Monday, February 22, 2010

Combining images of Melbourne

A year or so ago, as part of our photography class, we wandered around Melbourne, taking some shots of things that interested us. Then, as part of our Computer Assisted Design class, we combined multiple images to make a new image.

This is Melbourne Central, from inside the building, The Gates of Hell sculpture (by Heather B Swann), that used to be in Degraves St, and some graffiti from Hosier Lane. Only The Gates of Hell has been distorted, the other images have been imported as they were taken. I used the magic selection tool to take out the pieces between the lines in the Melbourne Central image and I just kept the graffiti as the back image.

I was disappointed when I came out of the underground passage to Flinder's Street station, into Degraves St, and the sculpture was not there. A note said that it had been vandalised and taken away, but I have just found the above link to Heather Swann's site and it says the work was temporary. Either way, I used to enjoy coming up the stairs and having that in front of me.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Public Art in Melbourne

Today we went to the city to go to an art exhibition by Bryan Spiers that I had seen advertised in The Age a week or so ago. It was at the Sarah Scout gallery. Well worth the visit. I am currently into geometric art and it had strong elements that appealed to me.

It didn't open till midday, so we wandered around for a little while taking pictures of public art for an assignment that my companion has for one of her subjects in the Textiles and Design course we are doing. One of the places we went to early in our day was near the Chinese museum in Chinatown. It was a fairly hot day and we took our time wandering around.
Here is a picture of a pigeon very sensibly standing in the shade of one sculpture.

There was a mix of Chinese and Western sculpture. It was a joint project with Victoria and Jiangsu, done in 1985. I rarely go to that part of the city, so it was new to me, a pleasant surprise.

We walked around a relatively small area and found quite a bit of public art. There was some discussion about a few of the pieces as there was not always a plaque and my companion declared that meant it was not public art.
I took a few pictures of pieces that would not qualify as public art under that restriction but that I liked anyway.
Here is a dragon that was on one of the building near the Jiangsu/Victoria project.

As we found quite a lot of public art, I will post more about some of it later.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Optical Illusions

I am in the stress part of my course, the choosing of a design. We have to develop designs for Tapestry, Screen Print, Integrated Design and the computer component of the course (it has had a name change and I can't remember it at present). Some of the designs are supposed to be related (hence the name Integrated Design) but I am trying to find the direction I want to go.

One of the things that I am thinking of is optical illusion, so I have been looking at various sites. Many of the optical illusions are not suitable for my needs but they are still fascinating.

I am also trying to remember how to use Adobe Illustrator, even the simple bits are eluding me. So here is my first attempt at making a design that has some element of optical illusion.

I have bought the Dover book of Geometric Designs.
It has some amazing designs. I love Dover permission free design books, I could spend hours looking through them. I like looking at them when I go to some of the craft shows.

This book has designs that remind me of some of the geometric designs so common in patchwork, especially the Tumbling Blocks design. (There are a lot of links for that too.) I am always surprised by the 3D effects that can be gained by just drawing lines or the use of colour.
I had previously posted some links to Optical Illusion sites, including
the spinning girl, which is supposed to show whether you are right or left brain oriented but I found a link that says that this is complete nonsense. (If you put Spinning Girl in your search engine, you will find quite a few links.)
Here is just one other of the many sites devoted to this topic
Eye Tricks

Monday, February 8, 2010

India Flint dyeing video

One of the ladies in the Aus/NZ art quilt group posted a link to a very interesting India Flint short video.

I have also found a 5 day retreat she is doing later in the year at Crockett Cottage Studio in Mansfield, Victoria.
When we studied dyeing last year in my course, I read India Flint's book and found some very interesting ideas in it. I had fun dyeing and could be doing some now, while the bark is falling off the trees. But it is hot and my setup is in the glasshouse, so that's not an enticing option at the moment.

More Birds

Saturday must have been my busy day. After the visit to Heide and the lesson on free motion sewing, I went out to Yarra Bend Park with our dog. While we were wandering around, we came across some very tame parrots. They were not bothered by us and let us get quite close. I managed to get a few pictures of them. They are beautiful. I think they are grass parrots.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Well, that's annoying

Yesterday, after our visit to Heide, my friend and I came home and I showed her how to do free motion sewing. It was a fun afternoon and I had got out some of my samples to show her different uses and techniques. I haven't done a lot of it but I do have a few bits and pieces.

I found some half finished work that I realised I would like to finish. All of the above samples were done in classes and so I had tried to design my own piece but life interfered and I hadn't finished it.

So today I got out the machine, ready to have a play but first I was going to whip up some napkins for another friend, using New York themed fabric that we bought at The City Quilter in New York. So I had to change the foot. That was when I discovered that the shank has fallen too low and I couldn't put the new foot on - how annoying!

Of course the repair shop is not open on a Sunday, so I will take it in tomorrow. Fortunately I had another small sewing machine, useful for taking to classes. It doesn't do free motion but I have been able to play around with the napkins, so it hasn't been a totally unproductive day. It is getting hot now and so staying indoors is the preference. I'll have to try to whip up the enthusiasm for the free motion work another time.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cubism and Australian Art

My friend and I visited the Heide Museum of Modern Art today to see the Cubism and Australian Art exhibition. It ranged from the beginning of the 20th century to the present time. It was interesting to see some art that was around in my childhood and youth. We could see strong correlations to the work and some of the fabrics we remember being available at the time. There was some amazing work there, and some that we wondered why anyone would have bought it, let alone keep for a long time.
One of the art works that I especially liked was a DVD and sound show. It showed fragmented visions of people moving, as if seen through distorted glass. Unfortunately I can't remember the artist but I recommend going to see it if you are in the area.
One artist whose work I particularly liked was Godfrey Miller. (I did not find many links with images of his work, sorry.)
I hadn't heard of him before but I loved the work. I loved the way the scenes had been broken down into very small shapes but that the overall image was clear. I am slowly discovering that I like cubism, or some aspects of it. I have not had an extensive art education and it is a whole new world for me. Many of the movement names do not resonate with me but I find that I like particular artists. I have been having a very good education this year, with my opportunities to see so much museum quality art.
The course I am doing has had me looking at art for inspiration and it is an area that I have not studied or been exposed to very much in the past. I am still learning my own tastes.
It is always an adventure to go to an art exhibition as I do not have many preconceived ideas about what I will be seeing. I have been to quite a few exhibitions recently but that is not normal for me. I am going to try to go to more in the future. I am also trying to work through Walking in this World by Julia Cameron, and one of the artist's dates I am trying to give myself on a fairly regular basis is to go to some exhibitions and gallery shows. So this week I have succeeded.