Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Steal Like an Artist

My family treated me well this Christmas and gave me books that had been on my wish list for a while.

I was very happy to be receive Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon.   It’s a wonderful little book with thoughts about becoming a creative which he wishes he knew when he started out.  

I follow Austin’s blog, his Instagram and receive his weekly email.   He shares what he has read, listened to or watched.  All interesting stuff which one can choose to dip into. Or not.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

After our time in isolation here it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas :-)   

Christmas decorations from a swap

I'm off to a pre Christmas gathering today and it will be difficult to social distance.   The party is a country drive an hour and half away and I haven't seen these dear friends all year.

We are yet to set up our Christmas tree at home.  Hopefully that will happen in the coming week.   I'm selfishly excited about Christmas this year as I was asked by family members to give them a wish list.  My list contained a number of books.   Hoping I get a couple on my list :-)

My art practice has stalled a bit as there has been a heap to do on  the domestic front - all that household cleaning  I'd been assiduously avoiding for one.  


I'm still pursuing collage.   But it takes time for me to reach decisions and find the right elements.  My altered photo above is distinctly taking on a Madonna like traits.  Perhaps influenced by the 17th century drawing I found of the passion flower.  I printed it out and spayed it with walnut inks. Its glued on now.  But it still needs more work.  Now I'm playing with a bit I cut out of a discarded table cloth and a photo of a passion flower which was sourced from a gardening book I picked up at an op shop.  And I'm thinking about how to mount it. In my minds eye I see the collage cut back to the paint and glued on to some lovely thick paper I have. 

I'm also working (most of it in my head at planning stage in or in list/mind map form) for some works for joint exhibitions next year.  I'll get some of this underway in January when I'm hiding from the summer heat.

Given my track record I won't post again for a while so I will wish you all the best in the coming holiday season and a (COVID) safe new year.



Saturday, October 3, 2020

What do you do?


What do you do?  I was asked this about 18 years ago.  My response: I’m a hand stitcher but, if could put paper, paint, fabric and stitch all in one work I would be in my happy place.

My blog sort of tracks my progress towards this end.  I have wandered and got lost on the way.  However, that has been to my advantage as I have learnt new skills.  Most recently my focus has been working in mixed media collage with found and painted papers and scraps of this and that. 

And, I have been thinking about working more stitch into some of my works.

I decided I should do some self guided study and see what I can learn from other artists.

I am really drawn to collages by Debbie Lyddon.  She uses cloth paper and fibre together with materials which reflect the subject of her work.   I have copied one of her textile collages below.  Please look at Debbie Lyddon's website and blog to find more :-)

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Pay attention to what you pay attention to.

"For anyone trying to discern what to do with their life, pay attention too what you pay attention to. That's pretty much all the information you need."

Tweet by children's book author the late Amy Krouse Rosenthal, 2013

If you have read past posts you know I have been banging on about process.  And trying to work out what it means? And, how do you do it?  I have been trying to commit to making a mini collage ( about the size of the palm of my hand or smaller) each day.  When I look back at them I realise many featured birds. 

Earlier this year I was invited to submit works to an online exhibition  called  Listening in the Anthropocene.  I had ideas for both textile works and collage with found papers and was off like a shot trying both.   Then I read a bit about what the Anthropocene is and had a few more ideas.  And then I looked at the title.  It was Listening in the Anthropocene.   In my excitement I had missed the listening bit .  So, it was back to the drawing board to rejig my thoughts and ideas. 

I had been contemplating trying to reflect about climate change/pollution etc.  but it was the word listening which made me think.   How could I talk about sound and the effect on sound in the recent world.   I settled on a subject dear to my heart… the sad fact that both domestic and wild cats have added to the demise of our native fauna.  I focused on birds.  Less birds, less bird song.   And I focused on collaged papers.

I didn’t come across Amy’s words until after the exhibition.  It would have saved me so much grief if I had paid attention to what I had been engaging me.   Nevertheless,  have learnt more about me and process and what it means to me.

It was a wonderfully broad brief and gave scope to artists across so many fields.  Please take time to visit the gallery.


Monday, August 24, 2020

How have you coped in the time of COVID?

Well, who would have thought the year would progress as it has.  Cancelled exhibitions.  Restricted travel.  Weddings funerals and baby showers were missed or zoomed.  I live on the border of NSW and Victoria.  I can't cross the river to visit friends or family.  

