Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Studio - brisbane ....

Yesterday I had the chance to slip down to Brisbane and catch up with dear friends Adele and Wim.  It should have been last Friday - we usually go out and celebrate their birthdays in May as they are two weeks apart, but mum ended up in emergency ..... and thus plans change!  We all know about that.

This is Wim de Vos, the man who taught me to be a printmaker way back in 1998 in The Studio , and I still spend time there occasionally for masterclasses.  Adele Outteridge shares this studio space and teaches book arts.  It was Del who started my passion for bookmaking and artist's books.  Quite a change from the drawing and painting that had previously been my focus.

Wim has just come back from months travelling overseas and with a mind and heart full of incredible experiences and visual memories and he is now bringing some of those into a creative reality in the form of books. The one seen here is a tunnel book of the Ghetto in Venice.  I took a number of photos but decided that when Wim is ready, he will be showing off his marvellous book and I did not want to preempt that unveiling.  Suffice to say, it is quite brilliant, as his work is - please take time out to see some of their work in The Studio link provided above.

This colourful array is the beginning of another book of Wim's to do with the Red Light District in Amsterdam.  Can't wait to see it finished.  Once he is exhibiting these works I am sure he will be happy for me to photograph and post the images.

In previous posts I have talked about the DaD project initiated by Adele in 1998 - and I am pretty sure that as a comparison to my poor attempts to draw each day of the year since then, I mentioned Wim and 
Del and their dedication to the project.  Here is a photo of the bookcase holding the many, many volumes of Wim's drawing a day journals. Oh, I am so envious of his discipline.  His journals are not only a reflection of what is happening in his life each day, but a reflection on what is happening currently in the world of politics and shenanigans in public life.  He often draws from things that are happening globally or locally for his daily drawings.  Many of the bits and pieces in front of his drawings were brought back from his last trip.

Now I could have taken hundreds of photos of Adele and here beautiful books, but would not do so without her being present, or without her permission.  She was off during the day doing a book binding week at the State Library with Keith Smith and Scott McCarney who are out here from America.  I did ask her for permission to use a few photos I took of 'stuff' in the studio.  These books are just some of the 'stuff' piled into cubicles - certainly not Del's masterpieces which are beautifully displayed and housed around The Studio.  Not mine to show you though .... maybe one day.  You will have a glimpse of her talent looking at their website.

And this is for Jennifer who reads my blog whenever I post and is usually the very first to comment - this is their  'stuff' wall.  Wim and Del are masters of 'stuff' and ever since I have known them, have been collecting and filling perspex boxes (which Wim makes) and creating this wall between their personal space and the teaching area.  Each box would make a photo in its own right - full of the comical and the whimsical, the interesting and the memory collections.  Talk about lust and envy.

Just everywhere in The Studio is something to look at ......... and enjoy.

And here, up on the shelf, is one of my books that Wim bought from one of my Open Studio Days.  The black and white book on the left, in its perspex box.  The book is titled 'Road Trip' and as I had shamefully not done so before its sale, I took the opportunity to photograph it yesterday while in The Studio.  I will write about it at a later date.

 Well, some days lately have been sad or stressed, but yesterday was a day full of colour, fun and friendship.  We dined last night on a Japanese Banquet which was delicious and then though I drove back up to Montville (an hour and a half north of Brisbane) - it felt as if I rolled!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

a sense of place .....

It is so easy to be distracted in the studio isn't it!  At present I am actually doing the research and raw sketching of ideas for a body of work on 'a sense of place'  - large etchings mostly, with overlays and some collagraph work as well.  As I am missing some essential tools, and waiting for a trip down to Brisbane on Friday, I have been pottering in the studio as you saw with the rusting, and have also just come back from a few restful days at the beach.  

This little book was part of my distraction last week - whilst pondering what to do with the rusted paper I made.  It is only just underway - not stitched just held together in a bundle to which I will probably add.  I want to work the book as a single folio so needed to hold it together while I worked the pages.  It has been fun bringing together some of the ideas revisited in Fiona's and my collaborative books - transparencies, piercing etc etc.  However, some of my passions come here to play - broody dark pages and secret messages or meanings.  It is a book for me so I can play as I will.  What a delicious thought.

Strangely, though not so really, this tiny book holds many of the images and ideas I am working on for my etchings.  I think there must be an overlap of ideas when one is working towards a body of work.  The same ideas and thoughts just spill over into all that we do, even our playful distractions.

