Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Its Finally Cold and Wet

The sky is all gloomy, its raining and its chilly. Its the kind of day you just want to stay indoors and drink hot chocolate and do artwork. I will do that too, but first I have to go to gym and get my exercise specially since I had one of those dreaded overeating days yesterday. In between doing my artwork I will also do the washing which has been piling up and and later cook a curry for dinner.

Had a lovely dream about an old friend who passed away quite a few years ago. Its left me feeling all happy and mellow with the promise of good things to come. I love those dreams. They stay with me all day.

My daughter, Julia has been emailing me links to fabulous artwork on Red Bubble. Its becoming quite the morning ritual. What better way to start the day but with a dose of good art?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

No More White

The canvas isn't white anymore. Woohoo! Had the best time painting yesterday with really watered down paint. Masking areas of the canvas with watercolour paper and then laying down washes. Am really happy the way the paints bled into each other and also under the watercolour paper. Been trying for this effect for so long. Even the paper I used as a mask is really cool and will look great in a collage. Not sure if I will use any of it in this piece though. Will wait and see where this piece takes me I guess.
No art for me today though, I'm taking my Mum to visit my sister. Maybe I can get a couple of hours in after dinner.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Big White Canvas

On Saturday I unpack a new big white canvas ready to start work on. I stood it on my art table in the corner of my bedroom and there its stood looming all its glowing whiteness at me. The reason I started working in collage is a fear of that crisp white canvas. I have a fear of putting a mark on it. My theory is to stick a bit of paper on it, might be a page from the phone book or some newly stained or altered paper, and that glowing white canvas isn't white anymore. It has a mark on it and isn't scary any longer hehehe. I haven't started on the new canvas yet so there it sits blinking its whiteness at me like a neon sign. "I dare you to start, I dare you to start" it blinks. Well I will start today after gym so there :p.

I've been thinking of trying something new. I'm always thinking of trying something new but that's how the passion stays in my work I reckon. When I first got interested in collage, about 3 years ago, I saw some work by Peggy Brown in a book. I loved the subtleties of her work and tried to achieve that feeling in my own work. The inspiration of Peggy Brown's work took me through what my friends and family like to call my "beige period". I never really achieved the subtleties, just beige-ness hehehe. I looked on Peggy Brown's website again the other day and thought I might try her technique once again and see how I go. She works on watercolour paper but I want to try it on canvas. So big white looming canvas I'm coming for you today.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Latest Collage Finished at Last

Reflections of a City
stained, altered and found papers on canvas
46x91cm (18"x36")

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I decided to stay home and work on my art yesterday. I've been struggling with this piece and having real trouble resolving it. I started fiddling with it in the morning and thought I would just continue with it and go to gym today instead. It turned out to be the right decision as its nearly finished and looking ok. Just one little area left to work on and then some coats of varnish to protect it.

My art buddy, Julia (daughter) has come out of her long artist block and is creating again. She has done some beautiful work in the last few days. Check out and type in Julia Thomas to view her work. She has also put some of Zoe's work on there.

While writing my morning pages this morning I was questioning where to go next with my artwork. I like to keep exploring new techniques and learning new ways to express myself. I don't want to stagnate. So often you see talented people doing the same safe thing year after year and their work starts to look lifeless. I don't want that to happen to me. I like to challenge myself. The point I'm trying to make is that I got some new ideas this morning while writing my morning pages and once I've finished the piece I'm working on I'm going to give those ideas a try.

Anyway I'd better have breakfast, do my morning chores and head off to gym. My body can't afford another day off.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Shall I go to gym today because I missed yesterday? Or shall I spend the day on my artwork and go to gym tomorrow?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Day Early

Its market day today. A day early due to the Anzac Day holiday tomorrow. The school holidays end soon and there's a holiday tomorrow which means the market will become a madhouse. Better get off early and better stay bright and alert to get through the pushing and the shoving. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

If yesterday was Monday, today must be Tuesday!

I'm finally settling into a good routine (for want of a better word). I'm using my time more effectively. My sister, who is highly organised, would be proud. I got 6 to 7 hours in my artspace working on my collage yesterday and still managed my daily mundane chores. Ok the nest could be cleaner but the washing is done, bed is made, no dishes in the sink and the family get a good home cooked meal at the end of the day. Can't ask for more than that.

I have a piece in an exhibition that's opening on Sunday 2pm, at Gallery M in the Marion Cultural Centre. It the oriental piece I had exhibited in Naracoorte for this year's Taste Festival. Julia and Zoe's work are also part of the exhibition. Got a few girls from gym interested in going to the opening. They said they wanted to go, not just to see the work, but to rub elbows with the artists because artists wear such arty clothes. Bit stereotypical but very amusing. I for one think I wear ordinary clothes and wish I looked more "arty" hehehe hahaha.

Wanted to write a little bit about my best friend, Vanita. She silently reads my blog and never leaves a comment but keeps tabs on me anyway. We don't get to spend much time together (probably a good thing for Vanita). She lives in Naracoorte which is about 4 hours drive away and is an art teacher in the local high school. I was lucky enough to be artist in residence in her class room last year and saw first hand what an amazing teacher she is. The kids adore her. She is also an amazing friend who helps me and supports me in all my endeavours. Are you blushing yet Vanita? I just wanted to let you know I appreciate all you do for me :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Its Monday

Monday morning. The nights are getting a bit fresh. Have to put my dressing gown on while I run around doing my chores before heading off to gym.

Got a good start on my new collage yesterday. Its calling me now and I have the urge not to go to gym so I can go back to it now. No! I have to look after my health in order to create. All things in my life must be balanced. There's that word again "balance". That seems to be the hardest thing for me to maintain. Its all or nothing with me.

