Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Box of Beetles and a Line of Insect Women

A Box of Beetles was a recent lucky find in Horton Books, a favourite Melbourne bookstore. Located in Smith Street, Collingwood, it’s fairly local to our Melbourne place. Sadly, after 15 years in the area, Horton Books will close its doors in July. It’s a great shame to see the demise of another independent bookshop, particularly when it’s as special as this one.

Meanwhile, the diminutive treasure chest pictured below will provide me with rich and varied source material for a long time to come.

The Box of Beetles yields some of its treasures

As I research my next Homo-insecta works, here is the story so far, at least for the paintings on wood:

The first nine Homo-insecta paintings (acrylic on wood panels, 2015). Studio view, late June.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fully Formed Luna Moth Woman

Final stages in the evolution of Luna Moth Woman:

Deborah Klein, Luna Moth Woman, 2015, acrylic on wood panel, 32 x 30 cm

Friday, June 19, 2015

Nascent Luna Moth Woman

Further stages in the transfiguration of Actias luna moth to Luna Moth Woman.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Emerging Luna Moth Woman

Early progress views of Luna Moth Woman, 2015, pencil, gesso and acrylic on wood, 32 x 30 cm:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Homo-insecta in the making: Actias luna Moth

Lately I’ve been researching the ethereal Luna Moth (Actias luna) as a potential candidate for transformation into a Homo-insecta. Currently the Luna Moth lives solely to lay eggs and will survive a mere seven days. Once her evolution to Homo-insecta is completed, however, she will be expected to live richly and fully for several decades

Enlarged view of Actias luna Moth antenna

Macro view of Actias luna eyespot

This is not the first time the Luna Moth has appeared in my work. Previously it featured in the painting Actias luna Moth Mask, 2007, which was part of the Moth Masks series of paintings, drawings and prints (2007-09).

Actias luna Moth Mask (2007, acrylic on canvas, 25 x 20 cm)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Bluebottle Fly Woman, Part 2

As I've recently mentioned, the level of exactitude required with Homo-insecta such as Bluebottle Fly Woman is hard won (see Blog Post, Tuesday, May 19) but I’m learning a lot in the process. For beginners, I’ve now discovered that methylated spirits, delicately applied with a soft rag, will erase unwanted pencil marks. Unbleached Titanium acrylic paint, used sparingly, can be similarly employed, either to make minor corrections or refine the outer edges of the image. Its tint (lightened, if necessary, with a touch of warm Ivory White) is a near enough to perfect match to the blonde wood panels).

As with previous paintings on wood, surfaces were built in gradual layers. In this work, textures and highlights were created with extensive hatching and cross-hatching - techniques more readily associated with drawing, particularly pen and ink - or even with mark-making in certain printmaking processes.

Pictured below: Completed Bluebottle Fly Woman, 2015, acrylic on wood, 32 x 30 cm, followed by a series of progress views in reverse.