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.

Multi layer printing

Just finished a wonderful but exhausting 3 day workshop with the very talented Sarah Amos. We created a stack of collagraph printing plates, laying them out to see what would work well and what need extra attention.

After adjustments, we proofed all our plates and overplayed them building up images.

I learned so much, particularly about colour layering, keep it simple is a great idea, looking for areas that needed a zing and something that makes a statement.

I wish we had another couple of days because you just get into the zone and suddenly the 3 days are over. I think that’s a sign of a great workshop.

I really love this technique and I am amazed at what an intricate print you can create with some simple plates and careful colour choices.

Check out Sarah’s work, I’m sure you’ll be impressed!


Four part print, finished! Sort of.

So the main work is finished on this project and I have made one print to check out that it all works and I have to say I’m quite pleased. Now I need to make a few good prints and I hope to make a large concertina book with the set of four prints. Really the scene could go on and on but you need to stop somewhere!

The view is Grinzing with a view towards Nussdorf. These towns are just on the edge of Vienna and are home to some delightful vineyards and heurige, restaurant/ vineyards.

What would be lovely, would be to spend a longer period of time in the area and really explore the landscape and be inspired by the surroundings and the people. I guess that’s the same anywhere, you really need time to develop your ideas about a place and get past the surface.

It would be wonderful to have to opportunity to participate in an art residency somewhere so that you could really focus your time and energies on your art making. Perhaps one day!

Let me know I found you have enjoyed an art residency somewhere.


Creating a series

Creating a series is a good way of focusing your ideas and also extending your ideas. Often one idea leads to another and a series enables you to experiment, plan, play and create around these themes.

My last few Lino print have all been based around Austria as it holds a very special place for me. I also believe it is important to create art about something you care about or are interested in, as the end results are always better than if you are just creating for financial reward. Mind you, you do end up with a cupboard full of art but that’s ok too as you can see the journey that has happened with your art along the way.


The matching partner.

This is view number two. It is one of a number of apple trees that stand behind the family home in Austria. In times gone by the washing line was strung between the trees and the deer also came to feed there. The view is again looking out toward Traunsee, a little bit of artist licence because in actual fact the view is towards the mountains around Salzburg. I would like to hang them up at home, it’s just finding space. I’ll need to do some rearranging!

I hope to hang one at The Firestation print studio at the end of July when we have open days and there will also be an exhibition by Wendy Sharpe and Bernard Ollis at the same time. So if you are in the area then please come and visit.IMG_3890IMG_3900


Traunstein, Traunsee, Traunkirchen

Usually when you finish an artwork you think, I could have done something differently, better, more carefully, but this time I am really rather pleased with this work. The Lino print features Traunkirchen on Traunsee. In the Salzkammergut region of Upper Austria. The work is about 45cm by 65cm the most detailed piece I have completed. I like the detail rather than just lines but I guess different designs require different techniques. Still needs a little clean up here and there but basically finished.

Quick note, at the end of July, Firestation Print Studio will be open for Open House Melbourne, so come along and have a look how printing making happens.