Time for an update

Last time I wrote I was settling back into Stage 3 lockdown. Unfortunately case numbers in Melbourne are not flattening, and there is talk about going into Stage 4. That will be a new world, because things weren’t that strict last time around. However, we have to get the numbers down.

And really, for me, it doesn’t make a lot of difference. I am only making brief forays into shops for food and often a walk up the street for take away coffee. I can get food delivered, and can forgo the coffee 😩. I have a backyard that needs lots of work and plenty in the house to keep me out of mischief. My heart goes out to the others who are not in my position, and unfortunately there are so many of them at the moment.

Also I wrote about the public housing towers. Residents in eight of the nine towers are now at Stage 3 ~ able to go out for food, exercise, work and care. However one tower had to be kept in strict quarantine as it was deemed that residents were either positive or a close contact of those who were. They are, apparently well supported. I am not sure what level of care is being taken in other towers around Melbourne.

But enough of the virus!


The other day I received three delightful treats in my letter box. The first was a card from my Mum, who lives on the other side of town. We often write to each other. Then there were two lovely protea flowers. I must have a secret admirer, as I have no idea who they were from.

The third was even more special. It was a parcel from Catherine in New Zealand. She blogs at Random Thoughts from a Non-Warped Mind and Catherine: the Maker. She constantly amazes me with the things she makes, and this parcel was full of joyful creations.

A treasure trove of goodies from Catherine

You can see the range of goodies ~ cards, notebooks, fabric squares, knitted delights, hand embroidered pieces, papers embellished and printed. How blessed am I? And blown away by her generosity, and talent.


It is a while since I have told you anything of my art, aside from my Stitch-A-Long sewing. I have been better at keeping my newsletter readers more up-to-date; if you want to be in the know you can sign up for my vaguely fortnightly newsletter. There will be a new one in the next day or two, where I will be writing in more detail about tearing paper.

While it took me a while to get going, lately I have been busy with arty things, especially any thing to do with paper:

Gelli plate printing

Collaging

Folding paper

And now tearing and sewing paper (More on this in my newsletter.)

It is good to have a place to escape into, isn’t it?


As you can tell from the fancy dropped capital letters and the little separating dots, I have been playing with the new WordPress editor. I only have one whinge. In the old system I could upload photos straight from Google photos. Now I have to download them into iPhotos and then upload them. Am I missing the magic button that will save me a few steps? Any ideas?

What a week!

When my hairdresser asked me on Friday how my week had been, the word that seemed to sum it up was “Intense”, one of endings and beginnings.

We had Peter’s funeral on Tuesday. Thank you to everyone who wrote such thoughtful words on my tribute to him. I appreciated your care and support. (And thank you to those who would have written but didn’t….we all know how things slip by.)

It was a service that summed up Peter so well, with tears and smiles and warm memories of this ordinary but remarkable man. It gave me reflection time to delve deeper into my memories of him, again sometimes with tears and sometimes with a small, private smile.

Afterwards I caught up with a couple of students we taught in those early days. What a tribute to Pete that they came to bid him farewell. They had pleasant things to say about my teaching too, reassuring to know that I had some influence, especially, apparently, with environmental and social justice issues. Who knows who you will have an impact on.

At the beginning of the week I had the chance to do some free-lance work. I won’t go into detail yet, but wait to see what comes of it. However, it is not with children, the first job I have had that does not revolve around children since I worked on the till in my Dad’s shop. (I was there out of sufferance, not because I was any good at it. But that’s another story.)  It does involve writing, so there were many intensive hours, trying to get the copy  right.

And this week I decided not to renew my teaching registration. Another ending, but the right decision.

Weaving among the week was the turmoil in our capital, Canberra. The knives were out in the ruling Liberal Party (read Tory, Republican, not small l liberal), to remove the current Prime Minister. Every hour brought fresh news of meetings (open and behind the scenes), of shifting alliances, of resignations from ministerial positions. They even had the gaul to cancel Parliament one day, because they couldn’t work out who was left on the Front Bench to answer questions about their portfolio.

It was fascinating to see the Liberals eating themselves, but disgusting to know that all of this turmoil, lack of leadership and non-governing was created out of vengeance and spite. Not policy, not philosophy, not long-term direction for the country, but revenge.

The upshot is that we have yet another Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. Will his government be any different to the last? It remains to be seen, but I doubt it. Endings, beginnings, or more of the same?

In my own little art world I created a magnolia. You may have seen it’s progress on my Instagram account, and I have written about it on my blog on the website. It is available in my Etsy store.

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Copyright: Anne Lawson 2018

So, how’s your week been? 😊

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Next issue out at the end of this week.

Sewing on paper

Lately I seem to have blogged about non-arty things, although I have been talking about what I have been up to in my newsletter. (If you would like to have my art news delivered to your inbox each fortnight, simply sign up here.) Originally I added “….an update” to the title of this post, thinking I had already told you about my latest obsession ~ sewing on paper ~ but it turns out it is a long time since I have written about my art, and haven’t told you about the sewing much at all.  (See, it pays to subscribe to my newsletter!) So, here goes…

Last year I began sewing again, hand-sewing and machine-sewing, creating trees mainly. All the while there was the little thought at the back of my mind “What it I sew on paper rather than material?”. Those What if …..? questions are the backbone of my creativity. So I did. I began with some experimental pieces that I made exclusively for subscribers. They were a combination of machine and hand sewing. (Some are still available, so let me know if one or more take your fancy.)

I was hooked.

My next “What if….?” was “What if I sew over an existing watercolour painting?”. The composition of an old fig painting had never moved me, so I changed it by sewing over the top of the figs, cutting them out and attaching them to another piece of paper, on which I had sewn the outline of a fig leaf. A much better composition.

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Since then I have sold a capsicum

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a leaf

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a teapot

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and a pumpkin

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There is another pumpkin almost finished

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It is waiting for me to return from my latest series.

About a year ago I was playing around with watercolour representations of the trees on Flinders Island. There were parts of the pieces that I loved, but something didn’t quite work. Nothing to ruin by experimenting with sewing over the top.

This was the first one to go under the sewing machine:

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Definitely a good learning curve there. (At some other time I am going to blog about the things that surprise me when sewing on paper.)

And then the second:

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You can still the glorious watercolour, the way the colours mix together, while the sewing has given the piece movement and flow.

These two photos show the piece at different stages, to give you a sense of how it progressed.

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There is another work in progress……I love the watercolour effects of the trees in the original. It seemed to capture the canopy really well. The understory didn’t work; maybe the wrong colour; maybe too many trunks was stopping me from finding my way through. Whatever, it didn’t inspire me, until the sewing stage began. Now I am really liking it. It has a drawing quality about it.

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I think I will leave the canopies of the defined trees, and just work up the part that meets the sky.. I will see how that works, as I am not sure about the edge between the background canopy and the other trees. Perhaps highlights there will help. And I think I will leave the dark green area in the middle.

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The sewing has improved the understory, and I am still working my way around that, trying to keep the ‘taking a line for a walk’ effect.

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It has taken me a while to get to this creative place, a place where I feel confident that I have something to pursue, a direction, to create a series that might be interesting and different. I shall see where it takes me.

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