Tuesday, 27 November 2007

insect madness

I just have to share one of my birthday gifts with you. This little etching by the talented Mike Southern of Printman (his etsy shop) is titled 'enter the dragonfly.....my favourite bee movie' and is just soooooooo sweet! There is so much fine detail in this little print. I'm also the proud owner of another of Mike's prints: Dragonfly. Which is just perfect really because it feeds my dragonfly and insect obsession and will look wonderful when framed and hanging in the new house. Speaking of dragonflies, we saw so many of those delightful little creatures over the weekend at the Grampians National Park. I've never seen so many of them before. And for the wildlife record we also saw one echidna (shy little things that they are), 2 emus, many many wallabies, and heard billions of cicadas. I'm not kidding: one woman we saw bushwalking had earplugs in because the cicadas were so deafening!

Sunday, 18 November 2007

"from little things big things grow" (the waifs and kev carmody)

I'm doing a lot of growing at the moment or at least it feels like a lot of change is going on so I sure hope some kind of growth comes out of it all. We're in the middle of packing as we move in 2 weeks, so it's crazy in our house. Today I found letters I wrote more than 12 years ago! What a purge I've been having. As well as moving to a new house (with a studio * big sigh and smile*), I'm making some changes to my day job so I can work there part-time next year and spend the rest of my week printmaking (belly does flip flops with excitement) AND my birthday is at the end of this coming week and I turn one of those big numbers with a zero at the end of it (a little scared about that but mostly amazed: where have the years flown?). My good friend N, an astrologist, would say it's all about my pluto-square-pluto. I don't know what that really means but I do know this time in my life is all about making changes and decisions that will set me up for the next part. I'm mostly very excited about all of that.

The little tree growing above is a simple ink drawing with splashes of chiyogami paper. I'm still playing with it. This is its first iteration.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

tea, tea and more tea

I've been making lots of small mixed media pieces lately. This one is chiyogami paper with ink and a little digital colouring. I'm a late bloomer to the wonders of photoshop and so haven't been able to stop fiddling with some of my drawings and prints since I got cs3 earlier this week. I'm driving my graphic designer friend J a bit crazy with all my basic questions (sorry J!). I'm playing around with colours on my designs this way so I can get a better sense of how a woodblock print might look before I start the labour-intensive process of carving the block.

Sunday, 4 November 2007


It's pouring with rain this Sunday morning, and for those of you who don't live in Melbourne or don't know much about the Australian drought, this is a very good thing!

I have a lot of carving to do. This is the most tedious part of woodblock printmaking in my opinion but the nice part is you can end up with some gorgeously carved blocks which are like pieces of art in themselves. And not to mention it's the only way to get the print on the paper! I love using my carving tools. I bought them one by one in Japan as I had the money (good quality tools can be quite pricey) and now have a good collection. There's even a very old tool previously owned by the lovely Kazuko Hirota, a wonderful Japanese woodblock printer. The wooden handle is smooth with wear and very soft to touch and hold. It's a tiny tool with a small scoop carver and I swear it's one of the most used tools in my box.

They say in Japan that the rainy season or at least a rainy day is the best day for printing as it helps the paper to stay moist. If there's going to be any printing today I'd better stop my carving procrastination.