From there it was a slow trip back to Queensland, via time in the Warrumbungles, the Pilliga Scrub and Mt Kaputar – all very different and fascinating in their own ways.  Now it’s off out bush again, this time into the coastal forests between Grafton and Coffs Harbour, so posts will probably stay sparse for a while yet, but I’ll try and fill in the gaps with some more pictures soon.

wallpaper drawings

June 11, 2012

Summer House, charcoal on wallpaper, Peter McLean, 2012

I found this wallpaper while browsing in op shops in Karja.  It’s got a nice old fashioned feel that seemed to fit Karja.  I thought I was going to use the back for drawing on, but as you can see I’ve used the patterned side for this charcoal drawing of a small island in one of the lakes.  After walking through the forest for some time to get there, I was surprised to see this small island was host to three or four summer houses (in the usual red and white colour scheme).  It looked very idyllic indeed.  I hope the drawing on wallpaper suggests the idea of cosy homeliness nestled into the landscape.

 The lakes seem to be developing as the main focus of my work here in Fiskars, and there is a particular group that seem to create an eye on the big map in the kitchen which have become the focus of my walking too.  This second drawing is based on the same  long narrow lake, called Långsjö (I think that might be in Swedish, not Finish?)

Promontory, charcoal on wallpaper, Peter McLean, 2012

June 8, 2012

Ink on paper, Peter McLean, 2012

 

I’ve taken to drawing with ink and a skewer over the last week (no real reason, except the previous artist left some drawing ink behind, and the first likely implement that came to hand was some bamboo skewers in the kitchen drawers, this being the way artistic choices sometimes get made).  I loved the fluidity of this scene, where the undulating land, patches of forest and irregularly shaped cultivated fields intersect.

spruce

June 5, 2012

I collected this new cone from a Norway Spruce tree (Picea abies) on the walk to Pohja, the next town.  I knew it was Spruce, because Fiskars has a tree species trail with examples of all the common species of the area signed with numbers which correspond to a companion brochure, (in English, Finnish, and Swedish) so I’ve been trying to learn to recognise them all.

 

Sometimes the ex-botanist in me comes to the fore again, and I like to make drawings in a sciency mode – not that I have really followed the rules of proper scientific drawing, but the labels made with my new rubber stamp kit lend an air of formality.  Interesting how closely the colour of the spruce cone matches the deep red of most of the timber buildings here in Fiskars, including all the houses.

chalkboard

February 12, 2012

Yesterday I finally did something I’ve been saying I was going to do for at least a couple of years.  Not that it was difficult or needed a huge investment in materials, it just takes me a while to get to things sometimes.  So, I’ve made myself a nice big chalkboard!  As simple as buying some paint and applying two coats to the back of an old door.  Fabulous.  So today I got to play with it.  Unsure what to draw first, I flicked through some old sketchbooks, and chose a small pen drawing that had never progressed into anything else.  It was labelled ‘Nursery Hill from Little Pig Swamp’ and was in my sketchbook from 2009 when I spent a fair bit of time in Namadgi National Park.  You’ll be able to find Nursery Hill on the official maps, but Little Pig Swamp is unique to my personal mind map.  When you are in the bush on your own for a while, these things can happen.  It was interesting to work up the tiny black on white sketch, into a larger white on black image, with the visual memory of the place somewhat faded now, so pretty much relying only on the sketch.  Anyway, here’s the chalk drawing.

chalkboard drawing, Peter McLean, 2012

it comes it goes, but it’s always lurking

September 12, 2011

The Fog!  Of course the San Francisco region is famously foggy, and West Marin is no exception.  Sometimes it comes sneaking down the long narrow Tomales Bay, following the line of the San Andreas Fault.  Sometimes it comes streaming up over the Inverness Ridge driven by a cool breeze off the ocean.  Sometimes it is clear and sunny with not a cloud in sight, but you know the fog is waiting just off shore, ready to reclaim the airspace once the day cools or the wind changes.  How could I spend time here and not try to capture this ever-present but ever changing element of the landscape.

Fog drawings are chalk on black paper, and on the white paper are charcoal drawings focussing on the forest shadows.  Each sheet is 56×76 cm half sheet of stonehenge.

Bishop Pine

August 22, 2011

The older Bishop Pines have some great silhouettes.  All gnarly and weather beaten, often with a lot of snags where the over mature trees have entered into decline, and festooned with lichens enabled by all the fog.  In fact I read yesterday that many of the forests in this area gain a significant proportion of summer moisture from condensed fog dripping beneath the trees, or in some instances, absorbed directly from the air.  Near the house, and further down the valley towards the town, the pines can be quite tall and massive, but there is one nearby hill where all the vegetation is particularly contorted and stunted.  It is clearly older growth, not the vigorous young trees found in the areas burnt by the Vision Fire.  And yet quite short.  It seems to be a matter of soil, with the hillside being particularly dry and rocky looking, but surprisingly distinct from anything else immediately nearby, which is mostly pretty lush.

Bishop Pine Silhouette, charcoal on paper, Peter McLean, 2011

exhibition

June 27, 2011

Sent off the file to the printers today for the invite to a new show opening at The Front Gallery and Cafe in Lyneham, Canberra from July 20th. Working hard to get it all together on time, but it’s looking good so far. Will make a nice last hurrah before setting off travelling. I’ll add more images from the show over the next few weeks.

reticulation

December 21, 2010

Peter McLean, Skull, white ink on paper, 2010

Still working with skull and bone images a lot lately, and enjoying using white media on black paper.  Using black Hahnemuhle which is strong, soft and deeply black – beautiful.  I’m especially enjoying what white ink will do on it.  I just love the way the pigments in the ink form a reticulated pattern as it dries, or when it moves slowly across a surface.  Reminds me that this isn’t just some abstract process of human mind and hand forming an image – I could never create the beauty of the reticulation by conscious decision – this comes about because of the physical properties of the material itself, reminding me of countless patterns seen in nature created by the interaction of particle and flow.


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