Elaine d'Esterre

Feminist Visual Artist – Paintings, Mixed Media and Etchings

Preliminary records of W.Wallabi Island

One of my activities apart from photographic documentation of different landforms was to make a couple of small frottage prints at a specific site. This quick procedure entailed placing rice paper over a specific piece of rock formation and rubbing over the surface with compressed charcoal, graphite or pastel as a way to produce a ‘ print ‘ with place-name, date and time. Because my type of contemporary landscape painting and mixed media is not painted on site but produced in my studio these ‘prints ‘ are like a touchstone that can connect me back to the original place when I insert them into a composition. For example I did two frottages or ‘prints ‘ of rocks at the Pinnacles and at W.Wallabi island.

Pinnacle frottage 1                                                 Pinnacle frottage 2

Pinnacle frottage 1 and 2, one in compressed charcoal and two with a graphite stick.

W.Wallabi frottage 1W.Wallabi frottage 2

W.Wallabi island frottage 1 and 2 both pencil rubbings

on rice paper because it is flexible and durable.

Previous examples of this technique and their application can be viewed on my website at desterreart.com.au in the Gallery under a section titled An Archaeology of Landscape. The two images below are examples of mixed media artworks from the series titled An Archaeology of Landscape produced several years ago as the result of an artist’s  tour where we worked in Katherine Gorge and at falls in Litchfield National Park.

Fold, 2003

Fold, 2003, 150×78 cm, mixed media from the series titled An Archaeology of Landscape.

Layer, 2003

Layer, 2003, 165×85 cm, mixed media from the series titled An Archaeology of Landscape

The Abrolhos Islands

Abrolhos IslandsThe Abrolhos Islands

We flew from Geraldton and landed on West Wallabi island. After observing the flora and fauna and hearing of the history of the ship Batavia and the dreadful fate of the shipwrecked passengers I photographed and took frottage or rubbings from several fossilised shells and marine life that form part of the island’s geology.Abrolhos Islands

Journey to the Pilbara W.A.

Leaving Perth on the way to ourImage destination near Cervantes is a well know geological site in Nambung National Park called the Pinnacles. Thought by geologist to be perhaps formed by erosion and glaciation but then revealed by further erosion they appear as a sulphur coloured desert emerging from the coastal vegetation. Continue reading

Human figures, quick sketches in charcoal

Line Drawing with faces and figures

I enjoy different types of drawing experience. After the quick sketch exercise my next challenge is a more fully realized drawing. The one displayed titled The Lovers is a 40 minute compressed charcoal and pastel drawing where the line and gesture conveyed a sense of immediacy.

The other drawing experience is one where I employ a slower more considered way of drawing more suitable for etching and drypoint. This technique is one way where I express the sense of a quieter mood and stillness shown by the work titled The Keyhole Image 2. This is a single print rather than one of an edition where two plates were printed separately as part of the one image.


The Keyhole Image 2, 2009, intaglio and drypoint on rice paper 25×30 cm print, 50×38 cm paper,

from the series titled Natalie with the Gaze and the Glance.

Life-drawing once the central discipline of art practice has in many art institutions has been neglected and replaced by different technologies. But in order to create a three-dimensional form on a flat surface skills like perspective, foreshortening and knowledge of anatomy are necessary. The placements in a composition of tonal values, colour and texture rely on application of this basic knowledge. Understanding of form, space and then mark making is what life-drawing is about. Line,  evidence of our visual thinking, exploration and research  comes first in my practice.

On another level images of the human form, types of identity, interaction, mood  and drama always engage me. How we define ourselves in a changing world, what we see and what we ignore, and why underpin return to images of ourselves.

The Lovers, 2003, charcoal and pastel 75×56 cm.

Human figures titled Lovers, 2006, life drawing of female and male figures by Elaine d'Esterre

Lovers, 2006, charcoal and pastel 75×56 cm