Friday, 29 June 2012

distracted by treading lightly .....

I have been longing to wander off the Range and down to the Maroochydore Botanic Gardens where friends of mine have been exhibiting in the Tread Lightly Exhibition.  In desperate need of distraction, today was the day.  

What a treat it was.  A really fine exhibition - a joy for me to see artists there whose work I am familiar with, and to discover a couple of artists whose work I had never seen and with whom I was enrapt.  I seldom go to 'openings' these days, preferring to go out and view work quietly and at length when the crowds are not there.  I lingered and lusted, poked and photographed, chatted to volunteer guardians and a lovely young lady there who is doing her Year 12 Art assignment and was fascinated by the work. 

Of the hundred or more photographs I took, I have chosen to represent only four of the artists and will let the images speak for the work.  In photographic order these artists are:  Fiona Dempster, Corrie Wright, Rosie Wilson and Robyn Woodrow.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

alphabet envy .....

I am suffering from alphabet envy.  This year I joined the 2012 A Letter a Week Project orchestrated by Fiona Dempster.  This is the third year and I only began this year ..... hence the alphabet envy.  I quite enjoy having this first book and would love to think of it sitting on the shelf with four alphabet book buddies had I begun when many others did in 2010. You should visit the project via the link and drool at all the clever ideas artists have come up with in designing their alphabets.  

Two alphabets are completed each year - A letter each week with a couple of spare weeks in the year. Of course most of us do them in batches and then post about those before continuing.  Most of the ones I have seen so far have chosen to do their 'dotty' alphabet first.  It was prescribed.  The next one we can do anyway we decide as long as the format is in a 7cm square.  I think I am going to stretch that sideways a little for my next concept .....

Thursday, 21 June 2012

my stash from fiona .....

I should be washing and ironing, preparing for my trip to Sydney tomorrow morning but I have just come home from Fiona's where me met briefly to hand over the papers we had prepared for the other to turn into our next collaborative book.  I have been completely distracted from the 'must do's' (not sure about the punctuation there!) and absorbed by thinking about our next project.  A gorgeous distraction indeed.

This is the stash I brought home.  Some very subtle almost marbled papers in soft grey inks.  Beautiful patterns emerging on these papers.  A large sheet of Arches and a slightly smaller sheet of transparent paper over which Fiona has written - in some instances very loosely with thick graphite sticks and then also in her fine script.  And there's more ........... some metallic ink, thread and a couple of metallic pens should I choose to work with these as well.

Once again there are few rules.  We have swapped papers, given each other a starting point for the next books.  We can choose the structure and the content of the books - we need not use all the paper we have been given.  My first thought is that I want to work with everything Fiona has given me as that is part of the challenge, and the fun.

Driving home, I remembered the metal book covers I have been holding onto for a number of years and was able to lay my hands on them in the studio which in itself is a miracle.  Using one of these may work well I think.  I also have joss paper lying around and love the silver in that too ..... it may find a place in the book.  I also found some gorgeous thread which works in very well with this bundle and it too may find its way into the book.

This time we have given our pages to each other a couple of weeks before we spend the day together working into the pages.  I am glad as it means we have a chance to give more thought to various options in both structure and content.

Fiona has given me words to play with.  Of course.  They are beautiful.  She has chosen words that reflect our working together - gifts, wonder, kindred spirit.  Whether I choose to work with those words or leave them as a visual subtlety I have no idea yet.  Plenty of time to wonder about that ......

Our next day working together, this time in my studio in Montville, will be on the 6th July and I am sure we will both be posting all the details of the day. I can't wait!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

drought dry artists' journal .....

I often count my blessings but most especially when I am out with my camera, or just with my eyes, transfixed by small details that others just pass by.  I live with a beautiful man who hasn't a creative bone in his body and he has learnt to wander off when we are travelling, as I become transfixed by the minutia or lost in awe as I photograph old peeling paint and decay.  Very often, most often, he will be ahead of me as I linger playfully with my camera, and he calls me over to an area where he says there are plenty of the patterns or marks that I love.  I actually think being with an odd ball like me has opened his eyes to the visual world around him - though he would deny that!  Anyway, I am very grateful to have been given these 'extra eyes' as they enrich my life.  I am sure that this holds true for all creative people.

This artist's book I made after visiting an area down on the border between New South Wales and Victoria.  I called the area home for about six years and had spent many many hours wandering out by the weir, a large dammed area of the Murray River.  On this particular visit the area and surrounds had been affected by fire and severe drought and what was normally a vast weir, was a mere trickle of creek following the old river course.   The remnants of old trees and their roots normally covered by water, were revealed - black, tortured, magnificent.

The book is a series of pen and ink, actually bamboo and stick drawings.  Some of the pages are lined with transparent paper on which I have made fine markings.  They overlay the drawings beneath and add another dimension.

I made a double cover for the book - one covered greyboard with one of the drawings attached front and back, and then a double hinged perspex cover actually attached to the original cover on the back only. The book itself is sewn with coptic binding.

I think the photographs speak for themselves.  The drawings are very spare but to me, remind me of the time I spent wandering amidst the scorched roots.  It reminds me of the desolation that was there at the time, when in happier days the hills around are lush green and the weir is huge and overflowing.

So, while the camera can do a fine job at recording what was seen,  I am going to try and be more diligent about making books which reveal what was felt.