Sunday, December 1, 2013


Hi Blogging friends,

I have just updated my painting, jewellery and fibre tabs with the last year of two of artworks, so please go into the tabs to see what I have been up to.

Sorry about the blogging tardiness - I'm trying to work out a way to make the whole process faster and more efficient without having to upgrade my systems, data, speed etc which unfortunately equates to spending lots more money....hmmmm. If you do facebook, please feel free to friend me as I'm hoping to get a dedicated art page happening there.  We'll see.

Anyway, this is me a couple of weeks ago, wearing my new sublimation printed earrings - still going strong and enjoying my creativity.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Riveting Workshop

Keith lo Bue teaches the most amazing workshops - he calls himself a 'stuff smith'. He creates found object wearable art works and much more - the latest being incredible mobiles. Do yourself a favour and check out his website.
I went to a 2 day workshop in Brisbane at the Studio West End [Adele and Wim] making rivets and connecting metal together. It was brilliantly inspirational, as are all of Keith's workshops.
My rivet making skills are on the improve and I look forward to getting the chance to create a new body of jewellery with these techniques.
...found aluminium cut out shapes, rusty iron, face back, glo mesh back, corrugated copper fragment, copper watch component,
...Chinese coin, silver plated wire,
 ...aluminium discs, speaker mesh, ceramic beads, copper nail rivets,
...recycled silver earrings, watch parts, silver plated wire,
...a tube through timber and plastic game pieces.

This is an amazing EARRING that I bought from of his gorgeous little mobiles that hangs from the ear. How cool is this?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Forbidden fruit

 ...well, not really forbidden, although these pomellos were gifted to me from an 'unknown' source - hmmmmmm. 
We found pomellos in China 2 year ago - I fell in love with them, but they are hard to find in Australia.

Sorry I have not been into the bloggersphere for ages - I'm finding the posting a bit overwhelming  - where do I start and where do I finish??? Yes, so much creativity happening in my life these days - hahahahah, besides, my daughter gave me an ipad for my birthday in May, and I have become addicted to 'Words with Friends' [my sister is a doozie - have to try to beat her, and I thought I wasn't competetive] and I am also hooked on the jigsaw puzzles where you load your own photos - lots of delicious rusty iron pics to challenge my brain. I am amazed that my eyes have become attuned to the slightest variation in texture and tone - anyway, I'm sure you are more interested in what I have been doing creatively.

I hosted an Asian themed dinner party last week, assisted by my good friend Christine, and she made up a couple of gorgeous Ikebana arrangements for me.

Oh, yes, I mustn't forget the rather unforgettable Japanese desert thingy I made up - gelatine, rose water, strawberries, real gold leaf and slivered almonds, not bad for one who isn't keen on cooking!
...back to the Ikebana...
I love the simplicity of design needed for Ikebana - yes, more of the wabi sabi concept, so I am keen to create a few of my own.
Here are the new arrangements I made up today...
...rather fitting - winter fruits and all that [it's a mandarin]...
...and an azalea...

Still working with the citrus theme, we have created a lovely new window display in the 'Pop Up Gallery'. Lynn and I started with a bowl of lemons on a tray, then photographed the still life, then developed the image to suit each of our painting styles. I did some editing of the photo to create 2 very different compositions.
Original photo...
composition 1
composition 2
painting 1 on canvas
painting 2 on canvas
'sketch' paintings on paper
window display
We've had so many compliments - yellow is not a colour I normally use, but it sure does brighten up a winter's day.
I hope you are safe in whatever part of the world you call home - things are difficult in many areas, and I am grateful every day that I have found my little piece of paradise here in Maleny, Australia.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Narita/Tokyo/Ginza galleries and artworks

Yes, Toto - we are at Narita!!! and about to take the fast train in to Tokyo, thanks to our fabulous friend Cathy who met us at the airport and guided us to our ryokan on the outskirts of Tokyo - a 3 hour, several train trip. We got wise this time and bought our Suica cards [train travel cards] straight up. Pity about the sim card and the Wifi coverage - Japanese telcos seem to have the market sewn up for Japan only. International travellers- too bad, unless you want to pay big bucks to hire a phone.
On the bright side, the dollar was at parity with the yen, so the whole trip was comparitively inexpensive. Pity about my birthday present mini ipad, and my useless mobile phone and charger which I carried everywhere - I guess the ipad was useful for downloading photos!
Cathy, Merv and I, looking good after a 9 hour flight...
 Christine, Cathy and bento box to share,
Our beautiful traditional ryokan for 2 nights, futons on the tatami mats,
 Mama san saying goodbye,
breakfast on the run - delicious fruit, $1 and $2 a stick

amazing what you find in Ginza,

and we DID manage to find a few very small contemporary galleries - up a couple of flights of stairs and in tiny but impressive spaces. From what I gathered, the deal is the same as in OZ - artist hires the space [but for only a week or so], and if the exhibition is a success, the gallery keeps some work 'in stock'. The prices of works were reasonable - comparable to here. It seems that the artists have 'other jobs' to keep food on the table, just like here.
3 levels of small Masako Izaki paintings,

View of/from the gallery rooftop,
another gallery exhibiting wonderful glass sculpture by Hikari Ibuki Ihari,
 [a serious follower and collector of this artist was in there making his choice]...

alongside the exquisite composite mixed metal sculptures of Yusuke Maruyama,

[I was VERY tempted by the cloud brooches],
...then we stumbled across another lovely small gallery, all dimmed out and mysterious, showing wonderful suspended, painted and mixed media and very quirky, working clock sculptural thingies... some had no hands, others went backwards, others had cookoo type workings.
The artist was a shy and gorgeous young man, Kimio Muraoka.

Next time we will know where to go and we will plan a full day in Ginza to see the contemporary galleries.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

TOTO - we're not in Kansas anymore

......we are in Japan,
...where the primary manufacturer of plumbing equipment is branded 'Toto'. 

Well, actually we are not in Japan anymore - we have been home a week now after a whirlwind 3 weeks of connecting with old friends, making new ones, seeing new sights and engaging in 2 full day community arts events which were a huge success and brought us to tears. More on that later, or go to Fiona's blog. The 'us' constituted myself, Christine Elcoate, Fiona Dempster, Barry Smith and Merv Jefferson, a talented local artist who has Sister City connections. The first 2 weeks were independent of Sister Cities, the last was based in Tatebayashi, the Sunshine Coast Council's Sister City in Japan, an hour N of Tokyo.

Where do I start? This past week has been crazy and I am all over the place on all levels, so I am enjoying a bit of 'time out' going through my photos and savouring the wonderful recent memories of Japan.

Maybe I'll start with the incredible sense of design that is throughout Japan, permeating things old, new, man made, created by nature [often with a bit of help from well practiced secateurs] and even in the worn and tattered remnants of days gone by. A wabi sabi lover's dream destination!!

1. Some of the contemporary man made elements as seen in the street [graphic design envy]...

2.  Designs focusing on natural materials...

3.  Mother Nature has her own Degree in Design...

4....and things decay in the most elegant of ways...

5.  Maybe the street maintenance crew are also educated with a sense of good design???...

6...and my dear friend Natsuko honours the life cycle of the dandelion as much as that of the azaelea...
7.  Lastly check out the latest 'inventions' helping to save the planet, make wrapping bunches of flowers easier and more beautiful, and encouraging women to have kids by putting baby holders in public toilets.

...yes, gotta hand it to the Japanese.