Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Clear, fresh mountain stream in the Rainforest that meets the sea!

This is my second last morning in the Wet Tropics before I fly home tomorrow night. Its the dead of winter and 27 degrees C today. I'm staying in the residence where I will live and work during the spring residency up here.

Its been brilliant and of course I have taken many photos ...but alas! Falling asleep at the computer trying to sort them all this morning. I have picked just three to post today and then I have to skip to it and visit the Australian Tropical Herbarium just 20 mins north.

I was up pre-dawn and went to the shorefront thinking it would be a nice day for an early morning beach walk. But no... it was drizzling I went to the Regional Art Gallery cafe and wrote a letter and enjoyed coffee and toast...then had a quick visit to the waterside.

Still early I will get going....

but first...

These photos are from Mossman Gorge...  I must write more on this place where I took quite a number of photos. I went there Saturday and found an impressive Aboriginal Cultural Centre had just opened 4 days before. 

Then on Monday I met a wonderful local indigenous person in Cairns who had been a ranger in this Gorge for some years and is now working in an Arts Project there. Sheryl offered to take me walking up there on my return visit...and compare notes about our art... so I am delighted to have a chance to spend time up there in such fine company.

PS the water wasn't too cold and Sheryl assures me that crocodiles don't travel up over the rocky river into the cool mountain water. Next time I'll swim! It was a stunning place to visit and much to learn here from the indigenous community.

Hope you are having a good week everyone!
Sophie x
      ....Go to the studio archives blog for images from the new journal!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

scenes from the new studio...

I've just downloaded mages from the new studio and posted extensively on the Studio Archive blog about the first week in the wonderful ambience of a fresh, clean studio.

a corner of the studio

shelves for small works, journals and such.

and a series of work on paper, many quickly rendered to work on the motif... variations on a theme.

                                            Pop over now if you want to view the images!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Who was the 100,000th visitor?

I recently noticed the visitor counter was going to reach a special number and thought how nice it would be to post on who came by at that moment! I missed the 3rd bloggy birthday on May One... so this is a small celebration instead. I've been falling behind in my time for blogging this past month ...but do really miss it and all of you... so this is a tiny tribute to all who have meant such a lot to me these past few years.

According to my calculations the lovely blogger who happened by today when the Visitor Counter struck 100,000 is from Vancouver, Canada ... Annamaria was totally unsuspecting! I came home very late from a day in the studio and remembered to check the counter tonight and recognised the lucky number coincided with someone I knew who does these gorgeous watercolours!

a watercolour by Annamaria Potamiti
I was terribly pleased to see a familiar face rather than an anonymous google connection which could not be tracked to a name. Not only that ... Annamaria stopped and left a message.

Vancouver, british columbia, Canada
My Photo
Artmaking as a visual cocoon for my daily stories. And then some other stuff about life at home and in the studio. Sharing and making friends. Hugs:)

Fine Art Print of Mixed Media  Original Watercolor Acrylic  Pencil Bird Home Garden Wall Art
from Annamaria's Etsy site.

So...I'm very glad not to have let this moment pass and I send my warmest thoughts to all who have come by here with your wonderful ideas, charming responses and kind thoughts these past few years!

I hope to get my camera out and shoot the recent artwork from the Molecular Bio-Science Residency and things from the new studio this week. Its been a great week of getting settled in the studio and working with paints and inks for the last couple of days.

May your weekend be magic...
Sophie x

Friday, June 1, 2012

where to start? New things afoot!

returning to a familiar place...

Don't quite know what's been in the ether of late ... seems as if things are moving though. Back in February I wondered how the year would find momentum as I happily focused on clearing out the small home studio space and getting work going there ... first on concertina books and then larger canvases. Late February I started tutoring at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Visualisation for First year students in Architecture.

Post here about QUT tutoring

It's been an excellent experience getting to know staff at QUT since back in 2010 through invitations from both Architecture and Interior Design faculties to present on the project Homage to the Seed as well as my Journal process which has essentially been the back-bone of an art practice continuing from secondary school days. As a young student it was beyond my imagining to think of myself being or becoming an artist, yet I lived and breathed art of one kind or another and was always enamoured with books and journals.

Music studies competed with a passion for Art whilst I was growing up... I learnt piano from the age of  8.  Five people in my home played piano, and sang, and were expected to overcome nerves and compete in Eistedffods. Suffering from nerves quite badly at that point I could never see myself taking music further. By contrast Art was a soothing tonic for the soul... happening as it did in quiet anonymity. One could please oneself what one did... there was no stage, no audience,  and no adjudicator deciding whether one's technique was up to scratch or the feel for a particular composer's work was there.

