All posts by lindywhitton

These are the things that excite me : well chosen words, vibrant colours that sing of summer , the compelling rhythm of nature's patterns, blank pages pregnant with possibilities. These are the things that I love: my family, creating, painting, writing, laughing, being.

This little artist went to market…

Well….almost. I’ve got a big Christmas market coming up this weekend so am almost finished the prep and ready to pack it all up. It’s been a somewhat painful month as I’ve been plagued by an old RSI injury so I’ve put my custom painting business on hold for 3 months to give it time to rest and heal.

Anyway…back to the market. I’ve been doing a lot of printing, sewing, painting and lampshade making in the lead up to this weekend and it’s been really refreshing to have a lot of variety in my days making.

An eco printed lampshade.
Some little eco printed leather coin purse/key rings
Ecoprinted wool jumper
Upcycled wool wrap printed with eucalyptus leaves
Ecoprinted wool panel bag
Wool cushion printed with eucalyptus leaves
and of course some little mini canvases!

So I’m hoping they sell well and I don’t have to bring too much home as I’m running out of storage room- still there’s always Christmas presents!

I hope you’ve been happily creating whatever it is you love to create!

An artist’s busy life

My life is pretty hectic at the moment and I haven’t made the time to post in quite awhile so here’s what’s been going on in the last 5 weeks:

Some travel. You might not count that as busy work but I did drive almost 7000 km in just under3 weeks so pretty busy! We had some time to explore the far north of Western Austrlia which is a very remote, hot and richly coloured land.

Bungle Bungles, Western Australia

Then we drove down the coast to the Nigaloo Reef for some days of snorkeling . Sunshine every day and clear water.

Ningaloo marine park

…before finishing up with a few days in the wildflowers of WA.

Along Highway 1 near Kalbarri

Commissions…I got home to quite a few custom art requests and managed to get 3 largish orders done in my first week home painting very solid 8 hour days. There are still another 8 lined up !

Setup an Exhibition…of course this wasn’t all on my own but as President of a local art group, The Colour Circle, I was quite heavily involved in assembling panels, hanging artworks and all the other work that goes into getting an exhibition ready to open it’s doors to the public.

I’ve also spent the last 2 days all day on my feet at the exhibition and will have done three demonstrations before we pack it all up again tomorrow.

Some nephew sitting, church service and other bits and bobs have filled in any spare time !

Hoping it settles down after tomorrow but my calendar is pretty chock full as I have 8 commissions, a panel discussion to lead this week and a major market to prepare for in November.

What’s been filling your time lately?

Term is out…

As a tutor (and president ) at a local commhunity art group life can get pretty busy, especially when I add in my commission work! Something has to give and posting has been one of the things I’ve let slip, BUT term is over and I have a few weeks off so I want to share how I feel about tutoring at my local art group.

One of the things I find so interesting in tutoring is watching the way different people approach working with pastels and how they begin to develop their own style over the weeks. It’s also the most satisfying part of tutoring. To see someone come in with no real idea of how, or what, they want to paint and watch as they slowly start to rely more on their own inner voice instead of waiting for their tutor to tell them what and how to paint. ( all the paintings are 15 minute minis from students.)

Martin is finding his own style after trying various approaches over the weeks.

In my class of 14 students there’s a wide mix of abilities, styles and techniques and every week there are 14 paintings that all have something unique to say about the artist and their journey.

Dale really embraced that pink background even though she did not like it at first!

On the last lesson each term we all paint a 15 minute mini painting and then do a draw so we each go home with another artist’s painting. It’s a fun way to end the term and a reminder of how different we all are. I have a nice little collection in my studio that reminds me of how far some of the students have come.

Karen is a colourist and it shows in this bold little boat.

My own art improves as I teach and learn from my students. Here’s a couple of the demo paintings I did for this term’s classes

Sunset lesson demo
Transparent objects lesson

Demos don’t always go great in class- I’m trying to show a technique in a very quick way and that means other bits of the painting don’t get so much attention. I think it helps students when they see there is no magical formula for getting it all right…that we all can improve, we all have less successful paintings but that there’s always something to be learned from each experience. What do you think?

It’s been awhile…

I’ve been so busy enjoying life, painting, travelling around my lovely island home and sorting out my studio I just haven’t made time to post .

Here’s a few pics from my last 3 months…

A little bird collagraph – I do love birds!
Quite a few commissions headed off to their new homes
A week on the fabulous Flinders Island
A lot of eco printing with the ever versatile eucalyptus leaf.

What have you been up to?

printmaking – my new obsession

It’s been awhile since my last post because I’ve been so busy with commissions, teaching a pastel class and being a student in a printmaking class that there’s been little time left over for anything else.

I’ll post some of my favourite commissions after Christmas when all should be happily gifted and it’s safe to publish them without ruining the surprise.

The printmaking has been a world of discovery and I’ve become fascinated by the rich variety of prints that can be made with and without a press . I’ve particularly gravitated towards collagraphs and I think that’s probably down to my messy, imprecise and “what-if?” attitude to artmaking.

My first ever collagraph made with some grasses and sissal . I loved the way the wiping left such a beautiful tone on the background.

Collagraphs are made by adding or subtracting material from the plate. The plate can be strawboard, matboard, or acrylic. You can glue on plants, feathers, seeds, fabric , or cut away the top layer of the paper board to create a pattern or combine all of these!

A collagraph combining glued on paper cutouts and plant material then inked with black and orange which produced some greens where they met.

There’s also linocut relief prints, chine colle techniques, reduction linocuts and a whole range of different ways to create prints from the very precise to the much more abstract and organic.

