Thursday, December 26, 2013

felices fiestas!

Embedded image permalink
found at twitter...
Its warm here and even though I'm not at the beach this feels like a fitting image to share with peeps from the northern hemisphere.

Its actually late here as I type ... the end of christmas day... so I've added this image looking into my studio and house. It seems all the neighbours are away. We are still getting to know the neighbourhood so its an eerie feeling. Our former home always had more people around and late night revellers to boot.

SEED.ART.LAB studio is closed for a week. Back after New Years!

Whilst I don't speak spanish I do rather like the notion of joyful festivity... and I think it a good wish to send around the globe when we don't all subscribe to the same creeds, religious or cultural festivals. As many have a holiday at this time of year and the same calendar is quite common around the globe its a punctuation mark that means something to all of us ... whatever that may be!

We chose to stay in this year... a new home makes it appealing to do so. We'd have been at my niece Lara's in a flash if that didn't involve a busy freeway trip for 90 mins or more. On top of travelling south tomorrow one's 83 yr old mother voted to avoid the roads and Lara agreed it was wise. This year we celebrated her marriage to the lovely Dwight and 10 days ago were up for her 30th birthday and an announcement she will be having a July baby. So we will visit in January for sure... and come July keep us away!!!

Imagine my mothers delight when her 5 yr old great grandson William, son of Lara's brother Tristan and wife Renee, phoned this morning to say his Mummy was having a baby. Olivia, my mother sat outside all morning counting all the July birthday's there'd be in the family with such relish! As her birthday is July 31 she hopes either Renee or Lara will bring her a very special birthday present!

It's been a pleasant day and I've pottered a bit in the kitchen... very low key nibbles today which in the heat is great. Red papaya for breakfast. Simple things laid out for lunch... and this afternoon a taste of home-baked goods given as gifts this week.

The Panforte was made by Jane's mother Vivienne who's mother is Italian and no doubt they have cooked this panforte recipe for years. The other tiny Xmas cakes were from Olivia's friend Stella who is quite famous for her brilliant cooking I'm sure. She is the only person I know who takes her treats to cafe owners she befriends so they can try her wares. The love her... so do we! She's young 80+
 year old and gift giving small treats is something she does all the time!

There other thing I'm doing is sorting things to take with me on a little mini-residency for 5 days.

My rationale in taking this short opportunity was to look into lining up a longer stay with hosts at Koonjewarre and Springbrook Rescue - part of the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society.

Their work consists of:

Springbrook Rescue” is a multi-stage project to protect and restore the World Heritage rainforests of the Springbrook region in South-East Queensland, Australia.
It involves seven programs:
1  acquiring land to expand the World Heritage area
2   restoring critical habitat and landscape connectivity
3   community engagement in World Heritage protection, presentation and restoration
4   science programs to guide restoration and monitoring
5   protecting World Heritage through better governance
6   presenting World Heritage values for their protection and community well being
7   partnerships to realize a shared vision

NB: text from website page!

Because I'm tagging along this week on a pre-organised camp I am doing a lovely exchange with them where I have a generous work space and I will offer 90 min classes over three mornings to 10 or more people. I will focus my seeds and biodiversity art classes around the work being done onsite to weed out invade species and restore the bio-diverse landscape which is deemed a Biodiversity hotspot.

Its come at a great time as I have been working non-stop to set up the new studio and introduce my plans for Seed.Art.Lab, and importantly, after months this year spent in limbo whilst relocating homes, these past 6 weeks have seen a spike in income that was... how to put it... absolutely about time.

click here to visit

I am so thankful to the support of a great many people who have visited, sent messages, made purchases at my online shop or in person, shared my project with friends and importantly set ideas up for next year so that there will be ongoing events, workshops and such.

Going backwards $10,000 due to stalled projects, expenses and new studio set up costs saw me holding my breath and anxious to turn that situation around. $10,000 is peanuts to some but I know many artists see it as something considerable and we don't like to spend when we're not earning.

Being able to get back on track makes me incredibly grateful for each and every bit of support and kindness that came my way. I am finishing 2013 in a far better place than when it started actually ... and despite the unnerving panorama of global challenges which I do, by nature, take very seriously I feel my faith in the kindness of many absolutely assures me of the colossal numbers of wonderful people on this planet that want it to be the best world it can be for all.

