Friday, 27 December 2013

wedding gift tick …..

Anna and James (who were married in October and whose wedding book I made and posted on) have just been here and chosen their engagement and wedding gifts!  Those of you who follow my blog will know that I have been sweating over this ….. not that I am not really happy Anna wanted my artwork for her gifts but the responsibility of offering up artwork that may or may not be loved and cherished is huge.  Commissions. Ugh!  Anyway, I came up with the idea of doing a number of different things …. settled on offering a choice of four pairs from the 'In Between Dreams' work and some of my vessels.

The 'cool' versions below were chosen, and two of my vessels which compliment each other nicely I think.  I am really pleased they went with the cooler version of the work as I have worked with earth colours for so long, but seem to be drawn to blues and more subtle tones at the moment.  Of course there is always the 'dark' which seems to be a signature of my work.  Will have to try and lighten that too - all sorts of creative changes in 2014 perhaps???

Watch this space!

These images are approximately 30cm x 30 cm and in the flesh there is more to be seen, and the blacks are deeper.  Because I have used graphite in a couple of the layers of work, it makes it more difficult to photograph. The photographs are a fair indicator of how they look however.  I am just so glad the choice has been made and the work appreciated. A good end to 2013.

These Vessel are each about 18cms x 11cms

This and the image below formed my favourite pair.

Monday, 23 December 2013

experimenting in the studio …..

I have not posted to my blog for over a month - mostly because I have been away, travelling down south and then holidaying at Noosa for a couple of weeks.  I feel renewed really after the heartache of late. Plenty of sunshine, warm sea and explorative kayaking …. delicious.

I cannot believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  Gosh it has arrived quickly this year.  I hope you are all going to be celebrating happily with loved ones.  Wishing you all a really safe and happy time and a hugely creative year in 2014. I will look forward to having more time next year to both post to my blog, and visit you all on yours - have missed that this year. The joy of being able to peek into each other's work spaces - a wonderful privilege.

Below are some photographs of work I have been experimenting with in the studio - a continuation of recent work with engravings though trying to find alternative ways of shaping and blocking out shapes from the engraved marks.  Some things are working well, others still need work.  It is fun though - spending time playing with ideas and seeing the play may lead to - if anywhere.  I am enjoying the softness of the watercolours, a soft contrast to the strong images I have been working with of late.

After Christmas I will post on a really special project I have worked on this year - well shared in is more accurate.  The project has come to a close with the end of the year but it has bought enormous pleasure along the way.  Once the New Year begins I will be working on the collaborative book Fiona and I have begun, and then already, there are a number of quite exciting projects lines up for the year ahead.  I am very much looking forward to this coming year ……. feel it is going to be a good one.  Hope you are all feeling that too!

watercolours and graphite with engraved marks

trying to find a suitable white with which to block out - acrylic not quite what I am looking for

using windsor and newton gouache in transparent form - need to try it more thickly

getting some lovely effects with the transparent paint I think

old faithful black and white - working with different inking techniques

not happy with the white here but will keep trying - like the blues

Thursday, 14 November 2013

our sixth dance .....

Once again Fiona and I have begun a collaborative book.  Life has often intervened this year and we have been less diligent than we were last year.  However, we have already laid our plans for 2014 and set working days aside for our joint projects.

This collaboration is different once again.  It is born out of the prints we each made and swapped for the Maleny Printmakers exhibition last weekend.  We each used nine of our own prints and nine from the other ..... these then form the materials from which we will work to make our books.

Here in the trays at the exhibition you can see our rows of little prints waiting for sale...

When making the prints, neither of us had in mind any commonality or sense of bringing them together cohesively so our beginnings here are really quite a challenge.  I have decided to work in the sphere of dreams and so will cut and combine parts of our work, using some solid images and then having bits of images floating, dreamlike around the page.  The struggle will be to maker this all hold together with out looking too piecemeal.  Fun but imbued with a sense of difficulty.

We spent yesterday together in Fiona's studio (after having delicious coffee and chocolate cake to celebrate my birthday), and made some headway into our planning.  These few photographs show the way  my thoughts are heading.

