Sunday, May 19, 2024

Busy with bits and pieces

 It is a week now since the Pebbles, Stones and Rocks exhibition closed, and it has been a time still busy with tidying, re-arranging, calculating sales, payments and transfers, delivering work, making appointments for folk to collect work and trying to work on the work for Scotland if only my brain would allow me!

There are so many fragments to push forward and along. I think it will be a while yet before I can say, something is actually complete, but sometimes that is the way of things.

We re-arranged the studio, and I like the way this little gathering of Barry's timber dry bud vases is now settled.

I continue to play around with how to get messages onto the fabric for the cubes I'm hoping to sew and cover.

I am also working on getting the lettering prepared to go on the wall of the gallery in Scotland. This little sequence is funny. I had selected 6 fonts that I thought might work. Barry and I narrowed them down to three. I sent the three off to the lettering-cutter and he indicated he could work with two of the fonts, so we landed on this one.

From there I simply had to work out the layout. How much space would they take up on the wall? What sizes would I use for the various elements? And how would they appear? The top one is left justified. We decided to do the second one fully justified. Tick. But Barry had also suggested we should move the name closer tot eh definition, but I didn't like it.

So in the third one I made more spacing - and it was too much!

By the fourth we had a goldilocks moment - the spacing was 'just right'.

In between we had sold a small Adana press and as part of the package I prepared a random alphabet to go with it.

I wrote all the words for the fourth and longest scroll, and began stitching with my variegated purple threads.

Whilst I was waiting for folk to come in to the studio and collect their wares, I thought I could manage to transfer some type between trays. It is a nice, quiet, almost mindless task that can take the odd interruption. Not all tasks can be interrupted!

And then just for fun the wildlife of the weekend... Saturday a small wallaby with her joey waiting to cross the street (grin)

And Sunday morning a platypus in the creek.

We live in a pretty magical place.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Thursday Thoughts...

“If we doubted our fears instead of doubting our dreams, imagine how much in life we’d accomplish.” 

Joel Brown

Occasionally I come across quotes that appear quite deep and require me to read them a few times before I can even work out what I think they might mean. Others I read and go - oh yes, that's a really simple truth! This one feels like one of those, not trite or twee I hope, just a simple question with an interesting, and maybe challenging at times, premise.

Sure enough it's a motivational quote, from an entrepreneurial coach, but I think there is a nice ring of truth to it. I thought about how often I doubt my dreams and my hopes; and it is kind of often enough. I then thought how often I doubt my fears, and realised that it takes a lot more to convince me that my fears are unfounded; than it does to convince that my dreams are realistic. Interesting.

It made me wonder what doubting a fear might look like, and I think it would involve a series of questions and challenging of myself. Quite the conversation on occasions!

Of course its not always true that you achieve things simply because you back yourself; I think we might attempt more things if we didn't doubt our dreams so much, and therefore yes the chance of achieving things increases because you have in fact attempted it.

So all in all, I think this one gives me a chance to think about the next time I am doubting a dream; to step back and think about doing it anyway; and when feeling a fear, perhaps I  will interrogate it a bit further, and maybe do it anyway.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Gift for stitching

I have completed three of my seven scrolls for a major work for the Scottish exhibition, and it is stitched in a lovely russet colour. Here's the back!

But a few weeks ago I was gifted this timber box from a relative, and whilst I thought it might have some threads in it, I was thrilled to discover so many! 

I think there will be hours of sorting here; but I am glad that so many of them are already grouped in colour ways.

And clearly, there are lots of cards for rolling threads onto and writing down their numbers...

But it was this pair that really caught my eye. I have taken them out and am letting them air; and think the variegated mauve one might be the one to begin stitching the longest scroll with. The variegated russet and green one is also very tempting!

As we head through Autumn and into Winter, I can see my future holds evenings inside, steadily rolling and wrapping and writing...

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Farewell to Pebbles, Stones and Rocks

 The last weekend was a rather frantic time with lots of visitors stopping by to look at the showing, to purchase and to talk art and making and creating.  It was fabulous to have so many kind folk take the time to visit and even more wonderful to see their responses; and their enjoyment of the works on show.

I was making jewellery right up until the final days as I replaced many of the pieces that had sold along the way.

And sharing photos of potential pebble pendants with folk after they had purchased some earrings...

Peaceful Pebbles I and II had sold, so I added III and IV to the shop. This was a nice small task to undertake in between visitors!

Today, all four of us were there together and chatting to folk as they collected their work; and as we packed up and took work home with us to was nice to share the space together and the stories. 
It absolutely NEVER ceases to amaze how quickly a show comes down; compared to how long it takes to set up!!!

The space is settling back into itself again, with a bit of re-imagining to happen perhaps, and we shall see what happens next.

Now back to preparing for Scotland!

