Dry point etching

One of the things that happens when you are required to spend a lot of time hanging around the art room at school,  all in the name of work – is that my hands get itchy. I’m happiest working side by side with students. Lucky me struck a quiet week and a generous co-worker, who suggested, ‘make one!’

So I did.

The last time I did this I was 14, with a completely and fairly permanently stoned teacher assisting the process. Needless to say, whatever we churned out was fine by her. I carved out a giraffe. I was a bit taken by spots and twisty long necks back then.

By the time I had printed out some images today I felt a little bit calmer, a little bit wiser and a little bit taller. Another thing I can add wholeheartedly to my resume, ‘fully competent in the process of dry point etching.’

 

Printed in brown – black looked best. Discoveries made through repetition.

 

My studio {treasure, making}

How’s this for a colour?

With lots of painting yet to do, this colour moves between black, navy and grey. It’s a bit sexy, really.

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The days are windy, freezing and not able to entice many people in my household to go outside. However, I managed to find one keen helper to help slap on black paint. She told me of her tales of woe – being in 6th grade is tricky it seems. It’s easier to listen to first world little girl problems with a paintbrush in your hand, this is a certainty. She eventually left to pursue her brother on the trampoline, it was nice to have her help – and it was nice to talk. The little people here are rapidly approaching the age where less time is spent in the yard, less questioning of every little thing, less time playing, less time laughing.

The moment was saved when my 8 year old had indeed tied himself up with rope, (the thinking was, he would get a more effective jump if every appendage was joined to the other), he needed help to escape from his self induced roping situation.

Thank goodness. All is not lost.

A piece of Perth {treasure, collecting}

As I have mentioned previously. I spent some time in Perth celebrating the wedded bliss of a sweet cousin.
While staying there I was mesmerised by these sweet budgies looking at me from where I was staying. They were enormous beauties – and simply stunning. Australian Artist Anya Brock is the person behind these beautiful images. She has brought street art to a new level, and the woman uses paint brushes! Her style is very distinct and colourful – and just like a car crash, you can’t look away.

I went home, ‘over East’ and thought about my new love, a giant budgie.
For weeks I couldn’t get his little beady eyes out of my head.
As luck would have it, a limited run of prints just so happened to be available through Anya’s website. Score!!

So, I got me a lovely new friend.

Who’s a pretty boy?

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Mosaic mural {making, treasure}

I did this four years ago, at my children’s old school.

It’s pretty big – I worked it all out on the floor of my studio at home, glueing sections at a time onto mesh.

Then I transported this sucker to the school where I reattached little bits and pieces that had fallen off in transit.

Mosaics (making)

I hid coins, and lady birds, snails, frogs, bits of broken crockery, a spoon, a key and other little bits of treasure within the glass tiles, (and of course I jazzed this baby up with mirror, this is a given – in any mosaic I make) with the hope of it being a place of constant discovery for adults and children.

It turns out, this has worked. I still receive comments of children being transfixed by the mural, and noticing details that us older folk may have overlooked. Children enjoy the textural feel of the mosaic, and run their hands along the mosaic as they walk through the corridor. I had considered the tactile nature of mosaic when making this, and had purposely included quite a few lines of unbroken white glass beading. I think this may be visible under the two large fish you see here. So anyone travelling with an obsessive disorder would be fully satisfied every time they pass this ‘sure thing’ in the hall way.

Of course time is a great teacher. I would have done things differently if I was given this time again. However, I don’t over think it, because my brain can be lazy at the best of times, to be overly critical. Also because of two things I do know;

1. Mosaic is hard to get off a wall, so even if  I wanted to change it –  good luck with that Emily!

And, 2. I know I’m the only one that notices the flaws in the mosaic –  it makes people happy.

So I’m happy.

Number 11, Geoffrey’s house {treasure}

I managed to visit the great Geoffrey Bawa’s house last year. Very unassuming from the outside, until you notice this sneaky view, with this cheeky bottom peeking out.

Hello! An old Mercedes ’roundie’.

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I was very excited to be here, and felt like a super sleuth for even managing to negotiate my way to Number 11.

On this particular day, the facade was being painted, there were guys up ladders, swinging cans of epoxy white paint – that Geoffrey painted all walls and floors with, in order to keep the appearance of clean, reflective surfaces.

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Geoffrey clearly liked his cars, as did I. The interesting notion about his style of architecture, is that everything is essentially open. Yes, his cars were parked in the garage. Once inside the garage, the cars were inside the house. Part of the inner sanctum.

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I soaked in every word our tour guide said. See? There! Epoxy paint. Shiny.

Courtyards, water features (even in the house) and windows worked hand in hand to keep the temperature low. Corridors and strategically built walls meant doors were not really required in many areas – providing little nooks and crannies ensuring privacy.

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Bawa’s use of space. Air flow being paramount.

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I realised I was so busy soaking in the stories, and revelling in the architectural genius of this man – that all I came out with were photos of his fish. From his old office at Paradise Road, not even from his house.

The old office is a few streets away from the residence and has been turned into a cafe, bar and gallery now known as Paradise Road Galleries. The café and staff were so infectious, we didn’t want to leave.

(I was actually quite surprised at the number of wonderful Art Galleries in Colombo, mainly owned by English folk with a smart retirement plan. Being an artist in residence in this place, what a gig!)

In summary, brilliant man. The Gallery Café serves Tamarind margaritas – I had two, as they too were brilliant.

And here are the fish.

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The nest {making, collecting, treasure}

We made a nest, from silver birch twigs.

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We went walking to collect materials to weave within the birch. A piece of electrical wire was found, a bright red strand. This was woven through the twigs with great skill. We decided birds are very clever, they don’t have two hands to bend, twist and manipulate the twigs into the right place.

Just a beak. No opposable thumbs.

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Henry decided the birds would be more comfortable sitting in feathers from our chickens bottoms, rather than scratchy sticks. So, we gathered them up, along with violets and jonquils – (a sort of bird aromatherapy, if you like) and placed them in our nest.

Funnily enough no wayward birds arrived to take advantage of this ready made haven.

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Regardless of this, we now have bird nesting skills. Something to add to our can-do list.

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