Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2012

A day in the country

A friend and I went north for the day to visit an artist who lives on a farm. We both live inner-city lives ensconced in the creative process and the daily demands of production. Although it's tempting to stay put and focussed in the making, getting out into the wild, the wide and the wondrous open plains north of Perth is wonderful!

Here we are surveying the infinitity of the landscape while the young ones play in the gravel. All around is an abundance of wildflowers. We gathered old wood from the ground which I will use to make hangers for garments.

Hand dyed and stitched silk top on a bush-wood hanger

And now for something a little bit different

This is a quilt I am working on in my spare time (ha!), using a range of fabrics bought over a period of ten years worth of visits to Bali ... a bit at a time, initially all the bright colours, then more muted. My original plan was to make pyjamas in all different colours, but shelved the idea after four pairs... It's lovely having a box full of bits and pieces to play with and that combine so easily and sometimes surprisingly. I am using the paper bag method as I don't like making decisions about what goes with what (a great believer in spontaneous art-making).

Some thoughts on Handmade

Another batch of cups. Handbuilding, although simple and direct, does pose a few challenges. The secret seems to be not to overwork each piece. Their strength is in irregularity and uniquenss, but there is a fine line between handmade success and failure. Even though my friend Daphne and I are hand-building our own collections of 'ugly' pottery from the op shops, I am aiming for a certain simple, barely-there elegance in this work. Good to be ambitious!

The plates are more straightforward ...

Rolled clay, hand-cut to approximate size and slumped on a plate to dry. 


Here are some fired ceramic pieces - the design is darker than the unfired versions, I think because of the overglaze (the little cup on the right wasn't glazed)
Organic and raw (in the poetic sense), whimsical, wonky mismatched ... but nevertheless practical! I can see three strawberries on a plate with a little cup of yoghurt.
Next visit to the Potters' Market I should have some spoons to finish off the set.
A few pieces will be at the Perth Upmarket on the 23rd September.


It seems that I have been thinking for ages about extending animal drawings to other media. They usually appear on Tshirts for children but somewhere along the way I thought of adding them to clay. Working with clay is simple (as in you only need your hands),soothing and soulful.

When they are out of the kiln and I think they pass muster, I will put them out for sale. Stay tuned.

Abstract reality

This morning I found a moment in my busy seaside holiday schedule (reading writing drawing swimmming walking eating exploring thinking drinking shopping ... so much that needs attending to!) to look closely at the plants edging the front porch, which taken on macro, then cropped, end up like lovely abstract paintings.
Not so long ago I discovered that mixing starch paste with inks and/or pigments makes a lovely unctuous transparent paint which is then applied to a canvas (or even paper) primed with many layers of white acrylic paint (I use ceiling paint for its chalkiness) and sanded until you have a lovely smooth surface. Layered inks applied with thick brushes, the edge of a card, blended, scraped back ... the effect is not dissimilar to the images above.

Seeing things

I realise I run the risk of sounding pretentious but at the moment I am sitting in front of a pool in a garden of frangipani tres, palms, bougainvillea, hibiscus, chirping flittering birds, chattering people ... reflecting on how being out of one's usual ambience opens up the senses to other seemingly insignifiicant things. The crazy paving around the pool ressembles an abstract painting

and a bloom landing unexpectedly on the chaise longue, blown down by the tropical evening breeze, looks exactly like a bird. Tall stories evoking raucous responses waft over from  the other side of the pool. A young boy appears at the pool with goggles and dad in floral boardshorts who dips his toes and smiles.

Open Studio

Three wrapped dolls
Open Studio this Saturday. Time to clear the decks and move things on .... if you are in the area and would like to come, there will be lots of bits and pieces to fossick through: clothing,fabrics, beads, buttons, buckles, books, collages, cards, collected objects from other countries and so on. 

If you would like a personal invitation send me an email ....

Made on the Left Market Sunday July 29th

Magpie Lark in the garden

A not-so-frequent visitor to the garden is the Magpie Lark. Usually it's the doves in abundance pecking away at the fallen olives. Perhaps no other bird dares make an appearance (puffed up and strutting they know how to assert themselves)... in any case the olives have been eaten and the doves have long since gone elsewhere. I snapped this creature through a rather foggy window (who has time to look out the window, let alone clean it when there's making to be done??). So it's come out blurry and I have amped up the saturation and all of sudden there are patches of strong colour and the suggestion of a painting. As mentioned previously, what is in front of you is not all there is ... the arrival of a new bird is ... well ... inspiring! This particular creature always seems to be looking about, curious at what's happening around, whereas the doves were always head down, pecking, too busy feeding and not at all interested.
A new phase for moi auss…
Cloth beads

With just over a week to the next Perth Upmarket one would expect that one would be rather busy and focussed in the preparations. There is a pile of fabric on the cutting table, boxes full of ideas and inspirations, hanging racks with patterns and cut-out pieces ready to be stitched together, chalkboards with lists in case I lose my way in the midst of it all. But one can be TOO efficient ... and so this morning, because I happened to be up before the sun and the alarm and its endless snoozy variations I realised I had plenty of time to PLAY!

Who knows where an idea comes from or what sparks it off. I am standing at the table, determined to ignore the to-do list for the time being when the idea to make some cloth beads arises. Plenty of scraps, a knitting needle, red silk thread and there you have it.

