Tuesday, 26 February 2013
|Ink on map by me, inspired by Goebel cat|
We found a Goebel cat brooch by Rosina Wachtmeister recently at an antique/junk shop in Newtown. It is a playful thing and it made me think of the work of Charles and Ray Eames, so bought it. It's well designed, beautifully made and even though it is a brooch it sits up very nicely on a shelf.
Rosina Wachtmeister was born in Vienna and now lives near Rome. She studied sculpture and scenic design in Brazil.
|Ink on map by me inspired by Goebel cat|
I don't have a cat now but we did have many years of enjoying the antics of Frank and Lou who adopted us when they were kittens 20 years ago. These quick and fun cat drawings are both inspired by the Goebel brooch as well as Frank and Lou.
|Ink on map by me, inspired by Goebel cat|
Sunday, 24 February 2013
|Gouache painting on map by Nancy MacAlpine|
Growing up in Canada meant that I wasn't acquainted with all the fruit and vegetables that the rest of the world enjoyed. There may have been dry figs but I was not introduced to those either. When I did see a fig I decided, from their appearance, that they would be rather nasty. Once, as a community nurse,when visiting a patient she insisted I take some ripe figs from their tree. I didn't want to take them but she would not take no as an answer. I tasted them, was blown away by the beautiful rich, sweet taste and have been a fan ever since. I look forward to late summer when they are in season and are a reasonable price at the fruit shop. In the suburb in which I live there are many people of Greek descent who have fig trees in their garden. You see them netted to stop the parrots, possums and probably any number of creatures who would want to feast on such a delicious fruit. Each fig "fruit" is actually an enclosed flower head containing many tiny flowers and seeds.
|Collage of Figs by Nancy MacAlpine|
Figs are an ancient fruit which were recorded on Sumerian stone tablets dated back to 2500 BC. They were mentioned in the bible and were said to grow in the garden of Eden.. They were enjoyed by Cleopatra and Ulysses.
If you live in Australia enjoy figs now when they are in season. In Canada, keep an eye out for fresh figs but the dry ones are really good too.
Friday, 22 February 2013
|Pen drawing by me|
I asked my sister what she thought of a recent collage I had done of myself in front of the bathroom medicine cabinet (see self portrait blog post). She said it reminded her that she needed to lose weight and this put her off the piece.
Our emotional response to an artwork is what makes us want to either put it up on our wall next to the TV or tuck it in the spare room closet. When I saw Maggie Stein’s linocut of the drying dishes at Currurong Beach I could imagine that the scene this depicts is within a lovely holiday house which is quiet and empty of kids and visitors, a meal has just been eaten , tummy is full and there are no more expectations of you for a little while. Doing the dishes is often the last chore of the day and completing this task signifies the beginning of time for ourselves, maybe a bit of fun after a busy day. So, all those things make me enjoy the print as much as what is what you can see.
|Washing Up by Margaret Green|
Maggie’s linocut also reminded me of a painting, also of washing up, which has appealed to me after seeing it in a book years ago. This is it on the right.
I have been looking at the washing up this week and enjoying the spheres and cylinders and tricky shapes.
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
|Maggie Stein at her studio|
When I posted the article about Maggie Stein's linocuts, a number of people asked me what they were and how you made them. A linocut starts with a piece of thick linoleum which is carved to make any image you like. After it is carved, what is left will print the ink colour and what is carved will be the paper colour.
Ross and I had a great time last Saturday filming Maggie printing a linocut. We have never videoed before, nor have we edited so this is our first go at being filmmakers.
Here is our video on YouTube - http://youtu.be/mVvnxb-EFp8. Please have a look . It takes 8 minutes so give yourself a bit of time.
On Saturday Maggie printed both using her press and without it. In this video she shows us how to print without a press which is useful for anyone wanting to try it at home.
In a week or two we will film Maggie making the linocut which is the process prior to the step we are showing you here.
Below are some shots of Maggie making a print using her bookbinding press.
The print she made in the film as well as many other beautiful works are on her website: www.maggiestein.com.au
Sunday, 17 February 2013
|This is a collage of me in front of the bathroom sink, medicine cabinet half open|
Thursday, 14 February 2013
Artists are most often inspired by their own interests and what is around them. In this series of etchings, which I completed while doing my masters at COFA, my interest in local history as well as the urban landscape was combined.
These etchings are inspired by an event taking place in local colonial history. On a Sunday morning in 1828, Dr Wardell left his wife and children in the city to check out his land holdings in Marrickville. He rode his white stallion to the Cooks River where he came across a primitive hut and three convicts on his land. The meeting resulted in the murder of Dr Wardell. He was found a day or two later where Ruby St Marrickville is now, covered in brambles so wild dogs would not interfere.
One of the convicts involved in the event gave information to the police which lead to the arrest of the other two. A court case followed and two convicts were hung in front of a huge crowd.
Monday, 11 February 2013
|King from Wilson 2010 by Maggie Stein|
Maggie Stein is an award winning Sydney artist who I have known since 1985 when we went to City Art Institute together. She won the Graduating prize for Printmaking in our final year which was the first of her many successes.
Although Maggie does draw and paint, she is most well known for her printmaking, particularly linocut. Her work reflects her keen observation of the environment in which she lives or visits, whether it be on a macro or micro level. She has lived in Newtown for many years and the urban landscape she portrays in that series of work makes me look again at the environment which is so familiar.
