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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
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
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.
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
I totally enjoyed researching, designing and painting this porcelain vase, which I titled “Nature of Orb Spiders.” This painting was exhibited in the non competition International exhibit of the TIPP 2012. As discussed in a previous blog post, I wanted to paint these beautiful spiders on to a vase….but I had to wait to find the perfect shape. When I saw the porcelain blank for this vase, I knew this was the one! It was the shape of the porcelain blank which formed the design and composition…a continuous flowing form, which suggests the cycle of life…and thus the nature of the orb spider. It had a natural form which also suggested the habitat or environment for this spider, and it would enable me to create little snap shots of their life, hunting, spiderlings hatching, building webs, looking for adventures in a new day, busy work at the evening and so on. I wanted to create an atmospheric design which showcased the productivity and “nature” of these spiders, and so used many layers of lustre paintings and gold paste work for the design. In total there were 9 firings for this painting, in order to build up the translucent layers of painting and control the effects and technique of the lustre application.
This side of the vase shows a large portrait of an orb spider which has caught a darker reflection, it is actually painted entirely in platinum (the large dark webs at the top of the vase are also platinum), with only some black lustre pen work for shading and burnishing gold paint for detail light areas. You can see a better image of the platinum colour about two photos below this one. I used the technique of platinum for the web and burnishing gold ‘blending’ out in areas, as I described in my other spider painting. The use of negative space on this side of the vase was really important to add life and light to the overall composition. The leaf motive above the spider is continued on the other side of the vase.
The top section of this side shows spiders busy at night, building webs, I’ve used many layers of lustres to create an evening time atmosphere, and the contrast of gold paste spiderlings works well here. All of the webs are in platinum and burnishing gold.
The mid section of this side
Other side of the vase
Paste orb spider with enamel detail, painted with burnishing gold. The leaf imprints are lustre with gold and platinum highlights.
I really enjoyed creating the spiderlings. I came across this image of glitter on pinterest a month or so ago….
….and this looked to me like spider eggs, and when I found images of orb spiderlings, they are little golden spiders, which was a perfect way to create the natural evolution of spider eggs hatching into spiderlings painted in gold which then become little spiders in paste; and again the shape of the vase creates a natural flow for the design to merge from.
What is next? Well, I paint this style of art works purely out of interest, they aren’t part of my main exhibition work, and are a good break away from commissions and exhibition paintings. Maybe I’ll paint redback spiders again, but I’m interested in painting bats or snakes next….I’ll just wait for the right porcelain piece to come along
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 is my second award winning painting, called “Fearless” on a porcelain plate (38.1 cm) at the Thailand International Porcelain Painting Convention 2012, this was my other award winning painting. I wrote about my research about Thailand in another blog post..and for this entry about Thailand or Thai environment, I finally decided on a Buddhist theme about fish. I had read many Buddhist teachings in my mid 20′s, and the connection resonated with me while I was painting fish for another exhibition series on love. That’s often how many of my ideas come…they flow on during painting another art work. So, my research began into fish and Buddhism.
For Buddhists, two gold fish symbolise the auspiciousness of all living beings in a state of fearlessness, without danger of drowning in the Samsaric ocean of sufferings. This idea reflects that we can move places freely and spontaneously, just as fish swim freely without fear through water. Thus the fish symbolise happiness and freedom also.
Detail of gold pen work before firing:
I explained during my vernissage to His Excellency the Privy Councillor that the importance for me in this painting is about communicating the concept of being “Fearless.”
This is a concept which has shown full circle for me, especially by the end of my artistic pursuits and journeys this year. To be fearless of taking risks for myself, with others, and with my artworks has been a large focus this year; and I think this plate and my readings of Buddhist teachings for this exhibition has made many connections on a spiritual and artistic level, for which I am very grateful. I will continue to pursue this focus of being fearless within this context, to attain personal freedom and authenticity.
For my painting, I have the two fish moving within each other’s space freely, yet still connected by the life of their environment the seaweed. I have used modern techniques with onglaze paints, layered with gold pen work for the design of the water. These techniques reflect the symbols of auspiciousness and water as previously described and being fearless to explore boundaries of my painting medium.
Have you seen my other award winning porcelain painting from the TIPP 2012 event? Click here.
Other plates I exhibited at the TIPP 2012, click here
The exhibition in Thailand 8-11th November 2012 was a fantastic experience which I will write more about over the next week, including opening ceremonies, and other artists I met during this trip…but I know that many of you are waiting to see better pics of my paintings. I won the “Outstanding 2nd Class Award” for the Freestyle contest, which was my orchid vase (read more about planning my paintings for this contest). This event was to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 80th Birthday with the Thailand International Porcelain Painting Convention (TIPP 2012). I was presented with a bronze pin at the Royal Gala Presentation evening….we had to rehearse for the formal acceptance- for which I would have liked a little more time to practice my curtsy in strapped heels in a long gown, without falling over but it all went smoothly! I really enjoyed the opportunity to present my work at a vernissage to HR Highness Queen Sirikit’s Representative (HR Highness the Queen was unable to attend), H.E. the Privy Councillor and other Ministers, along with the other winners. The whole event was amazing, we were unable to take photos or videos as there are publicity productions which will be made available to us later. So I only have photos of before and after. Enjoy the photos!
