Sunday, October 30, 2011

Art finds a new home and other matters

The last 24 hours has been a bit crazy. I went to Melbourne to take down the Handheld exhibition and bring the unsold pieces home. All went well until I got caught up in the QANTAS grounding of the entire airline fleet. I was actually on a plane about to push back for taxing and takeoff when the grounding happened. I called Fiona from the aircraft and she quickly got me onto a latish flight with another airline. So I got home very late - but hey I got home.

Today has  been a day of catch up - weeding, mowing the grass etc. But we had to deliver the Rosebed auction for Japan pieces to Rosebed Gallery in Eudlo. So the pieces below - Fiona's folded heart book and my leaves - were delivered so they can be packed and sent to the successful bidders.

Barry Smith © Heart book and leaves in the landscape 
Barry Smith © Fiona's heart book and my leaves - off to new homes
We were happy to drop the pieces off as it provided us with the opportunity to visit Rosebed Gallery and check out the Small Works exhibition that friends and fellow artists Kim Schoenberger  and JoMurray feature in. And an added bonus was that we ran into Jo at the gallery and she gave me a stash of stuff for cutting, beating and recycling.

Barry Smith © Jo's gift

Barry Smith © Jo's gift - includes EPNS and anodised lids
But there is no such thing as a 'free stash' - once the bits are sorted and cut up a leaf or bowl will make its way to Jo. Mind you I have stash envy when I checked out Stegata's flea market purchases; and her mineral exhibition purchases.

Because of the constant travelling for work-work I have not had time to beat metal etc. So I have done art vicariously - checking out and being inspired by the creativity of others such as Mariedodd's current series; Luthien's fantasy inspired creations; and Carol's foray into iPhoneography. Whilst the work of other artists is not the same as one does it is amazing just how much overlap exists between us.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fragments of bronzes

While we are away for work-work Fiona and I still try to get out and have a walk in the morning if possible. We were really lucky in Cairns this week as it had been raining before we got there; but we had beautiful days. The mornings were clear and cool with great soft light. We walked on the Esplanade where hundreds of other people were out walking and exercising.

The walks gave us the opportunity to take in some of the public art created in the parks along the Esplanade and on the sea walls.

Below are fragments of some 8 large etchings (about 400mmx800mm) by Brian Robinson of acquatic wildlife set in a concrete sea wall.

Barry Smith © Detail of sea wall bronzes - Cairns
Barry Smith © Detail of sea wall bronzes - Cairns
Barry Smith © Detail of sea wall bronzes - Cairns
Barry Smith © Detail of sea wall bronzes - Cairns
Barry Smith © Detail of sea wall bronzes - Cairns
Barry Smith © Detail of sea wall bronzes - Cairns
Barry Smith © Detail of sea wall bronzes - Cairns
The corrosion by the salt water is adding such beautiful texture and colour.

And then there are a pair of the piece below by Ben Trupperbaumer - together they are called A Sense of Belonging. They are located outside the local art gallery with all their delicious nooks and carnies.

Barry Smith© A sense of belonging- Cairns
Barry Smith © Detail of sea wall bronzes - Cairns
Barry Smith © Detail of sea wall bronzes - Cairns
Barry Smith © Detail of sea wall bronzes - Cairns
Barry Smith © Detail of sea wall bronzes - Cairns
I just love towns that are willing to invest in modern public art for all to share. All photos were taken with the iPhone.

And by the way if you haven't had a chance to check out the earring giveaway just click here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Giveaway - friendship and recycling

We have just returned from another of our work-work trips - only two more to go. But before we went we had a lovely Sunday lunch with Fiona's cousin Jude and her family. It provided me with the opportunity to give Jude the choice of one of the three sets of earrings I made with her in mind to say "thanks" for her immediate response to my eye issue.

At first she said she didn't want the gift but changed her mind when she saw what I had brought to lunch - she chose the earrings below - and put them on immediately - and they looked right for her.

Barry Smith© Jude's earrings
All three sets were made from remnants of carry handles off small and old EPNS serving trays (for biscuits, cakes etc) that I had cut up to make bowls, leaves, Bazola bits and inspirations for the pocket.

There are two sets of earrings left - so I (and Fiona) thought it might be a good time for a giveaway. There is no milestone reached or anything - it just seems right that the two sets of earrings below should find new homes. The earrings are simple in design and not precious in a monetary sense as they are made from recycled EPNS material that has been given a new form and life.

Barry Smith © Giveaway earrings 1
Barry Smith © Giveaway earrings 2
So what do you have to do to be in the earring giveaway? Just leave a comment on this post regarding what you like about recycling of objects or material and art.

On Friday the 4 November I will get Fiona to draw two names of those who made a recycling-art related comment out of a bowl; and the earrings will be sent to their new homes.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

iPhoneography and Fantasy Feathers

As well as finishing off the jewellery bits and earrings for Fiona's cousin I gave the prototypes of the 'little blue metal feathers' a light polish to take off the rough edges. As you can see from the photo below the polishing has resulted in creating some silver highlights; bringing out some of the texture; and muting the blue slightly.

Barry Smith © Little blue metal feather (Canon)
In her comment on Bits in the rough Carol brought my attention to an iPhoneography opportunity. Whilst I'm not sure I will get time to make all the connections and requirements to be part of this activity it did encourage me to take the photos of a real feather and the 'little blue metal feather' with the iPhone and give a couple of the photos the treatment with the FX app.

One of the things I enjoy about the naked iPhone close-up photos is that you can often create some interesting effects by how the colours of the objects and light bounces back. This provides some interesting opportunities for modification with the apps.

