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Sunday, December 20, 2009

RAIN . . . . gods juice

Oh what a delight ! to hear the patter . . . .then the tap dancing of rain, on the tin roof.

You could feel the relief from the earth as it fell. Or was that just me, enjoying the cool change. No !, I'm sure the new growth and shoots were sprouting as it fell . . . . . Yes ! I'm sure you could see it getting greener by the minute.

Today was filled with numerous delights. Watching the red back finches darting through the bushes, the wallabies enjoying the soggy food pellets and all the birds ( subtle grey & pink of the galas, dashing red & green of the king parrots, stark white and Yellow of the cockatoos and the mincing browns of the placid doves ) dancing around the feeder trying for the best position.

The air felt charged with re newed energy.

How I have missed the rain.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Creativity at it's best

Doing artist way this year with a group of creative friends, I have been made more aware of what I am doing with my time.

Some times at the end of the week I do a minor assessment, of what I have achieved. This is always done slightly half hearted, but sometimes I do wonder what I have been doing with my time. . . . time in relation to obvious creative output, is some times very thin on the page.

Bri's 18th Birthday, masquerade party

However, It is times like these, (when my baby is celebrating her 18th year with friends and family,) that I can see where an obvious amount of 'quality time' has been invested.

Watching her react with her peers and listening to their speeches/talks, I was/am thrilled and extremely proud, to have been actively involved in such a wonderful creation.

Now that my children are all grown up, I know that from now on I will have more time to paint and create artistic works . . . . . but,

I do so knowing that the time I have spent with my FAMILY, has been some of the best times.

To belong within such a loving nucleus is a blessing.

What a joy . . . . . thank you xxx

Monday, December 07, 2009

life is a series of vignette's

UK-based illustrator Rowena Dugdale ( Click here to read and view more of Rowena’s work, and here to purchase her creations - a wonderful gift idea for someone who loves photography.) has been experimenting with Polaroid and pinhole cameras lately, creating stunning images.

“Like the delicious static on a vinyl record, any dust specks, light leaks, torn edges or quirks are an integral and honest part of the process and character of this body of work and have been deliberately left in rather than airbrushed out.”
She uses objects around her – marbles, feathers, fern fronds, moss and buttons – to create ethereal, light filled photographs. The results are incredibly beautiful…

One of my absolute favourite processes is making mono prints, where I bring in things from the Rusty Roo landscape, compose a vignette and play with layering.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Inspiration 'found'

Here is another one that I thought was beautiful. Maybe it is the bird that has me ? It is by Heather Smith Jones, called Looking forward

Small delightful 'finds'

What I love about the web and blogging, is the finding of such creative individuals. I found this through a site, through a blog, from a friend. . . .

"listening to a flowering", graphite, watercolor, block print, on paper. This original piece is signed, dated, titled and one-of-a-kind.The paper is 100 percent cotton, neutral pH, and is a soft white color. It is sent with a firm, acid-free backing in an archival sleeve and mailed in a stay-flat envelope. Please visit my Gallery Store to see more available work, including larger works on paper, pinhole pieces and framed paintings - http://www.hrsmithjones.bigcartel.comhttp://www.heathersmithjones.com

Monday, November 30, 2009


We woke at the Roo Sunday morning to a beautiful crisp day, with mountains shrouded in mist.

By afternoon, there was a distinct darkening of the sky, winds, jump out of your seat thunder and a spectacular light show of lightning.

This wasn't enough for Mother nature, she had to out do herself with some hail stones and another bout of wind that all but took the roof of the house. It is amazing how small this all makes you feel.

What I found the most astounding was . . .the nest in our large gum tree was still intact when it was all over . . . and standing up in the centre was the ruffled bird . . . . still alive. Incredible !

Monday, November 23, 2009

What we weave

I use old ' Nanna doileys ' in my work and continue to be fascinated with the layering, texture, negative spaces and history of each piece. I find the use of crocheting to do this work stimulating. To see it taken another step by Shane Waltener into a sculptural work is worth another look and further exploration.
My spider webs don't look like these.

Shane Waltener created this incredible installation in the Aldwych Tube Station, the Strand, in London, five years ago. Absolutely stunning.
found via the beautiful periwinkle bloom who found it via sam’s notebook who found it via lisa tilse’s red thread – there is a world of inspiration in these three blogs alone. go take a look!


I have been doing a Jewellery/silver smithing course with a delightful and very clever lady, Aleisha nylund. I love making something three dimensional and unique . . . . . however after seeing these exquisite pieces, I think I will have to try a little harder to be more interesting !

Eva, from Tinctory, makes the most exquisite pieces of jewellery.

She re purposes vintage silk and uses natural dyes to create intricate smocked pendants, brooches, bracelets and necklaces – her inspiration being feathers, sand patterns, shells, and fallen leaves. I am completely enamoured by her style and techniques, and the end results are breathtaking…

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Rain, glorious wonderful rain !

