If you wish to use any text, images or information from my blog, please be courteous and give reference and acknowledgement, by adding a link to this site http://ingridleeart.com or copy and paste this description to your article or own blog:
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
Finally finished this new painting on porcelain this week, “Floating in my freedom,” Ingrid Lee, 2013. Oval porcelain plate, 38cm. It is painted in an abstract expressionism style with lustre, liquid bright gold, platinum, copper, burnishing gold and paste. You can see the progress of this painting here, and here. I have made a video of the painting at the end of this post.
In this painting, Floating in my freedom, the central figure is floating in her personal freedom, representing the notion that to float in one’s freedom is a pure sense of liberation and ease. The use of light, airy, almost cloud like light yellow forms and gold connects the ideas of this painting to a sense of happiness. This colour has been emerging into my artwork since my trip to a Thai temple last year (see more here), and it can be seen in the painting Love is like a Ball and Chain, completed at the end of 2012. I mention the word ease, because in the state of liberation and true happiness, I believe one of the first senses we feel of being truly in this state is of ease, free of attachments and our focus is aligned without unnecessary distraction. It is not so much a dream like state, as I do believe it can be a reality. If you have been following the blog posts about this painting series on the theme of Destiny and Love, I think that this painting is representing the journey to an ultimate of self love.
I have decided to video this painting (just using my iphone- no great production work ) because one of the unique features I use with my lustre work is to use the multiple reflections of lustre painting techniques to enhance both the viewer’s experience of my painting and more importantly, to add a deeper level of expression. I explain this on the video, but if you require a translator, I’m writing about what I’ve basically talked about, and you can use the translator here on the page I hope that helps.
I explain that the bold contrasting colours of purples and greens indicate that this journey of liberation, is still not complete…it is a process of emergence, it is dynamic and flowing. It think that the dynamism is an important concept, because for my, that is reality…our lives are not always in perfect liberation, it will change, and by being flexible and open to the change is when we get back on that path to ease. You can see this idea expressed by the moving and merging lines and shapes in this painting which are shown to more detail in this video. The layering and juxtaposing of copper, liquid bright gold and burnishing gold and yellow lustres shimmer and make the eye move along the lines as the reflections attract the eye. These techniques create physical movement and interaction for the viewer, in an attempt to feel the expression or experience as portrayed by the central figure in the composition.
This painting is probably the next step of transcending the shadows, as shown in my other painting completed last month on canvas “Transcending the shadows, finding the light.”
What do you think about this abstract expressionist style of painting on porcelain? Please let me know in the comments below
- Other paintings on porcelain in abstrast expressionist style
- This painting style is also similar to the canvas work, which is still exhibited in St Petersburg Russia: Funny Valentine
I started this porcelain painting We are Soldiers of Love, late last year, and finally finished it this week. I was largely inspired by the song “Soldier of Love” by Sade, for the theme of this painting. The lyrics and the music have a lot of personal meaning and I’m using an abstract expressionist painting on a porcelain vase. I am enjoying creating these painting for my series on Destiny and Love, because they are each different. You can see my reflection in a few of the pics…these are only iphone photos, portfolio gallery images are available by request.
More photos after the video…..
“We are Soldiers of Love” by Ingrid Lee, porcelain vase 2012.
This painting is an expressionist style of work, representing the concept of soldiering through love. This painting reflects a time when my friends and I were all single and not in a relationship…but we kept looking, despite broken hearts and bad experiences…like a war torn landscape we are still fighting and searching, not realising that we probably needed to love ourselves at that time, more than looking for love and happiness from someone else…again, that time thing raises it’s head again through my thinking.
This idea is largely represented by the use of platinum at the top of the vase…it creates a mirror finish, a two way interaction, firstly symbolising the introspection of the soldiers during of their search for love; and secondly, it also provides an interactive process for the viewer, you, with this painting. The painting on this porcelain vase is completed in lustres and platinum.
You can see the flaming red orange coloured lustre (a continuation of colour use from this porcelain painting) in the hearts and minds of the soldiers, as they march forth, still hopeful, still searching, then broken hearted as the figures trail around the vase.
The darker colours used on the shadowy figures, reflect the tiresome, and emotionally draining war of love for these soldiers.
Inspiration for the design
Interestingly, the figures were inspired by the vase Kobyletskaya, Factory Vase, 1930 below, which I saw at Erata Gallery in St Petersburg 2012.
