This Sunday it would be my great pleasure and privilege to take you behind the scenes and into my creative process. From gathering inspiration and creating patterned paper, to showing you how I add stitching to works on paper.
It is a ticketed event however tickets are FREE. Register your interest using this link:
It’s not often I break open the vault and speak so intimately about what I do. My art making and thought process has, until recently, been an intensely personal endeavour so this Sunday will be a coming of age of sorts!
Very excited to announce my first exhibition in a very long time. A surprise phone call earlier this year meant I shelved my portrait series to dive headlong once again into the wonderful world of collage. This has been a wonderful opportunity to play with papers and compositions. I have been inspired by the clay works of my co-exhibitor Shannon Wilson of Contour Clayhouse and have translated some of her promotional photos into collages. I’ve also blown the dust off the Botanical Collage/Stitiched Blooms visual diary to fill the walls of the gallery with a variety of floral pieces.
Our Twilight Opening is Sunday 11 July 2021. Use the link below to reserve your COVID-safe session time. Light refreshments will be available, and bring your mask. Sessions are 45 minutes to give you time to browse and chat with me and Shannon about our works.
The location is in the quaint downstairs gallery of Scrumptious Reads bookshop in Red Hill.
We are hoping that our lovely community will keep us all healthy and we can have our opening without COVID-19 restrictions being too strict. However, the gallery director Natasha Gibson-Scott will have the entire exhibition available virtually with some fabulous software, so even interstate and overseas people can view and purchase.
Here are some of my more recent works that will be available during the exhibition.
Thanks for visiting, and hope to see you at the exhibition. If you would like information regarding the works, please use the Contact page.
The second most asked question is “How do I style these in my home?” (The first is usually, “What medium is that?”) and so today I put some handy combinations together for you, so you can see how they can fit any decor. They are all uploaded into the Shop ready for Christmas gifting.
BY FRAME COLOUR
By far the easiest. Just pick your favourites and frame them in the exact colour frame. I like to think of the frame as eyeliner – it doesn’t matter what colour your eyes are, pretty much everyone looks good in Black. However, I’ve also thrown together Natural Timber (but forgot to do White).
Using the only indoor plant that has survived this heat, the top in Natural goes with other natural items you may have in your house – think Nordic, beachy, and Day Spa kind of feeling. The bottom pic with Black will suit a more edgy, Retro, and eclectic decor.
If you much prefer to go with the Vibe, here are four options.
Top Left reaches for that Retro aesthetic using a combo of white and black frames. Top Right has concentrated on three with yellow-ish backgrounds and different frames. Bottom Left has a more beachy, calming feel with black and white frames and three different sizes (A4, 15×15 and 20×20) so it can be done. And Bottom Right (SOLD A4) compliments and existing house plant.
BY HOME DECOR
Probably the trickiest, but once you see it, you can’t unsee it and then you’ll be a styling legend.
With the top two I used exactly the same decor items. The one on the left makes a stronger link to the vibrant colours in the vessel with its black frame and strong table shape and perspective. The one on the right bounces between the vessel and the white of the pot. The white frame calms the strong colours in the collage. The bottom selection has an eclectic mix of decor items but I’ve put a calming piece between two very strong pieces. I think this is my favourite combo so far.
The next three are the A4 pieces standing on their own with matching decor items. The bottom combo (“Banded”) with the Malaysian thumb harp just sings!
Has this been useful? Looking at a single image on a computer screen doesn’t compare to how it will look in your home. I also hope my amateur photography skills (and interior styling) emphasise the realness of it all. I haven’t retouched any of the photos or have the equipment to reduce the glare, so just about ticks all the “authentic” boxes right there!
All the frames (except A4 size) are picture frames so they can also stand on a shelf or table. The A4 frames only have hooks for hanging. All purchased at KMart so a very affordable option for switching up when they arrive in your home.
As always, sing out if you have any questions. Botanicals are in the Shop for your browsing pleasure.
In October I was invited with 3 other Brisbane artists, to participae in a 2 day Art Immersion with Year 11 art students from Brisbane Grammar School .
Day 1: we bussed from the college to their Outdoor Education facility at Pepperina Hill on the idyllic Lake Moogerah.
