Wednesday, 7 June 2017


Tui for Amy - watercolour by Debrina Altered 2017
A busy few months have passed since my last blog posting, mainly filled with sketching and watercolour practice.  This latest piece was painted specifically for my friend Amy, who is bird mad.

The Tui is one of many beautiful native birds living in New Zealand that love the nectar from the flower of our native flax, Harekeke. They guzzle it in abundance in summer and are often competing with bellbirds/korimako, saddlebacks/tieke, as well as bats/pekapeka, geckos and insects!

To do the plant justice - as the flower really is a stunner - I've cut and pasted a photo from the NZ Forest and Bird site:

Photo image: Jimmy Johnson
Unfortunately, we have no harakeke at our new abode in Oamaru - more's the pity.  We had a ton of it when we lived up in the North Island of New Zealand and had frequent visits by the local tui.  Their bird song is just enchanting.  Here's a clip: Tui bird song

Absolutely stunning bird!


Saturday, 18 February 2017

More Watercolours...

"Trees and water" 2017 Watercolour by Debrina Altered
A lovely afternoon playing with my watercolour set....  I don't usually start with too much in mind; I just let the water and paint do its thing.  That's the beauty of watercolour - because it is one of the more difficult mediums to control, you really do have to just let go of any preconceived ideas and let the results speak for themselves.



Wednesday, 21 December 2016

What on earth have I been up to?!

Lilac and Pink by Debrina Altered ©2016
"Swallows" Acrylic by Debrina Altered © 2016
Well, quite a lot actually! Although, regretfully, I haven't been blogging about ANY of it.  Indeed, my last blog posting was in July! The shame of it! Im pretty sure, in fact, that social media is to blame. More specifically, I seem to have got myself a wee bit stuck in that superficial and endlessly distracting place called Facebook.  And so, after almost ten years of being on Facebook, I decided to throw in the towel.  Now, suddenly, I'm having real conversations with depth and substance again.  What's more, I have rediscovered the pleasures of email and snail mail.
"Home is Where the Heart Is" a mixed media wall hanging by Debrina Altered ©2016
In fact, I think the best bit about deleting my Facebook profile (my art page went ages ago after they started extorting money from us) actually happens to be the utter joy and revelation of blogging.  Indeed, it has been a real pleasure going through my blog reading list and catching up with all the remaining blogger stalwarts! Go you lot, you know who you are!! So, now that I'm back (here's hoping this time it will last) I've really thought hard about how I want to use my blog.  The first important aspect about this platform is that I continue to use it as a diary.  A diary is a useful tool to an artist because it gives one a chance to reflect on the creative process: to tease out ideas; gain distance; look and think critically as well as objectively.  The second important aspect is the ability for people to leave feedback, to join in on the conversation I'm having with myself and, in turn, with you. 
"Xmas Angel" a fiber art exchange piece by Debrina Altered © 2016
  Thirdly, a blog is a great way to meet like minds, share ideas, and become the focal point for collaboration, sharing and exchange.  I have first hand experience and fond memories of this.  Over the years, through my blog, I've done collaborations (Pulp Redux - an altered art book collaboration with four other talented artists whom I met through blogging (sadly, one of the members of our collaboration has since died)); shared in Altered Page author, Seth Apter's Disintegration project; done art and craft exchanges,  giveaways as well as swapped art and craft supplies - everything from paper to stamps!   It's been a marvellous journey.  Along the way I've also made hundreds of friends and associates and partaken in many opportunities, such as online art exhibitions, being published in art books and Zines and being interviewed...all very good for the ego and a wonderful way to build self confidence.
"Wild Flowers", Acrylic by Debrina Altered © 2016
If you have managed to get this far, then thank you! It means a lot to me to have fellow blog readers like yourself take time out of your busy world and make an effort to read, comment and participate in the blogging world, a world now quite removed from a lot of what is happening on the Internet's social media platforms these days.  I hope you have a very festive season and that your new year is full of grand plans and creativity! Love from Debrina.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Debrina Altered Dolls


Debrina Altered''s Art Dolls
Betty B! Copyright, Debrina Altered, 2016

Debrina Altered's Dolls are being launched on Etsy. This is an exciting new direction for me, after concentrating on mixed media and painting for many years.  Not that I haven't been here before...I was once a member of the Wanganui cloth doll and fiber arts club in the early 2000s.  There will be more than just human figures, however, as I'm also a big fan of cloth doll animals too!  So do keep an eye on my Etsy Store, it's about to slowly fill up!

Flower Girl. Copyright Debrina Altered, 2016


Saturday, 19 September 2015

Watercolours!

I'm teaching myself how to watercolour.  So far so good, I reckon.  The originals and prints will be avaialble in my Etsy Store: Debrina's Emporium.

Cosmos and Phlox by Debrina Altered 2015


Blossoms by Debrina Altered 2015

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Queens of the Underworld.

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!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Goddess line and new exhibition

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.

Well, that's about it from me, so I'll leave you with some choice shots of a couple of other things I'm selling at Custom House, including my little robots again and some cuffs :-)


                                      





Tuesday, 2 December 2014

I'm back into documenting my art...properly.

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

DebRinA AlterED Homework Exhibition and the 200x200 sell out

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
To top things off, I was able to sell all of my 200 x 200 pieces at the same named exhibition in December: http://kina.co.nz/blogs/exhibition-blog/10894169-8th-annual-200-x-200-exhibition.
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)
So I expect 2014 to be a fully productive year for art and hopefully sales to keep me in art supplies :-)

All the best
Debrina Altered

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

DEbrina ALtered - Playing with dolls

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

Eva Filinova

Copyright Eva Filinova - Tinctory 2011
One of the nice things about being a librarian is the discovery of an artist whilst cataloguing my library book purchases.  In this case, Eva Filinova, whose profile and work resides in the book "Embroidery" by Sophie Long.  Published by PageOne this year, Embriodery has all of the standard hand and machine embroidery techniques described and illustrated...but...just as importantly, it also has artist profiles.  I got most excited to discover Eva, because she is way out there in technique, style and has a wonderful appreciation for detail (everything I love myself as an artist).

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
Although a busy mum now, Eva keeps her blog alive with the occassional post, and it is with great pleasure that I can introduce her to you: http://tinctory.blogspot.com/

I hope you find her work as inspiring as I do :-)
Debs



Monday, 6 May 2013

New cuff; some Zakka style and a rethink on the Keepsake Box

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....

Never make fun of a team of travelling musicians!  You'll get bashed over the head with a violin and stabbed in the chest with a sword!  I got this fabulous, vintage cardboard print from a store in Bangkok and it makes a perfect backing for my needle case - keeping everything nice and flat and unbendable. 

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.
The cuff has a been aged in some areas with the liberal use of a lighter and walnut ink and I'm happy with the final result.
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.

Love Debs