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Ingrid Lee, is an international award winning artist in modern porcelain painting, abstract expressionist acrylic and mixed media paintings, fabric art. She teaches masterclasses and creates collaborative art projects to share creativity and inspire art enthusiasts in Australia and overseas. When she’s not painting or writing, she’s baking and tending her rose garden. For information about Ingrid’s exhibitions, masterclasses, projects or commissions contact ingridleeart.com ingridleeart.com
In between kiln firings, I’ve been working on a new canvas painting. Finally this abstract expressionist painting Love is like a Ball and Chain, Ingrid Lee 2012, acrylic on canvas 122 cm x 81.5 cm, part of the Destiny and Love series is finished, so I’m just writing a quick post as Christmas is a busy time with baking and concerts and parties, one hundred and one other things…and painting of course!
The main lyrics of the song Ball and Chain by Janis Joplin inspired this painting…particularly the idea that some types of love we feel, or the emotions attached to it, feel like a ball and chain, it’s heavy: emotionally, mentally and physically draining, and in my experience, at the end of the day, probably not the right relationship. I don’t have much more time to explain the painting today….sorry But basically the movement of line work and colour reflects the rhythm and signatures of the music (see another painting where I have used this technique). The impassioned quality of Janis’ voice, and the raw edge is reflected in the imperfect brush strokes (or should I say undefined rather than imperfect) and the large broad layers of brushwork…especially the layered reds, and around the greens. The complimentary colours I’ve used to connote the guitar work in the music in contrast to Janis’ voice. Largely I have tried to capture the essence of her emotionally charged performance captured in this clip.
Here’s the video clip, Ball and Chain, Janis Joplin 1967 Monterey Festival….
During the process of painting these works, including the ones on porcelain, they are creating the story of where the final paintings will explore the notion of destiny. Over the next few weeks during the festive season, I’m mainly working on porcelain. So this is probably the last canvas painting for the year.
In this post, I’ll explain the Steps of an Artist’s creative process by exploring the background to this painting, as well as explain how and why this new series of art works has been inspired. The style of this painting is abstract impressionism, and I think that this post will give some insight to you, about this approach to painting- it’s more than just random splodges of colour! Hopefully if you enjoy my art works, which I assume you do or you wouldn’t be sharing my art world with me, some of you might be interested in a small insight to my creative processes (if not, I hope you enjoy the pictures all the same LOL).
Painting : “The Air That I Breathe”
Here is the completed painting of “The Air that I Breathe.” I have added a few close up images to show the detail and more accurate colourings. There will be a few more works in this series, and they are relating the the notion of Destiny and Love. The concepts will be explored as new art works develop, revealing my understandings and impressions as I go on this new journey.
As I briefly explained in a previous post, “The Air That I breathe” was inspired by k.d Lang’s cover of this song. I have been listening to a wide range of music which is supporting this theme of destiny and love, which I am exploring throughout this series of works. Note, that each art work in this abstract impressionist style is created differently; this is only one process, but what is similar across of my art work, is that this process moves dynamically.
For this painting in particular, if was k.d’s vocal interpretation and arrangement of the song which initially stimulated the feel and colours, the ambiance of the works. The phrasing and tempo is what I interpret for the initial conceptualisation of the work (and again when completing the top layers of work). So, I sing with k.d (yes I can sing and used to perform as an amateur many years ago ) and interpret the music first, just as I would reading the words for lexical and literary device of a novel or poem for interpretation. After I have a concept in my mind of this initial interpretation, I explore the lyrics, and which ones are most poignant to me to start understanding the forms and shapes I will use- this is largely for a rough idea.
This is the underpainting, which is also transparent through the middle sections of the final artwork, but lays the foundations to the main concepts. These background colours represent the deep desires, wishes dreams for love, but at some stage there is a place where love is found within ourselves, making the true love we are to give and receive and grow from a self love and place of peace.
The lyrics about “Sometimes all I need is the air that I breathe” can be seen in the final build up of transparent layers surrounding the core, with small embers of the heart burning contently as a new type of understanding of loves brings calm and peace. The use of gold with the white paint in the middle ground, creates a sense of warmth. This is a technique I used a lot in my exhibition work for SPb, and I have used it to create the ambiance and atmosphere of lightness and peace.
