Posts Tagged ‘mountains’

Monotyping at Megalo

March 17, 2013

 

 
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In between teaching days at the National Art School in Sydney, I’ve been doing some walking and camping, time on Sydney Beaches, seeing some shows etc.  This weekend I have traveled to Canberra for a bit of time in the studios at Megalo.  It’s a bit like a second home here at Megalo, since I am so familiar with the studio and presses.  I’ve been taking advantage of the big Hilton electric press to make some more monotypes, with the imagery referring back to summer in Queensland.  I’m thinking a whole new series might be nice, with the figure in the landscape being more explicit than some of my previous work.  They always take a lot longer than I expect though.  I only took two prints yesterday, and one at least should be trashed.  I’ve been here several hours this morning, and only the above print has so far come off the press, but I’m reasonably happy with it.  Bleed printed in a greenish black ink on a half sheet of Hahnemuhle (76 x 56 cm). Below is the second print from yesterday, showing how the drawing changes each time, especially since I am only working from a rough thumbnail drawing about one inch square, which itself was drawn from memory soon after visiting this creek in Mapleton National Park.  What might be lost in faithful realism, is amply made up for by what is gained in the freedom to express a mood and sense of the place without feeling the need to copy a photographic reference.

 

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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.

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collections and collecting

November 3, 2012

Detail from ‘Sections of Life’, Artists’ Book, Peter McLean, 2009

 

I’m happy to report that the State Library of Queensland has recently purchased two of my artists’ books to add to their collection.  The library has an extensive collection of artists’ books, all searchable in their online catalogue and available to be viewed on request.  The books added to the collection were “Sections of Life; Black Mountain” which includes a sequence of relief prints taken from a small animal jawbone, and “Drooping Sheoak”, which is a sequence of prints from sections through a Casuarina seed pod.  Both were made in my Canberra days, one associated with walking and camping on Black Mountain, the other Mt Ainslie. The Library also has a copy of the broadside ‘Sky’ which I made with Ampersand Duck.

Meanwhile, I’m currently involved in collecting of a very different kind.  I have joined a crew of professional seed collectors, and we have been working in State Forests in norther NSW, collecting native seed to be used in landscape restoration projects and the like.  We’ve been working hard, and I’ve had little extra time or energy for drawing, but I’ve been taking a lot of photo’s of the processes along the way, to transform clippings from some bushes growing in the forest, into bags of pure seed.  We’re not there yet, and the final stages will be done back at ‘HQ’, but we are working our way through a lot of material.

 

 

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.

Fog and Fault Lines

July 22, 2012

Tomales Bay, relief print, Peter McLean, 2011

The Great Northern adventure is not quite finished (a few days left in Helsinki), but it is time to cast my mind back to California as I will be showing the work created there last year at Fog and Fault Lines, a new exhibition at Megalo Print Studio and Gallery in Canberra.  I was invited to participate in the JB Blunk Residency by the Lucid Art Foundation, located in Inverness, West Marin, and spent two productive months there.   Actually, I often cast my mind back to California, and Inverness in particular.  I felt so at home there, like that place and I were really beginning to understand each other, especially the hills and forest around JB’s very special house.  The prints and drawings that will be shown in Megalo’s gallery still make me feel like I am looking into the eyes of the spirits of the land, speaking to me with a voice I can’t quite understand.

The show will be opening on August 2 at 6pm and will run until August 18.  Megalo is at 49 Phillip Avenue, Watson, ACT, Australia and is open Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am – 5.00pm.

 

pic of the day

July 11, 2012

 

Anderdalen National Park, on the island of Senja, Norway.

 

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

the mountains keep secrets

September 22, 2011

"The Mountains Keep Secrets", relief print, Peter McLean, 2011

That’s the title of this little print.  It’s quite delightfully simple, a relief print from a little block of knotty pine found amongst the dirt, and yet there are plenty of depths and subtleties to keep me interested.  If you want to find out what secrets the mountains keep, than have a look here.

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.

new wood engraving

September 5, 2011

I’ve mostly been experimenting with creating compositions by printing various found materials (with varying degrees of preparation to create a printable surface).  However I have also just finished editioning a wood engraving.  The wood is birch, cut from a piece I found in the firewood pile.  The image is in a fairly traditional style, printed by hand using a burnisher with carefully varied pressure to enhance the sense of distance in this landscape scene from near the top of Mt Barnaby in Samuel P Taylor State Park.  I realise now that looking back from the house, I can just see Mt Barnaby in the distance, and hence where I am is here in this image too, on the far horizon beyond Black Mountain.

View of Black Mountain, wood engraving, Peter McLean, 2011

 


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