Blog Assignment Semester2


1. Begin by identifying 3 favorite works from your own practice. Post them on your blog and briefly explain why you selected these works.
2. Post at least one example of written research that is relevant to your work from the following contexts; a dictionary site, an electronic resource from the Unitec library catalogue, and an artist site. each to be referenced correctly.
3. Write a comment to explain the relevance of these research contexts.
4. Now post at least 3 works for other artist/designers that are relevant to your own posted works.
5. Write a comment to explain the relevance of these art contexts


I have selected 3 items as my favourite pieces of work I have produced this year, sculptured vessel produced for academic direction.  Watercolour portrait painted in visual art and Arabesque Necklace created in contemporary craft.


Plastic toy soldiers & hot glue

400 x 550 mm

Sept 2010

I immersed myself in the making process of this art-piece, the vessel, and found it thoroughly enjoyable.  It is constructed with hundreds of small, readymade plastic toy soldiers which were hot glued together, the large scale object creating a spatial relationship between light and shadow.  The form’s irregularity and the appearance of the soldiers makes it an interesting and unique composition, the various angles and points leading to the flagged pinnacle.  The soldiers appear to be battling uphill with a common goal in difficult terrain.  Together they form an army, falling down around each other.  My grandfather served in the Second World War, a war which is a constantly recurring theme in NZ culture, the media and in mass produced objects like toys. When relocated into a conceptual environment, these tiny plastic images evoke ideas beyond their intended use.

The vessel has been spray painted in a bronze tone, giving it a feeling of strength and eternal struggle, and the colour of camouflage.


Water colour on water colour card

297 x 420 mm

May 2010

My interest in humanity and family lead me to paint this depiction of my child, Pearson, in pose, waiting to be photographed, capturing a true representation of his innocents, charm and somewhat, cheeky personality.   It is painted on water colour card in florescent water colour paint in vibrant yellow and purple shades, making it highly visible and acute opposites on the colour wheel.  This painting became the first part of a series of works, variations of the same picture, painted in a range of mediums from oil paint to acrylic and even perforated paper projected onto the wall.  Severe close-ups and collages became another essential part of this series.  The portraits are painted directly from a photographic image taken from the family photo album, severely cropped and void of irrelevant background making the face the complete focus of the picture.


Copper wire & brass crimps


Oct 2010

Arabesque Necklace 59cm, crafted from entwined polished copper wire and brass crimps to create a contrasting amalgamation of industrial materials.   Long lengths of recycled copper wire are woven into spirals, each coil is intertwined together creating an arabesque of metal, the feeling of symmetry comes from the regular placement of each spiral.  The black electrical crimp surrounds and contains the ends, these being firmly fastened by a crimping tool.   The blackened brass crimps create another focal point and change the dynamics of the work.  The fastening is in keeping with the circular design of the necklace and its proportion and balance.  The reason I have chosen this piece is because I have enjoyed the process of creating it and the final effect.


Dictionary Meaning

Definition of Arabesque


/ˌær əˈbɛsk/ Show Spelled[ar-uh-besk] Show IPA


1. Fine Arts . a sinuous, spiraling, undulating, or serpentine line or linear motif.

2. a pose in ballet in which the dancer stands on one leg with one arm extended in front and the other leg and arm extended behind.

3. a short, fanciful musical piece, typically for piano.

4. any ornament or ornamental object, as a rug or mosaic, in which flowers, foliage, fruits, vases, animals, and figures are represented in a fancifully combined pattern.


5. decorated with or characterized by arabesques: arabesque design.

Use arabesque in a Sentence

See images of arabesque

Search arabesque on the Web

1605–15; < F < It arabesco  ornament in Islamic style, lit., Arabian, equiv. to arab ( o ) arab  + -esco -esque
—Related forms

ar·a·besque·ly, adverb   web date unknown22Oct2010

The arabesque,  a continuous spiralling line.  This exotic sounding Islamic word evokes movement, circular patterns and dancing lines.   I see this as relevant within my jewellery work, arabesque necklace, with its spirals, symmetrical regularity and its intertwining mass of wire.



