Sunday, January 6, 2019

on last legs

I trust you all had a great festive season and are looking forward to a very creative and enjoyable 2019. 
No, "last legs" is not a Billy Connolly about my life but rather one of the last of 2018's little books stimulated by my own restless legs which are now behaving themselves. It is also a swinger designed to move from a single hanging hole at the middle top of each page.

on last legs”  is a small loose-leaved artist book of 8 sheets,  (147 x 208 mm)  in a folder.

The drawings use graphite, pencil and turmeric on 180gsm Tiziano paper.

Pages are displayed, hung from a hole at the centre-top of each page, with a pin to form an array which can move gently in a breeze.

1   2   3  4 
5  6  7  8 

The book is unique .

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

festive greetings

Hoping you all have a very relaxing, peaceful and enjoyable festive period and that 2019 is a very healthy, happy and creative year for us all.
(This year's card is of the poicianna (christmas flower), lino printed on Chinese Joss paper)

Sunday, November 4, 2018

"double EE"

Continuing on from "restless legs", this is a larger book of 24, A5 sized loose pages which are housed in a little box covered in turmeric stained paper. PVA medium was added to the stain to make it less soluble and give the box a faint sheen.
page 1

The mixed media images flow across the pages to make a large mosaic of 24 pages which hang loosely on the wall for display. They are encouraged to move with the air currents in the room.
page 2

page 4

The images use things from my garden ie the turmeric for yellow staining and smudging and pomegranate ink for drawing organic shapes that find other lives. Also, a little recently dug beetroot has made its way into these drawings - the warm pinkish tones. Not sure at this stage how permanent the colour will be or if it turns to another colour but I have been trialling it for a few years and it seems just fine.
 I have yet to make a book dealing specifically with my garden but hope to do so in the future.


page 8

Once again, the pages evolve with no preconceived idea of what will eventuate, giving chance and intuition free reign. Obviously the images are not totally random but follow certain rules that help them work together to make a whole piece. My fresh turmeric has run out for another year so no more yellow drawings but I have got a bottle of pomegranate ink left so don't be surprised if it comes back in other work.
page 12

You may have noticed some dark, organic,  'meaty' shapes floating around (some with clothes on). These were drawn using a soft carbon (graphite) putty not unlike a piece of clay. You can do so many new things with it rolled into balls or stretched out it is worth trying if you see it around. 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

"restless legs"

I have just have just finished some little exploratory drawings for a little book "jumpy legs 2" to share with you. It is about my own restless legs, a subject very dear to my heart. 

I started doing small drawings on flights when my legs became unbearable. After my other books "jumpy legs" and "double sided" several years ago, I continue to use drawing as one way to take my mind to a better place not only on planes. I usually finish these little portable drawings back in the studio.
For my legs, I started making a new little folded book which moved when you opened it but decided I wanted a more involuntary type of movement for this one.
"jumpy legs 2"  only has 6 pages which are loose and pinned to a wall from a little hole in the top centre. This allows a little cluster of pages to move gently in the breeze or aided by a fan. They are housed in a little A5 folder.

 They appear to move by themselves. The images are rather "meaty" and organic, not very leggy. But the affliction feels totally like an out of body function, and largely uncontrollable so these mutant limbs seem appropriate. They must belong to someone else.

[I think they look a bit like clothed, green ginger, put together by instructions from Simplicity or Butterick.]

Saturday, September 8, 2018

floor talk

I don't usually post photos of my family but this is an exception. My daughter was so thrilled to see some of the special artwork I had made for her on public display. And I think she looks as proud of her Dad as I am of her.

Since the artist books were covered in a perspex box on a raised plinth, I had made digital images of details of each book so that the audience could still get a good idea of what was in the books without physically interacting with the book.

It was a small and intimate group of participants in the floor talk so a question and answer format seemed more appropriate than "speeches". This seemed to work well and everyone seemed to be very interested in what the work was about and how it was done.

As most of my work is generally fairly small, this gives a better idea of the drawing's size.

It was a very supportive evening.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

My Father's an Artist

A small exhibition by Redland Art Gallery of work by a handful of local artists including myself will be held at the Capalaba annex of the Redland Art Gallery. It runs from 25August - 9th October so if you happen to be in the vicinity, you are most welcome to come and have a look. I will only have 6 pieces there including two artist books I have made for each of my daughters.
"A road less travelled" and "RUB" the two books for my daughters will make their first gallery appearances. There will also be some other pieces of my work from the RAG collection which they have acquired over the years. I'll post more photos of the show later once it's opened.

Monday, July 23, 2018

the translation

About the size of a playing card "the translation" is the latest little work to fly to Finland. Although Carina and I, both speak several languages, English is our common one. The book is made from different kinds of papers, of different sizes and textures. It includes text in different languages and is an attempt to show the differences and similarities in translating.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

"carbon trails"

Just finished another book using the Tewantin Tree rubbings from burnt trees. (Giant sticks of charcoal). The previous book was completely abstract and relied entirely on the quality of the marks. This one is more like a map and has textual references to the trails and early maps showing local trees as well as soil types as well as the topographical details of the terrain.
The card cover is painted to refer to the fires as well as the burnt bark.

There are not as many folds and the book is easier to read in a conventional way but can't be viewed in as many different ways. 

Friday, June 8, 2018

"Bush -Fire Rubbings"

While bushwalking in Tewantin National Park recently, I was impressed with the rich black trunks of the trees after a bush-fire. Each tree was burnt in a different way and their bark had its own individual surface texture like its own fingerprint.

We shared the track with mountain bike riders who would give you a fright as they came around the corners so quickly. Some had time to ring their bell but being a bit deaf, I was still caught unawares. I decided to return on my own with blank paper to capture some of the carbon from the trunks to take home and process somehow.

The soft cloud-like marks from a burnt string bark were so different from the marks left by the knobbly cabbage tree palms. I was able to get off the track to take my rubbings in relative privacy but did get a few stares from cyclists wondering what I was up to.

I used A4 sheets of 210 gsm white, smooth rag watercolour paper as well as larger sheets of brown 90gsm Kraft paper. The silky blacks worked better on the white paper but the larger drawings also had a special presence which doesn't photograph very well. I made quite a few drawings but will probably need to return for more after I finish exploring how I can develop them further by making some artist books.

I was interested in presenting the surface texture of the burnt trees but also refer to the speeding cyclists and the view they may have experienced from their bike. The fold I used for this first exploratory book is a simple flower fold done to three drawings which are glued together. The cover is hand-made grass paper to keep with the natural feel of the book. It can be unfolded in a few different ways in the hand but can also stand in several positions.

Monday, May 28, 2018


Just finished putting the rest of my mugshots into a cover and thought they might be worth a look. You'll have noticed that all the faces are composed using the same mixed media arranged differently and the added text highlights that we are all far from perfect(a bit like the real world). 

These faces were not planned or organised beforehand, they simply happened and the text was discovered and added after they were completed. Once again there is plenty of opportunity for chance happenings that somehow make sense.