Recently completed: Persephone! Need I say more, except to say that it took me a Herculean amount of work to get her to this point!
Saturday, 24 January 2015
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
It's been a busy time in the studio with a new line of goddess doll brooches proving to be very popular here in Oamaru.
Having last week successfully installed my art at Custom House Gallery, I'm now working on a new exhibition that began with some preliminary sketches a few weeks ago of Janet Frame.
The initial idea actually came from a painting by Leonora Carrington called the Giantess, and to tease out the idea and evolve it further, I did a painting and several sketches showing the larger than life character of Janet Frame. The painting I did is on the floor in the above photo, slap bang in the middle. And that's where I really want to take it: author turned character via the visual medium of painting. I want to imbue Janet with her own imagination: in particular with material derived from her posthumously published collection of essays, reports and reviews as well as excerpts from the speeches, interviews and published letters contained within Janet Frame: in her own words.
These and my work so far already go some way toward the final exhibition pieces and along with a fellow Oamaru artist whom I maybe collaborating with, I might be broadening this into more literary characters (and not necessarily NZ ones) so do watch this space.
Tuesday, 2 December 2014
Well, how shockingly tardy have I been this past year? It's been a whole year since my last blog posting. I'm sitting here trying to work out why and I think I've nailed it. Apart from a glut of travel these last two years, the world of technology, itself, has changed sooo much that I think I've been a bit distracted. And who can blame me? What with Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, yes ..all of which I have accounts, I've been busy doing some serious amounts of superficial reporting.
Well, no more I say! The time has come to put aside the play things and get back to the important business of blogging: and this time, I mean it! It's time to take stock, reflect, get back into a routine and record. It's time to become, once again, a blogger. And with the blog postings come re-connections - the social networking that is so invaluable to the artist blogger: the sharing of ideas; collaborations; experimentation; swaps, challenges, feedback and discussion. Friendship. Ahhh..the friendships. The very best thing about blogging is the finding and keeping of kindred artistic spirits - hearing that friendly "voice" which resonates with your own artistic sensibility. I have lost count of the number of firm friendships I have made over the years through blogger. We are all connected through Facebook now, but alas, over time, I am also losing their "voices" as The Facebook algorithms begin to thin out the number of connections I can make with one post (and vice a versa).
So, here's a bit of thumbs up to blogging, and my chosen platform, blogger- of which I am using their app on my iPad to create this post (well done blogger for making it easier to blog on the go!). While I sit here going through all the photos stored on the said device, I happen upon this one of Andy. A sketch I did a few weeks ago now, but one I am justifiably proud of, as this alone signals the beginning of something magic: a willingness to slow down; enough at least to be able to sketch my amazing husband.
Here s to many more posts to come, and to reconnections!
Love Debs (aka Debrina Altered)
Saturday, 4 January 2014
|Contents of a Conversation (II) D. Price-Ewen (aka Debrina Altered) - January 2014|
Now that we're back in New Zealand (4 months now), I've been getting much more serious about my altered creations. We now live in a city that has a thriving art scene. So all my creative energy is being used to focus, refine, amalgamate and re-purpose so that I can create really purposeful and meaningful art. Nearly two years of world travel has also refined my ear for stories. So I have submitted three mixed media pieces called Contents of a Conversation (I-III) to an exhibition entitled Homework
|Contents of a Conversation (I) D.Price-Ewen - December 2013|
Part of this journey I now find myself on is attributable to my visit to Dale Copeland's studio in Puniho, South Taranaki, New Zealand. To meet my icon was something else; to visit her studio of treasures was the icing on the cake. Dale is a powerhouse of creative energy and curiosity. I think something of her wore off on me that day, and since my visit, I have been creating non-stop.
|The wonderful Dale Copeland in her outrageously busy studio (D.Price-Ewen photo) October 2013|
Here are my girls, just before I boxed them up for submission, mounted as if they were animal heads, on 200 (width) x 200 (height) x 200 (depth) cm plaques. A fun exhibition with the only limitation being the size and price ($200 each):
|My 200 x 200 pieces D.Price-Ewen (December 2013)|
All the best
Tuesday, 3 September 2013
|Images copyright, D.Price-Ewen (Debrina Altered) 2013|
Lots of fun yesterday finishing my exhibition doll for Deja Vu Dolls at Square Edge, Palmerston North. Currently working on two more and maybe running a workshop with my old time pal, Pania. Lovely!
Sunday, 19 May 2013
|Copyright Eva Filinova - Tinctory 2011|
More importantly, she makes reference to historic textiles, glimpses of nature in the city, romance and fairytale elements. Her most challenging piece to date? A smocked necklace (like the one above) that contained the text of a poem, clearly visible between the pleats of smocking.
|Copyright Eva Filinova - Tinctory 2011|
I hope you find her work as inspiring as I do :-)
Monday, 6 May 2013
|Close up of my Zakka style needle case (D.Price-Ewen)|
This Sunday I made myself stay indoors. Well, there's nothing like spending a whole day in your PJs doing what you love, right? Also, Bangkok is in the middle of the hot, hot, hot season (we have three seasons here, as the locals like to say: "hot, bloody hot and f#*@ing hot"!) So yeah, I spent the whole of Sunday making things (in my PJs) from cut up bits of Japanese printed cotton and a sewing machine, thread and needle.
|Placement for needles, left and right....|
I love the way you can create, with sewing, a functional something from nothing. Above is my first ever Zakka style creation: made up from scratch with nothing to guide me but the material and the practical matter of having somewhere to stash my spare needles. You wouldn't believe how long this little number took me to make though! From the meticulous piecing together of the little Zakka rectangles (which still came out crooked and a little wrinkled (no matter how much I ironed) to the vintage French image on the back - a total of 7 hours! Phew. I'm glad I'm not on a production line. I would have been fired on day one!!
