Sunday, May 15, 2011

Back in the studio

Sigh. Could you hear that happy and contented sigh across the miles? I've managed to spend a few hours here and there over the weekend in the studio and it's wonderful to have that feeling wash over me again...of pure contentment and happiness as I potter and explore and try this and that; and take little steps towards something.

COMA (the Collaboration of Maleny Artists) is holding its next exhibition at Rosetta Books (a fabulous independent book shop in Maleny). The theme is "between the lines..." and the works need to be linked to or inspired by a book.  A couple of the nice unifying things about COMA exhibitions are that we a) have a theme (and I know not everybody likes having a group theme but for me it helps hold the story of the exhibition together when there's such a diverse and disparate group at play), and b) we all have to work at or on the same size.  A group exhibition with say 60 pieces all the same size looks quite stunning!

This time we are working with a 15cm x 15cm ( 6 x 6 inches) canvas or for 3-D pieces, within that same size cube.

I chose one of my favourite books "The Orchard" by Drusilla Modjeska. It's one of those books I read when I was about 30 and have kept with me, dipping back into it and using one quote time and time again.

To be gentle on myself as I rediscover the fun, joy and pleasure of creating, I went with something I like doing - burning holes with incense sticks and then played a bit with wax to bring it together.

The days are getting shorter and the lighting getting worse so apologies for the shadows here and there.

This is the white page with words burnt, sitting on the white canvas.

This is the same page, with a used, waxed teabag laid underneath the page...looking much warmer and welcoming.

By now I was a bit worried about the fragility of the page sitting on top of the canvas and felt it needed some sort of protection.

So I waxed some rice paper to make it a bit translucent and to act as a cover for the fragile burnt edges.

So, now it felt nicely protected, but it had taken the edge of the piece making it seem blurry and covered; rather than an integrated piece. So I popped some melted wax over the top and fused the rice paper to the page and teabag and canvas underneath. Protection, integration and still little pockets of mystery. Pretty much what I needed, so I stopped.

This is the quote that speaks to me often...

"And I say there are times when others can see the shape of our lives more clearly than we can ourselves, and then the great act of friendship is to turn us around so that we stand to face that way'.

Apologies to the folk who tried to leave comments whilst Blogger was misbehaving - I received them and can't post them; but enjoyed them all - thank you!


  1. A beautiful piece of work Fiona. I love seeing it from inception to completion. The final look is just wonderful. Lesley

  2. Thanks Lesley - I too like watching things go through their phases and seeing how they ended up where and how they did.

  3. Love this! It's exciting to see the steps you went through to reach the finished piece. The seeming simplicity is stunning.

  4. Lovely to be privy to the process, thanks Fiona. I found the addition of the wax to make the surface more transparent an inspired choice.

  5. oh wow!! this is amazing Fiona! really really amazing! just the concept of it blows me away and the result after the rice paper and the wax is out of this world!! beautiful!

    p/s i just tumblred this :)

  6. Great to see the sequence. I just love this piece. I'm thinking of the work of a team of moths eating away all the words that aren't important.....

  7. lovely F - and you know what I say - there's nothing like a good book (burning) to get the creative juices flowing (hee he heee)....

  8. Stunning artwork! Is the quote at the end yours? It speaks to me as well.

  9. Jennifer - yes I love understanding the process of others and sticky-beaking a bit!

    Jo - thanks; I think it helped hold it all together.

    Luthien - thanks for the excitement! I love the fragile look of burnt out words, and what remains...thanks for the tumblr too!

    Jackie - thanks; its nice to get something to that 'resolved' place and be happy with it.

    Ronnie - thanks and yes I agree! I feel even a bit naughty with my incense bits - whole conflagrations must be a REAL buzz!

    Annie - great image; clever moths leaving only the important bits...

    Hi Jo - I wish it it's the one in the book I love the most. Sometimes it just happens that good and decent folk can see our selves and our lives more clearly than we do, and kindly help us see it too.

  10. What does "sticky-beaking" mean? Sorry. Not familiar with that term.

  11. Hi Jennifer - I have discovered of late that this is a very Australian-centric term! It just means having a look at; poking your nose in a bit kind of thing...always in the nicest possible way!

  12. F-a subtle inspiring piece. B

  13. Fiona, I'm happy to see you back at work and with such beautiful results! Also happy to know that comments made during the Great Blogger Meltdown may now be irretrievable but were at least viewed before they disappeared. With perfect timing, I managed to leave a dozen comments in one great effort to catch up -- right before Blogger crashed! All the best to you.

  14. Goodness, I have just discovered your blog, this is beautiful work. I've really enjoyed reading this post and having a glimpse into your creative process. Thank you so much for sharing...

  15. Fiona....I LOVE this....what more can I say...what a perfect use of burning incense, wax, text, etc. etc. Just lovely...thanks so much for sharing all the stages!

  16. B- thank you, I like it too!

    G/TT - I can't believe the timing for you with blogger - damn! I did get to read your comments and enjoyed them tho. It feels good to be back creating, baby steps perhaps.

    Patti - so happy to hear you love it - it's nice to have a reaction like that! Thanks!

  17. Words could not possibly translate how I LOVE this piece Fiona. Your poetic use of text, textures, depth - just simply devine. I really believe you have found your 'groove thung!" - sooooooooo looking forward to seeing it!!!!

  18. This is a beautiful piece Fiona!!! (There is truth in that lovely quote.)

  19. Oh, this is beautiful - so many subtle layers, all adding to the mystery and poignancy xoxoxo


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