Monday, March 26, 2012

a sunny weekend... a chance to paint uninterrupted!

This is a very quick post today as I am making hay while the sun shines... we've had so much rain of late that I am excited to be able to paint on the veranda... so instead of lingering here pop over and see what I put up on the studio blog... the latest paintings in process ....but first a glimpse here!

Working on these two paintings alongside each other as they are having a conversation. The birds kept coming up on the veranda... butcher birds ... which have the most wonderful song. A family member kept singing to them... quite amusing! Between Radio National, the birds, people bringing cups of tea and a gentle breeze reminding me Easter/autumn is coming it was all very pleasant.

Just as well... State elections here on Saturday were a nightmare.with the ruling party wiped almost out of existence. We are left with anew government just as enamoured with the Miming Industry as the last and fracking about to commence on the western side of this City!

Back to the sanity of painting for me today! I am pleased to say that the mini-campaign I ran with Gabrielle (last post) was successful in reaching a broad audience thanks to many who spread the word in any way they could. Homage to the Seed Facebook page (LIKES WELCOME!) saw LOTS of welcome activity. Because there's no private friend FB site all the wonderful new traffic sharing this story was most appreciated!

I also have connected with more people locally which has been lovely...and feel surrounded by others sharing similar concerns.


 We love these paintings by Sophie Munns for there subtlety in colour, texture and pattern.The beauty here, is in natures unevenness in repetition. Her residency at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Artist-in-Residence at Mt Coot-tha focused on global seed heritage and seed conservation. More information at
Original Article
a small work from last year
Also posted on the studio blog is the story of a post Patternbank did on my work last month.

And if you really like visual tumbling the go to seed capsules for views of  my work in amongst an eclectic tour of the globe!

        paintbrushes are calling! have a very good week won't you!

ps: have found much inspiration through tumblr, pinterest etc of late...must get back and share that here soon!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

a surprise or two...

This just arrived in the mail out of the blue...

taken out of the protective bag all the way from the US...

loved the wrapping and the tape... just wonderful.... and the beautiful paper from dressmaking patterns.

It was a good thing my mother was about because I had by that time realised what was inside the package ... an exquisite collaged image that I noticed awhile back on the blog belonging to...

a delightful blogger from the northern hemisphere... bella Caterina

look at all those details 

well... my warmest thanks to Ms Caterina of 'la Dolce Vita' blog... I seem to remember making remarks about how this would look amazing in a certain someone's room that I happened to be renovating... well... that is indeed where it will go once its framed! And there are appreciative sounds coming from the one who will be graced by the presence of this lovely art piece. What a special surprise! Bella!!!
         Gracias Caterina! Gracias!

Its been a busy time... hard to keep up with all the different tangents. I've now claimed space on the veranda for a large collapsable table I recently bought to paint on... inspired by a painting project I'm  involved with.

An interesting recent collaboration is this Mural project below being organised and co-ordinated by Karen Cipressi whose organisation and goodwill made it a dream to work here with a few artists in tow. Its the Community Resource and Environmental Education Centre that belongs to a local inner-city Brisbane Catchment Committee at Norman Creek. I found this image taken during last years floods ... the creek is highlighted ... love the way it snakes around like that! One can only imagine what a wonderful place it must have been pre colonial settlement.

Norman Creek breaks its banks in the January floods. Photo:
Around15 years ago the nearby creek was all but engineered out of existence to become a concrete canal for some miles. At either end there is still natural habitat and wildlife...but the patch where this building is operating is said to the the most urbanised waterway in the state. In fact... the damage done when this engineering job took place (supposedly to avert flooding, which it hasn't!) to the natural eco-system was so severe that this community group formed to oversee all other potential sites in the city and to lobby to make sure this mistake was not repeated again.

As you see here they certainly concreted the creek... and this is a pleasant shot.. unlike the untreed canal where we've been working!
This older style house surrounded by large trees is where the mural is being painted to wrap around the entire building. On the left is quite a spacious seed nursery currently unused... so the thought is to create some renewed energy about this place, and see if the Nursery could get going again by attracting some genuine interest from the community. I live 30-40 minutes on the other side of the river... but rather wish this was in my neighbourhood.

Downstairs may end up being used for artists projects...the building needs a slight spruce up downstairs but is ideal for various initiatives.

This is what we started with... undercoated concrete bessa bricks. 

The blue has been drawn up by Karen to wrap around the building to symbolise the creek and importance of water. As I was getting into the painting the question of how to link themes & the other side of the doorway with imagery of seeds bursting forth into life was a key question.

I found it necessary to simply paint and then think about modifying and changing things later. Its definitely a work in progress.

At the end of the first day... the work is beginning to unfold.

I loved being able to plaint up large and quite loosely after feeling quite restricted by my available working space in recent studio scions at home.

