Sunday, April 28, 2019

Preparations and the block

We have made it through a week constant grey. Of intermittent downpours, persistent rain, mist and drizzle.  It was a soaking time and everything everywhere felt saturated and damp. The sort of rain at times where you have to turn the volume of the tv up to maximum as you can't hear a thing above the rain on the roof.

So it was a delight to have the sun appear on Thursday for a bit, and stream at our front door.

Around the block wee toadstools and fungi abounded - all sorts and everywhere.  These tiny wee ones were on a post outside the studio. They are so fleeting - there in the morning and gone by afternoon.

The first time we saw the colours of sunset in ages - a pink haze above Mt Beerwah, whilst the clouds seemed to have had sunken into the valley.

The garden is however loving the moisture and things are glowing green and growing.  From the back deck you can see all the bridges and paths across the rock river now. And a few of the sculptures.

And despite having that enormous valley view; we are only responsible for up to the fenceline! The camellias are blooming and creating their petal carpet along the terraces.

However back in the studio I spent time on new works that are coming along, but also doing preparation for teaching in June In Toowoomba.

I am teaching two course; one of which is Black Beauty which I have taught before.  One of my favourite things about the sampler book we make is that it doesn't wast much paper - only a few trimmings here and there.  So my notes were all based around how to get the best out of a piece of Canson Mi-Teintes.  Which used to be 75cm x 55cm but is now made at 65cm x50cm!

So it was back to the drawing book on the instructions.

I also came across a slightly cheaper black paper and thought I'd try it as well - it being 63.5cm x 51cm so I did someone instructions for it as well.

I am not a fan of people putting stickers on their paper.  They can be hard to get off, and often leave a residue of gum. Luckily in this instance I could make the sticker part of the trimmings.

In preparation I also tested how the new paper would respond to various media.

And was able to use the scrap as a practice sheet for comparison.

I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the watercolour pigment with his paper - perhaps it sits on top more rather than soaks in.

And I added to one of my sample books.  I always include a notes page at the back cover - for keeping key info in the one spot.  However this time I was able to add in a new medium I had recently purchased, the Pilot Color Eno mechanical pencils (thanks to Gemma!)

And on Saturday I gave my talk at the University Gallery.  This is the before shot!  It was nice to have my piece close by and we spoke.  Barry took some great mini videos so if I can work out how to get them visible to the world somehow I shall share them soon.



  1. love your black samples and your garden is looking fabulous!

    1. The garden is enjoying the moisture more than us Mo - and after 10 years is growing into itself I think...go well.

  2. Amazing what a difference there is in your samples. What I also like , is black (shiny paint) on black, a variety on your whote on white from a couple of weeks ago.

    1. So true Annick - I love having these sampler books to see how the different media respond. And yes, glossy black on black is divine!


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