Saturday, May 19, 2018

My watercolour pad gets the chop

As mentioned in a recent post, it was my intention to publish the remaining watercolour miniatures created for the forthcoming show PATTERNS OF COLLECTING - From the Bower at the Johnston Collection singly, along with progress views of each. Times have been extremely busy of late, however, and with the deadlines for this and other projects fast approaching, I couldn’t put off the inevitable any longer. It was time to take the Knots and Braids series to its final stage - namely, cutting up the contents of watercolour pad to fit their individual vintage frames. 

Here is the watercolour pad page-by-page, shortly before I took to the contents with a pair of scissors, followed by the aftermath.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Countdown to PATTERNS OF COLLECTING - From the Bower at the Johnston Collection

Pictured above and below are selected highlights of yesterday’s fruitful meeting at the Johnston Collection Museum with TJC Director/Curator Louis Le Vaillant and fellow From the Bower artists/collectors Carole Wilson, Loris Button and Louise Saxton.

The window below overlooks the garden and beyond it, the former house and studio of renowned colonial landscape artist, Eugene von Guerard.

The next time we’ll all there will be in just a few weeks, to install a markedly different version of our well-travelled exhibition, appropriately retitled PATTERNS OF COLLECTING - from the Bower at the Johnston Collection, opening in early June.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

HipCat Gallery

Chocolate argus Winged Woman, 2010, linocut 32 x 32 cm, ed. 30. Photo credit: Tim Gresham

In an exciting new venture, artist and master printer Lawrence Finn has initiated HipCat Gallery, an exhibition space that is dedicated to contemporary Australian printmaking. The gallery is part of HipCat Printery, a custom printing and artist access studio located five minutes from historic Trentham in Wombat State Forest. 

Shane Jones and I visited HipCat for the first time last Sunday during the Daylesford Macedon Ranges Open Studios program. That’s Shane in the above photo, centre, alongside Lawrence and his goat, the regal Princess Leia. 

HipCat Gallery’s inaugural group show will be opened by David Frazer. I’m delighted to be part of it, along with David, Damon Kowasky, Dianne Longley, Hyun Ju Kim and Lawrence Finn. Chocolate Argus Winged Woman, pictured top, is one of two linocuts I have in the show. 

The opening event is this coming Saturday, 5 May at 3 pm.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

From the Bower at the Johnston Collection: Update #1

The watercolour miniatures I've been making for the forthcoming show, Patterns of Collecting/From the Bower at the Johnston Collection, have been accumulating at a faster pace than I've had time to post here. (The exception is Love Knot, directly below, which was previewed on 14 February in our Valentine's Day post).

To make amends, this is the first of a series of posts documenting the remaining works in the series.

Completed works, L-R: Untitled, 2018, 12 x 9 cm and Love Knot, 2018, watercolour, 9 x 7.2 cm

Sunday, April 1, 2018

A Big Show of Small Works

I’m eagerly anticipating joining forces with an extraordinary lineup of artists in the upcoming Small Works: a Survey, including the inestimable Julie Keating and Debbie Hill, who also curated the exhibition. 

Included on the invitation is a detail of my painting Pirate Queen, seen below in its entirety:

Pirate Queen, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 9 x 7 cm
Photo credit: Tim Gresham

The show, which opens next Saturday, 7 April, from 2 - 5 pm, will be launched by David Coles, founder of Langridge Artist Colours. 

Small Works: a Survey
Red Rock Regional Theatre and Gallery
520 Corangamite Lake Road
Cororooke 3254.
Open weekends 11 am - 4 pm, or  by appointment.

Small Works runs to 29 April.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Happy Easter and some good news

I always look forward to the Easter break; it brings brief - but nonetheless welcome - respite from an already hectic year that, despite my best laid plans, has begun to seriously accelerate.

For me, Easter has always been associated with new beginnings. Entering into this spirit, I've begun work on the first of a new series of paintings, a project I've been planning for some time. Previews of the new work will feature in future posts.

Meanwhile, I'd like to share some super news from our sister blog, Moth Woman Press. My artist book Leaves of Absence is one of 75 finalists in the 2018 Libris Awards at Artspace Mackay. A page view, snapped in our study at Abbotsford, is below. For further views of Leaves of Absence, visit Moth Woman Press HERE.

Monday, March 26, 2018

New work from the bower

Untitled (Pearl) 2018, watercolour, 12 x 9 cm 

The newly completed watercolour miniature pictured above was specifically made to fit the vintage frame on its right. Since planning began for the latest iteration of From the Bower at the Johnston Collection in East Melbourne, I’ve amassed a sizeable assortment of vintage frames, sourced from antique shops and markets, thrift stores and trash and treasure markets.This one was a lucky find at Ballarat Sunday Market. It's rare for me to know anything of a frame's history, but this one is an exception. The elderly woman from whom I bought it told me it once held a photograph of her grandmother. 

In a reversal of the usual order, it’s the frames in this project that come first; I relish the challenge of tracking them down almost as much as making the works to fit them.

Untitled (Pearl) progress view

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Melbourne Art Book Fair 2018

Captured in the above snapshot by Jill Kellett is a memorable moment from yesterday's visit to Melbourne Art Book Fair 2018 at NGV International. Pictured L - R are Shane Jones and I with our friends Louise Jennison and Gracia Haby.

Shortly afterwards I took part in Regional Arts Words (RAW), a panel discussion hosted by Regional Arts Australia.

L-R: Mary Jane Warfield, Angela Rivas, Lindy Schneider and myself snapped during yesterday's RAW panel
discussion during Melbourne Art Book Fair 2018 at NGV International. (Photo credit: Louise Jennison).

