Should I be goal setting?
It seems to be the time of year where talk abounds about goal setting for growth, diving into crisp shiny new planners, well-organised routines and planning for the year ahead. But how can we know what the year will bring, what events and happenings will come our way and how the days or weeks ahead will unfold? I'm all for dreaming, but also for holding the idea of expectation and achievement loosely. I like to leave plenty of space and time for simply 'responding', thoughtfully and mindfully about what's happening in front of me, in the present moment and feeling free to harness those moments that might create a subtle nudge or even a pivotal change on a journey that isn't at all planned or organised. If I plan too much in my art making, I find I reduce the window of opportunity for surprises to happen. Any plans I make usually begin and end with my choice of substrate, materials or processes and beyond that, I let go of any idea about what will happen once I make a start. Once the journey begins, the destination remains elusive right up until the point at which a painting is quite suddenly finished. As I go, I hold ideas lightly, often many at a time, and I just let these thoughts swirl as I work until one of them settles and begins to embed itself in the work and form part of the narrative of a painting. If I have a 'goal' in mind for a particular artwork I find I'm much less likely to take risks with it and be less attuned to those nudges that move the work along in an interesting and exciting way. So, if I'm setting a 'goal' for this year, it's simply to maintain my commitment to staying in my lane and embracing the explorers mindset where curiosity is the key to everything that I do in the studio.
I've been using my etching press for making simple landscape inspired monoprints which I was really enjoying, so I decided to take my printing explorations further into collagraphs. Still focused on telling a singular story about Beach Entry 47, through a variety of processes, I had gathered a few materials from the site, leaves from the pathway, dried grasses, fallen bark, to name a few.
I used these materials to create small A5 sized collagraph plates which I put through the press to obtain printed impressions. Some of the prints were immediately successful and others, though textured and interesting were less successful as a whole, but contained fascinating sections. So I then moved onto collage, selecting elements of the prints and re-envisaging these captivating tiny details into miniature landscape artworks.
UNTIL JANUARY 15th
Last few days to catch this wonderfully diverse exhibition by local artists and Friends of the Butter Factory. Come along and check it out!
Open 10 am to 4 pm
Tuesday - Sunday.
FEB 4 - APR 6
I'm very excited to be participating in this group exhibition at Noosa Regional Gallery. Hope to see you there!
You're invited - all welcome!
Exhibition opening event -
Friday 3rd Feb
5.30 pm - 7.30 pm
More than the sum of its parts brings together an ambitiously scaled ensemble of works to recreate the vast and varied ecosystem that is the Noosa natural environment. A salon hang of breathtaking proportions, the works of Noosa’s creative community are brought together in an installation that seeks to give a unique perspective on this special place they call home.
If you have a gelli plate (.....or are tempted to explore) and are not sure where to start, my Top 10 Tips will get you going. I take a look at the basics, from essential tools, paint & papers to try and setting up; to making a simple and effective layered print using easy-to-find materials.
Download the PDF and away you go - have fun!
My latest sketchbook painting incorporated some of my leftover collagraph print pieces and the greens and blues that I'm working with on my bigger paintings. I think it was subconsciously inspired by the Australian summer! My latest Blog post takes a look at monochromatic colour.
So until next month, pop that planner aside and instead look forward to a year of unfolding exploration and creative journeys to destinations unknown!
The second in my series of Top 10 Tips went out to my subscribers with this January edition of my Studio News. If you'd like a copy just hit the subscribe button below!