Leaf Vessel

Stainless Steel

4000 x 1100 x 380

2010 updated2010 web7nov 2010

The vessel form is a recurrent theme of my work and becomes a symbol of migration, a chalice and a container of life, and symbol of life’s journey.
My work is predominantly created from salvaged timbers and cast bronze. Stainless steel works are laser-cut and hand finished.
Leaf Vessel, (2010)
The canoe shaped Vessel suggests both seed pod and life boat.
The skeletal form alludes to structural veins that remain after the outer leaf-layer has eroded, while a platform inside the artwork, merges the leaf form with the man-made spear, to create a work that becomes a symbol of nurturing and protection.
…. The vessel, a recurrent theme in my work, becomes a metaphor for life and survival and embodies the metaphysical concept of leaving behind what is no longer necessary. updated2010 web7nov 2010

Kings work is a larger scale construction in a style of a canoe replicating the common leaf with its curved and shallow lines.  It is shiny and smooth in texture and colour made from the stainless steel a hard industrial material designed for its resilience and endurance of the New Zealand weather.  It is symmetrical and balanced in its composition.  The laser cut pattern create the leafs back bone and veins throughout the vessel produces a play with light and shadow.  While the vessel appears to be created to float the holes would prevent this from happening.

I have found Kings approach totally awe inspiring and highly influential in stimulating my creative thought, working practice and future aspirations.   I have become motivated to construct sculptures integrating King’s methodology of working with recycled and salvaged materials and her way of melding these objects together.  When connected these objects together they create a new form and subject matter.   My Vessel is constructed with hundreds of small, readymade plastic toy soldier’s echoes King’s themes of life and endurance but this time evoked through mass produced objects. When relocated into a conceptual environment, these tiny plastic images evoke ideas beyond their intended use.


Source: MOMA Museum of Modern Art

Elizabeth Peyton

(American, born 1965)

Jake at the New Viet Huong

Oil on masonite

16 x 12″ 40.6 x 30.5 cm


Source: Oxford University Press

American painter and draughtsman. She studied at the School for Visual Arts in New York, graduating with a BFA in 1987. In the early 1990s she began to draw portraits of famous historical figures such as Napoleon, sketching them in charcoal or pencil; Marie Antoinette Choosing her Clothes (1991; see 1997 exh. cat., p. 53) belongs to this group. Around the same time Peyton started to paint a series of portraits of the rock musician Kurt Cobain, using images taken from magazines and television, painted in a style that emphasized the androgyny and beauty of the singer, as in Princess Kurt (1995; Minneapolis, MN, Walker A. Cent.). During the 1990s Peyton painted numerous celebrities, continuing her distinct style which renders each of her models with the same red lips, defined eyes and pale skin, so that they all resemble an idealized, feminized version of masculinity that draws on a gay iconography exemplified by artists such as Pierre et Gilles. These paintings were also indebted to Andy Warhol’s screenprinted portraits of stars such as Marilyn Monroe, which used repeated photographic images from the public domain, whilst the painterly technique and bright colours make allusion to the obsessive paintings produced by teenage fans faithfully copying photographic images of their idols. In the mid-1990s Peyton also began using her friends as models, as in Piotr on Couch (1997; Seattle, WA, A. Mus.). These, too, conform to the androgynous ideal set by the earlier images and to the sense of a world populated by people whose celebrity emanates from their beauty.

Catherine M. Grant
From Grove Art Online

© 2009 Oxford University Press web 7 11 2010

Elizabeth Peyton is a favourite artist of mine, naively; I felt her style was straight forward enough for me to emulate.  However, after trying, I began to realise that her simplicity is deceptive.  Peyton’s methodology consists of working directly from photographs, either her own snap shots or others and she acknowledges the importance of these as an inspirational source.  Peyton has become famous for painting famous and royal individuals but these portraits have a homogenous, feminine quality about them no matter whom she is portraying.  Her colour palette consists of vivid hues as well as monotone and black and white.  Canvases are loosely painted with thin washy glazes creating a water colour appearance.  Her works are shallow in depth and Peyton allows the white of the canvas to show through the paint, often in place of the person’s skin.  These portraits often don’t appear in proportion or balance, and this roughness has been both criticised and praised.

Electronic Resource from the Unitec Library Catalogue:

Joana Vasconcelos: From Cutlery to Coracao

By Regina Frank

Garden of Eden, 2007. Plastic flowers, synchronous micro-motors, compact fluorescent lamp, polychromed and translucent acrylic discs, electric system, Lycra, PVC, and MDF, detail of installation.

Coraçã Independente Dourado (Golden Independent Heart), 2004. Translucent yellow plastic cutlery, painted iron, engine, metallic chain, sound system, and music sung by Amália Rodrigues, 385 × 225 × 50 cm.