I think it is easy to see that I am having fun ..... and working with this colour palette is certainly my comfort zone.  Mind you - I am seriously drawn to red this year .... if you look at my tumblr you will see how I can't resist pulling into the monochromatic play, gorgeous splashes of red.  I think it may also be a response to seeing Fiona's subversive stitch book for Book Art Object.  How I wish I had committed to doing one or two of those projects .... think of all the beautiful little artist's books that will result from the idea. Maybe next year.

wordless wednesday .....

Thursday, 17 May 2012

rust lust - next step

 Just a quick peek at what has happened with the rusting I did a couple of days ago.  It has dried with some lovely rich colour and some gorgeous patterns ready to be worked.  The first couple of photos are of fairly large sheets - 55cms x 19cms.  The folded sheets are half the width and then folded, forming the beginnings of a lovely book shape.  Looking forward to working into them soon.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

rust lust ....

I have been having a play with rust in the studio ...... now I have to be patient and see what the result will be.  Usually I would wash my papers, but I am going to leave that for the moment and see what happens in the morning.

Some lovely things are happening here but I doubt they will dry the same way.  It is always a thrill to see what happens overnight.

Once the papers are dry the decisions must be made as to how to work the paper, what shall be made from it and so forth.  I imagine books ........... but what to make of them will have to wait.  Fun.

Friday, 11 May 2012

morning coffee and shadow play .....

I had a really broken sleepless night and over my coffee this morning, standing looking out at the ocean, I had decided to head back to bed for a while.  Until I saw these shadows on the wall made by the early morning sun playing with my kettle.  Sounds so mundane and yet I felt my heart quicken, suddenly alert and no longer thinking about a return to slumber.

The images have been tweaked just a little - adding some depth and some warmth.  I think they are soft and gorgeous.  Maybe a starting point for something .... I don't know.  And I love the fact that I don't know because often images you make or collect can sit around for a while just wallowing in their mere existence until you decide to take them in another direction.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

studio treasure .....

There is something incredibly special about buying something  directly from the artist who has made it and just lately I have had a bit of a splurge buying small treasures from the UK, from USA and from 'just around the corner'.  Such fun.  It made me realise how much I love having a collection of these treasures around me in the studio ..... little bits to inspire, remind and bring joy.

I have been setting up studio once again, having not had a proper base for a couple of years, and it has been fun.  Not there yet, but I am beginning to find things (still have a removal booked from a storage shed next week with MANY more boxes to unpack) and set up home for some of my clutter.  My favourites in the studio would certainly be those precious objects and works from artists I have known for some time, and those that I have just discovered recently.  Thought I would share some of my studio treasure in this blog - seeing we have been having a good look at some of the studio stacks and bundles in this blogging tribe .....

I collect white porcelain, amongst other things and have pieces by Shannon Garson, Mel Robson, Molly Bosworth, Jan Dunlop, Robin King, Julie Shepherd, Chris Bell and most recently, from almost around the corner, Kim Schoenberger.  The written piece below was inscribed by Chris Bell and is called October Snowballs.  The writing begins ...... the sky is full of the wandering snowflakes.  They do not fall as one might expect, but fly, like white butterflies, weightless in the restless, cold air ...
Little by little the landscape becomes hushed in the soft embrace of snow. All sound is muffled .... 
Ahhhh - how beautiful is that.

I love mixing handmade wonders with those of the natural world ..... this hand painted piece of porcelain is incredibly tactile.  I bought it in Steamboat, Colorado early last year when we were over there skiing.  I could not find out much about the artist but it is signed J Lewis, Acoma.  Delicious.

This is my most recent purchase from Kim - just love the piercings ........ actually think it photographs well with the fossils. 

Here is one of Shannon's nests (I have been addicted to them and have given many as gifts) sitting atop a piece of tiger's eye which is on top of a tea bag book given to me by Adele Outerridge, in 1998.

Here is one of Fiona's books, in fact two of them .... the little metal book in the front is also one of hers.  In the background is one of Patti's teabag drawings.

More work here by Patti and Fiona, and couple of other artist's books.

A lovely mix of rusted pagers and crystals - angels hair within so I am told.  I don't really understand anything about such things but do love these crystals.

This is part of an etching of mine and a rusted piece of Barry's work - I have a few of those around the house too!

 Some more work by Patti awaiting framing and a gorgeous textile fragment by Jackie Bowcutt called Snow Writing which really appealed to me and she kindly let me purchase.

These two busts, one in bronze and one in porcelain I bought from my South African cousin Rosamund O'Connor who had studied in Goldsmith's in London.  I bought these and other pieces from her exhibition in the 70's. Probably the very first personal pieces I ever owned and very dear to me.  In the background there is another of Shannon's porcelain vessels.

I consider myself most fortunate to have these treasures keeping me company in the studio.  Of course I have paintings and etchings too .... but that is another story!