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Staying grounded and taking flight





 

the studio table



I recently spent six days alone in my little villa in the rice fields, getting on with things in the outdoor studio and not once being aware of a lonely sense of aloneness. Following a routine, the pleasure of which lay in being able to follow it without having to stop and do other things ... a delightful experience which I will try to recreate every now and then. I recommend it!




 

the ducks have returned!




While being alone, I noticed that you are never actually really alone. Here the roosters begin crowing at 3.00am, the tiny birds begin at dawn, making a sound like a child's squeezy toy, the farmer walks through the rice fields growling at the birds to scare them away, cats and dogs wander by, the sounds of quacking ducks, jazz music, bass drums and motor bikes waft in from a distance.
























'Me and my shadow friend' 
[carbon paper print]


I spent the days playing around and experimenting with materials and techniques - clay, paper mache, drawing with carbon paper, weaving with scraps. Alternately making a mess, making mistakes and creating some order



 notebooks [recycled paper]








 
















papier mache bowls




















'Things fall apart...'























bird cups





At the end of the day [or week in this case], it's the pleasure of seeing things come together ... the result of a happy blend of time, place, feeling grounded and ideas taking flight.


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Drawing life

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Mind you it's not about achieving perfection. Mistakes and awkwardness can lend an air of spontaneity and surprise. 


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Luckily, I think, art offers all those aspects in abundance!



A lull in the proceedings

Lull ...

a temporary interval of quiet or lack of activity. "for two days there had been a lull in the fighting" synonyms:pause, respite, interval, break, hiatus, suspension, cessation, interlude, intermission, breathing space, moratorium, lacuna


sleeping woman [after Matisse]



What a lovely word - lull! It's a perfect choice for describing how things are at the moment. I feel like sleeping ... shutting down ... pausing the proceedings. And so it might appear that not much is happening. Actually though, there's a lot going on since touching home base [temporarily]. Planning things, looking through the accumulation of drawings, revisiting ideas, reflecting, pondering.







Images from the little black travelling drawing book


Where to next ...?




Coming up ... Artists' Open House Fremantle [November 13-15] and Fremantle Arts Centre Bazaar [December 4-6] 

Doing the research

I am constantly amazed and humbled by the level of sophistication, not to mention dedication, inherent in the artisan traditions here in Bali. I know so little (I'm rather embarrassed to say) however I do know that I appreciate them very much! This is a place where it is the norm, rather than the exception, to spend one's time in making things by hand. 


indigo dyeing(before)


Recently I did some research on the use of natural dyeing in Bali (online, of course and from the comfort of my small but perfectly comfortable villa nestled in the rice fields ... nothing hard about this kind of research!) and discovered Tarum Natural Dye in Gianyar.




black dye vat


It is a small and seemingly very productive company, started by two brothers in 2001 who did the research, learning about the plants, the traditional techniques and processes of natural dyeing in order to create a viable business. Visitors are welcome and I gather they offer workshops (see their Facebook page). Spending time with An…