Friday, December 31, 2010

A Happy and Creative 2011

Wishing all of my readers friends and rels a very happy and creative 2011- let inspiration find you!

My catch cry for 2011 is going to be Print! I want to create a lot more linocuts and print on both fabric and paper and perhaps make some hand printed books. I will also be running another on-line linocutting class beginning on 24 January- see my previous post for more information.

Meanwhile I am still sorting through all of the things that  were in storage- hand dyed fabrics, journal covers , my pomegranate book and pages in the book- hand dyed indigo cloth from Africa.

And it looks as if the tour of Syria will go ahead- we just need a few more travellers- it will be a fabulous trip! Contact Creative Arts  Safaris if you are interested.
And I will be doing some  things with khadi cloth in the coming year.

I also would like to know  if anyone would be interested in my book on Syria- the travel and inspiration and work pieces created as a result?. Leave me a message with your thoughts!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Madonna by Michael of Crete

I must admit to a love of icons and madonnas in particular and it is the time of the year that makes you think about madonnas. There is something that draws me to them wherever I am. I think its the way the Madonna looks at the child who looks rather grown up in this painting. This particular Madonna was painted by Michael of Crete in 1813 and in the flesh it is brightly coloured  in rich reds greens and golds,with the colours creating a rich texture. It lives in the Monastery of St Serge- Deir mar  Sarkis (  Sergius was a roman soldier who converted to Christianity) in Maloula in Syria and adds a particular charm to the little chapel in the monastery. You are not allowed to photograph it  hence this image comes form a postcard.

My house is still far from unpacked though all the big furniture arrived the day before Christmas and then it was Christmas. I am getting to the stage where the sewing machine is beckoning- but now it is the problem of ideas or more exactly inspiration.

I am also making plans for  Europe next year. I am not sure the tour of Syria in the last two weeks of April is going ahead due to lack of registrations. It is such a pity as Syria is such a fabulous place and the trip that Creative Arts Safaris has created is a lot of fun with loads of different textile experiences.If you are at all interested pop over to Creative Arts Safaris and register your interest. The trip includes most of your meals , lovely and sometimes very atmospheric hotels, and inspiration galore!

Then  I will head to Europe afterwards as I am invited artist at the European Quitl Champiopnships from 5-8 May in Eindhoven in the Netherlands ( and I have to make a lot of new work for this) and then the following weekend I head to Cremona as invited artist at Italia Invita (12-15 May) and then I head for the South of france for an exhibition with Atelier Printemps Sacre. If anyone would like me to touch please email me.

On-Line Linocutting Course- commencing 24 January
I also found my books on printmaking and my box of things that I created for the on-line lino-cutting course. I have had people email me when I am doing my next course and have decided I shall do one starting Monday 24 January 2011. The course consists of three modules( pdf file) delivered in fortnightly instalments for 6 weeks, each containing various exercises. I set up an on-line group to share our work and to  trouble shoot problems. If you are interested  email me. The cost of the course is 45 euros or $55 ( Aus or US)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More Found Things

 I found this piece that I must have stuck away. I remember it was inspired by the key and keyholes of the wardrobe when I did the residency at Chateau de Chassy ten years ago- another adventure in France. I didn't finish it- maybe I will now that I have found it again.I really want to focus on work inspired by my travelling but first I have to make some work inspired by the theme Herbarium for Italia Invita in Cremona in Italy next year  in May as i am invited guest artist.

The big furniture does not arrive until next week so that makes getting any work done pretty difficult as I really have nowhere much to work.We did get a Christmas tree though despite the lack of furniture.It does look lonely but is also a bright spark in the corner. I am slowly getting more used to this place

This is another pomegranate piece that I made for our Atelier Printemps Sacre exhibition  at the end of Ocotber. it is for sale for $45 US inclusive of postage. We will be having another exhibition  in the second half of May next year.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I Now Live in a City

I was at a bit of a loss  as to what to do with myself- I am trying to arrange for things to come out of storage but it all takes time and  fitting in with people and least we don't have to pack up the house.

