art

artist notes and bio


I have been creating fine art and craft items for many years, and though my main focus has been painting acrylic abstracts, I also love to draw and create patterns in coloured pencil (a much undervalued medium), paper arts that include paper cutting of various kinds, and other crafts, though over the past year or so, my focus has switched to printmaking. I enjoy printmaking, decalcomania, minimalism, working on paper, and I particularly love to work large when I can. For me, it's explorations of colour, shapes, methods and outcomes I can't necessarily control. I'm always looking for and researching new techniques and new ideas (so if you know any, email me!), and enjoy expanding my skill set and knowledge base. Learning something new, I can't wait to try it out.

Generally, what drives my work is shape, colour, and pattern. I don't tend to go in for strictly representational work - though if something I make ends up looking like something you know, that's no bad thing. I let the audience see what they want to see in what I do; it's part of why I rarely put titles on things. I don't like to tell people what to get out of what I make. If a person looks at something and sees a story, that's good; and if they look at it and only see pretty colours, that's good also. If getting people to like things is part of the point, then let them get there however they get there.

I like what I refer to as "improvisational art" or "accident art", where you do not know where the painting is going when you start, and when the painting ends up in an entirely different place than you might have planned. I like the unplanned. I like the randomness of certain techniques, that add that spontaneous element to the creative process. I suppose I like to see where the art takes me, rather than where I take it. It all sounds way more "throwing paint at the canvas" than it actually is. An improvisation or orphan piece or an unfinished idea may start something, but what happens later is far more deliberate and methodical. I also enjoy minimalist work - simple, abstract drawings that convey movement, emotion, and though many start out as pencil work, I have transferred them all to a vellum or bond stock, using India or other inks.

I have a fairly severe visual impairment, which may make my activities seem hilarious. It makes me laugh. It does affect my work somewhat - particularly with photography, I find, and sometimes with details in paintings. No matter how thick the glasses get, there are simply some things I do not see - detail, distance, etcetera. When taking pictures I can see only what's right in front of me. I have no idea what's going on away from me, so what I capture could sometimes best be described as "abstract". I'm seeing shapes or colours or patterns, not details. In painting it's only a problem in the sense that some of my work is less refined than I wish it could be, but tiny details and things, smoothness of line, proper filling of space, is a little derailed by being visually impaired. Good thing I prefer abstract art! Honestly, though, while having impaired vision is, in and of itself, a problematic thing, I choose to see it as an advantage when it comes to my work.

I know that art can be a wonderfully stabilising force in a person's life. I still take classes and workshops when I can, participate in creative events and shows, and my mission in life is to get everyone I meet involved in some kind of creative pursuit. It's in us all, it's just a matter of finding the means by which you can best access and enjoy it - painting, cooking, laying brick, balancing books, whatever floats your boat. I see art as an inclusive thing, not something that should divide.

Currently, some of my main interests, skills, and favourite tools include:



ink drawings 2016/17


A series of ink drawings recreated during 2016/17 from earlier works


Although many of the pieces created in this manner started as coloured pencil drawings years ago, I wanted to recreate them using materials that would better stand the test of time, as the pencils originally used were not lightfast and the paper was less than stellar. I am using technical vellum or a partly translucent bond paper to draw on, using India and other archival inks to create the images. Using various objects to draw against and around, and freehand lines, and without a specific plan, I begin to put lines on the paper, doing so until it feels right to stop. And the image is there. Sometimes it takes a while to see what is there, but sometimes what's there emerges instantly.

It is a neverending source of amazement to me, how such simple lines can convey so much movement and emotion, and how they can also convey such complex things.

All pieces © Lonita Fraser



Cat / Dragonfly



Dancer



Can Can



Dragonfly



Duende



Elephant



Equus



Face



Flower 1



Flower 2



Flower 3



Flung



Fruit Bowl



Lightbulb



Market Day



Moonhugger



Morning Tea



Onion Eater



Road Trip



Stick Figures



Walnut



Wings



Yawn 1



Yawn 2


printmaking 2015/16



The initial print layer of all pieces created in this manner, of which these are just a small selection, was done with acrylic paint on a gel printing plate using various masks, stencils, and other oddments, most of which were hand cut and used only once, a few twice. Then, once dry, the prints are worked into using various media and techniques derived from surrealist creative processes and games to help bring out their individual features. Various combinations of acrylic paint, oil-based coloured pencils, wax-based coloured pencils, tinted graphite, tinted charcoal, gel ink, India ink, ink sticks, or whatever other media I had to hand, were used to do the augmentation.

The once-or-twice use of stencils and masks, the properties of the gel printing plate, the use of ghost prints, and the surrealist techniques involved, means that each piece is completely unique.

All pieces are created on coldpress watercolour paper, preferably Fabriano 140 lb or better.

I'm looking forward to expanding this way of working - larger and different substrates, a wider range of media, and more structured, controlled, and deliberate stencils, masks, and other materials. Sadly, these pieces don't photograph well - a lot of the subtlety in colour and such, is completely lost. They look much better in person. I'm working on a better method of photographing/scanning them.

All pieces © Lonita Fraser

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