Sunday, June 24, 2007

"Like Weather" - a mock-up

Above: the book fully extended, showing (l to r) back cover, spine and front cover.

Below: the first opening, showing inside cover and the start of the flags.

Above: Showing the imagery inside.

Finally I have some photos to show you of the mock-up of my flag book, Like Weather. I am still not sure that I am happy with the way the main image (the one above) is working. I don't think there is really enough variation across the flags, but perhaps I am wrong. The top flag does seem to work quite well, but the lower two not so well. I have printed an alternative image and am planning to assemble it in the next few days to compare. Perhaps you could let me know what you think when you see the two options.

I had huge hassles getting the colours to print the way I wanted, and that was just with my old printer, not the new Epson 2100. By the time the Epson arrived, I had invested so much time getting the colours right on the Canon, I could not bear to start all over again, even though the final version of the book will be printed on the Epson.

I think that some of my colour problems are to do with the fact that I work on a laptop. (When I had to upgrade my computer last year, I splurged on a laptop, which I absolutely love because I can take it anywhere, and it is so compact and doesn't take up valuable space in the studio). Unfortunately, I have now discovered that the screens in laptops are not regarded highly for their colour accuracy. Maybe I will even have to buy another screen, I don't know. Fortunately I do have the money at the moment, but of course there are a hundred other things I need. Oh well! we will see.

This post is a little slower than I had hoped because the last week was a busy one, with three "health-related" appointments. Sometimes it feels like a full-time job being sick! The coming week looks a bit quieter appointment-wise, but I will have to do a lot of writing rather than making. This is however, good news, because I have been offered my first-ever paid writing job.

It seems that people who know about ceramics and are comfortable writing are quite rare, and consequently over the years, I have been called on to write a few articles about the work of artists in my area for the Australian Journal of Ceramics. This is always unpaid work, but I have been happy to do it because I always learn a lot from the process and enjoy the writing. (And it's also a good thing to put on your CV.)

This time though, I have been asked by a nearby regional gallery (Redlands Art Gallery) to write the catalogue essay for an exhibition of ceramics by Julie Shepherd, a local ceramic virtuoso. Julie makes the most exquisite egg-shell thin pierced porcelain works and yesterday I visited her and saw some of the literally hundreds of pieces she is making for this major solo showcase of her work. Just catching up with Julie who is a friend I studied with, and seeing her amazing work up close was a treat, but getting some $$$s too - well, I do feel lucky!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Like Weather" - more images and text

This is the back cover of "Like Weather", my flag book. It is the image I was originally thinking of using for the flags, but I have chosen one which I think works better. Throughout the book there are photos of clouds together with digital alterations. I hope this implies something of a tension between the real and the virtual, the reality of a situation and our emotional response to it.
I have also used completely different text from the first version I posted here. I decided to take a more conceptual approach, with which I feel more comfortable. I am not at all experienced at writing narrative and I know it is not something you can just "whip up".
Below is the new text:
Between 11pm May 14th and 11pm May 15th, 2007, for every hour that I was awake, I recorded my predominant emotion.
11pm optimistic
12am peaceful
9am confused
10am anxious
11am tense but sleepy
12pm rushed
1pm tired
2pm relaxed
3pm down
4pm peaceful
5pm excited
6pm doubtful
7pm rushed
8pm thoughtful
9pm emotional
10pm thoughtful
11pm satisfied

Monday, June 11, 2007

Flag book - Like Weather

Cover image for the flag book I am working on

I have been making progress VERY SLOWLY on the flag book I started some months ago. The first rough of the inside can be seen here and some work on images along the way in this earlier post. I am getting close to finishing the final draft, which I REALLY want to post off to my supervisor by the end of this week (only 3 weeks late for my (luckily) self-imposed deadline....)

Anyway this (above) is the cover I have come up with - developed from this photo:
It was taken while flying home from Melbourne for Christmas the first year that we moved down there (2003). Back then the camera I had was only 2 megapixels! And it cost an exorbitant A$500, which was all I could manage to scape together. Who would think that in such a short time mobile (cell) phones would have more powerful cameras!

This is the image for the back of the concertina spine to which the flags are attached. It is also developed from the same photo. There is also an image for the back cover, but I am still refining it, so I won't post it yet.
I am really hopeful that I will finish printing all the pages today and then I can work on putting the book together.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I'm back....with a new toy!

My "new" Epson Stylus Photo 2100

Here you can see my new printer - an exciting studio acquisition which arrived this week. It uses the fabulous Ultrachrome inks (not the K3 though) which are considered the best for fine art applications and prints up to A3. New it costs about A$1300-1400, but I was able to pick this almost new one up on Ebay for less than half that! Boy! am I happy! I am currently working on installing the ICC profiles and getting things sorted so that what I see on my monitor is what is printed - a ridiculously complicated process! After all, it is what we all want, so why can't they make it a bit more automatic???

I must apologize profusely for the lengthy gap in posts without some sort of explanation. As those kind cyber-pals who emailed me guessed, I have been pretty sick and fell into quite a funk as I contemplated the seemingly endless cycles of disappointment that relentlessly pursue me, like the wolf in my childhood dreams. On another day, I might well contemplate the cycles of successful achievement that punctuate my all depends on...well goodness knows, but I suspect various hormones have a lot to answer for.

During my break I have finally placed the ashes of my beloved father. He died nearly 2 years ago, but we only recently received his ashes as he donated his body to the University of Queensland for research and learning purposes. This was his final act of generosity in a life punctuated by many such acts. I have to confess that it also demanded similar generosity from those of us who loved him, as it interrupted the rituals that are such an important part of grieving. At last we have a place to visit in his memory, and this is more comfort to me than I would ever have believed.

A little progress on my masters work has been made, not as much as I would have hoped, but I will post some images and information about this soon. I just wanted to reach out and make contact again - only eleven weeks till my next trip to Melbourne, so I really have to be hope than I can be productive in this time, or face reality...