Barry Smith © Feather (Canon)
Barry Smith © Feather (iPhone)
Barry Smith © Feather (iphone - FX app)
Barry Smith © Little blue metal feather (iPhone)
Barry Smith © Little blue metal feather (iPhone - FX app)
Barry Smith © Little blue metal feather (iPhone -FX app)
I have found that not all photos lend themselves to startling modifications; but I knew that the light and texture of the naked shots would produce some interesting variations. Just love how the shadow under both the real and metal feather just glow as if lit from below when modified using the iPhone app.

Friday, October 21, 2011

For a friend; & Finishing on Friday

A couple of weeks ago I had a bit of scare with one of my eyes suddenly developing a couple of cysts etc etc. Needed to see an optometrist urgently - fortunately we live in a small town and one of the optometrists happens to be a relative of Fiona's and a friend - so she rushed into town and did the diagnosis -  yep cysts things but not bad. So I promised her a set of earrings for going that extra mile - have to love that people care. Today I got the time to make a few earrings bits including the pair below.

Barry Smith © Serving tray EPNS earring bits
But she will be able to choose from the three pairs below - simple rods versus the more decorative?

Barry Smith © Serving tray EPNS earring bits
I also got time to finish those 'bits in the rough'. I have polished them without taking all the patina and annealing colour off them.

Barry Smith © Polishing softens the edges-creates the highlights
Barry Smith © Polishing softens the edges-creates the highlights
Barry Smith © Polishing softens the edges-creates the highlights
Love this little set as you can see the lettering from the old fuel stove base they were made from.

Barry Smith © Added dimension of recycling brass objects
And just in case  - I made a couple of extra earring bits from silver serving trays.

Barry Smith © Earring bling from the EPNS serving tray
All in all a productive Friday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bits in the rough

On Sunday afternoon I managed to get a couple of hours to starts making some bits for a fellow artist; and also trying out making feathers from anodised aluminium. But I did not get time to do polishing - that will have to wait until Friday as we are on the road for work-work.

I have been given a few items of blue anodised aluminium. Whist water and fish etc come to mind I did not think I would be using it to create leaves; but maybe weed flowers??? However, Fiona asked if I would have a try at making Blue Wren feathers - so below are a couple of feathers in the rough. We will see if they look more feather like when they are polished.

Barry Smith © Blue (wren) feathers in the rough
I'm also in the process of making bits for jewellery. I always like how rough and un-jewllike the foldformed pieces are when they have gone through a couple annealings.  But again I'm sure the magic of polishing will bring out their shiny spirit.

Barry Smith © Brass jewellery bits in the rough
Barry Smith © Copper jewellery bits in the rough
Barry Smith © Copper jewellery bits in the rough
So I know what I will be doing on Friday afternoon next week.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Storm light

Yesterday afternoon we had a most impressive band of storms that swirled around us on the mountain: storms in the valley below; and the mountains to the west.

Barry Smith © Storm panorama using Autostitch app
Of course both Fiona and I were outside on the southern deck enjoying the spectacle of light, dark, rain and lightning - and capturing a bit of the show on our cameras. Check out Fiona's post for some amazing images of colour in the sky.

Barry Smith © Storm over Glasshouse Mountains
Barry Smith © Sulphurous storm light
I am often amazed that it can be so dark in the sky and so foreboding and yet the foreground is still filled with light and green. There were many good flashes of lighting but very hard to capture - though Fiona caught a good bolt and I caught a flash on the edge of a photo.

Fiona Dempster © Bolt of lightning
Barry Smith © Purple haze of lightning
And whilst we waited I zoomed into the grey light - and the iPhone zoom always produces the soft pixelated shots. Almost like pointillist painted artworks.

Barry Smith © Grey storm-light 1
Barry Smith © Grey storm-light 2
After a close and powerful flash of lightning the intrepid photographers retreated inside and watched and listened to the show from behind glass.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Smoke on the horizon

Fiona and I are going to be spending as much time on the road doing work-work as we will be at home for the next month or so. We have a piece of work that will take us to most of the capital cities of Australia over the next little while. So my art is likely to come through the lens more than the hammer and anvil.

A few weeks back we had lots of fires in the valley and over the mountains that surround us. Whilst fires can be fierce things some are controlled burns in preparation for the summer fire season. Late one afternoon there was a long plume of smoke over our western mountains. It created some interesting colours and contrasts. The colours of the photos below have not been enhance - naked Iphone camera shots.

Barry Smith © Smoke on the mountains
Barry Smith © A shimmer of sunset smoke
The newish moon was just coming into frame as I took the photos.

Barry Smith © Smoke, deep blue and sliver of moon
And using the zoom of the Iphone with the smoke around gave me some nice textured-grainy shots.

Barry Smith © Soft horizon
Nature offers some great contrasting pallets.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Colours of children and community art

A 'brush' of artists from art4place facilitated a community art event on behalf of the Sunshine Coast Sister Cities Association as part of the Festuri multicultural festival (8-9 October).  This is reported on more fully in the art4place post on the event.

Whilst the event and the community effort of the artists was impressive, what struck me on the day was the colour and children's connection with and use of colour.

Bright banners

Barry Smith © Detail Festuri banner
Barry Smith © Detail Festuri banner
Brightly painted ceramic dragons

Barry Smith © Red hot dragon with yellow eyes
Barry Smith © Patchwork dragons
Barry Smith © Beautiful blue dragon with green eyes
Bright decorations on the big dragon

Barry Smith © Masterpieces on the dragon 1
Barry Smith © Masterpieces on the dragon 2
Barry Smith © Masterpieces on the dragon 3
Barry Smith © Masterpieces on the dragon 4
Colours in the painting pallets

Barry Smith © A pallet for a dragon
From the children's point of view the brighter the better. Makes me pause and think about the subdued pallet I am attracted to and use. Was there a time I thought dragons could be pink, and blue, and green and yellow?

Most photos are courtesy of Fiona.