This design has been playing in mind for months, and something finally clicked! I loved this painting when I first saw it, the linear communication of ideas and colours was wonderful, we spent a while studying this painting…the inspiration has come through. I have many other inspirations from this vase…..to see later.
In my next post, I’ll update you on other paintings I’ve finished over the past few weeks, and what else I’ve been up to.
I really enjoyed creating this painting…there is another porcelain piece on this theme which I will start shortly. If you find this painting interesting, please share or leave me comments
The challenge of abstract expressionist lustre on porcelain is where I am at. For a long while I have wanted to use lustres to paint in as similar a style as I can to my acrylic work. So, unlike acrylics where I have a first layer of colour to lay down first thinking (see here, here and here), which builds up to a certain level of what I see in my mind, then the rest develops from that point. For this new painting I have to visualise and work through the painting at many layers and levels so that I can lay the correct colours and effect for firing, so that they will be seen later. Always remembering that once fired- it is permanent and no room for error. For those who understand the process of lustres or glazes with watercolours, this is not easy. Acrylics are very forgiving!
Here are some images of old works with glazing, these photos are from studies which I taught in masterclasses years ago:
Very early stages of ink painting, it was a study of glass bottles, from memory this was the first day of the masterclass (the whole painting is A2 size)…it was a 3 day class, so this is unfinished at this photo:
A small section of larger painting using glazes with acrylic painting, “Asters”. See the whole painting on facebook
While it is easier to control the colours for traditional painting of flowers or animals…abstract expressionist or expressionist work for me not only deals with the immediacy of composition, but it must also reflect the feeling, at that point in time- not easy when you have to wait, and can change your application of paint! For porcelain painting, each layer of paint and ideas must be fired- so there is stop start of the flow of emotions and thought. It is an interesting problem on an intellectual level, for which I do not have the time nor inclination to philosophically anal-ise- and no that is not a typo nor indulge in deliberating that notion here further; I have the fortune of children who require lunch and other attention which brings me back to my reality and focus (the life of a female artist with a family is interesting )…so I will focus on that which is most important the creation!
For me, this style of work is not just a quick brushstroke approach in a single layer of colour, brushed on, ready to fire only once…this is not my style nor way of thinking. The colours must build to reveal the thought and the feeling- as they do on canvas. The beauty of porcelain is that it is translucent in effect, has a different feel to the final painting, it has a cool intensity…resonating much differently than canvas does- largely because of the difference in painting surface. Of course brushwork is inherently connected to this, but it is more like an extension like a petal opening to reveal what is inside, or at times it is a linear communication in itself.
For this painting, I know that on the final layer, I will use gold/platinum work and maybe some paste- so this is not thought of until the end- they are the final thoughts and solutions to the idea expressed. But like on my acrylic paintings, where I have these layers of medium lights, I must plan for these in advance and work down, not up in the painting- if that makes sense. I realise that I need to ‘feel’ in the middle of the painting, and work down to create the depths which will reveal the final lights….a problem which I worked through in the painting “Maybe It’s Love.”
This is the plate I’m working on, a 30.5 cm oval porclain plate..concept explores the dream like state of being in love, love is a two way dream….
Masking fluid for the lighter areas. This is what the lustres paints look like before I fire it….there are 5 colours on this plate.
I decided to try another approach and started a second plate, and add the second figure on the first firing, and simplify the design at this stage, also using different colours (again unfired).
It is an interesting method for me to try channel my feelings and thoughts to be expressed in this style. I was really happy with the paintings “Falling to Pieces” they ustilised more simple techniques, effects and design elements to express the ideas with. The current plate of “Union” precipitated some of those techniques I had been thinking through…I think I have now been able to think it through more. The challenge of lustres is that I cannot see any intensity of ‘real’ colour as they are all brown or yellow or green liquids…so I think tonally and ignore the chroma. So it is painting on many levels, like a mental multitasking, so that the final result will represent my initial response to the muse or concept- I keep journal to map out the plan.
Is it abstract expressionist work or expressionist?
While it is not important for me to find a box to place my work into, it is an interesting notion for me to think about- this one time In my concise nutshell, the tradition of abstract expressionsim in the 1940s America, reflected spontaneity of brushwork and application of paint to release the creativity of the unconscious mind. The method of painting was as fundamental as the painting itself. Interestingly such works during this movement were at time neither abstract, or expressionist ..rather focusing on the spontaneity as previously described. So in relation to porcelain painting using my methods…how spontaneous is sponteneous?