I also finished off a hand-sewn cuff I'd been working on (more off than on), for several weeks. The hand sewing was taking too long, so I finished it on the sewing machine that I made the Zakka needle case on.
|Detail of machine embroidery, couching the bronze ribbon I had in my leftover's basket.|
|closeup of wooden heart and vellum|
Finally, I'm having a bit of a rethink on my Keepsake box, which I'm still working on because I'm not happy with the finish on the cover. I love the inside of the box (see above and below photos) but I need gesso and crackle medium to finish the cover. Unfortunately, crackle medium is a bit of a rare commodity here and it is not cheap, so I'm weighing up my options as to whether I buy from the States or not... If anyone knows of a good brand that I can buy online, do let me know!
Well, that's it for another week. I can't wait for next weekend because I'm getting some Thai cooking lessons and, of course, I want to spend more of the f@#*ing hot season indoors under the aircon where I can create in my pajamas.
Thursday, 18 April 2013
|Scuba diving the great oceanic beyond...by Jason Kyle Ewen (nearly 5)|
|Scuba diving with many friends and fish!|
I have me a selection of pens and pencils, some water colour paints and a nifty little sketch pad and I'm off to the local lake this afternoon to do some uninhibited drawing.
Saturday, 6 April 2013
|The Keepsake Box - closeup of the door and flower latch - by D.Price-Ewen 2013|
|Ghostly images underneath the door of the keepsake box - by D.Price-Ewen 2013|
|The little box that could - the rose box slides to the other side of the larger box it sits in to revels the ephemera underneath it - by D.Price-Ewen 2013|
|Underneath the lid of the box is a wooden heart backed with blue inked vellum paper - by D.Price-Ewen 2013.|
|A page from the Keepsake Box Book - D.Price-Ewen 2013|
(a copy of a mixed media piece I constructed from a paper dress kit supplied by my friend Pania Molloy)
Next week I'll post the finished results of box and book.
Till then, have fun in blog land!
Debrina Altered (D.Price-Ewen)
Monday, 25 March 2013
|Andy and Jason on the Chao Phraya River in a taxi boat, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Jason and I at Safari World, Thailand, with our fabulous Orange friends! Jason is just one month away from turning 5 years old!|
|Chatuchak market (JJs), Bangkok. The food is awesome, the craft and art supplies, even more awesome!!|
So what does living in Bangkok mean to me right now? Well, you could say I've landed in one of the world's largest art and craft supplies MECCA! The markets: Pahurat, Soi Wanit 1 (Sampheng Road), JJs and the fabulous Pinn Shop and B2S are currently my favourite haunts.
|Just one tiny aisle of many in this bead shop - photo taken down Sampheng Lane, Bangkok|
It really is a collector and hoarder's dream. And it's all about creation, baby! The artist's calling to express the essence of being; to channel the unknown into the known, to flavour the world with all its colour and vibrancy is more than being served up here in Bangkok. My muses are everywhere - from the towering temples through to the peeling paint and dubious dark alleyways of the slums. Everything exists here and nothing exists here. It is the Buddhist's precinct - where contradictions abound and the ghosts are just below the cracks in the path or between the slits in the wall. The overwhelming stimuli and the hidden and not so hidden voices of the past are coming through to me - like a steam train cranked up with an over-abundance of coal - and I'm struggling to channel it all into my art. Truly! It's sometimes just too much.
|Beauty and spirit abounds in Bangkok!|
However, during the quiet periods of my life, when I have time to reflect (like now: 11:50pm) I know I'm assimilating and turning the magnificence of Thailand into art. It's all happening in my brain and very slowly it's beginning to flow down towards my fingertips. Sometimes it's leaked out a little. Like here:
|Illustrations: graphite, ink and collage - originals and prints soon to be sold on Etsy|
and finally here:
|Unfinished paintings: left, The Wat. Right: The Dancer (2013)|
Till the next installment then!
Wednesday, 5 December 2012
|The circus has come to town! Art journal pages, D.Price-Ewen|
December already and Xmas is all around us here in Bangkok. Towering trees lit up in full fairy light regalia and festoons of wonderment every corner you turn, We're taking our five year old Jason into the city's CBD on Xmas Eve so that he can see the full light display along the sky-walk in Siam. Rumour has it that most residents of Bangkok evacuate the city at this time of the year in order to celebrate New Year with their rural families. But I imagine the influx of tourists at this same time of year will more than mitigate the loss in numbers.
While I await the holidays with heady anticipation, I have been biding my time by filling up my current art journal - a collaboration between my friend Alicia of Altered Bits and I. We call these journals "nournals" - a slip on the keyboard one night during a skype session, I believe, brought about this renaming. And so, the term nournal was coined and nournal it stubbornly remains. In fact, the term even has a meaning now - as it is a sort of portmanteau of Night and Journal. It also sounds like nocturnal. It is an apt name, as it is at night that I mostly work on my contributions.
|The first two pages of my late November/early December contributions|
|The very first two pages of the Nournal, by D.Price-Ewen|
Well folks, that's me for a few more weeks. Xmas is nigh and I imagine we will be wrapped up in our own domestic lives around that time, so if I don't hear from you, I'll understand, lol!
All the best,
Tuesday, 13 November 2012
|What's inside this strange little box?|
|The altered matchbox of clinical and anatomical treasures!|
|Complete with pop open door (I used two little domes, which I sewed on).|
The box is like a little wardrobe, stands on its own and has a little door that pops open and clicks shut. Another little box of treasures is soon to follow this one, but in the meantime, I'm busy thinking up another theme. I chose the anatomical theme from the pieces I received from Altered Bits (thanks so much Alicia!) and because I like the idea of something that isn't pretty and perfect (as most paper dolls are).