Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hello from Melbourne!


window detailWindow at Heide Art Museum (detail)

I’ve been in Melbourne a week already and it’s great to be here.

We are spending two weeks here, the first entirely holiday, and during the second I’ll be trying to attend as much of the 4 day Impact International Printmakers Conference as I can. Although I can’t make any claim to being a printmaker, there are two streams which I hope to attend:- the one about artists books and the other on digital printmaking.


The entire collection of Book*Art*Object books from both editions so far is to be displayed on Monash campus, where the conference is being held, which will give the group and the work high visibility. As well, there are a huge number of artists book and print-related exhibitions on in Melbourne this month, all timed to coincide with the conference.

The conference starts tomorrow (Tuesday) and the hard-working Ronnie has already installed our work in its display cases at Monash campus. Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to rest up today in the hope of getting along to all the stuff I’ve circled in my conference programme!

If you’re interested in following some of the conference action online, head over to the Book*Art*Object blog. Together with Ronnie, Sara and Caren, I will be blogging from the conference, hopefully even “live” at times, as we have all armed ourselves with the appropriate apps for blogging from our mobile (cell) phones.


Friday, September 16, 2011


If there is one thing that I thought having CFS/ME had taught me, it is how to prioritise.

And in some ways it has.

Having been out of the workforce for a long time, I only recently learnt the modern approach to prioritising. You know, the old “urgent & important”, “non-urgent but important” etc paradigm.



I know, I’m probably the last person on the planet to hear about this, but now I know.

The thing is, when your energy is low, often it is only the “Important and Urgent” things that get done.

And that’s not how it’s supposed to work. The ones that theoretically fall off your “to do” list are both not important and not urgent. You manage to plant those seedlings before they die and to clean the windows before it becomes embarrassing that you haven’t!

But it is amazing how far and how long you can stretch you definition of “unimportant”. Really!

However, there is another factor that comes into play when you haven’t been in the workforce for a long time. I look around my home and I can see that I have developed a pattern of always trying to choose the most functional option (I wasn’t an occupational therapist for nothing). It feels as if I can’t allow myself to have the beautiful bookcase, if the cheaper (and uglier) one will do the job.

Silent conversation in my head

Will this fit in the space? Tick.

Is it affordable? Tick

Pause. Looks.

God, it’s ugly!

Oh well, never mind. At least it’s here right now (as opposed to some beautiful but cheap version which may or may not exist somewhere.) It’s good enough.

And often it may be. It’s true that not every item you own has to be a design classic. Lots of stuff just has to do a job.


The trouble is that I think I may have trained myself a little too well. It’s become a challenge to allow myself to choose something I like, rather than settle for the most economical option. And you can’t surround yourself with stuff you’ve “settled” for, without it having an effect on you.

The other side of that is that sometimes, with a bit of work and elbow grease, you can make something very inexpensive into a treasure. But extra work and elbow grease aren’t plentiful around this house, so that’s not usually a realistic option (think about those poor seedlings I’m trying to get planted before I head to Melbourne).


All of this of course is pertinent right now because I’m planning to do up my studio. Even though this needs to be a functional space, I do want it to be somewhere I love to go. I spend a lot of time in this room, and I want it to  draw me in. So I’m saying here, out loud, for you all to hear: I’m going to try to choose comfort and beauty. Oh, and function!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Spring plans



While bloggers on the other side of the planet have been writing about autumn ringing its changes, temperatures are slowly rising here.

It never seems as if much that is tangible changes in September in Brisbane, and yet without fail, I find myself longing for a holiday at the beach!

I rather like to remind myself that Spring is the real start of the year because it’s always so hot in January that I don’t feel very inspired. So this spring I have a few plans that will inspire me and hopefully set things up for a period of productivity.

Number 1:

That beach holiday I mentioned (albeit at St Kilda in mid-September, so there won’t be any swimming - brrrr!) followed by Impact7, the International Printmakers Conference.

I am really excited about attending the conference, because normally its not possible for me to make it to this sort of thing. Even one whole day is really too much, so travelling followed by a number of days in a row, for the price of registration, travel and accommodation – well, it just doesn’t add up. Fortunately, being in Melbourne (one of our favourite places) makes this trip an option as a holiday, so the conference fee is the only additional price to pay. As it is such a rare event, I made the decision to register for the whole four days with the expectation that I will pick and choose what I attend, and not allow myself to be pressured into trying to go to too much.

As well, there will be three other Book Art Object-ers at the conference, and this is my first time meeting them. I can’t wait!

Number 2:

I’ve enrolled in this four week online course on encaustic which starts in October. If you’ve been reading this blog a while you will know that I’ve dabbled with encaustic work on and off for a few years, but courses are hard to find locally. I’m so looking forward to this chance to learn from an expert and to be able to ask questions.



Number 3:

I am finally biting the bullet, investing in a wall bed for the spare room, which will allow me to maximize the functional space in my studio.

fr the door

This is a shot from the door taken using a panorama app (Dermandar).

There’s a bit more I’d like to say about setting up the space most effectively and I’d really like your input and tips, so I’m going to save that for another post soon.

Have you made any plans for a shot of Spring Spritzer in your life?