Reference photo for tapestry

Stitch A Long #1

I am gatecrashing a monthly get together that Kate at Tall Tales of Chiconia hosts. Edited correction ~ apparently I not only gatecrashed the party, but got the address completely wrong! It’s not at Kate’s house, although she does write a mighty fine blog, but rather at Avis’. She blogs at Sewing Beside the Sea  and hosts the Stitch Along where each month a group of stitchers post progress on their stitching, work that is purely for pleasure.

You may know my art work ~ watercolour, sewing on paper, oil pastels etc. If you would like to see more you can jump over to my Etsy shop, or get a closer look at a watercolour tree that is for sale.

However, you may not know that I create tapestries, where I interpret a photo with yarn. They are landscapes, and, of course, usually include a tree or too. Like this one from my time as artist in residence in Flinders Island. I loved the weather beaten landscape and the coastal heathlands.

Embroidery ~ free form landscape

Or this one from the outback landscape around Menindee, NSW. Very few trees in that environment!

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Winter is a great season to create these as Summer is too hot to work with wools and the the canvas crumples.

So time to get going on a new one, from a photo taken at Portsea during my artist in residence at Police Point.

Reference photo for tapestry

There are strong diagonals in this photo, which lead the eye to the focal point of the tree and there are darks to give contrast. As well I loved the texture of the cliff face, and my fingers are itching to work there, and the twisty trunk of the moonah tree, is a joy.

I set up the tapestry canvas with minimal guide lines, and began with the sky, using variegated blue wool and tent stitch.

Anne Lawson Art

 

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The clouds were trickier. I thought a beautiful silk thread I had would be right, but it didn’t work. A hunt in my stash gave me the perfect wool ~ white with a slight roughness, which gave the cloud the fluffiness I was looking for. The beginnings of it are at the bottom of the cloud. I used a cross stitch to give it more bulk.

You can see why I was dissatisfied with the silk. I had to carefully unstitch the silk thread, which is handprinted and expensive. No way was I going to chop it up.

Anne Lawson Art textile artist

Much happier.

Anne Lawson Art Textile artist

I am looking forward to selecting the yarns, and stitches, for the next part, which will probably be the background foliage. I am excited to see what emerges!

Next time I hope to include a link to others who are taking part in the Stitch-A-Long.

solo exhibition, the Old Auction House Gallery

Painting for sale!

Anne Lawson Art

My exhibition at the Old Auction House has finished. Many of you were unable to make it, so I would like to offer you the opportunity to have a closer look at the individual pieces. This is the first one, and it is for sale.

$150.00

Watercolour

Paper size: 26 x 36 cm, A3

Paper: Arches watercolour paper

I used a slightly glittery paint on the tops fo the tree. You can see it a little in the photos.

Tree painting from Anne Lawson Art

Anne Lawson Art

Anne Lawson Art

If you are interested in knowing more, contact me:

  • In the comments
  • via my contact page
  • email me     annebags@optusnet.com.au

I happily ship internationally and shipping is free.

Cheers!

 

My exhibition at the Old Auction House

Let me show you my work in a moment, because we need a catch-up.

My Patients are both home, and both doing well. I am gradually getting some time to  do things I need to do, pulling my life a little back towards me. Thank you everyone who commented on the last couple of posts; sorry I didn’t get to reply individually.

We are not out of it yet as there are a whole list of hospital appointments and follow-ups in the next couple of months, and I will be involved in those. I need to be involved, as Terry’s extra pairs of ears (and even with the hearing aids his don’t work so well 😉); I want to be involved, as his support crew; and I have to be involved, as he is not allowed to drive!

Along side of the hospital dramas, was my exhibition in Kyneton. You know that it was my first solo exhibition, and I was very excited. Just to refresh your memory, Kyneton is a regional town about an hour from Melbourne. I managed to get there a few times, including the Meet the Artist session.

solo exhibition of Anne Lawson Art

I was blown away to see my work hanging and felt so proud.

solo exhibition, the Old Auction House Gallery

 

Anne Lawson Art

solo exhibition The Old Auction House

A big shout out to Rhain at the Old Auction House. Along with Jo, she has been such a positive support for me. It has all gone so smoothly. She is building a vibrant, creative space ~ musicians play together on Sundays, a studio space house a costume maker, the gallery walls are full of interesting art and the gift shop is a treat. All things for sale are hand made, and if not local then from Victoria and Australia.

I was delighted too by the number of friends who were able to get to see it. If you were one of them, big hugs! It’s a lovely feeling to know that so many people, even those of you who couldn’t make it, are interested in my art and cheering me on.

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And the sales? Well, as of a week ago, I know that 2 have sold. There may have been a big rush in the last week of the exhibition! 🤞🏼

This is one that is off to a new home.

 

Anne Lawson Art tree painting

The other painting was one of the oil pastel trees. Maybe it was this one?

Anne Lawson Art

On Wednesday I will head to Kyneton to pick up the remaining ones.

