Nicola Waters
Epoch 2021
Diploma of Visual Arts
I care deeply about the natural world. Nature is beautiful, abundant, and essential for our survival on this planet. Being in nature helps me connect with my spiritual self and my creative self. Even though I have not been able to visit the wild places I love during lockdown, I have connected with nature through my art. 
As an artist, I love experimenting with mixed media because it creates depth through layering and is always exciting and unexpected. I enjoy making my own stamp blocks and printing these using ink or paint. Some of my drawings become paintings, and my paintings often include collage and printmaking. My aim is to create art that is positive, uplifting, and meaningful.

Mud Marks
Liquid acrylic, watercolour, acrylic, relief ink and fruit net, collaged tissue paper, printed rice paper,
leaf shapes, coloured pencil and pencil shavings.
A3 watercolour paper 

Mud Marks began with making circles with the top of a brown liquid acrylic bottle directly onto the paper. When I rolled brown relief ink across a fruit net directly on the paper, I was reminded of a childhood memory. Walking on Selsey’s pebbled beach (UK), we had to walk along wooden planks to protect our shoes from walking in lumps of tar that regularly washed up from the English Channel.  

When I sprinkled coloured pencil shavings onto the work I was reminded of a trip to Greta Beach, Christmas Island. Due to the  Monsoon winds, tides, and currents, vast quantities of plastic waste find their way to this and many other beaches. After these two memories surfaced, I added a reflective leaf shape on the left and a watercolour leaf on the right. These symbolise mirrors and bring the viewer into the picture. It is up to all of us to caretake the earth. 

Tree Forest
Liquid acrylic, acrylic, coloured pencil, stamped acrylic, collaged tissue paper and leaf shapes.
A3 watercolour paper 

Tree Forest conveys a sense of depth through multiple layers of acrylic paint. Gold tissue paper was collaged then coloured pencil was used to draw around each strip of tissue paper, to integrate the different elements. This mixed media reminds me that a forest is made up of individual trees and every tree is important. 

Acrylic Drops
Liquid acrylic, acrylic, collaged rice paper, hairy and lace papers.
A3 Acrylica paper

The title, Acrylic Drops describes the process of dropping liquid acrylic onto the paper. This is how I began this and the three other mixed media paintings. Initially, this piece reminded me of a cave painting. Later,  I scratched into the liquid acrylic drops (sgraffito ). I used an Indian wooden flower block printing with relief ink (brown) and acrylic paint (white) on Chirri rice to create the flowers. This mixed media reminds me of the wildflower season in Western Australia, especially in the wheatbelt, around Wave Rock near Hyden, WA.

Wall Painting
Liquid acrylic, relief ink, printed and collaged rice paper.
Acrylica A3 paper. 

I used a roller with brown relief ink directly onto the paper, then I placed Chirri rice paper on top so I could transfer the ink onto the rice paper. When I removed the printed rice paper,  it lifted off additional paint and created interesting effects. Once the rice paper was dry, I tore it up into pieces which I then collaged  back into the work. This mixed media reminds me of concrete walls, concrete floors and the concrete footpaths that are ubiquitous in the urban landscape of Melbourne.

Leaf Story Concertina Book
First four pages (1-4) with back cover. 

Leaf Story Concertina Book
Front cover and last four pages (5-8). 

Leaf Story Book
Close-up page 3 and page 4. 

For the image on page 3, I printed a drypoint, then I collaged leaf prints I made with a stamp on Chirri rice paper. The leaf prints are reversed so as to fit the leaf shapes. For page 4, I printed a second drypoint, which I then painted with Japanese ink. Last, I added a piece of lace paper to add movement and to reinforce the window and curtains viewpoint, 

Leaf Story Book
Close-up page 7 and page 8.

Page 7 and Page 8 both contain collaged leaf prints, and used Brown lino print frame which had been reduced several times since the first block on page 1.

Leaf Story Concertina Book
Lino prints - chine colle, drypoint prints, leaf stamps and collage.
BFK paper 15 cm x 19 cm  

Leaf Story is the story of a little leaf who longs to be free of its life in the tree. It longs to be free. In Autumn, the wind nudges the little leaf, and it breaks free. Now it can fly. Other leaves join the little leaf, and they cascade and flurry. Eventually, little leaf sails gently down to the ground. Now it has had a chance to see life from a fresh perspective, it is happy and content that it is a leaf, surrounded by all the other leaves. It is a story of coming home to oneself.

Heart Tracks Concertina Book
Front, back, and inside images. 

I used various stamps to make the heart foot prints, the leaf patterns, and other marks. I added brown hairy paper inside the book as well as on the covers. The collaged flower prints on the cover and along the path are the same flowers that appear in Acrylic Drops and Wall Painting.

Heart Tracks Concertina Book
Stamps with relief & Japanese ink, collaged rice paper, hairy paper and cherry wood.
Stonehenge paper 765 cm x 9.5 cm 

Heart Tracks depicts a journey, across the landscape. From left to right, the scene changes from rural to urban: fertile to barren. Water is central to everything.

Leaf Roof
Stamped watercolour ink, relief and Japanese ink stamped leaf patterns, and collaged printed rice paper.
A3 Watercolour paper

Leaf Wall
Leaf stamps relief ink on rice paper and Stonehenge, collaged.
Hahnemuhle paper  68 cm x 19 cm. 

Leaf House

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