Category Archives: Narrative

being an artist is not necessarily logical

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I am always honoured to be included in Seth Apter’s blog.  Seth (who has recently published a collective of mixed media from around the world) is a hub of infomation of how artists tick – what they’re thinking, what materials they’re using – who is inspiring them – and so much more.  Being an artist is not necessarily logical.  Seth kinda gets a handle on this.  He brings together current exhibitions in his home town of New York, he ‘talks’ to artists across the globe, he IS an artist – check out his blog – you’ll be hooked!

Changing the subject, I have just gotten back from seeing the movie ‘The Vow’, where Rachel McAdams plays a young wife (who is a sculptor) who is involved in a car accident where she incurs a semi serious head wound.  As a result of the injury, she ‘looses’ a 5 year chunk of her memory – during which time she had left law school (her parents dream for her); breaks up her engagement to ‘the perfect’ guy; gone to art school……… become a sculptor (who has just secured a significant commission) & subsequently met, fallen in love with & married a gorgeous guy.  Through various toings & froings in an attempt to prompt her memory – she ends up back in her old life, living with her parents, in law school, and with the potential of hooking back up with the ‘ex’.  The thing I love about the film is that she never does regain that 5 years back – BUT her need to create is within her – & she sits in law school classes drawing studies of the human form, akin to the sculptures she was/had been making prior to the accident.  She has a ‘do-over’; yet her life (without the prior experiences) heads down a very similar path – with this art inside her needing to be birthed.  AND – amazingly – it’s actually a true story!  A bit gooey – but worth a look.

Sadly – Misty’s Open Studio has run it’s course.  It was fantastic & I feel a bit of a hole.   I have just downloaded Katie Kendrick’s  new book onto my iPad, encouraged by some other participants that this is a worthwhile purchase.  (I have to say, whilst I LOVE my iPad – I do miss ‘leafing’ through a book & the texture of pages!).  The piece above is much bigger than I usually work on – Misty encouraged us to ‘work big’ this is about 18in high x about 30in wide.  It is a combination of markers, crayons, watercolour, pens, acrylic & beeswax pencils.  It is loosely based on the work of Paul Klee – I love the way he uses colour & breaks up line & form……….but the evolution of the image itself & the form it took was inspired by Alan Alda’s quote:

‘ You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. ‘

I’m there.  My life has had so many twists & turns – some that I have chosen – some that have been life happenings………that I don’t any longer have a ‘city of comfort’  – but I must admit though – like all of us to some degree, I come carrying my own self protective wall!  So a little wilderness now and then is not entirely unwelcome! This piece of Klee’s is one of my favs – it appeals to me as a designer – a quilter – some one passionate about colour & an artist – it’s titled the highway – so it even has a tie in to this creation of mine.

I am attaching a new selection of free images for your own use & for use in your own published work, but not for sale or reproduction.  Despite significant effort – I CANNOT get them to behave – so they are appearing a bit higgldy piggldy…….they work just the same though! LOL!  ENJOY, and feel free to share the link to these with others, or on your blog. (cut & paste – http://wp.me/pXG69-m5 )

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THE CLOCK MOVES ON

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HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERY ONE, I hope you enjoyed my 5 DAYS of GIVEAWAYS – I have been very busy in the studio over the last week completing a “SECRET” project I am submitting for publication……….here’s a little peak at some progress…………

As a new year commences & I have hardly noticed the last one gone, I am reminded how quickly our life flashes by. In the process of my “SECRET” project, I have been reflecting on the book of Ecclessiastes and the Jewish folk tale of King Solomon…..gam zeh ya’avor. This Hebrew phrase, often mistakenly thought to appear in the Bible, means “This too shall pass.” Some surmise that it was derived from Psalms 57:1, but most Jews attribute it to a folkloric parable about King Solomon – here’s the story:

“There was a king who had the most magnificent collection of jewels in the entire world. It was the source of his greatest joy. One night he dreamed that somewhere in the world, a magnificent ring held the power to make a sad person happy, and a joyful person even happier. The dream was so real to him that he decided that he must seek and possess this ring.

“He offered a huge reward to anyone who could find it. After everyone else had given up their search, one of the king’s servants continued to scour the world for the magical ring. Finally, he too was ready to give up, when he stopped in to one last shop. There, the owner said that he, indeed, was in possession of this ring!

“The servant offered to pay whatever price the shopkeeper asked, but the man refused payment saying, ‘No, your king needs this ring. Take it as my gift.’  “The servant rushed to the palace, entered the king’s chamber, and presented the ring to him. Upon opening the box, the king found a plain, unadorned metal ring. Could this truly be the precious, magical ring he had dreamt about? Then he noticed three Hebrew words engraved on the ring. ‘Gam zeh ya-avor – this too shall pass.’

