Thursday, August 27, 2015

PlantBank Workshop : Seeds through an Artist's Lens

In South West Sydney on the Weekend of September 12 + 13 I'll be conducting another "Seeds through an Artist's Lens" workshop at the Persoonia Lab, purpose-built classroom at the wonderful PlantBank Facility on the grounds of the Australian Botanic Gardens.

To read a large version of this flyer and the all important details skip over to my website

Any queries you'll find my email there and the booking number as well.

Read more of what's happening at FB Homage to the Seed Page and at my gallery on Instagram!

Participants will be creating simple Artist Books or Concertina Books  in which to present their visual ideas or assemble/collage work after intensive experimentation and exploration of seed material.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

October 3 : FANDANGO Mark-making to music workshop... Tweed River Gallery

October 3 is the date of a wonderful all-day workshop I'm thrilled to be offering in collaboration with Marilyn Reeman at the stunning Tweed River Gallery and Margaret Olley Arts Centre in Northern NSW. 

When Marilyn, whom I knew through The Sabbatical Home on Instagram, contacted me with the idea for FANDANGO which was a workshop focusing on the use of ambient and varied forms of music as a prompt for mark-making I was delighted given its a process I've used in my workshops (going back rather a long way) to start each session.     

10 years spent learning Piano growing up, & being from a musical clan (of singers in particular), has long influenced my art-making ... so it wasn't hard to see how this could make a wonderful collaborative workshop and get others enthused.

Marilyn has designed the morning of music to free participants up to really enjoy mark-making and for the afternoon I will step up & introduce the Seed Story with a collection of seeds and pods to give further focus for the mark-making... for making experimental and free organic drawings with these wonderful seed forms for inspiration.

Anyone interest in more information or making a booking PLEASE NB that full payment is required to have a place in this workshop ... first in first served!

BOOKINGS + further INFO:
Please note:
NO bookings will be taken by 
Tweed Regional Gallery.

BOOK SOON ~ Avoid disappointment!

Click on this Flyer to read a larger version.

when:     Saturday, October 3rd 2015  10 am - 4pm
where:   Frances Mills Education Workshop
        Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre
           2 Mistral Road, Murwillumbah 2484
what :       Join us for a wonderful day-long Workshop being guided by
                 Marilyn Reeman, Nature inspired artist, textile designer & teacher
                 & Sophie Munns, visual artist & facilitator ~ Homage to the Seed
In the morning Marilyn will introduce you to the extraordinary way music can evoke & guide your mark-making... the atmosphere from sound and rhythm spilling onto your page with your hand moving in response to deep listening. Within minutes those who’ve never experienced this process before will begin to relax, to unwind and to find what comes when the emphasis shifts from careful copying of what you see in the world to literally drawing from within your own being and finding the magic of rhythm, texture and energy in your lines tumbling onto the page.

During the afternoon Sophie will bring some of nature’s remarkable seed pod forms to your attention and you will continue to work with free mark-making approaches to make lively ‘drawings’ based on the wonderful world of seeds as your starting point.... using all your senses to capture the spirit of one of nature’s most potent symbols... in homage to the Seed!

Materials provided. Cost: $125 for the day + Lunch ~ byo or enjoy the Gallery Cafe. 

NB: Online links for facilitators:

  Marilyn Reeman’s artworks & Instagram Gallery,
  Sophie Munns on Instagram

We'd love to hear from you if you wish to know more.


Sophie & Marilyn!


Saturday, August 8, 2015


Hello to wanderers who happen to pass this often neglected spot in the blogosphere.

After a period of slowing down to recover from a winter virus followed by a week of tech glitches I'm happy to say things are moving again. 

I've given new life to the ONLINE STORE I set up earlier this year called SeedArtLabStudio at Big Cartel.

One of the New Prints available in two sizes UNFRAMED

When adding these to the Store I divided the artworks into related series... one lot are seed photos, most are digital altered artworks and photos that are highly layered and 'hybridised' images. I've often painted in that manner over 2 decades so it was an interesting extension of my work.

The other work I've been pursing of late is planning and running workshops. With the development of the Seeds through An Artist's Lens workshop for PLANTBANK in May Ive been able to run this at SeedArtLab Studio which is at my Brisbane home plus begin to make plans to offer it at other venues.

Michelle Auer

The two images, above and below, are from last week's Studio Workshop. Michelle and Debbie were returning from the previous month to add another day to their new experience of exploring Seeds visually. Michelle brought this Hand-bound Journal she had made using pages from our previous class... that was incredible to look through and I really loved the idea of using pages from a specific time in a new book.

