Sunday, 28 August 2011

The studio becomes a studio again.

Today was the last day for SALA.  I spent the day out there and there were just a couple of people who visited... not surprising as it's the day when there is an "Artist's Market" in Adelaide.  It's always disappointing when the city monopolises so much of the festival, however it has been a good month.  This afternoon I began to turn the space back in to a more functional studio, with the easel in the best light rather than allowing the best access to the paintings.  It's been hard to do any painting for the past month, and so I hve a few ideas for pieces that I want to do.  
Today though, I did some drawing at last.  It felt good.
These are the bottles that are lined up on the window sill in the studio.....
 .... and I started to plan a painting of one of hte hillsides nearby.....
 This is a drawing that I made a few weeks (or is it months?) ago.....
 .... and I want to make a painting of this part of St Matthew's Church which is not far from the stuido church.  This is a photograph of the building that I took today.
I have a busy week coming up.... hanging an exhibition at the Barossa Regional Gallery (not my work, but a travelling exhibition from Country Arts SA) and it looks interesting.   I also need to work some day to pay the bills, but next weekend I should be ready to paint.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Swallows

Today I spent most of the day at the studio, waiting for SALA visitors.  There were quite a few.  The most unusual however was the pair of swallows that spent much of the day inside.
First one came in and I was worried, as it didn't seem to know where to go towards the door.  Then came a second one.  Together they were so loud that it was hard to let yourself think!
Eventually one left and the noise died down significantly.  The last one eventually left, though I had been worried as I wondered what would happen if I locked the door and left in the afternoon... with a swallow still inside!
I was so glad to leave the studio bird free, mouse free and, from what I could see, spider free!

Monday, 8 August 2011

South Australian Living Artists

 I have just spent my first weekend in the studio, for SALA.  I didn't get any painting done but I did have some visitors, sold some work, was given a gift of olive oil and found the quiet time out there to be really enjoyable.
I'll be back to work (for money) for the next couple of days and then, next weekend, I'll be spending my time in the studio again.   I will try to do some painting while I'm there....  I love my studio.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Guatemalan weavings?

This post seems completely out of character.   Perhaps it should be on the other blog (kapundagarden) except that the discovery has more to do with "art" than anything else.  

I went to the local second hand shop while I waited for the butcher to bone and roll a forequarter of lamb for me... I often go there (the second hand shop)  to find lace curtain for the garden in summer or handkerchiefs that are already hemmed (to save me the trouble)..... anyway,  I was looking amongst the odds and ends (where one finds the handkerchiefs) when I found these....
handwoven pieces that look like they are from Guatemala...  or at least the northern part of South America... see what you think....

... having seen other embroideries, molas from Costa Rica and Guatemalan weavings, these caught my eye....
         ........ a bird.....

      ..... a butterfly.......
      .....  a chicken....... (my favourite)
 ...... not sure (any suggestions?)  but a beautiful design neverthless....
 ..... another bird......
         .... and another of these designs that are so beautiful....
 These pieces were very dirty, so I have washed tehm  They are definitely made of cotton with old fashioned dyes (including indigo.)  I washed them in soap and rinsed them carefully.  each piece measures almost exactly 35cm x 35 cm.   They are old, and beautiful and I want more information.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

The studio is looking like a gallery

I have spent a couple of days hanging paintings at the studio ready for SALA.  Most of it is done, but the ladder is still there so that I can do the back wall.
But the two longest walls are looking ok...  all of the new paintings are on the wall, and there are a few old ones along the floor.  I'm not sure that they'll be staying there yet.
 The tiny paintings are attached to a kind of screen thing by the door, not the most elegant, but it will do for this coming month.
 The other side wall....  light is tricky, but the paintings here look ok too....
 I've even put one of my old paintings above the organ....
The mice are gone, it seems,  but I have a big friendly spider instead.  (These kind are not poisonous!)
She is about 5 or 6 cm (2 inches) across, from toe to toe.  She has lovely eyes.

 I made some labels.... by hand....

And as I was leaving, I really loved the shadow of the tree on the front of my studio....


I have one more little thing to boast about.  My son (an artist) is participating in a group exhibition in Sydney (he lives there) and when the exhibition was written up in the Australian this week, one of his paintings was shown....
I hope that it is easy to see.   He has a blog as well.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Sad

Yesterday I was hanging paintings at the studio (for SALA) again.  On the way out there,  I saw some crows in the paddock where I'd seen the lambs.  I stopped to look.  The crows took off.   Their meal remained....
.... not much to look at, but there is one of the ewes, dead, and lying on the side of that same hill.

The lambs were all cavorting by the dam further on.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Last of the lambs

I know this isn't really an art subject, but on the way to the studio, I have been seeing baby lambs for months.  It seems that many of them were early this year.  After the summer rain, we had more early winter feed for the ewes, I suppose, and so we have had baby lambs for months.  If I stop to photograph them, their mothers hustle them away from the road.  Here are jsut a few....
... with their mums.  Photographed for Fiona.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Old pictures, Hamilton and green peppers

I've had trouble in managing my pictures... hence the delay in posting....
This is an old watercolour painting of the area near my studio, at Hamilton...

