Eucalyptus Dyed Cushion Covers

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These 100% wool cushion covers are dyed using brown onion skins and eucalyptus leaves. I sourced secondhand woolen blankets and cut them to size, wrapped them around copper pipe and pieces of wooden decking, layered with leaves and then placed them in the large boiler. After simmering for several hours and leaving them overnight to cool, the colours and patterns were revealed.

A local lady, who worked as a machinist at Fletcher Jones, sews the zippers in and now I have six of these available for sale. No two cushions are the same, so each is an original hand made piece of art for your enjoyment!

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Acrylic painting workshop with Caroline Healy – Warrnambool School of Art

What a great way to spend an autumn Saturday! While others were enjoying the football and netball, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop with local artist, Caroline Healy. Caroline has a bright and bubbly personality and offers encouraging and constructive feedback. The aim of the day was to have fun, learn new skills and finish with an acrylic seascape.

Some of the good tips I took away from the workshop was to undercoat with red (easier to see where you haven’t painted and gives the work warmer tones), use masking tape for a straight horizon line and keep working until you’re happy. I still have a bit more work to do with both these, before varnishing. I really recommend taking one of Carolyn’s classes, even if you think you can’t paint or haven’t done any painting since leaving school. It is a wonderful way to relax, meet lovely people and maybe surprise yourself with what you can achieve.

Hamilton Institute of Rural Learning – Farmers and Craft Market

We had a lovely morning in Hamilton for our first HIRL Farmer’s and Craft market stall. The HIRL is a wonderful hay bale and mud brick building, surrounded by community gardens and the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery Reserve. Lots of preserves, honey and baked goods, olives, fruit, vegetables and homegrown produce. My new fabric products (tote bags, tea towels and cushion covers) sold well, so I have some more printing to do!

First Market Stall!

This Saturday we had our first stall at the Port Fairy Community Market in Railway Place. It was lovely to speak to people who seemed genuinely interested in the different printmaking processes, some of whom remembered linoprinting from high school days. I was very pleased to sell several of my collagraphs and two more “Upwelling” prints. There are only five of twenty left in the edition. I was delighted to sell one of the prints to a newly married couple for their new home, so I hope they get many years of enjoyment by having this work on their wall. I will need to get busy for the next market in a fortnight’s time, so I have more prints available.

 

Upwelling Framed

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“If the world could remain within a frame like a painting on the wall, I think we’d see the beauty then and stand staring in awe.” ~ Conor Oberst

Don’t images look so much better in a frame? A mount creates quiet space around the image, allowing the eyes to focus on the artwork. In a very active print such as “Upwelling”, a mount and frame is vital for balancing busy and quiet areas. This image was created for the Portland Upwelling Festival in November and I made an edition of 20. Unframed prints (image size: 30 x 40cm) are available for $80.

Little Blue wrens

Blue Wrens and Wiry Buttons
Blue Wrens and Wiry Buttons – hand coloured collagraph

“I like to work in watercolor, with as little under-drawing as I can get away with. I like the unpredictability of a medium which is affected as much by humidity, gravity, the way that heavier particles in the wash settle into the undulations of the paper surface, as by whatever I wish to do with it. In other mediums you have more control, you are responsible for every mark on the page — but with watercolor you are in a dialogue with the paint, it responds to you and you respond to it in turn. Printmaking is also like this, it has an unpredictable element. This encourages an intuitive response, a spontaneity which allows magic to happen on the page.” ~ Alan Lee

I do enjoy the dynamic nature of watercolors; the way the color moves and changes as the paper dries and the lovely transparency they give to an image. I also like the variety of effects that can be achieved using different techniques – wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, blotting, sprinkling salt etc. I still have a lot to learn to be able to create the images as I envisage them, but I’m having a lot of fun in the meantime.

Some watercolour artists I admire are Stefan Gevers,  Natalie Martin and Guy Troughton. Stefan Gevers paints nature and landscapes without any human impact, often in a very minimalist style. Martin paints Australian flora also in a minimalist, contemporary style and Troughton has a wonderful series of photo-realistic native birds. Linda Blackburn is a local artist who paints flora and nature in a beautiful delicate and impressionist style.