Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Getting creative on Lord Howe Island

I've just returned from a blissful week on Lord Howe Island, off the NSW Coast of Australia.

Lord Howe Island is a small volcanic island, dominated by two mountains, and rich with bird life and tropical plants.  Mobile phones don't work on the island and there's very limited internet access, so as well as being a beautiful place to be, its also a rare opportunity to step away from electronic gadgetry and take a breath of fresh air.

And of course, being the eager artist, I packed my 2kg of art supplies, no mean feat given our check-in luggage was limited to 14 kgs (and my empty bag weighed 4kgs).

For this trip I completed a travel journal, opting for a blank book that I had already made.  

Other items in my art kit:
- small gelli plate (3"x5")
- 3 tubes of paint (blue, black, brown)
- rubber roller
- watercolour travel set & brush
- washi tape, brads, sewing thread & needle
- pens and pencils
- awl, small scissors
- glue stick & glue tape
- various small pieces of paper to print on
- small plastic bags for plant 'samples'.

All of this was packed into a clear plastic clip box that I bought from Officeworks, and fit snugly into the bottom of my suitcase.

On our hikes and daily outings, I gathered small plant samples.  I didn't have access to a microwave oven so I couldn't dry my samples to take home, but opted for printing to record them.

Some of the prints were done on postcard blanks, which I wrote on and posted home.  These will go into my travel journal when they arrive.

Each afternoon, I wrote of the day's events in my travel journal.  I also wrote of list of birds and plants observed, using small guides I bought at the museum to help with identification.  And a favourite of mine is to write a 'Likes' and 'Dislikes' list of my trip, a summary of the more 'memorable' parts of the trip.

During the trip, I collected brochures, maps, postcards, and cards. These all have been attached into the journal using various means - glued, taped, or sewn.

After I get home, I print a selection of my favourite photos to put into the journal, printing them half size so I can fit more in.

And I always aim to have my journal finished within a week of returning from my holiday, otherwise it all gets forgotten in the return to daily routines.....!

The text, photos and other attachments together with my small 'on the spot' artworks provide a multi-faceted approach, leaving me with a lasting tactile memory to refer back to after the adventure has ended.

A view over the Eastern side of the Island

I'm writing some 'on the track' impressions
 on a hand printed postcard.
Not poetry, not sentences....just words,
that's all that's needed.

A Heart Urchin Shell, washed up.
It inspires so much, an object of beauty.
The live urchin is less exciting, the lovely design
hidden beneath small furry spines.

The lines and colours of the Kentia Palm trunks
make an interesting visual arrangement.

The intense aqua blue of the ocean will keep inspiring
artworks when I'm in my studio.

Selfie - printing in the kitchen area of our accommodation.
There's nothing more liberating than having a limited
range of art materials to work with.

Gelli plate printing in progress

Gelli Plate prints of local plants,
printed onto postcard blanks, japanese papers and tags

Ghost prints on Japanese papers -
these ones will go in my travel journal.
An alternative to putting the actual plant material
into my journal.  Much more fun!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Eco Dyeing on Paper Workshop

I'm running an eco-dyeing on paper workshop at Mt Tamborine on 29 November - and there's only a few places left to fill.

We're going to be folding paper then dyeing it 'shibori' style using a natural brew of eucalyptus leaves and fruits and vegetables (yum!) to achieve beautiful reds, oranges, greens, purples and blues.  And by using bundling techniques, we achieve detailed prints of leaves, plant material and other objects onto the paper.

Its a fun creative day, no drawing or art experience necessary.  Just a willingness to put your witches hat on and cackle with the rest of us over a hot brew......

The workshop is being organised by Bec, who has a gorgeous art studio in her backyard (lucky girl!). If you're interested in booking in, call her on 0438 147 352.

Her flyer for the workshop is below, as well as a few photos of my delicious eco-dyed papers.