Posted on Leave a comment

So far in January…

I’ve been weaving

I can’t sit for long and not do something with my hands. So I’ve been weaving and stitching. As I have been cleaning out drawers within the studio and house, I have been thinking about what to do with old works on paper. It’s been quite cathartic slicing and remaking small sculptural objects from old work and threads. And with the first image on the left, even collecting palm leaves whilst in the garden has always been a great source of materials to play with.

I’ve also been sketching. – Every year I say, ‘DRAW MORE’. I have multiple journals lying around, rarely filled. This year I really hope to change my habits and just start to sketch. The importance of observing and recording, and improving my hand eye coordination. Muscle memory. Not only to experiment with mark making, but to develop better observational skills.

If I don’t have pencil and journal at hand, I always have access to my iPad. It’s quite liberating to just grab it and start without having to go and find my journal and decide on which pencil/pen to use.

Posted on 1 Comment

paper | assemblage | /əˈsɛmblɪdʒ/

My first love for media has always been with paper.

I have drawers full of paper.

New. handmade. Painted. Torn. Thick. Thin. And Coloured coded as best I can.

The bottom blue image with the word FOCUS is a mono print that I made in 1998. It has been amongst the piles of papers since then. I have held it many a time but today it seemed to connect with me somehow. Maybe the words, the cobalt blue, the memory of making it in Toowoomba in a workshop run by an artist whose name I cannot recall. This itself frustrates me.

Yet today, with some time to focus I was able to play. An integral part of my process. Time to make marks, make compositional decisions, assemble and alter different papers so that they unite as one artwork.

It is quite different to painting on a canvas, or sketching a flower or something I have found on my walk. And as I do this I feel so grounded with the process of making rather than making for a purely commercial sense.

Lately I am struggling with where I want my work to sit in the world…well just a small section of the world. I am proudly not ambitious and don’t  like thrusting my art on  platforms like instagram. Albeit I probably do more than others. We just do what works at the time and there is no judgement as to what is right or wrong.

I have noticed many other artists of late feeling the same about Instagram and needing some time out. Don’t get me wrong, I love many things about instagram, it has its place. But it seems to be quite a consuming and competitive space. I need to work out a balance of sorts. For sometime I have planned for 2022 to be a year where I take my time to filter and connect my ideas. A year to slow down and create with real interrelation. Perhaps this process of assemblage is a start to this connective process.

Posted on 1 Comment

Tasmania : Lutruwita

When ever I travel I take note of all the elements of the landscape. Texture, line, shape etc. However it is colour that I like to recall the most. Because colour dictates the feel of the landscape, the climate, the season, the wild untouched hills to the farmed pastures.

When I get the chance I like to look back through all the photos I have taken and collate a photo montage of the colours that really resonate with the land so that in time I can use this palette to make decisions when painting. From walking across plains high up in the western parts of Tasmania,(Tarkine region) to Robbins Island then to the east to Binalong Bay or as the local Indigenous people call this land, Larapuna.

ABOVE: WATER

ABOVE: WATER and SKY

ABOVE: EARTH, FOLIAGE, ROCK

ABOVE: WATER, MUD, EARTH, BURNT FLORA

ABOVE: GRASSLANDS, PASTURES

Posted on

Ceramic news

Over the last few years, I have dabbled with ceramics. Finally I am committing some time to experiment more with the medium.

At the end of 2020, I was commissioned to produce works for a new apartment here in Brisbane. TheTreehouse by Aria now houses several bespoke pieces including 24 individual hand cut wooden paintings.

above:on the studio wall before installation || below: installed at The Treehouse Apartments, Brisbane.

 

These shaped pieces were an extension of some works I did a few years back on paper that I stitched onto a backing and from here I started to roll out earthenware to develop the process further. A gallery owner once told me that orange shaped 2D art doesn’t sell. I chose not to show my work with her anymore.

So, each week I attend a local ceramic class with Helen Davey who’s knowledge and skills make for a somewhat addictive addition to my art processes.

My intention at this stage is to focus on the surface more so than the form. Like many painters who work in this media, ceramics is just another surface to work on. As with painting, my work can appear differently on paper than canvas. The limitations of media and tools dictate the outcomes and styles of my work. That said, beyond making wall pieces from earthenware, I have been hand building, and the three dimensionality of a form is also grabbing my intention. I’m quite intrigued that marks on a  vessel can be rotated to tell a story. So watch this space… this year is really about learning. If I sell a few pieces to cover my tuition and expenses, then I am happy.

