Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shaken, not stirred

It's a funny thing, watching kids grow up. It can seem an interminable process when you're in the middle of that whole boy-unprepared-to-meet-deoderant smelly muddle in the middle but eventually you crawl through the emotional big-feet-OMG-not-more-shoes stuff and the New-Scientist-says-the-problem-is-his-brain-is-growing-too-fast bit and discover that, like, everything's cool, yeah? And, like, they've left home already...

My dear delight is now 23 and of course I am his wicked stepmother but we are very, very fond of each other and I am extremely proud of him. He recently left the heaving metropolis of Coffs Harbour and took off for a new swanky job in Brisbane: he's a mixologist, dontcha know, and has transformed himself quite magically into a forward-thinking, go-getting young man with a professional persona and a blog of his own. I imagine crowds of hip young things will be making their way to the bar quite soon... all of which makes me feel quite old, despite VERY trendy new glasses and a hair cut. Oh well.

Friday, May 20, 2011


While I can't post photos it seems that I can still post text, so I can tell you that after I got home from the school camp I leaped straight into my new job at the local TAFE on Monday morning, and had a lot of fun there, too. I'm teaching collagraphs, monotype and drypoint to a group of about 15 adults who are finishing their Cert IV in Visual Arts through the North Coast Institute of TAFE. We couldn't have the usual room at the Glenreagh Campus this week (the room with the etching press!) which meant we had to made do in the drawing room at the other campus, with NO etching press. Consequently we didn't print anything but we did make several collagraph plates, and I did handouts and a "show and tell" of my own work. I've got 4 more Mondays to teach them different techniques with the aim of getting three 'good' images ready for assessment in a month's time.

I leaped from my first day of teaching into an Exec meeting at school and then straight into the school's AGM (it's a co-operative), and went home feeling a bit tired! And on Wednesday I started teaching my first printmaking and bookbinding class in my studio at home. Again it's a 5-week course covering collagraph, monotype and drypoint with the intention of binding some of the prints into a book using Japanese stab binding techniques in the final week. I have a lovely group of people, and what I'd really like to do is to keep them as students for a while and take them through ever more sophisticated processes as they begin to find their way around the studio... but I'm being a bit previous as there's no guarantee they'll carry on learning with me after this session ends.

I'm also beginning to think about the 'Sculptural Books' class I'm running at Primrose Park Arts Centre in Sydney at the end of October - so there's a lot of teaching going on in my life at the moment! Jean from Primrose Paper Arts has just been amazingly helpful in finding cotton linters for me so that I can make some lovely paper for my exhibition.

And what other excitements have there been? Oh yes, apart from the joy of having finally started to earn a small amount of money, there's also a sense of anticipation about our house. While I was away (thankfully) our architect and his graphic-designer partner organised a professional photographer to come and take snaps of the interior and exterior of our house so that the pictures can be used for publicity, magazine articles and competition entries. I'm SO glad I was away! I came back to find things hidden in the hallway, thrust into cupboards or shuffled behind the sofas to create the right ambience in different rooms... which is probably what happens in every 'interior style' article you ever see in a magazine! Somehow it made me feel better about our generally scrappy way of living in this lovely house - presumably everyone else frantically tidies up and then bundles the excess into dark corners before the photographer arrives! It's slightly disconcerting when you return, but having the side table still in the hall will, I'm sure, be a small price to pay for some beautiful photos.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


OK, Blogger's playing silly buggers and I can't load any more photos onto this page... I've posted a question to the Help Forum and will see what happens! Meanwhile, here's part of our camping trip last week with Class 6. I had SUCH fun! The kids were great, we managed to do some printmaking, drawing and music playing together and I loved it.

These photos are actually from the end of my road trip with Class 6 (since you need to load photos in reverse order into Blogger): starting from the top there's a photo of the Artesian Baths in Lightning Ridge at 5:30am last Friday morning. We took the kids for a quick dip, a hot shower and back in the bus to drive up to Glen Innes. We stopped on the way at Mount Kaputah National Park to look at Sawn Rocks which, as you can see, are an outcrop of hexagonal basalt columns and abosolutely beautiful! Then a final night on the floor of Glen Innes Tennis Club before arriving back in Coffs Harbour feeling a bit tired.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Blue skies

I have a job! And I start on Monday 16th May, which also happens to be the first day back after the school camp, the day of the school co-operative's AGM and two days before I start teaching evening classes in my studio but hey, I like to be busy, right?

They're starting me off gently: 5 Mondays (over 6 weeks because we have a public holiday after 4 weeks), 9:30 - 12:00, 12:30 - 3:00pm, teaching introductory printmaking. Nothing too adventurous: a bit of lino cutting, some monotype, perhaps a collograph plate or two... I'm really looking forward to it. I'm also looking forward to the school camp: I'm one of 6 adults taking Class 6 off to Coonabarrabran and Lightning Ridge on Saturday for an 8 day astronomy and geology camp. Whoohoo! I'm going to be playing the recorder and the violin with the kids, taking sketching groups, collecting and grinding ochres into paint and making carborundum/collograph plates using grits and found objects along the way. It's unpaid but I think it's worth it for the excitement and the landscape - I've never been "out West" and I think it's going to be great.


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