Sunday, June 30, 2019

Compassion opens

Barry and I managed a trip down to Nambour on Friday to view the exhibition as it was in its final stages of set up... a chance to quietly view the work before the big hurrah of the opening on Saturday.

It was a lovely opportunity to wander around and see the work; gaze at it without interruption; turn pages where we could.

It was nice to see our work amongst so many...

I would have loved a sunburnt country

In a nice piece of synchronicity, Barry's and my works are together here. Light and Love by me with his Precious Library of Peace above.

Peace Mends the World was on show again.

And my Peace Emerging book-ets had their first outing.

The opening on Saturday afternoon was huge!  It was so amazing to see so many folk turn out for artists' books - really really delightful.

There were a lot of lovely works on display. Here are just a few...

Judy Barrass

Marieke Stagg

Sandra Pearce

Ellen Appleby

Katherine Nix

Noela Mills

Ken Munsie

Saffron Drew

Ulrike Sturm

It was wonderful to see so many friends, so much beautiful work and the result of such hard work by Ardleigh and Ken - what an amazing job they did.

It really is worth a visit on a day when you canwander and explore - it takes several times around the gallery to get the full experience!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Thursday Thoughts...

Some people say home is where you come from. But I think it’s a place you need to find, like it’s scattered and you pick pieces of it up along the way. 

Katie Kacvinsky

This quote interested me because I haven't often stopped to reflect on where home is.  I guess at the most basic of levels it is where our house is - it is within the building that we have filled with our hearts and our time and our memories.

So it might be a place.

But people often suggest it is where the heart is also - which to me means where the people you love are. So in different ways, that moves about and is not so much a place but a person or people - wherever they are and if you are with them, then that is home.

But this quote feels like home is the result of action.  That it isn't stationary or found to be within a person or a place; but rather that it is a putting together of many things to create a 'place' called home; that home is the result of gathering and collecting and building a kind of mosaic that takes all sorts of bits and pieces - perhaps of places, people and things that make you feel like home and then that is that.

The more I think about it, the more I like it!

A home for somebody, once.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Winner and just a bit all over the shop!

Most of my time this week has been spent getting ready to teach at Fibres West from 7-13 July (which seems rather close now!)

I have been holding it in the back of my mind, occasionally putting things aside and kind of planning what I would need and when; until of course I really had to focus and discovered a few things I had to get hold of rather quickly! Laugh.

So a morning down the coast meant I could gather all sorts of bibs and bobs I need to prepare.

The list of preparations is in a couple of parts - one for a lecture, two for a pop-up shop and three for 5 days worth of teaching with 12 students.  I am always conscious that folk may have come from far and away; may not live nearby specialist art supplies places; and that we are 100km away from Perth so access to art supplies locally is extremely limited. Nothing quite like being prepared for all eventualities, and luckily I have an excellent luggage allowance.

Masking off as I make name tags for the class members.

Rubbing powdered graphite in as the background for writing names.

Making a few notebooks that look quiet and gentle like the name of the course, and which might be in the pop up shop. I love the poppy emboss.

My grief cards have been selling well which is nice I think.  They are gentle words and cards and help us reach out to folk we love and care about when they have experienced loss and death.  So I needed to make quite a few more.

As always they take time - the cutting of paper, the setting and printing of the type and then the illustration.  All of these phases need a bit of time in between them so they don't smudge etc, and then into cello bags they go and the associated paperwork gets done!

Some of these are also off to Fibres West. The blue tint from the windows upstairs in the studio really shows through here.

And in between times I have completed a commission which I can't show - a gift for a special person in July apparently.

And I have been working with a local author and poet on pulling together a book of poetry. I did the calligraphic title and we are working on layout, removal of stars, and which sort of paper might work best for a cover.

Here are three options I printed and the decisions are underway.

Yesterday Barry and I delivered our work for the artists' book exhibition Compassion - at The Old Ambo Gallery in Nambour which opens next weekend.  We had both also made some product for the shop there, so more lists and numbering and packaging was done.