Recently starting "internships" at the studio has been a surprising joy. I've long enjoyed working with teens and children but it was an incredible stroke of luck that two separate conversations led me to intuitively put forward the idea of work experience to Sam and her mother back in May, and to Jane when I met her finally in person at my opening weekend after helping her in March with research via email.

That we decided to call it an internship was a mutual decision between the girls and I. They've been coming once a week for 5 or 6 hours. The focus of their time is spent between my projects and their own, depending on what else is happening at the time. They both wrote blog posts for me on their own artwork and their individual experiences here at the studio as they come on different days and have not met as yet.

Read Jane's post.

Read Sam's post.

We discuss what it means for them to be in a studio, slowly observing the full gamut of my particular art practice, getting glimpses into challenges and down-sides as well as the wonderful aspects of this vocation. Both families are delightful. Sam's mother put it to me from the start to ask 15 yr old Sam to help with anything useful for the studio business. This was liberating as I then knew there was a very clear understanding of my role.

Sam's father, until his recent untimely death, had an international career as an award-winning Architectural Illustrator so her understanding of a Studio Practice is very much about conducting a professional life and a business as much as exploring the depth and breadth of one's creative life. What has been exciting to see in her is that she understands the pragmatics of this vocation but is also utterly whimsical and enamoured with expressing her creative passion. Her joy in art-making is infectious!

Jane ushers in a kind of energy and experience that is different but equally inspiring. She brings me ideas every time she walks in the door. Have I thought of doing so and so... what about this or that? We laugh, talk and work on some of the tasks that she has essentially reminded me of the importance of.

Time soon passes and its been great to see her shift out of her heavily academic Year 12 mode of thinking and art making and into a period of  freedom from academic direction... to realise there is now a window of opportunity for her to make marks and put down ideas that she feels like exploring... certainly at a least until she takes up University if that's what she chooses to do next. There's a fluid exchange... we go between working on something for my deadlines to thinking through things of importance to her quite effortlessly.

Ideal really for school students ... much of their direct experience of art at this point is more likely the busy school classroom, generally without commercial context or broader world engagement, apart from referencing ideas of artists. Perhaps if they were doing 5 days a week for a month or longer all this would be a different experience. But one day a week gives a solid grounding in the studio reality and 6 days to go off and ruminate on that and find whatever they might like to explore inspired from their time in the studio.

More days are planned for January and I look forward to that.

One thing I want to share before I sign off came up lately when approached by the Global Crop Diversity Trust re an image for their Christmas greeting. As a not-for-profit they were interested in connecting and doing Homage to the seed promotion in exchange for non-exclusive use of the artwork. Having followed their organisation since 2010 when my project was taking off it was an inquiry I was delighted to follow through on.

This was one of the artwork images I sent to them... 'Perennial Symbols from the Botanical Realm I'.  It was decided to crop a section of this work for a closer view suiting the card the were going to have printed and also send via email!

Original work: 120 cm x 60 cm... one half of a dyptich.

To read more about this go to the Homage to the seed blog post I wrote this week where I described the way this painting evolved over two long years.

The cropped section below is now available as a Limited Edition print from my Seed.Art.Lab online shop here.

You can call my mobile on 0430 599 344 if you have inquiries. Or leave me a message on how to contact you! I've been organising to use Paypal so that makes it easier at the online shop.

It seems like a good note to end the year on really. To be able to share my artwork with the organisation that works at every level to conserve the seeds of the crops we rely on everyday all around the planet is a satisfying thought.

And tomorrow I go up to Springbrook National Park for a 5 day residency where I will be focusing on Seeds and biodiversity whilst learning about the efforts being made by Springbrook Rescue Action                                                                              to restore land from invasive species and also deforestation that occured decades ago.  

I'm finding myself falling asleep at the key board after rather a long day... so I'll be off for now.
Christmas blessings to followers of this tradition and my warmest wishes that your holiday be a great pleasure everyone!!

Image found at Springbrook Rescue

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Seed.Art.Lab Internships (i)

On Wednesday I welcomed Jane Jaffe to the Studio for a holiday work experience stint... but as we discussed  what we would endeavour to achieve through this the concept of the intern struck us both as a more fitting description for the involvement she would have in my work space.

