Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Selkie Stories; sketch book & samples

My next focused exhibition is 'Selkie Stories' showing in late August in M16 Artspace's black room. I am developing the themes I was looking at last year with 'Depths & Shallows' by using animation, glass & textiles to portray the transformation and narrative of Selkie folklore. The last few days have been productive, the story board is coming together along with material samples & tests.

I have found some great resource material from on grey seals. They have quite a few filmed sequences which are fantastic for getting the movement of seals in the water. Also David Thomson's 'The People of the sea' arrived in the post today. First published in 1954, the tales he has written down retain a feeling of their oral nature. Also in the post recently was a package from author Kate Forsyth which contained her beautiful book 'Two Selkie Stories from Scotland'.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Autumn musings; fiction, poetry and colour

Autumnal embroidery in silk and cotton floss on calico.

Well it is no surprise that I love Autumn, I take the same kind of photographs every year, I regularly use Autumn leaves for bookmarks and find leaves from past Autumns well pressed in-between pages every year.

I have done my Autumnal re reading of Kim Wilkins' Autumn Castle, such a perfect read for the season and one of my favourite books ever.

The Autumn Castle has a quote from a poem of Kate Forsyth's, another favourite author (Her poems are published under her maiden name, Humphrey).

"So pure and cold the wind breathes. It pares the flesh from the bones of the land - finds at last the essential shape" Autumn, Kate Humphrey.

Kim Wilkins also includes her own translation from a few lines of Hohenburg by Georg Trakl.

"There is nobody at home. Autumn fills the rooms;
Moonbright sonata
And theawakening at the edge of the twilit forest."

This quote reminded me of another, one that when I read it thought... Yes, that's it exactly! Unfortunately all I remember is that feeling and not the quote. Frustrating. Searching my memory I managed to narrow it down to a Charles de Lint novel but despite searching 'on the google' I couldn't find it (turns out I should have remembered the American and Canadian use of the word Fall).

So I started re-reading 'Jack the Giant Killer' and then 'Memory and Dream' and at last I found it.

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape - the loneliness of it - the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it - the whole story doesn't show."
                                                                                                        -Attributed to Andrew Wyeth.

I had read Memory and Dream in a previous Canberra Autumn, where I was feeling incredibly nostalgic. Canberra is planted with many European deciduous trees, reminding me more of German and English Autumns than any Sydney season could give. I was pondering on why I love winter trees (I mean why would a person prefer bare branches to glorious green?) and the Andrew Wyeth quote drew me to an answer. It is that brimming sense of potential, of becoming, of promise. The tension of the moment before the action happens. I love being able to see the 'bone structure' or bare architecture of the tree branches... I guess that is why all my glass pieces have bare branched trees.

OK Autumn gush over!

Well not quite. The trees in my garden, which I take pictures of constantly at this time of year have inspired me to a small embroidery. Yellow and grey are such a great colour combination, that I kept seeing the tree branches and yellow leaves in stitches. So I have started, the background calico is an old piece (20 years) of stitch testing. When I first went to pattern making college, our first lessons where of threading an industrial sewing machine to a timer and practicing sewing a straight and even line. As you can see mine are a little wavy, but I think it works great as a background giving a suggestion of landscape. The calico has a lovely soft texture 20 years later!

Silk and cotton floss on calico sewing machine stitch samples

Thursday, March 12, 2015

MIT app inventor

So, I have this great idea for an App (KILN SCHEDULE APP) It is very specific and doesn't exist yet. I am slowly working my way through some beginners projects at MIT Appinventor a very cool site where you can learn to make apps. Very simple ones to start with, like the examples below.

You don't have to learn to code (phew) but you do learn to work out how things fit together. Those little blocks I guess have a whole heap of code behind them to enable someone like me to build them together to make things happen.

Now I realise that now there are 'drag and drop' style app builders (like App pie), but the feel too simple for the kind of App I want to build.

I am scheduling in one or two exercises a day from the MIT 'Course in a box' to see if I can build up some new skills!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cycling in the evening sun

Needing to return someone else library book (much more urgent than ones own) I cycled to Erindale, the nearest library. Delightfully, I only needed to cross 2 roads over 5.8km. The bicycle tracks and underpasses of Canberra are actually really great. I love not having to worry about cars.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

GLINT 2015

I received a reply to my GLINT residency proposal. While I crossed my fingers of my left hand and squeezed my eyes shut with hope, I opened the email.

YAY! I got in. So thrilled.

Here is a look at last years GLINT.

10253790_773400476037618_2458324873196204952_nMegalo Print Studio and Canberra Glassworks have partnered to create an exciting residency opportunity appropriately called GLINT, a combination of Glass and Print. 
In 2014 this project offered eight artists a unique opportunity to explore the connections between printmaking and glass practice, working across the facilities of Canberra Glassworks and Megalo.  
The eight artists were selected as a result of an Expression of Interest process include Scott Chaseling, Emilie Patteson, Ben Rak, Annika Romeyn, Dionisia Salas, Mark Thiele, Annie Trevillian, Melinda Willis. 
IMAGE: Emilie Patteson + Annika Romeyn working on a lithographic stone
The artists, made up of 4 glass and 4 print artists, worked in a collaborative manner, sharing skills and forging the links between Glass and Print through a two month residency concluding 30 May 2014 
The work created during the GLINT residency culminated in an exhibition at Canberra Glassworks Gallery from 25 June – 4 August 2014, curated by Alison Alder, former Director of Megalo.  
This was the first collaborative project between Megalo and Canberra Glassworks. Both organisations are excited about the prospect of future collaborations and look forward to working together to establish Kingston Foreshore a visual arts hub for Canberra.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Spring bulbs

Such fun opening a parcel this morning from Diggers. Among other selections of Bluebells and Freesias I opted for the 'Gambler's Choice' bulb pack.