I read week one of Julia Cameron's Finding Water yesterday. In it she spoke about being connected to the higher realms while doing art. That's such a good explanation. I get so involved in the process, in the sheer joy of creating that I become so blissfully happy. Ok that sounds like I'm off with the fairies. Its a very difficult feeling to describe without sounding too "out there".

The new collage has a sea theme. This theme reoccurs a lot throughout my work. Yes I live in Australia and am surrounded by sea but its more than that. I'm also a migrant and travelled to my new home by sea. I was only 4 years old but I can remember the sounds, sights and smells. Its had a profound effect on my life and how I view home and family.

Still on the sea theme, one of the best days of my life was when Bob and I hired a canoe. We strapped it on the back of the ute and headed off to the Port Adelaide ship's graveyard. As the tide went out it revealed more and more of the ships that had been sunk there. They became beautiful rusty sculptures. There was only one wooden ship and that had turned itself into an island which I scampered over. Think I'll have to put a shipwreck image transfer into my new collage.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Happy in my Art Space

I've been spending a lot of time staining and altering paper so I have some in stock. There's nothing worse than being in the middle of an artwork and running out of paper or not having enough to choose from. Planning to start a new piece today YAY! I still get excited about it. Also starting the next book on the Artist's Way journey today, Finding Water.

Having my first solo exhibition at Naracoorte Art Gallery as part of the SALA Festival (South Australian Living Artist Festival). Opening August 1st. It was meant to be an exhibition showcasing 3 generations of women artists, exhibiting work from my daughter, granddaughter and myself but the gallery board decided that they wanted a solo exhibition instead. So its a bit sad on one hand and exciting and scary on the other. We are still planning to have our combined exhibiton. Just looking into another venue for some time this year I hope.

Off to do some mundane chores and then off to my art space to play.

Monday, April 14, 2008

New Work, Finally

Finally back on track and creating again. Just finished this piece yesterday. This is only the second piece I've made using this technique of staining and altering papers. I'm really enjoying this process. Want to do a few more in this style. My work has really changed and evolved in the 3 years that I've been exploring collage. Computer keeps crashing so I'd better stop rambling and post this while I've got the chance. Can't wait to start the next piece.
As Time Goes By
stained, altered and found papers, image transfers on canvas
46x91cm (18"x36")

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Product

Back in the creative flow and so happy about it. :) I've been trying really hard to keep a balance of all things in my life. I have a tendency to go full on in one area while the others suffer. Its either going to gym full on and watching what I eat to be healthy or its art with my head in the clouds. I don't even notice whats going on around me until somebody is hungry or has some other need and I crash back down into reality. However I'm trying not to do that to myself anymore. I go to gym, take care of the chores, work on my artwork, shop and spend time with family and friends all in moderation. It feels much more sane and much less erratic. Wonder how long I can keep it up.
Tried a new product on my artwork and I love it. Its not cheap but nothing connected with art and craft is. Its called Grafix Rub-onz. Its like the rub ons used in scrap booking only you create your own. You can print on them directly from your ink jet printer or you can draw on them if you prefer. Its such an easy way to do an image transfer. No more scrubbing off the paper afterwards. Not only can you use whatever image you want you can also use whatever colour you want too. Hehehe sounds like an ad but its really exciting to find products that are so easy to use and have endless possibilities. Will post a pic as soon. Had such a long break from creating I've been having a little bit of trouble with resolving the piece I'm working on. Its nearly there now but I had some struggles and difficult moments. Well enough on the words and on with the art. Hope to finish it today.

p.s. Zoe's new tooth is visible. She's very excited.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fun Day

Had such a great time at the beach yesterday with 2 classes of 6 to 7 year olds. We travelled to the beach by tram which was an experience. A bit stressful making sure they all crossed the busy road safely and all got on and off the tram. Once we got there the fun began. We got to build sand castles and eat morning tea on the grass. Our group has so much fun that kids from other groups kept joining us. We built the biggest sand castle with turrets made using buckets as molds. Some were carefully put on top of the castle. A moat went all the way around and then some more turrets around the moat. The kids wanted water in the moat. They ran back and forth from the sand castle to the sea retrieving buckets of water but the water always seeped away. I told them if the moat was deep enough it would have water in it naturally. They took on the challenge and took it in turns to dig a section of the moat deeper and deeper. Just before it was time to go back to school we hit water. Yay! Such excitement as everyone peered into the deep hole to see the water in the bottom. A day of play was good for my soul. Went home happy and sandy.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

School Excursion

Zoe has a school excursion today and I'm going too Yay! We are catching the tram and heading off to Glenelg Beach. Must remember my camera and my hat. Perfect autumn weather for a day at the beach.
Was able to get into the studio yesterday with 3 hours in the afternoon and then an hour or so after dinner. Made some new stamps to use as well. Can't wait to try them out. The collage is going slowly but I'm enjoying every moment of it.
That's all I have time for. Can't be late for school!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Back at Work Yay!

Yesterday was fabulous. I have been in such a lull regarding my artwork. Haven't got around to it for weeks but yesterday the dam burst and I was in my art corner for nearly the whole day. Came out now and again to hang a load of washing on the line, went for a quick shopping trip with Mum and Julia and cooked dinner but the rest of the time I was up to my elbows in medium and tissue paper. Didn't clean up till 8.30pm and boy it felt good. Got nearly the whole first layer done, the "underpainting" so to speak and I'm really happy with its progress. Have a lot of little things to do today after gym but I'm determined to do some more to my collage even if its not till after dinner. After all you can do one small creative thing everyday. You don't have to wait till you have a whole day to spend creating.