The Beauty of Beechworth

Recently spent a few days in Beechworth, Victoria. What a beautiful area, so full of history, great places to visit, shops to look in, cafes to lunch at and wonderful scenery.

Beechworth is an old gold mining town, rich in the 1850s when hopefuls from all over the world came to find their fortune. Visit the cemetery to from where they all came.

The street scape has hardly changed and the streets are full off lovely old homes from the era.

Locally visit Mt Buffalo with spectacular views all the way to Mt Kosciusko in NSW. There are great walks to do and if you really feel like it, go abseiling!

Out past Bright is the beautiful area of Wandiligong. So relaxed. Apple orchards, deer farm, autumn trees and mountains on both sides. I could have moved there that day! And a delightful produce store with deliciously fresh produce.

The other great area for produce is Milawa. Visit Brown Brothers winery, fantastic place. The Olive Oil store, the Cheese Factory and a lovely gallery- Off Centre Gallery for local artwork.

Enjoy this beautiful area.


Print Weave Learn

Recently I learned how to print, colour, cut and weave some of my Lino prints. The very clever printmaker, Peter Ward, has shared his knowledge of printmaking and weaving and so I gave it a go. The results, not too bad for a first go. What do you think?

I highly recommend checking out Peter Ward’s beautiful, clever and original art works. These three are mine. By the larger, third piece I had a better idea of the little intricacies of the technique.IMG_6163IMG_6164IMG_6161

New Zealand Pacific Studio Art Residency

Two works completed at the art residency, based on the local area. They feature the mountains, hills, plains and forests in the area and a view of the Wellington Botanical gardens looking towards the homes on the hills.

It’s a great area, 1 hour to the beach, lots of mountains and hills and a river runs through the plains towards Wellington. There are the Rimutaka hills quite an interesting drive over but well worth the views.

This morning seemed to signal the end of summer as it was rather cool with frost and a beautiful haze with the sun just coming through.

Well worth a stay if you are thinking of doing a residency and everyone I have met has been helpful and friendly.

The closest big town is Masterton, about twenty minutes away. There is a lovely gallery and the locals artists have  a terrific gallery and studio set up using containers, it’s called ConArt. Great concept!

Thanks New Zealand Pacific Studio.

Art Residency

An Art Residency is a great way for artists to spend time really focused on their work. This delightful place is New Zealand Pacific Studio is not far from a Masterton in NZ. Near by is a sanctuary and a fabulous walk with the most spectacular views, especially when you add a rainbow!

NZ Pacific Studio enables artists from the visual arts, writers, dancers etc, from all over the world, to spend time developing their ideas and produce some terrific artworks. I hope my own art created here will be up to scratch!

Nearby is the delightful town of Greytown with lovely shops – organic produce, French bakery, art store, lovely clothing and gift stores, I highly recommend stopping here for a visit.

It’s great to see the Arts being appreciated and valued!


Pop up Globe

What a fantastic experience! The Pop up Globe, all the way from New Zealand, has been visiting Melbourne and it was fabulous. It’s a great concept, being able to experience a Shakespeare play the way it was done hundreds of years ago. We had seats but the groundlings is probably the best place to watch the show and interact with the actors, it’s just that I couldn’t stand for two and half hours. Everywhere you sat you had a great view of the show. This show was ‘As You Like It’ a comedy with music, fun, innuendo and great laughs. I will definitely go ago again next time they come to Melbourne.

New and Old but all exciting!

Melbourne is home to some wonderful artwork, both old and new and all very exciting.

The current Triennial at the NGV features some extraordinary art with big ideas , big colour and simply big art! It was great to see so many people enjoying the variety of artwork. Visitors enjoyed the interactive instillations, walking in the art, laying on the art and touching the art, something you would not have been able to do many years ago.

I also loved the iconic Australian artworks from the 19th and 20th centuries at the Ian Potter Centre. It was great to see the art works that featured so heavily in my year 12 art studies many years ago! Margaret Preston, Grace Cossington Smith, (one of my all time favourites), Drysdale, Streeton, Smart, Olsen, they were all there, it was a who’s who of the Australian art world.

Picking up the brush!


IMG_5190IMG_5191IMG_5192I have’t picked up a paint brush for this sort of painting in probably a year and when I started again I realised how much I enjoyed painting. I have always loved painting naive style and using small detail mainly I think as I haven’t been taught painting but just did my own thing. I have also found I tend to use this small detail in many of my Lino prints as well.

It can be incredibly difficult to find time, especially when you work full time, to create all the art you want to make. It’s lovely to just sit, relax and not think about anything but just be absorbed in the creating of something new.

During the year I found I had spent most of my time working on my Lino prints but most of this work is black and white and I missed the colour. I do love a bit of colour and pattern! It would probably do me good to try some work with a more subtle colour palette so I might have a go at that on the next painting.

The top two works are based on the community gardens in St Kilda with Luna Park behind it so that you can see the roller coaster through the gardens. The third work is Castella st Lilydale, it probably needs a few finishing touches.

Paris to Provence via Melbourne

Paris to Provence is a delightful opportunity to enjoy all things French but still be home for dinner. Although a trip to France would be rather lovely!

The Paris to Provence weekend is at Como House in South Yarra, Melbourne and has be happening since 2010. You could simply eat your way around the event enjoying, racelette, cheeses, pâtés, breads, pastries (my favourite) and French wines. Then sit back and listen to some French music or check out the stall that offer French items or tour ideas. Quite fancy the last idea actually.

So if you are in Melbourne around late November check out the event it is well worth it. I should have brought more good bread home!

Lino print artist book complete.

So this Lino print artist book is finally finished and I’m very happy with the result.

I really enjoyed the whole process from beginning to end but it is great when the finished work reaches your expectations. That doesn’t often happen.

I’ll have to think of a new scene soon, probably need another trip overseas for inspiration I feel. It’s a good excuse anyway.IMG_4503

Collagraph, the artist’s hand

There’s something lovely about hand made artworks. The individuality, the artist’s hand at work during all stages of the process, the choice and depth of colours and each decision that is made along the way that finally results in the completed artwork.

Over the last two days I finally got around to doing the induction at the Firestation Print Studio, learning how to use the presses properly as I usually print at the kitchen bench, which is ok for Lino printing but you can’t do that for collagraph work. So it was great to be able to learn how to adjust the press to just the right pressure in order to get the desired result in my prints.

You can see the prints that have worked better and those with the correct level of pressure, although there is something still very interesting about other works. Some are ghost prints which create a really interesting layer of depth to the prints what is called palimpsest, the layers that are just distinguishable in the artwork that makes it so interesting to view.

You are constantly making decisions about the colour, the direction and place of each collagraph plate and that is what makes them one of a kind artworks, impossible  to make an edition and each one is a little bit of a surprise when you pull back the paper.

It is also interesting to hear what other people see in the artworks. These ideas can be completely different to what the original ideas of the artist are and that’s great because everyone can enjoy the art for themselves.