Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Recycling / Reworking

1. Lately I have been reworking old paintings. Recycling has a dual purpose - it saves me money and also gives me an interesting background to work on instead of the dreaded white canvas. A couple are worth blogging about, several are still 'works in progress'.
Today I came up with something I like.
detail of 'Drift Away'
This is part of a triptych which started out as the 3 individual paintings below:
I really liked the contrasts of tones, textures and lines, but there was no interest re sales, and being a triptych, it was a hassle to hang.
Yesterday I did myself proud by drilling into the timber stretchers and bolting the 3 of them together to form one painting (anything to do with nails, bolts and and big drills frightens me for some reason, but give me a 'dremel' drill and I am in 7th heaven).
I reworked the paintings and added some gold as I am also going through a bit of a 'gold phase'. This is the result. I love it even more now and I am tempted to keep it on my wall.
'Drift Away' 
300 x 900mm

2. Now to a totally different work....
I have been playing with painted/textured/dyed tissue papers and decided to do a simple work on a discarded canvas. This is what I ended up with. Gold features again.
'Gold Stripe #1'
500 x 400mm

I had the canvas on the deck with rocks weighing down the tissue covered mattboard and I love what the rocks add to the work - argh - now I want to make some rocks to glue to the work!!!!

3. Last month I submitted my entry into The SCAP art award - our Councils's major Art Event. They accept only 40 entries from all over Australia - I won't know it I have been accepted until the end of May. This was also painted over a previous painting.
900 x 1200mm

4. I was honoured to have one of my 'A Letter A Week' books featured on the front page of the February edition of the American books/calligraphy magazine - 'Bound and Lettered' - thanks to Fiona Dempster for curating this international project, exhibition and fabulous promotion.
My ALAW accordion fold book was based on photos I took on my travels to Europe and Morocco in 2011.

5. I am also honoured to be chosen to exhibit one of my small 'bojagi' fabric pieces in the upcoming Wangaratta Miniature Textiles Award.
300x 230mm

6. Another honour for me recently was having one of my artist's books chosen as a gift for our local councillor to take to the Tatebayashi Council in Japan for their 60 year celebrations. This book was exhibited in the local library last year on International Peace Day.
'On the Mountains'

Seeing my recent achievements listed like this gives me a bit more confidence - there are many times that I feel like I haven't been doing much.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A 'measley' fabric book flies to the US

Hi all,

Yes, me again, ..... at long last.

A couple of years ago, my blogger/FB friend Jennifer Coyne Qudeen posted about some spotty rust dyed fabric she had made. She didn't like the 'measle' spots. I said I really liked them, so she generously sent me the whole piece of fabric - all the way to Oz-  for me to play with.

Of course I procrastinated for over a year, but eventually made some delicious cushion covers to go on my new couch. I didn't want to use up all the fabric as there is still a garment [or part there of] waiting in the wings, so I backed the cushions with some lovely earthy organic fabric I picked up on my last trip to Japan.

The story continues.....My friends Barry and Fiona were heading to New York for December, and catching up with Jennifer, so I got my act together and made a lovely fabric book for her as a 'thank you'.
The book started with various ways to enhance the spotty and circular designs,
  but time was against me, so a few other designs crept in...

and then some 'pages' were a delight just as they were....
Here is the completed book, pages stitched together and bound over satay sticks, then stitched through drilled driftwood with feature wooden beads.
This lovey running stitch on black was part of the card Jennifer sent me with the fabric.
I keep all my gorgeous wabi sabi fabric scraps, so many of them became a cover for the book,
...which wrapped around making a lovely little book bundle.
...and last but not least, my cushion covers which I love SO much.

Thanks Jennifer, Barry and Fiona for facilitating these lovely connections. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Hi Blogging friends,

I have just updated my painting, jewellery and fibre tabs with the last year of two of artworks, so please go into the tabs to see what I have been up to.

Sorry about the blogging tardiness - I'm trying to work out a way to make the whole process faster and more efficient without having to upgrade my systems, data, speed etc which unfortunately equates to spending lots more money....hmmmm. If you do facebook, please feel free to friend me as I'm hoping to get a dedicated art page happening there.   https://www.facebook.com/noela.mills  We'll see.

Anyway, this is me a couple of weeks ago, wearing my new sublimation printed earrings - still going strong and enjoying my creativity.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Riveting Workshop

Keith lo Bue teaches the most amazing workshops - he calls himself a 'stuff smith'. He creates found object wearable art works and much more - the latest being incredible mobiles. Do yourself a favour and check out his website.
I went to a 2 day workshop in Brisbane at the Studio West End [Adele and Wim] making rivets and connecting metal together. It was brilliantly inspirational, as are all of Keith's workshops.
My rivet making skills are on the improve and I look forward to getting the chance to create a new body of jewellery with these techniques.
...found aluminium cut out shapes, rusty iron,
...watch face back, glo mesh back, corrugated copper fragment, copper watch component,
...Chinese coin, silver plated wire,
 ...aluminium discs, speaker mesh, ceramic beads, copper nail rivets,
...recycled silver earrings, watch parts, silver plated wire,
...a tube through timber and plastic game pieces.

This is an amazing EARRING that I bought from Keith...one of his gorgeous little mobiles that hangs from the ear. How cool is this?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Forbidden fruit

 ...well, not really forbidden, although these pomellos were gifted to me from an 'unknown' source - hmmmmmm. 
We found pomellos in China 2 year ago - I fell in love with them, but they are hard to find in Australia.

Sorry I have not been into the bloggersphere for ages - I'm finding the posting a bit overwhelming  - where do I start and where do I finish??? Yes, so much creativity happening in my life these days - hahahahah, besides, my daughter gave me an ipad for my birthday in May, and I have become addicted to 'Words with Friends' [my sister is a doozie - have to try to beat her, and I thought I wasn't competetive] and I am also hooked on the jigsaw puzzles where you load your own photos - lots of delicious rusty iron pics to challenge my brain. I am amazed that my eyes have become attuned to the slightest variation in texture and tone - anyway, I'm sure you are more interested in what I have been doing creatively.

I hosted an Asian themed dinner party last week, assisted by my good friend Christine, and she made up a couple of gorgeous Ikebana arrangements for me.

Oh, yes, I mustn't forget the rather unforgettable Japanese desert thingy I made up - gelatine, rose water, strawberries, real gold leaf and slivered almonds, not bad for one who isn't keen on cooking!
...back to the Ikebana...
I love the simplicity of design needed for Ikebana - yes, more of the wabi sabi concept, so I am keen to create a few of my own.
Here are the new arrangements I made up today...
...rather fitting - winter fruits and all that [it's a mandarin]...
...and an azalea...

Still working with the citrus theme, we have created a lovely new window display in the 'Pop Up Gallery'. Lynn and I started with a bowl of lemons on a tray, then photographed the still life, then developed the image to suit each of our painting styles. I did some editing of the photo to create 2 very different compositions.
Original photo...
composition 1
composition 2
painting 1 on canvas
painting 2 on canvas
'sketch' paintings on paper
window display
We've had so many compliments - yellow is not a colour I normally use, but it sure does brighten up a winter's day.
I hope you are safe in whatever part of the world you call home - things are difficult in many areas, and I am grateful every day that I have found my little piece of paradise here in Maleny, Australia.