It was a very organic process arranging this ... and it really emerged out of  having a new space to work with that's flexible, people-friendly and naturally leads me to thinking about the various ways it might be possible to operate my project whilst managing both admin and painting practice demands at the same time.

WEDNESDAY 11TH DECEMBER : Welcome to Jane 


Homage to the Seed" and researched her before emailing her in March for my Senior Art Assignment on ART VS SCIENCE.

I asked Sophie a couple of questions expecting to be met with a few sentences in response. The journal images below show the results of the exchange! 

To my amazement and pleasure she sent me back paragraphs, pictures, book recommendations and video links to help me out. 

Her passion and knowledge of seed biodiversity is contagious. In particular her story about how back in 1983 when she learnt of Corporations like McDonalds bulldozing the Rainforests of Brazil to access land to grow cattle for their "low-grade food product" it had seemed clearly wrong and unforgivable to her. At that time a young school teacher, it upset her so much that she began to ask questions regarding the degradation of the planet and likely future scenarios.

After communicating with Sophie I signed up to receive her newsletters and received one in my last week of school about the new studio opening. I was so excited to meet Sophie and see her artwork in person and I was not disappointed. I ended up leaving with a copy of her book, a hand-painted plate and 'Archaic yet reverberating still II' which hangs proudly in my bedroom.

The general vibe here is what you expect - a cool breeze blowing through the widow, Sophie's work native birds chirping in background all add to the wholesome, peaceful and relaxing ambiance the studio oozes. Inspiration is spread across the table from foreign high end decorating magazines to exotic looking seedpods all have its place in the relaxed (yet immaculate) studio. For morning tea we had a healthy and sustainable snack of fresh blueberries, bananas, mangos, dried pawpaw, cranberries, pecans  and peanuts (very delicious!). Somehow Sophie also managed to make this platter look like a work of art with careful placement, colour and a beneficial message."

It is enviable that I would end up finding myself in Art related places. My father collects antiques, my uncle was the curator for the British Art Gallery and one of my cousins is a full-time bird sculpture artist and another cousin is studying Arts at Goldsmiths. From an early age I was exposed to Galleries, a house filled with paintings and for christmas I was never short of paint sets, sketch books and anything creative that came in a box set from relatives. I still have my one and only set of Darwent pencils (although some are just a stub) which I took to school everyday. Along with the compulsory lessons of Junior School Art I signed up for art club, which was a few afternoons a week after school for 2 hours, so I could spend more time in my favourite subject. 

In grade 8 when art became optional it was a no brainer that I would continue. Although "Art Club" was no longer offered we moved into more digital and modern forms of art and exploring other artists and the flesh behind their work. Mrs Brown taught us lino printing, palmpsesting, photoshopping, photographing, de/re construction and symbolism. I love every technique and appreciate artists in all fields. Even as a teenager my friends and I would seek out GOMA to see what interactive exhibition was on, for me art had become a way of life, not merely a reflection of it. 

Eager to do my best yet questioning weather I could handle the 3000+ word assignments of Senior Visual Art I was blessed with the topic "ART VS SCIENCE" and the first essay was from the perspective of a scientist write about what you find in your chosen Artists Studio. With a particular interest in natural medicine and the environment Sophie's name popped up on my laptop screen in your standard google search. I dot pointed research on her in my art journal and loaned her book from the Library the next day. I found a link on her website to her e-mail and the rest is as they say history. 

Inspired by Sophie's motif (symbol) of the seed, I decided to create my own motif, the snow pea. I started off germinating snow pea seeds in syringes to show the dichotomy of modern medicine and natural healing.

To symbolise the loss of natural remedies being passed down to the next generation due to the complete veneration of modern western medicine and also to show how our environment is being impacted by the decisions we make today I created an ice sculpture with snow-pea sprouts which I filmed melting. 

Also inspired by Sophie and Salli Sixpence I made this work from photographs I have taken of paint and ink, then fragmenting through white paint and reconnecting with the snow pea sprouts I drew using carbon paper. 

After photographing this work and photoshopping it I created a book, a kind of 3D symbol of natural medicine like the snake on the staff for western medicine.

