Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Linocutting On-line and Looking Back at the Year

I will be commencing an on-line linocutting  course on 26 January 2016, when I hopefully will be happily ensconced, once again, in Le Triadou, near Montpellier. The course consists of exercises to learn or hone your skills, a discussion of your tools, to consider positive and negative space in design and how it works with lino, how to create interest and texture in your designs, how to use your photos as inspiration  for your linocuts, some fun elements like  reduction linocutting or printing with more than one colour, printing on fabric or paper. Of course this is also a great way to make simpler stamps to print on fabric . I will set up a closed FB group for class discussion and sharing. The notes and exercises will be delivered as pdf files with exercises building in complexity. There is roughly about 100 pages of notes and I am working on adding a section of adding stitchto your linocut printed fabric. The class will run for 8 weeks with fortnightly delivery of material though I keep the discussion group open longer. The cost of the course is $60 AUS, just email me if you wish to be involved. Below is an image of some of the linocuts I have done in recent years.

For those of you in Melbourne wanting a more hands on experience- I will be  teaching  linocutting and stitching your  printed fabric at Open Drawer in Camberwell on 9 January 2016. You will make a small practice piece to try out the different gouges and the marks they make and then you will make a post card size print ( or slightly larger if desired) of a motif which will then be printed onto fabric and then stitched. There is a small cost for materials which includes lino and you will also get to try different tools to see the difference.

Below is an image of stitching going into the linocut printed fabric. I found I had to do a lot of stitching on this one as the background fabric really wants to domineer the image. I have yet to decided what colour I will stitch the background, but it will be in running stitch! She is the girl with the tree. I have this print available for sale on fabric if anyone is interested!

Last night I spent some time looking back over my photos for the year. I felt quite adrift at the beginning of this year simply because the waste management plan that Colac Otway were supposed to devise for blocks of land in Gellibrand still had not happened and I really want to sell my block of land. I do have a lined shed on the block which was once to be my studio and I could easily bivouac in there but the catch is,  it is right next door to my ex-husband, and whilst were are on amicable terms the idea of  being right next door had me hesitate. But finally I have made up my mind to move back here and the catalyst was the John Wolseley Heartlands and Headwaters exhibition at the Ian Potter at Federation Square- the link is to an essay provided by the gallery and there is also a very interesting video. I absolutely loved his work - it gave me so much food for thought, and gave me a way of looking at Gellibrand beyond the personal failure of dreams, but as an interesting environment in its own right, something worth exploring , protecting, sharing and investigating and connecting with. So  though the year began with banksia investigations ( which still continue and which will be a large part of the work I will exhibit at Quilts en Beaujolais, with accompanying stories I hope) it has morphed into a Gellibrand River exploration- something I anticipate will take a bit of time and which will occupy me when I am here.

The last two weeks  here have been very hot and of course there have been the dreadful fires that destroyed so many houses at Wye River and other places on the Great Ocean Rd- it's a bit scarey really that these fires are happening this early in summer and things are very dry. The other troubling feature this summer has been that when the changes blow in they are coming with mini tornadoes of a sort , which sees the wind swirling in all directions.Yet the early mornings are filled with mist from the temperature inversion of the night- you could be forgiven for thinking it will be a cool day, but once the sun arrives it disappears very quickly.

One aspect of returning to Gellibrand has been  the growth in the little orchard- the trees have not been pruned for a number of years ( a winter job for me) and the apple trees are laden, but the destructive sulphur crested cockatoos and the Major Mitchell Cockatoos are  wreaking a path of destruction- they will destroy a whole apple for the tiny apple seeds within and just dump the remaining apple on the ground. The ground underneath the trees is like a blanket of crushed apples.

I was going to do an overview of some of my photos taken on travels this year, but there are so many the task became too daunting as I don't have regular internet/power access.I do have an instagram account if any of you are interested in following me there, where I try and post an image most days.

