Monday, September 28, 2009

White on white

I must admit simplicity is a favourite theme of mine and I love working white on white. There is something exquisite to my eye about how the shadows play and the light gives form and shape to things that are otherwise hidden.

I sent three pieces for the exhibition to be framed this week. I am getting box-frames built that can accommodate the height of the concertina folds. One piece is dream, one is shine and one is peace, so two verbs and a noun. The words are pinpricked, embossed and cut out of Fabriano paper, and stitched to matt board. They measure 40cm x 40cm before framing.

Here are some of the lovely lines, angles and shadows that they form.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Logs and Life Part 3

Well, the day arrived! Yesterday David managed to get the truck to deliver the log into town. It's a mighty bit of timber and was kind of recalcitrant all the way in - difficult to pick up and manoeuvre into place; wanting to lean and fall on the trip in and so on. But it has arrived and looks fabulous.

We went to visit today and when we arrived, a teenage boy was stopped, reading the text. The text is by Marianne Williamson "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure...". In working through this piece I learned that despite the fabulous urban myth, Nelson Mandela did not write these words, nor has he ever said them out loud in a public speech; yet so many of us associate them with him. So that was a surprise to us all.

David is pleased and I am proud - it was a nice collaborative piece which stands like a sentinel at the entrance to his shop.

The log, David and I in various arrangements!

Monday, September 21, 2009

International Peace Day

I was reminded at breakfast time that today is International Day of Peace - a day to focus on, reflect on and continue to work in whatever ways we can to promote peace. Barry decided to do a post on peace and I thought it would be good if I did too. So a few images of peace, for peace.

These are some of the many chains of origami peace cranes that are sent daily to Hiroshima Peace Park in Japan. We visited earlier this year and were reminded in so many ways, that we should keep seeking peace.

Tonight we will ring our Japanese temple bell, inscribed with the Kanji symbols for peace (hei-wa), sending peaceful thoughts and vibrations across the valley. In little ways, we try to live our lives with peace.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Rainbow arrangements

I was working down in the studio intermittently yesterday and today and was reminded as I looked around of how many rainbows I have gathered and made around the place. Rainbows always make me smile and I guess I must be a little bit infatuated given the way I 'collect' and arrange rainbow things. Here's a peek at a few of my studio rainbows...

Waxed linen thread
Square envelopes
And a fabulous hanging mobile I bought at the Queenlsand art gallery shop.
Which makes this post look a bit odd, but hangs and twirls beautifully and deserved to be included!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Calligraphic bits

I have been working on a couple of possibilities for a friend who wanted a small piece of calligraphy to sit on their desk and we are edging closer to finalisation. The main feature needed to be blue - the blue of our big blue sky; so blue does feature a fair bit.

I did a couple of roughs and then had a go at a couple of close to finals to see which way to go. Part of me loves that one of the close to final pieces came from nowhere - it wasn't part of my thinking as I did the roughs; it suddenly just seemed the right thing to try. I constantly smile and reflect on the meandering path of the creative process and how you start in one spot and end up somewhere completely different (or at least that is how it seems to work with me!).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Timber for the Path 2

Onwards, ever onwards. Just when you think you know what you are doing, you try it and it doesn't work and you have to start again. I had decided to use the pewter-toned 'Treasure Leaf' product as it survived the weather the best and showed up well against the timber.

It was horrible to work with though - clogged nibs, never ran, only glugged as it came out and I had no control over any fine serifs. In the end there was no way I was going to be able to write the piece out without screaming out loud.

So Plan B - back to ink, which was made to come out of pen nibs! Oh it flowed so beautifully in comparison. I then decided to highlight it with the pewter to give it a lift and bring the text forward. I think it worked out OK.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Spring flowers

Two posts in a day - but it is Spring and we welcomed our first poppy this week! They always make me smile - so bright, so delicate, on these long squiggly stems, too gorgeous for words!

So in honour of Spring flowers - the poppy and some other wiggly squiggly flowers I have been fiddling with in the studio.

Timber for the Path

Over recent months Barry has been involved in creating a public art pathway here in Maleny. The work is complete and the path is selaed and now it it just waiting for the story to be told. So...I get to write the story on another big lump of timber!

The path is in six panels each panel telling part of the history of the hinterland. We have recycled some wonderful timber from Judy and David Paulson, Barry has trimmed it, sanded it and put it together for a sign and now it's down to me. It measures about 1.8m long by 0.7m high.

It is different to the piece I did for David Linton as the timber is a really dark red and the black ink won't show up so I am testing a few alternatives. Luckily we had a downpour during the week which showed me the best option.

Drawing up and writing will happen over the weekend I hope - all the test runs have been done, nibs chosen, size and spacing now it's down to the writing.

This is a shot of the timber and some tests, before and after rain. Also the left hand side had a varnish on it.

Friday, September 4, 2009


As Barry and I prepare for our exhibition, I am actually making progress! I spent another day in the studio today - finishing one version of the piece for Japan, doing all the layout and design work for ANOTHER piece on large timber (why did all this wood suddenly come into my life I wonder?), as well as engraving perspex as you do. At least the perspex was for the exhibition.

During the week I managed to finish these small "mindfulness" cards. They will be placed in one of the beautiful copper bowls Barry is preparing and they can be used to choose a daily word, one to keep in mind as we go through our day.

These are the nouns; the verbs are yet to be done. The cards measure 5cm x 1.2cm and are written using copper gouache. The back of the cards is decorated using copper gouache and a mix of colours to look like the patina that happens on copper. Kind of. Sort of.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Logs and Life Part 2

The beautiful log I worked on for David Linton is edging closer to its 'unveiling'. I spoke to David today and he is waiting for a crane truck to deliver some timber to his workshop (out of town)and then he will get them to lift up the log and deliver it into town to his shop. You just can't lift this log any other way and it looks like it will be another 10 days or so before it can make the trip to town.

So here are some shots of the writing in progress:

The work set-up; not a classic work space I'm the first to admit.

Followed by the work in progress (with a mistake somewhat evident)

David oiled the timber in the week before I wrote - this seems to allow the ink to bond with the oil somehow, and not bleed into the timber itself, or rub off. I used a loose Roman Capitals hand to make it easier to read and to look contemporary.

I learned a lot about how to remove mistakes from timber (we couldn't budge the ink on the trial piece) by using a scraper and/or the back of a very sharp chisel.