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.
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!
Badger Box Creek
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.
Yellow Rock Beach
Back of the Dunes, Yellow Rock
Sophie sketching at City of Melbourne Bay
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.
Gothic flavour to the dangers of the waters around King Island – Men of Business – sealers circa 1799
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.
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.
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:
Here is the process:
Fleece layered and lightly wet felted
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!!!
This is a picture I completed earlier in the year and I was really happy with the sense of movement in the ti trees. North of the island there are a few Cape Barren Geese, but they are not always easy to find. This one has been framed.
Just completed this ‘painting’ in wool fleece. It depicts some of the rugged coastline on King Island and was very challenging. In real time it is better viewed from a distance, but that is hard to simulate with a photo.
The base is a piece of white wool felt (commercial) and then the different coloured fleece are layered to create a picture. The options after that are to embellish with machine embroidery etc but I didn’t do that this time.
As I progress I keep everything in place using The Fabulous Felt-O-Matic – a handmade needle-felting tool that has 36 needles fixed into a frame work which is pressed down on in a spring set-up. Hard to explain, so here is the link to Dianne Stott’s blog showing her unique invention.
Unfelted wool fleece - 18x20 unframed
Felt Painting - without the tiny needle marks - sprayed with soapy water and lightly felted using cordless sander
At the King Island Felting Group on Saturday, I started this vest, laying the merino/silk lap over black tissue silk. Had to bring it home to felt it as I was using my new cordless sander and it was very noisy. Sunday saw it finished and the sander was great – much kinder on my shoulders. Here is the result.
First post of a new blog – what a momentous day! for me, anyway.
I am determined not to be a waffler. Straight to the point and no self-indulgence. Well, maybe just a little!
Felting has been a focus for about a year now and here are some completed works. Maybe just one for today. Having trouble uploading. More to come
Needle-felted Penguins – 5 inches tall – on a felted base with real and felted rocks and tiny shells. SOLD
The penguins on King Island are easily accessible to the public. If one is quiet as they come ashore and covers the torch with red cellophane, they will walk right over you to get to their chicks. Once when I had white socks on and black slip-on shoes, the mother penguin got confused and started to regurgitate her dinner for her chick, thinking my shoe was it. Wish I took that photo.