Rebel, judge and stalwart

Woman with a moon on her shoulder Ink drawing

Every now and then I find myself returning to (and embracing) my art therapy roots, which is to say that I get stuck into spontaneous image making using whatever media is on hand. It's usually a response to an urge to do something without any planning, conscious thought or (and especially) purpose. Often it occurs while in the midst of doing something very serious, such as drafting a pattern for a garment, and although I know it's not good practice, I can't help but slide the serious work down to the end of the table, grab a piece of paper, ink, brush and off I go, trying not to spatter the ink too far.


Since the images are not planned, they manage to escape the process of judgement that might ordinarily occur should I have decided "today I want to paint ... what shall it be?", which would typically result in nothing because I would have analysed, criticised and finalised the whole process before even beginn…

Diary Entry

May 6-7 2012

This weekend tried out two new markets. 
1.Farmers Market at Subiaco Primary School Mothers Day market
2.Growers Market South Fremantle High School
What #1: a wonderful variety of local produce and delicious food and drinks to go (weekly), with handmade artisan work (occasionally) 
Who: Me and Susie Marwick (artist and original market partner)
What #2: Clothes, textiles, collage (me); found object sculptures, miniature paintings, leatherwork (Susie)
Why: explore, expand, meet new people, connect with friends and colleagues, collect new things
Why not: try new things, test the weather, get up earlier than usual, interact more, go where you've never been before, get feedback!

 Mannequins purchased from my market neighbour

Anna looking

Susie Marwick's Found Object sculptures

Yuniko Studio Silver earrings

Colour inspiration

Yesterday I left the flat plains and coastal breezes momentarily to wander up amongst the tall trees at Araluen. I can usually find a good excuse to stay home and keep working in the studio, avoiding at all costs a wander in the wild which is not something I have ever been drawn to (the Australian bush is an acquired taste I think). Though there is always an exception so there I was with bush-loving Sandro following paths down towards gushing streams and up hills to pick limes from an ancient (relatively speaking) tree. Paused for a moment to gather leaves and an old peg at the base of three huge gum trees - an inspiring palette of muted pink, green, brown, mustard, grey to bring back to the studio where I am practising the mixing of dyes and making of new fabrics.

Hokkan Pun

Hokkan Pun is a Hong Kong based artist whose work I recently discovered via blogworld. We have been in communication with each other and agreed we could share each other's work on our respective blogs. Her blog is hereand the link to her collage work is here

Support for makers and travellers

A brief posting to promote Amy Eaton's project to Nepal.

Amy is a fellow maker at Perth Upmarket and is looking to establish links with Nepal to grow her business. I am looking forward to hearing about the project ... hoping Amy reaches her target.

Perhaps you would like to support this project .... click on the box to the right for info about the project or to see what it's about in more general terms have a look on Pozible

Good Luck Amy!

Paper cut-outs and a parcel from France

I started the day playing with paper and scissors
cutting out stencils 
to print onto fabric
with young ones in mind

So far a cat ....

and a

of sorts


Later on a loud knock at the door and there was Clive (our regular postman who delivers parcels to the door). My box from France has arrived! The joy of it having taken much longer than I expected is in the unpacking and rediscovering the bits and pieces I had forgotten having put in ... a small yellow Matisse cut-outs book among other things. How odd that it should arrive today when I have been making my own.

How lovely to see Matisse in his studio surrounded by all sorts of shapes and colours

Its all about the look

Photographer in the Pompidou Centre Paris

Happy to be back home after living nomadically for a month. The small suitcase was just big enough - though filled to capacity and contents spilling out into smaller bags and even in the end an extra plastic carry bag (not fussed about maintaining the look of the sophisticated traveller!) I am still waiting for the parcel which I posted back from France (you may like to make a note that for 42 Euros you can send a box weighing up to 7kg to Australia)- very handy.
The main focus in travelling (for me) is looking and seeing (shopping is fun of course but that's a more narrow and reductive process) whereas being in an unfamiliar environment, never knowing what's ahead or around the corner, it's constantly stimulating (sometimes overly so). I loved the visit to the modern art museum in Paris and enjoyed seeing other visitors' reactions and interactions to the artwork.

Now looking forward to getting back to work, starting new projects,…

On a train travelling south

A poster outside an optomotrists shop

It’s early morning and we are travelling in a ‘couchette’ which means we can stretch out relax and sleep.

Although tempting (a late night seeing a movie and early morning start), I could not possibly sleep away the scenery which begins at the very start of the journey in the station with an intimate view of the many trains with massive engines waiting to head off in all directions, people sitting waiting expressionless while birds pick at crumbs around their feet, others dining on coffee and croissants, or rushing to get the next train, even arguing with an official who had helped us jump the queue at the ticket counter.As the train leaves … a tangle of concrete pillars and walls covered in graffiti, back views of inner city housing with bicycles hanging outside the window (maximising storage space), a ram-shackle cluster ofmake-shift dwellings for the very poor by the tracks … and then the transition toward the countryside through towns and eventua…

A short stay in Paris

Our current address is 67 Rue Quincampoix in the Marais district .... a friend who lives here says it's one of the oldest streets in Paris. There are some interesting little places such as the Art Brut Bistro opposite which has some great art on the walls.

Before coming to the Marais we spent two nights in another area and stumbled across a wonderful little market selling a range of things - old books, dolls, african masks, household items, fuit and vegetabes, furs and hats!