Saturday, July 21, 2012

Magnetic Island Retreat

Last week my partner Craig and I escaped to Magnetic Island, off the Queensland north coast, for a few days of relaxation and exploration in the warmth of the tropics.

Magnetic Island has national park, secluded beaches and stunning coral reefs.  I loved the ruggedness of the large granite boulders and tall hoop pines.  In contrast, I really enjoyed our luxury accomodation on the harbour, watching the comings and goings of the islanders and tourists!  We are normally campers but this time decided on an indulgent 'romantic getaway' package.  I even allowed myself the luxury of a massage.....nice.

But of course I can't go on holiday without my art fix, so this time I took a gelli plate and my paints (a total of 4 kilos of art materials!) and spent an hour or so in the afternoons printing with leaves that I had picked up during the day.

I'm currently working on making some of the envelopes into a travel diary book, using the envelopes to store postcards, photos and other memories of our trip.

A first print using gum leaves and netting
 onto white envelopes

Some of my prints from my first printing day

I'm busy printing, luckily we dined out every day so
I could take over the dining table for my printing station!

now, what have we got this time?

I'm printing onto large tags (thanks Karin!)
as well as assorted papers like cartridge and kozo

Printing onto envelopes.
 I worked with quick drying acrylic paint
so I was able to print on both sides in one session.

Craig & I about to embark on a snorkelling session.
The coral was beautiful but the water was COLD!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Eco-dyeing Workshop

For those in South-East Queensland, I'm running an Eco-Dyeing on Paper Workshop on Wednesday 15 August 2012 (Ekka Public Holiday for Brisbane residents).

Workshop details –

Date: 15 August 2012
Time:  10am to 3pm
Cost: $70 all materials included
Location: Former St Mary Magdalene's (Anglican church), 80 Boundary Road, Bardon

This day is an opportunity for you to play with eco-dyeing on paper, using natural materials to create exciting colours and marks on paper.  It’s a technique which is non-toxic and heaps of fun.  You’ll make a sampler first to experiment, then create a long snake concertina book which can be embellished after dyeing with printing, drawing and/or stamping.

This workshop will give you the knowledge and inspiration to continue dyeing at home, creating your own ‘witches brew’!

If you’re interested in booking in, please email me to confirm.

Eco-Dyed Concertina Snake Book with monoprints

Close up

Revealing the magic....

Eco-dyeing, the gold is from Bracken Fern

Putting the paper bundles in the dye pot

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Samford Arts and Crafts

Have you been to Samford recently?

Well, on your next visit make sure you drop in to the Samford Slab Hut, an arts and crafts co-operative with over 60 active members.

Its located in John Scott Park in the main street of Samford, on the north-eastern side of the park.

The building is a reproduction of a traditional slab hut, with local timbers and recycled corrugated iron as well as a few modern conveniences like air conditioning.  The hut sits amongst beautiful gardens in the park and is a very relaxing place to visit and enjoy the goodies inside.

There's a big variety of arts and crafts by the members, who each do a day of roster each month. 

I am a member and I have my monoprinting artworks for sale, including framed prints and books.  I enjoy my day of roster as it enables me to meet the public and talk about my work, and see what they are interested in.  I usually buy something for myself because I have all day to browse and get tempted!

The Samford Slab Hut

Just one view of the art for sale, great for gifts!

Some of my work on display

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Monoprinting at Bardon

I've recently found a new location to run workshops in Brisbane.... a former church hall in Bardon.

The owner, Mervyn Langford has 'opened the doors' of the former St Mary Magdalene's (Anglican church) at 80 Boundary Rd, Bardon.  He is hoping to develop a community arts hub, bringing together the local community to share artistic and creative endeavours.

The hall is basic but large and very airy.  I'm sure that together with other artists, musicians and performers we can make it a great vibrant space.

So far I've run 3 workshops there.   Last week I ran 2 monoprinting workshops.  Below are some of the photos.

One of the reasons I enjoy running workshops is being able to share my love of art with adults who may have missed out on creative play during their lives.  I remember during my childhood there was no art classes for children - just piano or ballet (both of which I was particularly bad at!).  My goal now is to ignite a love of play in adults - colour, textures, getting dirty! - and to recognise that there is no right or wrong in art.  Of course, some art is more pleasing to the eye than others but there is always some aspect of a print that I think can be used for some purpose, like a special card for a friend.  Not every print has to be a work of art to be framed.

I also learnt a valuable lesson this week about press maintenance.   During the first workshop, Thumper the press stopped rolling smoothly and the handle was difficult to turn.  After some diagnosing and consulting with Kay (another printmaker) we established that the problem was the top roller.  It turns out that the original grease in the bearings had worn away and dried up, so had lost its lubrication necessary for the roller to move.   My partner Craig performed surgery on Thumper, cleaned up the old grease and reapplied new oil.  Thumper is now working perfectly and I need to remember to oil Thumper every time I use him.   Its so easy to forget that Thumper needs regular TLC to keep the rollers turning...... sorry Thumper!

Completed monoprints laid out on a pew

Working with Thumper the press

Prints in progress
Thumper in pieces, the top roller removed,
whilst he was being 'maintained'!