Trip of a life time – Canada/Alaska

Max and I have just returned from a 19 day APT tour of Canada and Alaska. It involved bus, train and ship and was truly the trip of a lifetime for me. Such a beautiful country Canada is and the train trip through the Rockies is breathtaking. Also the cruise up the Inside Passage to Alaska was a highlight.

I had great intentions of painting lots of pictures whilst travelling, but of course that is not practical when on a tour. However, I managed to get a couple of quick pics done and hope to complete more now that I am home.

The first is a pencil drawing of the view from the Rocky Mountaineer train. We were held up for two hours due to a freight train break down. 

The next three are quick pastel drawings – Lake Morraine, the inside passage and a glacier in Alaska.

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King Island Painting Week

Pastel Painting by LizB

Locals join in the Fun!
Jason Roberts, Sophie Dunlop and Diane Mah, all artists from Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, came to King Island for a painting week and kindly invited local artists to join them. To set off in the morning with lunch and art supplies, paint for hours, then return to Portside Links Gallery to continue painting AND to do this for days in a row – sheer bliss and so inspiring. Thanks to Jason Roberts for organising this annual(?) event and for Marilyn from Portside Gallery for making it possible.

Jason Roberts

Well I’ve just returned from a week of painting on King Island with some friends, and it was such a good time that I think I’ll try to make it an annual event! The ingredients are all there – a stunning island with equally dramatic, serene, bucolic and varied scenery, lots of fine local artists with divergent styles and mediums, and to boot – my mother’s family home and her beautiful holiday units AND gallery for showing the work in after all our painting expeditions!

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Badger Box Creek
(watercolour)

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First painting day, Badger Box.

We were lucky to have some beautifully warm weather on the island, and after a swim at YellowRock Beach I did this watercolour of the gleaming white sand and dunes.

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Yellow Rock Beach
(watercolour)

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Back of the Dunes, Yellow Rock
(watercolour)

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Sophie sketching at City of Melbourne Bay
(watercolour)

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Sophie’s lovely oil of City of Melbourne…

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King Island Artist-in-Resident’s completed works

Elizabeth Barsham, Tasmanian Gothic, completed a residency on King Island and has posted her collection on her blog. They also tell some of the treacherous history of shipwrecks, whalers, sealers, and female convict ships falling foul of our jagged coastline in the days before and after the first lighthouse (which is the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere) was built.

I love her work. Here is just one pic and you can see more on the above link.

"Men of Business" sealers on King Island 1799

Gothic flavour to the dangers of the waters around King Island – Men of Business – sealers circa 1799

Searching for Supper

This is a felt painting that’s a little different from my usual bright ones, but I really like the moody colours and sunlight hitting the bird.

The gull was needle-felted separately onto another piece of thin felt then cut out and placed on the background. The brighter whites are bamboo fibre and the swirls in the sea are pieces of mohair yarn.  This one came together whilst I was at my local monthly craft group and I think most of it was done subconsciously because I was a real motor-mouth that day and we all laughed and chatted and ate whilst working. A good thing because it wasn’t over-worked.

Kelp Gull Wool Art

Kelp Gull Felted

Naracoopa – a felt painting

This is a lovely part of the Island – Naracoopa – on the east coast of King Island. This scene is looking south towards Lover’s Lane on a calm sunny day. Again, layers of wool roving were lightly needled – just enough to hold to the base of white felt. Some torn strips of sari silk were added to look like tuffs of grasses amongst the rocks.

Not quite finished and it is still lumpy.

Felt Painting of east coast of King Island

Towards Lover's Lane

Argonaut, not Nautilus

After reading Kim (Flextiles)’s post on felting a Nautilus Shell, see link here, I realised how different the two shells are. Most King Islanders call our shells that wash up every now and then, Nautilus Shells. They are actually Argonaut Shells. The creature that lives and breeds inside them are strange-looking squid like mini monsters that form the shell from secretions to protect the babies. Truly amazing and paper thin. To find an undamaged one on the beach is difficult because they are so fragile.

Felt seemed like the perfect medium to sculpt an Argonaut.

Argonaut not Nautilus

Side by side - The real and the felted version

This is So Much Fun!!

King Island felted painting

Stokes Point

I am really enjoying this felt painting thing. And I really like this one.  Not supposed to say that about my own work, I know, but my mojo has been on an extended holiday and it is nice to have it back. After an exhibition in November 2010 I have not been able to paint or draw to my satisfaction. This is not an unusual thing, except it seemed to last such a long time. It was the main reason I started focusing on felting and it is challenging to create a ‘painterly’ effect.

The next one is totally different and it was taken from a photo of a little oasis amongst the dry fields.

Felted painting of King Island farmland

Golden fields

King Island Sunset Felt Painting

This one was a challenge and I could not get it right.  Can’t count the number of times I put fleece on then took fleece off. The photos don’t reflect that, but they show how different it finished up after some playing.

Here is the finished item:

Felt painting of King Island

Finished

Here is the process:

Stage 1 of felt landscape painting

Fleece layered and lightly wet felted

Stage 2 of felt painting of King Island sunset

Some needle felting and embroidery. Note the cottage

Now, when I look back, part of me likes the above image before I had to mess with it, especially the sky and sea, although the house looks kind of cutsey.  The tree in the foreground is wrong . Anyway, it is now framed (without the cottage).  Honest feedback much appreciated.  You know when you work on something so long and can no longer be objective in assessing your own work? That’s me.  Help needed!!!

Surface Texture Challenge – I do like to live beside the seaside!

I am in a bit of a slump artistically but enjoyed playing with some textural felting a while back. The sea is a reoccurring  theme with the first vessel falling into the category of the latest FeltandFibreStudio‘s Surface Texture Challenge, although it was made before that. Here is a link Challenges.

It started as a beret then turned into a sea urchin with ocean grunge attached. The ‘grunge’ is antique lace and silk pieces partially felted into the alpaca fleece.  It stands about 11″.

Next one is in similar fleece and was modelled on those weird-looking tubular corals, with growths and torn flaps.

This one is a total change of pace and is a mermaid asleep on a sea urchin.  Her tail is made up of dozens of tiny shells and the flipper is strips of torn silk with beads. I used 18 micron merino wool and silk rovings.

Now I just have to figure out how to post my challenge pics to Flickr.  This technology stuff is FUN!!! Takes my mind off Federa beating Tomic in the Australian Open Tennis.  Keep an eye on that youngster though. He is going places.

Help for Beginner Felters – making a pod vessel plus more

felting-tutorial-how-to-make-a-wet-felted-pod-vessel-using-a-resist.html

This is a great blog site from two talented ladies.  Check out the comprehensive tutorials for FREE plus their eBook at a very reasonable price. Click on the link above to see the Pod Tutorial.

They are also featured in the latest Felt Magazine from Australia – lovely happy works of art!! Well done Lyn and Annie.