Deb below surprised us with a huge stack of Photos she has taken on theme... nature, leaves, seeds, bark and so on. Stunning! I was incredibly thrilled to see how beautifully she captures her subject and the flow through of thematic material. She had described herself as a beginner so it was fantastic to see the strength of her aesthetic awareness. She was able to reference some imagery in her tasks that day.

Deb Davison

It has been an interesting process working out how to schedule home Studio workshops seamlessly, without chewing up too much time & focus. I slowly hit apon the idea of going away from the studio to run bigger workshops in venues for other organisations for the most part... then being able to work at home with small groups, only on demand, rather than doing that highly constant scheduling, like clock-work, once a week ... go, go, go. The result has been brilliant. Small groups... 2 to 4 people... plenty or room and time to get to know each other. Artistically it is actually really fulfilling for me in this set-up as I can join in, pull things out to look at I've been working on plus generally bring a more alive energy to the studio without the pressure of constant grind...............................................................

Speaking of other venues ... I'm returning to Sydney in September for another PLANTBANK Workshop at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mt Annan.

I've put a map up here... its been very confusing for some as to where this Botanic Garden is. It is sometimes mixed up with the National Australian Botanic Gardens in Canberra... understandably.  

Sydney has three gardens... one in the City overlooking the Harbour, Opera House etc, near the Domain. It was established early on in the settlement of the City.

Mt Tomah is at the Blue Mountains due west of the city and is a spectacular day trip for being in that location.

Mt Annan is virtually on the Hume Hwy, the link between Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne...and close to the very early established Agricultural region for Sydney at Camden. The grounds of this Botanic Garden are huge and contain all Australian Flora. 

Plantbank was opened on the grounds in 2013 although its actually housing 30+ yr old NSW Seed Conservation projects. One can get here by car or train/bus... although due to the extensive grounds a vehicle sure helps.

I made the notes below for my Instagram posting last night:

SYDNEY Mid Sept ... who'd like to muse on seeds in Australia's most exciting #biodiversityhotspot contained in a NEW architecturally awarded facility known as #Plantbank at the @australianbg in south west Sydney???. Leave your contact deets/email here so I can send INFO... One day only is possible if you have a long drive & can't stay nearby. Bring a friend or bring yourself for a totally unique opportunity that will likely blow your mind & leave you with so much to think about! Definitely an OPPORTUNITY that will speak to both BEGINNER dabblers with the curiousity to learn much more and ESTABLISHED/seasoned creatives keen to respond to something very exciting and timely that is central to future challenges and #needtoknowagendas! Text your email to 0430599344 if that's best for you!

You can check out the FB event site here:
at the FB page of Australian Botanic Gardens Mt Annan.

Images from Plantbank residencies:

Melaleuca globifera

Waratah seeds and pods - Floral Emblem of NSW

X-ray seeds

In fact anyone who would like to know more can write/text & also follow my Instagram feed which keeps posted on such things + updates very regularly.

A recent blog post about the workshops can be read here!

Cheers all!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"Artists create holes and openings in the universe" Mary Button Durell

In recent months there's been a fair bit happening ... in May a Residency at Plantbank which you can read about in previous posts... and at Seed Art Lab studio where I ran a series of workshops. 

Ten days knocked out with a virus slowed things down lately ... this week feels like I am just getting my stride again. Blogging is getting to be a rare event but I enjoy running into familiar faces at other sites and certainly anyone who does want a glimpse of whats been happening or to follow the Homage to the Seed project can LIKE my Homage to the Seed FACEBOOK Page for constant updates, news, artworks, related thematic material and abundant Seed themed posts.

Instagram is also where I post frequently these days: INSTAGRAM ~ SOPHIE MUNNS

Even though I've taken several thousand photos over the last couple of months I will have to find time to post those... in the meantime I loved this story about artist Mary Button Durell and invite you to read the whole article and look further into the website where a fav of many or us, Mari Andrews, has her story and work also featured. Enjoy!

Mary Button Durell

Artists create holes and openings in the universe. They 

sidestep the conventional, conditional, predictable and 

habitual, and they illuminate and connect different worlds.

Quote from 'In the Make' - studio visits with West Coast artists.

Read entire article here.