The down pipe wan in interesting addition here...

I didnt have much time on Monday to work into it, a few hours in the afternoon!  Decided the yellow line over the window needs changing and of course more details yet to be added! It certainly pays to stand  back and rethink.

The others have painted the three sides of the building with the under layer of their design.
I'm responsible for that small area on the left at the front of the building. Seeds, fitting the seed nursery is next door! The others concentrated on the wrap-around design into which images and details will be added to feature various stories. There'll be more seeds floating up here and there.

The first full day of painting here got me thinking large again. Ive no plans to hunt down a large studio at this time.. too much else to focus on... so will have to see what happens about that new found urge to break out!!  I'll let you know how the entire project comes together.

A visit to my homage blog presents the latest on a huge regional issue of grave concern to many of us at the moment. I know US bloggers know all about CSG or fracking... it seems to be a kind of universal madness these days. I was reading about Fracking in Sussex in the UK the other day! We've not learnt the lesson here yet and I was saddened to hear from people enduring Gas drilling in their neighbourhoods a week ago, at steep personal cost!

This week's post is a mini-campaign of sorts. Its a longish story ... too late now to elaborate much on how this came about .. so lets just say... two heads are better than one. A chance meeting with an interesting thinker, Gabrielle, originally from the Netherlands, led me to create a message that evolved from some serious debate via email and phone ... much thinking, interviews with Politicians (Gabrielle's undertaking - Bravo!) and more. Read here about this


view these links for info:
ABC NEWS SPECIAL  excellent background
LOCK THE GATE ALLIANCE  this is the main site for information

AND if you can help us out please pass the story on...
share via these links:

click to  Reblog this post: 

Well, tutoring tomorrow ... time to go!
Have a good week all of you!
S x 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

too many late nights, tiptoeing around...

One of those weeks when I found myself needing to put my head down and write, think some more and then type it up. Well... two weeks of that actually. In the end I was looking for cafes with Wifi to change the location of where I could work. Nothing to report on ... all part of creative work... reports, applications etc.

...but those moments when a little diversion was needed I found some inspiration... where to start?

OK... Here....

You thought I was going to post all the images for you that are hiding between these covers?

there's too many wonderful pages so why not go to the artist's site yourself and see what lies within... its worth it I promise...and when you click here another page will open so you will still get to read this post... if thats what you came by to do!

When you've done there you could look inside this one too!

I'm being a bit obscure I know... there's a few books and journals in this one:


Go to a doodlers anonymous page and you can read about Lapin's story: In a Sea of Sketchbooks

from . . . For 36 weeks in 04, myself and three other artists sent a sketchbook back and forth across the Atlantic between us, each artist responding to the spread that proceeded them. When it was finished, book had travelled over 60,000 miles

now here's a story:     from . . . For 36 weeks in 04, myself and three other artists sent a sketchbook back and forth across the Atlantic between us, each artist responding to the spread that proceeded them. When it was finished, book had travelled over 60,000 miles

Theres hardly enough hours in the days for al the exploring you can do is there?

Louise Bourgeois

LB?  Louise Bourgeois.. more here!

See above

Were did I find these images and more?

Some found here:

Lari Washburn

This is an image of the work of Lari Washburn and you can visit her wonderful 'Sketchbook and Journal' board on her pinterest site here.

Some came via here at my board Artist Books.... which has 

These two images are from lovely blogger Velma Bolyard at Wake Robin... 

Rock Book by Velma Bolyard

So you start to get the picture. Between my tumblr site seed capsules and new Pinterest one I have been tracing all the artists books i can find... and paintings/painters I like and so on!

This is something you can do for ten minutes between tasks or walking off to make a cup of tea...
tea and toast and a quick look at these sites is just the bees knees. Ok ten minutes can stretch out... but who's counting. And when you are stuck at that computer writing some tricky thing... well... !

w o r d s

Photo of a pinPhoto of a pinPhoto of a pinPhoto of a pinPhoto of a pinPhoto of a pinPhoto of a pinPhoto of a pin Above are wee images from my board on /// yes ///  w o r d s ... some good things lurk there!
A little bigger so you can see ... sure!

opening of I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith

This text is the opening of I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith. Its comes via Printed Ink tumblr .. well worth a look. Anyone see the film by the same name... quite wonderful. Who's read the book? This opening line took me straight there.

This was a fun idea: 

cute idea for invite to book-swapping party

This really did take place ... read here.... i kind if think it might be fun ...Book clubs interest me but I dont see myself turning up each month with the book read and the night free. A one of book night could be good however.

Especially with these cards

and the lovely soup!

Here's something along similar lines ... reminiscent of a library anyway!