If you’d like to know more about what inspired the focus of Destiny and Love for this series of art works, please read my next blog post- it all started in St Petersburg
Here is my latest canvas painting I’m working on, based on the song “The Air That I Breathe” I’ll go into more about the artwork and meanings in a later post once it has been completed. I’ve been busy writing articles for magazines, organising art projects and planning new art work for my next exhibition in Thailand in November- that one is for porcelain, so I haven’t been blogging much
I have been listening to the k.d. Lang version of The Air That I Breathe; here are a few pics…I’m half way through the painting, the song is at the end of the pics, with the lyrics I focused on too
The yellow bits are metallic gold…
“Peace came upon me and it leaves me weak
So sleep, silent angel, go to sleep
Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe ”
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I’ve been painting and creating lots of artwork lately, for my masterclasses and for my exhibition….but this is a painting which is not my usual thing, and has nothing to do with my exhibition work…really I think I listen to too much Adele while I paint! Funny what you internalise! Think I’ll choose some different tunes and stick to classical with no lyrics
Now back to painting important stuff!
“I’ll make you cry until your heart bleeds black.” Acrylic on canvas, Ingrid Lee.
Preparation for my Russian exhibition Part 2, a collection of my thoughts, poems, journal notes during my trip to St Petersburg, how this trip impacted on me and got me thinking differently- love metacognition The photos in this post trigger certain things for me, so they may not reflect what is written.
It was the coldest day during my train ride to Tsarskoye Selo, Pushkin and I had time to reflect and process about how my trip to Russia was impacting upon me and trying to understand my experience. This time was about half way through my short trip to St Petersburg, but I had experienced so much concentrated in a short time- people, sites, art, ballet, a different life…I was an active participant in my journey, not just an observer.
Movement of Change, Ingrid Lee
The movement of change,
To be in a place within oneself where you can be you.
Not fear being you.
Not pretending to please or impress.
To accept yourself and just allow things to be as they are.
Not to push for more, but allow it to occur.
It is how it is.
”Overall, this was a journey upon which I tried not to have too many expectations- but this was difficult! How can I not be excited to come home, yet leave home?? An interesting state of happiness upon the notion of Coming home and leaving home.”
“I think that this journey is the catalyst I need to lift myself and move up and out of my mire. Because really there are a lot of attachments- not all mine which are lingering without real purpose…and the biggest part of this is that I have the time and space to sit back and get fulfillment, which has allowed me to digest and process the rest of my constraints and what is important. My mind is racing though while I write, and behind the words is like a subliminal dynamism of fractal connections as look and see the local people on the train, reading, being, the colours, smells, and energy.
I have had the time to think about what is important to me, and what is hindering my time away from my creativity. In my head I hear Neil Finn singing “Stripping back the coats no lies and deceptions…back to nothingness like a week in the desert.”
so now it is emerging….I need to make changes, do it, live it to create it and fulfill it.”
“The smallest things which are done for us can fill the biggest part of our heart.” Ingrid Lee
These blog notes are basically my journal for preparation of my exhibition of artwork in St Petersburg in May, 2012.
I’m reading 4 books over the next few weeks before I start my planning for my artwork for my exhibition in St Petersburg in May. I was so excited when they arrived! I went to the beach today and read through half of the first one… Memoirs of Madame Vigee-Lebrun, beautiful portrait painter and woman. Her journey as an artist breathes an air of familiarity to my own life and inspires me greatly.
I was particularly enthused by her chapter on her initial journey and seven year stay in St Petersburg- a total surprise to me, as I intially wanted to read her memoirs to get a greater feel for the rococco time from a female artists’ perspective. But I was surprised with more! She met with and painted Catherine II’s portrait and many other members of the court and nobility and aristocracy see The Russian Portraits Of Madame Vigée Le Brun. While in Saint Petersburg, Vigée LeBrun was made a member of the Academy of Fine Arts of Saint Petersburg. She painted Catherine’s granddaughters also:
Reading these memoirs has been wonderful in that much of what Madame Vigee-Lebrun experienced upon her journey to SPb and her stay there, paralleled many of my own experiences some 300 years later- this is a feeling I cannot convey through words, but I hope to express this in my artworks. She expresses the warmth of the Russian people upon her visit with fondness, expressing that you go to Russia in the winter to keep warm…and in particular that “you must go out into the street of St Petersburg to find out how cold it is,” (Vigee-LeBrun in Strachey (trans) 1903:105). I can honestly say I experienced this warmth exactly the same with the artists whom I worked with, and the other friends I made also, who all made me feel very welcomed.
I described in another post about my wonderment of walking through the palace in the same rooms as Catherine II (similarly described by Vigee LeBrun ), but now to know that I have walked in both of these women’s footsteps is a feeling beyond words.
