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Studio News - November 2023

Artists studio bench with work in progress painting, tools and materials

Why am I doing a U-turn?

I think I may have an answer......

I began working on a new piece during Noosa Open Studios - really so that I could occupy my mind and my hands whist the studio was quiet. In many ways this is the best way for me to start new work - with plenty of distractions and interruptions - I can't get too focused and fussy in those early stages if I can't maintain my train of thought!

But here's the thing......

My studio walls were laden with bright and vibrant new work, lots of orange, pink, red and yellow. And without giving it a second thought I picked up blue, grey, green and umber.

It wasn't until a visitor pointed out the stark colour contrast to what was on the walls that I started to think about why, when I was clearly having a wonderful time with bright, warm colours, I should suddenly switch to muted, cooler colours.

After ruminating on this over the course of the 10 day event I realised that I was 'reacting' to what had gone before. I could have continued this new piece in the same vein as the previous body of work, having become comfortable with working with warm colours and feeling that these works were successful and clearly very much enjoyed by my visitors.........

But it dawned on me that I'm actually constantly on the hunt for opposites and differences; to see what happens not only to my work, but also to my way of thinking when I stretch my experience of colours, materials and mediums to the greatest degree possible.

Switching things up creates space for new lines of inquiry and discoveries.

Creative reactions are, when I think about it, a large part of what drives my art practice and the potential for new discoveries is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

Happy accidents with prints and paint colours is one thing, but this journey towards new discoveries goes deeper than that for me, I find I react to what's in front of me by asking endless questions;

What if....?

Why not....?

Is it possible....?

How about...?

What's new...?

Why can't I....?

And with every question comes a myriad of possible answers, and therein lies the essence of my creative journey, which is one of cause and effect, action and reaction.

I see every completed work as a stepping stone to the next.

The biggest question is, what form will the reaction take?

And honestly, I have no idea until I start the next painting.


This month I've been experimenting with using different papers on my gel plate, and if you came to see me at Open Studios you will have had the full show'n'tell and seen this work in progress!

I don't often reach for botanicals for printing, but the new painting I'm working on called for some suggestions of vegetation. So I've had a go with weeds from the veggie patch, Casuarina needles, and Macaranga and Eucalypt leaves. I've also been thinking about creating multiple layers in the same print.

I chose the colours in response to what's happening in the painting - blue, green yellow and umber, though I can never resist a bit of black and white.......

Testing Wet Strength Tissue, Teabag Paper and Swedish Tracing Paper (pattern makers paper) has produced a wide variety of different results, each with their own unique qualities.

As I began adding sections of these to the painting, I could immediately see that the translucent properties of each paper vary a fair bit, and take secondary layers of paint and pencil in different ways, but I love them all!

Grid of gelli printed monoprints on paper - textures and colours

Check out my latest Blog entry to read about the differences between the papers and a Vlog about the simple and effective process of printing with weeds to create beautiful organic imagery for use in mixed media collage.



The River Crossing by Charlotte Wensley

The annual Friends of the Butter Factory exhibition opens on Friday 24th November.

You're invited to join us for the opening celebration of the 'Eclectica' exhibition on Saturday 25th from 2 pm to 4 pm, no need to RSVP just come along and join in the fun!

Chat to the artists and makers and check out the diverse range of work by local artists and artisans.

'River Crossing' from my Encounter Series is my exhibition entry this year.


So until next month, why not take a chance on a creative reaction of your own and see where it takes you......

Charlotte Wensley Signature

I'd love to hear you from you, if you have any feedback on my newsletters or any questions about what's happening in the studio.

Feel free to get in touch anytime!


What's On

Eclectica Exhibition at Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre

Selected Works now Available at Red Hill Gallery Brisbane


Charlotte Wensley | Contemporary Abstract Art - Novermber 2023 Available Works Catalogue

Download my November Catalogue to view currently available works, where to view and gallery contact details.

You'll also find handy FAQ's on how to buy and payment options.

The studio is open by appointment if you'd like to drop in for a visit.

Mon - Sat: 10 am to 3 pm


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