New directions

Lately I have been exploring handmade recycled paper construction – that is, deconstructing old papers ( we seem to have so much these days) by shredding them and then converting them to pulp in my dedicated blender (purpose bought for $35 from Coles – I see they are now on special for $25!! so one wonders how long it will last!) This all began when my husband, in clearing out some space in his shed, found and presented me with some old screens we found that had been used to make papers with the offspring when they were in primary school – not very taut, and not very big, and no deckle! haha. I decided to try it out again from that hazy long ago memory of doing this once before… clearly not very successfully because a) the adult children have no memory of it and b) I didn’t make any more…. I made a few papers with one of these screens, and well, the edges were super thin, and the middles were thick, fairly horrible…. I thought at this stage it would be worth finding out how to actually do this properly…. so I invested in a book. This was a revelation! I enlisted the help of my husband to make me a mould and deckle, and then a plywood press. I have two sizes of mould and deckle: one 5″ x 7″ (made from a couple of old stretched 8″ x 10″ canvases) and the other is A4 size.

Once I have made the papers, they spend some time in the press to remove the water, and are then laid out to dry….. follow that with sizing, allow to dry again, press again to flatten; a quick iron will make the papers nice and crisp, and the outcome should be some lovely textured and mottled papers ready for watercolour or gouache. Some of the sheets are rather more cardboard-like, and some so thin they are super fragile in the drying process (that creates interesting wrinkles and gaps….). It’s all about getting the solution the correct balance in the vat, and that I am afraid is impossible for me to do in any kind of precise scientific way…. but maybe I will get better at judging what it feels like to be the correct weight for what I want…. Such a process! There may be quicker ways, but then I am a novice.

Following on from the paper making, what to do with the papers? The first batch of papers made on the original deckle-less mould were not to be wasted (invested a bit of time already in this process) and I wanted to experiment with painting on them. So this little series of kingfishers was born. What if I add some stitch? and some batting, and sandwich them, and then how to put them together? Found some inspiration on Pinterest, and here is the result…. I think this is not yet finished….

Watch this space, I plan to make more! Maybe some monoprinting, more stitch, and other elements! So looking forward to exploring this ….. and guess what, I am awaiting the arrival of another book which will tell me how to convert my weeds to paper… oh and garden plants too…. Not that I have many actual plants… just weeds……….

‘Til next time, happy creating!

Art adventures…catchup

It’s been pretty quiet on my blog lately…. well for months really. What can I say? I’ve been busy. Poor excuse you say, and of course you’re right. Last year is too long ago to remember properly. Just briefly, I started a new challenge with Reddy Arts, joined some drawing classes on how to draw birds, taught by Natalia Balo http://www.bfineart.com.au/ and spent loads of time drawing portraits from photos on Sktchy. I taught a textile workshop (Life Amongst the Lilies) to some of the QQ ladies mid year, tweaked some quilt designs/patterns; made some baby quilts…… worked at my real job, did some reading………… and started a diary (essential if you suspect you have a failing memory…) The difficulty is remembering to write in it.

In the gallery are a few things from 2019.

Now I am looking forward to continuing to improve my drawing and painting skills, as well as keeping some textile art coming. I would like to explore mixed media, and have recently joined a suburban sketchers group, which gets me out with like minded people and helps to overcome that self consciousness of drawing in public.

Until my next post, I wish you all many happy and creative hours pursuing your art endeavours!

Latest work

My one excuse for not blogging lately, is that I have been SUPER busy… I recently completed a commission, and the idea was that would free my time up somewhat. Here is the completed work, made for the reception area of Kedwell and Co, Accountants in Sandgate, Queensland.

I have been working on some workshop samples for my “Creative Landscapes” Workshop “Life Amongst the Lilies” to be held in October in Redcliffe. Today is the day those were finished, all bar the labels and hanging sleeves. In this 3 day class you will learn to lay down basic backgrounds,  and how to pull together a pleasing composition using a variety of techniques to achieve this. Two designs offered with interchangeable elements. To participate, please contact Brenda at 2Sew Textiles.

In the midst of all this, I made a small quilt (below) to enter into “One Red Thread 2018 – “WeatheRed”, at Berry Quilting Retreat which was fun to make and features our local red cliffs and a solitary tree clinging to life as the cliff is weathered away….

Summer Storn
Summer Storm – A Ghost Gum clings precariously to the vibrant weathered cliffs on the coast of the Redcliffe Peninsula. Entered in One Red Thread – WeatheRed competition 2018.

My next effort will be a couple of small unicorns, but first I need to make a wedding dress for my younger daughter – that will be fun! If a little daunting, it is some time since I did any dressmaking……

In the meantime, my 100 days project fell by the wayside around Day 60, but I did  #62 last night…. I need to try and do some portraits now…. this one done in Procreate on my iPad 9.7 with Apple pencil. I love being able to use the pencil brush and change the colour, size etc. Great practice, although erasing is too easy…..

IMG_3050
Watching the Footy

That’s it for now, have a great month!

Parrots

These feathered folk will soon be out of the studio and on their way to new environs… with just one more to complete, the set of 12 will shortly be hanging on my client’s wall! I have had such fun making these 8” square textile works…  next up, some bigger works and barely a bird in sight! I say that because while I intend not to include any birds, you just never know when one might sneak in…..