You'd have to say I am never bored.

And so to the winner of the giveaway from last week...

I asked the computer to choose a number between 1 and 5 and the number it chose was five - which is Annick!  So I am chuffed to be sending one of my 'Pockets are Political' posters across the ocean to Europe.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thursday Thoughts...

“I have only one worry in the world. It is that my paintings will show downtown and fail there. They will fail because they are non-aggressive – they are not even outgoing”. 

Agnes Martin

Despite feeling sad and concerned for Agnes Martin's anxiety and worry; I do like how she thinks about her work - it isn't aggressive, and its not even outgoing!

Feels a lot like me and mine. NOT that I am equating my work with hers; just that mine isn't really outgoing either.

Agnes Martin's work was so, so quiet. It whispered, went inwards and cocooned itself, waiting.

It made me a bit sad as I read her words that she felt that only loud, outgoing, aggressive work would sell downtown.  That the art world valued that kind of painting over her kind of painting.  Whereas I think her work is sublime and beautiful.

I imagine that most of us at some point in time worry that our work isn't good enough; that it won't hold up.  Some us will always feel that our work just doesn't fit.  That our way is not the way that seems to be deemed worthy; yet we know we can only do our own work no one else's...

Agnes Martin 1912–2004 

Paintings and Drawings: Stedelijk Museum Portfolio (ten works)

lithograph on vellum transparency paper
11¾ h × 11¾ w in
30 × 30 cm


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Teaching in Toowoomba

I had a wonderful weekend teaching in Toowoomba.  The Book Arts group invited me to teach "Words and more Words" as well as "Black Beauty"

Words and more Words is about helping folk who aren't calligraphers, and who don't have access to letterpress studio for example, include text and words in their work.  Often important for people making books.

So we started with a loosening up lettering using bamboo skewers and making letters connect to the previous one and to the 'line' above.

When Noreen finished her larger piece, she did a smaller piece and then dropped it on top of the larger piece - and we both loved the happy accident that the diagonal created.

We also did small tiny text tightly together - creating texture and and shapes by increasing the pen size or the line size; and by masking off areas and writing into shapes. All good fun and some great results!

I won't try and attribute all the work for fear of getting it wrong - but I think this is Jenny's.

 And I am pretty sure this is Margaret's.

The show and tell table at the end of the day - piercing and stitching handwriting and the occasional stamp and shim as well.

Day 2 saw us tackling the beauty of black and the good sense of a sampler book.
I just liked the skewers I used to stir up my metallic inks!

 Using metallic gel pens - I was fascinated by how solid the silver was; and how pale the black was!  An excellent example of why you would do a smaller book - even within a set of pens individual ones behave quite differently.

A discovery for most was how good graphite pencil (lead pencils) work on black and the interestingly different effects you can achieve.  The hard Hs leave such strong single lines; the softer Bs give a sheen and great coverage.

and Lorna loved this moment when she wrote straight from the tube of acrylic paint!

Margaret created beautiful examples as well as her swatches.

I loved these washes of the Caran d'Ache neocolors water soluble crayons...

We do a variation on the Japanese stab binding and I loved how Jean (top) varied my variation - I think I'll do that one too in the future!

Some of the sample books at the end of the day.

We worked hard and everybody was a bit tired at the end of two days - but we covered a lot of ground and folk have lots of ideas of what they can do next...

Thanks to everyone for such a great workshop - I always enjoy my time in Toowoomba!

PS if you'd like the chance to win a 'pockets are political' poster - pop on over here and leave a comment....

Sunday, June 16, 2019

10 year anniversary + giveaway

10 years.

I was surprised when I went looking a few months ago, to discover that on this day 16 June, in 2009, I posted my first blog post!

Here's a quick look at it...

Back in the day you could only add pretty small photos; and it was definitely brief, but it was a beginning. The subject was a collaboration amongst a few of us local artists.  It was the first time I worked with the words of a local poet Robyn; and in a lovely symbiosis I am working with her on another poetry book at the moment!

