Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lots of lettering

Barry and I have moved onto Brugge in Belgium - the capital of European calligraphy - and I have been having a wonderful time!

It is such a delight to visit a city that honours and values lettering so much. Calligraphic renderings appear in so many business names and signs and house numbers.

It is a beautiful city for wandering in as well and we have walked miles each day on the cobbled streets, looking at the marvellous skylines and along the gorgeous canals. Here are some moments in Brugge...

First some lettering...

And then the skyline and canals...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Peace in Ypres

If you look back a post (go past Continuing on with a new book, to Peace in Ypres) you'll find the blog I just finished and posted...I started it before leaving home and mobile technology has defeated me and it appears to have been posted last Sunday...half and half really!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Continuing on with a new book

So brown and rust are well and truly part of my making right now; they feel very soothing and gentle to me and we are old friends.

This new book is taking shape or form a bit; progressing here, wandering over there; coming back to start again...

I love it when I have time to meander my way through the making - letting what happens just happen.

In no particular order of sequences, the book reveals itself in small parts to me.

Lots of options, plenty of potential; no real decisions yet.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Peace in Ypres...

Barry and I are fortunate to have been able to travel to Ieper in Belgium (in Flanders Fields...) to attend the opening of the exhibition "Pieces for Peace".

Barry and I both entered books, along with fellow artists Susan Bowers and Helen Malone.  A calligraphic friend Olive Bull in Tasmania, also entered a book and as far as we know that is the Australian contingent - altho we will be looking for more!

Here are Susan's, Barry's and my book together before we packed and posted them to travel across the world to the site of so much death and destruction in World War I. It is a beautiful thing to realise that the books in the exhibition are all contributions to peace; they are from across the globe and they are saying to us all - may there be peace and no more war.

Before we came away I printed more of my "Flanders Poppies" prints and wrote and made four more "Peace in your Pocket" books. This time I wrote peace in English, French, Flemish and German - the languages spoken around Flanders then and now.  Along with "peace is every step' I hope to share these gifts of peace with people we meet and those who have organised the exhibition and helped us out.

The opening was a gala event and we were made to feel very welcome. There are some wonderful pieces - both books and calligraphy - and the Aussie contingent looks right at home.

Here are Helen and Olive's books, and some fragments of some of my favourites ....

Juergen Vercaemst of Belgium

Torsten Kolle from Germany

Juergen Vercaemst from Belgium in a different book

Inge Vos from the Netherlands

A special exhibition and a special,opportunity to view it.  We have also been re-tracing the final day of my gr-grandfather in WWI and it has been special for that as well...

More on The Library of Lost Words -

I did promise that I would let you know as soon as I unwrapped a packet of lost words, so true to my word, here we are.

The top page is pretty badly affected, but the other eight in the bundle look beautifully worn.

What is left of the top page's word...

So having unwrapped a bundle I began to play with a rusty old tin.

Putting a tied bundle in...

And then the untied bundle with some fellow travellers alongside.

What's not to love about a bundle?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bits of brown

It seems like every now and again you end up working in a colour theme or palette.  I can't really explain why but at the moment it seems to be brown. My previous post showed the work I have just begun - soft shades of brown and rust; and here are the two small extra bits of work I've managed this week in between the Collectables print show and a rather large commission that is keeping me busy.

The words of burning...

A while ago I mentioned I got playing with these words instead of working on commissions. The good news is that one commission has been successfully complete and will soon be delivered to the client; and the second one should be done by the end of the weekend and popped in the post on Monday. That would be a great relief!

Nonetheless in a lull between the two jobs I did go down to the sewing machine to see what would happen if I tried to loosely stitch a few words together. It was much harder than I imagined it would be in my head.

I didn't seem to be able to keep stitching into the void between the words for long enough to not have them squish up together too much.  Not the world's best explanation, but I felt like I just ended in a tangle.

I want these words to have a feeling of looseness and freedom, so tangling isn't great!  I then threaded a needle and tried to manually stitch and loop them together. A better result, but I'm still not sure if it is what I need.

But you never know unless you have a go, do you?

And now back to the next steps in The Library of Lost Words.  As mentioned in reply to a few comments, I left them out to dry crisply in the baking sun; and then a summer thunderstorm came and soaked them again! So here they are all moist again, about to head out into the sun to bake and be monitored more closely this time.

They survived that and so I took them in to brush the dirt off. With gloves, mask and in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling any spores of stuff.  That kind of worked, but there was still a bit too much dark staining for my liking, so I went and washed them! Yep they got wet again, and then put into the sun to bake dry once more.

Here they are drying on a stump in the garden bed.  They are now sitting inside again waiting for the next step. You can see some of the threads have begun to come undone as I brushed and washed them.  I honestly haven't had time to unwrap or unravel them, but I think I will soon.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

New work and Collectables success

The end of the year is always a busy time with lots to do and get involved in.  I am working towards some pieces for  a small exhibition early next year, and found a few moments to play in the past few days - mostly snatched and stolen moments because our Collectables exhibition had to be hung, the opening attended and the show staffed over the weekend and taken down again.

Here are the beginning pages (I think) for a new book.  I am following through on some rusty ideas - my life seems to have come full circle as I explore works with my rusty tins and now back to rusty nails...

As is often the case, I'm not exactly sure what form it will take, but the elements are coming together.

Starting with some old book pages and the hint of another language.

Then rusting some tengucho paper with nails and tea...

Creating such subtle and beautiful marks.

Working out if they will go together...

Some books are finished before you begin; some books take their own sweet time and path. This one is one of the latter... I look forward to seeing where we end up!

I mentioned I have managed to grab  few moments for the book pages in between commitments to our Collectables exhibition. On Thursday afternoon we hung the Maleny Printmakers' Collectables exhibition. Several hands make light work and we seem to work out who does what and it comes together pretty smoothly.

The lovely long line of prints on the wall...

There is such an amazing variety, it is quite hard to choose which ones to buy yourselves.

We had a really good weekend of sales and visitors. There is a real delight in watching people examine in detail all the magic of these prints; as they ask questions and try to understand how things have been done.  Best of all, nearly everybody can afford take something home - as a gift, a reminder or a piece of art just for themselves.

It was another great show, and I really want to thank all the people who bought my work. I was thrilled that so many people fell in love with nests and feathers...