Monday, 14 April 2014

alaw continues ....

I have just caught up my letters for A Letter a Week - IJKLMNOP - March and Aprils' letters.  It always feels good to finish off some of those little things that tick along in the studio.

Tis a gorgeous, nurturing day here - shrouded in mist, gentle rain and a less than gentle blow.  We are experiencing the tail end of the cyclone that hit land in the north of Queensland and having had such a dry summer, the rain is more than welcome.  I love the mists that roll up here into the hills, wrapping us round and secreting us away from all else.  

Sunday, 13 April 2014

busy bits .....

It has been a crazy few weeks in the studio with nothing really exciting to post about other than the completion of my bird book - or at least my part of it and now it is with Fiona who is adding some text ready for the 'Two Books Meet' on World Book Day on April 23rd.

This doesn't mean that is all that has been done but the rest is not new work but the editioning of etchings for up coming and recent events.  We have Maleny Printmakers exhibition over Easter and I needed to have work ready for that - printed a number of etchings from the 'sand drawings' plates and finally, after many years sitting as proofs, I printed and editioned some of my door knobs.  I am happy with how they turned out and in fact have framed three of them together as part of the Easter Exhibition.

I spent days printing some of my "In Between Dreams Series' and dug out the etching plates of a series of four flower etchings I had done a few years ago ..... all for a studio visit day.  A group of women were coming up from Brisbane and further afield to visit gardens here between Flaxton and Maleny and my friend and neighbour, whose garden was the venue for morning tea, asked if they could come and see my studio.  There were going to be about 40 of them and we thought that would work if half of them were dropped here first, and then the other half came after their morning tea and wander around her garden.  As it worked out, there were 63 lovely ladies and they all arrived here simultaneously!  It was impossible to move and I ended up by talking a little about etching processes, a little about the bird book with which I was struggling as it was evident on the desk in front of me.  It was impossible to really see all the work I had on walls or displayed on cabinets as the crush was huge.  A few determined and interested women squeezed their way around looking and weaving their way to me for questions and expressing intent to re visit when there was not such a crush.

For all that, it was good exposure and it forced me to get quite an amount of work done - which is now ready for my Open Studio days in October.  Many of them left their emails and asked to be invited so that was good. A couple of sales were also sweet.

a glimpse of the completed book ready for the reveal next week

details of sand drawings

three of the Italian Door Knob series

watercoloured etchings

and some experiments for the book heading to Belgium which will never see the light of day!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

a step closer .....

A mentoring morning with Fiona and I am so much more at ease ..... I think!  I have been tense and wound up and not at all relaxed about this work and then talking it through with Fiona this morning, realised that though I am quite happy with some of these prints as etchings, the difficulty I have with the work is seeing it as a book.

I had the thought of making an irregular concertina book - various sizes in fold and in page which will make it more of an artwork than a picture book.  This also means that all of the imagery is not revealed at once.  The thought of just turning the pages and seeing what came next (which works so well with some of my books) did not solve the issues I have been having with the presentation.  As yet I haven't even done all the artwork but for me, having a sense of the piece, the way the images and the negative spaces all speak to each other and relate, gives me a way forward. So, now that I can see a way forward, I will relax and enjoy the process.  I can hear a big sigh of relief from those around me .....

And Fiona's book - well, you will just all have to wait and see.  It is oh so very gently, exquisite.

Then again, I could just cut up the work and use small parts of each image.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

magpie business .....

It feels a bit like pulling teeth but I am getting there.  I think that one of the reasons I am having such trouble with this book is that for a very long time, I have been way more interested in mark making, suggesting traces of images, a sense of narrative rather than revealing a whole story and so forth.  With this book, the story will seem more succinct - more readable and apparent.  This has been a problem for me in working within a more realistic manner and finding a balance between the 'drawn' image and the slightly more abstract.

I am happy with where this imagery is leading though each page I print seems like an enormous effort.  Truth be told, I will be glad when the book is done and I feel quite confident that I will be far more in touch with my printmaking skills at its conclusion.  At the moment it is a struggle!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

stuck in tidings of magpies .....

I have been working hard trying to work out ideas for this next collaborative book and I am resolving more of what NOT to do that what needs to be done.  Maybe in a strange way that is bringing me closer to some sort of resolution - though I can't see it yet!

Very happy with a background plate I am using for this book - not all my pages but probably about half of them with have this print base.  The marking is quite serendipitous and scrumptious.  I found these on the back of one of my early prints and have been waiting for the right moment to use it in a meaningful way.  Think it will add to this book - certainly I like the look of the eggs printed over the plate marks.

Was planning on a different day tomorrow but have decided to stay put in the studio and try and get some momentum happening with the magpies.

Friday, 7 March 2014

inspiring little leaf .....

I have spent two days working very hard in between other 'things' in the studio - printmaking.  Printing editions from plates I have made previously on door knobs and flowers - hard work and not all that inspiring.

And then I found this wee leaf and it made me smile ....

Have a vibrant and happy weekend everyone - I am off to visit my daughter in Lismore.
Can't believe I have her only three hours away this year.