Then I remembered- I live in a city now- one with an Art Gallery and a very good print collection. There weren't many prints on display- but there were one or two old favourites .I need to reconnect with Australia!
Frederick McCubbin- The Burial- he's captured the harshness of settling, the losses and despair in what sometimes seemed an unforgiving bush

Rosemary Gascoigne- Assemblage of Wood- recycling

Fred Williams- i love love love the work of Fred Williams- his take on landscape is breathtaking sometimes and his seemingly minimalist marks are intricate and dense- and the scattering is so like the messy Australian bush- I don't think  Williams would have read the quote from Henry Cross which I quoted in my previous post but it seems to me this is exactly the sort of thing he had in mind .

And these last two images form an exhibition entitled Mary and Max- which was an animated film created by Adam Elliot. the entire film was made from photo stills- not computer generations, so each puppet was entirely hand build and hand embellished- for example if they wanted to show drops of sweat running down one of the characters faces- each droplet of sweat had to be put into place- they used glycerine to create that effect- but every time a drop rolled down it had to be repainted and photographed.They took 132,480 still photographs to create the animation.Obviously it required a team of clayologists and artists to bring this all to life and this exhibition was a wonderful insight into how such a film might be made. Many of the props were on display plus some of the letters and films to show how the film was made.The story sounds quirky too ( not having seen the film) it is  the story of a 20 year penpal relationship between Mary Dinkle and lonely 8yo living in Glenwaverly in Melbourne ( the "burbs") and Max Horowitz a 44 year olf obese Jewish man with Asperger's syndrome living in New York.

It's obvious what needs to be done to climb out of this lack of work- just do the work! never mind what just do it!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Finding Things

I am now officially a resident of Newcomb in Geelong. not that all my things have been moved- far from it.Last week raced by and I am not sure what happened to it. I will have to organise a removal van as a single woman with kids can't move all the heavy furniture including a piano.

So I have been packing as many boxes as i can in the car and unpacking them. I found that though I thought I had labelled boxes, I obviously didn't so some surprises have come out of storage.It is kind of fun being reunited with things I have not seen for a year.The photos are of some of the things- top is some journal pages including a drawing done with my left hand ( I am right handed). The bottom photo is of cd's I wrapped in torn fabric- I can't remember what I was thinking but they are very colourful!

I also found this quote from the book  Matisse the Master by Hilary Spurling wise words that Henri Cross wrote to Matisse who was his friend: Cross asked "What does Nature offer us?" "Disorder,chaos,gaping holes.Yet we go into ecstasies before this chaos, and cry 'How Beautiful!'. A work of art can be plucked from this.It is here that you must 'organise your sensations'. Offset this disorder and profusion.From the very fact that we experience sensual emotion, we may conclude that there is something here for us. How to proceed from a practical point of view in order to express this emotion? Select fragments, always bearing in mind the end result. At this moment, we make a work of art.We transform, we transpose, we assert power."
I wrote it down in a journal... I need to remember this as i work... when I start to work... it's been a month of nothing much.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hand Dyed Khadi Cloth

Just before I left France I hand dyed some khadi cloth- this cloth is quite soft and the weave is a bit rougher than cotton which makes it very attractive for me, plus there is a variation in the colours of the threads which gives the cloth a lovely  ambience. I was really happy how it came up when dyed as the slightly different coloured threads picked up the dye quite differently creating quite a rich effect, I have been thinking about how I might quilt this piece- maybe a la griot?

The bottom image is of some kimono silk I found in my shed the other day. It has been printed with the light grey and red.I had never really looked  at the whole piece so when I finally opened it up to measure it I was surprised to find that some of it had been mended by hand and by machine- obviously too precious to discard. I have about 5 metres in this piece- if anyone is interested it is for sale for  $60.00 US.

And we found a house! Yay- and we move on friday all things going well.It's been a frustrating month having nowhere to really work and I find I get quite despondent when I don't have all my creative triggers around- you know how it is, touching fabric, playing with colours, dye a little of this and a little of that  and ideas are born.