A linocut inked with black and green using the brayer to create the dappled look of light filtering through the trees as well as the white of the trunks.

Once the pattern has been made the plate is sealed with shellac or varnish and then inked. Inking can be the intaglio method where it’s applied then wiped off to create tones on the raised surfaces and leave ink in the depressions or the relief method where its brayered onto the plates raised areas.

Once it’s all inked up through the press it goes and then the magic moment when the image is revealed!

I love that prints from the same plate can look so different depending on the colour of ink, the method of inking and the amount of wiping.

Of course I can’t resist adding pastel to some. This one was my first attempt at a reduction linocut and it wasn’t a great success but some pastel worked it’s magic and I was happy with the end result.

Mixed media- soft pastel over a reduction linocut print.

I’ve got a whole lot more experimenting to do but think I’ve found my new obsession for 2021!

Eco printing project

During this crazy time in the world my mum was self isolating and I decided to give her a box of eco printing supplies and instructions for her birthday because she was quite interested in it. It was a big success and started me thinking about expanding on it and writing the kind of book I was looking for when I started out on my own eco printing adventure.

A few month’s of intensive work and I finally finished it! It grew from an initial 40 pages to 100 and there is still more I could have included. I wanted to make it informative, useful and easy to navigate with all the basics and some more advanced techniques. I was sure there was a whole lot of people just like me who were looking for information in one concise book.

There’s no “secret” recipes or techniques here. It’s information I found through researching, experimenting and persisting over the last three or four years and anyone can do the same but it does take a lot of time to progress this way.

Yesterday I launched it in my Etsy shop and it immediately started to sell. I guess there are people out there just like me!

If you’re interested you can follow this link to my Etsy store Leaf and Print.

This will take you to the eBook in my Etsy shop Leaf and Print

It includes a whole lot of step by step projects and links to 5 videos and I was fully immersed in eco printing getting all the videos shot, and then sorting all the info, finding a good format and editing it . Here’s some of the projects.

Eco printing on wool

I’ve been discovering the joys of ecoprinting on vintage woolen blankets. I’d already been working with silk and cotton but had been wanting to try some wool which is either very expensive if new or difficult to find if recycled . Vintage blankets are a good way to get a decent amount of yardage at a reasonable price for the beginner. They’re hard to come by so when I get my hands on one it’s exciting planning what to make with it.

I’ve done capes…

and ponchos…

as well as bags and clutches…

I have two freshly washed and folded blankets sitting in my stash at the moment and I’ve been waiting impatiently to start layering them with leaves so tomorrow could be the day!

Has it been this long???

I can’t believe it’s been over 4 months since I last posted! What have I been doing with my time you might ask.

A big chunk of it was spent travelling to the US and Canada again . Some highlights were:

…. getting caught in the big Montana snowstorms which was a bit scary for someone who never drives in the snow. It was so beautiful and sureal it almost made up for the giant stress monster sitting in the pit of my stomach as I drove through the horizontal snowstorm.

Montana plains in the snow
Montana plains in the September snowstorms

There were some great moments with wildlife…

and I absolutely soaked up the autumn colours .

Grand Tetons in autumn
Grand Tetons in autumn reflected in the Snake River

Then there was the coast…even the overcast days couldn’t dampen my spirit as we hiked into Shi shi Beach and watched the big waves pounding in along the coast.

Shi Shi Beach
Shi Shi beach

I managed to get some painting in as well…my favourite time was in the misty rain at Heather Meadows. The colours seemed to really glow in the overcast conditions. It was cold but so lovely.

After we got home I was straight into an epic round of custom paintings for Christmas gifts which took me right up to a week before Christmas. I just finished my last order yesterday and for the first time in 5 months I have no commissions on my waiting list and the amount of time I have for other projects is pretty exciting!!!! Of course it won’t last so I’m planning on making the most of it. I’ve already been out foraging for leaves and doing some pre mordanting of my stash of fabrics ready for a bout of eco printing. I’ll keep you posted….

A bit of ecoprinting…

I’ve been dabbling with my eco printing again. I invested in some timber and built a small bench and shelves outside the laundry area so I can keep my soaking leaf collection and dye pots in some sort of order! It should be complete ORDER but I get too carried way with the excitement of making new discoveries and it all ends up bit of a jumble…still the new shelves do contain it somewhat.

I finally found a smoke bush tree in the neighbour’s garden and he kindly allowed me to harvest the autumn leaves so I dried then before we left on our travels and now I’m using them…I’m a bit like a miser slowly and grudgingly depleting my stockpile because they’re all I have until spring brings the new leaves…But am loving the results.

Eco print on silk
Smoke bush eco print on silk

I’ve also tried some natural cochineal dye which ended up giving a lovely watecolour effect when overprinted with leaves.

…and I collected onion skins for a few weeks and dyed some silk scarves with them…sunshine in a dyepot! Photos to come at a later date.

And let’s not forget the humble gum leaf which gives such lovely results when sandwiched between 2 silk scarves and steamed for an hour.

So not a lot of posting’s been going on but my dye pots have been getting a goodly amount of attention and I’m learning as I print and dye.

Some pages from my sketchbook

It’s been awhile since I posted so thought I would share a few pages from my current travel sketchbook. I’m swanning around the Mediterranean and Adriatic coasts for a few weeks and enjoying all the sun, sea and swimming. In between I’m snatching a few minutes to do some watercolour and ink sketches to remind me of the beautiful places I’ve been visiting on those cold winter days back in Tasmania!