Willem de Kooning, Mary Callery, Arshile Gorky, Helen Frankenthaler are particular influences for me.
Then, expressionism, largely founded in Germany 1905-1930s reflects intense, personal and passionate expressions of the artist;s inner most feelings, rather than to represent reality of the world around them. It is characteristic of violet, unreal brushwork and vibrant colour. Conceptually the canvas is the vehicle for where he emotions are communicated from. See more images etc here. Particular influences of Chagall, Kandinsky, Klee, Marc, Macke, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova and Max Ernst. A gallery of images from this movement at the Guggenheim
What ever it is is not important, rather it is the expressive processes and product of creativity involved in these lustre applications which drives my work.
I started this painting at the beginning of December, and it is still on the go (yes the other porcelain paintings I’ve been working on are still being worked on too…but things dry at different times, kiln firings take time, so I maximise my time! ). This post is to document my thinking through this painting and where I am at during this series of art works about Destiny and Love…it’s a long post. This series of artworks has been an interesting journey, one of bringing up old feelings, sharing experiences which are personal, or had been locked away, thinking and observations of love over the years, inspirations from what I read and music I listen to…and while I paint and explore, I expect that the works will represent the thinking through my understanding of the concepts. This is one of the largest paintings I’m working on in the series of Destiny and Love, it’s 152 cm x 90cm…I have not given it a title yet.
I have been researching Tenebrist painting, particularly the works of female Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi.
Her paintings left an impression on me since I first saw her work at a Melbourne exhibition in 2004 (I will write about this in another blog post). The use of extreme contrasts of light and dark in figurative compositions to reflect drama is a technique which is of particular interest. While my current painting is not figurative nor technically tenebrist, (my other paintings using this technique will be different, talk about this later), this painting is the first process of discovery for communication of style and thought of an adaptation of it. For this painting, I wanted to use my techniques of layering intense complimentary colours in contrast to darker background, to show reveal the composition and forms (in place of the figure), in abstract expressionist style.
Here is the first layer of undercolours and combinations of intense colours.
As the painting has progressed, the darker values are working to create the contrasts and mood. I do not work with black, I prefer to create a richness which balances throughout the painting and mix with my own darkest values, and contrasting them with complimentary colours to grey them down or make them pop. The paints I use are a flow consistency, not structural, so they are easier to build up with thin layers of glazing. For me I still want life in the painting, and to utilize the idea of movement in the background of the painting, as shown in Velazquez’s work, I will see how this approach goes.
…still a long way to go….
So how does this connect to Destiny and Love?
Destiny….how do I understand it now, after 8 paintings (I haven’t shared all completed art works at the moment, I have planned for about 20 more)???? Is destiny the result of wanting what you want today, but realising that it takes longer to have what you desire, and what you desire will truly come in time? I think that concepts I’ve explored in the paintings so far direct my thinking that all things will come in perfect time, and that we should enjoy the journey while finding what it is we want…maybe this is destiny.
The biggest part of my journey through these paintings has resulted in my learning about how to deal with my relationship between impatience and time- something which also I have learned about through love. So I think that destiny is a journey, not a finite thing that will result in happiness or unhappiness, it’s not about getting what you want, but what you are going to discover about yourself.
Through abstract expressionism I have been able to communicate my actions and immediate feelings and responses to experiences and observations about Love and Destiny. Through this whole journey, which started as far back as the creation of Ingrid-creates, and my exhibition of Journey for the artistic soul in Russia, and my research for this current series of paintings, I have realised that I am not fearful of feeling or expressing my feelings and thoughts because I have come to realise, that that which makes me sad or disconnected, or fearful is really an energy and experience which can I use to transcend from those shadows toward finding light and hope, this is the path to the journey of finding love…maybe. This painting in particular represents that transcendence. So this journey of being connected to my feelings and expectations of what I want is going to reveal something wonderful.
What this journey is…is not about romantic love, this is about love for myself, learning to express those feelings connected with our everyday perceptions of love, but really what I have been destined to do, as I understand it, is to find and understand the passion within, harness it, by making the choice to create my experiences.
I will wait to see how this painting finishes…..
Another painting on porcelain in this series “Maybe it’s Love”
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.