“The king was puzzled. And it took him many years to realize the true magical power of the ring, in time, he came to realise that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.

When he was truly sad, he would look at the ring and it would remind him that “this too shall pass,” and he would be consoled. And when he experienced true joy, the ring reminded him that “this too shall pass,” and he learned to hold on and appreciate those precious moments of joy. Soon the king realized that this truly was the most valuable ring in the world. He lost interest in the rest of his collection. All his dazzling jewels and gems paled when compared to the plain ring with the three Hebrew words, ‘gam zeh ya-avor, this too shall pass,’ and he always wore this ring of greatest value with pride on his royal finger.”

Abraham Lincoln made reference to this parable in an 1859 address, and there is a custom among some Jews to wear rings inscribed with the phrase (or its acronym), particularly during or after having coming through a seriously trying period in life. It’s an apt tale for the passing of another year, with the precious blessing of our darling new grandie, Ariel Faith……welcoming a season of emotional sunshine – after a long black winter……..watching the gradual deterioration of my mother-in-law in her twilight years, some changes in our family living arrangements, acknowledging the loss of some of my physical capacities this year & the purging of long held trinkets & treasures & the timely handing on of various significant family pieces in preparation to move from our home of the last 20 years………the good and the bad……..material & immaterial……..this too shall pass…………. It reminds me of the rewards of patience, the fact that no season, despite how good or bad it is, lasts indefinitely and the wonders of the cyclical passage of time.

This amazing montage of 365 days of photo’s sum up the year of 2010 in about 2 minutes – that’s about how fast the clock seems to be spinning for me right now.

spring treasures

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only when you have been without it, do you appreciate rain.  In Oz, we have been experiencing severe drought for the past three years or so, but it has been moderately dry for about the last ten.   Our drinking water storage facilities have been gradually depleting, water tanks in suburban yards have become a more common sight and even public and commercial buildings have had water tanks installed to capture every drop of this precious commodity.  We have an old english cottage garden at our 90 yo home & I decided early in the drought that I wasn’t going to ‘bucket’ feed the garden (except for my pots) as I figured that in it’s long lifetime, it must have had dry periods before.  We have lost alot of ‘lush foliage’ type of plants, & (very sadly) a large Japanese Maple – but most of the trees have survived & the ivy trails over & fills the gaps! LOL!

I think it is fair to say, that the drought has broken.  Green is brightening up our barren landscapes & the sleepy decidious trees are filled with buds just waiting to burst at the first hint of sunshine & warmth.  The strict water restrictions that we have been under have been eased as our water storage is up and still filling.  We are expecting FOUR inches (100mm) rain in the next couple of days and the earth is OOOZZZing ‘wetness’ !  It’s a great time for all the gorgeous spring blossoms & of course the birds are lovin’ it.  I happened across this delicate looking moss recently and was facinated by it’s tonality.  The mossy yellowy/green is my MOST favourite colour, so of course I would be drawn to it, but it’s form was so delicate, I could imagine it would have inspired lace makers of the past.  Speaking of inspiration – I have been inspired by the very special Jenn White (a fellow Paper Trader) on a recent visit to regional Victoria.  Although Jenn does lovely mixed media and altered book work, her first love is wood cuts.  I have been considering creating some small etchings to turn into a little book, impacted by the film ‘Bright Star’ and some recent ad hoc life drawing sessions I have been doing.  Jenn VERY graciously let me have a play with some of her plates & do some ‘hand burnished’ prints.  It was fun to work so simply.  Mixed media at times can be so complex and layered, with so many different materials that it is a big set up and big clean up.  Jenn just had primary coloured inks (plus black and white), a small piece of glass, some burnishing tools & old book pages.  Dispite using a block,(ie replicating the same image) they were almost monoprints because each ink mix was a little different and colour combinations and varied text background gave quite different effects.

Simple – but interesting result.  I stuck mine between phone book pages to take them home, and some of the pages stuck a little, but I don’t even mind how that looks – adds another dimension………ok – so there I go ‘layering’ again!LOL!!  I started work on a lino cut, a process I REALLY did think that I had left behind at art school, but I have been more than a little inspired by the fineness & detail of Jenn’s work.  More soon.

Post Script
only a week after this posting, Victoria experienced extreme flooding & it is OFFICIAL, the drought HAS broken.  Thankfully, our dams are filling, and our water restrictions have been eased.  The era of dirty cars is over ………which some may consider a problem – particularly, if dirty cars have been your art canvas!