Inspired by colour blindness tests I spelt out the message of my body of work "THE CURE AND THE CAUSE" within the piece. This is to highlight that modern medicine is seen as the cure it may present unforeseen problems for a different reason. Some things have been proven to be fixed such as type II diabetes, vitamin C for colds and vitamin B for energy and mental wellbeing. I am not saying there is not a place for Western Medicine I am just saying we can prevent and handle some illnesses through natural means in the way our ancestors have for centuries. This is summed up by the quote "Farmacy as apposed to Pharmacy"

I have skipped through a few works but this was my final piece. My Grandfather is the man in the photograph and he is making Silver water. A drink he would bring in glass bottles as soon as he heard we had a cold or we complained about feeling under the wether. 

Now that I am in a different phase of my life and not completing art in an academic setting, I don't start university until March 2014, It is nice to be an intern to reflect, create and envision the future. After chatting to Sophie in her studio she has inspired me to start an archive of my work in a tumblr site and I am going to start a visual journal to jot down my ideas and scraps of inspiration. In the mean time I am happy to be relaxing and learning from Sophie.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

NEWS: Seed.Art.Lab internships (ii)

In this post I am going to introduce you to Sam Zaleski, a 15 year old student at Kelvin Grove Secondary College in Brisbane who I am very pleased to say will be coming to Seed.Art.Lab once a week when she can during her school holidays to participate as an intern. I thought it would be interesting for both Sam and readers to give her the guest blogging role here today as I am rushing about getting various tasks done and its an orientation day for Sam!

So . . . w e l c o m e  S a m !


"I met Sophie earlier this year, at her old house,  in May with my family - my mum and twin brother. 
I instantly found her work interesting and inspiring. I liked the idea of how she used one topic and expanded on it. So in Sophie's case it was the seeds. 

I had shown her my portfolio and flicked through some of her journals, getting a feel of her artistic space. I really enjoyed it and had a great time looking at all her creativity within her studio. As soon as we arrived home, I'd quickly reached for my own art journal and drawn some little creatures that were growing in my head the whole time we spent with Sophie. I was to say at the least, very interested in Sophie's artworks and wished we could meet again. 

Later on I got the news about the internship and happily accepted.  During the period of time between May and December I worked really hard. I met a few people that are with in the borders of the art world and they gave me some tips on how to get my name out there and improve my drawing style and skills over coffee. One of the illustrators I had the pleasure of meeting was Gregory Rogers.

Codochi - made up creature

I worked on my first written and  illustrated book titled 'Amelia Scott and her Dreams' which is basically about a little girls dreams and what she gets up do.The mediums I used were felt tip pens, ink pens and colouring pencils. In her dreams Amelia goes on adventures with impossible creatures, all with the company of her trusty teddy bear. I created the creatures from my imagination and they were heavily influenced by Colin Thompson (a famous illustrator + author), certain ideas in my head and a obsession with weirdness and  scary things. In my book I was determined to make the creatures as unique as possible, which included their names. I came up with names like; Chi, Codochi, Wagari and Drainwrench.

Amelia and The Wagari tribe

I am about to start selling it for the christmas holidays, I got my first customer pre-ordering the book last week. I'm very excited. since then there have been a lot of interest from the pupils at my school and also from the community of my old primary school. During the time I was illustrating, I would be glued to my desk,  if I had to go out, my work would come with me. I was determined to make it excellent and so therefore didn't leave it alone unless I had school or had to eat. I would rush home everyday after school, eager to resume work immediately. For those reasons the book only took me two weeks to finish. I now have a strong passion towards illustrating and aspire to do it as a career.

Amelia flying her airplane with a Codochi

I've been working on my second written and illustrated book for about eight months now. The mediums I'm using are graphitint pencils, watercolour pencils, graphit pencils and rubbers.  It requires way more detail in each illustration and sometimes it can take me hours to perfect each illustration. A lot of the time i'm so eager to draw so i have no breaks. I only have breaks when I physically can not do it anymore because my hand is so numb and I can't feel it. 

But I'm not complaining, i'm loving illustrating this book and already planning my third. My second book is called 'The story of Doris Cummiski'. It was influenced by a conversation I had with my mum in the car. I seem to remember the conversation landing on the unspeakable topic of when my mum turns 80. My brother and I joked that we would dump her in a retirement home. That's all I needed to trigger my brain with an idea. That and extreme boredom. Later that night I had to go to one of my mum's dinner parties and of course I had to bring my Art journal. It just started as a elderly character but then the character clicked with the conversation from earlier and I was away!

