Sunday, January 23, 2011

ATASDA meeting & Dijanne Cevaal

Today I attended the Victoria ATASDA group's (we're not a branch yet) meeting.  The guest speaker was Dijanne Cevaal who was very interesting.  She talked about her recent residency in France and showed us her book about using Lutradur.  Unfortunately it is only in French but she has DVDs available in English on her blog.  As I understand it, they are mostly the pictures and not in the same layout as the book.

Her work was beautiful and inspiring. She is certainly not afraid of strong colours.

She showed us some of her work for her Master's degree exhibition and explained the personal history that inspired it. It used silk that she had dyed, stamped or painted, cut out and then sandwiched between two layers of tulle.  She had also attached some silk to the edges of some.  Absolutely stunning.

So now I might actually get out some of the Lutradur that I have bought in the past and have yet to use.  I have read articles and books about it but haven't quite been able to visualise what to do.  Now I have seen examples that show how wonderful this product can be.  I think I am a person who has to be shown physical examples of things, not just read about them, to be inspired.  That probably explains all the classes I have done in the past.  I love being shown techniques and then thinking about how I could use them.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Children's picture book art

Last Thursday, a friend and I visited Look! The Art of Children's Picture Books exhibition at the State Library of Victoria.
We had a lovely time, reminiscing about books we had read in the past, the detailed pictures that provide so much information and enjoyment for the children (as well as the adults) and some favourite stories.  Of course, there were books represented that we were unfamiliar with too.
Some of the work was bright, lively and happy.  Others were from darker stories and they reflected this in their choices of medium and the illustrations. Not for the younger reader!
Most of the illustrations were drawn but there were some that incorporated collages and some that were 3D, using wonderful soft sculpture and textile techniques.
One of the most interesting things for me, especially after hearing about the illustrators' process at the book launch I attended recently, was to see some of the sketches and works in process that were included in the exhibition.
You'll have to go to the show to see it all.  It is on for quite a while yet - probably so schools can use it for first term themes. Not that I have to care about that anymore.
One of the best things about it, for me, was that I no longer go to an exhibition of this sort and get distracted by thinnking of ways I could use it, or its ideas, for my teaching. I could just enjoy it.
Of course, I did reflect back on my teaching, especially on one event just before I resigned from teaching.  Terry Denton, whose work was in the show, visited our school and gave a very informative and entertaining presentation on some of the process he goes through when illustrating a book. (He's a wonderful person to get in, the children were all most attentive and it was a very large group!)
Giving a demo in very difficult setting

story board
I took lots of photos for our teaching, recording the whole process of writing, drawing up a story board, doing the individual pictures, etc.  I took so many that he eventually drew me - with camera.  So now I have my own Terry Denton picture!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Summer in Australia

Well, I am sitting here enjoying the cool summer days we are having at present although it has been muggy today, not something we are used to here in Melbourne.  Then I turn on the news and hear about the devastating floods in Queensland and New South Wales and the bushfires in Western Australia and think about how lucky we are here at the moment.

We seem to be coming out of our drought, we have lush gardens (that didn't like the couple of hot days we had recently) and it is raining intermittently.  Wonderful. Hope it lasts.

Here are some pictures I took yesterday afternoon, of storm clouds over the city.  Bring on the rain, I thought, but then all I heard was flood warnings for parts of Victoria too.

Here are pictures looking down into Darebin Parklands from the same vantage spot I used two years ago.  Much greener now.

Here are two from March 2009, one with the city almost obscured by the smoke of bushfires.

Now I am just hoping for moderate weather, without all the disasters that are happening in other parts of Australia.  The size of the floods, and the devastation, are just so hard to comprehend.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lace in Fashion

I was in the city yesterday and decided that, the way I am going, I might miss out on the Lace in Fashion exhibition at the NGV if I wait to organise myself and friends to see it together, so I made a quick visit to see just that exhibition and nothing else. It was very interesting, with works from several eras and areas of the world.  It is only a small one and I was able to take my time and read the information and be amazed by the work.  There was one small piece that apparently would have taken 10 months of 15 hour days to make.  I don't see how you could actually do something so small.  No wonder lace was so expensive before machinery.
And look, another date with lots of ones - 11/1/11

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Doing nothing

It's hard to blog when you aren't doing anything.  I have this (self-imposed) aim to blog at least once a week about my textiles work but I have not done any for a week now, so nothing to post about.
What I have been doing is going through my various piles of stuff and I have found things I had started years ago and forgotten about.  I have found lots of workshop stuff just left in their bags.
It is taking ages, at a slow pace, to get it all sorted and not to get side-tracked into things that are partly done.
Still, it is summer holidays and I can take my time and not stress about the pace at which I am working - or so I tell myself.  Not sure I am listening.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day

Happy New Year!
I just had to post today, the date is 1/1/11.  I just love these special dates.
Anyway, I took Penny out in the yard tonight for her nightly check on the possums and nearly walked into the web that the golden orb spider builds every night.  Usually it is beside the path but tonight it was right across it.  And it is rather large!
So I rushed in and got the camera and tripod.  I had to try to remember my night shoot techniques - after my two lessons, several years apart and about a year ago since the last one.  So the photos are not great but I did get some.

The web is about a metre across, not something I wanted to walk into.  It was near the bottom of the steps but, fortunately, I saw it just as I was about to walk into it.  The spider was at eye height. There could have been loud screams.

We tried a yellow torch which did not work as well as the white light torch.