Johann Wessels
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Blog > art technique

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 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: 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: 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: 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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