Sunday 25 February 2018

Juvenilia, Self Portrait with Gum Wrappers, c. 2005

This piece is interesting because I think it sparked my love of using upcycled materials in my art. I have always been a hoarder when it comes to craft supplies, and when you consider almost anything to be a "Craft Supply" you need a lot of space to store it all!
So, I used to chew a lot of gum, but would only buy the kind that came in sticks, so I could save the wrappers. One day inspiration struck and I decided to try a simple self portrait collage. Now I'm looking at it again after so long, I feel the need to make more of these!

Self Portrait with Gum Wrappers, Original Sin Art, c. 2005

Sunday 18 February 2018

Juvenilia, Dragonfly Mosaic Painting, c. 1998

I'm sure you recognise this painting from my pictures and logos on social media, but I realised I should tell you all the story behind it. It has proved to be one of my most popular images, which is wonderful, considering it wasn't supposed to exist at all! 

When I was doing my Art A-Level at college, I made a dragonfly mosaic out of broken glass and pottery. I was really pleased with how it turned out, especially how the blue and green glass shards made shiny dragonfly wings! Unfortunately, something went wrong. I don't know if I mixed the plaster improperly, or someone damaged it somehow, or what, but the day after I completed the project, I found it shattered! The plaster broke into a thousand pieces and I was devastated. To make things worse, we were being graded by an examiner in a couple of days, and there was no way I could re-do the mosaic in time. My art teacher suggested I do a painting of what the mosaic looked like instead, so I had SOMETHING to show the examiner when he came. 

So, I spent the next two days in a frenzy of painting, using the broken pieces of my mosaic as a guide. I used acrylic on card, and attempted to emulate the broken glass and pottery shards. It was unintentional, but the background ended up looking like parched ground or cracked mud, and made it seem as though the dragonfly was flying over dry ground. So the painting combined the elements of air and water in the dragonfly, with the element of earth below, and tied in with other projects that I had done, albeit as a happy accident!
Dragonfly Mosaic Painting, Original Sin Art, c. 1998

Sunday 11 February 2018

Juvenilia, Batik Fruit, c. 1996

Happy Sunday everyone! Today I thought I'd share this unusual piece with you. It was something I did during my GCSE years at school, when we were trying new techniques. I actually really enjoyed working with the hot wax on silk, though it is not a process I have tried again since then! 

Batik is an ancient Indonesian technique of wax-resist dying/painting on fabric. After the wax is applied to the material, the colours won't be able to run into those areas, meaning that very definite patterns can be created. Here I used the wax to draw the fruit and leaves, free-hand, as well as the "squiggles" in the background. The silk was painted with dyes, then I embroidered the fruit and leaves with thread and beads to add more dimension to the piece. I wasn't satisfied with the pale squiggles in the background, so traced over the wax again with glitter glue! At the time, I was focused on watercolour painting and pencil sketching, so this piece definitely gave me a chance to showcase different techniques and mediums.

Batik Fruit, by OriginalSinArt. Mixed media on silk, c.1996

Sunday 4 February 2018

Juvenilia, "Love", 1999.

This was my final exam piece for my Art A-Level back in 1999. It was only my second attempt at painting something large-scale on canvas, at the request of my wonderful Art teacher, Mrs Barratt.

There were a list of themes that we could choose from, and I chose Interchangeable Elements, because straightaway it made me think of the four "original" elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. I had done other sketches and even a pottery piece involving these elements over the years, and it was a topic I knew I would enjoy exploring.

I eventually settled on this couple for my final piece, Fire and Ice. I was in my first serious relationship at the time, but always felt that I loved him way more than he felt for me, which influenced the figures. I felt myself to be the lady on fire, just burning up with unrequited and passion, while he was the ice man, cool, calm, and collected. And no matter how brightly I burned, it would never melt his heart and make him really warm to me.

I called the piece "Love", and it hung in our school hall for several years before I finally persuaded them to let me take it home. It traveled with me from England to America, but is currently not on display, as we don't have a wall big enough in our house!

I know art is completely subjective, but it has been interesting to hear other people's takes on what this painting means. Most often, people tell me that they see the male figure melting in the female's embrace. I choose not to tell them that that is the opposite of what I intended! In fact, the female is slowly turning to ice too, as you can see in her hair on the top right of the painting.

I never actually got around to completely finishing this painting. There was a time constraint in the exam, and then I wasn't allowed to touch it before it was examined... then it was hung up for years! By the time I got it back in my possession, I was scared to touch it, but one of these years I will finish the female's face and hair!
"Love" by Original Sin Art, 1999. Acrylics on Canvas.