Friday, December 30, 2011

getting ready for the new year...

A quick post today before I get into the interior painting I have taken on... see visual eclectica blog for that story! Its the time of the year that, given I am home on holidays, there is a chance to rethink and remake... starting with the new header here. Not sure how long it will be kept... but change as they say... you know the rest!

I have so many ideas, projects and studio/painting plans that I decided could wait whilst I freshened up my home and created some all important order in my domestic scenario. The beauty of that is you find things that will ultimately be used in the work... and you clear your head in a way that allows for more calm and order ... a very good thing!

Ive added these photos from my UK residency at the Millennium Seed bank in West Sussex. I wrote extensively about the UK Research trip in my latest E-Newsletter available from mid December. You'll find an overview and extensive notes on the places I visited with plenty of photos along the way!

E-newsletter header
Home over a month now I am still realising how many photos I took that I haven't yet looked at properly. Around xmas day I worked on journal and postcards I  started over there... but I've not been getting round to taking photos at the moment. Something I must amend as there are a number of things I wish to capture.

This was my desk workspace in my room at the MSB. It was set in the midst of a huge estate and Botanic Garden at Wakehurst Place. You can read all about that in my latest E-Newsletter.

The journal I managed to work on extensively in my stage... here opened at a watercolour drawing of a fossil seed cupule.

Pages from the journal...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

painting in my mind!

I've had a huge couple of weeks writing... so the painting is on hold at present!

Tonight ... after yet another long day writing about my UK trip for a report... and also completing the E-newslteer about to go out anyday now.... I started viewing images on my tumblr site Seed Capsules.
I changed the template I use some months ago and now I really do have a site that has images tumbling out of the screen. You can scroll on and on and the view is of two columns with just a narrow band between images. I was sitting at my large desk top screen remembering each image I've reblogged there and marvelling at the density of visual stimulation and intellectual property in the collection of images which rolls out.

Its really quite inspiring to receive this outpouring... OK...its only a smallish screen image, not necessarily good resolution in most... and yet the magic and potency of certain images does seem apparent. Some images have a kind of totemic power to them... they actually convey qualities that touch one. I do find that curious and surprising. Mac computers have that light behind the screen and a lovely that all it is....
i don't think so.

Go see if you see what I mean.... visit Seed Capsules here.

WHat i found scrolling through these images was a certain lushness in some... wonderful painterly qualities, others its the compositions or shapes... whatever... what it did do is make me feel really keen to again get immersed in the paint. Haven't had a chance to paint since that short trip to the coast and before that at the Millennium Seed bank. I'm glad Xmas is coming up... i want to make the most of some free time!

I don't like to post anyone else's images here simply because it might create confusion... but these two images stood out tonight and reminded me of qualities I like in a work.

    Aboriginal (unknown group, Kimberley, Western Australia), Pendant, pigment/pearl shell, c. mid-20th c.
    (via huamao)

Martin Assig
Nur M. 1996
Enkaustik auf Leinwand.
160 x 100 cm.

This is by the same artist and was at the link above as well:

Martin  Assig
Beide  Fridas1999.  Enkaustik und Tempera auf Holz. 185 x 136 cm.

Martin Assig

Beide Fridas
1999. Enkaustik und Tempera auf Holz. 185 x 136 cm. 

Interesting to take time to appreciate how someone uses their materials and works the surface ... colour...composition. Things to think about here.

well thats my experience tonight of 'painting in my mind'... as I slowly mused my way through all the images I found paintings being prompted from my own free flowing thoughts and associations.

so my task is to try and realise some of the promptings from my imagination....

stay tuned!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Taking time to reflect on the UK Research Trip

The seventh day home and I'm starting to feel more alive. A friend called Monday with a wonderful offer to go down the coast for a few days. So early Tuesday morning I packed up drawing materials, computer and notes from my trip to get a little more focused on documenting the trip. Home last night I am now relishing the fact that was such a well-timed surprise. 