Was there one that you fancied? Over the next few months I am going to ‘advertise’ the paintings. A weekly blog post, Instagram and Facebook posts and my newsletter will give you details and close-up photos of one of the trees. If you would like to buy it just let me know.

I have been so inspired by everyone’s positivity that I have applied for another exhibition at the Beadle Hall Community Gallery, at the Incinerator Gallery* here in Moonee Ponds. I’ll find out if I have been accepted in early November.

*Why is it called the Incinerator Gallery? An incinerator, designed by world renown architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony, has been repurposed into an arts hub. Read more about it.

The story of the Incinerator highlights a proud moment in Australia’s history, when our country developed an innovative, economical and technologically advanced solution to waste disposal that was envied worldwide.

Pity we can’t do that today.

 

Reflecting on July

I like to do a reflection at the end of each month, thinking about what I have achieved. Most months there are about 8 to 10 things that I look back on as worth celebrating. In July I had 3:

  • I helped see the Fella through a difficult time in hospital, so that now he is well and getting on with things.
  • I helped my Mum recuperate from her pneumonia. She is now in rehab, and while frail, is much better within herself.
  • I got ready for my first solo exhibition.

So, only three, but what mighty big achievements they were! No wonder there has been little time for anything else. And no wonder I am well over hospitals.

The other day I took my paintings up to the Old Auction House in Kyneton. There are 20 of works, all trees in some form. You know of my fascination, some may say obsession, with trees. This is some of them laid out, ready to be packed up for travel. (The orange labels are my cataloguing process, and are removable.)

Tree paintings

A selection of some of the individual trees.

and the Tangled Trees series ~ watercolour and then embellished with machine sewing.

Then there are some others.

I thought you might like to read my statement that will hang with the paintings.

Trees have always been a part of me. My grandfather worked in the forests of the Dandenong Ranges and Dad took us camping in the bush, off the beaten track. I remember learning the word ‘silhouette’ when Mum pointed out the shapes of the trees outlined against the sunset.

It was during an artist in residence at Mountain Seas Resort on Flinders Island that I first noticed the shapes of the melaleucas and their wonderfully twisted trunks. I was further inspired by a trip across the Nullarbor Plain, where the trees glistened and swayed. A recent artist in residence at Police Point in Portsea, organised by the Mornington Peninsula Shire, opened my eyes to the coastal moonah habitat. 

It is the shapes and rhythms of the canopies and the twisted branches and trunks that inspire me. I have explored them with many different media ~ watercolours, oil pastels, ink, sometimes embellishing the watercolours with machine sewing. I have created tapestries of trees and landscapes. 

In this exhibition there are individual trees and dense, tangled thickets of trees. No matter what the medium with each work I want to capture the feeling of air moving through the branches and then contrast the twisted trunks. There is a joyous freedom in exploring these ideas.

As well, each piece is a reminder of precious, fragile habitats that need us to treasure and protect.

The details of the exhibition:

8th August to 2nd September

The Old Auction House 

Mollison St

Kyneton, Victoria

 

So July has gone and August has many things to look forward too, especially being able to take Mum to Kyneton to see my work hanging. What are you looking forward to?

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Anne Lawson Art

A solo exhibition!

Well, in between getting the Fella home from hospital (he is doing very well; thank you for your positive thoughts) and my Mum going into hospital (she is also doing well, but still in hospital and being looked after so well by the nursing staff) I had an offer of a solo exhibition at the Old Auction House in Kyneton.

If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that a solo exhibition has been a goal for a long time. I researched galleries, googled “ways to approach galleries”, worked on a body of work, but was held back by the fear of rejection. What if the gallery said “No. Not good enough”?

Then, as often happens, my fear was bypassed when Rhain, at the Old Auction House, approached me. Her previous booking had fallen through, and had a gap for August. She had seen my work at the recent group show ‘Not your usual canvas’, and popped the question ~ Would I be interested? Would I? You bet!

So in between hospital visits I sorted through my art works, and surprised myself by finding about 17 pieces that I would be happy to show. All trees, so no surprise there!

About half of the pieces are oil pastel trees.

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I have often shown the smaller, A4 versions of these trees, and some are still available in my Etsy shop. You might remember me telling you about my fascination for trees after my trip over the Nullabor Plain. The ones for the exhibition are larger ~ A3 and one is even bigger. I haven’t shown these before as they are too large to send through the post  successfully. Lucky, because they are perfect for the exhibition.

Another group are the watercolour landscapes embellished with sewing. (I call them landscapes because I don’t know where they fit.) Some you have seen before, but they haven’t had wide exposure.

tree painting

Then a couple of single trees, watercolour canopies and stitched branches and trunks.

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The last group are a couple of works created only in watercolour.

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I think they will hang well together, with a consistency of shape, media and certainly theme.

I won’t have time to create anything large from my Police Point residency. Whatever comes from that might be in my next exhibition!!

However, I would like to find time to create some of the panoramas that I began down there. They should be a nice little addition to the collection. Along with the cards I have already made, they will give people a chance to buy something at a lower price.

So, work to do before the beginning of August, but quite do-able, and yes, I have made a list.

