Saturday, August 31, 2019

Leaf in hard tumbled stone

©2019 Barry Smith - Simple leaf form cut into local stone
It was a wet day today so it offered the opportunity to do in-cottage jobs like fixing the lock on the front door, fixing the weather seal to the front door and sanding and painting the area around the kitchen towel rail - all quite mundane but necessary.

After lunch I got to do more stone cutting on the extra hard tumbled rock picked up from the cove at the end of the village. The photo of one of my chisels below demonstrates just how hard the inclusion the rock are. It will take me a bit of time to grind-file the chips out of the chisel.

©2019 Barry Smith - Badly chipped tungsten stone cutting chisel
Still I managed to get a reasonable leaf form cut into the rock.

©2019 Barry Smith Few spots of rain on hand-size stone
©2019 Barry Smith - Stone on workbench in outside garden shed
It has joined other rocks on the tiles in the fireplace until we decide on a better home.

©2019 Barry Smith - A few other stone ready to cut
Now time to sit back and enjoy a Friday wine in the highlands.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Coos, blossoms and other fragments

©2019 Barry Smith - I can see you
This post will be a mixed bag - I'm still coming to terms with the transfer of photos to the laptop and sizing them for a blog. I will get there as I do more posts. Anyhow in the end I decided to upload a few fragments from the last couple of days including coos as seen fro the photos above and below.

And field blossoms - some would call them weeds.

And a couple of photos from Sandside Harbour

I guess the mixture is not so bad.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Sidetracked by the bog

©2019 Barry Smith - Detail of green sphagnum moss
In the main the weekend was given over to getting the yard of the cottage under control. No one had been in residence for about 6 weeks in summer so the weeds and grass are knee high. It is taking quite a bit of time to make it look loved again - but we are getting closer.

Instead of doing art work (in my case finish cutting the leaf) we decided to take a trip and visit Forsinard National Nature Reserve which is in the centre of the highlands blanket peat bog - 4000sq kilometres of internationally important bog - one of the biggest carbon sinks on the globe. Our local village is on the edge of this amazing entity.

Following are a few images from a glorious few hours spent taking in the beauty and importance of this rich and diverse environment.

©2019 Barry Smith - Viewing tower in the distance
©2019 Barry Smith  - Detail of red sphagnum moss
©2019 Barry Smith - Heather
©2019 Barry Smith - Bog cotton

©2019 Barry Smith - Intrepid nature photographer

©2019 Barry Smith - Amazing extent of the bog - as far as the eye could see
©2019 Barry Smith - Flat leaf sundew - sticky bits for trapping insects - leaf is about 2cm long
©2019 Barry Smith - Round leaf sun dews - one has trapped an insect

The sidetrack was well worth it.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Hard as stone

©2019 Fiona Dempster - Stone cutting in progress
Art today was about attempting to do a little stone cutting on a tumbled rock (below) from the cove.

The stone was duly marked up - keeping it simple I chose a leaf shape given it was almost 12 months since I had picked up one of the chisels we had left in the cottage.

©2019 Barry Smith - Leaf marked up
Then it was out to the wee storage shed to begin the cutting process.

©2019 Fiona Dempster - Using the small storage shed behind the cottage as "the highland studio"

Obviously the stone I picked up from the cove was hard as - lots of silica inclusions - so I had to take it slowly to avoid chipping and the cutting itself was just slow. Still I managed some art on Friday at the cottage which is good.

©2019 Barry Smith - Quite a way to go 
A few more hours of delicate cutting before the stone is finished. I hope to do a leaf series whilst over here - I will be trying a variety of stone!!!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Highland fragments

©2019 Barry Smith - Stone caught in cliff wall
Fiona and I are currently in the highlands - we've been here for a couple of days and already it weaves its magic - colour, unpredictable weather and different light. Given it is hard to adjust to the laptop to do a blog this first will just be a few images from the last couple of days walks.

©2019 Barry Smith Hidden waterfall 
©2019 Barry Smith - Fiona making her way back through the natural tunnel from the hidden waterfall 
©2019 Barry Smith - Cable on the beach
©2019 Barry Smith - A favourite view - looking out to sea from the headland at the end of the village
©2019 Barry Smith - Love the mauve
©2019 Barry Smith - Full blossom
©2019 Barry Smith- Froth patterns in the burn flowing into the sea
©2019 Barry Smith - Armadale Bay - tide fully out - early morning light
The morning started bright and cloudy but then the blue broke through  - the afternoon is now grey and quiet.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Fearless girl and other fragments from Melbourne

©2019 Barry Smith - Fearless Girl in Federation Square Melbourne 
This small statue, 1.2m high) exudes such serene strength - standing up to the taunts and challenges faced by women.

The original was commissioned by State Street Global who are now challenging everyone who has commissioned the artist, Kristen Visbal, to make copies (see article in AFR 7 August).

You would have thought State Street Global would have jumped at the chance to embrace the movement and claim the kudos for commissioning the original and supporting women world wide by allowing copies to be made.

©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith - A gathering of the fearless
A few fragments from our busy work trip.

©2019 Barry Smith - Water on a window
©2019 Barry Smith - Edge of a sculptured dress 
©2019 Barry Smith - Dark Sun
©2019 Barry Smith - Shadow in a stairwell