Doris Cummiski and her two children

 I've been obsessed with this story for the last few months now. To put it nicely, my second book's original purpose was to wind my mum up (as she is the main character)  but it as it turns out, it has become way more than that. This book is about a 'frail' grandma who has just gotten too annoying for her families own good. So her family drops her in to the closest retirement home. Doris finds herself fed up as soon as she's trapped with in the prune-juice smelling retirement home. She was trapped. In Doris's eyes, this was the worst thing imaginable. She wasn't going to have any of it. She pulls on her night gear and goes on mini adventures to keep herself entertained and renew her freedom. Some of her adventures include meeting the Queen and skiing. 

I've grown quite attached to this project and have been regularly updating my facebook with what's been going on in my life art wise. For this reason, my name is gradually getting out in the world, my artwork is getting a lot of attention and lots of artists are contacting me. I have a mentor - like artist / graphic designer who is really helping me out. She's based in New York and is telling other artists about me in America.

Just a few weeks ago my art teacher's daughter said she absolutely loved my first book 'Amelia Scott and her Dreams'. She also said that she wanted me to do this job for her as a professional illustrator but she had to run it past all her bosses. The job was in America, so I would've had to work from home. Unfortunately I missed out on the job, I was really close to getting it. If it was an Australian- based job, I would have gotten it immediately. I'm just glad I was even considered and now if they ever need me in the future, they know where I am. In the mean time I've been focusing on Doris Cumminski. I have more time now because the school year is officially over. I'm getting my second book prepared now for the exhibition i'm participating in with a couple of other girls. I will be showcasing my port folio, individual A3 drawings and illustrated books.....some of my work will be for sale. Doris will hopefully be a finished book by then, if not I will display her as a work in progress. For now though I am working as an intern with Sophie. Very exciting stuff!

So a run down of this year for me, art wise;

-  Started having extra art classes outside of school. The lessons range from 2-4 hrs, depending on what sessions I want to go to.
-  Met Sophie
-  Shared my work with various artists and authors
-  First written + illustrated book and finished it
-  Realised I wanted to be an illustrator so i have been working hard towards that
-  applied for loads of illustrating success
-  attempted to get in to an art school (Queensland Academy of Creative Industries), again no success
-  started working on my second written + illustrated book
-  Updated portfolio with loads of drawings (that makes over 80 now)
-  Got considered for the illustrating job in philadelphia, USA
-  Got in touch with Joh Moller, (a australian graphic designer that works in New York City.)
-  selling my art work and getting lots of interest (more people know who I am know and i'm building
   myself a reputation for my art)
-  Internship with Sophie

Kirby- She has been sold a few times for $25

-  getting ready for the exhibition at the start of 2014.
-  working on 'The story of Doris Cummiski'
-  Internship with Sophie
- starting to set up my very own studio
- getting my portfolio polished up and ready. (I'm going to be trying out for the year 11 art excellence
   program in the middle of 2014 at my school)
- fixing up 'Amelia Scott and her Dreams'
- Selling my artwork via facebook (for example, my A3 drawings can go up to $25.)"

See Sam's illustrations at her tumblr site here!

And a big thank you to guest blogger/intern Sam!

I've just returned late tonight to read this post that Sam busily typed away on in my studio this afternoon. Today I had a long to-to list, emails to respond to and things to organise that meant I really did hand over to Sam to write this blog post and organise some promo things. She went on later to create a tumblr site to load up her illustrations and all in all we had an excellent day at Seed.Art.Lab.

I've only just caught up here now with what she wrote and its fascinating how much I'm reminded of the 15 year old me ... all the enthusiasm I had in that era for creating... always with a sense that so much could happen if I only worked really hard and kept thinking about what I would like to try for.

Did you find yourself thinking about this?

Writing to artists in New York wasn't something any of my peers and I talked about in my sleepy country town school years. Perhaps others did those kinds of things... but the biggest thing I remember anyone ever aiming for was to win a Rotary Exchange Trip to go and live overseas for a year and attend school in another country.

So in part I was totally with the adventure Sam was sharing here ... yet in another way I found myself thinking.... maybe "a little of what she's having" could be a good thing! Optimism, imagining anything is possible, stretching oneself, aiming high. Unselfconscious pleasure in working and being paid for one's creations.

