Tuesday, 2 September 2014

more busy bits .....

I have been beavering away in the studio - largely because I haven't really been that well and it is a grand place in which to hibernate.  Being on steroids certainly helps keep up the drive too.  Of course when you are working in this state you are inclined to think things are going well, and then when you are more stabilised you can look back at works you thought were competent and wonder what on earth you are thinking.  I am fortunate in having had people drop in and offer opinion which is good.

I am trying to introduce blue into my work - as you can see from the first two images.  The first is soft and delicious and works quite well with these wood relief prints.  This is just a detail and I am only up to the point of doing all the over drawing now so not worth showing more.

This is one of three works inspired by 'Elephant Rocks' which is an area we found when travelling between Perth and Albany in Western Australia.  Huge big boulders and rocks and glorious ocean.  I am trying to be brave enough to introduce some bright blue into this work.  So far only two layers have been done so I still have about three more with watercolour, graphite and then drawing.  I have just seen Jennifer's post on her give away journals and she has managed very successfully, to bring the blue and black/grey together.  I will draw courage from her I think.  Will show and tell when it is done.

On every table in the studio work in various stages of completion is spreading.

I have to move things aside as I complete work and then it goes into a pile of works which are ready or awaiting framing.

Twenty little journals waiting for paper preparation and sewing.  Each one will have one of my artworks on the front.

The completed work pile is growing.

These next images I am happy with though they are impossible to photograph as they are quite dark and will certainly need just the right place to hang.  I have been trying to work out what to do with them since this time last year when I was busy making art for Anna and James to choose for their wedding.  I never managed to complete them (or 'Girl with the Plait') and have done so over the last couple of days.  The images change so much depending on the amount of light so I have included a number as no single image actually captures what I see here in the studio ....  I have had fun with graphite over previously manipulated paper.

Enough for now .... back to work.  I find I work so much more efficiently when I have pressure and deadlines to meet.  I imagine we are all the same.  And yet I currently have the overwhelming feeling of 'what the heck am I doing' as I prepare to open my studio.  I feel so exposed and almost transparent, as if people can really see what I am like inside - and they may not like what they see!  It is quite exciting simultaneously.

I only very recently learnt how to use magnets and drawing pins when sticking my work up for appraisal .... I always just used to stick pins through the corners of my work.  Now I put a drawing pin into the gyprock and hold the work in place using magnets.  No marks on the paper - yay.  Ingenious.  Apparently many art galleries and art spaces are now putting metal behind their walls and using magnets to hang work rather than hanging systems.  It was at the Brisbane Institute of Art Gallery Space this secret was revealed.


  1. You have been busy and I am intrigued with the use of magnets - how do they attach to the print without damage - I'd like to use this idea for my Uni crits as like you I have been using drawing pins that leave holes! Brilliant work Susan and I wish you the best for open studios (wish I wasn't on the other side of the world!

    1. Thanks Rosie. The drawing pin and magnet idea is brilliant .... you just put the drawing pin into the wall rather than through the artwork or Uni Crits, and then place the work between the magnet and the drawing pin. If you look at that first dark image you will see the two magnets. Basically they sit on top of the work but hold it tightly to the drawing pin underneath the work.

  2. Hello again Susan, the more I see the more I'll have to practice my arm flapping so I can fly to you and see your wonderful work.
    Please be sure to send me some images so I can shop across the air to you.
    I had to see a back specialist yesterday and was amazed to be told that my left leg is 1.5 cm shorter than the right ! That explains part of the pain etc. The specialist asked me had I never noticed this with length of trousers - I told him I was always too busy to notice that !!
    You are producing some wonderful stuff - go with the blue - be brave !!

    1. Love that you have been too busy with your life to notice that one leg was longer than the other! Very cool. Let's hope they can address this and help you sort out some or all of the pain.

  3. love your hint of blue Susan, I was thinking earlier over on Judy Martin's blog that if I believe in anything in this lifetlime, it's the colour blue... and love... and talking of love all the variations in those last dark images that don't want to be photographed are just beautiful.

  4. Thanks Mo. I must go and look at Judy Martin's blog .... Love that you said the colour blue and love are the things you believe most in this lifetime. Also very pleased that you liked my difficult to photograph dark pieces ..... :-)

  5. That thread of blue feels like bower-bird blue to me. Looking good!

  6. Hi SB - wow! what a creative spread you have going on. Layering is looking good. B

  7. Your 'spread' out of your various works in progress or finished look wonderful to me.. I would love to 'teleport' for a day of looking... and seeing.


I appreciate your comments - thank you!