I’m working on a few new porcelain paintings at the moment, and planning others. This week I had some new porcelain shapes delivered, and I’m planning a painting for the Destiny and Love series (see latest porcelain painting) with the use eyes as the feature. I have used this subject matter before (click here to see) and for this painting, I’m looking at expressing the notion of introspection when you are not in love, but really wishing you were, and questioning why you’re not in a relationship with someone. So I’m looking at the intense relationship we have within our head and selves when we don’t want to be alone and are desperate to be be in love, and looking at the representations that reflect the broken record that plays in our minds of “why doesn’t he/she…?” “why can’t I find someone who….?” “I’ll never find…” “nobody wants me” “why can’t I look like/be like…” for example. This process of introspection often causes us to stay trapped in our heads….it can be paralyzing, tiring, hurtful, loathsome, saddening, makes us angry, and even pitiful when we ask “why me again” etc…Sometimes we can spend so much time looking into ourselves, not accepting ourselves and loving ourselves for who we are, that we miss the moment for the next relationship. It is this intensity of introspection that I’m wanting to express.
So, the eyes are the subject matter to communicate this process of looking into our selves and the internal dialogue within. Here are some of the sketches I’ve done. I want to create an expressionist painting on porcelain, so I don’t want the eyes to be realistic, but to explicitly convey the emotions of the self dialogue. So I set myself the task of spending no more than 3 minutes per drawing to capture the expression…as I went, the drawings became less detailed- I think this is the style of work I’m going to use. Next I’ll sort out the design for the porcelain, and medium to use….I’m looking forward to this painting
My new porcelain from http://
These are the next porcelain paintings, which are part of my Destiny and Love theme, “Falling to Pieces I” porcelain vase 28.5cm and “Falling to pieces II” porcelain oval plate. I’ve quickly taken these photos with my phone, so the quality is not good…but it gives you the general idea of the paintings. Gallery photos will be done later.
Both paintings reflect the same ideas, I just wanted to explore the painting across two pieces…rather like a diptych on canvas. The deep multi-red/orange layers of lustre work suggest the shape of the heart (both sides on the vase) which is simply, falling to pieces. I chose a flaming orange red colour for the central colour of the heart…the burning essentially which one feels as love breaks apart, but it still more than this. The colours and feelings communicated through the effects created in many layers of lustre painting, was inspired by the surface of the sun….what better source for the representation of love- massive, burning solar flares and coronal loops all moving chaotically with huge explosions of energy. It reflects what happens when we realise that something has happened to love, and for that moment, or many moments we do not cope, it is chaotic and energetic like the sun; and our heart falls apart. This final process is shown by the interweaving line work of platinum through the swirling orange lustre, with accents of gold, that are falling into clear shapes, defining each part of our heart that falls.
The stage when love is ending still has parts which feel connected, as shown by the linked platinum and gold line work, but eventually, these feelings become isolated. Again I use isolated, abstract line and shape work (discussed in another art work) to indicate the notion of love becoming finite.
Are you interested in masterclasses for contemporary painting techniques on porcelain or commissioning art work? Collborative art projects or exhibitions? I’d be happy to hear from you, please contact me
This porcelain plate titled “Maybe It’s Love” was exhibited in the non competition section of the International exhibit for the Thailand International Porcelain Painters Convention 2012. This painting is part of a larger body of work called Destiny and Love. The style of this painting is abstract expressionism, and uses a variety of techniques of onglaze paints, gold pen work, and raised paste with burnishing gold.
Background to the composition:
I have been fascinated with the communication of eyes for many years in art…I have a created many drawings of eyes over the years, some of which were used in my Gogol inspired painting which is still being exhibited in St Petersburg, Russia.
I also enjoy working in an abstract expressionist style…here is one of my paintings Happy Love, completed in 2004 acrylic on canvas.
During my trip to Moscow this year I was inspired by the modern artworks I studied at the Museum of Private Collections near the Pushkin Museum. I had some interesting conversations with one of the women who work at the gallery about the early soviet gouache and inks graphics and paintings which were placed under velvet covered glass cabinets. Lifting each velvet cover revealed new wonders…of course I was inspired!
I was also recently inspired by many of the Kandinsky and Picasso paintings (too many other favourites to list and add photos here) which I saw in Moscow and also St Petersburg at the Erata Gallery when I went to a visit art galleries and museums with professional porcelain artist Alexei Nordin (during my 2012 trip to Russia and again during my 2011 trip). This was not my only source of inspiration, there were many other modern art works in different art forms also. After each trip, I made copious studies and notes from these gallery visits so I would not forget….a habit I have kept for many years.
