Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Preparations and garden visits

Preparations continue here for the Sydney Contemporary.

I said I'd sort the tablecloth for the display table - I have a couple here we use for different events and thought for sure it would be fine. And then I started to worry. After about 4 hours researching, phone calling and the like I discovered the table which will be supplied is an odd size and given that we want to go from the top of the table to to the ground to hide stuff we are storing underneath; I needed a new option.

No luck anywhere local, the Coast or online - to buy or to hire. I found one the right size, wrong colour for just over $250 and thought - "I don't think so".

So we went and bought a stash of fabric today and sewed one instead.

I say 'we' because Barry helped choose the fabric, helped measure the fabric, helped cut the fabric and helped feed the fabric through the sewing machine - a real team effort. It would have been so much more awkward and difficult without his help.

Trying to get it laid out straight on the floor.

Measuring and trimming.


Washed, dried, folded and ready to pack.

And then it was back to the studio to unpick and re-sew two books.  I had never unpicked like this before and loved the little animal bits left behind!

Here's the garden visitor - found this morning as we headed down to do some pruning...how lucky are we?

A real mixed day - finished by packing the car for an early start tomorrow to teach; and then to pack my work into the truck that is taking it to Sydney...

Sunday, August 20, 2017


This week is a bit of a week for finishing a few things.

On Wednesday I will be teaching artists' books to the Year 11s at Grammar again.  The focus will once again be on telling a story and not simply stitching a book that you paste things into like a scrapbook.

For simplicity's sake we aren't going to do a whole lot of complicated layouts; instead we are going to use  single pages, and bind them with Japanese stab bindings.

So I did all  my preparations and packed my bags; and also made a few sample books.

But first of all I came across rainbow on Barry's keyboard!

Getting ready, choosing colours and making templates

The first few sample books. I thought that the purple one looked a bit weird.

And realised that I made a mistake, leaving out a few stitches, so I re-did it.

The final four samples - we will see which ones they choose to do.

And the paperwork for Sydney got down to tin tacks this week - printing off the documentation, printing off the envelopes, signing the documentation...

Books of stickers arrived!

New business cards arrived!

Mylar bags and acid-free card arrived, as well as photo corners, so prints were packed.

And envelopes and cards inserted.

 And then everything packed in bubble wrap, and put into boxes for transport.

The boxes for the books should arrive tomorrow so then I can be fully packed to deliver to the transport folk on Wednesday. Phew.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday Thoughts...

“For me, poetry is an impish attempt to paint the colour of the wind.” 

 Maxwell Bodenheim

Today's pondering are about art - and so I made poetry art because this quote talks of painting! And of course, it is an art in and of itself.

This is a delightful way of capturing what poetry does so well. I like that it suggests poetry is being impish in the manner in which describes things - that it takes advantage of not necessarily being tethered; by not being ponderous; and by saying more with less.

To compare it to painting the wind just makes me go a'wandering and think about how you do that - is it coloured? or swirly? or moving? or is it just up to your own imagination? Is it only seen or understood by its impact? Do you only see where it is? Or can you see where it has been?

So interesting to ponder the wind and how to represent it in an artistic way.

I nonetheless like that poetry is not quite able to be pinned down and that it sort of tilts at windmills...

A windmill blade, Brugge.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

more bits and pieces...

The paperwork's humming away, things are ordered and will hopefully be delivered in time.

I came across this today - my artists talk ay he Sydney Contemporary - really looking forward to it!

And as I wander the block the big blue sky is a backdrop for some of Barry's peace doves still hanging from last year's International day of Peace (21 September). Reminders of gentle and peaceful times, amongst the scary chaos of our world right now.

And the bright sunshine makes happy shadows across the barbed wire balls alongside our front pathway...

And from a recent trip to Nimbin- more peace

And because our country just needs to find its better self and do the decent thing and let people who love each other marry if they want to - rainbows from Nimbin for marriage equality.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Time for teaching

I am at that stage with work for the Sydney Contemporary where I have sent it off for framing; and have ordered the Perspex boxes to be made for my books.

Wouldn't it be nice to think "my work here is done"?!?!  Of course, it isn't, and with the work getting finalised, then ready for packing and sending to Sydney, I have been doing the other work which always accompanies shows and exhibitions - the paper work.

So I have photographed all the work; prepared an inventory; created documentation for each and every piece of work detailing methods, inks, nibs, typefaces, paper etc etc; ordered new stickers; designed new business cards; and searched for and found the right size cello bags for all my prints.

It's never just about the art...

So not much art to show for the week; but I did find time to teach a letterpress workshop at the University of Sunshine Coast.

As part of their Back to Basics strategy; the Design and Communications Centre (aka Irene Visser) promotes free workshops to students to get back to the hand made and hand written. I have taught one of these workshops before and this time we had a 3 hour demonstration and sample of letterpress.

There were about 30 interested students who got up close and personal with some samples of my work, and the type and the presses.

Folk were most surprised to feel how heavy this rather small box of type was! But isn't it lovely?

People printing, setting up and locking chases...

And Irene with her card that reflects the course she and Thomas teach!

The students played with a few of my locked up type formes - and created their own lovely postcards...

Thank you Irene, Thomas and USC for another great day - sharing my love for the hand made and the hand printed.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday Thoughts...

“Reading is thinking with someone else's head instead of one's own"

Arthur Schopenhauer 

This is such a good way to think about the gifts that reading brings.  Through reading a newspaper, a zine, a novel, a memoir, a history or a text book; we are given the opportunity to see how somebody else thinks.

We get a different take on the world; we see things through other people's eyes.

I wonder if there is any link between reading and empathy?  If we read are we more likely to be able to empathise; to understand another's view point?

I guess it depends on a lot of things, but I am sure that reading would be a contributor to empathy. Unless of course we only read things that supported our own opinions and biases!

You know, like the algorithms that feed us information we are interested in and send the other things in a different direction.

I am so often grateful to a writer or author who has written things I would never have known or thought of by myself.

I never knew anything about this - before the movie. Then I got the book. Always a different thing; but what an important story to tell.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

It's a big, big sky...

One of the things I love most about living where we do is the sky. The vastness of the sky we get to see and experience. So much air...

The past few weeks have seen lots of beautiful skies.

Here are a few...

A scattered sunset.

A quiet awakening.

Frangipani fingers reach out to the sunset.

Spring blossoms in cold blue.

Fire in the sky.

Farewelling the day.

Flame trees as I look up.

 And a tiny rising moon...