I did in fact have an excellent opportunity to review the OS experience, do some watercolour painting whilst sitting in a cafe for four hours, in deep concentration, and of course engage in good conversation  processing everything with my friend.

I also visited a local ceramic artist in Brunswick Heads who I have blogged about before. A late afternoon walk on the beach, paddling, mooching around, collecting small round stones, led to photos... as yet to be downloaded. The grey afternoon was trying to rain...
It was very peaceful and in a way the misty grey swallowing up the definition of horizon and all was just right  for the mood I was in ... soothing and enveloping.

I will post photos soon of this short trip south.

This is a quick ink drawing done whilst at the Millennium Seedbank... all australian seeds.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Home again In Brisbane after Oct-Nov UK trip

Back home in Brisbane as of yesterday and I now have the considerable task of getting documentation of the trip up-to-date, following up with contacts made whilst away and working with al the material I produced whilst away. 

Challenging yes...but in a good way. It always seems to take time to absorb the impressions and experiences of a trip like this... nine days short of two months away.

Images from my time at the MSB... top left works were done on A4 paper recycled in the library... drawing straight over the scientific research notes. There was no end of stimulus for the studio...

Work on large paper ... simple pattern making ... on the right: cross sections of seed capsules and fruits.

Fellow residents on the last night of my residency... in the staff room where I spent the weekend painting.
Marco left from Sardinia, Giangelo from Brazil, Shahid from Pakistan, Efisio form Sardinia and Gisele from Brazil. They were all doing Seed Research projects... so interesting conversations were had learn ng about their respective countries and projects.

This image above and below is of the artwork produced at the end of the Kew MSB Residency ... on the final weekend I worked on a large linen cloth with acrylic paint and pigmented ink... about a metre square. It was presented to the Director Paul Smith for the Millennium Seedbank Project as a gift in appreciation of my time at Wakefield Place.

With my three weeks given over to a long list of tasks ... time to paint a specific work was limited to the last weekend... so I was somewhat under pressure to produce something fitting the gift I wished to leave in that time frame. 

The other challenge was to crete a work that could be hung easily despite my not having access to my usual materials. This work was put together as a wall hanging to save the trouble and expense of framing. It was a bus tip and train trip to get to Brighton to buy some of the necessary materials as it was... so this was an ideal format given the circumstances.

I took the title "Counting the Inheritance' I had used before for this work as it seem so fitting given the critical role the MSB plays in working with the planet's Seed Inheritance.

After leaving the MSB I headed for two weeks in London. These drawings are from an afternoon spent at the Natural History Museum where I visited the Darwin Centre and went behind the scenes to view the fossil collections and make notes and drawings on fossil seeds.

I will be back offer the coming weeks with more installments from the trip. Do visit the Homage to the Seed blog and particularly my main blog where I have been adding posts on this trip.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

new work: this week at Wakehurst Place

This is a very quick post ... rushing to get this done whilst sitting at my laptop in the Apple Store in Brighton which is half an hour from the Millennium Seed Bank inWest Sussex.

I posted also last night at the Homage you can read a little more over there.

I have many images to share...will catch up soon with posting.

Things are proceeding well. So much to take in here... three weeks is not long .. buts its very memorable nevertheless!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

a new journal... and an ode to St Ives!

Since  my last post I have packed my bags, put the 'gone fishing' sign on my studio door and travelled to the UK via Korea ... arriving last thursday into a heat wave in London... or should I say Indian Summer... a more poetic term. 

I took a train from Paddington to St Ives on Saturday which was spectacularly good timing .. a blissful place to be in the heat. Sunday was well spent visiting the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Gardens first up... then meeting lovely blogger Carolyn Saxby whom I found thoroughly delightful and good company as we made our way around her home town. Three or so hours went very quickly and I was much the wiser about this south-western spot afterwards.

It was a genuine treat to meet someone so ensconced in their environment and nourished in her artistic process by a genuine love of this place. 

I have borrowed these photos from Carolyn's blog to pad out my story. If you pop over and visit her you will soon find various other sites she keeps.. Flickr, her other blog, and online shops and more!

