Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Time to Sew

I was ratting around the bottom of a drawer today and came across a vest I started many years ago. I have a wedding to go to next month and no new clothes, so thought I might finish the vest - yes, I still like it!!
The feature panel is made from a series of experimental machine embroidery bits all sewn together and a rather special antique beaded navy blue bit of scalloped fabric.
I remember now why I didn't finish it. The grey top lapel layer covers the feature - hmmm - maybe I will just have to cut the lapel back to a 3 or 4 cm feature strip. Any other ideas and hints??

Monday, March 21, 2011


Sakura means Cherry Blossom in Japanese.
The season starts about now in the southern areas and spreads north as the weather warms up.
The trees are pampered and protected throughout the winter.
and branches are trimmed and shaped.
I was lucky enough to see the blossoms emerging [and falling] when I was there 2 years ago. It is such a transient thing - one day the buds appear, then the blossoms come out and last just a few days.
I was in Ueno [the gallery and museum precinct] at the height of the Cherry Blossom viewing.
People have picnics in the parks to 'view the cherry blossoms' - business men, students, kids, mums, dads, grandparents, sitting on a rug on the concrete pathways with food, camera and sake.
I heard that homeless people [a new phenomena in Japan], make a bit of cash by minding a spot for someone for their picnic.
The strange thing is that cherry blossom trees are EVERYWHERE,
in city streets like the streets of upmarket Ginza,
beside the railway tracks,
in private homes,

and public gardens,
and crammed amongst conifers, maples and oaks on the mountainsides.
I found the juxtaposition of beautiful delicate blossoms and ugly heavy power lines a bit disconcerting,
..oops - too soon the green leaves come out and the petals start to fall,
creating a carpet of soft white/pink - like a late snowfall, then the rain turns them to glug. They get washed down the drains as more green leaves appear on the trees.
I was too late for the blossoms along the avenue to the Silver Temple in Kyoto.
There are various colours in the cherry blossom trees, but only the pale pink/white are
I found the whole 'cherry blossom viewing season' to be so quintessentially Japanese - the fleeting glimpse of exquisite beauty - all the more precious because it lasts for only a 'moment' - not like our Western need to grab, and hold forever everything we cherish and desire.
Blink and you will miss it.
May the blessings of the Sakura season bring hope and joy to all of Japan at this difficult time.
...posted with much love,

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I am starting to post works for sale under the tab above which reads 'SALES'.
Here is what I have listed so far:

... 'Landmarks'...
300 x 300 x 35mm
acrylics, rust paint, fabric and thread on canvas
$AU350 + postage

...'The Mist Rolling In ' 2 & 1...
250 x 300 x 35mm
acrylic on canvas
$AU300 + postage

250 x 300 x 35mm
acrylic on canvas
$AU300 + postage

I  have also updated my 'ARTIST BOOKS' tab above - lots of new things to see.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I was in Japan this time two years ago. There is so much I love about Japan- the people, the culture, the aesthetics, the history, the nobility, the quirkiness, the craziness, and the amazing sense of order which has now been wrenched from the depths of the souls of 127 million people. I stayed for 2 weeks in the village of Oiso, in the home of my friend's mother, and I was treated like a princess. The village is now a popular retirement area, only one hour SW from Tokyo, but was once a thriving fishing village. I don't know how much damage was done by the tsunami, but the village rises steeply from the ocean, so hopefully not too much. I know my friends are safe.
Here are some of my favourite photos from Oiso.

Japan - I love you.

Friday, March 11, 2011


I taught a lovely group of women yesterday at the Blackall Range Visual Artists group. Lots of fun splashing and playing and creating gorgeous marks with inks, paints, teabags, tissue paper, burning and more. Life is too short to be restricted by the 'shoulds and should nots' of traditional arts practice.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Wow - isn't it a real joy to see other artisits work?- work that you really love and would travel half way around the world to see. Now we can be inspired whilst sitting at home still in PJ's with a mouse in one hand, a cuppa in the other. My friend Jo Murray has sent me some fabulous links to some fabulous artists:
Alan and MJ are my heroes - what brilliant mixed media / collage works - especially at this time when my head is full of all things collage whilst completing and receiving collages for the 13th International Collage Exchange.

Shinichi's work is called 'Water Sculpture' - it embodies EXACTLY the essence of what I want in my life - capturing the exquisite beauty of the infinitesimal moment of what is extraordinarily I making sense? It seems to be a particular aesthetic of Asian [especially Japanese] art that we in the West struggle to achieve.