Sunday, November 26, 2017

Quilting Arts Group equals Weekly Art Project

Weekly Art Project is an attempt to make creating art a habit. Having to catch up on the word challenges for Quilting Arts before the end of the year is my new self imposed deadline.  Having  a few larger projects to do in 2018 and some new commitments I think my time should be spent wisely now.

This is WAP 2 called Phenomenon.  It is all stitched, quilted. The inner rectangles are both the same measurements, a phenomenon for 2 reasons, a) it is finished and b) the visual perceptions that the rectangles differ in size. Value is the important art property at play in this piece.

This is WAP 3 in progress. It is finished but you will have to wait for a photo as I am currently unable to post one here.

I have also been selecting colours, fabrics etc for WAP 4. More to be revealed later for this one. It does have some advantages to work in 10"x8" size but scaling things down can sometime be difficult too.

Meanwhile the house reno's are still creeping along. I decided that hopefully the grandchildren may visit in the weeks before Christmas. Last time they visited the spare bedroom door ( and our bedroom door) were still missing in action ( on the veranda waiting to be cut down to fit after the floor renovations) and the light shining in at night was a bit annoying with no door, so the goal is to cut, strip, sand, repaint and rehang the door before they come.

The work has started. The paint had crackled, I would like to know what the primer was that was used originally. A long way to go, I don't need reminding there are 2 sides to a door. I also have 2 doors to do. 

When I scraped this back, there was a name scratched in the paintwork that was not visible before this. The people that built the Ivanhoe house were named Scott ( we think) so what link to this door does this name has, is something we will probably never know.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Magic 4 and catching up.

I seem to like the number 4, it has some special meaning to me, as well it is 4 months since I found time to write. (Post script, I found this in drafts, it is now nearly 7 months) time flies when you keep yourself busy.
Since I last found time to write,  I have travelled to Bali/Java for my batik excursion. We spent a fair amount of time travelling as well as 3 days at the batik fabric factory where we designed, coloured 50m of batik fabric. I found the process very interesting. I also found some art batik in process upstairs in a classroom in Malleoboro in Jogyjkarta where I bought 2 small pieces. We drove back across Java to Bali seeing all the rural areas as well as the more urbanised areas.
 I learnt about keeping healthy and using non western toilets, called to prayer each morning and evening during our time in Java, but managed to succumb to food poisoning during the last 4 days, to the extent my last night in Bali was spent on IV fluids in a Clinic using my travel insurance. I think it was salmonella from the breakfast at the 4 star hotel in Malang that we had stayed at. I was the only person from the group who ate that item at breakfast and was the only person to get ill. Word of warning, travel insurance will not usually cover a pre existing condition, and as severe gastro is not that, I had no problems getting the bill covered. I certainly did not intend to research the Indonesian pathology system but found that it works quite well with a turnaround time of approx. 2 hours.

We had some tourist excursions as well. Indonesia is a big selfie country. This is at the Hindu temple at Prambanan. We also visited the Buddhist temple at Borobordur. Whilst visiting the lake at Telegata Sarangan, I had 2 tourists from Sumatra race up to me asking for selfies with me. I really did feel like a star. I think it was the blonde hair!.

Typical mode of transport for some, other than cars and the many scooters. There is a bird in that birdcage. This was on the streets of Surakarta.

These are pictures from within the batik factory. The staff were so willing to put up with us Aussies and our wishes. It was hot and humid even for the Queenslanders in the group.

This is a tjap maker a master craftsmen, he would earn approx. $AUD100 a month for his handiwork.

2 tjaps I selected for some fabric.

2 of my favourite pieces that I designed.

Some views of the tourist part of our trip.

After making it back to Chandidasa in Bali, this is where we rested. I didn't fully appreciate the view as I was getting sicker each day. My watch battery died, and the locals knew exactly who to phone. He was so amazed that it was a "real watch" that he put a decent battery in it. I'll be able to tell you in a year or so if it is.

