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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy Christmas

Hope you all have a great Festive season. I will not be posting for a few weeks, back in the new year, My Mother is moving into a retirement place and I will go interstate, to Adelaide, to be with her. I will certainly miss the internet and the blogs!

Friday, December 5, 2008


I am not sure how people can post every day. I was surprised that the last was Tuesday.My mind was on domestic things and preparing to go away...and brooches ...and Christmas presents that I still must make. However.....This is the large painting I spoke of earlier in its beginning stages. I like to photograph it as I go ...the third eye... the only problem is when I see an earlier incarnation and like it better than later . Here are two paintings, or really one in 2 of its many incarnations, it finished up like neither. This is how it is presently but who knows?

I have done some more brooches and have decided I will put them on lttle canvases, I will decorate the canvas and put a little hook so they can be on the wall ....or on you!

Sorry these are so dark.... will do them again when I have painted the canvases, sometimes the technology defeats me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I am in the midst of manic thinking about what I want to make before I go away next week. The prospect of not being able to do my artwork for at least 3 weeks is pretty daunting.
Thought it might be good to put yesterdays morning pictures. Jo and I were still thinking of the weekend class.
I have made 2 small books to give away ..... havn't quite got it yet, if only I could concentrate on one thing at a time. Books were, .......well you will see..

Ruby came today and I was able to give her her quilt. The concept of it being on her bed was a little illusive, she did want it on the floor, but perhaps it will be OK when she gets it home.

I have been trying new ideas for brooches. I have a lovely one of Sandy Websters, hers is more subtle than mine but a similar idea so thought I might give it a try, easy to travel for Christmas presents. I think the possibilities are endless.

See what I mean about "butterfly"syndrome. (It appears so much more important if it is a "syndrome")

In reality it means "restless " and "manic"

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Perfect Day

Yesterday I had the most wonderful day.
The ingredients were :
Lovely weather
Lovely house
Lovely hosts
Lovely Food
and a great class with
Lovely people.
Ro Bruhn and her husband Steve were the most bountiful hosts. We began the class with Ro in a great room looking out on a "hills" garden and view. Ro had given us all a "showbag" with some of her papers and various odds and ends.
We began painting papers and learning various techniques at an unhurried and relaxed pace.
Working joyfully until 11.15 when we moved up to the sitting room where Steve had laid out the most enticing morning tea. Two cakes which Ro had made, a chocolate and the most divine ginger cake and biscuits.We sat in the sitting room and chatted.
More of the class then .....lunch! Summoned back to the dining table, Steve had cooked up a storm with a couple of Quiches and a macaroni cheese and salad.
More class then afternoon tea...and more of know what......!
Now it seems all we did was eat and( for a person who caters indifferently, for myself ,that is pretty great), but we had come up to learn.
The class was great fun, there is always so much to learn even though you basically know the techniques, other peoples interpretation is so inspiring. Ro being a colourist was energising for me and to learn new products...........well you HAVE to HAVE them........ don't you?
We are so very lucky, we all acknowledged, to go for a day and play with like minded people with no other agenda than having a good time.
I have a little problem with the philosophy of "altered books" but I will go with alacrity when she does that class...or indeed any other class, just to go and be part of it all.
I did do an altered book for a challenge and because of my verbal dissertation on the negative I had to produce one so I made it out of computer discs.

Friday, November 28, 2008


The challenge I am working on presently is "Sign". I am working on 2 pieces at the same time but in doing so occupying every work space in my House/Studio.
One piece is on a small piece of recycled masonite the other is the largest canvas I have tackled...1 metre square, I hope it is not a case of ignorance being bliss. I have already done a few drawings which is quite rare for me.
So I guess I will forge ahead, I am using corrugated cardboard again in this one, collaging 3 pieces on and adding a small box canvas?
Here is another of my dolls I love her I call her "dancing Queen"
Actually I am reminded that 20 years ago I was engaged as repetiteur with Australian ballet, as I knew nothing about ballet at all I borrowed from the library a book with all the "terms" my flatmate at the time came in to see my one hand on a kitchen chair holding the book with the other and trying a plie...
it might have looked a little like my doll, perhaps that is why I made it, another self portrait !

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


My mother has sold her house in Adelaide and that will mean I will be over there for about 3 weeks leaving in a couple of in past lives that would OK but how will I manage without a computer and the internet. How much a vital part of our life it is ....and now with blogs......! I sit here restless waiting in anticipation for the painter to arrive and ......books everywhere with the sincere intention of culling.!!?*(Just heard he can't come!!!???*)

This is the piece I did titled "Fish" for the group 4 letter word, I have taken a photo of the frame and mount as I am unsure if it works in this old fashioned was one I had.

The piece is in commercial felt,and embellished (with Carolyn's embellishing) machine , dyed chiffon and small hand embroidered ...Fish!