Nice to see that the relationship has blossomed and continued for a decade.

Also interesting to see that I was reporting on a workshop I ran; and this weekend I have again been teaching a workshop, this time in Toowoomba (and more on that soon).

So as part of my anniversary meandering I decided to take look at the blog post each year, that landed on or closest to the anniversary date.  Please bear with me as I take a decade-long wander down memory lane...

Here we are on  13 June 2010. This was the first year of A Letter a Week and I was nearly at the end of my first alphabet! That was a great project which ran over several years, culminating in a beautiful exhibition in 2013

The anniversary date coincided again and this is a Thursday Thought on 16 June 2011.  I began doing my Thursday Thoughts in July 2010 (here is my first thought!) and they have remained an enjoyable part of my blogging week.

In 2012, the closest date is Saturday 15 June with the opening of an exhibition I was the 'lead' in - Tread Lightly. The rainbow stack is taller now and hits the ceiling in our house; the book Learning my Lines is now in the collection of the Sunshine Coast University, some of the other works have been sold and generally speaking its fun to look back! Pictures can be bigger now.

In 2013 I must have realised I had a blog anniversary as I posted and offered a give-away on Sunday 16 June 2013. The blog post is about Susan Bowers and I getting together to work on some of our collaborative books - which formed part of our exhibition Pas de Deux in 2015.  We had a lot of fun getting together over the years to make and create 20 beautiful collaborative books which are now housed in a fabulous private collection in Melbourne. Ahhhh memories.

Tuesday 17 June 2014 saw me posting on sewing a skirt.  It seems very apt that I have picked upon a sewing post all those years ago, given it is now such a gorgeous part of my making life!

Tuesday 16 June 2015 saw me pottering about with hearts and hands - one of those blog posts not about making, but about noticing...

I still love hearts and hearts!

The anniversary date fell on another Thursday on 16 June 2016... Which makes sense in a way - Thursday Thoughts are after all, a weekly occurrence and the odds of them being the nearest blog post are not too long.  This one is about books and rain - both still a big part of my life!!!

How funny that I wrote about the frequency of Thursday Thoughts landing in the previous description - because here is another one on Thursday 15 June 2017! I love this kookaburra on one of our railings, looking so chill and relaxed.

Almost there - thanks for hanging in!

Here we are on Sunday 17 June 2018 - just last year, pottering about. It was interesting to see this post again as the first work featured never really went anywhere; the thank you cards all went and I made more like them; the bunches of flowers I was playing with have become an important design in my grief cards; and the touching base letterpress is also part of a series of four postcards. Just interesting.

So...thanks for your time and for your companionship along the way.  It hardly feels like a decade, but a decade it is.  I have enjoyed the world of the blog so much.  I have found and made wonderful friends (and even actually met some of them!!).  The generosity, care and kindness fo my blogging buddies is marvellous.

A couple of other really valuable things I have found from blogging - having a routine and commitment to blog has made me look at art differently, the gardena and the wider world differently - seeing beauty and noticing it and occasionally reporting on it.  It has also made me go and make art - because then I will have something to blog about!  In tight and weary times blogging has been an impetus to make - a lovely thing.  And lastly, but not leastly, paperponderings has become a record of my journey as a maker and creator.  Nearly all my main work can be found here one way or another and I love that it really is a bit like a diary of it all.

What a time I have had.

And now to the anniversary giveaway - I mean what would an anniversary celebration be without a give away???

So I am giving away one of my recent "Pockets are Political" posters.

To take part, I'd like you to leave me a comment telling me about a lovely moment of kindness you have experienced - somebody being kind to you, you observing a kindness by others; or of you doing a random act of kindness.  I think I'd like to hear about kindness...

To be in the draw, you need to leave a comment by 6pm AEST on Saturday 22 June 2019. I will then do a random number  generation and select the winner and let you know next Sunday 23 June 2019.

Thanks and go well, Fiona.