Friday 19th October- Online to attending student transition

After relocating from Canterbury to Otago during midterm break, Ive had the wonderful opportunity to attend school in person. Through agreement with tutors I attend for consultation with my supervisors and lectures, whilst I am able to continue working from my home studio. This has been excellent as concerns about adequate space, ventilation and warmth are all concerns when working with wax.

I would be avoidant if I didnt say the move has been taxing and extremely discombobulating to my practice. Ive found retreating into the bush to grab moments of earthly peace has been calming. Just rootling around in the dirt, or feeling the texture of tree bark, really seeing my new ‘place palette’ has generated new threads for my work.

Right now the end of year is 4 weeks away. SITE exhibition is looming, and I am head down finishing works.

Although yesterday I started drawings for a painting…”Revolution in Eden”. It is not for consideration in the exhibition, but rather a punctuation mark. I will include it in my exam though.

JoWhitford4 Some new tools made after arriving in Otago.



We are all guilty. Biggish image 17th June

beginningsApproximately 1.75 x 1.25 Fabriano Paper.

Acrylic paint. Cutouts are partial reproduction, enlarged beeswax images.

the idiot in us all

Chaotic death dance ( A Toxic dwarf)

Acrylic, ink, beeswax on paper. Handmade tools used to apply medium, including sticks, sea sponges. Ink dripped, splashed and thrown at the paper. Wax heated and mobilised across the substrate. Indian ink scratched on and gouged out. The collage cutouts are reproduced from original A4 size beeswax images scaled up to A3 size, they are printed on 200 gsm water colour paper.

Bees do this thing thats called the ‘Waggledance‘. They communicate to their comrades the exact distance and location according to the sun in the sky of particularly delicious flowers. Observing them at their happiest one can clearly see the dancing pattens. Just as you can clearly observe them as content workers, you can also see the panic and crazed epileptic flight of the poisened hive. I am reflecting this in this work, at a micro level it is a metaphor for society on our plant at this time.

I am not sure that people realise that when humans make bees extinct our food crops will not have natural pollinators – apart from some birdlife, and this in turn will very quickly make more than developing countries the victims of starvation.

Colonisation. Greed. Thoughtlessness.

I hate the dickhead who poisened my bees this Summer.


blobs of flowers…thinking about a bees eye view. As a bee flys foraging, colour attracts them.


Using my bees wax mixed with damar crystals and oil pigment Ive made multiples which I have decided I will mount on a bee frame. Unused because a thoughtless person used a toxin and killed my three colonies.

The yellow square with the gold wax represents the Queen Bee, she usually is in the centre of the frame where she can be kept warm, fed and cleaned by her drones. The different colours speak to the different flowers that the drones gather from. My plan is to do several frames, and one frame that will be a deep blue- the poisen that once in the hive spreads and kills the family.


The deep blue provides chaos, dark space, large white gaps..essentially nothing of the precision and order that a healthy hive needs in order to produce a nuturing environment for babies, honey and propolis.

19th June- Petite wax


Water colours on scrappy bits…I just paint something every day to keep connection with my process. I notice there is something ‘blobby’ going on, layers of building, curvy forms. Reminds me of wax when heated – until I intervene with the wax using extreme heat the wax falls in perfect spheres flattening out on the surface. Something bubbling away in my mind about he intervention of humans. One giant eco-fuckup.

My beeswax and pigment images; Consciousness exists before Big Bang


I keep bees, this season there was plenty of wax available for using with pigment. I have applied the wax through heat onto a high gloss photographic paper. Some of the images have been photocopied onto 280gsm watercolour A3 size paper. I’m loving the effects. Spacey, molecular, time travel….open to interpretation and imagination. The originals also smell divine with a tactile surface of gentle undulating surface. No two are alike as chance and being in the moment in the creative process throws all tradition, planning, and formal qualities out the window.



The above two images are the photocopied versions, enlarged from A5 size to A3. I notice that the depth of the original is lost in the matte finish paper. Will need to continue experimenting to try and find a solution.

so, what would Steven Hawking’s say about this matter? What is in the space between the space?

Vital materialism.. still re-reading this theory as presented in class by Ed.

Watercolour and beeswax

The following experiments explore how water and wax (and chroma) interact with each other. Is there a symbiosis?- or a repulsion that draws me/us in? I found the simplicity of form with subtle depth due to shade variance pleasing with the watercolour- all a controlled/contrived brush stroke- slowly drying and absorbing into the substrate, and then the chance of how the beeswax would ‘land’ and solidify instantly. Incongruent materials that dance well. The images also have a tactile feel that is inviting; the eye can see the  intrigue of the wax form on the surface and is ‘called’ to rub and touch. Sensual.






Charcoal on fabric experiments

I used my charcoal, egg and vinegar tempera to brush onto seventies linen table mats. Something poetic about the vivid orange table mats- I imagine an unwanted wedding present stashed out of sight in a linen cubboard since the seventies heyday of orange.


From clockwise I have used a different mark making tool as indicated by the depth and saturation of media on the fabric.

P1020220Three inscribed mats mounted on canvas painted in high gloss black. The top right corner left empty for the imagination.