Sunday, January 29, 2017

Phew It's Hot

I am at a friends house as it is too hot to be in the shed at this time of the day, so that is when I try and catch up with computer stuff as I have no wifi in the shed and my mobile telephone does not work in gellibrand. I am not sure whether it's an issue of the suppliers coverage, although most people seem not to be able to use mobiles here.

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post. It was lovely  to get  feedback. Once upon a time people used to comment all the time on blogs, but it seems much less so these days. I for my part am trying to blog more!

All the fruit on my block is starting to ripen in this warm weather, and I have been able to save a bit from the ever hungry and destructive birds- yesterday there were Major Mitchell's ( they have become sneaky and quiet and the only way I can tell they are in the trees is when I hear the sound of a dropping apple), Cockatoos who are as noisy as, King Parrots beautiful to look at and they actually seem to eat more of the fruit than the other parrots who simply crack open the fruit to get at the seeds, ganggangs, wo aren't frightened of anything even apple missiles,  rosellas, parakeets and the other day a lone budgerigar.

 Unfortunately I don't have the time to process the fruit at present nor the facilities really. The flowering gum has decided it wants to flower- it's very pretty but I am afraid I shall be missing most of that too, but I have enjoyed the marguerites. A little peak in my shed...

In this heat it's too hot to sit with a travellers' blanket sewing so I am back to angels. I completed two more today. They are growing!

I have also put some of the angel panels in my shop if you are interested in buying a panel.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Feeling Very Chuffed!

I wrote in my previous post how happy I was to be exhibiting at ChARTres in March 2017 which is a multi arts manifestation in a city which inspired some of my recent work. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in 2016. So yesterday when I opened my emails I could barely believe that  the organisers have invited me to be Guest of Honour for this year. I had to read it several times and even then I had to pinch myself! I have to fill  quite a lot of wall space at Collegiale Saint-Andre and in a very good position as many of the other manifestations take place in this part of the Collegiale, including music and lectures. It's very humbling- a dutch/australian immigrant being guest of Honour at such an event in France- I am still pinching myself! So yet another reason to love France and Chartres that has delivered so much!

Yesterday we had a lot of fun at the Open Drawer Linocutting workshop. We had a person who had only recently been made redundant and had never done anything "arty" to a year 10 student.And what wonderful linocuts were made- none of them choose to do something easy, instead they all stretched- and made wonderful linocuts. Of course not all were interested in the fabric side of things ( coming from paper backgrounds) but they all loved the effects on fabric. I will share some of the work and I apologise I do not remember everyone's name as I do not have the class list.

We always start with a small block for people to get a feel for the tools and try out some ideas and learn what marks the tools can make.
First I  will share Lisa's work ,our young student, who also made two largish linocuts. She worked quietly away and I loved what she did! The first image is her practice block about 10 cm square the other images  were on larger blocks.

 The second block was larger and there is lovely movement in the background of the block. The second block she made really shows strong graphic qualities!

I  do not remember the following students name but her background was paper cutting and she translated those graphic qualities very well into linocuts.

This linocut was by another Lisa who had not done anything arty- I think it's really wonderful effort and like the gradation in the background and the wobble lines which are actually difficult to do!

The following two images are work by Lyndell Green. She chose to actually make her linocut  in the shape of the feather - I love the strong graphic qualities of this linocut. She also brought in a lovely surprise. The travellers' blanket she completed in a previous class- it got lots of oohs and ahhs and is a wonderfully rich  and beautifully embroidered piece- it measures about 140 cm x 95 cm- so lots and lots of work. Thank you Lyndell for bringing it in - it is such a pleasure to see completed work!

I have also forgotten the next students name, but she struggled with arthritic hands which makes  her linocut doubly amazing- it is not easy to do linocutting with hands that won't co-operate. I love the shading  on the fruits.She also chose to cut her lino into a shape which gives a lovely "neat" image and then can be used much more randomly for over all printing.

The following linocut was by Marion who is also an amazing embroiderer. She had in mind this landscape effect, but of course it had to be biggish in order for the contrasting layers to make dynamic impact. I can tell you she did not stop for lunch at all. I love the contrasting layers and can see that stitching will really add lots of dimension and interest.

 And the last image is by Anne Shuttleworth ( a wonderful felt maker  with whom  I did  a class with many years ago) She had been to the Northern Territory and had an encounter with a cycad forest. Cycads are ancient plants that are very slow growing and live a very long time. I love the wonderful abstract qualities of the print on paper and it did not quite come out the same on fabric, though a lighter colour fabric would add more contrast-  and then if you added stitch...

So thank  you everyone for a great effort!
 If you are interested in doing an in the flesh class with me,
I am teaching another class at Open Drawer on 3 February 2017 which is a four hour class, working on Aussie Bush panels and showing you different ways you can stitch and embellish linocut panels with stitch. There are still spaces left if you are interested- just follow the link for Open Drawer.