A nice surprise Sunday morning….
Prize winners waiting for H.E. the Privy Councillor to show him their works (in front, some prize winning porcelain from the Bangsai team)
Later that evening…..
Close up of the award….
One of many publicity shots…
Ok….here’s the vase!!! All lustre work with platinum detail on white flowers, paste work and burnishing gold. This vase took a total of 9 firings to complete, titled ”Orchids- Purity of Love,” Ingrid Lee 2012, 40.6cm.
A close up….
See my other award winning porcelain plate at the TIPP 2012, click here.
Other plates I exhibited at the TIPP 2012, click here
I started this plate a while ago, see tutorial for Lustres…as I described in that post, this daisies painting on a porcelain plate has been created by using left over lustres from other project. I always have other plates or objects available so that my lustres don’t go to waste. This week, I completed the plate, and I used up some burnishing gold paint that I was using for another project. I love the turquoise colour of the lustre and the decorative effect of the platinum and gold work at the bottom. I’m still practising taking photos of lustre work, as each angle captures a different light and colour- which is why I love working with these paints.
First firing: The daisies on this piece are wiped out with a brush and dampened paper towelling and fired.
Second Firing: Defining flowers with liquid platinum.
This is the result of the 2nd firing……you can see a change in colour as I raised the temperature saturation for this firing….also some extra platinum detail was added to bottom of plate.
Third Firing: Burnishing gold pen work accents for definition. You’ll see that the gold work and platinum sort of merge together, making it look like a more natural graduated highlight. It is important that for any lustre work, that you ‘know’ your kiln and how it fires, as you can control a lot of the firing process and maturation of colour.
If you’re interested in learning how to paint with lustres, ask me about masterclasses
My life and work as an artist is busy- sometimes crazy busy, but at the moment I’m planning commissioned art work, preparing for different exhibitions and still developing portfolio work, while running a business, writing and preparing masterclasses…..and I love it And I’d like to thank you for your interest in joining me on my creative journey, and reading these blog posts and supporting the fan pages with your comments- I truly appreciate it.
In this post I’ll share one of the ideas I have for planning my porcelain pieces to exhibit at the Thailand Porcelain Convention. There are four pieces I need to exhibit for the Thailand International Porcelain Painting Convention 2012 . I only want to do one piece themed with flowers for this exhibition, and I love all flowers so it’s always difficult. However it has been suggested to me to paint orchids. I’ve been researching information about Thailand for a few months now in terms of national flowers, the Royal family and folk tales, listening to Thai music in search of muse for my exhibition pieces.
|I purchased this book on Thai Tales, Folktales of Thailand ,by Suapaporn Vathanaprida.I have enjoyed reading these tales…Thai folklore is rich with epic tales and shorter prose about magic, life, morals, Buddhist beliefs, and general philosophy about life and solving it’s big problems. These tales are often humorous, and bestow a feeling great heart in their messages. In particular I’ve enjoyed the allegorical tales, my children have enjoyed reading them too. I really look forward to visiting Thailand.|
It is important for me to understand more about a culture through their art, literature and music so as to ‘feel’ and express these interpretations into my art work; this is how I create anyway – especially since one of the paintings must be one theme about Thailand (see the planning for my exhibition to St Petersburg). I will paint a piece which reflects Thailand more specifically also.
So, orchids on porcelain…I’ve been researching the hundreds of different colours and types of orchids over the past few weeks, this morning I got flower overload with too many ideas!)
I’ve decided to use this orchid painting, not only for this exhibition, but also as part of my current series on Destiny and Love, so that was the first premise for designing this piece. I love the language of flowers- in my early art career this theme was featured a lot (See my Iris painting) and the message behind orchids is complex and mixed. In general, the orchid is a symbol of luxury, sensuality, mystery and passion. So I aim to represent these qualities in the design.
The shape of the porcelain piece is also very important because I want it to reflect one of the personal connections I have to orchids, which is their movement and flow as they grow (I tried growing them, but I wasn’t successful…maybe a hobby for when family life is not so time consuming).
I purchased some beautiful porcelain recently from Interdec Australia, so I will use this vase which is 16″ (40.6 cm)
The shape has enough surface area to carry my design. Most importantly as an object, it has a lot of movement itself which will compliment the theme and design of this art work. To represent the symbols of luxury, sensuality, mystery and passion, I will be researching orchids that I can use to contrast with shape and colour for passion. Sensuality will come from the line elements and forms used, as well as the colour contrasts between different varieties of orchids. Of course there will be gold work…I fell in love with the gold in Catherine’s Palace…and I’m sure I’m going to enjoy seeing the gold work in Thailand….here are some photos of reference..
So, there’s plenty to think about! Lots to be inspired by…and I’m really looking forward to this trip to Thailand.
This is a “Delta Sarah’s” fuchsia, the source of inspiration:
Here is my impression of the different views of fuchsias using onglaze paints with penwork on a porcelain tile.