Friday, February 27, 2009

art camp

Yesterday I was invited to conduct a workshop with senior art students from BHS - I've attended the 'art camp' at tathra quite a few times over the years - but this year was by far the best. What a lovely bunch of youngsters - enthusiastic, talented, good-natured, open-minded... a total delight

I was there to present a workshop on integrating text in artworks - I chose to also show students how to create layers of text in works using gouache, ink and acrylic glazes - (its not the usual sort of thing these guys may be exposed to - so I thought they might find it interesting) I wasn't sure how much we could achieve in our very tight 3 hour timeframe - but just look at all these guys managed!

what a display!

I was astonished at the results - some just really got the hang of layered gouache and acrylic - and whilst these were just exercises and done at break-neck speed - it was incredible how terrific and how finished so many pieces were...

and how students took all the exercises on board in order to create outstanding integrated works - look at how one took a print from an earlier workshop - and thought about how text may add quite different things to the work....

I have a soft spot for anyone who manages to pull something off that you don't think is going to work... not until the very last moment - this piece (well it was originally 2 pieces...) was bitsy and fragmented - and I wasn't confident that it would come together... then with the addition of large '505' lettering, and another layer of glaze- and the fortuitous addition of the second artwork under the (already cut!) heart shape.... and just look at the rather great artwork that resulted....

it is soooo very gratifying to have a class of eager students who all create little marvels. I hope they enjoyed the afternoon as much as I did!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

launching calligraffia

Like most Aussies I've been transfixed (and not in a good way ) over the past week by the weather - and the utterly indescribable devastation of the bushfires of Victoria. There have been nasty fires in my area as well - but it pales into insignificance in comparison to the loss experienced down south.

It has been difficult finding the energy to focus on anything else - and I have had somthing really quite special to be focusing on....

some of you eagle-eyed creatures may have noticed the tentative emergence of a new blog (I'm now the mum of 3 bouncy baby blogs... well sort of... read on...)

Tonight along with fellow Aussie calligraphers Gemma Black and Julie-Ann Williams I'm releasing Calligraffia into the wwworld.

I'll admit Calligraffia was initially born out of one of my wild 'what-ifs'... in this case - 'what if we joined together terrific calligraphers from around the globe with a wonderful blog - where we could share everything wonderful about our shared passion - calligraphy'?....

and bless 'em these two said..... 'oh yeah... what if!'

its taken a bit of time to get our baby ready - and wow what a birth!

we decided to properly launch to coincide with the first anniversary of the Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples - and with good reason.

If you trundle over to Calligraffia right now you can wallow in the gorgeousness of our first post - the making of the Apology manuscript...

(detail from Apology manuscript - calligraphy by Gemma Black)

I'm hopeful that Calligraffia will become a blog of excellence - where visitors will have a smorgasbord of calligraphic tidbits - as our byline describes: 'news, views, reviews, interviews and how-tos' - all from the world of calligraphy - trust you travel over there - and enjoy (let us know what you think - and if you've got something calligraphic to share - drop us a line at

now - I suppose I just have to do something about these stretch marks.... oh and I'm going to have all these youngsters vying for my attention... goodness whatever was I thinking!