Monday, January 23, 2017


My daughter Celeste Galtry Creative has given my blog a much needed revamp as it was looking very tired and messy. She has created new buttons at the top of my posts for easier navigation. You will see she has made a shop button- which I will be adding to as time goes on and as I make new things. My quilts are now in a Gallery and you will see most are for sale. I think it looks much neater and cleaner this way and means I can blog to my hearts content. As part of the revamp we are offering my book Musing in Textile: France at a new special price of $30AUS plus $15AUS postage & handling ( Australian residents only unfortunately) Just follow the link.

The Aussie Bush Project also has its own page though the panels for it are available in the shop.

 I head overseas on 8 February- the time has simply flown and I haven't got nearly enough work accomplished, though I finally seem to be concentrating and I have been working on the hand stitched pomegranate piece on the indigo dyed Khadi cloth as it too needs finishing, and being unable to plug in my sewing machine until I get more solar panels, hand stitching it will be!

Still quite a lot of stitching to go and lots of flowers to put in but it's finally starting to look like something.

I have also been going through all my  plastic tubs of fabric- some have not been opened for quite some time- and was happy to be reunited with this lovely piece of ice dyed fabric which I made a few years ago.

I was actually going through the tubs to find fabric that was large enough for the backs of quilts, as I need to get quite a few pieces ready for  quilting for when I go overseas. The more I prepare the more I am likely to finish especially as I am house sitting again in le Triadou in February. So I found various bits of fabric and  found this piece which somehow reminded me of the invite for the William Kentridge invitation for the exhibition I visited in Milan last year- maybe it's the shadowiness.

 I loved  the Kentridge work- there were so many layers- and shadows  that were suggestive- hard to capture in a still photograph as it was a kind of diorama accompanied by music. I thought the fabric has distinct shadow opportunities especially as I have to think of a quilt to make in response to the Theme for ChARTres this year which is a quote from Simone Weil "En chemin, l'empreinte de l'autre..." I have read her book  The Need for Roots, from  which the quote comes, but have had difficulty finding it's context within the book, though I get the drift of the idea- difficult to translate in fabric somehow and yet full of possibilities as well. Anyone have any thoughts? I would be glad to hear them.

Anyway I shall be in Chartres for the exhibition  from early March  until  the 19th of March. There is an invitation and also various concerts and philosophical lectures in case you are interested.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Somebody asked me for some photos of older work and one of the pictures I sent is a combination of two favourite things. In the 1990's I did used to piece some quilts but I pieced in such a way that no lines matched , but your eye wants to make the lines match. This way of piecing was inspired  by African calabash decoration. I added a layer though, by using the borders to create an opportunity to create a story. This originally came about because my middle daughter used to draw tree spirits( I don't think I have any pictures of this) so the first quilt done in this style contained her tree spirits. Some years later I came back to the technique ( I used to teach it as a class- there were a few variations) and this was the little quilt I came up with . it contains of course pomegranates ( a thing I am playing around with again at the moment)

I had not looked at this little quilt for quite some time- funny that I should pull it out now that I am playing around with pomegranates again.

I am stitching on an indigo dyed khadi piece- it is all hand stitching ( because I cannot run my sewing machine in the shed- that has to wait for later in the year) But just sitting and stitching has been generating ideas, partly to do with the new lino block print form my previous posts. I can see the linocut morphing into a much bigger piece. Sometimes I ask myself the question is all that stitching worth the time- but I like the stitched linocut much better than the one I am just beginning to stitch. So there is a lot more stitching to do!

Monday, January 16, 2017


I have slowly been organising my workspace in my shed. Everything has to be placed in containers as unfortunately natural vermin abounds especially when I am not there and of course plenty of spiders, other insects and an overabundance of ants. This morning I found a green spider- never seen one of those before! It was outside.

I found one of my shaped linocut printed cats I made ages ago. I obviously started stitching it but did not finish.Must finish it one of these days!

I am teaching  at Linocutting at Open Drawer in Camberwell on the 25th of January. There is still one place available if you are interested. We will be doing a little more advanced linocutting  and of course printing.  And on Friday the 3rd of February I am teaching a half day class on embellishing the bush project panel- there is a materials fee which includes a bush project panel. You can chose whether you would like to join the project  or not. here is one of the panels that I am working on.

 I still have panels available or simply  tell me what colour you would like for the background and I can print you a panel.  There is information on the Aussie Bush Project Page on my blog- just use the tab at the top of the page. You have until  mid June to finish the panel.

I also printed up some more Florentine panels on different colours.

If you are interested in buying one simply use the Paypal Buy Me button below or email me if you would prefer to pay in another way. The bottom print is actually a more orangey/green colour.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Shed and Old Photos

I have been slowly sorting through all my things and found an old Ipod I had years ago. I was absolutely delighted when I charged it up on my 21st century solar power to find  hundreds ( actually thousands of photos) that I thought I had lost with  the demise of my laptop and  the back-up hard drive that I had purchased especially to save said photos. So I found photos of my shed when it was being put up and then lined with the slab in place. It is  strange to look at it and realise that I am now living in it.

