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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.
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://
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
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
Just sharing a commissioned painting of Yellow bearded Irises on a porcelain tile (framed), which I delivered yesterday…the photos are a bit yellow as they were taken in the client’s home- no fluoro lighting, and you can see some of my reflection in the glass…sorry! I forgot to take pics earlier! I enjoyed painting this piece, the colours are really fresh. Now to paint another porcelain tile in a similar style of poppies for them, another favourite flower of mine to paint!
If you are interested in commissioned art work or Masterclasses, please contact me.
I have not had time to post on any of my blogs for weeks!!!! I’m madly painting for this exhibition. I’ve shared updates of paintings I’m taking to exhibit in St Petersburg on my facebook fan page for Ingrid Lee Artist…please like the fan page if you want to receive the updates there! So I have some spare time on my painting break to share this porcelain piece I’m working on.
The plate is 14″ (35.6 cm) oval…I’ve this plate with designed Mitsouko roses which I grow in my garden, as the main feature of this piece. This painting was inspired by the gold work at Catherine’s Palace, on my last trip to St Petersburg in 2011. Roses featured on much of the furnishings, so I decided on a contemporary design, with my favourite roses. The pen work is in burnishing gold, and the other roses will be completed in raised paste and scrolling, reflecting the rococo styling at the palace. For those of you who don’t know much about porcelain painting, the brown paint will fire in a kiln to a rich gold colour .
I’ve just finished the pen work..paste is next. I will share the final result shortly.
Some other photos of the progress of this design:
I use contrast of value and texture to create natural definition where possible.
Here are my roses ( MITSOUKO rose Large double flowers of mimosa yellow, with pale pink edging; defines Mitsouko as a soft and feminine beauty. With Guerlain soft fragrance of violets and raspberries Mitsouko™adds wonderful soft colourings to the Parfum Collection)
I have previously written about my love affair with Porcelain Painting and Roses…I don’t think love can really accurately describe the passion I have for porcelain painting and roses…or creating with roses in general, but you can read more about this article on my other site.
In this post, I am sharing one of my favourite pieces of porcelain I painted a few years ago, Deep Ruby purple roses on porcelain and photos of my roses from my garden. I love this technique, and I’m planning designs for new works with roses from my garden. The technique I use is called dusting, and it allows for a greater depth of colour and high shine to the work. The painting medium I use for this technique I used has changed, so I am trialling new products again…fingers crossed! This technique works best for large blooms on large pieces…I think anyway. I have trialled little porcelain pieces with roses, but the effect is not as grand.
The colours I used for these roses
My roses from my garden…the source of inspiration for my new porcelain paintings. I grow French Delbards and a Black Queen (a propogated cutting from my Grandfather’s roses in the 1960′s), they are heavily perfumed from the like Dioressence and Mitsuko, Camille Pisarro, Alred Sisley…I have 10 rose bushes, all standards. I grow other flowers also to photograph for my studies, these can be seen on my twitpix albums- subscribe to my tweets and you’ll get them as I photograph them. These are quick photos from my i-phone, but I also use a digital camera with a macro lens for other studies.
A quick and easy Tutorial for lustres and marbelizer as they are completed in 2 firings. This project is inspired by a creative thinking technique of looking for possibilities I’ve included some other examples of plates I’ve started and adapted the idea. In this first piece, the poppy flower was discovered from the lustred background after the decorative technique was completed…..
1) Clean your porcelain with methylated spirits.
2) Sponge Dark blue luster all over porcelain….I did not add lustre thinner.
3) While still wet, spatter with marbelizer. I dip an old toothbrush into marbelizer and run my finger along the wet brush and spatter it onto the porcelain. Make sure the brush is facing away from you. or you will spatter your eyes and face! I wear gloves!!!
4) You can see in the painting, there is a large white area. So I dampen a piece of folded paper towelling (I use handee ultra or viva- as there is no lint and they are thicker quality) into some methylated spirits and wipe out the shape of some poppy petals.
5) Allow to dry completely and fire at 750C.
6) Wipe over with plate with methylated spirits. Using a pen nib, paint the design of the poppy flower in liquid platinum. I used dot work, as this followed the desing element of ‘spots’ left behind by the marbeliser. Leaves are applied with a #3 round brush. Fire at 750-740C.
COMPLETED IN 2 FIRINGS!!!
Here are two other plates where I’ve used the similar techniques to give you some more ideas…both are painted by using left over lustres from other projects…so that your lustres don’t go to waste, I always have some pieces of porcelain that I can experiment with
The daisies on this piece are wiped out with a brush and dampened paper towelling and fired. The next firing will be adding platinum and gold penwork for definition.
This last piece…I have no idea!!! Like I said, I use left overs to experiment with for colour, textures and to push the boundaries of a product. One of the most important things I teach in my masterclasses is that while you can explore freedom and boundaries in art, you still must observe and record to make it purposeful and useful to develop you artwork further…keep a journal for this type of work, so that if you’re happy with something- you’ll remember how you did it!
If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below Check out more of my porcelain work in the gallery in the menu, or at my Ingrid Lee- Artist fan page.
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.