Maria Walker  continues her epic mark making series, capitalising on the natural world’s ability to continually inspire us.

Natural Talent
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

Pablo Picasso

Our previous blog demonstrated the variety of marks that can be made from humble household tools and kitchen appliances. In this blog we now look at how the natural world provides a multitude of inspiration and tools for the artist.  Using natural materials to reconnect with this playfulness, our featured artists showcase the potential of natural materials in their work.

Alison Hird has been making leaf rubbings to connect with her childhood but has given it an artistic twist by using translucent fabric and plastic netting.

Jo Coombes and Linda Walsh have embraced the spirit of experimentation with open arms and have set themselves the added challenge of drawing an object using the object itself.

Jo has done some sketches of a teasel using a teasel and also a feather with a feather.

Linda Walsh has drawn a buddleia using only a buddleia

Robertta McPherson has also discovered the joys of experimenting with nature’s bounty found on her regular walks in the woods and along the coast.  She found that using natural materials has allowed her to create a variety of interesting marks, although some have turned out to be more successful than others.

“Pieces of twig, pine needles and seaweed became my pencils, although they proved more difficult to control.”

Kate Davis has always had a love of the natural world and this comes through in her artwork. In this piece of work she has made marks on water colour paper using plant life, sticks, brushes, a piece of perspex and a pipette.  She says that the sculptural positioning of the paper was a happy accident that happened when she was trying to dry the paper.

Rosaline Darby has used mark-making techniques to create her current work, which is about the unreliability and fluidity of memory: how memories are often composed of a series of vivid glimpses of the past, which are shuffled and re-ordered with each revisiting and overlaid with new images, piecing and patching to make something unique for each person.

“I have been using the device of a regularly repeated and familiar walk to illustrate this in various ways. This mark-making reflects the experience of that walk in autumn, with the first layer of watercolour applied with a brush representing the atmosphere and colours; light shining through leaves and movement along the paths. This is overlaid with drawings, executed with a long stick dipped in walnut ink to reduce the control over the marks made, representing details that catch the eye, burning themselves onto the retina and creating memories of the place and time”.

…… to be continued ……

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