Not quite sure how I will pull it all together but I think this is a good start.

Monday, 4 November 2013

maleny printmakers .....

I am back after a few weeks absence.  In the meantime many of you have commented on the wedding book I was making (and which was very well received) and the 'In Between Dreams' series I have been working on.  Thank you so much for watching this space even with me in hiding.

My mum died the night after the wedding, two weeks ago, and it left me bereft, exhausted, frantic etc - all those things we experience when we lose a beloved parent.  My father died last year, so with my mum's passing it means packing up and cleaning out of the home, preparation for sale and so forth.  A time consuming, and energy consuming task.

It is that stage of our lives ..... and life goes on apace. 

Like Fiona, I have been very busy trying to get all our small prints ready for the Maleny Printmaker's Exhibition.  Luckily I had done all the printing of these images (I think I printed about 150 in all) before my mum died and now I am busy with the signing, collating, cataloguing etc.  Artist's Statement and CV to come and then I am almost ready for Thursday when we set up the Exhibition.  Steve and I have all the friends we travelled though the desert with, here for the weekend as well so it will be a busy few days and quite a welcome change from all that has preoccupying me of late. 

The first three of these little pieces required quite a bit of work and are representative of my work of late.  They begin their lives as engravings and then I add black ink, watercolour and graphite layers.  I have worked some in warm, some in cool and some in black and white.

The next two prints follow in the same vein with engraving and ink, but the inspiration came directly from Ann Symes who gave me the idea of producing very small vessels.  I work often with vessel images in my etching, and also many of my larger drawings, and it had not really occurred to me that I could achieve a lovely result with these small images.  I think they actually work very well and will continue with them in a larger format as well.

You may remember these small etchings from the 'play day' a few of us had a Fiona and Barry's home - learning to print on aluminium with copper sulphate.  I added all the embossed marks later.

Friends cannot believe I have sold out my 'soul' with this little heart piece.  I have already given away a number of these and they seem incredibly popular!  Who would have thought. 

These little flower etchings also have a broader market appeal I imagine.  They are printed in many bright and varied colour ways, though for this blogging exercise, I did not want to shock you all with my use of colour .....

The few days we are open promise to be lots of fun .... we have prepared 'shopping lists' for those coming along in the hope that they realise what a wonderful chance this is to stock up their present drawers!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

wedding guest book ....

Sometimes the smallest thing can seem to take ages.  After the many days it took me to design, gather materials and then make this embossed guest book for the wedding, I wonder how many months must be spent on some of those exquisite inlaid timber pieces.

Anna, whose wedding is on the weekend, and for whom I am doing artwork as a wedding gift, had asked me to make a wedding guest book for her.  No guidance given, so I decided on something bridal though contemporary which I hope will be very much in keeping with the wedding.  It is on the way to her now with my daughter who is up from Sydney preparing for the wedding as one of the bridemaids.

I always worry unnecessarily when I am asked to do a commission .... much prefer people to see something in the studio and ask to buy it!  Anyway, I am pleased with the results.  As is often the case, it is not easy to photograph books.  The book is bound in perspex, and under the beautiful soft white circled paper lies the black cover which is embossed and also I designed a logo and incorporated that into the front cover.  Each indivicual page is also embossed with the same image down the right hand side.  The book sits in a perspex box with a partition for pens, and then the whole slips into a perspex case.

Hope she likes it .... the photos make it look black and cream but it is black and white.

Friday, 4 October 2013

drawing avoidance .....

There is absolutely no excuse for me not having started my drawings today ....  

I had unrolled this totally delicious BFK Rives 300 gsm paper yesterday and pinned two large sheets of it up on my newly cleared and prepared wall, all ready for drawing today.   It didn't happen - not a mark!  And only myself to blame.

Fifty prints later, after a very industrious day, the paper remains untouched.  At least my avoidance led me to printmaking - 50 prints closer to the 100 required for the Maleny Printmakers Exhibition.

Tomorrow maybe I won't be too apprehensive to start making marks on this pristine, intimidating, gorgeous paper.....