Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New beginnings

Refreshed and revitalized after my recent Art Vault residency, I've researched and drawn the outlines for three watercolours: Splendid Emerald Wasp Woman, Actinus imperialis Beetle Woman and Weavil Woman. 

 Splendid Emerald Wasp Woman, 2014, pencil on Khadi paper, 41.91 x 29.72 cm (work in progress)

Actinus imperialis Beetle Woman, 2014, pencil on Khadi paper, 41.91 x 29.72 cm (work in progress)

Weavil Woman, 2014, pencil on Khadi paper, 41.91 x 29.72 cm (work in progress)

With the intention of clearing the way ahead for the New Year and new challenges, I’ve also prepared several wooden panels in readiness for the long-planned Homo-insecta Mark 2, a series of acrylic paintings. The wood has been sized, rather than gessoed, so that the natural grain is retained but will not and discolour and darken with age.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Visiting Anne Spudvilas

One of many happy memories from our Art Vault residencies/exhibitions (which officially end today) is the evening Shane and I spent with Anne Spudvilas. Her house is in nearby Wentworth, which is situated at the junction of the Murray and Darling Rivers. Chez Spudvilas is a singularly special place. Upon our arrival Anne made martinis, which she served in elegant green art deco glasses. We sipped them by the river’s edge, savoring the taste and the view before going inside to enjoy the fabulous meal Anne had prepared for us.

Shane and I, photographed by Anne Spudvilas

The Hostess with the Mostest: Anne Spudvilas

Sophisticated pre-dinner conversation: Anne and Shane

Our splendid meal

Anne is a former Art Vault artist in residence, who fell in love with the area - and stayed. Her experiences are documented on her blog Another Year on the River, which you can find on the right of this blog under Favourite Blogs. Alternatively, you can visit it HERE.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

IMPRESSIONS 2014 Artist Party

Last night I attended the Artists Party at the Australian Print Workshop, thrown by the APW as a thank you to the artists who participated in the IMPRESSIONS 2014 fundraising exhibition.

Is it really two years since the last IMPRESSIONS Artists Party? As in past times, the stupendous APW band The Press Gang provided the evening’s highlight. All of them are fine printmakers and equally accomplished musicians. When they were handing out the talent, these guys obviously stood in line twice.

The Press Gang. From left: Zoe, Janice McBride, Jazmina Cininas, Simon White, Julie, Graeme Drendel,
Martin King, Graham Fransella and Ray Carter. (Not visible in this shot is drummer Adrian Kellett)

Zoe, Janice, Jazmina, Julie and Graeme seamlessly combine Style with Substance

There was also much merriment during the announcement of the coveted Door Prizes. 

APW Manager Jackie Hocking and APW Director Anne Virgo
 (both also IMPRESSIONS 2014 artists) announce the Door Prize winners

Two lucky recipients are pictured below, centre. APW Band drummer Adrian Kellett (that stylish headgear is his prize) and next to him, a blurry Judy Holding hears her name announced and eagerly moves to claim her prize. Far left is Press Gang keyboard player, Raymond Carter.

As always, it was a delight to catch up with Jade Kellett and Ray. Behind them, centre, is Brian Pieper.

Later I had a lively chat with Lesley Duxbury, a terrific artist and an old friend who was once my boss in the RMIT Printmaking Department, and John Wolseley, a longtime favourite artist. It was a lovely way to end the evening. I couldn’t decide which shot of them I liked better, so decided to include both.

Friday, December 12, 2014

European Wasp Woman

Aside from some minor finishing touches, the second work I made at the Art Vault is also done. What a touchy subject she proved to be. The European Wasp Woman is arguably the feistiest of all introduced species. Beware the sting in the tail of this femme fatale of the homo-insecta world. Unlike honeybees, which die after they have stung once, most wasp species will sting over and over again, just because they can.

Pictured here in selected developmental stages: European Wasp Woman, 2014, watercolour and pencil on Khadi paper, 41.91 x 29.72 cm:

Rainforest Jewel Beetle Woman

Rainforest Jewel Beetle Woman, 2014, watercolour and pencil, 41.5 x 30 cm.

As noted in my last post, the watercolour Rainforest Jewel Beetle Woman was the first project I undertook as Artist in Residence at the Art Vault in Mildura. The finished work is pictured below, followed by some snapshots of the work in progress.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Feature article in IMPRINT

A couple of months back, Kate-Gorringe Smith, Acting Editor of the Print Council of Australia's quarterly journal IMPRINT, contacted me and asked if I would write an article on my books and zines for the summer edition. As good timing would have it, the issue in question (volume 49, number 4) has just been published; it complements perfectly my current exhibition at the Art Vault as it discusses the unbound artist book Homo-insecta, selections of which are exhibited in the show.