And lastly I would like to wish all my readers a happy and creative 2016! Thank you for your support during the year in buying my book ( there are still more for sale) and my printed fabrics!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Book and Christmas

Firstly I want to wish all of my readers a happy and safe holiday season however you celebrate it or don't. I drew this angel from an image I took in Florence when I was there in in October.

 Of course I had to smudge the hand writing but the sentiment speaks a thousand words- and something we all need to remember from time to time- especially at this time of year.

For a short time only my book Musing in Textile- France is on offer at 20% off until Boxing Day night which means this lovely hardback book will be $39.95 plus postage instead of $49.95-  a sample chapter or two can be seen below and email me if you are interested

A furry creature, belonging to one of my daughters has come to spend some time in the shed. His name is Angus. He seems to enjoy it well enough though he was a bit surprised at the size of the garden, the audaciousness of wattle birds, the screechiness of the suplhur crested cockatoos destroying my apples on the apple trees and the heat!

Whilst tidying things into plastic boxes I came across a sentinelle panel which just called to be stitched.It seemed appropriate to end the year with a sentinelle as the sentinelles stitched so beautifully by everyone for the Sentinelle exhibiiton will be heading to their makers in the not too distant future! This sentinelle linocut  was printed over some failed pomegranate print I had made  years ago but I had obviously never got around to stitching her. I think of her as my Demeter Sentinelle and she indeed invokes a sense of mystery . She measures approximately 25 cm  by 50 cm and has been entirely stitched by hand and she is for sale  for $250 plus postage.Email me if you are interested.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Special on My Book!

The time has flown and I am finally getting to the tail end of sorting out my things in the shed and putting everything into plastic boxes, plus I have installed a new lock all by myself! You could not lock the shed as someon,e other than me, had mislaid the key for the shed.

It's been very very hot, in fact too hot to be in the shed. I am lucky I have been able to go to a friends house where it is at least a bit cooler, so not much  stitching getting done.Thank goodness the rain and cool change has just arrived. I have made a couple of stitched khadi pieces-  stitching actual leaves onto the khadi paper- even if the leaves crumble, the stitching will remain in place-  and the backs are interesting though I have forgotten to photograph them.

I have made my arrangements to get to France 2016 so that I can house sit for my friend in le Traidou- it was a bit awkward as the timing was very tight as the airfares around Christmas/New Year from Australia to Europe  are ridiculously expensive. So I am very relieved to have found a reasonable fare. So remember if you are in France and particularly Southern France and would like me to teach from mid January until mid April let  me know or conversely you can come to  Le Triadou as there is space to do workshops.

I have my banksia contemplation board in place, but not having  the power to run my sewing machine is hard. I am trying to think what I can do with these pieces.... Some machine stitching will have to happen because I do not have enough time to do everything by hand!

I am also going to run my on-line linocut printing class again! There has been a couple of requests for it as it is some time since I ran the course.

The linocut on-line class will commence on 26 January ( Australia day because I won't be there) and consists of  a series of exercises to hone your skills  to be able to achieve  lovely linocuts, and tips and  ideas on how to use your photos for inspiration and how to use positive/negative balance in interesting ways.There is also a section on printing on fabric . I have been told the notes for the class are very thorough indeed and are invaluable in coming up with good designs. The on-line course will consist of the notes and an on-line forum to discuss  and inspire each other.All of my printed fabrics are made with linocuts I have made myself including the banksias above.

I am also considering making my  linocutting notes available as a pdf download if there was any interest. The cost of the course is $60AUS and I can be paid via Paypal or if in Australia via internet banking. Please email me if you are interested.

