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The Organic Painter: Learn to paint with tea, coffee, embroidery, flame, and more; Explore Unusual Materials and Playful Techniques to Expand your Creative Practice Paperback – Illustrated, February 12, 2019
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From the Publisher
INTRODUCTION FROM THE AUTHOR
I have been painting full time for nearly eight years now and still nothing compares to the excitement and anticipation of starting a new piece of work.
For me, the keys to this excitement are chance and chaos. It was chance that brought the first unconventional materials into my work—a glass of brandy that made its way into a watercolor painting, which then paved the way for experimenting with different teas, coffees, and alcohols, and now the opportunity to explore a variety of media in the making of this book.
So how do you bring chance into your painting practice? The most important thing is to be open-minded about the outcome of your painting. The examples in this book give you guidelines and starting points to make your own journeys. I share secrets and tips that I use every day in my work, but the key to the whole process is to be prepared to take risks with your work: Never get too precious with what you have created.
Each of the projects in the book is designed to introduce you to a new technique or new way of applying materials to your work.
There are an infinite number of ways that these projects can be combined to add dynamism to your painting, so take each project as a guide; if you feel yourself moving away from the guidelines, then go with it! The projects are designed for you to create freely. This means you may end up with completely different results than mine, but don’t worry—that is the key to freeing up your painting style.
- PUT THE KETTLE ON: Using Tea to Paint Floral Patterns
- A WEE DRAM: Adding a Little Booze to Your Painting
- NEGATIVE SPACES: Using Leaves to Create Textured Layers
- CAFFEINATED PORTRAITS: Using Coffee as Paint
- THROWING PAINT: New Ways to Launch Paint at Your Work
- HOT STUFF: Using Flame and Smoke to Create Marks
- USING GOLD, SILVER, AND COPPER: Subtle Mark Making
- GETTING MESSY: Combining Media to Create Layered Work
PREPARING YOUR MATERIALS
PREPARING SURFACES: Stretching Paper and Priming Objects
In this section, I show you how to prepare surfaces for painting so that they are robust and ready to be subjected to the rigorous painting methods you will put them through. There is something very relaxing and almost meditative about preparing a surface to paint. The process of stretching a piece of paper is methodical and such a contrast to the chaotic methods I use in my work that it is almost like a limbering up and buildup of excitement before I get to start a new painting journey.
SOURCING: Liquids and Materials for Painting
A great deal of this book is about using substitutes, either readily available or sourced, in place of the usual liquids associated with painting, namely water! In this section, we will gather and prepare liquids for use throughout the book. Some of these are easy to find and others are fun to make from natural ingredients. From the first accidental appearance of brandy in my work, I have experimented with brewing teas, preparing iron (oak) gall ink, boiling sorrel, and raiding the pantry for painting materials.
GET READY TO MAKE MARKS: Using Brushes and Found Objects
Mark making can add variety to your work. Sometimes forcing yourself to use equipment outside of standard art materials can give great unexpected results to your art. You can combine the types of objects so that they relate to the work you create. For example, use leaves or feathers as mark-making tools and dip parts of branches into ink to create crude and textured marks. Gather an assortment of these items before painting and make some small demonstration pieces to give you an idea of their effects before you combine them into a painting.
ALCHEMY: Palettes, Pens, and Mixing Materials
Sometimes you may have an idea of the general palette you want to work with. Working with a restricted palette, you can extend the color using a minimal set of materials, maybe adding bursts of color later to give the image vibrancy. I use fountain pens extensively throughout this book, often as dip pens, but you can also use a piston converter to draw up ink. The piston converter simply replaces the cartridge in a standard fountain pen and allows you to use any liquid you want in the pen—even tea!
INK SPILLS: USING CHAOS TO START YOUR IMAGE
In 2012, not long after I had decided to make a change in career from embroidery designer to full-time artist, I was fortunate to have some work shown with a small gallery called Ink-d in Brighton on the south coast of England. Ink-d was a kind of curiosity shop gallery over three floors, with a crooked staircase and artwork in every nook and cranny! The lovely thing about the gallery was that its curators were always looking for unusual pieces of work, curiosity pieces that they could place in boxes for their customers to rifle through.
About the Author
Working primarily with calligraphy inks, graphite, and liquids, such as tea, Carne Griffiths’ fascination with drawing focuses on the creation and manipulation of the drawn line. Images explore human, geometric and floral forms, in a combination of both literal and abstract translation and in response to images and situations encountered in daily life. Images are recorded in a dreamlike sense onto the page, where physical boundaries are unimportant. His work creates a journey of escapism which focuses on scenes of awe and wonder, projecting a sense of abandonment and inviting the viewer to share and explore this inner realm.