There is a place even more exotic than the Museo do Oriente in Alcâantara do Mar (Alcântara of the Sea), on the waterfront near central Lisbon, Portugal. It is the Unidade Infinita (Infinite Unit), the art studio of Joana Vasconcelos on the Tagus River immediately behind the museum. Inside the vast factory halls, huge red crates wait to be shipped, Bordalo Pinheiro’s ceramic animals line up to be embroidered, and, on shelves, plastic boxes filled with several centuries of crochet and embroidery sorted by color and shape wait to be “recycled” into new artworks. One pictures Vermeer’s lace-maker sitting here for an eternity, but it’s a bit less romantic.

Pots and pans, tampons, plastic cutlery in different colors, old, tattered handmade lace, quilted swatches, ceramics, and all kinds of materials from the old-fashioned women’s tailor are part of Vasconcelos’s palette.

A Noiva (The Bride), 2001–05. o.b. tampons, stainless steel, cotton thread, and steel cables, 600 × 300 × 300 cm.

Together with staff members, Vasconcelos meticulously puts together restraining suits for wild animals, made from all kinds of lace: “It’s only the wild ones that I keep contained:’ When I ask, “What’s wild about a frog?” she replies, “Well, the frog can turn into a prince and imagine how dangerous he can be…you better dress him welL” Her color system for the animaltaming outfits is based on straightforward symbolism that plays with associations such as bull goes with red because of blood; in terms of composition, however, red only goes with subdued colors such as beige or black and white…….Vasconcelos questions Portuguese identity by recycling underrated everyday objects, such as tampons and plastic cutlery, using them to evoke mainly Portuguese cultural icons. The surprise of discovering these materials in unexpected places leaves the viewer slightly puzzled and adds to the content of Vasconcelos’s work. One of the more renowned examples of this effect is the installation Coraçã Independente (Independent Heart). Knives, forks, and spoons are bent to perfection and meticulously glued and melted into the oversized filigree hearts of traditional Portuguese jewelry. In a photograph, you could easily mistake the giant objects for typical filigree earrings, their assumed preciousness a stark contrast to the close-up view of the plastic cutlery used in their creation. Questioning the difference in value between pop and elitist culture, between luxury object and ordinary object, the misuse and transformation of cheap cutlery into a valued cultural object, she intelligently sabotages the functions of both.  may 2010web 7 nov2010

Vasconcelos works with recycled objects, reshaping and reforming the everyday.   Shifting them from an ordinary context to one in which they are the building blocks for grand designs, the sheer volume transforms the humble into the monumental.  These large scale items are highly decorative and ornate.  The colour of the plastic cutlery in Golden Independent Heart, is bright and translucent.  The focus transfers from the individual piece of cutlery to an overall piece of solid sculpture.  The relevance’s to my work is, again, the recycling and salvaging of everyday objects.  The scale is of a larger proportion than mine and this has inspired me to build bigger and better.



whisk necklace

details unknown 2010 date unknown web 29 oct 2010


Pauline is a self taught contemporary artist crafting innovative, modern jewellery and is also a tutor in the jewellery department of Unitec.  Bern’s work often reflects domesticity, as it is in this piece, whisk necklace, made from a found object within the kitchen.  The smooth silver coloured metal wire is cut directly from the whisk and then twisted into irregular oval shapes, the layered ovals are then linked together to form a chain.  The elements create an overall symmetrical, repetitive feel and give the work balance, however the way they are stacked introduces a disorganised chaotic aspect and combines beauty with the everyday.  I enjoy and have integrated elements of Bern’s practise into my own, particularly the repetitive and symmetrical aspect of the work.


Untitled 582,

oil on canvas


date unknown date unknown web 3 oct 2010


Franciose Nielly is a French contemporary painter, her specialist subject area is portraiture,  sometimes of famous celebrities but usually ordinary, everyday people.  These paintings are close up and extremely cropped, eliminating all surroundings.  She uses lively florescent paint, the contrasting colours working alongside each other to create shade and form without much use of gradation.  These features resonate with me and I have included some of this methodology within my own work, as well as the technique of working directly from photographic imagery.  I am interested in capturing a similar effect and, in future, want to incorporate her oil paint with palette knife technique within my work.  Neilly’s preference for using vivid hues has influenced my choice of colour palette.

