Saturday 27 August 2016

Shifting Seasons

I visited the lovely Shifting Seasons selling exhibition at the Richard Randall Studio, Mt Coot-tha Garden this morning, to admire the work of Sue Ford, Lyn Baxter, Karoline Cumming and Tricia Smout. I didn't escape without succumbing to this beautifully painted silk scarf by Sue Ford, and these gawdjuss polymer clay earrings by Karoline
Cumming. The photos don't do them justice, and the scarf is a little crushed in the photo because I wore it out to lunch with beloved boy today! At the gardens, Janet and I enjoyed a quick catch up in the very diminished café there - so sad - no bubbles, so we were forced to be virtuous!

 I am now in the process of booking a weekend in Melbourne, a bit of a birthday treat for me, to see Annemieke Mein's exhibition at the Bayside Gallery at Brighton.

Habitat: Annemieke Mein
24 September – 6 November 2016 
Annemieke Mein, Dance of the Mayflies 1988, high relief wall sculpture, 110 x 180 x 10cm. Courtesy of Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale.

Acclaimed Dutch-born Australian artist Annemieke Mein is recognised as one of the world’s foremost textile artists.

Habitat brings together a significant collection of Mein’s work that demonstrates her lifelong passion for raising awareness of the need to protect our natural heritage.
Her interest in insects, especially those which might not usually be considered beautiful, and her drive to capture the character and personality of her subject in its environment opens our eyes to its unique place in our world.

 Seeing her amazing work pretty much started my textile art journey, over 20 years ago. Although I could have gone down to meet her at the gallery on October 15, it's pretty important to me to celebrate my big birthday with my sister and mother on the Friday 14th, which was Dad's birthday, and he would have been 78. Here we are in 1997 - him in the process of destroying the garden, me off to work at the markets. As a botanist and biology lecturer, Dad also played a great part in my appreciation of the wonders of nature. I wish he were here to see all the mad stuff I make now! He thought I was crazy then - I had hardly begun!!

Sunday 21 August 2016

Absolutely Fabulous

Did not disappoint. As a hard core fan, it continued the magic completely. Patsy was as simply awful as ever - bless! Prior to the movie we enjoyed a lunch of (largely bubbles) and the other gals had these amazing looking and apparently tasting, Barramundi Wings! Lyn also brought along the doll she had decorated for our Australian wedding celebration at Gallery 159 which, due to many reasons, didn't eventuate. With purple hair and hand painted purple shooz, she's a bit fab!
 It led into a fairly festive weekend - on Saturday afternoon we were at Gallery 159 celebrating Peter's birthday (with compulsory hats, no problem for us!), on Sunday we saw them again, as well as the lovely Barb Thoms of Common Threads fame, for a relaxed luncheon on the deck. As well as bringing me this fabulous banner to flaunt as much as I can, she also gifted me this lovely adornment of machine embroidered pink goodness, made by her sister-in law, Lulu Tissu.

Hat Party - Sunglasses from Japan - crazy!!
Janet et moi!
Birthday Boy Peter
Janet, Matt and Svenja. Hats left and right by Svenja.
 I've now finished the leather, kelp-inspired neck-piece I've been working on - I'm quite pleased with the fastening solution at the back. As well as gilding, I ended up using gel medium to create the textured look, before painting over it and highlighting it with gilding wax - still not exactly the look I'm after, but I can't quite figure out how to get what I actually want. I can't even seem to find any images of this thing that I see so clearly in my head to show anyone!

I indulged in a big studio tidy up on the weekend, which led to the discovery of more unfinished pieces. I was inspired by these pieces I had made for a bodice, which I painted up brighter than their current dark state, and matched to some feathers. Inspired by the previous UFO (Un Finished Object) I discovered in silk paper, I made a few pieces of silk paper in colours to suit to see if they were the answer to finishing it. Along with some shot organza and dyed silk, they just might be.
This afternoon I was tracing off some patterns in the now tidy studio when I heard some strange sounds, and looked up to to see this little face. Very cute, but very destructive - they go to the toilet on everything!

My Sunday evening has been made by the lovely Anna Von Hartitzsch, whom I met several years ago at WOW, for  her posting these pictures of last years WOW entry, Return to Earth 4545, currently on display at the World of WearableArt Musuem, Nelson New Zealand. I am really pleased with the way they look.

Just over four weeks now until the WOW 2016 experience!

This morning I took off to the local nature reserve for two purposes - a bit of exercise, and the gathering of eucalyptus leaves for a natural dye pot. Success on both accounts -  a few kilos of leaves and a few kilometres. Darling boy lit a fire on which to put the pot that he rescued for me several months ago from the skip at the pub. With the addition of some ferrous sulphate, I think I might get just the shade of grey I want on my wool roving for my long term WOW project.
Because of the different way I was looking at the landscape today in my search for recent windfall leaves, I not only found all sorts of undiscovered paths to lose myself down (and I've been walking there for years) but I also spied this love note, which the camera has unfortunately not captured too well. It said something to the effect of "Charlotte, I wish you the best in life. I will always be here for you and love you." I love that they just put it out there, for a chance sighting, no guarantees.

Sunday 7 August 2016

Eggciting times!

Matt and Ginger
Matt and two chooks!
There have been a few egg-citing things that have happened in the last few weeks - the biggest being the addition of Ginger and Sheena to our family! They are a hoot - I love talking to them - book book book boook!! They have totally ruined what garden we had, and there is poo everywhere, but you know, they are just so gawdjuss! (and they make EGGS!!!! Food of GODSSSS!!!) Of course, Matt, King of the Animals is head Chicken Whisperer - Ginger loves him! Here he is after grabbing the two of them in one go!! Handfuls of chookens!!!
Kelp me!!
The next most fabulous thing was that I submitted all the assessment for my TAE qualification! Oh, thank goodness! I'm free, free, I tells ya! I just hope I don't have to resubmit anything, as my brain has already moved on.... to designs! I have spent the last week at the drawing board (It's a cliché, but yes, really! ) and it has been fabulous! Sadly, there's a lot of work I can't show you (yes, WOW again), but I can show you this wee piece made of leather that has emerged from some of it. Based on kelp (I think we've all seen my

fascination for that) - I can't wait to add colour to it. There's a related piece that I'm working on and I had some interesting times working on the design in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop - it's so true that if you don't use it you lose it, so it's great to throw myself back into it every now and then.

Apart from enjoying the Absolutely Fabulous marathon this weekend (can't wait to see the movie this Friday with mah gals!), we emerged to have a lovely breakfast at Lock n Load this morning, (ohhhh, Haloumi - how I love thee) and on the way home saw the designer markets at Southbank. Due to our tremendous luck, we scored a nearby park, and so I got to browse, and found this lovely silver wing by Coochie Mudlo artist Richard Moon. Happy Svenja. We enjoyed a drink at the Plough Inn, watching the passing parade, with me reminiscing over my time there as a marketeer. Hilariously watched a country mother pull her children protectively towards her as I passed by!!

Watch her, she looks a bit 'arty'!!
 Came home and base painted the leather piece, currently watching more Ab Fab. Tough. Tough weekend.