Here is a collage with some detail. Hard to see as it is behind glass. This is another of my dolls, for those who know her work you will understand how excited I am to be doing Sue Dove's workshop next year

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I belong to a group of wonderful women, six of us ,Jo from Mystory is one.
(Have not learned the proper link subtleties yet)
We are having an exhibition called "Four Letter Words" At Manningingham Gallery in Melbourne from the 25th Feb. next year.
In order to honour the names of our works in terms of 4 letters it is sometimes a little difficult ,the following piece is "Soul"!?. I painted with acrylics on corrugated cardboard and love the effect, Now the painting began life much larger but I needed to cut it down to fit a box frame as it is 3D. I should like to do a larger one but it will need a custom made frame...a little expensive .
Another topic is "Doll" I have made a lot of dolls this is one of my favourite "Lucille" because........?
If only I wasn't such a "butterfly" and concentrated on one thing but I guess I do need to try whatever is in my head at the time."Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 21, 2008


How pretty these cakes look.!
Had a good day today working with a friend John who is in the process of writing childrens books with drawings and funny poems. They are to be published at the end of next year and I am going to collaboroate on one of them combining his painting in oils with stitching and fabric.
It is a bit daunting but fun.
(By the way the best attribute the cakes had was their appearance)

These are two pieces for our group exhibition which is called four letter words the first is "Kiss" the second is "Tear".

John has written a poem for "Tear" which is a part of the piece


A tear can be a drop of water

When we cry

When something has been torn apart

Like a human heart

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Art class

I belong to a council artist group and go to class one day a week with an inspiring teacher Ron Reynolds. He has the most remarkable recall for paintings and can refer to a Mondrian or de Stael in a breath and can go to his resource immediately should he want you to see something,it was his suggestion to try the following. I love stitiching and I love painting so he suggested I try a new way to incorporate my stitched pieces with a painting. I have done it previously as in my earlier blog Now I have no pretensions about my painting but copying Matisse gives you a remarkable insight into colour and relationships, even though I use only acrylics. These pantings are in the early stages but I am enjoying it. It is interesting to see the stages in photos.

I just have to thank Jo again, she is at the end of the phone to help me with the vicissitudes of this medium....everyone should have a Jo!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

empty nest

I have been watching my washing basket in the garage as a little family have been occupying it. It has delayed further work on organising the garage (Whew!) well now the nest is emty. How very perfect it is and how remarkably stable.

I understand why Gail and others are inspired by nests.

I am really excited about this idea of the sharing in "blogland" and the messages which I have received. When I was at the Geelong Forum I was photographing a students work on the last day, it was obviously her first time with us all, however she was very angry about me taking the photos. I hope she will learn of the gains from sharing ideas, nothing is new and we are all eclectic and most of us are truly respectful of each others work.

These felt beads are a case in point. I thought I discovered these beads, some years ago, until then I had never seen any (a sheltered life you will say) however I was at a gallery with Jude Skeers an established textile artist and I exclaimed " I have just made some of those" to which he replied, "Yes I do them with my 10 year olds"

Strange how we all think we are exceptional ...until someone tells us the truth.

Isn't it fun!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Best day

Today is the monthly meeting of our group it is at my house and the sun is shining and "all's right with the world" I have to share the morning picture with you Jo has just sent the joined copy. It is delicious. I suppose because it is full of colour.

I have just finished a quilt for Ruby, who is a "foster" grandchild as she is the daughter of my lovely friend Miriam (Mim Art Life). Now Ruby being a little blonde girl of just five has very definite ideas about her likes and she REALLY likes Pink! so here it is.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How big is your studio?

I am constantly astonished at the way so many artists can (or must) work in small areas and produce great work. I have a house to myself, not especially small, but all of my studio migrates to the other rooms in the house.
I even have a chair where I sit to read, it is at a window and in the sun so I am part of what goes on in my street (.I am reading "Theft" Peter Cary what a great writer,"Oscar and Lucinda" one of my favourite books.)
The problem is that when I want something I really, really have to search.
Today I am finishing the works for our "Very Stuff" group meeting tomorrow, the topics are "Tear" and "Fish". If you have been reading Jo's blog MYSTORY you will know all about the group and our exhibition coming up.

Now this is not the "Fish" I am showing tomorrow but it was inspired by a workshop where we machine embroidered over wire..I think the technique holds many possibilities.

This is one of the extensions to my studio....the living room

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I am feeling my way still with this medium but I guess that is fairly usual.
At the moment I have two pieces in an exhibition in Korea, the one at the beginning of my first blog and the one following. Now for some of you it may be a case of "Ho Hum" but for is truly amazing. I am a "pensioner who plays" so it is pretty astonishing.
Tomorrow I go to see my friends who have just come back and were at the opening, so they are bringing me the catalogue. I think it will be on the coffee table for ever hoping for the visitors question "What is this about?" I will endeavour to be "humble"( like Uriah Heep) about my burgeoning career despite my dotage.

This piece was begun in Jeanette Macdonalds class at the Geelong Forum in September and completed later at home and is an Australian vision of "Wind, Earth, Water, and Fire"

It is rusted lawn stretched over a frame and on that are rusted papers with fabric, found objects and stitch. My plan was to have more stitch but the rusting process made stitching very difficult.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Learning To Blog, I cant believe it!

My friend Jo has been truly valiant and enthusiastic about this enterprise...heaven only knows how I will manage when she goes back tonight to Sassafras.

I am now on my own.

After a lifetime in the theatre and teaching in a Conservatorium I have moved into the visual arts. I might say that I always wanted to paint and draw as a youngster but my talents and consequently my earning capacity lay elsewhere.
For many years (about 35) I was a ceramicist and it became lonely out in the pottery studio and really arduous so I moved in to more gentle pursuits of painting and textiles.
It is evident however even with my clay, how much I adore colour.
As this is my first "dip in the water" I will keep it brief and end with todays morning picture collaboration with Jo of "Mystory" fame.