Originally from Liverpool, Griffiths graduated from the Kent Institute of Art and Design in Maidstone in 1995. After completing a one-year KIAD fellowship and moving to London, he served an apprenticeship at the longest-established gold wire embroidery firm in the world. Here he worked as a gold wire embroidery designer for 12 years, eventually becoming the creative director. Carne produced intricate designs for the military, film and theatre, fashion, and advertising industries. His designs were used for the uniforms in the films Valkyrie and The Last King of Scotland and his ‘Red Death Coat’ embroidery design was used in the film version of The Phantom of the Opera. Carne’s elaborate floral designs for Asprey were included in their first ever catwalk collection and his work was featured on the embroidered cover of the 80th Royal Variety Performance programme in 2008.
Since establishing his own studio in 2010, Carne has exhibited in the UK and overseas, with work shown at the London Original Print Fair, the Royal Academy, Stroke Art Fair, Affordable art fair, and the London Art Fair, with solo Exhibitions in Dubai, Hong Kong, Milan, and Hamburg. Carne's illustration work has seen him collaborate with the British photographer Rankin for Hunger magazine, as well as featuring in publications worldwide, notably for covers of the New York Observer, English Heritage magazine and for Brand projects for Microsoft, Derwent, Peroni, Lakes Distillery, and Ibis Hotels.
Carne is a supporter of a number of charitable organisations and has both organized exhibitions and auctioned his artwork, raising over £80,000 in total for charities including Great Ormond Street Hospital, Macmillan, Shelter, The Anderson Foundation, and Cardboard Citizens, among others. In 2017, Carne’s portrait of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge raised £30,000 in aid of the Anderson Foundation.
- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Paperback : 128 pages
- ISBN-10 : 163159608X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1631596087
- Dimensions : 8.6 x 0.6 x 11 inches
- Publisher : Quarry Books; Illustrated edition (February 12, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #127,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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He talked about using ink that spreads when touched with water, tea, coffee, alcohol, salt, soot, adding thread (mixed media), unusual ways to apply the paint (spilling, blowing, stamping with your own rubber stamps, turning the paper while adding paint, using thread, etc.), using boiling water to erase, using metallic paints and gold leaf, and more. He did a good job of explaining how to do the different steps and how to make your own inks and paints. He empowers you to use your own creativity and inspiration using these paints. Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in using unique, organic paints in your painting.
I received an e-book review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
What I liked the most about this book, is that it explains in detail the process Carne Griffiths uses for creating his amazing paintings. The way he combines inks and tea to create a free-form organic splatters, and then how he combines it with pencil and ink drawings, it's almost magical. I like how it looks messy and random but at the same time precise and organized. If you like his tea and ink creations and want to try it as well, then this book is for you.
This is definitely great for those who like to create art in a more spontaneous and loose style. It is also perfect for stimulating creativity and developing your mark making skills. In my case, I loved it because he uses unconventional materials and I'm all about experimentation! So for those free souls that anything in their home can potentially become a tool for mass creation, this is your thing.
Top reviews from other countries
So when I pre-ordered The Organic Painter I just beamed. I knew it was going to be a wait but the wait would be worth it. It reminded me of Christmas Eve as a child, going to bed knowing full well you weren't going to sleep because you thought you might see the big red man with the beard delivering presents for the family!
The book itself is nothing short of stunning. The step by step guides are fantastic and help you have a different mindset with your own work. The blank piece of paper as a starting point is often the hardest step to overcome as a painter and Carne's message throughout is not to get bogged down with overthinking everything. Be free. Free yourself from the perfectionist thought process and just embrace a different approach where it's totally ok to pour tea, coffee or whatever your tipple is and embrace the results.
The book is a breathtaking example of an artist who is totally relaxed and at one with himself about sharing his tips, his methods and his processes.
It's definitely changed my perception of 'the process' of art and the illustrations throughout the book have made me fall further in love with Carne's work as an artist. I urge you to pick up a copy of 'The Organic Painter' - and see the results.
Stunning. Thank you.
It's ok to flick through but is very much a one trick pony. Only one of the techniques was unusual, that's the use of a candle flame. I suspect if I attempt that, things will not end well.
Every single example depends on using a very very similar style to the author. Working on watercolour paper, using a swirly feminie gentle style, then working on top when dry.
It includes painting with coffee, dropping salt, etc which are all very common art class staples. I doubt they will be new and exciting techniques for many artists.
The cover is wonderfully tactile, and sadly that's the best I have to say.
Obviously everyone is differ, and artists with a lighter style than mine might find it useful.