If you are going to be around Victoria in August I would love you to be able to see my work in person.

8th August to 2nd September

The Old Auction House

52 – 56 Mollison St

Kyneton

The best laid plans……

You may have noticed that I have been quiet of late. I hope you have been imagining me creating masterpieces from my time at my artist-in-residency. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case because life took a sharp right turn.

I came back from Portsea fired up with creative ideas and plans. I went up to the Old Auction House in Kyneton, to pick up my paintings from the exhibition. I had a fabulous talk to Rhain and Jo about creating cards, notebooks and accordion books to put into their fabulous shop. They were so enthusiastic, positive and helpful. So, I came back enthused and settled to work on Thursday.

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That’s when life tossed me a curly one. The Fella had to go into hospital that night. He is fine, and back home now. I won’t go into detail. However, if you have ever spent time in hospital with someone you love, you know that it is a tiring, draining experience. Any spare time is devoted to catching up on sleep, bringing other people up to speed or just mindlessly blobbing in front of TV.

He’s home, and that’s fantastic! While there are ends to tie, including a hair appointment which I changed three times,  I am hoping to get back to work this week. Lucky I made notes from my chat with Rhain and Jo, because I would remember so little if I had to dredge their advice from my memory.

Hopefully this week I will have made more progress. If you would like to know more about my art work, sign up for the fortnightly letter from my studio. Delivered straight into your inbox but no spammy stuff.

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[I have turned off comments for this post. I know you are sending me positive thoughts, and I appreciate them, just know that all is good now.]

 

My first week at Police Point

Yes, the first week has flown by.

There were a couple of hiccups, such as me stuffing up the dates yet again but they only little hicks. Now I am settling into a creative routine, which I will talk to you about soon. First let me give you a tour of my domain.

My little cottage is in Police Point, a park managed by the Mornington Peninsula Shire, who run this amazing residency programme. It has four rooms off the central hall ~ two bedrooms, a lounge and the kitchen. An addition out the back is a sitting room, the utilities, and my studio. It’s very snug, which is necessary as it’s Winter, and comfortable.

However, the studio is the best! It is spacious, and has big windows that let in the Winter sunlight, and let me look out across the green expanse to Port Philip Bay. I could sit here all day, just looking at the changing light, watching the clouds scamper across the sky, seeing the sea sparkle and turn silver, and work out the time from the ferries that go between Sorrento and Queenscliff.

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But I don’t just sit and watch…I have been working!

Police Point Park abuts the Point Nepean National Park, so there are lots of walks. And lots of interesting shaped trees. I thought I would be captivated by them from the get-go, but it is the cliff faces that have caught my attention. I will come back to the vegetation, because I have the luxury of three more weeks down here. But this week I have been exploring the gnarly, striated rocks of the cliff below Police Point. Rocks like these:

 

I thought I had a little understanding of the geology of these rocks until I came to write it down for you. Trying to explain it made me realise that I understand very little! However, I do know how the knobbly ones are formed. The sand was cemented by calcium carbonate and other minerals in the ground water. The water seeps down through the soil, perhaps along the pathways of plant roots, and precipitated the calcium carbonate to form hard rock ~ calcrete rock. The calcrete remains as the rest of the rock is eroded. The bumps and spikes are the calcrete and the holes and crevasses are formed by erosion.

I loved this rock on the waterline. I wonder how long before it gets eroded right away.

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So I have explored the beaches and the cliff faces, wandering, photographing and sketching. It’s made me think about weathering and time, and layers ~ layers of sediment, of human history, of vegetation.

Back in the studio I have set myself the task of producing something every day. I have been working on small studies of the rocks. They are only A5 size.

Study #1 was simply a first draft, and it told me not to rush, not to assume I understood what I was doing.

With Study #2 I felt confident enough to add embellishment from the sewing machine. I had learnt some things, but still not enough to capture what I was seeing in my mind. But there are a couple of good things about being here. Firstly, there is tomorrow to do it again. At home tomorrow would be filled with other things. Here tomorrow is filled with working in the studio.

Secondly there is time to reflect about the works, to think about why it’s not working.

With this study I realised that I had missed the sense of edges, of layers of rock, rather than frills. I quite liked the sewing, but it was taking things off in a different direction.

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Study #3 was more thoughtful, and I was happier with the edges. I think you could imagine feeling your way under them.

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But the sense of ‘rockness’ was still missing. I realised that it was lacking context, and drama. Friend’s comments on Facebook and Instagram confirmed what I was thinking.  So I looked at different rocks and came up with Study #4. Certainly dramatic!

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I had thought of putting in the background to give more context, but I don’t think I will.

And today I was fired up with confidence to create Study #5.

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With this one I have gone back to my default position of going straight to the detail. There is too much, especially at the top. To my eye it looks like a fancy old fashioned hat on top! Tomorrow I will give it another go and axe the hat!

It has been a week of settling in, of finding new routines and rhythms. Most importantly it has been a week of carefree and joyful creating in a very beautiful environment.