Wednesday, August 31, 2011

musing on blue and brown...

'the perennial conversation', 45 cm x 45 cm sq, 
acrylic and ink on paper, fabric and canvas

Posting quickly tonight... its was so satisfying to complete a series of works this past week that had been on my mind for some time. Loading this here just now I found myself thinking about the colours blue and brown and how important they've been in my work for a while. Bit of an earth and sky thing. A few times this year I've heard people speak very eloquently about soil ... the imagery really caught my imagination. Sky and blue for me refer to space and time... a perennial interest is the ancient and what lingers today from down the centuries.

My favourite Sennelier inks come in a box of 4 ... or five? Must be five... two blues. two browns and a black have resulted in many a work that lingers on my mind.... 

close up using sennelier inks on ink

Love what these inks have allowed me to achieve... they are so rich, really have depth yet are very fluid... even when they dry there's that liquid quality!

image from 4 years ago... on paper ... looking at the colours
I was toying with in this quirky composition

a section of a work on paper ... from 4 years ago... using
sennelier inks... interesting how I prefer the other blue now
... a more prussian blue... earthier.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

counting the inheritance

downloading some images today I  found this painting done in 2002 and it feels like the harbinger of much more recent works... seeds and pod like... also suggesting the infinity symbol...

I've named it 'counting the inheritance I'

One of the rainforest seed capsule works... cross-section of pod.

more soon... creating some order in the studio at last after a huge week. Only a few days to go to the WEEKEND ART EVENT here at my home studio.

Friday, August 26, 2011

the studio is bursting at the seams!

With the Spring Art Sale on next weekend things are getting very busy in my studio as I seek things out that have been pushed aside and forgotten about. Someone rang this morning about some works on my website and I realised afterwards where some of the miniatures works were... on the wall in a bedroom.

I have been taking photos of works as I complete them ... or discover them ....  but haven't as yet downloaded them. Trying madly to keep up with emails coming in and things to do... very busy time but enjoyable too! Thinking about painting is always stimulating.

I shall be back soon with photos...

Visit this website events page for more on this:

Afterthought:  Today I found a number of these small 10 cm square canvas boards. I've painted these at times figuring out ideas and colours and such. Love the discipline of doing small work ... the challenge of making something work ... instill it with energy. Its harder than it can at first seem! And its a great thing to do when restricted with time and space.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

speaking about one's art practice and current project

Since early June I've been telling the story of my art practice and current project in varied venues and contexts. After the velocity of last year's residency schedule the most welcome change of pace early this year meant time to reflect, process and plan anew. So... in late May ... when I conducted the Colours of Nature workshop at Caloundra for the Queensland Colour Society things started to take off again... plans rolling out... then a host of other opportunities sparking into life all at the same time.

the colours of nature: the nature of colours

All I can say is that it was crucial to have had those nourishing few months of quiet time...not that I wasn't busy in my studio. Years spent writing and documenting in a visual journal have made reflection  a critical part of my Art Practice. I'd be lost without it. And, for me, the way I find a project matures is to have such stretches of time for 'burrowing in'... to hold still with what has formed to date and consider it more fully.

This school setting was an excellent community hub for a brilliant program of events, presentations and speakers on Sustainability - nothing had been forgotten in the planning and because of that I was able to link with all kinds of initiatives and people throughout this event.

It was also an opportunity to  rethink the focus for the public talk and presentation stand. Photocopying pages of my journals and adding quotes ...all in black and white (very inexpensive at the copy shop)... I soon had a great wallpaper of ideas and images for the backdrop to the stand.

Preparing for this helped  find the central things I wanted to communicate + earmark things to develop further. There's so much synthesising with this project...gathering endless info is pointless without the necessary sifting and distilling as I go.

The children I've taught in the last few years after school, when time permitted, have reminded me constantly of how they see the world. Very often this 'seeing' is dismissed... the value of observing how they navigate, learn and arrive at their conclusions not considered... yet... they can surprise one constantly with their perceptions and what it is they hold close to their hearts.

if we are very honest with ourselves... certain traits and passions may reveal themselves quite early on in our own lives and no matter what influences bear down over the years there's an underlying truth for each of us that can very often be spotted in the early stages of our individual journeys ...and may well be of perrennial resonance.

Last year was an immersion in ideas and experiences at a great rate of learning. The Seed Lab,  the Botanic  Gardens as a whole...and the web of connections they inhabit or orbit around. Thinking was a veritable banquet of possibilities.

This year has been about extracting essential components of the bigger picture....seeing the paradox in things... the more time to see and drill down the more complex and layered everything becomes.