There is still a long way to go to make it more liveable and there is a very long wish list of 21st century amenities. I have been writing that list down, and it started me thinking about how  women in days gone by ( pioneering days or even great aunts etc) coped with the lack of amenities. I remember living in houses in the Netherlands that didn't have bathrooms as such- just a sink in the toilet.  Like my great aunts and uncles at the turn of the 20th century- what did they have available to them- yet look at their immaculate clothes. They would have had no electricity I suspect, their irons would have been heated on wood stoves- everything would have been starched- there would have been no running hot water, showers or baths, no flushing toilets. I am not sure how their water would have been supplied. Anyway food for thought, but given that we are experiencing quite a wet summer, a ride on mower is catapulting to the top of  the list of amenities. An acre and a quarter is a lot to mow by hand- phew!

I have a bit of a thing about wooden spoons, and it is nice to be reunited with them. The round pale wood ones are Moroccan soup spoons bought many years ago. The others are hand carved.

My Italian storyboard is starting to come together- I have got the thinking cap on to make work inspired by Italy for another book effort in the future. I am going to find myself spending some more time in Italy in May/June 2017. I thought I  had read my airfare booking conditions properly ,hit the pay button and when the ticket arrived realised that instead of coming back in May I am coming back in June. Because I selected a fare that allows no alteration,I will be spending more time in Europe than planned, so may as well make it be research!So any suggestions for budget accommodation  would be most welcome as it is starting to get into the expensive tourist part of the year around that time!

Monday, January 09, 2017

Florentine Inspired Print

It's been a bit gruelling in the shed with the heat, the coolest place is in the shade of the trees, so yesterday's much cooler weather was very welcome! At least I could sit at my table and do things!

I am in the middle of writing my Traveller's Blanket book for Editions de Saxe, but just needed to do something else, and as I am beginning to research my Italian book. I have this wonderful book from 1923 entitled  Historic Textile Fabrics by Ralph Glazier, who sadly passed away before  the book was published, which is a history of woven textiles and including some block print. There is a section on Lucchese and Florentine  woven fabrics. So one of the textiles ( many of which as in the Victoria and Albert  Museum ) has really caught my eye for many years so I decided to try and adapt it for a linocut. The first drawing is  taking some of the elements from the image pictured in the book- but it needed changing , or in the words of Gianni Verni- "Grafico!"

Fine lines without  adding some extra weight to the lines or positive space areas do not translate well to lino. The  drawing in the top right is too squiggly and too light and not a good balance for the other heavier designs- so what to do? Pomegranates were a very popular motif in the 15th and 16th centuries- so I decided to add some pomegranates to the image which will sit nicely with one of the chapters I am planning. I thought i was drawing a square but it turns out  the print measures 11.5 inches x 12.5 inches.It took quite awhile to cut out this print.

I could not wait to print it and must say I can see lots of embroidery possibilities for this print. I have printed it on four different colours and it is for sale for $23 inclusive of postage. I only have the four colours shown at present and the blue print is on indigo dyed hand woven khadi form the Stitching Project.

You can buy by clicking on the Paypal  button- the different colours are listed. There is also still time to join the linocutting class which runs for 8 weeks - you work at your own pace.


Thursday, January 05, 2017

Linocutting On-Line Course

 A Happy and Creative 2017 to everyone!

Well it was pretty hot in the shed yesterday! But I have joined the twenty first century  and have a solar panel and so have lights and can charge my phone. However a  power point for the sewing machine will have to wait  for a little. But it has begun and that is a good thing!

I am busy trying to finish my book on the Travellers' Blanket for Editions de Saxe-it all takes time!

There is still time to join the online linocutting class. I do intend to add a video to the class though most of the class is delivered with pdf files outlining different exercises to increase your skills. You can work at your own pace but  notes are delivered fortnightly for 4 sessions. I also set up a Facebook group where we discuss and trouble shoot and share inspirational linocut artists around the world. The cost of the class is $60AUS. If  you use the paypal button it will take you to the payment page.

Below are some images of the linocuts I have made in the past. We have been sorting through things because after three years of having things in various places you lose track of what is where. MY daughter is in the process of building me a website- which I hope to launch soon. But meanwhile it is possible to purchase linocut panels.

The printed fabric  below was inspired by the weeds I encountered on my morning walks in the shadow of Pic St Loup last year. I have used the Carrotte Sauvage part of the linocut ( by masking the other weeds out) for an article I have written for Magic Patch. Each colour is a separate panel. The button will take you to the payment page- but you will need to tell me which colour you would like. The panels are A4 size ( legal paper) and have been hand printed. The price includes postage.Each panel is $18.00AUS