Friday, December 27, 2013

Going Bananas with Printing

Woo hoo!  Christmas holidays, time for some creative play in the studio.....

Today's fun has been printing with the trunk of a banana tree.

Floss (my ever reliable garden fairy) has given me a wonderful Christmas present in the form of a banana tree trunk, which I have sliced up.  I use the cross sections of the trunk to do hand printing using a roller and block printing ink.  It has the most wonderful pattern that gives me goose-bumps every time, a beautiful natural design.

I'm going to create a solar etchng plate from one of the prints, so that I can reproduce the print multiple times for book covers and other goodies that I create. 

The slices of banana trunk
My roller and black Block Printing ink
One of the beautiful prints, its
like the inside of a shell

A close up of the banana trunk cross section,
fleshy and fibrous - no wonder it makes
great paper and material for baskets!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Creative Experiences in Japan

This week I've just returned from my 5th trip to Japan.  My partner Craig and I share a passion for all things Japanese, though after 2 weeks in a concrete jungle I'm very grateful for my beautiful house and garden!

This time we spent most of our holiday in Kyoto.  We first visited Kyoto for a couple of days back on our first trip in 2001.  This time I wanted to fully explore Kyoto's reputation as the creative centre of Japan.

I wasn't disappointed.  Prior to the trip, I had organised several guides to act as interpreters to help us to connect with the Japanese culture and arts.

With the assistance of  our guide Takano-san, we participated in a number of art 'experiences' - paper lantern making, woodblock printing, shibori dyeing and basket making. 

Mitsuhara took us to a popular temple area with beautiful autumn leaves. 

Chizuko took us through the Nishiki markets and gave us a cooking lesson in her apartment.

Such personal 'hands-on' experiences with English-speaking guides enriched our holiday, although we still had plenty of time to indulge in our favourite activites in Japan - hot onsens, eating Japanese food, and filling my suitcase (and Craig's) with washi paper!

Autumn Leaf reflections

Fallen autumn leaves carpet the temple gardens

Saiundo Fujimoto's shop caters for traditional
Japanese brush painting

Basket making with Takano-san (our guide), and

The finshed basket made from bamboo
Shibori dyeing - the director of the Shibori museum
likes to personally help you reveal your dyed scarf!

Paper Lantern making

Finished lanterns at the Akari Design Workshop

Trying traditional woodblock printing
with artist Ichimura - awesome!

Ichimura is printing labels for sushi products.
Amazing that its done by hand, several blocks & colours
rather than printed by machine.

Getting refreshments at a vending machine
during one of our cycling adventures around Kyoto

Not too sure about these sandwiches - strawberry and banana!

My new favourite store - Bumpodo Art Supplies in Tokyo

Woodblock carving tools, only part of the range available

Etching Inks, Bumpodo's own brand.  Great value and
quality.  I bought some of these last year in Osaka and
am very happy with them, so I stocked up this time,
20% off as well!

2nd hand bookstore. 
I bought some vintage books with
beautiful papers and text.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Xmas Gift Shopping Hints

Getting nervous about the prospect of Christmas gift shopping?  Yes its only six weeks away!

Well don't worry, here are a few great places to look for handmade and unique items that will be much appreciated by your friends and family....

The Collective Store!/TheCollectiveStore
104 Bay Terrace, Wynnum

This is an artistic hub filled to the rafters with beautiful well-made and thoughtful handmade gifts by local artisans.  I have just delivered my first batch of monoprinted journals, bookmarks and cards. 

Its a bright and airy shop, with large windows
for after hours window browsing!

Leonie the owner of The Collective Store,
 proudly showing off
some of the artists' beautiful work.
I think she's got the best job in the world,
surrounded by all those goodies.

Here is my little shelf, filled to the brim with delicious wares!

Another Xmas shopping opportunity...

Bontanique Christmas Bazaar
Auditorium @ Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens, Toowong
Opening & Preview Thursday 21 November 6pm
Friday 22 November - Sunday 24 November

I'm exhibiting my monoprints - framed works as well as books, bookmarks and cards.  There's also workshops being run inconjuction with the Bazaar.  Refer to the flyer below for more details.
I'll be at the opening, might see you there!

My final recommendation is...

Christmas "Art Shop"
Ground Floor (facing Moreton Bay)
Mon Komo Hotel
99 Marine Parade
17 November to 24 December

Jo St Baker, owner of St+Baker+Studio (and gallery) is holding a fantastic exhibition of artwork and small art wares, including works from local printmakers from Impress Printmakers Studio.   I'm exhibiting some more of my monoprints, both framed and made into books etc.  Of course, as you know all of my monoprints are unique, so all artworks will be quite different in each location.

No excuses now!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Under Foot - an exhibition worth seeing

Last week I went to an artist talk at an exhibition 'Under Foot' by Mary Elizabeth Barron, at the Redland Art Gallery at Capalaba, southside Brisbane.

In Mary's words, the rationale behind 'Under Foot' is:
"The beauty beneath our feet on nature’s floor is the source of inspiration for Under Foot. The fibre work evokes a sense of pleasure through drawing attention to the intricacies found in natural debris. The colour, shape and textural qualities of leaves in their dying stages, fallen bark, twigs and other plant materials in this environment are complex, intriguing and beautiful."

Mary has produced a body of fibre-based work using basketry and botanical papermaking techniques.  The resulting exhibition is both a curiousity as to the range of fibres that can be formed into vessels as well as a shrine to the beauty of the objects that she has created.  An exciting variety of textures, colours, and fragility gives the viewer plenty to admire and wonder at.

Well done, Mary and thanks for the opportunity to hear you talk about work.  Its an exhibition I would highly recommend for anyone interested in seeing something quite different.

