The Dot Paintings we see in the West are derived from the storytelling history of the Aborigines of Australia. Originally dots and symbols were drawn in the sand to express sacred meanings and tell a story. In 1971 Papunya Tula Art movement began when a school teacher, Geoffrey Bardon, working with Aboriginal students, encouraged the community to transfer the feel of the sacred artwork onto murals and eventually canvases. Eventually, it became a way for the Aborigines to maintain a sense of their sacred land and traditions without revealing secret knowledge.
Read more about the history here: https://www.aboriginal-art-australia.com/aboriginal-art-library/aboriginal-dot-art-behind-the-dots/
Image: "Kurun Warun Gunditumara Bora Meeting Place."
The Art Piece
The image to the right is one of my originals, called, "Inhale, Exhale Love" (sold.) It shows a giraffe standing by her Heart Tree companion nibbling on red "Heart Fruit." Notice that the fruit makes its way down her long neck until it permeates the heart with love as shown by the change in color. Now the Giraffe spreads love with her every breathe as evidenced by the white hearts floating in the sky.
I begin with my vision and a drawing on a black canvas. In this example I used a light outline of the design and filled in with same sized dots in various shades of the same color. There is a careful use of negative space even though it appears to be minimal.
In other paintings I have used various dark colored bases rather than outlining and often use a variety of dot applicators. It is also fun to add a dot on top of a dot to create a sense of dimension. In whatever technique, the dots always create a sense of movement and fun as they lead your eyes around the canvas.
In the New Works page, you will find a few for sale. And..don't forget you can create your own Aboriginal Dot Art in my Dot Painting Workshops.
As always we begin with a meditation to receive inspiration in my Dot Painting Workshop. Each participant receives a pre-painted black canvas, an easel, acrylic paints, dot tools and templates. The project begins with tracing the chosen image, adding design elements, outlining it and then applying dots. It is truly amazing how people reveal their distinct style almost immediately. Many become hooked on painting. Some like to add jewels to their work. At the end of class students love to share the vision and process behind their original Aboriginal Dot Art. These paintings are genuinely framable! In the end participants are amazed by their creations and come to understand themselves just a bit better.
Please check the Calendar for workshops. I can host at my home, a public space or at your house! Consider hosting a workshop event if you have at least 7 friends who love to create and you have enough tables and space for each participant. I bring tablecloths and all the supplies. You supply light refreshments and attract the students. Of course your fee is waived.