Mary’s studio is in the Mission District in Project Artaud, an arts complex that includes three theaters and is home to over 80 artists and writers. I had briefly talked to Mary on the phone before our visit, and her exuberant, jangly voice prompted me to make a few pre-visit conclusions: I figured she’d be a bit of a character with a healthy dose of nervous energy and a propensity to laugh easily and heartily. I have to say, I pretty much hit the mark. Mary’s a lot of fun to be around— she’s totally unpretentious, gesticulates wildly, and swears like a sailor. Somehow people who swear make me comfortable— maybe it’s because I assume they aren’t holding back and they’re coming at me just as they are, without obligatory formalities weighing them down. Mary’s unaffected way of being comes through in her art practice as well. There’s a rawness and simplicity to her materials, she essentially only uses tracing paper and wheat paste, and her inspiration often comes in the form of singular, unexpected visions. Though her process can be incredibly time-consuming it is decidedly straightforward, and yet it produces layered, imaginative, amorphous pieces that hint at the complexities and fragilities of humanity and the natural world. Mary’s been working with tracing paper and wheat paste since 1998— that’s a long time, and part of me wonders how she hasn’t gotten bored, or stuck, or indifferent along the way. Yet despite knowing her materials so intimately, Mary is constantly renegotiating the terms of her work, implementing new strategies and tactics that test where and how far she can go. Because Mary deals with just the essentials, pushing her materials is crucial, and every tweak, stretch, and pull makes all the difference.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

NEW: Seeds through an Artist's Lens WORKSHOPS start next week.

Scroll right down to see all photos taken at PLANTBANK during the May Workshop held while I was on Residency there. A lovely bunch of participants...  from the very experienced to newbies and everything in between.

I saw wonderful results, heard great comments and sighs of satisfaction. Excellent feedback and warm connections were generated over the two days.

We had so a unique range of seeds and pods to be inspired by. Now I am offering tis same chance for you to dive into the wonderful world of Seeds at my studio here in Brisbane Northside.... starting NEXT WEEK.


SeedArtLab Studio is an ideal space for between 3 to 6 people to be really comfortable ...  catering for beginners, the somewhat experienced,  seasoned artists and those practicing/exhibiting seriously. 

Costs for workshops at the studio are:

$115 per day including most art materials needed and light refreshments, tea, coffee, bickies!

$125 if you choose to have lunch provided as well. NB: Please be sure book & pay for a simple, fresh lunch.
Hours are 9.30am meet & chat over tea/coffee
 By 10am well be getting stuck in. Lunch is 12.30-ish & we’ll be working through till 4 to 4.30 for those who like to wind down. 

Most art materials needed will be provided with you fee. Do bring a journal/sketch book, any favourite art materials you love to use like coloured pencils, mixed media, watercolours ... and if you want to use high quality paper you can purchase something here if you would find that easier than getting to an art shop. Allow $5 or so if you want to buy quality watercolour paper. I’ll have some free for you to try! Most of the work we do will be on various kinds of paper …  or in your Journal!

Next MONDAY 29th, TUESDAY 30th or WEDNESDAY July 1 is available + the Weekend Saturday July 4th + Sunday 5th.

Anyone wanting the week after or later on …. please suggest dates and I’ll put that out to others.

Please ask me if you have any questions or concerns about what we will cover in this workshop… I’ve taught in schools, Uni & adult education in a huge variety of contexts so the starting point is always getting you oriented, making sure everyone relaxes, then entering into a kind of adventure where learning is absolutely enjoyable, one process after another is set up to get things rolling and by the time the afternoon sessions begin everyone is absolutely ready to get more focused on something you've particularly enjoyed discovering in the morning. 
I hover around but don’t intrude! I make suggestions that may extend ideas for you to explore and ofren others in the group will bounce off each other too, depending on the day. I like to do a few 'Show and tell’ interludes … there’s plenty in the studio to share and inspire. 

After you make the Workshop booking I will send out a practical check list too.

When weve confirmed dates you will then make the booking through DD bank account:

call studio: 07 3359 6849
mobile: 0430 599 344
Meemar St, Chermside, 4032 
(near the corner of Inga St)

Other events coming up:

I’ll be back At Plantbank, South West Sydney at the Australian Botanic Gardens doing another workshop mid September. Let me know if you want more info on that. Shelomi… will send you that info asap.

*MAYBE OF INTEREST: At the moment I’m in discussion with a lovely resident near Lamington National Park about a possible Art Retreat in Spring. If you wish to hear about that let me know. My friend is an organic grower, also producing fabulous coffee, growing Indigo plants for eco-friendly dye and is an amazing cook. Once we’ve put our heads together tomorrow night at her place up the mountain we will have more of an idea about offering Seeds through an Artists Lens as a 2 or 3 day retreat up there.  

