Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cactus Country

A visit to Cactus Country -  friends' gardens hidden on a farming property at Strathmerton (on the Victorian side of the Murray River).

Click here for  a u tube for a bit of a look see as Jim talks about how he came to have acres of cactus.

The garden had more than enough flowers and lovely spiky plants to make our visit memorable. There is lots of inspiration for some textural embroidery and painting.    And an upcoming exhibition of art for the garden or comprising fibres from it in January 2018.  😍  

Also exciting - I will have an exhibition of garden art and some workshops in the garden in January 2018.

Here are some flower photos to wet your appetite:

Friday, May 12, 2017

The value of play

I have been very strict with myself recently.  I have not let myself digress from a big project which must be ready by the end of the month for photographing.

The project is comprised of three disparate parts which I have been working on irregularly over the past year and a half.   I have spent so much time thinking about the project and collecting materials that I thought I was much further on than I actually was.  Add to this a measure of procrastination and boredom (because I had over thought it all) I was feeling over the whole thing!  The project seemed to take forever to come close to finishing.   Drag on execrably in fact!

Anyway, the long and the short is that I decided to give myself a play day and do anything I wanted to – have a play 😊.     And I did.   I made some very simple doll forms (cat shapes) and stuffed them and painted them with gesso.   All so I could play with a bit of paint on cloth.   And I started to paint.

It was fun to do and took my attention away from 'The Project'.  

What I discovered was that whilst I was working on the cat forms I solved problems I was having in the design of an astronaut doll body which is to accompany one of the parts of the series of works.  
As the cat forms had to dry I had time to start the astronaut.  And I was happy to do so .  At this time all I had was an ear less head with no neck or body.

The day flew.  In the time I stuffed and painted the cats I worked out how to progress with the astronaut. Here is a photo of him in his skin so to speak.

His head is sculpted from polymer clay.   His gloves from Makins clay.    I have added some aluminum wire (which is baked into his shoulders) which allow me to pose his arms. I will paint is boots and gloves and I have some lovely aluminum foil snaffled from leftovers of a recently installed ducted heating system which will make his suit.  He will float in the air in front of a mixed fabric and felt “spacescape”.     And I worked out I could make a papier mache helmet and to stop fussing about a glass visor.

Conclusion:   Play gives you time to creatively solve problems.

Resolution:   Let myself play at least once a fortnight so I can step away from bigger projects which go to make a body of work.

What do you do to keep yourself happy and on track with your projects?  I'd love to hear.

Not quite a self portrait

Not quite a self portrait
small 8' quiltlet with embroidered hair

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