I’ve been busy on projects for family members and the horrible weather in northeast US has bottled me up from museums as well, so most art has been on hold for now.  But I keep the camera clicking, so here are a few visuals from a 2-week trip I took back to NM earlier in the month, including a couple from the Albuquerque Zoo.  Enjoy!















MDF as artboard?

I wonder does anyone have any knowledge about any concerns with using MDF as a piece of artboard – other than the concern of it being bound with urea-formaldehyde which can release in the dust when cutting. Apparently sealing with 3 coats of gesso will stop further release of the u-f, plus any acids from the wood fibres.

I may have access to some left over from a packing case and would appreciate any advice y’all may have.

Wax and sugar Cactus Monster

114_Waxmonster_AWIt was the orange cream biscuit that did it. That burst of sugar at the tired part of Day 2 of the Encaustic Painting workshop at BRAG which brought forth the New Mexican Cactus Monster. Laser transfer, wax, oil paint, japanese paper eyes, sugar high (not mandatory).

Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch, the current Artist in Residence at BRAG, ran an amazing
2 day Encaustic Painting workshop. A medium I knew nothing about other than loving it’s depth and textural possibilities. Patricia’s work is delicious, organic, abstract… you can tell I loved it.

We had a great day and how lovely to work alongside one of the WBHD ‘organisers’ who pumped out a series of waxy collages that were sublime in a ‘that lady has been hiding her light under a bushel’ kind of way. Had I eaten a third orange cream I probably would have started quietly stealing her works. Please ‘lady organiser’, post us a couple of pics. No pressure 🙂

Christine dropped up to see the work at the end of Day 2 and we all agreed it would be fun to build this into our Sunday print group. Collaged prints and drawings in amongst the wax. Mmmmmm. I believe Jenny and Susan are booked into the Childers workshop. I hope you can post works from that one too.

An experimental time with mixed results.

115_Wax_AW 113_Wax_AW

Doing a little jig, and a jog

You know that saying “If you want something done, ask a busy person”
116_jig_AW… on Saturday I asked a good friend if he could build me a jig. He’s a builder. It’s a bit like owning a ute (pickup) and people asking if you can cart stuff for them. (He and his good family were hosting me while I did a wax painting workshop at BRAG.)

So, in between him cooking us fish and pouring us wine, I hit him up for yet another favour. Sometimes you just have to ask for help.

In Las Cruces last year, the great printmaker and teacher Ouida Touchon, taught me some techniques to print without a press. Now, I have to say, I wouldn’t have put up my hand to enrol in woodcut, but I’m just so glad she responded with this suggestion. Nearly 4 months on I’m dusting off the notes—which took some finding—and I’m putting together a kit to get started on my first woodcut. Step 1: acquire jig. Tick. Step 2: Jog memory.

Jig, Jog, Jig, Jog, Jig, Jog. It’s a very healthy art practice.

2pm Sunday afternoon, nearing the end of the wax workshop and I get the call “May I drop off the jig?”. It’s a thing of beauty, along with the beautifully tape-wrapped, perfectly square cut pieces of mdf for plates. I can now set sail 😀

Postcard front for upcoming solo

Well, I’ll have a solo in one large area in the gallery whilst Carey has his solo in the other large room. Will be too much fun. April 12th through May 25th. Fingers crossed. I KNOW all the work will look swell, fingers are for sales. =]

I realize new artists will be invited to be in WB-HD II, but, I wanna! Image

Wide Bay – High Desert II

We are very excited to announce that Wide Bay High Desert will be happening again in 2015! Jenny, Catherine and I are all really excited to be continuing this project again and planning another dual exhibition. There will of course be some changes, as we take on board what we learnt in 2013, and build on the experience and opportunity.

One of the first changes will be the exhibition will be held at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) instead of Childers Arts Space. This will introduce a new audience to the project. The exhibition will be held at BRAG from the 25 August to the 25 October 2015, and for the months of September and October at Unsettled gallery.

We are still in a planning phase in regards to artists participation, as we look to what will add value to the exhibition, but we will keep you all posted in regards this.

What we would love you all to start thinking about is suggestions for a theme, and we thought the blog could be a good formum for this discussion. As you will be aware last year we asked all the artists to create works based on the unique culture and landscape of where they are from. 12 months on, and having got to know each other and your art practices better, we are interested to hear what you would be interested in responding to and working towards. What would be a good visual conversation to bring together two different communities?

Lots of planning ahead of us, but we are so delighted to be able to do this exhibition and project again.




older series to new gallery!

Got to do two new ones to go with 3 older ones. Fun. Trick? Get the gallery to move onto the newer work, too. Tricky.

