New studio space

Righty-o, it’s been a while.  I haven’t done any creative work since Easter &  I’m starting to itch with creative energy again !    I’ve made the decision to lease studio space away from my home for the Summer and see if that works for me.  My  space here is not conducive to me producing any work and I never feel inspired to work here in this little dark hole !  Plus there are always so many distractions at home.    I’ve boldly asked about leasing a space in the Bay that I think would be perfect for me.   I’m going next week to have a look and hopefully negotiate a good and mutually beneficial agreement.     Regardless of not having definately found a new studio,   I have begun the daunting task of packing up here and getting ready for the  shift.

As I pack up, I’m un-earthing all sorts of odd prints that have been tucked away from the light of day.  I particularly like this collograph and had forgotten all about it.

 

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On the edge of Woods Lake

  

I sit on my paper quilt of patchwork blue. Dark shapes of Currawong, cloaked in grey and inky blackness, flash by.    Bathed in prussian blue and bright warm sunlight,

vitreous humor particles float around me.   It is summer.  I am still.

From deep within their forest place, the piping songs of the Currawongs

entwine with guitar and double bass.  ♫♪ﻬ ♫♪♭♫♪ﻬ ♫♪♫ ﻬ ♫♪♭♫♪♫♪ ♫♪♭♫♪

On the edge of Woods Lake, I hear music.

  

 My latest print series “On the Edge of Lake Woods, I hear music” is currently showing at Parnella Gallery, St Helens, Tasmania.   The work is part of an group exhibition “On the Edge” and showcases the work  of 6  Bruny Island Women – Janine Coombes, Kate Mills, Marlene Schmidt, Margaret Vandenberg, Barbara Tassell and Myself.      The body of work that I created for “On the Edge” consists of embossed Cyanotypes stitched together to form paper patchwork quilts and a collograph, Linocut, chine colle triptych.

Test prints unearthed

Clutter has slowly been creeping into the  Green Room so I’ve just had a major clean up and throw out.  Lurking underneath piles of  ‘stuff’ were these few random little test prints that I unearthed ! Amongst them some hand coloured polystyrene prints, etched lino, 2 plate collograph plates using stencils and drypoint collographs.  They’re not great,  but a  test plate (a first) always has a certain raw charm and it’s good to keep these proofs  as a record of my learning curve as I experiment with new techniques and mediums.   I went through a monocolour, one layer phase and most of these prints reflect that.  Slowly I am beginning to embrace multi-layers and more colours !!  I thought I’d share this little handful  of  test prints with you 

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RIP Cedar

My gorgeous dog Cedar died of old age at Christmas time. He was with me for 13 years and was a constant and delightful friend.   I have lost my faithfull little companion and life seems bleak without him.   To help me get through my feelings of loss and grief, I have been creating some prints of Cedar.  I’ve christened my new press printing this series of three prints and she works like a dream.    I’m attempting to create some intaglio monoprints of Cedar using some of the methods that Ron Pokrasso employs in his work – stay tuned for those as I’m still creating the plates.   In the meantime these 3 proofs are the first little series of “Cedar”.   I’m trying to move away from single layer/mono-colour prints and utilise multi plates and more colour in my images to create more visual interest and complexity.    These prints are 2 plate drypoint collographs.  During Cedar’s last week of life, I took lots of photos of him.  To create these prints  I used some of my photos to make paper cuts of Cedar.  These I collaged and used a drypoint tool to add more detail.  I achieved the background texture with acrylic medium on a separate plate and I used paper stencils  when printing the two plates together with the usual intaglio inking and wiping.   I think that the printing method I used  is referred to as “pochoir” which is a french term for  Stencil technique.  Or maybe pochoir only refers to hand colouring using stencils??  I need to research this.   Anyway here’s my Cedar boy…….     

                                                    

                                    

Collographs

 This week at college I’ve been proofing some collograph test plates and experimenting with the use of stencils.  Here are the proofs.  I created the plates by shellac-ing grey board and using crackle medium, glue, shellac and paper stencils to achieve the marks.  The crackle medium works incredibly well.   I’ll probably work the plates a little further with drypoint and print  them in at least 2 colours.  I’ve hand coloured the proofs with watercolour paint but I’ll try  chine colle at the next printing session.
 
Collograph      
 
Collograph    Headstand

     

  

 It’s all about the mark making at the moment  and I can achieve some defined and very textural  printed marks with the crackle medium – it prints up extremely well and conjures many ideas for future prints. 

 I have finally made myself a Drying clip stick thing a mi jig in the Green Room.  Easy to do – just any old piece of timber with some pegs nailed to it.  It gets the drying prints up out of the way and off the bench tops !  I’m starting to get the Green Room into shape and I’m trying to make use of the small space in the best possible way.  Boris has recently helped me to build  an above head paper rack for all my rolls of paper and this is also a great space saving device.

Mt Mangana Stag Beetles

I have been working on some drypoint collographs and some paintings of the Mt Mangana Stag Beetle (Lissotes menalcas).  I have never seen one.  They are large flightless beetles,  only found here on Bruny Island and in a few other locations  in  Southern Tasmania.  Their status is “VULNERABLE” (Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995) due to its restricted distribution, low  population density  and  loss of habitat bedause logging and deforestation.  Given its dependence on decaying logs for all parts of its life-cycle, any land-use activity that will impact on existing habitat or interrupt the future supply of decaying logs threatens the Mount Mangana stag beetle.