Christmas Special! For Australia only , if you  buy a copy of my book Musing in Textile: France up to and including boxing day I will offer the book at  a 20 % discount plus postage ( which is about $15) So that means the book will be $39.95 plus postage.  The book is hardback and  is in full colour with 240 pages. We have put up a sample chapter on issu for you to have a look and read some  of the book and don't forget there is a dvd with explanatory notes and also a videos of the techniques I have used in the book. I have been told by several people that the videos are  very useful and full of information! Ican be paid via Paypal ( with a small additional charge) or by internet banking or direct deposit. The sample  chapter can be seen here   or below                  

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Back in Gellibrand

I have spent the last week sorting through my things and have gotten rid of many things and have been a bit ruthless- boxes of magazines that fortunately found a good home, old stuff I haven't looked at for years. I am sick of carting them around. I am also  putting all things into plastic containers or ziplock bags, as the spiders in the shed get pretty torrid when I am not here. I can't do much more until I get the rest of my furniture down here. Having no water or power has proved interesting- thankfully I have a good friend a little bit down the road where I can at least shower occasionally- otherwise I am reverting to early twentieth century bathing style with a tub!

There has been some movement on the wastewater management plan, as in there is finally a plan, but what it will exactly entail is a bit of a mystery at present as they will be assessing each application individually, so there is no overall  regulations that apply to blocks zoned residential. It still leaves me up in the air as far as selling my block as no one knows whether a building permit will be granted as each will be assessed individually- sigh- I am so over this. I guess however maybe the fact that there is a house on the blocks either side of me maybe they will grant a permit- and there is enough land to be able to come up with an acceptable waste water system- never mind that the cows over my back fence go down the river and poop to their hearts delight- one would have thought they would be more of a concern than a septic tank.

I am finally getting a little stitching done- though after about 1.30 pm today it was too hot to be in the shed and I have  come to my friends house to catch up on some things internet and to sip some white wine and iceblocks- what luxury!.

I have created a page of works that I have for sale entitled Works for Sale including Work from my Book Musing in Textile, it is the first tab under my header banner, please have a look and see if anything interests you, and all reasonable offers will be considered! Just email me. I need to buy a water tank and also buy my airfare to return to Europe, as that is where most of my work is , particularly workshops.And of course my book is for sale  and linocut panels are also for sale!

I am really a bit excited about next year as I am going back to Le Triadou, the place that provided so much inspiration for my book. My friends who live there are going to the Phillipines where they have a house and are also involved in a permaculture project, so I will be housesitting for them whilst they are away. I have also been invited to exhibit at an artists' event in Chartres in March 2016- I am so excited to show my Chartres work in the city that inspired the work, and then  I will exhibit new work at Quilts en Beaujolais in April 2016 ( I  really have to get into gear and make work, but  until I get my workspace properly settled it's difficult to be working steadily, although the end is in sight). I will also be guest exhibitor at Forca Fil in Provence in June 2016 and have been allocated space in a museum- which is also a bit exciting. Planning for the second half of 2016 is well under way. If anyone in France would like me to come and teach please email me and I can send you a list of workshops I teach. I am arranging workshops in  Salon de Provence. it is also possible for you to come and do workshops with me in le Triadou ( pres Montpellier) as I will have a studio space to teach in  plus there is space for you to stay if you have to travel some distance.

If you decide to buy something at present there is probably still time to receive it before Christmas, plus I might just add a little extra thing as a little surprise if you do order before Christmas! I have a paypal account  which can be used to pay me, just email me for the details. One of these days I will  put the buttons on here!

I have been making bay leaf wreaths- I get up really early as I go to bed  when it's dark (  or soon after as I only have candle light) so that means I wake up pretty early as well- plus the birds are so noisy- what a racket they make. It's lovely but I don't actually need to be up at 4.30 am! the wreaths are going to be my only Christmas decoration this year and they smell lovely. If you are local I can sell them to you for $25.

I am finally getting some stitching done on my new girl and the tree linocut. The linocut panels is for sale for $20 plus postage and you can see the colours available on my previous post.

And last but not least this little hare embroidery is for sale- it is about 18 cm across and has been hand stitched. The price is $45 plus postage. Email me if you are interested in any thing!