Sunday, October 31, 2021

A beautiful commission

 In between the prepping and planning and general getting ready-ness for the Red Thread showing, I was asked to print some invitations to a memorial; and some memorial thank you cards. It took some exceptional planning and logistics as they are multi-phase efforts and I had have them all done and dusted and out the door before we hung the show. It was tight.

Cutting the cards, setting the type, proofing, printing the outside of the cards.  Letting the cards dry then setting proofing and printing the inside of the cards. Testing colours (so interesting that red was the main theme!). Then on to doing the same for the invitations.

The bit where I begin to worry - will these scratches do anything at all? Or just look awful?

Just add water...

And the bit where I always let out a big sigh of relief; when they appear whimsical and gentle and swaying in the breeze.

The invitations - about 65 of them.

Wrapped and tied with the DEP thread.

And the cards - about 35 of them - with envelopes, stacked and tied with a bow and all teh details printed inside.

People often ask if we do custom work or commissions; and we say we don't do weddings.  But we will always try to do some beautiful hand printed cards for a funeral or memorial...

Spring has sprung and we had a storm last night so on our walk this morning the jacaranda carpets were everywhere!

Whereas Saturday's walk was a two-feather walk!

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Thursday Thoughts...

“The problem isn’t coming up with ideas, it is how to contain the invasion. My ideas are like uninvited guests. They don’t knock on the door; they climb in through the windows like burglars who show up in the middle of the night and make a racket in the kitchen as they raid the fridge. I don’t sit and ponder which one I should deal with first. The one to be wrestled to the floor before all others is the one coming at me with the most vehemence.” 

Werner Herzog

What an animated and lively approach to inspiration this is!

Occasionally I think about how to chart or track inspiration for work. Where did the notion arrive from? How did it arrive?  And then what did it become along the way.  I oftentimes find the How did it arrive the most variable.  Sometimes it whispers in my ear what about?  Sometimes I get a blinding flash of understanding and insight and an absolutely confident sense of knowing exactly what should happen and what needs to be done. Sometimes I argue along with the idea. Sometimes I resist. Sometimes I get swept away.

This description of an onslaught of ideas bickering for attention like a litter of lively, clumsy puppies is just great.  I felt this way recently when a friend sent me two books that she no longer felt a need for; on the off chance that I might enjoy them. And I did. 

In the lead up to the showing, with works to complete, and admin things to sort, and plans for display to ponder, I read one of them and got myself entirely carried away with a multiplicity of ideas for what to do next (also knowing full well that I have two major books to complete before the end of the year and that well, time really passing is swiftly!). It was like a cacophony of pinball in my head as my hand fought to keep up with the jumps and leaps and connections and ideas I was having.

I dealt with it by getting a new notebook and jotting down ideas; and promising myself that yes I could play with it all. IN THE NEW YEAR. 

A movie title perhaps, Invasion Of The Ideas...

Las Vegas at night, 2010.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Warmth of Friends & Friends Gather

At last, some more stories about some of my work for The Red Thread. 

Starting with Friends Gather.

I had set Pauline's poem in  a small typeface, aiming once again for a layout similar to the one she uses in her book; to keep the rhythm the poem as close to the way she wrote it.

I printed it on a beautiful Japanese paper - Goyu.  It is hands down one of my favourite papers: strong and yet so light and ethereal.  I don't have much of it left, eek!

Here is the poem from behind - you can see how fine the paper is.

For the pieces called Friends Gather I printed the poem once, on differing widths of paper.  They dried and then I dipped them in the most beautifully fragrant bees wax.  It is warm as honey. And I rolled them into a scroll-form.

Inspired in my thoughts by my piece Memorial to Birds Having Flown

I gathered three scrolls together in pleasing combinations and wrapped a red thread around them. 

With The Warmth of Friends; I ended up using much longer lengths of the Goyu paper (hence why there is not much left I guess).  And I chose to print and overprint, to print the ghost prints and layer the words of the poem on top of each other.  The same process of dipping and rolling into scrolls happened next.

With these ones, I stitched the red thread into them as an anchor of sorts for the loose wrapping.

There are still some of these available for purchase (A$75ea for Warmth; A$75 for the trio of Gather), so feel free to get in touch if you'd like to work something out...

Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Red Thread opens...

 And red dots appear!

Here we are, the four friends who pulled together this showing.  Who all live in different townships and cities and suburbs; yet have remained connected - the red thread of friendship.

Susan, Me, Tory and Steph. We started a WhatsApp group years ago (one night at dinner and after some bubbles) and quickly called ourselves Print Princesses just because...alliteration. We still think of ourselves as the PPs and laugh when we call each other Princess.

But a beautiful bunch to work with. Four vastly different artists, yet bringing together a beautiful showing.

Barry likes this one - me as the shopkeeper - clearly trying to work out the paperwork and money as folk begin to mingle.

Towards the end of the day I said a few words...

Here is Susan's work mid-hanging. No idea where the final shot is; but there are some red dots in places now. Mixed media drawings on film. Layered and beautiful - holding and connecting....

Tory's work - the red thread running thru nature - to allure or to repel?  Enticement or Danger? Or both?

Steph's time of connection through Covid; and one of the things that held her was the visiting crows. Her Covid Corvids.  That's Russell (Crow) on the wall. And the red thread of the Brisbane River.

And here we are with red dots on some of my work too!  I will do a proper post about the works themselves soon; but for now happy days!

At one point yesterday afternoon it felt like a bit of a frenzy.  Maybe 25 people buzzing and chatting and asking about work, buying work and talking letterpress. A friend walked in and asked how I was (I mentioned I was 'holding it', just) and she said "if you need a hand, just give me a nod". And you know, I looked around that room and knew that every woman friend there was a woman I could give the nod to, and they'd be there to help; to back me up; to do whatever I needed.

Women Friends.

Thank you to all the folk who have visited thus far; and to all who have purchased art. Red dots for artists just bring me so much joy. They mean artists are being appreciated; beautiful art is being shared; people are being uplifted by gorgeous work in their homes...such a wonderful thing.

And thanks to Barry who absolutely backed me up every step of the way - who cleaned and tidied and did all the home stuff in the lead up and then spent the afternoon talking to people, pouring drinks and sharing his work too.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Thursday Thoughts...

"Books are many things: energy shots, life-jackets, flying carpets, alarm clocks, oxygen masks, weapons, salves. Who needs what and when can’t be predicted till it happens". 

Jeanette Winterson

Perfect description of books for me!

Wake up calls, things that heal, things that can do damage, escape routes, rescuers and life affirmers. All of these things can be found in a book.

I like that their enormous variation means we don't know who will need what nor when they might need it; and yet at that particular point in time there might just be the perfect book for the moment.

I can recall some books that arrived in my life at just the right time. Often I hadn't been searching for them and hadn't known I needed them, but I am grateful that they arrived, offering just the right thing at just the right moment.

Books can be hard hats too! (2016)

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

More red thread

 The work is now all done; the work of the others is arriving, price lists are being updated, a myriad of other plans are underway and studio space is cleared.

Almost there!

Here is another one of my pieces. Hand stitched, slow stitched and linking four panels.

Details of some of the panels, with the odd little red cross to mark a spot.

And bits without crosses...

And partly unfurled.

There are plenty more pieces but I'll show them over the next wee while...

Sunday, October 17, 2021

A week away and more women friends

 It's only a week until we open the showing "The Red Thread". Have to say I'm little bit excited by the prospect and really looking forward to showing our work together; and to sharing it with folk.

I am well into my home straight I think - always a few loose ends to tie off - ha! 

Late Friday afternoon Barry and I ended up in the same place for long enough to fiddle with finalising the winding mechanisms on two of my tiny artists' books.

Barry had drilled a couple of holes in the sides of my tins, and also into a brass rod for me stitch into to attach a fabric scroll.

This is a tiny tin, and it was very fiddly with the shortest and finest of needles I could find.


The scroll unfurls, following pathways of friendships...

The fabric I used is from my friend Liz Ackert.  She sent this piece though a while back; and its time and place is now.  I stitched some of the fabric together with a soft thread that I had dyed using the leftover beetroot juice from another friend who had been pickling her bumper crop and couldn't bear to waste that vivid colour. Women Friends.

There is a second, companion piece as well. This will unfurl another time...