Monday, March 26, 2012

working on the back verandah...

Just a quick post...

it was unexpectedly fine for much of this weekend, stunning days, and what better time to spend on the back verandah painting. I finally got working on larger canvases around thursday after many distractions.
I had butcher birds get very friendly close towhee I was working.

This photo could be much better, plus its an incomplete work anyway... but I'm enjoying this colour palette at the moment and finding myself transported at times as if wanting to recall something that won't quite come to mind. Thats not such an unusual sensation with painting. That feeling that you are trying to realise something almost can feel it, smell it and yet just can't quite see it!

Two works below have been engaging me this weekend. They are working off each other in a way... so here they are sitting on the back verandah table against the wall where I can paint onto them quite easily... and step back and view from a comfy chair.

The work on the left is a metre square and is onto linen which has been collaged onto the canvas.

these are sections of the long work

this is a painting that I have worked
 on before but not felt quite right about
... coming back to it was a case of 
working out what was working... 
and what was needing altering!

The white ovals need repainting
... but I left them for the moment

this is the larger square painting.
It already had a few areas done...
this linen I wanted to use as part of the 
composition which does make it
a challenge to compose

sections of work with 
close-up of area below!

Ive painted since these photos were 
taken yesterday ... so stay tuned
if curious to see the completion.

Friday, March 23, 2012

I like banks...

Seed banks hold great appeal for me... and here is another kind of bank I recently discovered at Pinterest.

Despite being familiar through Pinterest its was only today that I visited their website,  tumblr and facebook page. A visit to their tumblr archive revealed this...

Sophie Munns   Homage to the Seed
 a 2011 work from my website

We love these paintings by Sophie Munns for there subtlety in colour, texture and pattern.The beauty here, is in natures unevenness in repetition. Her residency at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Artist-in-Residence at Mt Coot-tha focused on global seed heritage and seed conservation. More information at

I was quite delighted with their take on my work as I'm fascinated to learn about their work:

Patternbank’s goal is to be  the one stop resource site for the print, pattern and graphics industry. Patternbank aims to keep you up to speed with the rapidly evolving world of print, pattern and apparel graphics. Our global trend research brings you essential forecast info and trend inspiration ideas for graphics, prints and patterns, making patternbank a valuable resource and intelligence tool for any business, designer or buyer.

With over 20 years in the print, graphics and forecast industry our team have a creative focused eye to aid you in your seasonal design developments.  The Patternbank team have expert knowledge of the print and graphic industry with specialised skills in spotting directional visual inspiration, emerging print and graphics forecast trends, catwalk print and graphic analysis, colour prediction, as well as keeping you up to date on apparel print and graphic developments."
For two years in the late 1990's I designed textiles for boutique bedlinen ranges for a leading Textile Corporation in Melbourne and so was introduced to the textile industry. This happened simply because I was discovered by the Managing Director who drove past my shop-front studio in Melbourne frequently and became curious enough to arrange for his staff to visit and view my work.
One can view patterns as decorative and pleasing (or not), depending on the design. For me they've always been intrinsically tied up with cultural ideas that can be dense and layered if the thinking behind a design is from a curious or receptive mind. Simple or complex... there's so much can be written about patterns and these days about the Pattern-making brain.

The other works they selected are these:
Sophie Munns   Homage to the Seed

Sophie Munns   Homage to the Seed

Sophie Munns   Homage to the Seed

Sophie Munns   Homage to the Seed

Sophie Munns   Homage to the Seed

Sophie Munns   Homage to the Seed
I do find it helpful to have other viewers for ones work..its all to easy to set up a hierarchy of good works and bad in one's studio... discount some things due to this or that. Thanks to Pattern back I may hold on to one work that was destined not to last long as is!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

exploring form and space

Wednesday afternoons at the moment are taken up with tutoring in Visualisation in the Architecture faculty at QUT. Week 11 was a session on modelling with paper, cardboard and foam core for first year students to learn the process involved in building conceptual models and mock-ups.

Drawing was the focus of the first week ... for many it's a new skill, yet to be acquired and tough going at the start. So it was interesting to see the enthusiasm for the 3D task this week. Working on model making, experimenting with forms ... abstract angular, geometric, curving and complex.

I took a few quick snaps of the process in between working around the room seeing what was going on but missed shooting the final results. Students loved photographing their models...particularly the task to get right in close to create the illusion of having designed huge spaces on a scale of a contemporary concert hall or cutting edge art museum. They will take this a bit further next week and place tiny cardboard people in these spaces to add to the illusion.

Its all about seeing ... about 'getting' the idea conceptually to continue developing the models to the desired outcome. It was such a stimulating exercise and great to see people enjoying the afternoon's class.

The following images below you can see here at the page on buildings I have (somewhat randomly)  been collating. Adding them after showing the student experiments I thought  made a neat link between where concepts can emerge from ...and how they may be realised given the circumstances.

Seeing them as paper thats been folded, cut, loped, twisted, bent and so on makes it quite fascinating seeing the core idea out of which the building has developed.

Gorgeous, adaptable to the elements and pre-fab!! California Roll House by Christopher Daniel

Proposed by Yuliyan Mikov for a museum

ROCA London Gallery  Zaha Hadid Architects

Flow (Chicago)

Please refer to this page for all credits...

This one here is really thought provoking ... called the Succulent House it collects rainwater through use of Biomimicry / Murmur.

Succulent House Collects Rainwater Through Use of Biomimicry / Murmur

Visit this site to read more and see images of this amazing building.

I had a strong passion for designing buildings when I was about 13 going on 14... only to be told that I could not take technical drawing as a hugh school subject as it was only for boys. There's something of a lingering architectural/structural thread running through my work over the years that was observed by some staff in this architecture faculty and one of the reasons Ive been included with the group of tutors.

It's certainly offered a tangent for visual thinking that I welcome gladly... and  I'll be curious to see if, by the end of semester, something sticks from this time pursing an alternative line of thinking.

Tomorrow is my first day contributing to a community Mural Project... and this week will give me some studio time after a huge couple of weeks on other tasks. More soon ...
enjoy your projects won't you!


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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.