Sunday, February 28, 2010

Art in Canberra

Fiona and I have spent almost all of the last few weeks working in Canberra. Whilst we had little time for actually doing art we did get the opportunity to visit the Masterpieces from Paris (MFP) exhibition at the National Gallery; and exhibitions etc at a couple of other small local galleries.

The MFP features 112 works of modern art from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris - including many Post Impressionist pieces. Both Fiona and I had our favourites of course including van Gogh’s Starry Night (photo of image from exhibition lens cleaning cloth).

However I was a bit taken with the Pointillism movement and the pieces in the exhibition. I just loved the clever way the artists created images. tones etc by using juxtaposed dots of distinct colour.

The photos posted here are taken from a couple of exhibition postcards. The first is by Henri-Edmond Cross titled Hair; and the second is by Georgas Seurat titled Model from the back.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

H is for heavy handed – fractured foldformed H

As you can see from the photo of the foldformed ALaW letter H I took the thin brass sheet in too many directions.

Whilst I achieved the uneven look I was after folding the cross bar over the right folded upright without tapping it flat resulted in a bit a tear in the metal on the crossover. But as they say in the classics: if it looks ok then it is ok. The texture of the orgiginal recycled pot plant holder has come through nicely when I polished the piece with steel wool.

As I am now getting a bit of a stash of these 7x7cm brass letters I am beginning to think that they will become part of a 15x15cm square pole that will sit and weather outside somewhere on the block.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

‘G’ is for glitter - stamped metal letter

With my first A Letter a Week letter G I have used the heavier gauge brass from the side of an old heavy pot plant holder. The metal is a bit too brittle for foldforming and given that G has curves I have gone for stamping the metal.

Stamping the background with a plumber’s hardened G stamp has enabled the G to stand out and polishing the whole piece with steel wool just makes the G shine. And as is the case with this particular brass if you work it on one particular side you do get a nice curve happening.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

‘F’ is for foldforming

I’m finding the actual creation of the foldformed letters does not take a great deal of time – but then of course there is always the pre-cutting of the metal, trimming it to size after the foldforming and of course the polishing to bring out the texture of the metal and the highlights and shadows of the folds.

Anyway as you can see ‘F’ has been created as my next A Letter a Week. There is a bit of buckling in the metal - it seems that in creating the twist in the lower fold of the 'F' created a bit of juxtaposed tension in the metal - the things we learn.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

And so the next 4 letters begin

What a great show of creativity the A Letter a Week (ALaW) challenge is proving to be. Over 20 people are now contributing. And of course there are so many good postings of the first 4 letters by the 3 February.

I posted my first 4 and am onto the second set.

As I indicated in an earlier post I am using light gauge brass from pot plant holders and the fold forming technique to create letters with straight lines – so that ids how I have created the above ‘E’. ALaW challenge is providing me with a no-fail opportunity to practice foldforming. On this letter I attempted to get the folds to run from wide to thin – seems to have worked OK.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rusted iron and the generosity of fellow artists

One thing about my form of art is that the materials often don’t cost a lot – not many people are marketing rusted iron, cast off copper and brass objects or preloved and rotten timbers. But then again these objects are often hard to come by as they can just be sent to rubbish tips or to commercial metal recyclers. So it is always good to have friends and family on the lookout for bits and pieces.

Over the last couple of weeks I have had a bit of a windfall in the rusted iron department. I had to say no to Susan (print and handmade book artist) and Edith-Ann’s (ceramicist and assemblage sculptural artist) separate offers of rusted corrugated iron – I’m not quite up to working with pieces that can accommodate the scale of corrugated iron yet.

Kim (who combines rusted metal with ceramics) delivered these great metal plugs from the rubbish tip of a metal fabrication workshop.

James (who is into marble sculpture but is also a builder) rescued and delivered this huge (2m high) 3mm thick plate rusted fire place and rusted 2mm floor out of a 6X4 box trailer.

And Edith-Ann provided the rusted out top of a 44 gallon drum.

And of course the rust itself is a beautiful gift of nature.

I just love the fact that the network of fellow artists supports what you are doing artistically and are so generously willing to share.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Metal bowls for Super Bowl Challenge 2010

As earlier posts indicate I have been participating in Super Bowl Challenge 2010. Wendy Edsall-Kirwin has provided the opportunity for artists to take part in a creative fun activity that encouraged participants to create a bowl or bowls in time for the American Super Bowl football event.

Check out the Super Bowl Challenge 2010 Flickr group – there are some amazing pieces of work in a range of medium including metal, felt and clay from some 17 participants. I am sure there will be a favourite for everyone.

I posted the following three bowls – all using recycled metal and found objects.

Thanks Wendy for taking the time to set this challenge up and encouraging us to take the time to be creative.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rain, heat and flowers

Yesterday I was reflecting on things that were hot on the block - weather and chillies – and the lack of rain. Well the last 12-18 hours has just been grey and wet, wet, wet. We have measured about 125mm thus far. However we should not complain given that folk south of us have had over 400mm in the last 24 hours.

I always get a bit concerned when we have heavy rain – it is always a test for the terracing and the gravel mulching. But you can see from the photos that the water is all flowing into the rock river and the gravel is slowing down the flow – all good so far.

The heat and rain has been great for the frangapanis this year - lots of growth and intense colour in all of them; and great perfume from the white and yellow flowers.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hot on the block

Today is very humid and hot on the mountain. As I sit at the computer storms are rolling around us but not on us to cool us off.

Of course there are always things to do on the block and today it had to be preserving chillies- we have one bush but it is absolutely loaded. While Fiona was cutting and processing the chillies - with protective rubber gloves - I could not resist photographing the rich red hot little numbers.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Words for Peace 2010

Fiona discovered that Mike was facilitating a peace installation for spring of 2010 called Words for Peace 2010.
I was so impressed with the sentiment and power behind Mike’s project that I just wanted to be part of it and add my voice on a card that is 5inches wide and 20inches long. I thought I would try to use rusted drilling shavings and granules as my ‘ink’ on 850gsm rag paper.
As you can see from the photos what I want to convey is that I hope that weapons are not used for war or even in anger or against each other; and that they might just rust and return into the soil without inflicting pain or horror. Without weapons to resort to we might have a better chance of finding a peaceful path to resolving differences.

I have wet the rust and paper on a number of occasions and the rust is beginning to bleed nicely into the paper.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A meditation bowl for a friend

I was working away from home for the best part of three days in the past week including Friday – so there was not the chance to get the Friday afternoon creative hit in the studio. But I was catching up with a friend yesterday (Sunday) and just wanted to give him one of my reflection-meditation bowls so got down into the garage-studio on Saturday afternoon. And so the Star meditation bowl was made.

This hand (palm) sized bowl has no words – it is blank – a ‘being in the moment’ type bowl.
This bowl is what I call a punched bowl with a bit of foldforming influence - at the centre it has a rudimentary foldformed star with copper rivet highlights. In line with the balance of life I have posted two photos – one with flash and therefore full of brightness; and one without flash and therefore still shining but with a few shadows.