Who would have thought, back in the day, that I would have a real studio space to work in, out there at Hamilton.


And here are some old drawings from 2008! An assortment of peppers from the garden...


Old photographs.

Monday, 4 July 2011

The mouse proof cupboard...

After the recent mouse invasion, I have found a cupboard in which I can keep my ultramarine paint safe from the gluttony of these tiny invaders.  The cupboard is not a vintage piece, but an item made by a retired cabinet maker in the Barossa Valley.  It will do the job.
The top section is airy (made as a meat safe) and is adequate for any the purpose ie protection from mouse plague.
 This afternoon I cleaned up the messy paint tubes (blue mouse footprints all over them) and put them into the new spot in the studio....  notice the new tube of ultramarine blue on top of the pile of paint tubes...
... the boxes at the back are other brnd new paint tubes (bought when they were on sale before the end of the financial year.)

  

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Mice!

 I have found a cupboard for the studio... to keep my paint safe rom the mice that live there.  The seem to like untramarine blue best....
... and it makes them have blue poos.
The are very messy too....
... with dirty blue footprints all over the place!

It's been a busy time, though I haven't got many new paintings done....  I have taken some paintings to the framer ready for the studio to be open during  SALA in August.
I have been doing some sketches at a lifedrawing workshop over the last few weeks as well.  I want to get back to painting.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Quinces

A quick sketch os quinces done at the studio today....
.... so windy out there today too.





Sunday, 29 May 2011

Gundry's Hill pictures

There is a look out aout five minutes walk from home....  at the top of Gundry's Hill.  The view is about to be ruined by houses, but right now it is like this....   towards the North....
 ... and towards the East.....

Monday, 23 May 2011

From Gundry's Hill...

I've been painting an image of the view from Gundry's Hill.  This view is beautiful and about to disappear behind a housing development.  Sad, but unavoidable now....
 ....  this is my third attempt to paint this scene, and probably not the last...  I'm not altogether happy with it, but I'll perservere yet.

On arrival at the studio, I found a paint tube on the floor....  chewed...
... apparently mice like ultramarine blue!  This current mouse plague is something else!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

South Australian Living Artists

I've registered for SALA.  The festival will run from August 5th until August 28th this year and I've agreed to have my studio open on Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday (11am - 4pm) throughout that month.
I was required to upload two images... these are the ones that I chose....
 ... and this....
I've participated in SALA previously,  in a group show,  but this is my first "open studio" that I'm getting together on my own...  but there's a first time for everything!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Fox at the studio

As I arrived at the studio this afternoon,  I saw a fox.  It turned to watch me, and ran off for a few yards... then watched me as I got out of the car.  It must have been a little bit nervous though, as it ran off (through the sheep paddock) between a shed and the neighbours' house...  not too worred at all!
My plan was to paint the view from the side fence across to St Matthew's and I'm working on it but it's not there yet.  It may mean getting back to my Cezanne copying to work out how to make the brush strokes... we'll see....

Later, I went to see if there was any trace of the fox.  I found some muddy paw prints on two of the graves....
 ... and evidence of an altercation in another....
 Then I found the scat.... poo to most people.....
 And so I pulled it apart to see what it had been eating....
 ... and I found fur and seeds.... mice? and some kind of fruit.  The seeds matched those in the rosehips nearby.  I tasted one...  fruity and "vitamin C"ish.
 There are plenty of the rose hips around, and plenty of mice.
Not a bad diet for the local fox.   No wonder it looked so healthy.

Friday, 6 May 2011

The studio

The studio has become a wonderful place to work...
 I'm so lucky to have a really quiet and calm place to work.

But today when I arrived, parked my car and looked down to see how my neighbours (all very quiet) were doing, I saw a bright red patch beside one of the graves...
You might need to enlarge it to see the flowers, but they were very obvious in the landscape here.
Here is where they were....
This was not a surprise.  The people who are caring for the property and providing my water supply are members of the Prior family.
The flowers are nerines... flowering profusely around here (no florists involved) and are beautiful products of bulbs at this time of year...

From their end of the property, the studio looks quite small....
 ... but it's a beautiful place... and I have my favourite people here....

This is the childrens place....
 ... and I wonder about Annie May Turner who died when she was about 7 months old....
 .... or this family who must have put a new memorial here for their children when their son was killed in France in 1918.
 I'm sure that he's not buried here,  but his older sister, Annie is and so is his little brother,  Harold, and he is mentioned here.  The older children died before he even went away to the First World War,  and I wonder about their mother.  How hard was her life.

And then there are these graves... quite a few like this here.
They still exist as mounds of earth or disturbances to the ground, but presumably these were families whose finances didn't extend to a marble, stone or even concrete (for there are some home made ones like that here)  but had wooden markers that have long since decayed and disappeared.
Home made concrete graves are even more amazing....

Walking back up to my studio, there is evidence of my water supply being on the way....
.... this photograph is taken from near to the toilet... the dunny... which is gradually being rid of red backed spiders (black widow spiders, for my North American friends.)
I love my studio.