I am limiting the amount of ceramics for sale each month for now. So if you would like to be added to the ceramic mailing list please do so here. I will email a day before announcing the work is available to the public. In addition to this,  I will not be selling these works via an agent or retailer. You will only be able to purchase these via my website or in an exhibition. I want to keep this small and enjoyable rather than  the main focus of my art practice.

Posted on

TRAVEL WITHIN MY HOME – shifting my creative compass

If there was ever a time to finish that book, to clean out your drawers, wardrobe, cook something new, learn how to sew or draw, then perhaps it is now.

Personally, no pandemic will ever get me excited about cleaning out drawers.

Being at home, working at home is not a new concept for me. However, my mindset and ability to concentrate has been altered. Coronavirus (C19) has definitely entered my thinking space. I’ve turned the radio off, I try not to look at my news feed on the phone or computer…at least I reduce this to a minimal time of the day. I am constantly thinking about friends and family who are about to lose income…..the thoughts of worry just escalate.I am not putting my head in the sand, yet trying to just remain balanced and calm is important. People think they have anxiety now…well it’s going to rain down on our society. So how do I over come this? I have a husband who employs 50 people and they all seem to be at my kitchen right now….virtually that is. Good luck with sharing office space and bandwidth at the moment people….

OK, so my thoughts have gone to Alain Button’s book The Art of Travel. Travel will forever be changed, especially international travel. And whilst we may be stuck indoors for now and restricted to where and what we can do, it doesn’t mean that we should never think about travelling again. Especially why we travel. And it certainly doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything within our confines no matter how small they maybe. For me it is relatively easy to shift my creative compass.  I am fortunate enough to have space, a garden that is large enough to explore and spend time in. Time to think about what is in front of me.

So here is my project and I’d love for you to join in if you are feeling uncertain as to how you can spend some of your lockdown time constructively. Or just keep watching crap TV.

Each day I am going to take a journal and sketch every plant in my garden. Every tree and shrub and flower. I am going on a holiday within my own space. I will only spend 5-10 minutes per day recording this information. I know most of my plants….but there are a few I don’t know the names of, so it will be a journey of learning and discovery. I don’t know how long this will last for or what will come from this, but it gives me that break I need from the creative work I have scheduled for commissions at the moment. I cannot paint successfully if my mind is elsewhere.

You may not have a garden, but perhaps you could sketch, photograph or write a poem about other items in your home. Concentrate on your kitchen, what you eat each day, how you travel each room…. Or go back and look at all the holiday destinations you had and make a journal about it.

I just don’t want to waste this time feeling consciously anxious and depressed about how fucked up this world is at the moment. I need a project. This will be a good start. Tell me if you are going to do something similar, I would love to see hear about it.

 

Day one and two

Bay leaf tree and Yucca plant

Please read from the Financial Times: Alain de Botton: how to travel from your sofa : Coronavirus may confine us — but we can learn to explore in very different ways

 

Posted on

February Goals… REFLECTIONS

Reflection on my time in Central Australia. See my previous post.

From my time painting the landscape en plein air I came home with a few smaller pieces that I then extended into some works on paper. Mostly ink and water colour on cotton rag, There is so much to take in when you are in this environment.

The shapes and size of the rocks and their shadows. Violet, Sienna, ochre.

The textures and tones of the bark on the limbs of the eucalyptus and mulga trees. The closer you are to them, the more alive they appear.

The feeling of sand under your feet and long grass against your legs. It is a daunting landscape, one that will polarise your emotions.

The morning’s clarity and silence. The heat and noise of the burning day. The calmness and sometimes formidable atmosphere as the night turns black.

 

I feel the need to break it down into a simplistic image that has space in order to highlight the individual elements.

This last image above is only about 1/3 of the painting.

Posted on

A town like Alice

In early September I took myself on an Accompanied Adventure, a new travel group initiated by artist Ingrid Bowen. I have never been to Alice Springs before and was eager to see the centre. We spent time at the Araluen Arts Centre for the Desert Mob 2019 exhibition and market day and a  night viewing Desert Song. Highlights on the trip (beyond the landscape which honestly was so empowering and rich), were meeting some of the locals who shared their Arts including the Hermannsburg Potters, and the Tjanpi Desert Weavers. There is so much I need to analyse from this trip so this post will be just a minuscule of what I took in.

Posted on 2 Comments

and a new year begins

I am always ready to start before I can. Ideas overflow at this time of the year yet I have little time to focus and commit to them during school holidays.

When I can I reach for any chance to start something. Anything. Mark making is an integral part to any artist’s practice. I guess it’s a bit like warming up or stretching before a run. (Except I hate running) It can be done in many ways, not just with something that carries pigment but something that can scratch and take pigment or surface away. I still use some old dental tools I was given from my uni days when I majored in printmaking.