Monday, November 28, 2011

The 12 days of Christmas

After a bit of fun with the last blog, I'll try to get a little bit serious with this one.

Our esteemed COMA [Collaboration of Maleny Arts] leader, Ken Munsie, [E.L. for short], curated the latest exhibition, 'The 12 Days of Christmas', which is now hanging in one of our fabulous local cafes - 'Maple 3'.
This is my painting, titled 'One Bossy Gander'. Fiona reckons it will do people's heads in 'cos I have 7 geese - well, I actually have only 6 geese and one gander - it's called 'artistic license'.
Our E.L. always wants words to go with our art works, so here are mine:

One bossy gander
with 6 geese a laying,
happy puddling in Sanbao stream,
keeping watch over comings and goings,
greet me each morning
as I walk to the studio.

These are very recent memories from the rural tranquility of the Sanbao Ceramic institute, Jingdezhen, China. The geese and I had many conversations as we met along the creek banks and the pathways leading from the sleeping quarters to the restaurant and the working ceramic studios. They became my friends.

...these are the models for my painting...
Barry, Fiona and I helped hang the show this afternoon.
Barry hanging my painting with his '5 golden rings' to the right...
...Fiona checking the levels ['I phone' app.] on Helga Nehrkorn's partridge painting...
...E.L. [Ken Munsie] hanging 3 French hens...
...and me supervising the paper work!!

I did kind of form a bond with these geese - I loved the way they kept appearing at random water spots around the property - the pool where the clothes washing was done, the running stream where the lunch dishes were rinsed [must have been the attraction of the left over rice], the pond near the kaolin stamping, water driven apparatus, and along the track to the studios. I can still hear them squarking 'good night' and 'good morning - get out of bed...'  to me.

I did a couple of ink drawings whilst at Sanbao and then had them mounted onto a 'silk' scroll.
...check out the sox - a free gift after one of our many heavenly foot massages.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

a SERIOUS brush

...yes, this was a SERIOUS brush but I didn't buy it as it was the start of our trip - how to carry it around for 3 weeks?
I think it was about $300 [before bargaining] - probably a good buy.
...and this was a SERIOUSLY delicious nut gelato/smoothie/icecream thingy that satisfied the sweet cravings but was probably full of all sorts of artificial unmentionables.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chinese Traditional Brush Painting

...from ''

'This type of painting is sometimes referred to as Sumi-e. It  is a style of painting that is characteristically Asian, and has been practiced for well over a thousand years. Literally ink painting, it is an art form that strives to distill the essence of an object or scene in the fewest possible strokes. A few carefully placed broad strokes that fade off abruptly, a few thin lines and a dot, and a bird is clearly called into being on the paper.
Sumi-e is sometimes confused with calligraphy, because the tools used are the same. Calligraphy is the graceful, artistic representation of written characters, using ink and brush, while sumi-e is painting a scene or object. In the West, sumi-e is often called Chinese Brush Painting, although it has been a major art form in Japan and Korea as well.
To paint with ink requires the use of the Four Treasures. This refers to the must-haves of sumi-e: an ink stone, an ink stick, a brush, and the appropriate kind of paper. The ink stone is a stone with a shallow depression carved into it; it is used to prepare and hold the ink for the painter. The ink stick is a black stick composed of pine soot, bound into a hardened form with resin. It is typically molded in cylinders or rectangles with a lavishly decorated bas relief, such as dragons, on the surface. The reliefs are often painted in gold or other colors, making the utilitarian stick of ink a work of art in itself'.
A master of Sumi - E in Xiamen, SE China, gave us  a wonderful demonstration of his amazing skill. His name is Zhou Xing - he is from the NW province of Gansu and has offered to take us there one day - wow - what an experience that would be!!   

Friday, November 18, 2011

Brush making in Jingdezhen

Jingdezhen is the 'porcelain capital of the world' - beautiful, fine, strong, translucent porcelain is found in the area. It has a major student ceramic training institute and hundreds of specialist ceramic related 'factories'. 10km out of town is an International exchange complex/venue with studios, kilns, accommodation, restaurant, shop, and all the support and advice any ceramic artist could want - this place is 'Sanbao', about 10km from the city, run by Jackson Li and his sister, Wenying Li with the daily nitty gritty presently sorted out by the fabulous Sebastiano Pimenta from Brazil.
We had a week at Sanbao and met some wonderful people and really experienced life in the creative city of Jindezhen.
Jackson is well known 'in the west' for his ceramic works and also for making his own brushes.
Here are some of the brushes available for sale in the Sanbao shop - some made by Jackson...
...these were for sale in the student market...
...Jackson's friend making brushes...
...I bought these lovely brushes for about $40 - yum

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Yes, I am back from China.
I am loading piccies to my facebook at the moment - will post some arty pics on the blog when I get a chance. For those interested in my 'holiday snaps', go to:

Hopefully it will work.
Guilin and the Li river, S Central China.
Christine Elcoate and I on the 'Dragon bridge'.

Tourist transport.
Christine and I had a brilliant time - such an amazing country - such contasts to Australia and the rest of the Western world - the piccies will tell the stories.
I hope to catch up with you all via comments in the next week xoxoxoxo