I remember that pure energy of doing little projects to produce things that I could take delight in selling. It was a really fine balance of activities. An age old relationship between making and selling in order to keep making and living. It does have a lot of integrity as a lifestyle.

Sam reminds me her desire for success and good sales is not born of wanting simply to become wealthy or famous as much as both might seem pretty appealing at 15 ... but to live a creative life and keep it flowing and buoyant. A good message just at the very moment I'm rethinking the balance between all the parts of my work... research, painting, thinking time to generate ideas, residencies, community and public engagements. 

The use of the internet to connect, research, discover, learn, communicate and share ... is something Iv'e been keen to plug in to over the last 4 or 5 years. I've wanted a studio that could serve in part as a hub, a space for collaboration and engagement with ideas and people... and I've desired a place with room to store things, work on various project at once and withdraw when necessary for solo time.

The new space offers all those things and is nudging me to take a punt on setting things up in a fluid, light and experimental way to see what works and what might come! So far so good. It's becoming the kind of place that new and interesting things feel possible. 

I feel very deeply this era we are entering demands we do more than talk about sustainability and have recycling bins. Actually moving into different ways of being, working and connecting to make more happen that is enriching and beneficial with less seems smart and timely. It's up to each of us to play around with ways of doing that. And talking about dreams with a 15 yr old is not a bad place to start! When reading her list of things she has done this year I noted with interest she included what she had tried to and also what hadn't worked.

And that she made another list titled NOW that suggests she's not put off by what hasn't worked but keen to prepare for the next set of goals and efforts! Bravo Sam!

Something to ponder... how would you define the year that's been and what will be on your list for NOW into 2014 ?

Thats something I'm definitely looking at the moment! Best wishes to all passing by here!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Taking a line of thought for a walk + an online shop!

Art-making often begins as a young child with a simple line scratched in the sand, or dirt, a line 'taken for a walk' on a page... thanks to Mr Klee, or a line of thought that gets us wanting to try and visualise it in some tangible way later in life perhaps! 

And maybe returning to drawing a line is an elemental human act that can reminds us of our earliest scratchings and links us universally to ancient gestures that live within us. We are many things even though we think ourselves so modern, so contemporary, so hip or current and new.

But what if we are always in essence that young scribbler, or a tribal being making a mark in the sand... even if we have forgotten our essential selves, or our tribal ties or lost our way amidst the clamour of "now". We can get awfully caught up in striving and keeping "the wolf from the door", in honouring our undertakings or stretching our vistas.

When we put our hands in the earth to dig, weed or plant we remember something from the long 'now' ... or perhaps when we walk a hill, or swim in a body of natural water... get connected with earth physically. 

Maybe drawing lines is a way for entering the long-now!

Around 2004 I was doing a lot of putting hands in the earth, tending my garden which I'd grown from scratch starting 2002.

Often immersing myself oat this time in the ocean, and ocean pools, watching movement in water and shifting visual imagery from being inside this vast body of water... I would go from this immersion and engagement with looking, back to my studio, and take up a colour and make lines that spoke to the sensation of having being there. A daily or frequent baptism ... a routine plunge that somehow also simultaneously plunged me into the long-now, the body of never-endingness that is the ocean in our minds at least.

In the early 2000's we weren't thinking of plastic oceans every time we dipped our toes in the universal pond. Whether we consciously know it or not there is much in our heads now when we encounter the long now and the everyday thats tiring our psyches and begging questions be answered.

But I digress... and will come back to lines and line-making by showing you this 'drawing-painting' of mine from early 2006. I'd been working my way through 4 years of abstractions in line, shape and colour in the studio at the house that became my first ever real home-of-my-own in January 2002. Ruminating on New Science at that time, emergent thinking on the role of dialogue, dipping into some ideas from Rudolph Steiner, reading a great smattering of ideas and writers ... all whist working (almost full) time teaching across curriculum in secondary school... my mind thus being variously soaked in some rather far-reaching ideas.

Perhaps thats why this work evolved as a means to distill something of the disparate influences and experiences... and if swimming in a fluid mass that is the ocean was the way to dissolve the hard edges in my world then maybe these art works were the means to map the process somehow.

I like that the lines here as crossing over, meshing and touching but separate too. Coloured circles create form but remain transparent enough to perceive whats co-existing with the layers of lines... lines that form squares ...   circles and squares in dialogue and moving!