I had to put in these images by Carolyn... especially the one's of her beachcombing finds... we didn't have much time but I saw her in action ...she has a keen eye I must say!

one of Carolyn's books full of things that inspire her.
close up

 a knitting project

Unfortunately it was far too brief a visit to warrant getting all my art materials out much as the place lends itself to interpretation. I bought a small book on artist Elaine Pamphilon at the Tate Gallery bookshop.


Early Morning Blush with Beach River,  mixed media on canvas  120x 150 cm  £5250      
by Elaine Pamphilon

The Red Lion
Medium: Mixed media on canvas
Size: 100 x 120 cm

Whilst in the Tate St Ives Bookshop I spotted the work of Rachel Nicholson, daughter of Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. There was a comprehensive book and postcards available... after walking the narrow alleyways and drinking in the subdued colours of this place I was quite taken with this artist's work.
The book
Read Carolyn's post on this artist from 2010.

Ben Nicholsen

Read about Ben Nicholson and other artists from St Ives.

Ben Nicholson
I found the colours that were prevalent in much of the work from this area very appealing. Walking the narrow streets, observing the houses and colours was very much in keeping with the works I was viewing.

Ben Nicholson

I spent a wonderful morning at Barbara Hepworth's Garden...

It struck me how much her love of form had resonance for my work... the love of the ovoid shape and cut-out hole.  I've long admired her work and hankered to see it in life... but never conciously saw what was felt rather obvious when viewing her work on Sunday.

View the photos of this wonderful Sculpture Garden at my Visual Arts Blog

the book

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden

Visiting the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is a unique experience, offering a remarkable insight into the work and outlook of one of Britain's most important twentieth century artists. Sculptures in bronze, stone and wood are on display in the Museum and Garden, along with paintings, drawings and archive material.
Barbara Hepworth first came to live in Cornwall with her husband Ben Nicholson and their young family at the outbreak of war in 1939. She lived and worked in Trewyn studios, now the Hepworth Museum, from 1949 until her death in 1975. Following her wish to establish her home and studio as a museum of her work, Trewyn Studio and much of the artist's work remaining there was given to the nation and placed in the care of the Tate Gallery in 1980.
'Finding Trewyn Studio was a sort of magic', wrote Barbara Hepworth; 'here was a studio, a yard and garden where I could work in open air and space'. When she first arrived at Trewyn Studio, Hepworth was still largely preoccupied with stone and wood carving, but during the 1950s she increasingly made sculpture in bronze as well. This led her to create works on a more monumental scale, for which she used the garden as a viewing area. The bronzes now in the garden are seen in the environment for which they were created, and most are in the positions in which the artist herself placed them. The garden itself was laid out by Barbara Hepworth with help from a friend, the composer Priaulx Rainier.

Explore Barbara's Garden online.

Text from the Tate Website.

Read text from her writings here.

the museum

As for my artistic process... I'm spending the week at the Eden Project and Ive taken loads of photos but not yet found time to sit and draw... except for this moment yesterday.

I joined in an activity where colours had been made from common plants ... it was an enjoyable moment in a rather busy day where I certainly wore in my new shoes.

Beetroot, chili, tumeric, spirulina, coffee and more.
Hop over to the Homage blog to read much more about the Eden Project visit... I took quite a lot of photos. I look forward to getting more into the art process over the coming weeks... but photos will capture some of the things I want to return to at my leisure.
Thanks to all of you who have been leaving messages whilst I'm on the move and not very communicative!

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About Me

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Blogging for me is an extension of keeping a journal which I have done in various forms over the decades. The difference being this is not a closed book! I like that it offers an opportunity to explore that which concerns me as an artist and as an individual about living and participating in this vastly complex, unquestionably exciting yet unnerving time in human history. Through the blog I hope to increase the possibilties for cross-pollination which I believe can strengthen the sense of being part of something both personal and universal that is vital, expansive and refreshing.