'Under Foot' is on until Wednesday 4 December 2013
The Redland Art Gallery in Capalaba is located at Capalaba Place on Noeleen Street, Capalaba

Opening hours:

Monday, Tuesday and Friday 8.30am – 5.00pm

Wednesday 9am - 5pm

Thursday 8.30am - 7.30pm

Saturday 9am - 4pm

Mary talking about her work

The wall of 'Shrines to Nature'

Vessels of Nature

I bought this one!  The vessel is made from Ecualyptus Leaves.
I can't wait to get it on my wall of my studio.

Vessels of Nature - Corn Silks.
Beautifully transparent, almost glowing.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I've BEEn gelli plate printing....

I've just wanted to share with you the results of a quick session of monoprinting using my gelli plate.  I needed some pages to cover some books I'm making for Xmas stock, and wanted to give my bee stamp a run.  I handcarved the bee stamp from an Ezi-Carve block.  I used a 'chicken wire' stencil in the background to imitate a honeycomb effect.

A very enjoyable and productive hour........

My handcarved bee stamp and honeycomb stencil.
Bee prints everywhere!

I used a combination of monoprinting and stamping

Repetition of the image adds movement

You can see the effectivess of layering the
bee image, slightly off centre each time

The honeycomb stencil used as a resist
lets the white of the paper show through,
adding light and breaking up the background

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Embrace the Shake - video

Hi all

It seems that the utube video that I imbeded in my previous post may not appear if you have my posts emailed to you.

So follow the link to my blog to watch the video:

Just scroll down past this post to get to it.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Embrace the Shake - an inspiring video

I don't usually publish UTube videos on my blog, but this was shared with me and I had to pass it on.

Phil Hansen is the speaker, an amazing artist.  I was really struck by his words that reminded me why I make art.  A very grounding and inspiring lesson.

Please view it, its worth the time.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Inspiration and Reconnection

I realised this past weekend that there are times where you don't need to make art, but to use the time to THINK about it.  Which is quite an unusual thing for me.  I always need to be making art, thinking as I go, composing, make decisions on colour, how I want to present my ideas and thoughts.

Last Friday we travelled to Canberra for Craig to compete in an MTBO event (mountain bike orienteering).  I tagged along for company and to have a few days to relax and make art.

I took along my gelli plate and paints and papers, and whilst Craig was out riding, I set up my art studio in the motorhome and got to work.  But it didn't flow, it didn't work.  I wasn't producing anything I really liked.  And I hated that feeling! 

But after another walk in the fresh air amongst the trees and bird calls, I realised that my inability to print (anything that I considered worthwhile) was not a disaster.  What was more important was allowing myself the space and time to reconnect with nature. 

My few days in the forests near Canberra gave me the time to collect leaves, play with my gelliplate, think, think and think.   To listen to the bird sounds floating on the air, feel the stillness at dusk, blowflies buzzing, surrounded by air not walls.   And not being stuck in my normal 'daily' routine.

I am truly thankful for the opportunity.

Relaxing outside our motorhome at Namadgi National Park
My temporary art studio in the motorhome
Some of the prints, beautiful gum leaves with
lots of damage from caterpillars

Craig checking his GPS on a walk at
Namadgi National Park.
I love this photo as it really shows off
the gorgeous landscape - tall white gums,
wildflowers, and grasses
A Satin Bowerbird checking out our offering of
a piece of blue rope. 
He had already taken of our blue pegs back to his bower.
Unfortunately he rejected the rope -
 not good enough to impress his girl I guess!

Swamplands at Namadgi National Park

Blue Tongued Lizard by the side of the track.
Didn't get a good photo of the brown snake unfortunately!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Passage - an exhibition of printmaking, papermaking and porcelain

Artists Pattie Murray and Sandra Pearce

Dates: 9 October to 2 November 2013
Where: Caboolture Regional Art Gallery, Hub Gallery, 4 Hasking Street, Caboolture
Times: M-F 9-4; Sat 9-3

Come along and view my exciting new exhibition with porcelain artist Pattie Murray. Our theme is 'Passage' where we each are describing our different journeys into the tidal zones - past and present.

For this exhibition I have used paper and natural fibres to explore my relationship with the tidal zones of Moreton Bay. By incorporating natural materials into my papermaking and printmaking processes, I have created sculptural works that describe my journey revisiting my childhood perceptions and experiences in Moreton Bay.

I've made some large freeform sheets of paper (over 2 metres long!) using natural fibres such as mulberry bark, lemon grass and silk cocoon strippings. Pattie has made some beautiful, fragile and colourful porcelain pieces.

Pattie and I will be at the gallery on Saturday 12 October from 10am to 3pm, please join us. We will be available to talk about our work and show you around.

Unfortunately the cafe at the Hub will be closed on the 12th, but there are other bakeries and cafes nearby.
If you visit during the week, I can highly recommend the cafe for coffee and cake!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Artists Night at Hanasho

Last night we opened my exhibition 'Nature in Print' at Hanasho, Boundary Street, West End.  A great night talking about my art with a few sales in between drinks.

Thanks at all who came along.  My work is at Hanasho until the 31st October, please come along and take a look.  I've also got some cards and bookmarks on sale.

View of my work along Hanasho's wall

View of Hanasho's - an exciting visual display

Craig and I with my work in the background

A trio of butterfly monoprints,
the lime green one is my favourite!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Nature In Print

During October I'm showing selected monoprints at Hanasho, a Japanese Florist at West End.

I've got some of my willy-wag tail series, as well as lots of small prints I discovered in my folios. I have framed them up, and wondered why I hadn't done that sooner!

All the prints have a nature based theme and feature lots of colour, lines and textures.  Prices range from $90 to $300, most are framed ready to hang.

Join me for drinks Thursday 3rd October at 6.30pm.