To view Franciose Nielly work in progress



Bodies at rest ll

‘Bodies in Space’ exhibition



15 Sept 2007 web 3 oct 2010

In this sculptural piece, bodies at rest ii, Anthony Gormley has attached together repetitive objects and created a representational human figure, lying in what looks like a restful sleeping position.  The materials he uses appear to be a type of ball bearing in varying sizes usually made in lead.  The light hitting the spaces in between each sphere gives the work a highly textural quality. Although the work is a solid mass it appears to be flexible and supple.  Gormley’s methodology includes using his own figure as a mould, covering his body in vaseline, then wrapping himself in gladwrap before making a body cast in plaster. He has to lay in a motionless state until the plaster sets with only a gap or straw to breathe from.  I am drawn to the touchable quality of Gormley’s work, and the overall structure of the sculpture, such a simple and delightful idea with such an amazing outcome.







I have included an array of artists in my “About Face Exhibition” from contemporary to old masters with entirely diverse styles and techniques spanning a number of eras and art movements.  I have great admiration for each of the artists and have chosen them for different reasons, but one thing that links them all together is the face, they are “About Face.”

Elizabeth Peyton

Jarvis/ 1996/ Oil on Board/ 11×14″ (Jarvis Cocker, Musician)

Elizabeth Peyton is an American artist best known for her portrait paintings of celebrities and royalty.  Part of Peyton’s methodology is working from photographs which are either taken herself or by other people.  Peyton acknowledges the importance of photography as an inspiration source for her art.  I like the thin washy glazes she applies to her work which almost look like watercolour.

To view Elizabeth Peyton Live Forever at the NEW MUSEUM  click on the link  below

Ink Sketches

My First Paintings

Chuck Close

Self Portrait /2004-2005/102 x 84.5 in

Chuck Close, a contemporary painter, photographer and printmaker, started his career in the 1960s as a photorealist specialising in portraiture.  This context changed as he developed his technique which has gradually progressed to include abstract elements, abstract expressionism being another influence. 

Close works forming his art primarily with oil paint on grand canvases, some of his portraits scaling nearly 3 metres in height.  Up close to the canvas a pixellated pattern of abstract brushwork is viewed but, as you move farther away from the work, a form emerges and the portrait is revealed.  I have chosen to include Close in my exhibit for this reason as I am fascinated how abstract art is blended with figurative art.

To view Chuck Close Selected Paintings and Tapestries at PACE/WILDENSTEIN click on the link below


These are some of my paintings produced in the visual arts 5 week block

Acrylic on card

Brilliant Water Colours on water colour paper

Eye shadow pigment and fake blood on watercolour board for ad assignment

Acrylic on canvas

My first oil painting on canvas

dedicated to Rachelle, my small tribute to Tony, Your love was so obvious.

Some  more of my flower series, or that is what it has become, gold leaf this is my link. as tiny as it is to Klimt


The Musician /1929/ oil on canvas/ 161×96 cm

Tamara De Lempicka was well known for her portrait and figurative paintings of society people.   She used bright vibrant coloured oils painted on small canvases, normally under one metre in size, this being the form.  Lempicka was a fast worker, creating clean, precise and elegant works.  I chose this work because I like the soft cubist context and art deco style of the 1930s characterized by the use of angular forms.


Jule-Die Vron


Marlene Dumas/ Jule-Die Vron/ 1985/ 125 x 105cm

Marlene Dumas uses photographs of her subject to produce portraits that are never accurate versions but are extreme close ups bigger than scale, creating an image that is both representational and abstract.  This methodology also includes cropping and removing irrelevant background, taking the subject from the original context and stripping them of identity.   I like how her process includes severe close ups and how she eliminates surroundings in her work and have now been strongly influenced by her approach.


Bride and Groom of the Eiffel Tower/ 1938-39/ Oil on canvas

Bride with Fan/ 1911/ Oil on Canvas

Chagall was renowned because he relished and publically expressed his Jewish culture within his art work. 

The context of Marc Chagall’s work derives from his Russian/ Jewish heritage which gave inspiration and also subject matter. These include childhood memories of Russian village life and folk tales. His French influences which stem from his later life in Paris are also important. 

With a genre virtually of his own Chagall borrowed techniques and ideas from contemporary artists and pioneered a niche of his own as a modernist avant-garde/ figurative artist.  His magical dreamlike characteristics have associations with Cubism, Symbolism and Fauvism thus leading to surrealism.  

 I like that Chagall borrowed ideas from the different eras in art that he travelled through while still managed to maintain his own style.

« Older entries