Friday, July 18, 2014

Winter in the Studio !

The sun streams in and the studio is bathed in light!!

Summer is quite another matter ... if its extremely hot I decamp to the State Library or somewhere sure to be cool and catch up online, writing or researching. Late afternoon and night-time then become the crucial time to be busy in the studio which catches the breezes quite well.

Today studio photographs taken by wonderful Elizabeth Santillan were posted at her site: Walking among the Homes which profiles interiors in Brisbane, the city where I live!

These are the images she has posted although I am thrilled to say she will be dropping off a CD full of photos.  Given that artwork is never easy to capture, especially the sensuality and texture of materials used I am very happy with the way she has managed to shoot some of the paintings. Great angles and viewpoints refresh my jaded viewing given I am here most days and its easy not to notice the familiar.

Seed collections are dotted around the studio.

Small paintings from 2002 - 2003

This photo of an early 2014 painting above was what impressed me about Elizabeths images. The paint is a dusty subdued palette in a chalky acrylic which in real life can appeal to someone interested in this more raw aesthetic. My photos have not delivered the subtle colour or feel of this work so I was early certainly pleased with this result.

The fabric below the artwork is an old fabric that I must have bought 10 years ago... interestingly Ive been returning to those blues and browns a lot over the last couple of years. 

I've gone through so many colour phases in my work over the years. When living in Melbourne I often painting in a bright palette as if missing the north where I grew up and have since returned to.

Red oxide has crept in since 2010, blue frequently and various browns and blue blacks.

The Biodiversity Plate series really ran with blue, blue black and browns.

Then there are the works which play with colours reflective of the dark shaded Wet Tropics Rainforests of the north ... like this seed capsule cross-section motif of the Cheery Beech. 

In the midst of the dark greens of shadowy dense forests there is always the sudden burst of colour from berries, fruits and seed vessels scattered amongst the lively growth.

Texture and collaged fabric on these works have features often not noticed unless one looks closely.  the cropping is interesting... perhaps makes one more curious to see the work.

Tucked into the photos was one of the artist at work. Usually I present the artwork or spaces I'm working in but remain camera shy... at 56 the 'selfie' phenomenon looks fun but I can live without it.

I've been doing OPEN STUDIOS again lately on Thursdays...  Friday this week as I was out yesterday. Since launching Seed.Art.Lab last November I opened each Thursday til Xmas and had a many visitors which was fantastic after the months of house hunting for a place with an ideal studio.

When I returned from my May Residency at Plantbank in NSW I decided to hold OPEN STUDIO afternoons once a week again as requests to visit come in and its such a lovely tradition.

Midday to 5 or by appointment works well as I can keep working and that way I am not concerned it some weeks are really busy and some quiet. I'm inspired to do a simple clean up and that NEVER hurts. When there's a special Studio event I will advertise more widely whereas I currently use my Homage to the Seed Facebook Page and  Instagram site at the moment as the interaction and frequency of posts is very lively.

Ive been painting quite flat out since late May so have many images to download. I'm really missing time spent blogging but painting calls and bookings to teach and be involved in other projects  makes it sometimes necessary to streamline online interactions even though I do have misgivings considering the fine exchanges Ive had here over recent years.

Best wishes to all!


Saturday, June 14, 2014

April - May - June

Friday 13th, full moon... interesting timing to write a post here... especially since I've not been here since April! But since I couldn't sleep tonight I decided to put on the light and tap away on my computer and why not visit this sadly neglected blog.

Its two months since my previous post and why so long?

Simply busy. Non-stop busy!

Two months have been jam-packed with new experiences and projects,  deadlines and must-do lists, travel and residency experiences. Routine things like sleep and daily life get thrown and one can easily start to feel like focus on only the essentials is a good idea. And even then time is limited.

Ive posted consistently on my Facebook page HOMAGE TO THE SEED which resembles a very abbreviated daily diary...

Facebook images from the Plantbank Residency

and also on Instagram which, although I started about a year ago I really on learnt to use it in about March. Its a basic form of visual documentation that has grown on me.

Instagram images from the plant bank Residency!

I like that one can start a conversation so spontaneously and exchange just a few details and (quite easily) choose to continue the conversation in this light manner bit by bit.

Blogs by comparison are rather like the slow food of the online sites... Instagram at the other end of the spectrum... fast and constant... in your face... but curiously not as soulless as it first seemed to me... because of the particular people I find myself connecting with some of the time.

So that is where I have kept up to date online!

At my blog Visual Eclectica I did recently post reflections of the Plantbank Residency, a simple account of my time there. Once home from that brilliant few weeks down south I immediately stepped into an incredibly fast pace of work commitments... some of which were more involved than previously imagined.

At Homage to the Seed blog I posted on Plantbank earlier on.

So much to photograph at Plantbank.