We have only received a little of God's juice during the recent storms, however it has been enough to make everything look so very lush.
What a treat to watch those big clouds rolling in over the hills.

To those who have visited the Rusty Roo in the past 7 years or so, you would be extremely surprised by the way it is looking at present.
Green is definitely my new fav colour. Pink looks great with Green.

Why is it that to progress we usually have to make changes. Sometimes these changes are not to our liking . . . we procrastinate, dither and make umpteen excuses not to start. Then when the time is upon us we have to reluctantly admit . . . . . it is the right choice !

Due to the threat of bush fires ( and the building of a new rather grandiose studio), we have been forced to make our country abode safer, by clearing some trees.
This has been a slow process . . . I initially marked about 10 . . . then this has slowly increased ( with sage advise ) to 22 magnificent tall gums.
Finally when the tree lopper man arrived early Friday morning . . . the final count was 28. Oh! my heart was sore. I resisted right to the last. Two very large splendid spotted gums close to the house were still standing late afternoon. The lopper man looked at me rather sternly & said "well ?" I looked at him, Cameron, the trees again & then the house . . . . .and had to admit, it was stupid to resist.
They will be missed. Watching the early morning mist rise through their branches of a morning & the sun glow through them of an afternoon, has been a real treat over the past 11 years.
There are hundreds more and we will endeavour to ensure they stay.
We will also salvage what we can to use for the new patio and other structures. One small consolation . . . . No birds were nesting.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Inspiration is a click away

Now that we don't have any more workshops at the Roo for 2009, I have more time to spare . . . . and I do love roaming the web. The ideas and inspirations you find are too numerous to take note of them all. However, every now and then you find a truely inspired BLOG that taps into so many ideas and images that you just have to share.

The one I have been looking through regularly all year is, http://piajanebijerk.com

Posted in etsy favourites, handmade by piablog etsy.

I’ve mentioned etsy store Japanese Treasures before – I love to browse the collection as I always find a number of pieces that I instantly adore. And the above fabric is no exception. I can see this fabric working for all sorts of projects, can you?

I may be slightly obsessed with Resurrection Fern’s lace stones. Photographs of her work are here.

PS I love the vintage fabric collection of Lily Devine .

Thankyou all for your responses to my question regarding copy right. Yes, I have read through . . .and will continue to read, the information on the sites you have suggested.

Also interesting is your examples of what you think is acceptable . . . . 'borrowing' from other sources . . . . ?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mixed media, layers and then booked

Friday evening as the group gathered to meet and share a glass of wine, ( a very favourite time of day for me ! ) we discussed what we would experiment with over the weekend. We had a show and tell and everyone decided that doing works of a set size, to be housed in a hand made book, would be an idea worth further exploration.

So Saturday morning the first order of the day was to let RIP . . . . . so that all our pages, or at least most of them, would be of a uniform size, to be assembled into our own hand made book.
Setting up in the shade, under the blue tarp on Saturday morning, (assembled competently by Mr Lee, of the perfectly barbecued eggs ) was the start of some fantastic exploration of mark making and layering. The process was addictive and the results were so varied.

I loved that each and everyone, from people who haven't done art, to those that practise on a regular basis, embraced the creative adventure with such enthusiasm.

Bitumen, shellac, tea, sand, gesso and acrylics were sploshed, sprayed, splattered and layed on the paper. Again and again . . . . . . and again !
Bummer ! By Saturday afternoon I had allowed an unknown BUG to invade my innards. It was adamant that I lie down and be very ill. ( No nothing to do with my food preparation !!)

Fortunately I had already asked a dear friend, to come and play with the press, so in the after noon Jennifer Hamilton, guided the group through the delightful process of Mono printing.

Out came the inks, rollers, Mylar and papers to press, squash and extract every ounce of impression that could be made from our found and collected objects.

Between my bouts of sleeping, I could hear the OHHHS! and AHHHHHHHHHHHS! all afternoon . . . if I had have had the least bit of strength I would have dragged myself downstairs to see what all the excitement was about. As it was I had to wait until Sunday morning to see the beautiful results.

Thank GOD for forward thinking. I had prepared the Saturday evening meal prior to feeling ill . . . . . . thankyou to Cameron who played a very good Mr MUM. . . . . with the help of some of the other guests, so that the evening meal was a success.
So, as I lay sick and sad, the delightful sounds of laughter coming from 11 individuals enjoying themselves, kept permeating through to my fog.
Not amused !

I didn't even get to eat my Tia Maria layered cheesecake ! Jennifer who had 3 servings said it was scrumptious. Thanks Jen !

Sunday morning I was past the worst of what ever had ailed me and surfaced to much sympathy ( thank you one and all ) so that we could try out various ways to embellish the work from the previous day.