Gallery of photos from my visit to Catherine’s Palace
While reading Vigee-Lebrun’s experiences of visiting Tsarskoye Selo, I also retraced my steps through that palace and the garden, making my reflections of my time there even more special. She describes the gardens at Catherine’s Palace as a “veritable little fairyland,” (Vigee-LeBrun in Strachey (trans) 1903:86).
I suppose that much of my previous work as an academic in research and teaching history and philosophy is founded on the principle of understanding and walking through and with the past to understand our place in time now, in order to be more critically aware for the future. This understanding is also reflected in my artwork, where obviously one must research our masters of the past, but more so for me, to see, feel and connect, in order to reinterpret and understand myself and place now. The intertexuality of many of my works such as integrating classic shapes of porcelain and styles of my contemporaries and adding a modern flavour to them, inspires me greatly. So, I will breathe in all of the colour, life and light of the past deeply….
Vigee-Lebrun describes one of her adventures in SPb, attending a performance of Gluck’s Iphigenia overture. My last experience with Gluck was learning parts of his Concerto in G for Flute many many years ago …most if not all of my artwork is done to music as a direct muse, or as subliminal impression to commenicate and express feelings into the painting…let us see what I do with this.
It definitely has mellowed my mood at the moment toward the rococco style and ambiant and luxurious feel of the artwork at the time….
Vigee-LeBrun, Elisabeth Louise in Strachey, Lionel (trans) 1903. Memoirs of Madame Vigee-Lebrun, Illustrated Edition, Dodo Press, UK.
At the moment I’m planning new artworks for canvas, ribbon embroidery and porcelain…too many ideas and not enough time.
New canvas work is for my exhibition in St Petersburg next year…I have finished assembling photos for inspiration…next to find music, then re-read some of Gogol’s stories, find the poetry I wrote while I was in Russia in October (I’m still looking for it)…and then a day or two of isolation to plan and think!!
Porcelain…I have some dusted flowers to create, and I wanted to start planning my orb spiders paintings next. I may do some porcelain for my exhibition in St Petersburg…not sure yet. I still have some porcelain shoes which I want to incporate with ribbon embroidery and tie in the rococco them I’m inspired by at the moment.
Ribbon embroidery I have the ideas organised…and today I had this video shared with me of one of my favourite female artists, Marie Louise Élisabeth Vigée Lebrun famous artist of her time, who also painted Marie Antoinette…I’m going to hunt down her biography or something if I can, I’d love to know more about her. But I want to capture the feel of her works in my next series of large ribbon embroideries. I was also inspired by the gorgeous rococco artwork and rooms when I visited Catherine’s Palace…so we shall see what comes of this all.
Among a heap of other ideas I’m putting on hold, I have these to get through first.
I’m also organising my projects for my Masterclasses for next year…I wonder if I can function on 5.5 hours sleep??
My latest painting, finished today, acrylics on canvas 40″ x 40″ titled “Love is waiting” was inspired by two songs, Adele’s Make you feel my Love (video at bottom of post) and Cyndi Lauper’s time after time (wrote about this in another post).
I’ve tried to cut to the parts of the painting which reflect the lyrics of the song which I was expressing, if that makes sense…just to let you understand a bit more about my painting process.
Adele’s Make you feel my Love
I could hold you for a million years,
To make you feel my love.
I know you haven’t made your mind up yet,
but I will never do you wrong.
I know that from the moment that we met,
No doubt in my mind where you belong.
and Cyndi Lauper’s Time after time…..
Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick and think of you.
Caught up in circles, confusion is nothing new.
Flash back, warm nights, almost left behind,
Suitcase of memories, time after …
Sometimes you picture me, I’m talking too far ahead.
You’re calling to me I can’t hear what you said,
You say, go slow, I fall behind.
If you’re lost you can look and you will find me, time after time.
If you fall I will catch I will be waiting, time after time.
After my picture fades and darkness has turned to gray,
Watching through windows, your wondering if I’m ok.
Secrets stolen from deep inside, and the drum beats out of time.
My new painting “As Petals Fall,” this piece is inspired by some poetry I’ve been writing. I’ve been listening to Sneaky Sound System while painting this too, the videos for the songs are at the end of this post…totally inspired by the lyrics “Everytime I fall you take my hand…And you would volunteer to understand me”…Enjoy the progress to date. I’m using metallic gold light as the medium value throughout this painting.
This is the song for my muse for this painting “Big” by Sneaky Sound System.