Even then Journals were important... over time they led to a depth of immersion in ideas, at times offered profound solace, other times sparked intensely stimulating explorations ... all moods, ideas and impulses could find room in the pages of a journal.  Its indeed gratifying to see years of quiet unseen work has relevance and many possibilities to develop further. Its been such fertile ground for the continuity of an art practise not dependant on funds, audience, or any other externals. What I now see is a process that speaks volumes... interest accumulates for the long-term aspects of the humble, ground-hog day working life of artists. A mouthful that.. but I'm sure many will know exactly what is meant and have that feeling about their own work!

We may have the technology and resources these days to build skyscrapers and mammoth architectural structures and yet the architects we love and truly admire may be the designers behind a particular small-scale domestic building. Integrity does not rest on who creates the biggest hit, the most famous idea, or is the youngest to succeed on the big stage. Integrity comes in so many shapes and sizes!

This engagement at QUT has been a wonderful introduction to new ideas and realms of thought through those I've tutored with and met during the period. Mid-semester, when not at QUT, the Residency at UQ, University of Queensland, took place at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience. You can see posts on all three blogs about the exciting experience.

in the Lab

Ive still to photograph and download all the work from that period so that is high on the to-do list!

On completion of this fascinating introduction into the Molecular world I was back at QUT for the remaining weeks of semester, seeing what students were up to and working alongside them on their final project to make a book that reflected the essence of their journey through the semester in Visualisation. I will photograph this work at their show in a couple of weeks and share it with you as soon as possible... Its been fascinating to see it all coming together!

In the midst of the UQ Residency I broke off for four days to attend the Dorothy Caldwell Workshop at Bunya which I wrote about a few posts back. As readers of that post saw.... much inspiration came from that unique time of working with others... all of us highly engaged in processes Dorothy was introducing and so poetically enlivening our thinking on.

So the year which began in a quiet and slow tempo did gain quite a spirited pace before I knew it and shows no sign of slowing down now. I find myself contemplating DNA sequencing and other  extraordinary material Scientist Joshua Mylne introduced me to and then turning to the expansive, soulful thoughts of Dorothy Caldwell's Human Mark's workshop. Then there's all the ideas and learnings from the QUT experience in architecture and design... and on top of all that there are the conversations and images filtering in from bloggers and online exchanges around the globe. I value that so much for the engaging and often consolidating influence they have.

This week I found that a new project I proposed for North Queensland to run later this year will go ahead. It will allow me to pick up the threads of the Rainforest plants, fruits and seed capsules which became my passion during the 2010 Botanic Gardens Residency. More on that when it comes through...  I was very excited on Monday afternoon to hear it will run I can tell you! I never been to the far north so this is something I've long been hoping to do.

Yesterday I met with Helena Lloyd, an artist friend who made me beneficiary of a Studio Residency at her Gallery in the second half of 2010. It was during the year at the Gardens... and in the challenging situation being on a formal residency with numerous outcomes expected but no studio provided. Helena's offer was so critically well-timed and I am forever grateful to she and her husband Trevor Lloyd for this significant in-kind support.

The studio is below the Gallery pictured here. Percolator Gallery is booked by artists on a weekly basis to exhibit their work and is a much needed For-hire Gallery Space for the region's artists to tap into.  Working from her home studio allows Helena to get on with a new era for her own painting for her with family grown up and the Gallery now a well-established venue. I will be writing a post here very soon about Helena's Exhibition coming up here in the 2nd week of June... opening Friday 15th of June in the early evening.  More on that soon!

Percolator Gallery at 135 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington

the studio below the Gallery... back when I first moved in august 2010

My exciting news to finish the week on is that Helena has once again proposed a Studio Residency at her Paddington Gallery and yesterday I spent several delightful hours viewing her recent work for an upcoming show and talking through arrangements.

By the time I left with the key for the studio at Percolator Gallery my mind was buzzing with ideas... partly inspired by the conversations around Helena's unique experience behind her own work and upcoming exhibition... plus the flood of ideas generated by the thought of returning to this wonderful studio space.


(via Sophie Munns)
Click this link to participate in helping this artist!
Sophie in the Percolator Studio: November 2010 - photo by Helena Lloyd

I feel so blessed to return to this wonderful space and this view...

view from the studio at Percolator Gallery in Paddington, Brisbane

May you have a very good weekend no matter where you are and I hope to get into the flow before too long with my online communications... Ive been missing visiting you all with all this going on! I'm ready for some quiet times painting and clearing my head I can tell you!

Sophia x

                                 Photo's from Helena's website 
ArtistHelena Lloyd
TitlePreparing paper on Stradbroke Island

ArtistHelena Lloyd
TitlePandanus No 4: Coolum
MediumMixed Media
SupportArches Paper