Inside the pack, were Daffodils, Hyacinths, Bluebells, Tulips, Freesias and Ipheions.  I quite like surprises like that. A busy time planting all of those in April.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Long promised peg apron

I have finally got my straight stitcher going, with a few problems solved from when the removalists moved it. I made a friend a peg apron, which she has had to wait a fair time for. The fabric is from a duvet cover I bought in an op shop.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Organisation in the sewing room

Finally getting myself a little organised in the sewing room. I have worked through the problems with my straight stitcher and I have realised I do need to take the Elna for a service. Let the sewing commence!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

KIGA prize entry

For the second year of Kirra Galleries light prize, I entered these sketches. Called 'Telling the Bees'

(I have now since found out that I didn't get in this year... Oh well, maybe i'll make it someday)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Business cards from Moo

Finally I got around to ordering a few artist business cards, which arrived in the post today. I'm not sure I want to give them away!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

even more soccer

Well I think this will be the last for me as Dougie has a fellow Patrick Thistle fan in Canberra for the remaining games here and keen soccer fans for the games in Sydney. It was a more lively game than yesterday AND it didn't rain. Asian cup 2015

the obligatory soccer selfie

The soccer fan

the bizarre 'nutmeg' dancing wombat?!

the game UAE v Qatar

Saturday, January 10, 2015

More soccer

I never thought I would attend so many soccer matches. Probably after the world cup in Brazil (2014) I thought, no more. Dougie has tickets to a few games for the AsianCup 2015. For the most part, he has soccer fan company, but today and tomorrow he has to put up with me. As you can see from the images, it was a wet game. S.Korea 1 Oman 0.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

growing things

I swear, every time I turn my back the beans have grown again.

beans and sweetcorn

Chillies, peppers and cucumbers

Saturday, January 3, 2015

the delightful aroma of French Earl Grey

Without collaborating (having not yet met) My mum and Dougie's nephew gave me partnered presents for Christmas. Gorgeous French Earl Grey Tea (smells amazing) and a fabulous tea cup.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


This year we stayed at home, really, in the house. But I wanted, as we now know we are staying, to ritualise Newyear/Hogmanay to include our home. I put together a bit of a mishmash of tradition and neo pagan elements.

  • Lit candles to start (a little before midnight)
  • Ate the handmade biscuits to thank all the good things from the past year 2014
  • At midnight we Drank to the New year along with our hopes and plans 2015
  • Opened the back door to let the old year out.
  • Swept the living room with a broom made from a bush in the garden to the front door.
  • Opened the front door to let in the New year
  • Placed the broom at the threshold.
  • Our cat Thistle was the  'first foot' :)
  • Lit the smudge stick and smoked it through all the rooms in the house.

It felt right to mark the turning of the year in some way. Lets see how it goes!

After sweeping out the old year, our garden broom lays across the threshold.

Ingredients for the smudge stick were all gathered from the garden. Dried lavender, rose petals and rosemary. It smelt good.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Red and white

So Christmas has been and gone. It was manic right up until Christmas morning as I had a commission to finish and presents to make.

Love this contrast of strawberries and cream consumed on Christmas day and the display at Darling Harbour on Boxing day.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Glass gifts on Christmas day

We spent Christmas day at parents house in the Central Coast. 'We' being Dougie, Matt (Dougie's nephew), myself and Mum and Dad. Apart from getting a commission finished I also wanted to give gifts that were hand made.

The woodland tankard is finally finished! Along with some international beers I gave Dad the 'Woodland tankard' that I have been working on here and there for a year or so. I love the look with beer inside.

'Woodland tankard' full of beer. (cast glass)
For my Mum, a cast crystal relief of blossoms. It has found a spot where the light catches it, in her very meditative bathroom.

and finally, a late present for them both for their 40th Wedding Anniversary. I had cast the keys in Ruby crystal (40=Ruby) but the glass had other ideas. Luckily I ended up with a gorgeous orange, a colour my mother loves. The interlocked keys are quite tricky, more for getting them out of the mould material and polishing really. Patience!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Mum

For my mum's birthday I stitched a small embroidery of a Californian poppy. I have been saving seeds from our own flowers, so I included a little bag of seeds too. Those flowers have given us so much happiness and colour over the last few months, I hope they give the same in my parents garden.

Happy Birthday Mum!

Keys for Kieu

5 keys for Kieu. I love this colour way. I hope her friends like them!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Field of sunflowers

newspaper potting factory, Limoncello bottle just the right size
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My order of seeds and plants arrived the other day. I've been madly making newspaper pots. Sunflowers, beans, corn, tomatoes, Calendula, Chamomile and Sweet peas sowed today. I've run out of newspaper for now...

Star shortbreads... a quick break from rolling pots