These are all 18″x 18″ on panels….bottom one is 18″x 36″





older one: THREAD THE LIGHTImage

older one; SPRING SONG diptych



Hovea Gully  Oil on canvas 2009 – commissioned piece.
112_AW_HoviaGully01Recently I was asked to do a commission, so thought it might be okay to write a blog about how I plan to approach the whole process.

I’ve only done about 5 or 6 since ’99 and I recall how on the very first one I learned a lot of lessons. It’s as if I fell into all the little pitfalls possible, so by the time I came to do this piece—Hovea Gully—in 2009, it was such an enjoyable process and looking back at it now I still enjoy it as a painting. Stepping into this new commission, the first one since then, I’m reminding myself of how and why it went well.

From the get-go with this new one, I have been really clear with the commissioner about my need to just paint as if I’m painting for myself, and then at the end of it all if they love the piece then all is good. If it’s not right, then they don’t have to take it. No money will change hands until this point, no deposit. And, even with all these measures, of course in the back of my mind is the little voice saying ‘this is a painting for someone’. Not just to send to a gallery, or lay in my storage shelf, but for a known ‘buyer’. So, naturally the process of the art making is already changed.

111_AW_SpottyGumBut I’m okay with that, running up to a show I also have a voice of sorts in the back of the mind (yes, sometimes in the front of the mind) yelling “keep working, keep working, exhibition deadline!” The art making must surely be changed by that too.

In the end I will just have to keep going back to my process, visit the site, do lots of sketching and scribbling, start painting. And it’s all about Spotted Gums, Corymbia maculata, and so I know I have a blissful couple of months ahead surrounded by photos and images of these amazing trees, not to mention the ones just down the hill.

The stretcher frames are ordered, 2 panels at 110cm high x 95cm wide, a lovely big thing to get stuck into. And the commissioner walked me around his trees and expressed his love of the place. I guess we are usually commissioned by people who love our work, who feel an empathy with our work, who love supporting artists.

Some artists are happy to accept commissions and be directed by the commissioners, personally I wouldn’t work well this way and would politely decline as I know both parties would end up disappointed with the result. So, there is a real risk for the commissioner with my approach, and it’s good to appreciate what a leap of faith it is. And it’s exciting! Which I always try to convey – this is art making, it’s exciting!

And on a strictly practical note, it’s some income. I have to buy a canvas roll soon, another tub of gesso, substantial spending hey? Watch this space… there may be more blogs about commission angst, but hopefully mostly about being grateful to be asked to paint something I lurv, something big and textured! Mmmmmm.

Reeds in the Brook, 2000mm wide, oil on canvas – commissioned piece


Something fishy going on!


I have spent much of the weekend preparing my collection of 210 bbq paper plate holder plastic fish for an installation at a local beach this week. Fun times!! A drone is going to fly over the 20m installation and take pictures, or a video. I’m not quite sure what will exactly come out of it. (Maybe I am under surveillance?) Another friend is going to do a time lapse of the event.

It should be fun if the weather holds out. It has been very windy of late. I have number of friends coming to help me set up. We only have 2 hours of low tide to get the installation finished.

Susan, Jenny Gilbertson and I had a lovely Sunday in the Linen yesterday. We started with the 10 minute warm ups we had planned. I had set up a small still life of a teaset I have. I was totally bowled over with Jenny G’s drawing and copying skills. She is an absolute machine. I will ask her to post some of her amazing pencil drawings, that she produced in such a short time. Very impressive!

Susan produced 4 tiny canvases, which she will probably finish at home.

After that we had some poetry readings. Susan had written a truly fabulous story relating to a drawing she had done of a women that is changing into a bird. I will ask her to post it. She has a natural talent for writing (on top of her other many talents).

It is so wonderful to have such creatively talented friends, and to spend such quality time with them.


Here’s a picture of the teaset with my 2 minute sketch, that deserves only to be thrown in the bin!


Jenny's quick sketches

Jenny’s quick sketches

Awaiting a gallery’s response.

Well, dang. A couple of weeks ago I had a Tucson, AZ gallery (a pretty good one) approach ME about sending them a package with pix of one of my series….they’d seen on my website and an artist who shows with them suggested they check my work out (a great surprise to me…a good surprise, too). So I sent off the package and I wait. He’s had it about a week. Dang, I really want in this gallery. Have emailed him 2 of the newer images and he did reply: ‘I’ll get back to you soon.’ huh? A yea or a nay is pretty easy, isn’t it? hmmmmmmm. Think positive thoughts for my inclusion, please.