Trong G. Nguyen, Library, 2007.    The entire text and individual chapters of various books written word for word on grains of rice. A re-interpretation of the library.

Liked this one...

Trong G. Nguyen, Library, 2007. The entire text and individual chapters of various books written word for word on grains of rice. A re-interpretation of the library.

"Sometimes I think that people's hearts are like deep wells.  Nobody knows what's at the bottom.  All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while." - Haruki Murakami

This one from the lovely Elizabeth Bunsen ... 

then to Art-propelled's Robyn Gordon who needs no introduction.

See her Artist Studio's board where this image of Sati Zech was found.

sati zech

Read the Newspaper article here on Berlin painter Sati Zech

Sati Zech, who lives and works in Berlin, is at Lux Art Institute for a residency. She work on canvas and oil paint.

I also liked this image and quote on Robyn's board:

Art grows out of each particular situation, and I believe that artists are better off working with whatever their environment throws up.    - El Anatsui, 2003

Art grows out of each particular situation, and I believe that artists are better off working with whatever their environment throws up. - El Anatsui, 2003
Read more here.

You'll of course find much to delight at Robyn's pages.

I'd better finish... so will take you to the ART page of Esa Lukala... i thought it stunning.... if you like paint you may too!

Something to show from this page...

Richard Pearse. I love this one.

Work by Richard Pearce who has a blog... have a look!

And another of his works...

thats all folks... bed time... school tomorrow!
Hope you're having a good week all!

ps Do pop over for coffee if you wish!

Found here at Girl of Instanbul tumblr

Thursday, March 1, 2012

From Russia with love...

Игорь Шпиленок

Блог фотографа-натуралиста

These photos I wanted to share today are from live journal of Ivor Shpilenok:

"I wish to convey the beauty of wild nature in Russia's protected areas to people around the world and evoke in them the desire to conserve those areas."

- Igor Shpilenok
Shpilenok's website may be viewed here. NB: Shpilenok is a professional Russian photographer, so do take care to credit his name and website if you choose to copy an image. 

You may be wondering why I have posted these images today. In September last year I flew to London on Korean Air. On the trip over I was very restless and didn't feel much like sitting or sleeping so I spent time at the back of the plane in a cosy nook where I could gaze out the window.
We flew from Seoul where I'd stayed overnight and in no time we were crossing over China and into Russia.
It was tantalising to see the landscape stretching out seemingly forever. Cloud cover was light and patchy so visibility was good. Its hard to describe how absorbing the experience was... the intense desire to know what was going on down there!
I imagine you may have known this feeling from flying as well. The planet seemed so mysterious that day... and I've since found myself taking more notice of stories from that part of the world. 

So close yet so far!

If you take time to visit the site: livejournal you may well be stunned by the wonderful photos waiting for you to view. These photos are in a small way an answer to the yearning I've had ... I hope you enjoy them, although I'm sorry they aren't in order!                                                                                                                                                                                                     
2nd September 2011
1st March, 2011


30th July, 2011


12th August 2011

September 14th, 2011

September 9th, 2011

September 13th, 2011


May 27th, 2011

May 17th, 2011

15th March, 2011

February 11th, 2011

December 9th, 2010

About this photo from the livejournal:

От моей избушки напрямик до Тихого океана километров пять. Вроде рядом - я постоянно слышу гул океана, чувствую его запах, даже во время сильных штормов вижу верхушки пенных волн. Но между кордоном и океаном раскинулась приморская топкая тундра плюс лиман, общий для двух крупнейших рек заповедника Кроноцкой и Богачевки. Поэтому остается один путь - водный. В сентябре, когда я только прибыл сюда, из океана через лиман заходили в реки на нерест стада лососевых рыб, поэтому мне приходилось бывать там почти ежедневно, контролировать обстановку в лимане и трехмильной морской акватории заповедника. Плаваю я к океану я и сейчас, но уже значительно реже, поскольку рыба уже поднялась вверх по рекам, а тревожить тысячи зимующих в лимане уток и сотни лебедей без нужды не хочется. 
via google translation:

From my cabin straight out to the Pacific Ocean about five kilometersLike a number - I hear the ocean roarfeel the smell, even during heavy storms can see the tops of the waves of foamBut between the cordon and the oceanstretched coastal tundra of the furnaces, plus the estuary, the total for the twolargest rivers in the reserve and Kronotsky BogachevkiTherefore, it remainsone way - water. In September, when I first arrived hereacross the estuaryfrom the ocean came into the river for spawning salmon stock, so I had to go there almost daily, to monitor the situation in the three-mile estuary and marine areas of the reserve. I swim to the ocean I am now, but much less frequently, because the fish had already climbed up the rivers and disturb thousands ofwintering ducks in the estuary, and hundreds of swans without need not want.
Go see the live journal for more!

Bye for now,