Form and formlessness in co-operation. There's quite a message in that dynamic tension. This work above is essentially a twin to the 50 x 70 cm artwork that won a prize in a Regional Award show. Similar works, one a 120 x 120 cm canvas, the other a 10 x 10 cm miniature, were highly  commended and I missed the Awards night due to my car breaking down and deciding to stay home and have a glass of wine in my studio because ... why bother going anyway!

A closer view...

In the morning I was contacted with news I'd won a generous prize, and picked up 2 highly commendeds. I remember reacting as if it had happened to someone else... how nice for her I kept thinking. Although it was exciting and confirming to have an eminent art professional judge the work as worthy, and later encourage me to commence a Masters of Fine Arts ... in time I found I was needing to break out of the confines of these lines that were holding something in that needed to be released.

That created confusion from some close observers who weren't expecting me to want to move on from here at all. I'd been acknowledged for this work and needed to build on it surely! I talked to numbers of people at that time and sound someone my age who'd worked on startlingly fine work and had to give up after constant eye strain. Perhaps the close-ups show why my eyes were starting to feel it and why I instinctively decided to save myself further eye problems. I'd already worn glasses since age 6... and the feeling to have the line be more fluid... not just describe fluidity from the arrangement of shapes.... but to get that line moving gain became more of a necessity.

Yet I look back on this time and cherish the remarkable way deep immersion in cultivating a garden and swimming in a vast panorama lit up or added dimension to my thinking process which was then channelled into studio practice to arrive at works such as this. It interesting to note that being younger and more physically engaged resulted in work that was this abstract.

I started assembling this post at 5.30am on waking this morning. A chance to think through the series of works I was assembling to put up on my new Online SHOP.

This shop is a first step... so more of a viewing platform for people to then email me about works. Because I've been slow to set it up Ive ended up emailing photos of available works to interested people in the last week whilst I sort the material to put online. I've really got to get that up to date and decide whether Big Cartel is a good way to formalise my tentative step into online selling after Xmas.

So... would I sell this work above when it represents such an important phase in my developing practice and is now virtually the only remaining work like this I have. Instead... I can make Limited Edition prints if needs be I realised. That's been a great avenue for sales of more affordable work... or making something available where I've not wanted to part with an original.

And so... to the shop.

Its a simple Tumblr template that works reasonably well for viewing works individually and addition of notes + details. As a place to start it feels fine. Ive been in two minds for quite a while about putting work up online.

But now that I have a new studio with a good gallery space on one side and I'm continuing to run a project that pulls me to work in several different directions, including taking on residencies and some teaching work, it seems like a store that can be managed around various commitments might be ideal.

Ive been finding which of the works on paper to sell as originals over the weekend. Then there are the quality archival Limited Edition prints to add as well. Plus some works on canvas and linen to put up.

Here are some works I've brought out:

30 x 24 cm - watercolour and coloured pencil

30 x 24 cm watercolour and coloured pencil

Series of 3 works each 45 x 15cm - mono print, lino and paint 

I think this one has a new owner!

Next: a series of 3 hand coloured limo-prints...  32 x 24 featuring my totem seedpod based on the blackbean.

Next: Series of works on paper 60 x 42 cm... Unique prints also painted and some just paintings on paper. Most based on QLD Rainforest fruit seed-capsule motifs.

the stripes return

 A series of work on paper 30 x 42 cm

each work is 30 x 42 cm... image taking 2 works at a time

working with different colours is a revelation at times... 
in tropical plants one sees a lot of this striking pink

bold lines

This is a larger work on paper 70 x 50cm... in acrylic and ink

larger work with close-up below

Five lino-printed works beautiful cotton rag paper

 a close up reveals the appealing edge on this paper

And to finish off this one is on a very lovely but lighter paper so I won't be 
putting a big price tag on it. Once framed it will be be quite a durable work.

                    Its a large work and has so much rhythm in it I would love to see it framed!

NB: Limited Edition archival prints will be available for this work "Sensitive chaos II" in several sizes on high quality watercolour paper. Inquiries welcome for any of the work shown here.

I have to go off to purchase some fascinating plants that have been set aside for collection... I wish you a peaceful Sunday and week ahead!

Last thing ... I found a simple little quote to sign off on this weekend of remembering one of great light who walked this planet:

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.