 But it is  all in a good cause.  One way or another we must try to get on top of  COVID - 19.

My adult kids have returned home and are studying on line.  My partner works  at home on line.

Staying at home and making art is one way of passing time. Why have I struggled with such a wonderful opportunity?   

I've worked out I'm time line driven.  My social and art calendar fell empty.   Two exhibitions have been postponed until next year.  A third was delayed and now will happen at the end of the month on line.   I will put up a post with links when it is open. 

Add to the mix that I was unfortunate to actually catch the virus and it took me out of action for 6 weeks and left me with lingering fatigue.   I had daily medical support isolated at home.   It made me wonder how others, who are not as fortunate, cope.  As you can guess no art happened in this period.    

A saving grace was  the art communities that appeared on Facebook that shared small challenges ( a plug to Together, We Play) and emails that kept me in touch what everyone was up to.  

I have been trying to make daily mini collages.  No overthinking.  Something about the size of the palm of my hand or smaller and using what is to hand on the desk or near by.   When I think about it I have been pushing issues of  my personal art process by undertaking this project.  There are elements in these tiny works  I would like to repeat in larger experimental studies.   

Now I'm recovering and  again focusing on those delayed exhibitions - now scheduled for March and May 2021.  I will post more on that later.

Keep safe every one.


Sunday, May 31, 2020

 I haven’t been in this space for a while.  Its been a bit me, myself and I since March.  The pandemic  closed up my world for a bit. 

I originally started this blog to let  my Mum know what I was up to.   It was her birthday this month and she would have been 90.  

The world is a very strange place at the moment and I wonder what she would have thought of it.   Mum had  COPD (chronic emphysema) and didn’t get out and about. Being in ISO would have been nothing new to her.  She lived it the last few years of her life.  We were separated by distance and communicated by the telephone almost daily towards the end of her life. 

Ironically, I now live in a regional country town only a couple hours from where Mum lived rather than the day trip required when she was alive.  Our house has an epic view,  a garden and we can go on some lovely walks.  Technology means I can talk and see friends and family which is wonderful.  But its not the same.  I need to remind myself to be grateful for what I have and the fact that my environment is safe in this world of pandemic.

A measure about how I am travelling is my art output.  Sadly, it’s been dwindling.  I have recognised  this now and am getting myself back on track.   In the last few months I have been making a daily mini collage with no thought other than to create something with materials to hand.  No over thinking.   Some I have posted in instagram.  I have found new music and new artists who inspire me.

My last creative push was for a local event in March 2020.  I really enjoyed exploring collage and assemblage for the Market of Curious Things and the reaction that my work received.  The Market was curated and showcased local artists and makers.   Photos of my works for this event are scattered through this post.

I am now working on a new body of textile works and exploring metal threads on the way.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Resolutions, my word of the year and whats happening in 2020

Celestial spheres - Once on earth

Inspired by Linda Matthews  I didn’t go through the process of making New Year resolutions but, rather, chose a word to try and use as a pivot for my art practice.  Last year it was process.
This year I am struggling to choose a word. I keep returning to  process .   I mind mapped and came up with a selection of words which are, in reality, synonyms of process.

growth   advance  
action  trial  movement   
routine evolution development

I'm thinking I might put them all on the wall!

Toward the end of 2019 I made some decisions about  what I wanted to do more textile work.  I also want to continue to make dolls both traditional (cloth style and art dolls) and  to explore assemblage. I am drawn to and  fascinated by faces and wish to include them in my work.  Factor into this is the desire to be part of the creative community at large, to enter calls for entries and exhibit.

Celestial spheres  - Orbiting in the galaxy WIP

I am mindful that focusing on one medium/technique/style leads to some of the outcomes above.  But I get bored doing just one thing and need to work to several outcomes.  I will try to be a little more controlled this year but suspect I am failing already.    The reality is that I do the work for myself.  I hope someone will like it and buy it but I haven’t really gone down that rabbit hole.  (My etsy shop has been under development a couple of years now. )

However, I have a couple of exciting events happening.   I have been accepted as a stall holder and to run drop in workshops at the Sunday of Curious Things.   This eclectic styled makers fest and market is being held on the banks of the Murray River on Sunday 8 March next.   It has motivated me to play with assemblage and create works.  

I am again contributing to a textile exhibition in May next and have been slowly making things for it. 
I want to enter two juried exhibitions early this year and have the works underway. 

Its going to be a good year.  😊

Not quite a self portrait

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

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