Saturday, August 1, 2015

SALA week 2015

I am currently exhibiting work at the Yarta Purtli Gallery in Port Augusta as part of the "Curdnatta Artists' Stories" exhibition.

My Story: 
Life Member of Curdnatta Art Group
First Joined 1973

Curdnatta Art Group and the Gallery have provided a safe and nurturing playground for me as an artist.

It is through Curdnatta that I have tested ideas, honed, skills, gained courage and celebrated success.

There have been several distinct “genres” in my artistic development over the years. 
Sometimes these have overlapped and these signature works excite me the most.

       Oil Painting
Textile Arts
Wearable Art
Screen Printing
Digital Collage

The pieces in this exhibition are self-portraits that depict several of the genres in which I like to play. 

The photo pages are a visual history of work I have created as a Curdnatta Artist.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Alpaca Felt

A while ago I made a chance discovery via Facebook that an acquaintance from my working days has a herd of Alpacas that roam the foothills of the Southern Flinders Ranges near Port Pirie. 

Being in discovery mode I asked about purchasing some fleece and before I knew it I had "5 BAGS FULL". Some from Hugo, Sancho, Hermione, Lydia and Zoe. All different shades.

Some of the fleece was quite clean but Hugo and Sancho seem to like rolling in straw so a bit of work combing and carding was needed to get the fleece ready for felting.

I began with some nano felted scarves and progressed to hats, getting a feel for the product. I found that a bit of wool included in the layers or underneath the alpaca fleece helped to hold everything together.

Several scarves later and I still had "5 BAGS FULL" so what was I to do to  use up more of the fleece now stored in plastic tubs.

I began to make one large felt slab after each felting project and put them aside with the idea of making a felt mat or rug.

Later I cut these into squares and then machine stitched them together using a flat blanket type stitch on my machine. 

The shaggy dreadlocks on the ends were a scarf that didn't quite work but adds just enough interest to the structured rug. The texture of alpaca is very soft and silky and is very tactile.

Ok for a first try ;-))

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Curdnatta Art Group - 50 Years

This year Curdnatta Art Gallery celebrates 50 years.
It has been my privilege to have been involved with the gallery for 41 years. 
In 1965 a group of Port Augusta artists came together to form the Curdnatta Art Group. Originally members met in a shed on Stirling Road and then for a while at TAFE until the Old Railway Station on Commercial Rd Port Augusta became available.

Being able to use the Old Railway Station as an artists' workplace incurred the expenses of running and maintaining the building. Members sold their work to provide a not-for -profit income to meet these expenses and the Curdnatta Gallery as we know it was born.

The Curdnatta Art Group values the unique contribution each member has made to the group . We attracted unique, creative individuals who have a strong sense of community and an ongoing commitment to the Arts.

The group is made up of people who like to “play” with ideas and processes and converse with like-minded artists who enjoy creative exploration in many artistic mediums.
Curdnatta's longevity is probably due to the fact we are a group of people who understand and support each other through the creative process.

We value public opinion of our work and listen closely to feedback from visitors to the gallery and also keep a keen eye on trends and innovation in the ARTS world.

One of the highlights of the year for the Curdnatta Art Group is the Annual May Exhibition which showcases work created by members in the previous 12 months. This year's May Exhibition is the first of a series of exhibitions, workshops and events.

This year I have included some of my felting for the first time as well as the pastel landscapes that have become quite popular and a range of printed products derived from original art pieces.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


An interesting photoshoot came my way this week. The owners and designer of the "shack" are hoping to enter the house in the renovations/additions section of a design award and I had the opportunity to take some pics. 

The old shack has been left untouched by the renovations and nestles under the protective structure of the new addition.

It meant an early start to catch the house lit up in the pre dawn light and then make the most of the early light on the building. A tricky time of day to do inside / outside shots so I had to work with lots of different exposures... and just when I needed it my remote decided not to work... dodgy battery...  nothing ever runs quite to expectations. 

I did get enough good shots to work with though.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Kaleidoscopic Mind-Boggle

What an exciting start to the day!
The package I have been waiting for arrived and I am delighted with the contents! Some printed silk for scarves and my first batch of printed cotton for an  ART project.

But I had better start at the beginning for people to understand more about this Artistic Adventure.

 The FIBRESPACE textile artists current theme is " Kaleidoscopic Mind-Boggle" ... well where do you start when interpreting  this???

Generally when I work on FIBRESPACE pieces I try to build on a technique that I have used before, creating a little journey for myself. Previously I had experimented with taking photos with my phone and a teleidoscope (a kaleidoscope that show the world around us as pattern and design created with mirrors.) This was great fun and I used it to create some designs that I had printed on fabric for the "Beyond Time" exhibition.

I was reasonably pleased with the results but the edges of the images were a bit blurry so I wondered if there were other ways to achieve more uniform results.

I found an app for my iPad that created a similar result but how could I make these images part of my signature??? flowers, arid plants?? Ahhh  the eureka moment... I thought about the endless supplies of pastel art pieces at my disposal if I used these there would be a common technique, design thread  throughout all the images.

I began experimenting and found that a good quality image would be about 7x6in at 300dpi so I decided to go with the patchwork  look and create designs 36x42in that can be uploaded on to the SPOONFLOWER site where I order the printed fabric.

And this is the result !!!!

I can now choose the piece I need for my FIBRESPACE project and offer the rest for sale in smaller bundles at Curdnatta Art Gallery, perfect for quilters.
They can also be purchased at SPOONFLOWER

 I have been experimenting some more with ways to achieve  a larger image at good quality using some Topaz plugins for Photoshop and these can be found at .......

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Playing with Felting

Towards the end of 2014 Curdnatta Art Gallery hosted a felting workshop. Although I have experimented with needle felting I have not done any wet felting before.
It was a great introduction by the presenters Pam and Norma and certainly left me wanting to play some more.

During the summer break from the gallery and child minding I have been developing a work flow that might fit along side my other pursuits.  I find that the physical and repetetive nature of felting  and playing with coloured yarns provides a welcome change to sitting at a computer or sewing machine, as long as I concentrate on small or easily completed tasks.  Summer also provides excellent drying conditions. 

I have only just begun but I can see I will continue to develop this skill as it represents a return to creating some  wearable art.