Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A linocut in progress

Following directly from where our post of May 20 left off, here are additional progress views of the linocut that has been consuming a great deal of my time and energy of late.

After transferring the basic outlines of the lace collar onto the block, the remaining details were hand-drawn in white acrylic paint. 

Along the way, my protagonist has lost her set of drop earrings; they have been replaced by loose tendrils of hair. A further addition is the rose tattoo on her neck, apparently extending from the centre stem in her collar. Once the work has been editioned, the rose will be hand-coloured in red.

In the last photo, carving of the intricate lace pattern has just begun.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Begonia Virus #1 and #2

Begonia Virus #1, 2020, acrylic on canvas board, 10 x 10 cm

Begonia Virus #2, 2020, acrylic on canvas board, 10 x 10 cm

Begonia Virus #1 and Begonia Virus #2, pictured above, are part of ONE HUNDRED FACES, an upcoming installation of 100 paintings created by Ballarat-based artists on 10 x 10 cm canvas boards. The collected works will be displayed in a 10 x 10 grid in the front window of Playing in the Attic in Sturt Street, one of Ballarat’s liveliest thoroughfares.

Photographs I took in March 2020 at Ballarat’s renowned Begonia Festival served as visual references for my two paintings. I really enjoyed working on this pair and would have liked to add to them, had time permitted. It’s something I might well consider in the future. 

The works reflect on the interconnectedness of humans and nature and their titles are a playful riff on the relative similarity of the words Begonia and Corona. In the course of some rudimentary investigations, I discovered that there really is a Begonia Virus - and quarantine is one of the recommended means of controlling it!

 is presented in conjunction with the 2020 Ballarat Winter Festival, which runs from 27 June - 12 July. 

Playing in the Attic
119a Sturt Street
Ballarat Vic 3350 
Phone: 0428 580 30

Hours: Wed - Sat 10 - 4. Safety measures are firmly in place.

The installation can be viewed outside of business hours, as it will face directly onto the street. Stepping inside this delightful little store is also highly recommended - and not just because it stocks a range of my books and zines! Despite the gradual easing of restrictions in recent days, it is advised to double-check opening times.

Views of Begonia Virus #1 and Begonia Virus #2 in earlier stages of development are directly below.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Topsy-turvy times

At present it seems I’m either inundated with new ideas, too many to realise in two lifetimes, or frozen helplessly in place like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights. Unfortunately, the latter too often describes my mood.

It doesn’t help that I’ve reached a serious impasse with a project I’m obligated to complete. Rightly or wrongly, I’ve decided to put it aside for now and devote my time, hopefully more productively, to the linocut pictured here. AKA ‘Plan B’, the work revisits, revives and revises significant themes, techniques, motifs and materials. There’s something rather comforting in this, although that doesn’t make the prospect of resolving it any less daunting. I’m no stranger to linocuts, but it’s been awhile since I made one and the process feels equally familiar and strange. I spent most of yesterday developing the pattern for the lace collar my protagonist will wear, an exercise I found challenging but ultimately satisfying. Today’s aim is to transfer my design onto the block. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Hopefully ever after

Facing an uncertain future, hopefully ever after.
Each work: acrylic on canvas, 12.4 x 12.4 cm

As yet untitled, these are the first works in a series I’ve reluctantly placed on hold while I continue to work my way through several other projects, some with looming deadlines. In these times of unprecedented upheaval and uncertainty, there’s no guarantee that all of these commitments are going to run as originally scheduled, but at this point, I feel I’ve little choice but to proceed as if they are.

The miniature paintings featured here were made for an exhibition that isn’t going ahead, at least in its original form and time slot. C’est la vie, especially in times of COVID-19. On reflection, I believe the delay is for the best, as it will give me more time to develop the series and the ideas that underpin it.

I very much look forward to returning to this fledgling project, whenever that will be, and seeing where it leads me. Meanwhile, a couple of early developmental views follow, the first of which also features the irrepressible Alice, our boon companion during the long days of life in lockdown.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Studio shelves

We've done so much around the house in the last few months (most notably, hanging over 470 pictures, according to Shane Jones's calculations) that I never got around to posting about the bookshelves the exceedingly clever Shane built in my studio some weeks back. Here they are in all their cluttered glory. 

The shelves are set into a deep alcove that was originally an inbuilt dressing table (see below), so that they not only hold heaps of books, but also double as storage/display for other favourite things, including a tunnel book by Paul Compton (above, top shelf, third from right) and an artist book by Deborah McMillion (above, middle shelf, far right).

The following 'Before' photos document the process:

Thanks to these and the equally impressive shelves Shane has built in his own studio, we've finally been able to get the last of our books out of storage.

Friday, May 1, 2020

2020 Libris Awards finalist

Cat’s Cradle, 2019, acrylic on wood, and pigmented drawing ink on paper, 16.5 x 15.5 x 1.5 cm (closed)

I'm delighted to announce that my one-of-a-kind artist book, Cat's Cradle (2019) is one of sixty finalists in the 2020 Libris Awards at Artspace Mackay in Queensland.

For further information and an inside view of Cat's Cradle, visit Moth Woman Press HERE.