Travel and Teaching – Ocean Grove to Melbourne

I went off Ocean Grove to teach Memory Vessels. Here are some pictures of the area.

A wine tasting house….clever!

One of many things in the Kyo shops.

Nice sculptures using old bits. Wheel barrows in this one.

Outside Studio54 where I taught.

Patsy’s books.

Heather’s table.

Julie’s pages.

Jo’s stitched map.

Kaye’s forest figures.

Some of their sewing gear.

Having a farewell coffee with Kerrie.

Train ride back to Melbourne.

Greeted by Borris.

My scones served to friends at “morning tea”.

Miss Fisher’s house from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries just up the street from Anne’s.

Brunch this morning of edible crumpets and the lovely poached eggs.

And my own attempt at being a barrista by re-configuring the heart into a person/angel.

So far a really good trip. I have some new shoes, wine to take out to the Grampians, a smallish bottle of Jack Daniels in lieu of a single malt, lots of billy tea to send home, some gifts bought that will be mailed from Halls Gap, and a nice pop into Melbourne Etching Supplies for just the right thing. Anne’s hospitality makes it a wonderful and relaxing trip down under.

Until next week when I am deep into teaching the master’s class, “An Expedition that Begins with One Square Metre”.


Back Home in Australia

I am here in Australia. This is the flight from customs in Sydney to Hobart. Now I will show pictures of the white line printmaking class I taught there.

This is just a few of the work done in class. Here is my demo piece that I will be working on more my few days here at Baldessin.

And a bit of Hobart surrounds.

Some wall art outside art supply store.

View from Jude Walkers….the best hostess in Hobart.

Then a ride with Anne and Tony up to Baldessin Press taking in a few wineries.

And now I have arrived here…..the most inspiring place for a printmaker! There are people here working out ideas on the presses because it is day two of two day open press day here.

I need to do a bit of laundry before I can join them. Just thought I would catch you all up on my adventures down under so far.

Til next time.

Getting Ready to Go

Spring is popping out here in Western North Carolina. I am trying not to succumb to its fever as I tie up all loose ends to leave Tuesday for a month in Australia. My mind bounces from one thing to another and then back again. Tomorrow is the art group meeting. I need to pick up the studio. My small piece of checked luggage has everything I need for students and then some….but no clothes yet. Monday is time enough for that.

The artwork for an exhibition has been delivered to Asheville to be taken on from there with other artists works using paper.

All those who are helping to keep an eye on Lee have been documented and scheduled. Whatever they need is somewhere in the house and directions for how to find it, how to use it and how important it is to keep things running smoothly. Photographed instructions on how to use the DVD player, the washing machine and pictures inside of cupboards on where things go….even how to fold Lee’s underwear so it fits in the drawer and will be where he looks for it.

But I did get to watch the Olympic curling match this morning after taking photographs outside of a few things the deer are not chewing on….like these small bushes with blooms in white and pink.

They are not eating the forsythia and jonquils….not yet anyway. Saving their appetite for the first sprout of hostas I imagine.

The fish pond with budding Japanese maples along its edges.

And Jay, an elderly goldfish that we named after an elderly friend who passed away many years ago. Our Jay gets lighter and lighter each year as his color falls away. I am always happy to see him wake up from the winter sleep they all go into just below the surface of ice.

The river birch’s skin is very pink this morning as its bark falls away.

Just outside the front door the creeping jenny is thriving.

One of those “know it all” acquaintances that we all have said we would be very sorry that we ever planted it. We are not. I fills in with all the other ground covers and the color is always so fresh….and so welcome after a dreary winter.

One other thing I did this morning was get out my small cans of wall and trim paints. I take a small brush and starting with the walls and corners, I cover up all the dark marks from cat rubbings and chips on the outside corners of drywalled archways. Next the oil based trim paint catches all the dirty fingerprints and scrapes from moving things about.

Now when I get back from Australia and check on Lee, unpack and do laundry I won’t have to look at those marks and wonder when I will get the time to do what I just did this morning. Instead I have just a few days before teaching a five day class titled, Prints, Pigments, and Pages – A Collaboration with Nature. Earlier this week I wrote the syllabus and checked to make sure I have all the materials and equipment needed to keep eight students satisfied.

It will be a fun class. They always are. This time I get to add marbling papers with earth pigments. The walnuts students will be using have rotted to perfection. We will make small gelatin plates in class for printing bits of Nature. All equipment for contact printing leaves from around the site is ready to go. Feathers are coming soon to make our paint brushes. I think I am ready and just hoping a friend comes along to look in on Lee while I am busy in class.

The other thing all set to go are those infernal taxes. This was always something Lee did. I really hate numbers and kept myself to just balancing the checkbook each month. Now it is this plethora of papers that need to be collected and delivered so that our tax lady can get started long before our appointment mid April. Why people actually choose this as a profession is as beyond me as those who make a living by looking deep into our other private areas.

Last night was lovely wine, scotch and company on the porch. I am sure there will be more bits of nasty weather before Spring is officially here, but it is so nice right now.

In one week I will be finishing up my two day white line printmaking class in Hobart, Tasmania. I will do a blog then.

Now I am off to pick up the studio and do my physical therapy exercises before having a bit of Stone’s Ginger Wine and thinking about dinner.

Til next week.

Thinking About Clearing Space in the Studio

Sunset. Another day goes by and I have done little to get rid of things. A gallery is closing and I will get the works back that did not sell. More things piling up. I need to make some decisions here.  One of the problems is when you work in “mixed media” everything has potential.

This is the latest of the boats done for an exhibition in March.

It is bigger than the last one. And instead of having a bell that rings in a memory carried in the anchor, this one has several jingling bells in the hold. Just rock back and forth and you can hear them. The passenger is safely tucked inside wondering what to recall next.

His attic is full of stories….his and others. The rocks are the important thing here. Images of them on the boat as well as the house’s footings. And those that create a path along the deck of the boat. Here is where they came from.

It is an old cigar box with stones that I collected from a dear friend’s driveway in a town where we raised our children. Pacia lived to be almost 100 years old and I would stay in her house ( a converted train station) every time I went back “home”. One day I simply had a need to take a bit of the place with me. I have dipped into this box often.

Also in there are scraps of sandpaper the men taking wood working classes would give me when I was teaching at Arrowmont. I like those bits of used sandpaper. I like the sound of them. I like how they are supposed to smooth things over while irritating the heck out of it


Here are some of the stones as well as the sand papers in my tai chi figures. There are fourteen of them that take their poses as their burdens get less and less in each one. Here is the first one of the series in an earlier work. Now they just march along a wall in the studio reminding me to take the “focus breath”. I should pay attention.

The shot into the shoulder has helped and I will be able to get back to doing my tai chi and yoga stretches. I do them here in the studio and not in a class setting. That was only to learn the moves and the breathing.

All the works for the other exhibition are packed with their artist statement. Someone will get them to Chattanooga for me.

I am enjoying looking at just the sixteen nails on the wall. How long I can not hang something there is a good question. Someone I admire in the art group showed very large mulberry paper works. I loved the paper and assumed I needed some….just five pages that are 55″ x 27″. Those and a detail brush that “can paint cat whiskers” made from rat hairs. It was only five dollars and seemed like a good idea to have one. Besides it was a supplier I had never ordered from before that carries mostly Asian arts materials.

I am not being very successful at ridding myself of things. But I will get there. I just need to figure out how. I do know one thing. Once it is out of the studio, I don’t miss it.

Someone told me that she got rid of 100 things per week. I think it was each week. But she counted scraps of paper in that one hundred things. It might be a place to start.

Til next week.