Thursday, 31 January 2013

downstream .....

downstream ..... the title of my new book.  I have made a start on the commission I received before Christmas.  One of my books (Moeraki Boulders) was bought by the State Library and another couple who visited the exhibition really wanted to buy it as well.  Of course you cannot duplicate original work, but I said I would make something similar and if they liked it, then they could buy.

Working to commission is a strange thing because with a second book coming out of an initial idea, you are able to put so much more thought into it .... learning from the previous one I think.  For me, the ideas started to flow once I realised that I wanted to work in the dark ink palette I so love.  I worked on this paper and received some shimmery, gorgeous effects and decided it was the paper to use.  Or rather it was the other way round - I worked on sheets of paper and then when I saw the result, decided this was what I would use for my new book.

A few weeks ago Velma asked in one of her posts, if anyone was feeling the desperate need for colour.... 

Well, those of you who know my work, or have become familiar with it through my blog, will know that my work falls firmly in the earthy colour range.  However I seem to have developed an urgent need to incorporate some bold blue in my work. I am a water sign after all!  At this stage I am just playing with some ideas, but I think something coherent is coming.  

Today I finished the Solander Box ...... the favourite I have ever made and I am a little reluctant to use it in something for sale!  I am hoping to be brave enough to use some bold blue on the front of the box, not just inside hidden in certain pages.  The box is 42cms x 13cms and this photograph doesn't do it justice.  It shimmers and to me, speaks of trees along the shore of a secret river.  I only hope I can make a book that I am happy to place in it.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

after the big blow .....

 Be careful what you wish for!  Isn't that what they say?  Last post 'rain glorious rain' shared the delight in receiving rain fall after so long.

That turned into a deluge of over a metre of rain over the last three days, wreaking havoc along nearly two thousand kilometres of our eastern coastline.  Unbelievable.  Power down, phones too.  Internet now back on after three days and those who lost power and phones up here on the Range have just got those services back.

Apart from looking shredded and having a  massive amount of leaf and branch debris lying around, we didn't fare too badly.  All the infrastructure we have put in over the last couple of years, and the rebuilding of the house, was all worthwhile.  We lost about a dozen large trees - but way down lower on the land.  All safe around the house.  We are blessed.

I walked around the acres yesterday, photographing the damage and came across this sawn tree trunk.  I decided to post on it - the natural pattern contrasted with man made cuts - as I found it particularly beautiful in amidst all the mess around.

I couldn't decide which photos to post so I am including them all! Enjoy.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

glorious rain .....

beautiful, gorgeous
oh most welcome rain.
we are revelling in it.
not really - we are all cosy inside.  Venturing out when it is absolutely necessary.
You should all be able to see our smiles from where you are .....
summer. at last.

view from our home a few days ago - some showers down on the coast by bypassing us ...

almost surreal light

always the hope that rain will build

a little later as the sun moved upwards.  doesn't look like we have been 6 months parched but although the grass is green, the trees have been so stressed and have dropped a huge amount of their leaf.
underfoot is thick with brittle leaf litter .

The thing that affects us largely here is that although we are a catchment area for the coast, with all the restriction in building codes that involves, we all rely on rainwater here on the Range.  With all this rain our tanks are overflowing.  We are catching the tail end of cyclonic weather - that cliched saying 'it never rains but it pours' is ringing true at the moment.

Further south in Australia fires are still raging.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

the fourth dance .....

Today was Fiona's and my collaboration day.  Our fourth book, our fourth dance.  We had decided on a common theme for this enterprise 'Starry Starry Night'.  Our plan is/was to each work one half of the page - or one portion of the page even if it was not rigidly a half of the page.  The book would then be given back to its maker for completion.

There were no guidelines about paper, or book size, materials ..... anything actually, other than the title. My book is actually fairly large, and before showing it to Fiona a couple of days ago (to give her some time to work out what she planned to do with her part of the pages), I had decided the finished format, the covers and the way it will be bound.  Fiona presented me with her pages, small black and whites with a very beautiful, strongly graphic reduction linocut - no hint of the book it will be turned into.

As is our way, we spent a little while together discussing our ideas for our books, the directions we were thinking about and so forth.  We also knew that the other person may take the imagery in a completely different way.  

Both of us had thought of a number of ideas before our day began - mine beginning rather more timorously than Fiona's but once I started jumbling Fiona's images in amongst the ideas I had brought forward (concept drawings I had made as part of my drawing a day book some time ago) I began to find my way through.  Not there yet, but close.  I wonder as I work these pages, how Fiona will use them, what her book structure will be.  I do know that she will make something fabulous from 'our' work.

Fiona's 'Starburst' images.

still think separately ...

by overlaying and mixing up our images and concepts I could see where I could go ...

the hard part was actually working around Fiona's prints

backgrounds in - still some marks to be made .....

We have a week for our work before we hand the books back ..... so watch this space and see how this collaboration works.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

heartfull .....

My heart has been full of emotion today and now is full of love and delight.  My partner Steve is away in Western Australia at present on a locum.  He rang this morning to say that his eldest daughter's waters had broken.  She is 32 weeks pregnant.  She and her husband were down in Melbourne for the weekend to watch the Australian Open tennis ....... (nothing like a family being spread around Australia).

Hence the heartache - which has since turned to joy as we now have a premi little baby boy in the family and mother and child are both doing well.  Just a very long way from home!  It will be about four weeks till they are allowed back up to Queensland so I should be able to have a peek just as we leave for our overseas adventure.  The baby was due to be born while we were in Spain so really, a couple of thousand kilometres is a great deal closer.

And Velma, if you are looking at these images - yes, I have suddenly felt the need for some rich colour in my life too and not only did this glorious blue find its way into these photographs, the same colour has found its way into some of my very 'earthy' work in the last couple of days!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

a few of my favourite things .....

I have been making artist's books since 1998 on and off and collecting them since then too.  I only have collected about twenty in that time and am going to make the collecting of these treasures my vice over the next few years.

Here are some of my favourites - just a quick glimpse.

a few from my 'Fiona'  collection

love this photo of Fiona's 'Subversive Stitch'
and this one ....

This is the first artist's book I ever owned.  It was given to me by Wim de Vos and Adele Outteridge for my birthday in 1999 and it is a collaborative piece they made with Madonna Staunton.

The book photographs well on my hot plate.

This piece is by Deslie Wain and below is a detail.

a couple more of Fiona's and a book by Alice Fox.

many of you will already be familiar with Alice's sublime work.

a couple of recent purchases on the left, a concertina book by Sandra Pearce and a quaint little book by Linda Douglas with snippets of maps and birds, sewn threads and marks.  On the right are a couple of the single folded page books by Patti at Missouri Bend.

Of course there are more but I will save those for another time.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

tree stories .....

they know
they see

they write
they draw
and paint

they speak

keep them company
and listen