Saturday, July 24, 2010

ennui descends...

well, there has been nothing creative happening around here. i posted jealousy off to the UK and have not recovered my muse since.

i did have a tumbling burst of creative thought last sunday night as i was drifting off to sleep - and of course got up wrote it all down and forgot about it. all creativity is on hold until ATC - after the the conference.

I'm flying to Alice Springs on Monday for the SNAICC national conference - as the policy manager i'm responsible for keeping track of hot issues and key messages, updating speaking notes, writing media releases and fielding media for the duration. i'm also looking after 2 workshops - which is all a bit scary but also exciting.

in other exciting news w lost his first tooth this week (after weeks of wobbliness) and the tooth fairy started as she means to go on: with prompt payment. hopefully this resolve will hold firm but her track record is not good.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

and rest...

jealousy is done and dusted and on its way to the UK, as we speak.

i ended up not using kathryn's petals - while they were beautiful and the right shade of red for the quilt they edged the piece just a bit too much towards the decorative. that was a constant danger with this piece which i always wanted to be savage and disconcerting. none of its elements should be pleasing or lyrical - it is something that should be confronting and revealing a truth about an uncomfortable emotion.

i did get a couple of fabric pens and, in the few bald bits, write words or phrases from blake's poison tree - the sentiment of that poem captured so much of what i wanted to convey in this piece.

i also used black printer's ink to wash over the claws and a fair amount of fabric paint and paintstik to define the tree and the claws.

and now i'm in that odd limbo after a piece has been finished and sent away. i feel a bit aimless and brain dead - i've been focused on deadlines and commitments for so long that i am going to spend the rest of the year playing. rushing around in circles, off the leash - i want to play with different techniques, finish dijanne's lino cutting course, practise drawing and just noodle around.

but tonight i think i will rest

with apologies to ts eliot...

i grow old... i grow old....
i wear my glasses on top of my head when handsewing....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

counting my bits of lucky

in the past 24 hours i have been given 2 generous presents out of the blue.
the lovely suzanne sent me a gorgeous smorgasbord of threads from her tapestry weaving stash and a pamphlet of inducements outlining the temptations of the victorian tapestry workshop and the equally lovely but sadly blogless kathryn sent me some luscious silky rose petals to audition for jealousy.

i feel full of lucky :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

catch up

i haven't posted not for want of ideas but for want of time. so i thought a quick catch up was in order

reading -
  • on a bit of a phryne fisher jag at the moment (again)
  • just finished a fabulous book on the history of colour (as in pigments and paints) by victoria finlay - highly recommended
  • read half of david marr's quarterly essay on kevin rudd before the blow fell
listening -
  • still angus and julia stone's 'down the way' - it's been on constant play since march
  • silence when i can get it
writing -
  • irregularly often in my journal
eating -
  • too much - we have been living so high on the hog that it feels like our hog is on stilts. i presage a return to oats and fruit soon... maybe.... with the occasional tim tam and truffle
walking -
  • minimally - my back injury coincided with the darkest, coldest part of the year. hopefully my morning walk will be back on the menu soon. i have been walking a bit at lunchtime but it's not the same
watching -
  • telly-wise am shamefully addicted to masterchef, although i feel a bit discombobulated with the loss of the two best cooks in the competition in the last week
thinking -
  • a lot about lots of stuff and watching all the bits float around inside my head- and i'm ok with that
  • after some very bad family news from a colleague today, very lucky
wearing -
  • black (natch - we are in melbourne) and lots of lovely cosy layers to ward off the chills. right now starting at my feet - my favourite green suede Birkenstocks, pink stripy socks, jeans, black jumper, black cardi. and pleasing soon is the metamorphosis into jim jams
aiming -
  • for calm and clarity
  • jealousy - i have done a fair bit more to it with paint, ink and nightsticks and it will be off to the UK on wednesday - hurrah. then it is playtime for the rest of the year :)

Monday, July 05, 2010


here is jealousy - pretty much done, i think. there could be a few tweaks with some paint but this is it.

it's now marinating on the kitchen door so i can look at it and see what else it might need. i bought some irregularly shaped vintage beads thinking they might be good jealousy fruit but i'll wait and see.

vital statistics:
120x90 cm
starting from the bottom layer: black linen; purple, bile and magenta coloured silk chiffon; black organza; green and yellow cotton; green, yellow, red, magenta and black synthetic, chopped into bits; green tulle, black tulle.
rayon threads in magenta, green, black and red
oil paint stick in silver, green, crimson, magenta and sienna
sprayed with black quink ink solution

burnt back after stitching with a heat gun, slashed with a craft knife and the slashes opened up with a soldering iron.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

getting closer

jealousy moves closer to its denouement. i spent a couple of hours finishing the stitching on it this afternoon. here's where i was up to
and this is what we ended up with (sorry the photo is a little blurry - i was balancing on a kitchen chair)i was a bit cross with myself for making the claws a bit too modest so went over them a few times making them bigger - then as i was stitching in more leaves they became increasingly clawlike themselves and reached down to the jealousy claws and even at the edges grow roots and push into the ground, feeding back into the poison tree.... this wasn't in the original cartoon and made me feel rather disturbed. i don't know that this is a piece i would like to have on my wall - perhaps there are too many memories of jealousy in it for me to be comfortable sharing space with it

one thing that did strike me as i have been making this piece over the last couple of months is how long lived jealousy can be - it just take a couple of pokes before the flame at the heart of a seemingly dead memory can flare up and cut you anew.