Johann Wessels
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Blog > making art

Posted: Jul 25, 2012

winner is....

and John Manders correctly guessed "Rock Vapour Scissors" as the title of the drawing I had recently completed! Congratulations John.... I have to get Hoarknockle to package it up in a sturdy wooden case and put it on the horse drawn wagon.... they should be there anytime in the next year. There are people cheering in the village square and the band has struck up a cheery tune. There are tumblers and acrobats and colourful flags... quite a celebration! Not forgetting the firework display! cheers

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Posted: Jul 24, 2012

completed art

here is the completed work.Still no correct title and still no winner. Frustrating that I cannot post it larger... even so, it needs to be seen on paper to see all the detail. Rather like an etching, its the small delicate marks that I love, much as in Jim Dine's etchings of some years ago. I'll post a larger version on my Facebook page. Good luck!  

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Posted: Jul 04, 2012

name the title competition....

Here is the next teaser for someone to hazard a guess at the CORRECT title of this piece. The lower part of the image is still not complete... but it does offer some further clue. My friend Terry Isaac (the award winning wildlife painter) visited my studio the other day and was so taken by this image in process that he added a few marks and lines to the work...He also cleverly offered the insight that my work spoke of influence by Jim Dine.  

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Posted: Jun 28, 2012


currently being drawn... There is something very compelling about tools which have been used and attained a patina of sweat and use. There is a polish of time that burnishes metallic objects even as it rusts quietly beneath the users hand. Jim Dine did a series of tools and objects as etchings in his delightfully scratchy blotchy style. I often find myself recalling his marks and try to bring that rather randomness of spurious mark making to my work. In the digital realm there is no acid to eat through the ground and produce unexpected grains of texture...

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Posted: May 18, 2012

paint hits stucco... mk II

Hoarknockle had to administer some wine to me after some rebarbative pillock hacked into a quiet corner of the web inhabited by my site and a good many others. The site was down for some time and as you may notice..its back. Sadly my last blog died in the crossfire. And now allow me to return to the classics...erm story about the mural. In order to ansure a quick transfer of image to the wall, I spent a period of darkness drawing the image onto the wall using sidewalk chalk tracing the image projected onto it from transparencies I printed from my artwork...

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Posted: May 11, 2012

mural part 1

Phew... time can fly... Back here and able to write some blog again. I have been working on a mural for a new winery, Upper Bench Winery and Creamery. I had seen this building with a sign indicating that the place was being renovated and would become a new winery venue. I had little hope that anything too impressive would result, as is too often the case. I watched it get fixed up and stucco go on the walls ... things were happening. I wondered if they might be open to some artistic input and kept thinking it for a while without actually doing anything about it...

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Posted: Jan 30, 2012

fleeing the trees

a moment of silence for my dear departed old computer..... here I am pecking away on a venerable old machine which has lasted longer than many. Thank goodness I am able to access my site and blog. Due to lack of digital creative options, I am only using paint right now. This is part of a series of pieces I am making that will go on show in June in Kindrie Grove's studio, along with the works of Liz Marshall and Susan McCarrell. The new landscape I live in is compelling and I am trying to find ways of depicting and interpreting it in my own way...

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Posted: Jan 06, 2012

prime and sand, prime and sand...

The boxes are things of beauty...probably because they already have been imagined in my mind. It is part exciting and part anticipation... rather like Dr Frankenfurter and his creation.."I see you shiver in AN-TI-CI......PATION!!" Which I do..... shiver, that is. Especially after sanding the painted surfaces down time after time, between each new coat. My poor muscles get all trembly and it causes me to pour abnormally large dosages of Mister Beam's finest varnish. And that does calm the trembles a bit...

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Posted: Jan 05, 2012

boxes awaiting

My friend Don Munro very kindly built me these wonderful boxes to paint upon. I designed them for some rather specific ideas I have for the show I am taking part in in April at the Tumbleweed Gallery in Penticton. These boxes have little hinged doors that open and close and reveal various things which will require a number of different individual paintings rather than just a single one on canvas as is traditionally done. Its more work. I sometimes wonder why I do this. Probably because it's better and brings a lot more to the work...

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Posted: Dec 12, 2011

rusting gently

I tell a story when I make my stuff. It has become my history told in metaphors to the people in this country I was not born in. It's the lot or inheritance as a deracinated body. I feel like an archeologist digging up my layers of memories and explaining them. At times I tell a story and wonder how much is still true and how much has accumulated with each retelling to keep it fresh and entertaining. The opening doors and panels are my schtick. It refers to the opening of a box from which the shreds of history are lifted and how they are often hidden from view...

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Posted: Dec 08, 2011

in situ

there was some sun streaming onto my work table and now it has gone. The dogs are lying in front of the fire and I am alone in the studio. I found a piece of very well worn driftwood some time ago and took a few months to look at it and decide what would suit it best. Since then have cut a rectangular opening into it and will have a hidden piece behind a door which will seem as if it is being framed by the driftwood. The hidden piece is an old rusty "camera" which I built from cardboard...

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Posted: Nov 26, 2011

giant's head and a maiden's hand

The Giant's Head mountain is across the lake from me and I see it changing as the light changes all day (not so much at night mind you...) and it begs to be drawn and painted. There is something about it's shape and the way the forms all work together to make this most compelling object, different planes and curves and lines, its almost like a nude sitting out there! As I have been working on it and looking every so often, I was thinking about it being a giant's head and what story would lie behind it and why the giant would be lying there...

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Posted: Nov 17, 2011

giant head

The mountain across the lake is Giants Head. Its steep. I have cycled up a part of it and recall near loss of vision as the oxygen to my brain was rerouted to my legs. Now it gives me great pleasure to watch it change in the light and atmospheric conditions. I am be doing this painting in acrylic on board and a few more in pastel on paper. I shall be adding a few unexpected elements to the painting to see if I can take it beyond the normal parameters of "landscape painting"...

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Posted: Oct 20, 2011


dipping into something a little more commercial.... this is my take on the landscape I can see from my studio window. I still want to reference my open/close schtick from my more serious work and am hoping to create a small piece for a commercial gallery in town. The painting opens to reveal a wider view of the landscape panorama. Nothing too tricky or strange (maybe I should incorporate something odd?...but it may scare more conservative viewers) Using Golden slow drying acrylic that tends to work a little more like oils, I have done the first layer of colour and had to take a break for time to ponder it and get over the stress of doing something like this...

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Posted: Oct 18, 2011

rust only dreams

what is it about rust that evokes so many feelings? Or is it the colours that are so captivating? Like the fall colours? This is a piece for the annual Kelowna Art gallery members exhibition, "Abstract" Ive been using Modern Masters iron paint which is rusted with a special solution they supply. I have used hydrogen peroxide too and it works slightly differently, giving a different range of hues. Its a process of layer upon layer and adding physical texture by using thick layers of paint and sand and bad painting techniques...

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Posted: Jun 07, 2011

making something new

I was walking along a pebble beach the other day and struck by how many small sticks had washed up. They were all beautifully bleached almost white and looked rather like bones. There is an expression about "pulling up sticks", which refers to moving away from a place. Since we moved recently and the notion of having to reestablish myself in a new city among unknown people, the idea of the sticks resonated in me. It reminded me rather of Joseph Beuys and his bundles of blankets and fire wood...

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Posted: Jan 01, 1970

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