In the coming months there’s likely to be some other regional workshop venues on the cards. For now however …  anyone who can make it along to the Brisbane Studio ... its definitely a great place to start from ...I run my project here and everything is on hand.

I look forward to seeing you before too long if in this region and keen to make deeper acquaintance with an enthralling diversity of seeds at our fingertips.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May Plantbank Residency and Weekend Workshop, May 23 + 24, 2015.

Yesterday I posted this update at the Homage to the Seed Blog : homage to the seed weblog . . .: May Plantbank Residency Workshop, 2015. which I'm reposting here at Visual Eclectica.

On Monday I commenced a 2.5 week residency at Plantbank, located at The Australian Botanic Garden Mt Annan in SW Sydney.

Diversity wall at PLantbanks Foyer.

This follows an intensely rewarding residency conducted here at virtually the same time last year. The drive from Brisbane was a drawn out over three days to visit friends along the way and take in the landscape of NSW where I grew up and lived for many years. 

Saturday night stopover in Newcastle.

Yesterday was a series of lively conversations, catching up with familiar people, settling in to onsite accommodation & creating a workspace in the Plantbank Staff work area which is expansive and has wonderful natural light streaming in.

Seed-collecting shelf next to my work desk at Plantbank ... looking out to the Garden.

I managed to fit in a two hour walk in the Connections Gardens seed collecting and taking photos in the afternoon but last night by 6.30pm I was ready for a simple dinner in the Residency flat & catching a couple of TV programs, too tired to even write on my laptop.

Today was more conversations, reading material and another quick trip to find seedpods.

Sophora tomentosa found today in the Wattle Garden.

Near the staff Kitchen at Plantbank I set up a drawing table and placed a large sheet of paper, sepia ink, seed pods and twigs for drawing implements. Everyone is invited to contribute to this #BigSeedDrawing.

After a few staff had dropped by and made a start of this communal Seed drawing which will be completed by the time I leave.

Gum blossom

Gum blossoms via Instagram and Apps.

Callerya megasperma found Monday in the Garden.

From Plantbank Seed Material

Gmelina leichardtii .... found in the Gardens on Monday.

You can follow the residency through extensive posts with images on my

 FACEBOOK PAGE:  Homage to the Seed


Instagram will also have some posts.


I'm here till May 27th. Look out for the Workshop details on May 23 + 24... places left if you are local!  



Friday, March 27, 2015

Announcing the ONLINE-STORE: SeedArtLab Studio@BigCartel

Well... its rather late ... and a peaceful night it is here.

Can't believe how long it took me to get my head around setting up an Online shop. First the thinking, then the research and looking, then more thinking, gradually the site-building and finally some lessons here and there and a crescendo of activity and wa la! Its Up!

Glad to say its getting easier and more familiar as I go... its been 9 days since I quietly launched the venture.

I decided on Big Cartel for my ONLINE STORE: . Gradually adding stock... a few smaller original works on paper and mostly Archival Quality prints. I have offered Limited edition prints for some time now... but the platform for selling Overseas was a necessity.

I've sorted out a square format for small prints... something affordable for purchasing with modest shipping costs seemed a good idea. I've long been drawn to squares... and circles.

20 SMALL PRINTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE: As a Special offer... before Easter Monday, APRIL 6th, any of the 21cm sq Prints on beautiful Hahnemule Photo Rag 208 Gsm ~ cotton rag paper are avilable for a special price. Visit the ONLINE STORE: to see the current offer and the range posted in the last week or so.

Section of Orginal Artwork.

There are larger LIMITED EDITION prints up already... and as of today small prints that will be signed but sold as affordable works on Archival Photo Rag Paper. The print above is a section of a large Limited Edition print available on Paper or Stretched Canvas.

Limited Editions Series are signed, titled and numbered by the artist ... subsequently in a different price range as larger, high quality works. 

One of my passions is the element of water... pursued in my art-practice at various times, especially in the Newcastle years 2000-2008. I've accumulated many photos taken at Ocean Baths... particularly focusing on light & movement of water.

There are 5 prints as part of the special offer with this theme ... titled 'Water Quartet'.

I will gradually post up other Limited Edition works that are available. I've more images than time to post them online it would seem. Learning the process of writing to convey crucial info, supplying all the shipping and purchasing details takes time... and I am sure there will be some finessing to do yet.

My goal is to be sharing work from my studio through this new venture whilst I focus quite intensely on a quite involved 'Homage to the Seed' book that's been started ... a writing fund is a good thing indeed.

Best wishes everyone!