And last year, during my first trip to St Petersburg in October 2011, we saw another of my favourite Kandinsky paintings:
So why translate my interpretations of a theme through abstract expressionism in acrylics to porcelain? Well, thanks to a dear friend and big supporter of my work, I was encouraged to try it…now I have released a new genie, and there are many more works I am completing now in such styles. Porcelain offers a translucency which canvas cannot support; I can use the porcelain shape to stimulate or translate an idea that will parallel the theme- unlike canvas…and white gold is white gold, it’s value is unsurpassed. I simply love porcelain, and I’m free to express myself totally in my favourite medium; and paint more than flowers (see other painting styles of my porcelain painting here , here and here).
Porcelain Painting ”Maybe it’s Love”
The porcelain painting “Maybe it’s Love” explores the initial emerging sensations of whether a couple is possibly in love, the journey of that process and the possible transition of new things to come. The fleeting eye contact, electrical sensations from touch and interaction or communication. It is a totally engulfing, merging, consuming, passionate time, hence represented by the colour and transparent layers of technique, only achievable for me on porcelain. The translucency of porcelain painting I feel has enabled my to capture to multifaceted emotions one feels during this precarious time of possibly falling in love.
The use of gold line work not only reflects the abstract notions of the the concept of love itself, but it symbolises the stop starts of those feelings as they become finite…is it love, isn’t it..maybe? possibly.
I am finishing a larger canvas painting on same concept, but different energy to communicate…I’ll show you soon.
This week, I have finished my painting titled “Shadows of My Desire” which is a painting in the series of Destiny and Love; my last painting was “The Air That I Breathe.” As this series of art works are emerging, they are telling a story about those elements which weave through the notions of Destiny and Love.
This painting “Shadows of My Desire” explores one of the process of falling in love, and is based on this short verse I wrote:
Shadows of My Desire
No more will my love hide in the shadows…
The warmth of my heart emerges, breathes,
The depth of my desire is alive.
Ingrid Lee 2012.
Why Destiny and Love?
This blog post is a continuation on exploring my next series of art works around the themes of Destiny and Love. The initial idea for these works stemmed from my last trip to St Petersburg, where (apart from my own exhibition of works which are still there- being taken to another gallery soon ) I was asked to paint about my inspiration or reflections about Dostoevsky’s writings, as I had already done a painting reflecting Gogol’s “The Portrait” for my exhibition in SPb…thanks Valeri Ivanov . I did not have a lot of time to paint my impressions during my stay, but I decided upon an artwork which was inspired by Dostoevsky’s short story “White Nights.”
I hadn’t read this short story before, but I am thankful for my meeting in SPb with the brilliant photographer Nikolay Krusser (his Fan Page on facebook) for this suggestion, and our chat about destiny and this piece of literature. After I had read the novel and analysed my notes about the concepts, I wrote a short interpretation of what inspired my thinking around the major concepts Dostoevsky explores to then allow the images to form in my mind over the next day.
“Dostoevsky- White Nights” 2012, Ingrid Lee Acrylics
One fleeting chance with love in a city so familiar, yet so lonely- is it destiny? Dostoevsky explores the notion of love, loneliness and destiny, in the short story ‘White Nights.’ In this painting, the ‘yellow’ city of St Petersburg surrounds us with warmth and familiarity, but the endless dreaming and feelings of isolation from both the city and the possibility of finding love for the narrator in this story, eventually leads him to loneliness.
While he dreams of finding love in a city which is becoming alien to him, these dreams appear to come true. So the depths of his passion envelopes his soul, and when he finally reaches out to his one love, it is questionable as to whether this relationship will fulfil his destiny and end his loneliness. Sadly this love is unrequited, and there emerges the darkness of loneliness, in a fleeting moment of finding love. Ingrid Lee May, 2012.
Here is a small part of the art work I painted for the White Nights piece, originally it was to be a diptych, but I ran out of time to complete the second painting…but now I will repaint a new version of this where I have time to think about the clarity of my expression; and perhaps the ideas are better expressed over a few paintings.
I liked the initial raw response to the concepts I explored…how ever now I have had time to think more cohesively about a bigger picture and story, rather than one isolated impression.
My painting of “The Air That I Breathe” as discussed in a previous post, and “White Nights” stem from understandings about love, self love and what is destined on that journey; it is these understandings which will draw a common thread through all of the art works in this series. To read more about my inspirations of Love, please read a series of blog posts I wrote for my other website Ingrid Creates
Please let me know what you think about my work or creative processes in the comments, I’d love to hear from you