Wetlands of Queensland

Today, as the big wet (compliments of ex Tropical Cyclone Debbie) drenches the southeast, I recieved notification that my latest artwork didn’t make the grade for the Moreton Bay Regional Art Awards – no matter! It was the very first time I have entered this competition. I’m not much given to entering competitions, but sometimes they pay off and often in the most splendid and unexpected ways! Just not this time, alas. I ought to have approached this piece with 4 intact sides perhaps, and no empty – literally!  – spaces…. but no, not me, who likes to make it complicated.

I made this to be

1) part of a series I am working on at the moment (Anfractuous Continuance)

2) as a possible entry in the Australasian Quilt Convention Challenge – Fauna and Flora of Australia –  but it transpired that by it’s very nature, it would not fold well, therefore would not travel well, and as a consequence I opted not to enter – clearly I didn’t think that one through…

3) it being not entered in AQC decided to give MBRAA a shot…. never mind, I think it looks good on my wall!!!

I have named it “Cooloola Flight”. Because it’s an aerial view of the Cooloola wetlands and it features a wonderful bird we saw there – a Black necked Stork. An Aussie would call it a Jabiru. We spotted it out in our canoe on Lake Cootharaba, and was the biggest thrill of all of our canoeing excursions. He was just sitting on a little island, minding his own business, then as we drifted closer, he casually got up and strolled away for a drink, and eventually flew off to feed around the corner.

In  this piece the lake and river systems of Cooloola Wetlands are depicted by the empty spaces….. it will be exhibited as one of my pieces at Pine Rivers Art Gallery along with the Reddy Arts Textile Group’s work in December and January…. until then here is a wee sneak peak because I’m too excited about it to save it for a few more months! But you will be able to see it in the cloth there.

Lots of you have seen my first piece in the series – see “Cudgera Creek”  and my previous post for photos. This quilt is now in Melbourne and can be seen at the Bernina   Best of Australia Awards at AQC 20-23rd April 2017.

I am currently working on my third piece, which is based around the Tinchi tamba wetlands, on the Pine River. Now I really must go and sew!!!

Art as a full time occupation

 

October 2016 was a heady month. That was when I won the Best of Show at Queensland Quilters Inc.s annual Quilt Show, with my art quilt Cudgera Creek.

cudgera-creek-montage-finished

I had spent the previous few months, and much of October and November, trying to perfect my ruler quilting ( a whole different thing altogether) because I pretty much suck at traditional quilting, both by hand and machine. Oh, I can do it, just not very well, and there are some amazing amazing quilters out there who make it look easy. (It isn’t). But after pulling off the big event with my art quilt, well, that’s clearly the direction I really ought to head in!

Besides, I LOVE making my art quilts. Thus, it’s been head down and tail up for the past 4 weeks (already!) since the holidays ended, and we all headed back to town and commitments….and I’ve so far loved every minute! This year, I said to myself, will be a year of ART. The thing is,  if I want to be an artist, then art has to be my new full time occupation.

Recent work:  a selection of drawings – I have a long way to go.

Textile pieces below: I have more, but I can’t reveal them yet… soon though! I have so far completed 3 textile pieces this year. The main one is this work in progress below, (35″ x 35″) which I intend to enter in an upcoming local art competition…. the Rosella in “Good Morning” is my donation piece for the planned Queensland Quilters Silent Auction – keep an eye on their website for further details. QQ website Dimensions are 8″ x 10″ and it is ready to hang, mounted on an art canvas.

There are more in my head! Also, I intend to take some classes…. I need more skills with composition, water colours, and landscape painting…what to put in, what to leave out, what to move  where, etc! Not to mention getting the bird shapes right.  If I can master these, I think they will be invaluable assets to have when designing my textile art pieces. I plan to immerse myself in art practice.

 

Melbourne interlude: art, architecture and nature.. plus some artist links

Inspirational weekend – three of the Reddy Arts Textile Group got together and embarked on a trip to Melbourne for the specific purpose of seeing some of the amazing work of renowned Australian textile art pioneer Annemeike Mein at an afternoon tea on Saturday. Annemeike was born in Holland but moved to Australia as a child with her family, to Sale, Victoria. She was influenced by the Australian wildlife and her work depicts many Australian species: birds, butterflies, dragonflies, fish, frogs, flora…. you can learn about her and see her work here.

After checking into our hotel on Friday, we set out to find Chloe, and explored the city a bit – visited the famous Hosier Lane of course! and saw cathedrals, and an eclectic mix of old facades contrasting with concrete and glass skyscrapers, dodged taxis and cars to catch trams – and the people – everywhere…  buskers and street vendors of sweets and nut… tourists and locals… We visited the chocolatiers and over the duration of the weekend, tried a few different cuisines – Italian, French, Greek, British…. we discovered a random Japanese style art exhibition by local artists, and some button supply stores, one in downtown Melbourne and the other out in Malvern…

On Saturday we were fortunate to enjoy afternoon tea with Annemeike and to view not only her exhibition “Habitat” (at the Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre  at Brighton Vic. – click here for the address. this exhibition runs until Nov 6th 2016.  ) but also several videos on her work process. We also were able to speak with her which was a great privilege. This was the highlight of the weekend! with-annemeike-mein

Prior to the afternoon tea, we were able to fill the morning with art! We visited an exhibition of David Hinchliffe’s work at Manyung Gallery in Malvern – amazing inspirational work. Mainly cityscapes, with rain and night views, truly awe inspiring!

Following the Manyung Gallery we took a tram to the Malvern Town Hall viewed another exhibition which was only on over that weekend. There are four of these exhibitions each year. Visit Kevin Hill’s Top Ten Australian Artists for more information. I could not resist purchasing a painting but which one? In the end I settled for a small James Hough, as it was an easily transportable size (we had more trains and trams to catch and I was already toting my camera gear! just in case! Mad really, didn’t use it much that day! ) but mainly because I loved the subject, an Eastern Yellow Robin. (my photo doesn’t do it justice though!) I bought a 2017 calendar from Werner Filipich and a book by Paul Margocsy which also needed to be carried but that was OK! Spent too much time here, talking to the artists, and could have stayed longer, but we had an afternoon tea to get to….

Sunday was down time, and whilst the other two went shopping, I (having spent my spending money on the painting!) immersed myself in nature for a few hours at Fitzroy Gardens – walked past St Peters Cathedral and visited the fountains – the river god and the dolphins- communed with the birds – ducks with ducklings, blackbirds and the old sulphur crested cockatoo up in his tree… very pleasant and the rain held off – I visited the so called Cook’s Cottage reputed to have been owned by James Cook’s parents although he never lived in it. It was a cute little stone cottage and had a great garden out the back full of butterflies and bugs… I visited the model Tudor village and the fairy tree…. and the conservatorium.