Monday, November 30, 2009


Have been in Sydney for the past week - doing the big smoke things.  Trouble was it felt like the big smoke, literally. Dust, dirt, smog - surely I haven't become so old that the city no longer holds an attraction, even for one week, and just becomes a receptacle of physical discomfort.  But it seems I have.  When the plane touched down at Merimbula airport I thought I would explode with joy. Oh, to be nearly home.

the dust blanketing everything increased the temperature by 10 degrees and made it extremely hot and sticky. Was it all!

 It was wonderful to go to the MCA (Fiona Foleys retrospective had some very powerful pieces).  It was great to go to the cinema under the Opera House and watch Genova (which too, was very moving).  It was good to get to Amazing Paper and buy some paper for my Learning Absences book. The English Teachers Association Conference had some excellent workshops.  Shopping was fun.  But most of all it was fantastic to get home to to rain washing the tarmac and kangaroos bounding across the road, the corner shop, vegie garden and the blue, blue ocean.
For god's sake....I was only gone for a week.

I am getting old aren't I.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

makoto yabuki

Here is another video - i love this. does anyone know anything about the composer?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Book Art Object and Out of the Box

Have been working on the following books for two exhibitions.

Book Art Object - have taken the sketches and been working on a mock up.  I have cut out the small lino prints and collaged them onto the inside of the book.  This will give me plenty of scope for printing on a variety of papers to achieve the fragmented effect I want.  I am pretty happy with how things are going, but still a long way to go. Haven't done any of the stitching, or the images for the cover and back or the colophon yet, but the overall look and feel of the book is coming along.  Last night I completed some smaller lino carvings and will do another couple of mock ups today.  What do you think?  Feedback is very welcome.

This book folds out like a map.  This is part of the centre fold. A repeat motif of a window (lino print) has been stamped across the inside. Could put the colophon here instead or on the back - what do you think?

Inside - opened. There will be stitching along both edges.

Totally opened.  Sorry about the messy background.  Two quotes from the poem - Learning Absences - have included. Gouche, pen and ink and acrylic make up the inside image.
Out of the Box  - my work in progress for an exhibition at the Bega Regional Gallery- something much more sculptural.  I don't know how happy they will be about constructing this entry. 

Needs a bit of tweaking but could be ok.  It is a book! - again I will collage prints around the petals and add embroidery.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cleaned My Studio and It Looks Great

This could be the name of a song  on an album of artists laments.  Other tracks of course being -
  • When You Wish Upon a Kiln
  • New Book, New Book
  • Somewhere Over the Roller
  • Glaze Slops Keep Falling on My Head
............and of course the all time favourite..........
  • I've Been Through the Gallery on a Horse with No Name. 
But seriously, I am so chuffed with my tidy space.

I should of taken some 'before' shots so you could really appreciate just how de-cluttered this is.

I can't wait to get in there tomorrow.

Book Review - The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

Finally finished and it was worth it - a wonderful ending (but I won't tell you about that).  An interesting book.  I can't stop thinking about Renee and Paloma and the ending. That is always a good thing. You don't want to spend hours reading 300 + pages to forget it as soon as you finish the last page.

You can definitely tell Muriel Barbery is an academic with plenty of philosophising to pack into her story.  At times this becomes a little a heavy but overall lifts The Elegance of the Hedgehog from being just a story into a story that has something important to say. (Is it old fashioned to like this sort of story?)

What makes it  a good read is that while it does concern itself with life and death and love and beauty and art etc (all the BIG things) its main focus is on class and intelligence. Barbery writes an allegory of equality and acceptance during a time of global inequity. I found it refreshing to read something that wanted you to make the connections and explicitly commented on the condition of the world.  Not very post modern, I know, maybe there is still room for the grand narrative afterall. 

 BUT it is allegorical.  A lot of readers, I suspect, will not like the soap box she uses as her writing desk.  But I did.  Mainly because the characters were well drawn and she created a wonderful microcosm within the French apartment block where they lived.

I would rate The Elegance of the Hedgehog - 4/5. definitely worth a read.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Book Art Object

I am part of a group called Book Art Object.  Eight women who make artist's books. We are planning our first group entry for early December.  That is only 4 weeks away!!!!
One of the main issues about the design  is that I need to do a run of 12 - 15 books.  I know for the letter press printers this is a tiny number but for me that is pretty big and is playing a major part in the design process.
We have a couple of common elements to link the entries ie size - A5 landscape, and the poem by Rosemary Dobson- Learning Absences.  I have tried to separate myself from the English teacher and respond to the poem instinctively instead of analytically but I was glancing back through my sketch book and found the following pages.

I know they're very hard to read but they show how hard it is to break old habits. Analyse, poke, prode and probe until the poem falls apart at the seams.  (I hope I don't do this as a teacher but, if I'm honest, I suspect it is the fall back position I take in a desperate scramble for HSC success.)

I have, since then, been  doing heaps of  drawing and am starting to produce some ideas I feel comfortable with......tearing myself away from the analytical, literal reaction.

Anyway I will continue on.  More drawings...less thinking.  Does this go with my last post????? Learning complication. HYPOCRITE??? I am laughing now. There's nothing like a bit of tasty hypocracy to keep you on your toes.

 If you want to have a look at the group go to