A print's image evolves through the processes required to make it and may become something quite unlike it's beginning. For novices in printmaking the resulting surprises may be pleasant or may be disappointing. It does not appear like Maggie Stein would know about disappointing" as her work is consistently lovely. The prints show her expertise in the art of print making as well as the sophisticated mark making of a mid career artist.
|Banksia Coccinea 2012|
Friday, 8 February 2013
Well, it will soon be that day for romantics to celebrate love. The cynics may suggest that Valentine’s Day is just a way for us to spend more money on cards, flowers and presents. I feel there is nothing wrong with those things but it is more important to reflect and let your special person know that they are just that..... special and valued. Enough of the mushy stuff, here is my Valentine’s bouquet for you, not of roses...........but of...............beets.
When you make a romantic dinner for your BFF this Valentine's Day why not try this recipe:
|Gouache on topography map|
When you make a romantic dinner for your BFF this Valentine's Day why not try this recipe:
Baby Beet and Citrus Salad with Watercress
2 bunches baby beets
1 clove garlic, crushed with ½ tsp of salt
60 ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
½ cup watercress leaves
Salt and pepper
Wash the beets and cut off the tops, leaving about 3 cm attached. Trim the roots. Steam for 10-15 min or until tender. While the beets are cooking, whisk the garlic paste with the lemon juice and olive oil to make the dressing. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut the larger ones in half. Season generously with salt and pepper and while they are still warm pour on the dressing and toss gently.
Peel the skin and white membrane from the citrus fruit. Using a sharp knife carefully cut the membrane between each segment and flip the fruit out of it’s skin casing. Cut the segments into small pieces. Add the fruit to the beets and the watercress leaves and gently combine. Serves 4
This recipe comes from Greg and Lucy Malouf’s cookbook entitled Saha, a chef’s journey through Lebanon and Syria
Wednesday, 6 February 2013
If I were a bird I could fly to Tempe House in a minute or two, just over the hill and across the valley. You can see it after crossing the Cooks River on the Princes Hwy just before the Wolli Creek development. It sits overlooking the river and has been doing so since 1835. Tempe House was designed by the colonial architect John Verge for Alexander Brodie Spark . It was Spark’s rural retreat and he had a rococo bathing house close to the river as enjoyed swimming all year round. He had prize winning gardens , the plants were a mix of exotics and natives as well as more than 154 fruit trees. Spark had 250 acres which of 10 acres were worked by 13 convict labourers.
When entertaining he would have his visitors brought across the river by punt by his convict boatman Willie. They would have enjoyed the lavish interiors of Tempe House with it’s marble fireplaces and parquet floors.
Unfortunately, Spark became bankrupt in 1843 but he continued to rent the villa until his death in 1856.
The Sisters of the Good Samaritan bought 8 acres of the land including the villa and they conducted a laundry from 1880s until 1983. It was staffed by woman from the country and those who needed care and rehabilitation. They built a church many years ago and this, as well as the villa, have been restored.
I have known about Tempe House for many years but it wasn’t easily accessible until more recently. A number of times I drove to the opposite side of the river, trying to get a glimpse of the house through the bush with no success. Now you can walk around it and there are probably times it is open to the public. When I was there last weekend I saw a couple getting married in the church and it was quite a romantic sight. There are many modern apartment building behind these structures but at least Tempe House and the church were restored and valued as an important part of local history.
If you live in Sydney, I recommend a look around this interesting landmark.
This is a painting of Tempe House by Samuel Elyard in 1836
Monday, 4 February 2013
Here are some of the things purchased at the Wentworth Park Antique and Collectable fair
|This is a pattern of Figgio tableware called Lotte, made in Norway.|
|Thelma and Peter's retro collection|
If you live in Sydney and are interested in antiques, collectables jewellery, vintage and designer stuff a great place to find them is the Antique and Collectable fair. This is held on the first Sunday of the month at Wentworth Park. Wentworth Park is on Wattle St in Pyrmont/Ultimo, a few minutes walk from the Fish Market.
The fair is held indoors so no worries about the weather. It’s big too, so much to see and a huge variety of things. The prices are generally good and there are bargains to be had. My interest in mid century Scandinavian is certainly satisfied.
I went to the fair on Sunday and found some Lotte (tableware made in Norway in the 70s), some very quirky Dutch ceramics which I will give to some quirky Dutch people I know. Also got some great presents for people who read this blog so that is hush hush. It’s a great day out and I highly recommend a wander around this fair and then lunch at Sydney Fish Market
Here is some of Ann- Margrete's Scandinavian jewellery
Saturday, 2 February 2013
|Gouache on paper by me|
Dessert was always served with meals at home. My mother was always concerned with providing healthy food so the desserts were nearly always fruit based. On the weekends or on special occasions there were pies, usually apple and often lemon, peach or even raisin. Through the week it might be applesauce or a cobbler (love the cobbler).
Mom might have liked to have this recipe in her box of recipe cards in those days especially when there were alot of stone fruit around like there is here at the moment. She may like to try it now, or maybe next July when we are visiting...
This is a Jamie Oliver recipe called Stewed Fruit. I don’t think that is a fitting name, it maybe should be called Nectarine and Peach Deliciousa. Serve with ice cream and feel good about being so healthy.
18 ripe plums or a mix of any stone fruit
|Gouache on map by me|
1 tsp vanilla
2 heaped tbsp sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Optional a good splash of brandy. I used Grand Marnier which was good
Ice cream or yogurt
Halve and stone the fruit and put in a large roasting tray with vanilla, sugar, cinnamon and brandy. Peel half the orange and throw that peel in, as well as the juice of the whole orange. Place in the oven at 220 C/425 F for about 15 min. Check the fruit, if soft and juicy take it out, otherwise pop it back in until it is so. I easily peeled the skin off my peaches when they were cooked. You probably don't have to do that with plums. Serve the fruit in small glasses layered up with vanilla ice cream.