Saturday, December 15, 2018


Beetleman - mixed media sculpture

Like many of us I follow a few artists blogs.

This morning I got around to reading something Linda Matthews posted  a bit over a week ago.  It really resonated with me.  The gist of her post was that, rather than making resolutions each new year, she chose a word to guide and focus herself for the coming year.  You can read her post here. 

At this moment in time I have an exciting 2019 coming up with several projects on the go for group exhibitions and a solo exhibition in August.    With these commitments comes the worry of overcommitment and fear of actually producing a work which meets the scope of the exhibition themes.

And, in the past month I have had some serious discussions with artist friends about these worries and fears and how I produce a work.   The conversations have all circled around process.  

So what is process in art making?  
  • Revisit the same themes over and over again but also keep experimenting.
  • Allow yourself to explore your theme and play with your chosen mediums. 
  • Flow with and explore your ideas – but with a bit of discipline.  Don’t jump to wanting to achieve an end result.

So how does this tie in with Linda’s suggestion to chose a word to guide and focus herself?    I have chosen PROCESS as my word for 2019.   I will work on my art making with a focus on process rather than product.

I  will continue to work on my themes of bugs, beetles and bees throughout 2019.   I now see that I can draw, work up in pastel, paint charcoal, contemporary clays, fabric, stitch and whatever else takes my fancy.    The challenge is to  push my boundaries, select, isolate, enlarge and grow as an artist.

Monday, December 3, 2018

more inspiration - more rabbit holes

Well I have been absent for a bit.  But that was because I have been down my own personal rabbit hole.  I have been on a long holiday in Italy and had a serious dose of medieval history and architecture, seen new sights and learnt a bit about myself :-).   I have not been to Europe before and it was an eye opener for me.

I have always been attracted to medieval imagery and colours be they bright or faded, drawn,  painted or woven.  I was in seventh heaven to see it for real. 

I really wanted to see embroidery and found that (other than clerical vestments) paintings were generally the best way to get an idea of costume which was highly embellished with gold and silk and amazing laces.  Here are a couple of images from the Civic Museum in Padua.   

I was really taken with the painting of a boy (above).  I have plans to try and make an art doll which reflects this image.

 And I was staggered by the detail in the woven tapestries.    The following are a couple of deails from the huge tapestry in the same museum.  Check out what the horses got to wear in the second image below.

And for imagery that borders on the bizzare .. Giotto's version of the devil and hell in the Scrovegni Chapel.

I am still processing all that we saw.  No doubt a seed of an idea (or two or more) is bubbling away.  I posted back a lot of tourist information and am yet to start working through it. I have great plans to draw on that material and my photos as a jumping off point for some new works. Padua is a town of arches/arcaded buildings ... ideas for some linio prints perhaps?

Not quite a self portrait

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

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