And yet... the desire to speak to things of importance... to give shape and meaning to ideas.

Format: 20 slides, 20 seconds each, 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame. Pecha Kucha Brisbane is an event where any designer, artist, architect, interactive media or alike, are given the soapbox to present their designs, thoughts and ideas. Founded by Klein Dytham Architects (KDA) in Tokyo in 2003, Pecha Kucha (Japanese for 'the sound of conversation') has tapped into a demand for a forum in which creative work can be easily and informally shown. It has spread internationally to over 170 cities.

The Pecha Kucha evening was a grand example of this. On July 7th I joined 8 other speakers at  Pecha Kucha  ... 20 slides and 20 seconds each slide was certainly a gripping challenge. I wrote about it in my blogs in July... if the year was about this defining of the central story this night was it!

I became involved in July in "Homegrown - life in the Slow Lane" a project established by the Design Institute of Australia - Qld for the Southbank Corporation's 'Flavours of the Region' festival. I found myself on a team with 4 others creating an installation called 'back to basics'. It was actually an interesting collaboration. I got to really like the 4 on my team even though I was easily old enough to be Mother to them all. Our work was awarded second in the competition.

However I must say I was distracted by the ideas getting time and space through this project... like minds and curious minds...

This was the lectern for the empty shop come pop-up hub of the project. Vegetable boxes made a great stand. And below are the table settings which gave each of the teams a place to focus their theme.

This is the place setting for my team - team 8..... note the seeds of course!

Natalie Wright who was at the centre of this entire project... an amazing Tour de force!

Team 9: Seek, and you shall dine

Bunya nuts... looking at the indigneous food plants of this region.

Araucaria bidwilli - bunya pine 

Team 5: Green Digital, Homegrown Variety.

The ordinary kitchen herb is the hero in this project...

I brought this herb home and planted it in this cup below.

I soon realised this was not such a good place to plant this herb and shifted it to the wheelbarrow garden outside. No photos of that yet!

In the last month or two I have presented about my project easily 10 times... and also run a whole series of workshops 'the colours of nature : the nature of colours'... for all ages and levels of experience. Each time though I was fascinated to see how the interactions with others and changing contexts shifted the focus considerably and the exploration of the topic. 
I felt like I came away with far richer perspectives many times. Its been a densely satisfying and informing period.
And so many of those moments have led me to reflect significantly on the paintings I've done and wish to do. Interesting how the world comes to meet one as much as one goes to meet the world!

Monday, August 8, 2011


I do have an announcement to make ....

This flyer below (click the flyer to read a larger version) introduces the exciting research trip to the UK for the homage to the Seed project I started in February last year . I've mentioned this trip on various blog posts since it looked like becoming a possible reality. 

At the Abaf or Australian Business Arts Foundation's AUSTRALIA CULTURAL FUND page you can read all about the project fund which I launched a week ago. The departure date is 28th of September with the  6 weeks to be spent in the UK.

If you visit this Australia Cultural Fund site you can read more fully about the project and residency I'll undertake in the UK.

Part of my news is that I have had some timely and very significant support come to me from
my community. 

I had the great good fortune to get to know my local Artisan baker Richard Cotton and his delightful wife Caroline when I first spotted their bakery-cafe 3 years ago not far from where I live. Brewbakers, on Sandgate Rd, Albion
recently become a most significant Donor through the Australian Cultural Fund in support of this Reasearch trip in October November.

They constantly get wonderful write ups... the most recent I found was in the Weekend Australian Magazine in May.  I have a number of times mentioned them on my visual arts blog ... in no small 
part for the quality of what they offer but also for the hub that it is ...  and for many!

Many a grand idea has been hatched from a table in this cafe..  people meet here who come to play a greater role in one's life.... you discover something you really needed to know. Thats a god cafe as far as I am concerned. 

Here are images from a recent visit on a busy morning! 

What a wonderful place... when I discovered it a few years ago I had no idea that this place and the dedicated people behind it would play such an amazing role in my community life and now in serious  art career pursuits.

I have long wanted to create a story about this venture... 

Its been a source of inspiration for a number of reasons ...for me its the most lively (and delicious) example of a sustainable business that does far more than put a loaf of good quality bread on the table. Its does that superbly.. but over my morning coffees these past few years I watched the quality of interactions, and noted the way Richard would respond to customer queries about the bread... the fact he and all who work their can proudly list their ingredients and tell you of some engaging process in the making of the bread.

For now I must simply say what a great privilege it is to have been selected by this much-loved artisanal business to be the recipient of this level of great and generous support for my next endeavours.
Huge thanks Caroline, Richard, and of course Phoebe!!!

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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.