Sunday, November 30, 2014


Well, almost. I find it really hard to know when a piece is finished but I think these are pretty close. A few layers of glaze to seal the surface and I think they're done.

Here are some detail shots of Flagellation
and Heart Wound.

Monday, November 24, 2014

adventures in casein medium

A couple of posts ago, I spoke of making casein medium using cottage cheese and ammonia. It has been sitting maturing in the fridge (appropriately labelled, of course) and yesterday I had a play to see how well it worked.
It was huge fun. The medium had set like a thick custard or mayonnaise so I watered it down to a wash consistency and stirred in some artist's ink.  Following Antony Gormley's example I brushed it over soaked paper (khadi paper in my case) and then scritched over it with a stylus.And magically the colour surged into the etched lines.

Then I tried writing with the stylus - completely legible when wet, and then less so as it dried, smudging into runic shapes which looks like they out to be able to be read and understood but instead remain puzzling, almost meaning something.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

work on show

The smallest sprog's school has an art show for their annual fund-raiser.  I have three artworks in this year's show - all framed and for sale.
Solomon's Gate
53x 49cm (framed) $350

33x27cm (framed) $125

and Stitch Marks
32x27cm (framed) $125

The art show opens next Friday evening and is open all day Saturday - as an added inducement their second hand clothing "stall" (spread over 2 rooms) had Jimmy Choos for $80 last year. And yes, they were in my size and no, I didn't buy them.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday afternoon medium making

This afternoon I was inspired to make my own casein medium. Having seen Antony Gormley interviewed by Lily Cole and using casein medium for his drawings, I was determined to track some down. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be available in Australia but I did find a recipe on Wikipaedia.

So, the smallest sprog and I hopped it to the shops and came back with cottage cheese and ammonia and set to. 

It seethed and bubbled until it was much reduced and like a thin creme anglaise.
 and is now cooling, awaiting experiment.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


My great uncle, Leslie Clark, is buried 'somewhere in France' - one of the hundreds of thousands of young men who died in that bizarre, pointless Great War.

He didn't much want to go to war but, after being sent white feathers and harassed for being a coward, he did go. And won the Military Medal and bar for bravery in the field.

 As the Red Cross letter says 'he put up a great fight against Fritz'.
 But I doubt that was much comfort for his young wife.

My grandfather, William, and his brother Arthur also fought at Gallipoli and in France. They were wounded and gassed, but somehow survived. And they have living descendants who remember them with love. But Leslie, like so many others, did not - there is no one left who remembers him and I only know him from a box of fragments, and a name on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War memorial in Canberra.

Leslie Clark born 1888, died 5 October 1918.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

November Song

I had been thinking this is a well-overdue post, but perhaps it is just the right time now to show you my very special birthday present to myself. A few months ago I tipped into another age bracket and needed a few treats and ameliorations to soothe my way into a new decade. And when I saw this beautiful object on the blog of my friend and mentor, Velma Bolyard, I knew it was the rightest of self-presents.

Velma's book, November Song, and its specially-made sui generis box by bookbinder Mark Tomlinson, is the most lovely work of art, skill and spirit.

 Hand-made paper coloured with the alchemy of plant dyeing, the plants gathered by Velma on her daily walks through her country: so many resonances of walking the landscape, singing the landscape, gently gathering the colours and textures and making something quite other. The book like Velma's blog, is an ever-unfolding series of epiphanies, looping back and revealing, then concealing mysteries and stories.