Two of my books, Fallen Women and There was once... The collected fairy tales are available from the Regional Arts Victoria stand at the book fair, which runs until 5 pm tomorrow.

For more about RAW, go HERE. For more pictures of the event, visit Moth Woman Press HERE.

Friday, March 9, 2018

LEAVES OF ABSENCE acquired by the State Library of Victoria

I’m delighted to announce that my artist book, Leaves of Absence (2017), has been reserved by the State Library of Victoria. The book, a limited edition of 10 plus one artist proof, is pictured in our study at Abbotsford.

Leaves of Absence is the first work to draw its subject matter entirely from my regional work base. Next Friday, 16 March, from 2.30 - 3.15 pm, I’m taking part in Regional Arts Words (RAW) a panel discussion Regional Arts Australia is hosting during Melbourne Art Book Fair 2018 in the Great Hall, NGV International. My contribution will include a show and tell of Leaves of Absence, the seeds of which were sewn in 2015, during a forest walk in the Victorian goldfields town of Newstead. 

For full details of RAW, visit Regional Arts Australia HERE.

Monday, February 26, 2018


My drawing The Secret Plait has been included in HEADS & BODIES at Charles Nodrum Gallery. The exhibition, which will span the entire gallery, explores the body in art through extensive contemporary and historic examples.

Accompanying the show is a lavishly illustrated catalogue of selected works. A fully illustrated catalogue can be viewed on the gallery website HERE.

Deborah Klein, The Secret Plait, 2016-17, oil pastel and chinagraph on paper, 76.5 x 56 cm
Photo credit: Tim Gresham

HEADS & BODIES exhibition catalogue. Cover art: Russell Drysdale, Half caste woman, 1960.
Page view: Deborah Klein, The Secret Plait, 2016-17 (top); bottom: Jan Murray, Grey Jacket (Puff), 2015

Charles Nodrum Gallery
267 Church Street
Richmond 3121

Tel. (61 3) 9427 0140
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11 am - 6 pm

HEADS & BODIES opens on 1 March and continues until 17 March.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

More watercolour miniatures

As the second month of 2018 nears an end, I remain primarily focused on the ongoing non-portrait miniatures for Patterns of Collecting/From the Bower at the Johnston Collection, a group exhibition opening in early June. It's such a pleasurable and satisfying project to work on, although with several other commitments hovering, I'll soon need to start multi-tasking a lot more.

Untitled watercolour, 2018, 9 x 7 cm

Untitled watercolour, 2018, 12 x 8 cm

As in its previous incarnations (at Warrnambool Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ballarat in 2017), Patterns of Collecting will comprise objects from the private collections of Loris Button, Louise Saxton, Carole Wilson and myself, together with a selection of our artworks.

The works featured here are a response to the portrait miniatures held in the museum's permanent collection. Each miniature is made to fit one of the decorative frames I've sourced in antique shops, markets and thrift shops. This is an equally enjoyable component of the project that brings some balance into my life by getting me out of the studio from time to time.

Inspiration for the series is also drawn from mourning and sentimental jewellery. I have a small collection of my own, and all of it will be included in the show.

This morning my friend, Arizona-based artist Deborah McMillion, sent me a link to The Curious Victorian Tradition of Making Art from Human Hair, a fascinating and enlightening article by Allison Meier, in which she reviews Woven Strands: the Art of Human Hair Work, an exhibition currently on view at the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. It's the first show solely devoted to this subject, at least that I'm aware of. Would that I could see it. To read the article, which is handsomely illustrated, go HERE.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Valentine

Love Knot, 2018, watercolour, 9 x 7.2 cm

A tiny token for this Valentine's Day (and eventually for Patterns of Collecting/From the Bower at The Johnston Collection in June).

Monday, February 12, 2018


L-R: myself, Gracia Haby, Theo Strasser and Louise Jennison at FOTP2018, Melbourne
  Town Hall. Photograph by Shane Jones, courtesy of Gracia and Louise.

Yesterday afternoon's Sticky Institute Festival of the Photocopier 2018 was bigger, brighter and better than ever, but, like many eagerly anticipated events, it was all over far too quickly. This year Sticky Institute received an unprecedented number of applications from zinesters (around 250 in the end, I believe) so all but zine distros were required to share a table. When your zine neighbours are Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison, with Theo Strasser on the adjoining table, this can only be a good thing.  We had a fabulous day. For me it was the best zine fair ever, which is saying something. I for one can't wait to do it all again next year.

Meanwhile, for an overview of FOTP2018, go to Moth Woman Press HERE.

Friday, February 9, 2018


The renowned Sticky Institute Festival of the Photocopier is currently under way and, as always, will culminate in a ginormous zine fair. In recent years it’s been held at Melbourne Town Hall, a venue well suited to accommodate the ever-growing number of stall holders. This year it’s anticipated that they'll number over two hundred.

Moth Woman Press will be among them, with three new zines made especially for the event, namely Fallen Women, The leaves, like women, interchange and Alice’s Wonderland (see below). We’ll also be carrying a a goodly selection of zines from our back catalogue.

Do join us if you can.

The complete list of FOTP2018 events is here:

Festival of the Photocopier Zine Fair 2018
Melbourne Town Hall
Sunday, 11 February, 12 - 5 pm

Fallen Women, 2018, 16 pages, signed and numbered edition of 100

For more about Fallen Women, visit Moth Woman Press HERE.

The leaves, like women, interchange, 2018, eight page zine with poem by Emily Dickinson. Signed and numbered
edition of 100

For more about The Leaves, like women, interchange, visit Moth Woman Press HERE.

Alice's Wonderland, 2018, eight page zine, signed and numbered edition of 100

For more about Alice's Wonderland, visit Moth Woman Press HERE.