With glazing, layering, collaging and further printing the pages were developing into a sound body of work, that was ready to be housed in the book that we constructed on Sunday afternoon.

We used the magnificent hand made Himalayan rice papers to cover the back and front of the covers. In went all these extremely creative pages. . .. . . what a sight.
A complete packaged treasure !

Sunday afternoon as we had our show and tell, I was conscious that this was our last workshop at the Rusty Roo for 2009.

Still feeling slightly precious, I thought that it was good that I would now have a break to relax a little and do some of my own work . . . . however, I was also thinking how much I relish the joy of sharing and the camaraderie that always developes over these weekends. . . . . Yes ! I will miss them.

So . . . . . thank you to everyone involved throughout 2009. It was a true Joy and a privilege to have your involvement, enthusiasm, laughter, excitement and creative juices at the Roo with us.

Best wishes, for a joyous Christmas and a truely happy and Creative NEW YEAR

Sharon & Cameron

Rusty Roo artist retreat
a place to let your soul breathe

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Playing with process.

Recently while at the Rusty Roo, a group of artistic, generous women were having a play with some experimental processes. Always exciting.

However, what I found as interesting was, that around the other side of the world, a friend of mine from America, who was in South Africa, was being experimental with the same materials and processes . . . at the same time, with people in that far distant country.

. . . . we were both enthralled that we could be doing the same things but in such different places. Goes to show . . . we all share a lot in common, when art is involved !

Ha !!. The world is small. So, these are a few of the results.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend of watercolor . . . and printing

It was a delight to share the Rusty Roo with a group of creative individuals with a HUGE capacity to share, enjoy and experiment.

It could have been a disastrous weekend. The weather was a true B.....
It was dusty one minute, cold, then hot and then without a moments pause it was cold again.
Yes ! Nature was at it's most tempestuous, which could have led to temperaments being frayed . . . .but, NO !! this delightful group just changed their clothing, according to the atmospheric unpredictability, dusted off their art works, made jokes and generally got on with the task at hand.
Wonderful !!

Watercolours have never been high on my list of creative art forms to be viewed regularly or tried too often . . . well ! I have to say that after this weekend workshop with, Mia Clark, Jennifer Hamilton and a group of experimental watercolor artists . . . I have now changed many of my previous assumptions.

The gum Arabic on Mylar with water colour . . . printed onto wet paper; the glad wrap, detergent, metho . . . stretched and streaking across salt encrusted rag; the sponging, dripping, dragging, melding, melting and mixing was relentless.

I was in awe of the enthusiasm. The sharing of ideas and outcomes. The ability to try just about anything suggested . . . with real gusto.
Really great ! Thankyou for sharing your enthusiasm, skill & laughter.

Thankyou Sue, the bolle in the morning was soooo much FUN. What a hoot with the uneven surfaces, cockatoo's screeching and wallabies watching, set against a back drop of mountains shrouded by morning mist . . . . . . . or was it dust ?
We all agreed . . . . it is what everyone should do prior to a full breakfast of PERFECT eggs and bacon.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tree change

New spring leaves on the leopard tree, a swarm of Double bar finches on the branches and a sea of mist.

This last weekend, while sipping a good red and watching a great red, I was asked, what I liked best about having a ' tree change '.
My first response was to the landscape itself; the vastness, the solitude, the peace, the colours. Then when the topic opened out for discussion, my concept of the question gradually expanded and I began to perceive further possibilities. . . . and Yes, they are so varied . . . . .

My favourite time of the day, is at it's start, upon sunrise. The landscape shrouded in mist, the birds feeding on the flowers, the wallabies grazing on the grass and the feeling of excitement, for the new day full of possibilities.
I then love the end of the day. The ritual of downing tools to celebrate being blessed to share another day, in such a beautiful place, with a group of good friends & family, who are so darn creative.

I love sharing a glass of wine and having a reminisce/post mortem about the days events and achievements. I love the sunset, the glow of candles, the sound of kookaburras laughing, frogs singing, insects buzzing, stars glowing brightly and the feeling of accomplishment when the day has progressed well

So yes ! the change has been tremendously rewarding and I'm pleased to be able to recognise that I relish / treasure the moments of friendship we share, far more than the items we can/could ever produce through hours of effort and labour. . . . . . though, to those who know me well, Yes, . . . ." I love to paint . . ." and I agree, it is FUN to be creative.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ikebana's rule !

Thankyou to everyone from the weekend, who have emailed and forwarded pictures. I will post as many as possible, so you can share.

That slash of red . . . Ha ! So strong and unexpected.

The red leaves against the soap woods bands of cream & grey . . . Yeh !

Trees have leaves . . . . . .But ? look at those shadows !

The leaves look like a snaking line of caterpillars.