First time for a drip in nearly 26 years!  They had no trouble putting the cannula in, in my small veins. Luckily I got out of the clinic 4 hours before I was due to leave for the 3 hr drive back to the airport for the flight  and made it safely home.
Since being back home, I have recuperated quite well. I have started my final online course with Lisa Call and slowly working my way through it. Not much actual sewing happening but I plan to start again very soon.
We have had a few important family events happening including 80th and 30th birthdays. A 60th wedding anniversary celebration and the arrival of a new granddaughter. Great excitement for the family. The newest granddaughter is now 9 weeks old so shows you how time flies when you are kept busy.
A great night catching up with some of the Meyers. There were only 3 missing from this group of cousins, who had not been in the same place at the same time for many years. One of them was there that night but not when this photo was taken on my Ipad. I will have to find the other group one and add it.

I had a special request from the eldest granddaughter to make her and her brother a new horse. Her original needed life saving surgery. So I used some Java batiks. Mind you, their tails are now a bit shorter. Might have to start using fabric tubes instead of felt. So some sewing has been happening.
These are from some of my series work in the last year.
This is my Longreach storm landscape completed in September 2016.

After doing Lisa Call's Design Principles Class where we studied various artists, these are some of my Paul Klee inspired landscapes. I got a Highly Commended in the recent Mt Perry Art Exhibition Textile section with "Fire"

I love looking at this green one, the depth and dimension is not done justice in a photo.

Learning about design, value, focal point, has been so worth it.

This piece is a sample piece inspired by Gordon Walters artwork. It is another in my combinations series.

This piece I made for the Mt Perry Art Exhibition section called "Reflections" but it was ineligible for that category as it had to be painting not textiles so was entered in the textile section. It is mounted on canvas and was awarded first place. The  batik fabric makes this piece have so much depth.

Before I went away to Java, I had signed up for Lisa Call's Abstraction Class. I was quite pushed for spare time in the beginning. The class involved a lecture, emails and always a weekly assignment. I was feeling quite overwhelmed at first. I did manage to finish all 8 assignments so felt that alone was an achievement. These are some of them.

Abstracting a landscape.

Abstracting an object, in this case it was a kero lantern.

Copying a master.

Abstracting an emotion with lots of planning and drawing.

Abstracting whatever you like improvisationally with no planning.

Meanwhile the class has finished, it's time to reflect, I have lots of stuff to complete for Kingaroy Quilting Arts, habits to form with my new ideas. At this stage I would like to make a piece a week inspired by the new to me Abstract artists. 
Sadly the house renovations are also beckoning. I have decided that the only way forward is at least 2 hrs a day when I am home is needed. This week saw the sanders start again. The yellow platform has been moved from where it has been sitting idle. Paint was purchased and soon these rails will be ready. It is a long way down to the ground from the top of the yellow platform but I can at least reach the decorative pieces. 

 Meanwhile the year rolls by and Christmas and New Year will be upon us again. I am rostered to work Christmas again, this time I am between Late shift and Night shift on Christmas Day. Will soon be 2018 and I am off on another learning adventure involving traditional batik on silk in Ballarat in January. Never seems to stop! Life certainly does keep moving along.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Last 4 Months- Artwise

Late 2016 I joined the Quilter's Rest Quilting Arts Group, now called Tangled Threads. They have an Exhibition annually but rotate between Kingaroy and Wondai Galleries. Each year they set certain challenges which we are not obliged to participate in all, but are encouraged to do. These pieces then become the basis for the exhibitions. This year we have  a Word Challenge each month and they are restricted to 10" x 8" portrait. January was Wacky.  Mine is titled " Wacky Red Hatted Moon"
I am trying to use these words as inspirations for a lunar series. This size is a good size to try techniques/styles etc. This one is all pieced. They are mounted on canvas, I have used black gesso to paint the sides and back. They are ready for hanging with D rings and wire across the back.

 February was my chosed word, Ambience. I titled it "Lunar Ambience" The three small moons are applique while the Earth is pieced in.
March, the word was Fantasia. I think the person who submitted this word was really thinking orchestral. I interpreted it as a play on words for me. Fantastic, Fan, Sound, wind fanning out from a source. It is a combination of applique, FMQ and straight line quilting.

April was Seasons. This one was quite difficult for me in this size. This is the 3rd attempt for me. The other 2 will probably end up in the bin. I titled this one, " Seasons Change but does the Moon?" It is a wholecloth with texture created by stitching.

