Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Serene Landscapes

As part of the exhibition I made some simple dry point prints. Five of them appear in one larger piece and they are each also framed separately and a set of them is also simply matted.

Simplicity appears to be the key.

I enjoy printmaking but know I am still quite a novice. Nonetheless these little pieces worked out quite OK I think.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Perspex white on white

We have made it! We spent this morning photographing, cataloguing and pricing and then with the help of mum and dad we delivered the complete works to Ken's gallery this afternoon and got to hand them over.

It's a sense of relief and a sense of excitement, mingled with a sense of fear and a sense of let-down. A heady mix.

Our exhibition is called "In the stillness..." and for one of my pieces I wrote 3 short sentences about what happens for me when I am still, and the experience of silence. In small ways, I am beginning to try and create my own words to use in my calligraphic work.

I engraved them into perspex - long thin panels - and then placed paper between the front and back panel. Of course, this makes the words recede or disappear a bit, and makes you have to get up close and personal with the work to discover what is written.

Here are a few hints of the idea why I can't get them to appear in the correct orientation!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

More White on White

My white on white concertina pieces are back from the framers and ready for the exhibition. I even managed to photograph them today in interesting light before the storms clouds came through and darkened the afternoon sky. Not much rain but we hope for some tomorrow.

This is their third time being shown on the blog - but it's kind of nice to see where they finally ended up. Dream, Peace and Shine.

Friday, October 23, 2009

In the Stillness...

I have enjoyed making this small book - it started out as an idea for a series of prints; then I decided to do calligraphy with a difference. I used oil pastels and made a heavy pastel square, then I applied copper leaf to the square of pastel. I then used a William Mitchell nib without the reservoir, to pull the copper leaf away as I wrote a letter.

I had spent a plane trip trying to come up with an alphabet of words that reflected what happens when you sit still and meditate and I then wrote these in my heartbeat script in copper gouache underneath the letter.

I stitched the single leaf book together with a metallic embroidery thread, and then made a slip case and stuck some stitched copper on it.

All in all a nice little book to hold in your hand.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Copper Words and Flowers

Another full day in the studio - amazing what deadlines can do for you! Barry helped me drill holes in some perspex pieces for the exhibition; I drilled and stitched more copper for the book and even painted the backgrounds. I stitched a lovely little book and made a case for it which I decorated with oh...more patina-ed copper.

And throughout the day I pondered these two wall pieces I have finished. In line with Barry's use of copper in his bowls and fonts, I have been playing around with copper wire words and flowers (see earlier post). They are now hanging on my wall, making nice shadows. I think they are quite quirky, but I am still trying to work out whether or not I should exhibit them. I guess I have until Sunday to sort that out!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I have been building some embossing 'plates' to put thru the press and create a beautiful book (Plan A). It is always a special challenge doing calligraphy backwards so that it will appear the right way round when you print.

I have this fabulous 800gsm Arches paper and I wanted to emboss into it, so we needed extra heavy duty pressure on the press. I am not sure if its sensible or good to do it, but Barry helped me by pushing the table thru as I pulled the wheel along - that way we got a good impression in the heavy paper.

Here are the plates (written backwards) and some details of the prints. The plates are simply mat board, cut out and glued onto more mat board, then shellacked 3 times, over about a 24 hour period. Hopefully this one makes it to "E Day".

Monday, October 19, 2009

White Cockatoos

Barry has been talking about "E-Day"also known as Exhibition Day as it looms closer. Whilst we are both well prepared, we have healthy doses of worry as well because we both still have a few pieces to go.

My goal today was to progress a few pieces and finish one, which I did. I have been shellacking some embossing plates and writing a few words here and there as well as pounding and stitching metal - all for a few different books.

I did however get to finish "White Cockatoos" a book of the poem that local poet Robyn wrote for me.

White cockatoos (for Fiona)

Wings deckle-edged
Against waned light
The cockatoos
Wheel eastwards
Their noisy sentence
Single-spaced left to right
A skyful of vowels
Headed towards night’s
Full stop

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Metal Patina and stitching

Barry has been doing lots of work with copper and other metals in preparation for the exhibition. As a result he gets lots of off cuts. I trawl through his pile and scavenge (or rescue) pieces that I think could have yet another life.

I can see how I could use some of these scraps in a book and am playing around with beating them flat and stitching them with copper wire. There is something nice about the strength and toughness of metal combined with the gentler art of stitching.

A few of the scraps and a few beginnings...must get it together in time for the exhibition!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Timber for the Path 3

Another piece of public art calligraphy on timber appeared in town over the weekend. Barry and Edith-Ann worked last week to prepare the supports for the path at the Hinterland Business Centre. They then attached the story board on Saturday (in the midday sun and boy was it hot).

I thank them for making it look so good and am pleased that it is so easy to read, despite being on such dark timber.

Barry authored the words for the six panels - and I made him keep them short and sweet! They tell the story of the hinterland: with the formation of the volcanic Glasshouse Mountains; the many streams and waterways that support the land; the timbered forests along the range; the traditional owners of the land the Gubbi Gubbi people; the paths that criss-crossed the mountains; and the vibrant, creative and green industries that flourish today.

It even survived its first dose of rain the other night. The support posts will be painted black as will the back of the story post so it all kind of blends.


Rainbow Peace

I have been getting a few more pieces ready for the exhibition - some come more easily than others. Some come from nowhere, and some that you think are bound to be gorgeous end up on the scrap heap. I am not particularly good at predicting what will work.

I dreamed up this idea accidentally a few weeks ago and this week sent the final 3 pieces off to the framers. In keeping with my rainbow theme, I wrote "peace" in versals, each row a different colour (red,orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, purple), then added skeleton Roman capitals in the different colours a half line apart so they overlapped.

One is in coloured pencil, one is in watercolour pencil and one is in watercolours themselves. I think I forgot to photograph the coloured pencil final, so have included the draft.

Bounty from the garden

I had the best fun this afternoon. It was time to "lift" our very first crop of potatoes. We had planted 6 Desirees and would you believe they produced about 4 kilograms of new potatoes!

It was alchemy, it was magic, it was like digging for treasure.

The garden has been kind to us - today we ate white mulberries and plain mulberies, drank lime juice from our limes, ate our avocado on toast at lunch time, managed to sneak two blueberries before the birds got to them, and ate broccoli, snow peas and bok choy we had grown in our stir fry for dinner. What a joy!

The first potato and what remains of the mulberries - and yes the evidence of eating the rest of the mulberries is on my fingers and my lips!