Friday, May 10, 2024

Exhibition walk through

This could be my shortest post ever!

Just in time, and before we close the show on Sunday 12 May, I made a short walk through video for folk who can't get to the exhibition, and here it is...

I hope you enjoy, and forgive the odd stutter and stumble, and that it proves to be a nice way to 'view' it from afar...

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Thursday Thoughts...

“Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don’t freeze up.” 

 Thomas Wolfe

I wondered whether this quote was one for the subject of "Life" or for "Art" and I chose art, simply  because I am pondering that today. I imagine it would offer interesting insights for pondering upon Life as well!

It certainly feels apt to much of my making at times, and also feels of great encouragement to keep on keeping on.

To me, it encourages a bit of risk-taking; a bit of heading off into uncertainty; a bit of making without knowing just where you are headed or what may come of it; and I admire this approach. I think for me these sorts of tests and trials and attempts can end up producing some great learning; as well as sometimes great art. It is also true nevertheless, that some shocking mistakes can also appear and some very ugly and poorly resolved work!

But we learn.

He also exhorts us not to freeze up; not to feel at a standstill because something didn't work out as intended, and once again, with this I concur. Freezing gets us absolutely nowhere, unless we can honestly use the static moments to investigate, explore and analyse what we have to do to make something work, out of something that is looking less than impressive. Freezing tho, does generally speak to inaction and inability to move forward, sideways or even backwards.

It can be hard, but it is good to make mistakes, to take chances and possibly even to look silly in the attempt - because we learn.

Heading off in directions which led nowhere; but maybe one day will lead to the right place.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Bits and pieces, and burning

Another busy week and some great days at the Studio showing the exhibition to wonderful people who enjoyed the show, and looking around the studio space with all its lovely bits and pieces.

Here are some compilations of Susan's, Tory's and Steph's work which I was using to promote the show.

In between times I managed a few creative things, bits of this and that, and started to pursue  an idea about a piece for Scotland. It involved burning, so unfortunately the studio did smell a bit of incense on one day so I stopped doing it whilst folk might be coming in.

First up I wanted to see if I could singe a piece of cord/thread. I did pretty well, but it did burn through in a few places, so here it is knotted together.

A selection of burnt papers follows - it's always good to work out which ones will go whoosh! and which ones are more of a slow burn...

And this maybe is a video of me first testing how to burn the thread/cord - a bit of an unplanned and spontaneous idea which had the odd moment or two...

And if that didn't work; then here is link to the YouTube version...

Whilst this final image pretty well sums up the weather again this week - wet, wet, wet.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Thursday thoughts...

"You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive." 

 James Baldwin

I am pretty sure I could create a bunch of slogans about books, based on this quote. I am imagining a 
t-shirt with 

"You're never alone with a book"
"Books - the original internet"
"Books - keeping people connected for centuries"
"Books - the greatest empathy teacher around"

Books have always helped me identify with others - those who were like me; and those who were different to me. They have always helped me understand and realise the many ways people make their way through the world; and have always helped not feel alone or odd or other.

Reading helps us understand the world and its people in so many ways.

Australia from space, ASPI 2018.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Things we do in the in-between times

Life has been full preparing for the exhibition; following up the sales information for artists; re-stocking; and also being available and at the studio whilst the show is open. It has been hard to get a steady run at anything (except the jewellery re-stocking; that was  good day!).

Here are some of the things I have had a go at in the in-between times this no particular order.

As per Barry's blog post here; I helped install and christen the new post installation near our home, with our friend Faith. It was threatening showers all afternoon; and we managed to get it in without getting wet! But a raincoat was a sensible choice.

I took the time to photograph this letterpress poster again - we have had an awful few months with domestic abuse and women being murdered here in Australia, and we just have to keep saying Enough is Enough. Sunday was a day of marches across the country, and I added my voice where I could.

Helping Barry out by transferring type between trays when I had some spare time at the studio. It is often a thankless task, but there is also a sense of achievement at the end. It is most definitely time consuming!

Back to my covered-cube and trying to work out how to make marks upon the surface.  I painted some gesso on a couple of the faces - full coverage and sparse coverage - and then played with acrylic inks to see how well they took. It all seems to be possible so I now need to do a few more experiments, and also think hard about the colours (all a bit toooooo blue here!).

I also got a few minutes to do some stitching on this third scroll..slow work but lovely and meditative.

Last weekend somebody bought six sets of my pebble letters spelling LOVE, so I really needed to do soem replacement letter! The beginning.

And one of the ends...

When being at the studio and showing people around, talking about the exhibition I really have to write myself lists so that I can remember the things I hoped or planned to do because it is soooo easy to get distracted and forgetful and not get back to your cup of tea, let alone the task you were doing, for a couple of hours. So lots of little tasks have been the go, and I am getting through a few of them.