Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Net Work

works by Ailey Ball, Dagmar Cyrulla

Network opened over the weekend.

It’s an exhibition that needs to be explained I suppose, in the interests of grasping its importance, personally, and as an art collective.

TLF is a private, invitation only online forum, comprised of professional contemporary artists.   For this reason it’s an intensely comforting place to share ideas, experiences, technical matters and a laugh.  Being able to join a discussion that may be months old, and gain insight is quite special.  It’s also a special place because one gets the feeling that this is the new collective.  A new salon in the way of earlier physical collectives, but immediate, and Australia-wide. It’s the brainchild of Amanda Van Gils (and she’s a pretty special herself).

For the most part, my experience of it has been a personal one – getting to know people as people without being overwhelmed by their skill or success and feeling intimidated by that and sharing the journey of parenthood while juggling art in particular.  So with the chance to join the very first TLF curated exhibition I waved my arms wildly and said – me, me, me.  It was exciting and overwhelming to see the works collected and find one of mine among them.

Here’s a snapshot of the exhibition.  I know I’ve left works out, and some of the photos were blurry (some too blurry to include) but hopefully it’s enough of a taster to get you out to the Art Gallery of Ballarat for a look yourself.

Jan Berg (amazing texture and so, so big)

(that’s my one – down there, next to some pretty incredible works)

Deb Mostert, Kate Bergin, Steve Wharburton, Debbie Hill, David Coles, Sue Beyer

Merryn Trevethen

David Coles, Sue Beyer

Dianne Gall, Glenn Locklee

Steve Wharburton

Amanda Van Gils, Irene Wellm

Chris Delpratt

Irene Wellm

Darian Zam, Simon Collins

Simon Collins, Kez Hughes

Claire Bridge, Jim Thalassoudis

Such a great exhibition, such a great opening – and I have no photos of that, but trust me it was busy, and friendly, and such a treat to be able to put faces to names and make friendships just that little bit more real.  Dinner afterwards was a hoot, and while we left early, I believe it went on into the small hours and there was more than a little mischief.

Gotta love a bit of mischief.  And community.  Loving that. Network.  Go see.


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Outside (first session).

I worried for a while that the muse had abandoned me.  This has happened before.  Despite inspiring classes and time, and motivation I found – when working as a graphic designer that at the end of the day there was nothing left.  That all my creativity was sucked into producing work that was – well – disposable.  And the art making – was not an imperative.  I worried that not doing would lead to skills vanishing and that I would forget the difference between art and decoration.

The muse was – in fact very busy elsewhere with other people and had forgotten I was waiting for her to return.  And it was – in retrospect selfish of me to expect her to hang around waiting until I had enough energy to avail myself of her blessings.   She is – after all a busy woman.

Inside (Second session – still in progress).

I do think that certain activities naturally feed creativity, and others drain it.  For me – having busy hands seems to work.  Having an engaged brain, playing with textiles, exploring the craft zeitgeist and lateral extensions of that movement within the confines of my paid work seems to leave me with enough head-space left over to paint, and the muse – who took a brief holiday, seems to be happy with this time-share arrangement.  Which is – frankly a huge relief.  Not painting would have been an expensive trade-off soul-wise for financial assistance (necessary as that is).

Last Sunday was spent – outside, painting in the sun.  Mapping out a new painting and thrilling at how naturally it was coming together.  Sun on the back, companion painting (and also painting successfully), lunch with legs dangling over the edge of the terrace, a newspaper and good conversation.  A good day and with the residual feeling of rightness about everything at the moment continuing strong and continuing to feed all aspects of life.

Painting inside the outside studio, while a different sensory experience (jumper, heater), and a challenge with artificial light sources is still successful and there is something enjoyable too – about that cloistering and containment, and about exiting into the real world with its chill and dark and relaxing in the house after a session painting in the studio outside it.  In my last house there was a studio inside – where I could come and go any hour of the day – heated, comfortable, kids sleeping, but I did find that hard to turn off from.  All consuming I would paint all day, and night and get up to check and mull things over in my sleep.  Here – I give it my all when I can – which not as often as I would like, but better for my energy levels.

Thankfully it seems to be working.

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In the past year I have had swings about blogging.  Gone through months of not looking at anyone’s in particular.  Had months where any inspiration of any kind was more of an annoyance than an inspiration – a cruel reminder of the lack of time and head space.

I had wondered if not having the drive to blog must mean something.  That it was serving no purpose for me – and was therefore not a priority, and wondered if that was that something that needed a decision – or was an apology needed for readers who were feeling abandoned or worried.  I am aware that blog reading can become an addiction of sorts – a real life soap opera in concentrated form.  I have blogger-friends who I don’t know that well physically who I have worried about from time to time.   Does the silence mean something?  Nothing? Is it a bad thing?  A good thing?

Truth is, sometimes life just gets in the way – which is bloody wonderful.

My journey with this blog has taken me through sewing, knitting, art, family, resettling and thinking out loud. It has been fun, and it is a kind of meditation in itself.  At the moment I am very busy with life – which is very, very good.  There is virtually no knitting, little sewing, family is hectic, art is slowly creeping back into my life in stolen moments (I miss it badly).  I wonder what this space will hold.

I take less photos but am building more memories and am enjoying watching the seasons change day by day instead of just waiting for the next one to arrive.  Hope you are keeping warm wherever you are. 🙂

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All you always, oil on canvas.  2010

It’s been a while between paintings.

Painting often brings an easiness and confidence to the process, A delicious irony that means the painting comes faster, is more spontaneous and leads naturally on to the next one – sometimes while the first one is part way through.

In the old house a studio was created – and while it was magnificent.  Light, airy, comfortable and well set out, I found it hard to be free in it.  Weirdly – here in the new house, the studio is dark, artificially lit, has spiders in the eaves and snails at the edges and I have to rummage through boxes to find what I need, but it has proven to be a stimulating space.  I think I may need some kind of discomfort to function as an artist.

Anyway, the painting was fun, and there are a few new works (and some older ones) available this weekend at the Canterbury Art show.  See here for details.

Love this show – always such a great buzz about it.

EDITED TO ADD: – sorry for the late posting.  The show is clearly over and was a success for the oprganisers by the look of it.  I won 3rd prize in their small works competition which was a bit of a buzz and sold another work.  So hurrah – and on we go. 🙂

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the boys

The boys, 2009, 60cm sq, oil on linen.

New one from me. A commission, and a lot of fun.

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It amazes me,  how we can change.  What looks cold one day looks warm another.  What was dark can seem bright and what was far away can seem suddenly attainable.


I love looking at stuff and using it as a meditation on being. 🙂

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And they were lovers on that day


And they were lovers on that day.  oil on board, 30cm sq

Sorry I’ve been so quiet!

Post show relax, and gearing up for the next one at Red Hill early next month.  Head full and breathing.

And painting. 🙂

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