Saturday, January 28, 2012

whats been keeping me busy of late?

In January I could no longer ignore the obvious... if I wanted to feel focused this year the studio required complete reorganisation of all available space. Here are some images from after the clearn-up... no 'before' shots... far too hectic then indeed!

My new scrubbed up table with a basket of macadamia nuts and carved seed pod all the way from Central Australia thanks to the wonderful Candy Herne who lives in the rainforest near Montville, north of Brisbane.

Low res photos...  can see the floor and the table top... pop the cork ... I am celebrating at this point.

Its as if the space has expanded...

A new vista for when working at the desk top computer in the room next to my studio. I'm loving that separation between studio and computer!

I got this already in a hurry last weekend in time for Sundays first workshop here. The walls needed something so I found various pieces that were ideal to place here.

Every book, art material whatever it was found a home... shelves were repacked and anything possible to get rid of was sent elsewhere!

Love these filing shelves

 The tall shelf is where the desk top used to be... but in the end it was just too crammed in and this is neater... so I am very pleased with the new arrangement.

Cup of tea in the studio anyone?

 The nearby kitchen is always handy!

... and a table on the back veranda next to the studio for those times one wanted to sit or ponder or work somewhere more open.

Loved having a small all day workshop here last Sunday...  worth cleaning up the studio for! Messy work was conducted out the back on the grass by industrious participants Sue, Lorraine and Wendy.

This was the day before the heaviest rain we've had in ages... I was glad for the excellent weather... we had a great day!

From outside back into the studio

Two of the class members were continuing ideas stated last year in the Colour workshops. Sunday we worked  on calico rather than paper... it will later be collaged onto canvas. This is a technique Ive been using over the past five years and it worked really well here. I shot a couple of pics... missed out on getting all the work.... must have been side-tracked!

some work was done in journals...

The rest of the time calico was the perfect canvas... lots of experimentation was the order of the day... finding what worked on fabric and how that was different than paper.

Great to see the range of approaches. We looked at diverse artists for inspiration. Brice Marsden's work led to collecting twigs and trying them out as painting tools instead of brushes.

Geometry in various forms of art was another tangent.

 This was a fascinating botanical item we had trouble identifying ... any ideas!

Great rethinking colour and surface...

after the workshop... the table top has disappeared.

The room was well and truly christened for the year's work to take place in. It feels so much better than the highly packed space it was before. I spent the week working on concertina books ...picking up where the class left off.
Photos of that to come next!

Monday, January 23, 2012

the emerging motif

In 2004 I was working virtually full-time teaching, but carried a journal with me religiously and would get it out  in any meeting I was stuck in and begin putting things down. Simple forms and lines... not thinking consciously for the most part. I let the pen be moved by my hand as if the hand was doing the thinking and meanwhile I dipped in and out of the talk from the meetings.

somewhere in that time I put down the lines that became eventually this form...

and later was put into hundreds of compositions small and large it was such a persistent motif

After a couple of years I was so uncomfortable with this compelling motif which felt like an incomprehensible interloper that I tried to pack it away ... but it would NOT leave!

By 2008 I realised it was here to stay so I no longer fought it and gave it space to emerge in my
work whenever. It evolved into the fully fledged 'homage to the seed' project the following year seemingly as if the motif had been heralding it all the long... seeds within a pod!

I found other drawings from around the time of the ones above in 2004 that demonstrate this clearly. This is why I have so much respect for journals as a way to track the emergent ideas.

Last night I worked in another concertina book and the form that wanted to live in there was once again this ovoid pod form. The feeling I get as I work on this abstracted form is that of something living in me that has to be put out into the light of day... its feels like a story that needs to be told... I actually get that sense of urgency when I work with this motif...even now... in 2012... that's 8 years on from when it first emerged.

This really feels like such a mysterious element in my work...  reminding one that compelling forces are at work within us all and we do have to pay attention!

Friday, January 20, 2012

working in transit... the mobile studio

Last night I returned from time out up the coast and put together a post on that at my visual eclectica blog  this morning.

I packed up some ink, watercolours and various journals and found some space to work sitting in cafes as well as at the holiday apartment. Hers a few mages from a cafe setting.

This is cotton rag paper ...a khaki journal i've been using lately... figuring out the best ways to enhance the qualities inherent in both paper and materials.

This concertina book is a really engaging surface to paint on... 

If i tire of a section i rework it or introduce other colours etc

that can mean adding or subtracting in a way that one regrets at times

but in order to give life to something that is par for the course!

In a way there are a lot of ideas stored in one small series of works in this concertina book.

Back to the cloth journal ... simple mono-prints

 and these are  a few images of the other side of the concertina book...

I started this journal at the Kew Mlllennium Seed Bank and have added to it now over several work sessions in the past few months. Ive got 4 more concertina books to use at some point and am looking forward to seeing what is generated by using this format.

mono-printed page in the cloth book

mono-printed pages

 working with textured marks

More work from Journals: 2008

                 and November 2011

I could post pages of journal images. Much to do... I'd best get moving now.

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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.