As part of their “Art as Knowledge” unit, the students engaged with the natural environment and used that knowledge to complete a piece of art for exhibition. In charge of 6 students, we began by foraging for different leaves and weeds to explore shape, texture and line. Students were encouraged to dispell any “I can’t draw” beliefs and work through my process of finding their own style of drawing botanical elements. After a series of sketches and frottage in their Visual Diaries, we moved onto leaf printing in the beautiful outdoor setting with Rainbow Lorikeets keeping us company.
Day 2 : in a studio classroom, we spread out and I demonstrated the monoprint layering technique using a GelliPlate and the leaf prints from Day 1. The students had a lot of fun creating their own papers while we discussed topics such as copyright and appropriation, especially important for collage and mixed media artists, and how they apply in Australia.
On a demonstration piece, the students observed how I brought together all the elements from the last 2 days, into a successful and pleasing composition. I talked out my collage process and fielded questions and watched as they slowly filtered away so they could begin their own. Some worked on 2 simultaneously, some completed one then began sketching more compositions in their Visual Diaries, and others needed more time to digest the process.
The Art Department had frames and backing card to display the students’ work (and my demo piece) and the 4 groups were able to display their work in a wonderful and edifying Immersion Exhibition in the Gallery space.
It was such a joy watching how each student became totally immersed in their own piece and becoming so silent and taking ownership for their own outcome. Even though they were following the same process (and at times sharing leaves and flower and weeds and paint), each work is uniquely theirs and they were proud of their achievements, and that was the most satisfying part.
If this interests you either for your school, or workplace, or creative business, happy to talk further. Reach me via the Contact Form.
It’s hard to imagine that a little over a month ago I embarked on the Squareathon challenge on Instagram.
Most of them had been hanging at the Paper Love exhibition and I am grateful for Pauline who curated the show and took a chance on these baby pieces and on me. I’ve been encouraged by the feedback and so I will continue to offer these collages… but this is the end of the 20x20cm size. The four above are the last and they are available in the shop.
What’s next is a slight jump in size again and using up my considerable stash of watercolour, bristol, and mixed media paper to see where it leads me. I have enough patterned paper to see me through, but I can feel an Arty Date looming.
Below is a link to the shop to view the available collages.
That’s the very condensed version of events on 11th August. A quick drive to Emergency and a temporary cast (apparently I’m hilarious under Midazolam), followed by a visit with the Orthopaedic Surgeon who gave me the bad news that the bones had slipped out again and I needed surgery.
I’ve lived 50 years without breaking a bone. This was new territory and I was a little freaked out. Surgery was booked 2 days later and I have reached the 7.5 week mark. I’m in a compression sleeve and a darn sexy splint and pain is finally under control.
So where did that leave my art?
I totally abandoned it. I tried many times to add more layers to my Fragments pieces but I think I threw a lot of them out and I was shattered. I’d built this huge series in my head and (funnily) under the influence of Endone (aka. Hillbilly Heroin) nothing was happening. Surely Artists before me did their best work “under the influence”, so why not me?! Ripped Off!!
I began to think. What did I already have that I’d put off, that was easy and accessible and wouldn’t take a lot of time and energy, and I could do with my left hand tied behind my back?
Enter my Safe Zone — COLLAGE.
And then #squareathon popped up on my Instagram feed and it all came together. Relief and apprehension. I wasn’t keen on throwing Fragments in the fire permanently, but I needed a moment to attach the jumper cables and pop the clutch and roll her down the hill. I think it worked.
I now have an invitation to join Paper Love exhibition Revival Art and Design and Hang About Framing and Gallery from 9 – 19 October.
Now the Husband has declared I can do this “with one hand tied behind your back”! And he’s right. (The Dad Jokes have flowed thick and fast lately).
Squareathon has ended but my collage-ing hasn’t. I’m sharing the daily things on Instagram, both the feed and in stories, with the Instagram linked directly to my Facebook Art Business Page. I’m so excited and grateful to have allowed all those serendipidous moments to collide and bring me here. I was including collage in my Fragments pieces, but now I know it’ll go in a new direction after this.
I hope this encourages one of you to figuratively tie your hand behind your back, think what gifts, skills, and materials you already have, and take that chance. It doesn’t have to be art-related. This was a great moment to silence the noise of competing interests and just do what had to be done.