Saturday, January 29, 2011

Website Re-Launch

Woo hoo!  At last I've totally revamped my website

I developed my original website as part of my TAFE training in 2003, but decided late last year that it needed a major makeover to reflect my current art practice. 

There are many online services that can provide templates for creating simple websites and host them for free.  I built my new website using and am very happy with the result.  Publishing is so easy compared to my previous ISP. 

My website is fairly static and is really just an online CV about my art practice and the concepts behind my work. It really shows off my monoprinting which is my major passion nowadays.

Check it  If you need any advice on creating your own website I'm more than happy to share my experiences with you.  Its so important these days to have an online presence and its really not that difficult with services like that offered by

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Textile & Art Academy

If you're looking for an interesting workshop to do this year, check out the inaugural Textile and Art Academy, a creative arts week long school being held in Brisbane in late June.

I'm running a 1 day monoprinting workshop, but there's also heaps of other exciting workshops of 5, 2 and 1 day duration.  They are also having supplier stalls and a market day, so it sounds like there will be quite a vibe at this wonderful new event.

Check out their website

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Something extraordinary has happened where I live.  It hasn't hurt me directly but has reminded me of the transience of life in the natural world.

During this past week our Brisbane River has flooded.  It has impacted on a lot of people, one of them my partner's dad, Neil who has a farm in the Lockyer Valley.  We visited his farm this weekend to provide support and to see for ourselves the impact of the force of nature on man.

Scattered across the silt-crusted paddocks were the washed-up remnants of life - both the natural world with piles of sticks, logs and bamboo, and also from people's lives - furniture and other rubbish.  As I stood amongst it I was struck by the transience of life - how the meaning of life is found in our experiences and how we live it, not defined by our possessions and collections of stuff. 

I could see the similarities of this to the process of making art.  It too is a transient thing - the act of making is the essence of it, not the outcome.   Once again I was reminded that making art is being mindful, taking the time, focusing on the meaning behind it, the tactile process and getting my hands dirty, sensations and smells, the peace, the escape.

So if my studio was washed away tomorrow, it wouldn't REALLY matter.  My art is within me, its not my studio or the things I own.  My artworks reflect my inner self and the artistic processes I used.  Like the flood waste scattered around the farm, the art I create recalls a history and a journey.

Its hard not to wonder about the house
where this refrigerator came from.
What happened to those people?

Rubbish scattered over the farm paddock - it looks
more like a war-zone than a productive farm.

Monday, January 10, 2011

EcoDyed Paper

Its that time of year again... the annual Qld Spinners Weavers and Fibre Artists' Cookup.  Over 4 days a group of dedicated paper-obsessed groupies converge at Fibrecraft House to do 'all things paper' - cooking plant fibre, making paper, rusting, decorating paper and other paper-based activities. 

This year I led a session on EcoDyed Paper, based on a technique I learnt from India Flint in September.  Subsequent experiments at home revealed that I could dye the paper without having to sew silk onto it first.  I have an aversion to hand sewing, thus skipping this step was quite a relief for me!

The results at the Cookup session were fantastic - the colours and marks came up beautifully using onion skins, metal objects, black grape skin, and eucalypt leaves, amongst other things.  The girls were so surprised that such success could be achieved without chemicals. 

We had exceptional outcomes using Micador Raines Watercolour paper - 300gsm with very little sizing - it soaked up the colours in the dye bath beautifully.  Not surprisingly we cleared the shelves of Raines paper at Oxlades that same afternoon!

Keep a look out on my blog for more photos, as I continue with my dyeing experiments.

The bundles ready to dye -
we ran out of paddle pop sticks
due to enthusiastic bundling

Bundles coming out of the dye pot - note the rich 'black' brew!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Years Resolutions

Well another year has passed and we're right into 2011 now.  Scary!

In keeping with my New Years resolution to 'print, print, print', I've already spent my first day for 2011 at the Impress Printmakers' Camp Hill Studio, with my printing-pal Cathy Money.

I decided to revisit my Bower series, this time using 2 different bird images.  I delved into my box of 'goodies' and found some mini ric-rac which features in some of the prints.  I also tried talcum powder which gave an interesting 'aquatint' type of effect - something more to be explored in the future!

One of my other New Years Resolutions was to de-clutter my storage areas.  I'm happy to say that I have once again regained control of my spare room via a large shelving system I sourced from Officeworks.  And my large papers finally have a home thanks to the creative skill of my partner Craig - he has transformed a old kitchen cupboard shell into a paper storage unit.  

My next area for attack is the garden shed - its currently stacked with plant fibre that unfortunately has suffered in our recent wet weather conditions and desperately needs composting........wish me luck!