For the month of May, the large piece Combination was due also. This had to be 0.5m x 1.5m long so it was a huge effort to get this finished. I have also been working on my Tracks Series of landscapes.
In my spare time in January I started studying with Lisa Call for her Design Elements Online Class. It was definately money well spent. I have had no formal art training at all. I did science /maths subjects at school, and university. Learning to sketch, draw and how to view art has been an eye opener and I hope I can use these skills in my artwork.
This course went for 6 weeks with lectures/ assignments and live review sessions online. One thing I have learnt is how dependent we are on the internet these days. Luckily for me we upgraded to NBN satellite a few weeks before enrolment had to be finalised otherwise I don't think our previous satellite service would have coped. I had a 2 week break then we started the next one I wanted to do, Design Principles Online Class, which was the same format but covering how the elements are used.
I now know what people mean by expressions such as figure/ground, focal points, rhythm and balance in art.  Do you? If not maybe you should look at her website if you wish to make art quilts/textiles.
I have still been making a few more landscapes for my tracks series. Am thinking of a spin off series just pure landscapes. I have still been fitting in some real work, so juggling all of this  has been fun, hence the lack of blog posts. To keep the habit going from Lisa's classes I am endeavouring to study one artist a week and try sketching one of their works.
I also made a major health decision when Water Aerobics commenced at out local pool for the rest of summer to attend. I found I enjoyed it that much that I intend to visit the heated pool in a neighbouring town regularly for winter.
I am also jaunting off to Indonesia in July for 2 weeks to learn and make batik fabrics. That has been on my list for years so should be fun. I have also booked into Fibre Arts Summer School Ballarat in Jan 2018 for more batik.
Hopefully one day, I will be making pieces that I have coloured all of the fabric for. Must go, off to do some more creating.

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Where did it go?

That is a very good question, where did the second half of 2016 go? I have had a few draft blog posts ready to go, waiting for some photos. Sat down today, added them, typed words to suit and hey presto, a wrong keystroke and they all disappeared. Tried to salvage it all, no good. So here we start again.

This photo is of the wharf at Euchuca, where we went for an early morning paddle steamer ride on the Murray River enroute to Ballarat in July. If you get the chance, do it. So noisy but peaceful cruising down the historic river.

The above photo was taken on a time out trip to Dalby with our youngest daughter. A freezing cold day in July saw us venture up the Bunya Mountains, in our parts ( on top of the world) Mind you , this was after I had travelled to Ballarat for my Working in a Series Class with Lisa Call.
This was my $15x15cm x 15cm piece that I donated for the MINDA auction. I was most impressed that Lisa Walton (one of my quilting heroes) bought this piece.
I have since continued working in a series, made up to 15 larger ones so far. This photo below is one  in progress.

Here are 3 from my series on display at the Bundaberg Quilter's Exhibition in August.
I was invited to make a piece of artwork for the Mundubbera Hospital Auxiliary Fine Art Auction. My mother had a slight accident with their car in their driveway and ended up spending a few nights there in late July, so I donated a "Mundubbera Landscape"
I personally think the buyer got a bargain, so I hope they like it as much as I do. It is a citrus landscape. Mundubbera is well known for it's citrus orchards and as one of them was my childhood home, I could not do something else.

 After a few dry months, Christmas was nearly upon us. We were drought declared, our plans for all of us to stay at the beach were looking dimmer. I had to work 5 shifts ending Wednesday 28th, and the weekend before Christmas we had Santa visit. This was a special Santa for the local pony clubbers, and our grandchildren were unaware a certain family member was "missing" whilst Santa was there. This is the only grandchild who sat still long enough for a photo. All of the others "took off" when he gave them their present. There was a reasonable amount of rain that evening as well which took some pressure off for Christmas, allowing a beach visit as planned so I could go to work from there.

On the house side of things, the top coat of paint in the dining area is still 11/12 unfinished.
I purchased this small side table in November. Sitting on top is the 15th quilt in my series awaiting quilting. On top of the quilt is my 3D piece I made for Quilting Arts at the Quilter's Rest. I have joined this small group so we shall see what I end up sewing in 2017.
I will try to be a better blogger, house painter, quilter, scientist, farm accounts manager, in 2017. My camera is playing up so may need a new one. We now have NBN with heaps more data allowance so soon I really will have no further excuses. Take care, seen too many tragedies of late. Catch you in 2017.