In the second week of October I went to Adelaide to take a workshop with Lorna Crane organised by Fibre Arts Australia.
I had a wonderful 5 days. The school was huge, Westminster College, and I did get mislaid several times. But I didn't trip on the yellow road humps. Maybe I have grown out of that.
The workshop was about making hand-made brushes and then using them to develop our own "lexicon of marks". I loved this idea . A lexicon is usually associated with language - vocabulary and the ways a language is used. And so I have been making brushes to create my own language of marks and they way I use them.
I fell in love with the big, white trunked gum trees in the school grounds. There was a big one right outside my bedroom window.
I did a lot of work experimenting with my brushes.
And I made a scroll using layers of fabric and black organza.
Since I have been back I seem to have been very busy catching up on "stuff" and not doing much experimenting with my "lexicon" of marks. I want to do some drawing with my brushes and experiment a lot more but there's always something like my messy big table. I think I might just take a small rake to it and create a bit of space and bigger and higher piles.
Behind "Aratoi" in Bruce Street, Masterton there are a series of brightly coloured containers that have been set up as an art space for Wairarapa artists called "ConArt". There is a gallery, a retail outlet and two insulated working studio spaces. There is a third space but it is not insulated and gets very hot.
I am working in one of the studios for the next month. It is an interesting experience having a clean and tidy space, with just the materials I want there and my work on the walls, plus ongoing inspiration and the resulting work. It has made me think seriously about my studio at home and how I can make it a similar space. What I really don't need and the necessity of tidying up at the end of the day. About my working studio practice.
I get there at 10 am and leave at 4.00 pm. It's like going to work. I know I should do this at home but it is far to easy to go back to the house for a cup of tea, a FB check and a couple of games of Patience or even a peruse of the news. Very quickly an hour has gone by. Being here does keep me focused on my work.
The work I am doing here is called "A Stone's Throw" and is based around what is close by, a stone's throw away. Interestingly this is a biblical quote used to describe a place or situation just outside a city's walls "a stone's throw away" ie not far.
On one of the outside walls of my studio walls this poem has been posted. This is part of the "Outdoor Poems" initiative in Masterton. It is really lovely, there are several around where I am working.
Last week was interesting finding what was close by. We did have quite a bit of rain and there were puddles and reflections in the gutters and it amazing what actually starts to grow in cracks in the pavements.
And it is fun to make up stories about how and when things happen. I can't remember anything in the paper about a minor accident in Queen St.
Monday and Tuesday ConArt is closed and this has been my weekend, phew I have been busy. Working from home has it's advantages but I have been made very aware of how easy it is to loiter.
"I paint flowers so they do not die." Frida Kahlo