Pictured below: installation views of Homo-insecta in Gallery 2 at the Art Vault

Selected Homo-insecta and zines. Hard at work in Gallery 1 (in this and the following shot): Sonja Hodge and Anne Spudvilas

Back at the Art Vault

Following are just some of many highlights of our return to Mildura and the Art Vault.

We arrived on the afternoon of November 24. After reuniting with the fabulous Art Vault crew, placing our work around the two gallery walls prior to the hang of our shows and unpacking, Shane and I celebrate our return with a glass of Prosecco in the elegant art deco surrounds of the Brewery, which, in bygone days, was a picture palace.

The evening of November 26: now comfortably settled back in our apartment, we prepare for our exhibition opening.

Below left-right: Shane with the Art Vault's Robert and Andrew...

…and me with the Art Vault's Sonja Hodge.

Our show was launched by local writer/composer Helen Healey. The opening event took the form of an informal discussion, primarily about the importance of drawing in visual art. In the background of this and the following two shots are Shane's paintings.

Then the opening got under way.

My work is exhibited in Gallery 2.

We even made the local paper...

…and were also interviewed on the ABC Radio breakfast show

Then it was back to work. Studio 10, one of two studios allocated to us, is directly across the courtyard from our apartment.

My first project in progress: the watercolour Rainforest Beetle Woman...

…and my second watercolour in progress: European Wasp Woman.

During the residency, I had a birthday. Art Vault Director Julie Chambers treated us all to some spectacular cakes from 27 Deakin, my favourite Mildura cafe. They were every bit as delicious as they look. The following photos were taken by Anne Spudvilas:

A full house: Shane and I pictured with the entire Art Vault team. From left: Mia, Andrew, Shane and I, Julie, Robert, Sonja and Anne (she set the timer on her camera). Shane's racecourse paintings grace the walls above and below.

Friday, November 28, 2014

IMPRESSIONS 2014 at the Australian Print Workshop

Unfortunately I will miss the opening of this illustrious biennial event as I'm currently undertaking a residency at the Art Vault in Mildura (see previous three posts). Fortunately IMPRESSIONS 2014 runs until 28 February 2015, so there will be ample time to see the show.

There are some fantastic artists involved, as this flyer attests. (Click on it to enlarge).

To preview my own print edition for IMPRESSIONS 2014, scroll down to Blog Post October 18: Cotton Harlequin Bug Woman #1.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Moth Woman Vigilantes take Mildura

This mini-zine made an earlier appearance on the Art Blog in April, around the time of the legendary Clunes Booktown, for which it was created. But we believe it equally has a valid place in the Homo-insecta exhibition at the Art Vault in Mildura, which opens tonight.

The Moth Woman Vigilantes are arguably the most highly evolved of the Insect Women - indefatigable crime fighters and tireless righters of wrongs - although there are many who contend they are entirely on the wrong side of the law, with world domination firmly in their sights. Others (myself included) firmly believe we could do a whole lot worse, and that down here in in the depths of Australia, we already are.

Republic of Mothstralia - Coins of the Realm, 2014, mini-zine, photocopy, 10.5 x 7.5 cm, Edition: 100

To peek inside the zine, visit Moth Woman Press HERE.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Zine launch at the Art Vault

Early on Monday morning Shane Jones and I will set off for the Art Vault in Mildura, our car laden with artwork and art materials in anticipation of the solo exhibitions and residencies we’ll be undertaking there over the next three weeks. (See also previous post). The last of the artworks for my own show, Homo-insecta, was collected from the framer earlier today.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on six eight-page mini-zines, all of which will be launched on opening night, November 26, 6 - 7 pm. The first three, Moth Women 1 – 3, hark back to some of the first insect women. Zines 4-5: Homo insecta 1 and 2, showcase more recent insect women. The sixth and final zine, The Yellow Butterflies, is based on a slightly re-edited version of a fairy story I wrote in 2013.

The zines are something of an experiment; they were created with the aid of iPad apps: Strip Design, Buttefly Cam, Pic Collage and Phoster.

For selected page views and to learn more about individual zines, visit Moth Woman Press, Blog Posts November 13 - November 21 inclusive.

The exhibitions Deborah Klein: Homo-insecta and Shane Jones: This Sporting Life run from November 26 - December 15. For full details, click HERE.

Pictured top: 
Mini-zines: 2014, photocopy, 10.5 x 7.5 cm
Moth Women 1-3, each signed and numbered editions of 100
Homo-insecta 1-2, both signed and numbered editions of 80
The Yellow Butterflies, signed and numbered edition of 100

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Homo-insecta: an exhibition of linocuts

Selected linocuts from my ongoing series of insect women will shortly be exhibited in the solo exhibition Homo-insecta:

My work will occupy the smaller of the two galleries at the Art Vault. In the main space will be This Sporting Life, an exhibition of recent paintings by my partner Shane Jones.

If you find yourself in Mildura between 26 November and 15 December, we'd love it if you stop by and say hello.