Friday, May 17, 2013

its been a while...

Studio time is currently not happening 


the news is ...

the backyard at home ... the place where I had dreamed of building a studio

Our home sold officially last Monday and in late June we will move. Unfortunately there will be a gap between when we leave our lovely old home and the new home becomes vacant ... about 18 days in all.  BUT... we've found a new home to go to which is just what we needed. Built in 2004 it's solid and spacious and a huge change in appearance and style.

Nothing that an artistic eye cant bring a fresh vision too... with a little help from a good team.

Its quite a change for us in a number of ways...  a low maintenance home was top priority, as was wheel-chair accessibility in light of the elder of the family, Olivia, who, though still sprightly at age 82, is wanting the comfort and reassurance those of her vintage desire... especially if visitors were to need this kind of accessibility. The path up the left side of the house is a gentle slope and there are no steps at the back entrance to navigate.

There is garden to enjoy but not so much to look after. Plenty of room for my interest in growing things from seed and propagating... employing pots and small creative garden spaces. In fact that is something I didn't insist on at my mother's home when I came to live with her there. She was very much queen of that domain and loved her freshly mown lawns and resisted my visually eclectic garden ideas. Once I realised that I naturally pulled back, shelved my gardening instinct for the time being and madly pursued Homage to the seed from every angle but my own gardening exploits.

That was not a problem for the most part, especially as I was slowly recovering from illness when I moved in. Plus I'd begun gardens from scratch many times over the years and had had to leave them. In retrospect I was quite sad about the home and garden I gave up at my Mayfield cottage in Newcastle to move to QLD and thus took quite some time to adjust.

Now, however, at this new house there is far more room for my imput  so we will create together. I'm really keen to bring some plant experiments into my studio and work a lot more onsite in that way.

 the side path to the back garden and entrance

Even though I've not been painting I've been actively working on projects and concepts of late. One thing I really hoped this move would bring is space to conduct the kind of home-based art practice that furthers consolidation and consistency in the long term.

When I found this place in late April on an online real estate site the floor plan offered hope of a good studio space... and on first sight that thought was confirmed. As soon as one steps in the front door the room opens out to a living space that is a great size.

Currently rented to a young couple running an alternative health business this space is being utilized as a reception area.

the curtains will be removed

walls painted off-white to tone with the tiles

A hanging system for artwork will be installed
 in this extra wide entrance and hallway

Looking out to the front door 
with the studio space on right

the floor tiles are the same through out 
and we rather liked the neutral tones

The area is undergoing change... with many homes 
built following WWII in this area now being altered.

With my studio contents in storage  since mid-March (just got the bill again this morning reminding me) painting and the usual preoccupations are on-hold, which has lead me to fresh contemplation of how to proceed when creating the next phase of my ongoing venture.

During a Building & Pest Inspection carried out today on our soon-to-be home I got to spend almost two hours with handy tradesman brother Russell measuring up rooms and making notes. The dimensions of the studio are going to make for a really decent workspace. Located in the first room on entering the house... which opens out into the wide hallway... I'll be using book  shelves on castors as a movable wall, lined up for privacy.

A table I spotted recently that might work well for the studio plans. Two tables on wheels that are quite light and easy to clean could be moved around with ease daily as required. Ive found this to be a preferred way of working.. as long as there re plenty of other surfaces to hold everything I like to have to hand.

For occasions when the studio will serve as a showroom, or more space is needed, the furniture on castors will be moved. Additionally there's space in the garage for storage of artworks as soon as shelving's installed.

Its a low-set, single story home with most of the living space and small garden at the back of the house.
I'm really looking forward to the practical way this house can be set up for work-at-home peeps.

At the back of the house is a covered outdoor area where we'll 
set up a table which can also be an occasional workspace and 
workshop area as well. This is likely to become a very homely
space for meals and reading and flowing from the kitchen and 
living area its perfect for entertaining. Freshened up it should be 
a gorgeous outdoor room filled with plants and comfy pieces.

These are iphone pics taken today ... the only thing we can find to be bothered by is that we cant move in till july. Having been a rental property we must wait for the contract to be finalised of course. It won't be long before we will be flat out unpacking and trying to piece together all that is needed to get moving. So for now I am trying to get other things planned and be ready.

I'm off to Melbourne Saturday night till Wednesday. Sadly the visit is prompted so I can join dear friends on Monday following their sad loss which was touched on in the post 'For Rohan' at Visual Eclectica.

I will  stay with another dear friend from my Themata Studio days in Johnston St, Collingwood. All the planning for the trip has surfaced so many memories of the 12 years spent in Melbourne and spending time with these friends who have remained close to my heart over many years will be precious.
Its been too long between visits.

Before I sign off...
ten mins from the new place is an environmental centre that I visited again the other day. Denise Rivers, a friend I met volunteering in the seed lab at the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens (where I spent a year on residency in 2010) does volunteering here on mondays and over some years began collecting seeds on site and germinating the seeds in their nursery below.

 Denise took me through the area she has spent 
considerable time helping restore with other 
volunteers. Loved this ferny grove and creek.

the seed nursery

Knowing I will live in quite close proximity to some excellent reserves and can access a bike-path by a creek from this new place I am very pleased. It's also only a ten minute walk to a large and busy local Library, Aquatic Centre, sports fields and large shopping centre. I will have a number of directions to head first things of a morning to start the day. Oh.. and I noticed a community garden at the park close by the house this week. So much to explore and look forward to.


Where I used to ride my bike to was beside the 
Brisbane river... such a built up area I lost interest. 
And the traffic bothered me. I'm now really looking 
forward to discovering where I will be moving to.

the beach at the river

love these mangrove seed pods... beautiful structures.
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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.