Mixed media designs

These images, which use a unique mixed media drawing technique on textured water colour paper, represent a new direction in my creative work. The framed images use vibrant colours and patterns to explore themes of direction and time.

Method

 

I began using crayons and pastels on textured paper as a way of developing ideas for prints but they have taken on a life of their own. I like the technical simplicity and directness of this way of working and, as it is a way of making creative use of fragmented periods of time, it seemed a perfect vehicle to explore my interest in the nature of time itself.

 

Imagery, themes

 

The idea for the project started with simple geometry, the relationship between circles and squares. Whilst exploring patterns of shape and colour in the intersecting lines between the forms I am also seeking to develop a kind of symbolic language to illustrate various themes; movement and direction, the four elements, chance and control, the inner and outer worlds and the passing of time.

 

Image 1: Four directions

 

A square has four sides and the number four is significant in many cultures and philosophical traditions; including the four directions in Native American spirituality, the four perception types in Jungian psychology and the four elements of earth, air fire and water. 

This image illustrates four directions of movement, the four sections are distinct yet connected, while four birds fly outward in four directions they remain connected to the larger rotating circles and all radiates from the central smaller circle which contains, organically, all of the colours, or influences.

Image 2 : South East, South West

 

By splitting the image in half the eye focuses more strongly on different elements of the design, in particular the upwards leaning curve and central square. You may also see an owl, upward growing leaves and two intersecting pyramids. I like that moving the eye around the design high lights different patterns.

Image 3 : Above, below

 

Here above and below are present as well as the four directions. There are two strong curved shapes, one pointing above and one below.

The upper and lower worlds reflect each other but do not mirror each other exactly.

Image 4 : Here, Now

 

This is about running out of time. The colours may evoke a pleasant relaxing time, beach huts maybe, sun, sea. Arrows or birds fly out in four directions. The circle may be a planet in space or our own constructed world floating in nature. The clocks make a progression through the 24 hours, but their definition is blurred. We know it is five to midnight but we somehow we can’t quite focus. The pattern seems to have an ordered sequence, but in places the logic is broken. The image goes right to the edge

Image 5 : Everything that can happen, happens

 

With this image I am seeking to evoke scale and space, light and dark, hot and cool. There may be planets or atoms, inner or outer worlds. As in the theory of the multi-verse, somewhere, everything that can happen, happens. It is a balm to the idea of running out of time.

Image 6 : Where? When? How? (My time is my own?)

 

This is a more spontaneous image. By partly breaking away from formal geometry the picture conveys a sense of zooming in on the present moment. Which patterns will prevail? When? Where?  How? The centre of the picture is not the centre of the containing rectangle, as in reality what we see in the present moment is only a snapshot of a larger reality, we never see the whole picture. The patterns are contained within structured shapes but do not follow a pre-ordained logical order. How much order and control do we want? What role is played by chance or randomness? All of the elements are needed to answer the questions, but we can never see all of the elements from a limited, fixed position in time and space.

Some of these framed images can now be seen at the Devon Guild of Crafts "Pattern" exhibition, which will run from 5th July to 1st September. 

To find out more contact Lea lea@leaphillips-pottery.co.uk

What next?

These and similar images may be available from September as giclee prints or greeting cards. Please let me know if you would be interested in origanal or printed images.

© 2017 Lea Phillips