Saturday, 7 February 2015

I suppose it is too late to wish you all a Happy New Year!

I am beginning to settle into my new life - and am loving it! I've never lived in the country before, but have for many years had a desire to do so eventually, and have been talking about making this move - to Castlemaine - for about ten years. So, it has taken me a while....
I'm currently driving to Melbourne once a week for a couple of days work, and am really enjoying it; getting to see the countryside in the best light, particularly the early morning, but early summer evenings are lovely too.  I've begun to realise why so many artists are drawn to the landscape as subject. I'm beginning to feel quite emotional when I reach the hills as I near home - after only a few months!
And although I've still two or three fairly major things to organise - particularly getting a shed lined and insulated and transformed into a decent studio - I do have a small studio space in the house and have started playing around pretty regularly with ideas and media.  I visited the studio of a new friend, a local artist, and we had a lovely couple of hours of show and tell, which inspired me to get back to making books.
So I made a gelatine/glycerine plate, pulled out some book works-in-progress and have had a few sessions playing.
I'm quite pleased with these experiments and beginnings.

I am also currently working something to have a small presence in the Castlemaine State Festival in March - having a lot of fun cutting circles from prints.
I've got a month or so to fill that white shoe-box with circles.  It's a looking back at my printmaking up to this point.  Seems a reasonable thing to do, with everything changing...and moving made me realize what a lot of work I have sitting around in boxes and folders. 
I'm very much steeped in Leonard Cohen lyrics/poetry at the moment, as I'm reading another biography - I'm Your Man, by Sylvie Simmons - given to me by one of my lovely sons for Christmas (although he didn't actually choose it. You get the best presents when you buy them yourself!)  The biography is the best I've read...and it makes me go back to the songs, listening closely.
So the shoe-box of circles of prints will be titled after a Cohen song - That Don't Make It Junk. The lyric goes, 'took my diamond to the pawnshop, but that don't make it junk'. These are all quite flawed diamonds - mostly student works, proofs and unsuccessful prints.
I also had one more miniprint edition to send off in January - for the Winged Messengers Exchange, which will be exhibited at Hahndorf Academy in the Adelaide Hills during Adelaide Fringe Festival. Proceeds from sales will go to the Bird SA conservation fund. Some more information and images can be found here.

There are birds there! See, four of them, on the wire, (another ongoing Cohen-esque theme in my work), and it's not the first time, either, that I've used the 'Counting Crows' rhyme!


  1. It's lovely to read you've settled into your new home in the country, Penny and have made what seems like a smooth transition. Sounds like we may see more landscape in your work as you settle in to your new studio.

    1. Thanks, Helen. You never know.....the landscape is sure to have some sort of impact, I think.