Despite being flat out these two months there has been some slow time and certainly times Ive pondered what I discovered on residency and conversations that have been important.

I will return with more on this very soon.

Good night!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

OPEN STUDIO EVENT at Seed.Art.Lab this weekend, April 12 + 13 in Brisbane

This is a quick post ahead of a big weekend at my Brisbane Studio: Seed.Art.Lab to let you know all are welcome if you happen to be in this region and would like to come along!

I've just been finessing plans for our wee Pop-up cafe on the side of the Studio plans.... and went back to a favourite book of mine by Diana Henry for the recipe for Yoghurt and Walnut Cake with Coffee Syrup last night. Perhaps the Orange Almond Cake pictured above will be our gluten free offering.... the Walnut cake is not gluten free... but has substantially less flour being laden with walnuts! I go really light on the sugar in it as well... have made this many times and the flavours are sensational without loads of sweetness.

To read all the details about the event go to the website home page here.

Also on the home page is the link to the Latest Newsletter which you can read here telling you about my next residency at the brand New Plantbank Seed Research Facility in NSW and this event.

48 Meemar St
Chermside 4032
Brisbane,   QLD
m: 0430 599 344


Midday till 5pm both days
12 + 13 April, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March in the Studio

March at the studio was purposely quiet and perfect for painting with the kind of focus I'd not enjoyed in a long time. Moving last year and the period of 6 months without a studio meant starting again in September was slow and gradual... although I held a major Launch and was making the most of the new space. See the post I wrote recently at Visual Eclectica on new work.

This year I've loved the feeling of feeling of being much more at home in my studio ... and gradually getting into my strides again. I toyed with running workshops but in the end felt it beneficial to focus quite deeply and simply paint whist the chance was there for uninterrupted hours.

Now I am a month away from a residency at PLANTBANK in NSW, south west of Sydney at Mt Annan. I'm really looking forward to this ... it always brings so much input and new material that is takes a while to integrate all that in my work so to have have a quiet period beforehand has been ideal. More on Plantbank here and here.

Here are two images from the studio...

Above is work carried out for a deadline on the weekend... it was for a Local Art Prize that I entered... the first time I've had time to actually enter an Art Competition in the last 8 years. I started work in January on these 2 works above and had to send images and local them in as the entries before they were resolved works... so it was interesting last week completing them with a deadline...
and wondering if they were the best choice.

In the end however I enjoyed the process as the work I carried out in February and March was on a greatly subdued and limited palette... as seen in most of the work below.

The January work provided the impetus for the work that followed in the limited palette... yet when  I went back to the more colourful canvases it felt easier to tackle the challenge of resolving the work given the routine of focus and opportunity to discuss work with several people.

Weekend after next, April 12th and 13th I will have an OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND ... so watch this space if you wish to know about that... or contact me here.

Back soon I hope!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

catching up!

February has had its slow moments... but that was more about starting to feel restless more than anything. Maybe the heat... it makes one feel with summer around why not be off on a holiday somewhere... not trying to keep in good humour on long hot days!

Daydreaming aside its been mostly a very productive time.

I've been taking shots on the iPhone... rarely using my other cameras at all now.

a studio view... Ive been framing small works of late!

I've been through various painting phases already this year in the studio ...

I've been playing around with this simple visual idea lately

On the weekend I moved onto some large canvases... 100 cm x 150 cm approx.

I spent time Saturday applying gesso... and almost 12 hours on Sunday working on under-painting each canvas in a certain colour palette ... to become immersed in the ideas I have for these works.

These are the three works by the end of the day... ready for the next stage of working into the canvases... pushing the ideas and paint around!

Summer begins to get to me as it goes on ... the heat and the lure of the water. I drove up the Bay (Moreton bay) on Sunday morning and decided I will return soon for a day... bringing supplies and settling under trees and really enjoying this place.

This pool was in the back area next to an art studio at a tropical Garden I visited nearby in Brisbane recently. Although this looks like watercolour it is a photo I took which has then been altered using a Watercolour App which I was really taken by tonight and have subsequently played around with quite a bit!

Heres are some recent seed photographs which have been snapped on the iPhone, then put through the watercolour app and on instagram to come up with these variations.

I began to see endless possibilities for many photos Ive taken... 

I liked these images of favourite chairs... above on the back verandah of the previous family home where I lived for 5 years till last August. Below is the back outdoor living space of the new home.

And to finish.... my favourite chair... in the studio! 

More news soon!

Best to all!
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About Me

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Blogging for me is an extension of keeping a journal which I have done in various forms over the decades. The difference being this is not a closed book! I like that it offers an opportunity to explore that which concerns me as an artist and as an individual about living and participating in this vastly complex, unquestionably exciting yet unnerving time in human history. Through the blog I hope to increase the possibilties for cross-pollination which I believe can strengthen the sense of being part of something both personal and universal that is vital, expansive and refreshing.