Monday, 28 November 2011

Home is where the heart is ...

Edible garden (l) and the start of the native garden (r)
A few pics from recent times - and the answer to "what does the WMBM do all day?"  Let's just say ... I work with textiles, WMBM works with nature. There's always somewhere - a bench, a seat, a cool spot, a shady retreat for quiet reflection, sketching, peace.
From the top paddock (Mount French, Mount Edwards, Mount Alford)
From the top paddock the view is surreal - in the mountain kind of sense - and while we don't try to compete with Colorado for height - we don't get the altitude sickness - a happy medium.
Mount Frazer

Mount Frazer is to our north - and the Moreton Bay Ash provides plenty of shade under which it is so restful to simply sit, and watch the world of birds fly past.

Cool shade from the heat of the day

Cockatoos and Corella's love these

A riot of colour

An explosion

A favourite
Flowering on the branch

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Taking shape - Texture and the Visual Diary

What a stunning weekend - flew home Friday and didn't take the foot off the accelerator from the Brisbane Airport until I hit Tarome - a relatively quick trip and  and eternally grateful to the lady on board who felt unwell and managed to eliminate our holding pattern sequence. Thank you.  Just sometimes I'm okay with queue jumping.  Home again home again - so good for the soul and beats the bejeepers out of chicken soup.  This weekend I finally got to start exploring texture as part of a textiles unit at Curtin University.  From cardboard carton, to peeled and dried mushroom skin, silks, brocade, bathroom tile backing and a beer bottle cap - all evoke something that is the language of materials. It sent me racing back to Jane Dunnewold's Complex Cloth and Lyric Kinard's art + quilt - every time I read these texts I get something fresh and new from them. Just proof that you really are never too old ....

Saturday, 26 November 2011

2QAQ ARTrageous Christmas Party today

Flowers by the Window
Today is 2QAQ's ARTrageous Christmas Party at Gallery 169 to celebrate a creative 2011 and have a last look at the SotAQ11 quilts for this year. One of my favourite pieces is Julie Tasker's "Flowers by the Window" in which Julie used wet felting techniques incorporating merino wool and silk. The glass vase was created using silk handkerchiefs and gives such as sense of depth and contrast. The piece was then machine quilted.  I just love it! Entries for SotAQ12 are due 1 February 2012 - it's time to put on the creative hat and get stitching.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Work on saturday

A glorious day to be at work in Cairns - glorious day outside - and a lovely view from the 9th floor office. Sometimes I get to watch the ships coming in to port and unloading their wares, day in, day out - cruise ships spill visitors into Sheridan street for precious shopping time and quickie trips to the Daintree. There's always something happening. After work I went to the Cairns Regional Gallery and viewed the works of  Tara Heben - her works remind me of Gauguin in some respects - vivid  colours but essentially the undercover drawer is at work. I loved many of her works, and in particular Southerly Blow (2011).  Heading back tomorrow for a look around the other 2 floors of the Gallery - which is a perfect way to spend a day out of the heat and humidity.  The lychees, mangoes and tropical fruits are plentiful - finished the day shopping for fruit at Rusty's Markets then headed north to Manunda and the little unit of comfortable means where I've spent these past 8 weeks.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

SotAQ artists @ Gallery 159

What a great opening at Gallery 159 - and while SotAQ11 had previously been through an "official launch" the approach at Gallery 159 was convivial and relaxed - which means we all got to chat about art quilts for several hours and hear from particular quilt makers a short burst about their preferred techniques, style and inspiration. Mel Forrest, Helen Kidd and Suzanne Marshall (below) discuss the finer points of exhibitions.

In the absence of Ankie King, I got to share (below) her inspiration for creating Tulip Fields (r) and 100 Squares (l).  We missed you Ankie - see you very soon!

Felicity Clarke (below) shared the inspiration for her reflection on life - a beautiful and moving piece that follows birth through to death.

Helen Kidd (below) shared her Banff Canada holiday influence on Fire and Ice and how the various colours of ice were created.

Mel Forrest (also below) talked about her inspiration for My New York and the way photographic images are incorporated into her artworks.

A wonderful way to spend an afternoon - and the exhibition will be open until the ARTrageous Christmas Party for 2QAQ members on the 26th November. Check the Gallery 159 opening hours

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Gallery 159 @ 3.30pm today for SotAQ11

This is meant to be a picture of the invitation to our SotAQ11 opening at Gallery 159 today. Life often reveals to us how we are simply not as clever as we think - even a goddess like myself. So, instead of the gorgeous PDF invitation that Mel Forrest cleverly designed, here's a small section of part of one of the quilts at SotAQ11 today. Please feel free to come along and share the opening with us @ 159 Payne Road, Ashgrove. 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Mossman Gorge and the Daintree

Mossman Gorge is accessed from the southern side of Mossman, about 10 minutes north of Port Douglas. There are a number of public access tracks ranging from wheelchair friendly to easy to moderate ."Moderate" includes climbing up and down waterfall like areas, a lot of uphill and down dale  rocky steps that required appropriate footwear. Made note to self about the footwear.  My only "complaint" would be that looking down to avoid tripping reduces the time spent absorbing the imagery of this unique and unimaginable place.  

 The Gorge is more than exquisite - and we walked the 3-4 km trails in the aftermath of rain. At times the magic and mystery of the forest was overwhelming - in a truly beautiful sense. I wondered if Tolkien had taken inspiration from rainforest.  Jeannie Baker's works came to life with each turn of the track.


 Moss laden rocks, stairways to the light, ancient networks of roots - the machine quilting patterns seem endless, especially the root systems, vines and branches.  Finally, some fungi that I could not do justice with the camera - brilliant black and orange against the nap of the mossy bark.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A weekend adventure in the Daintree

Thala Beach Lodge sits high above the ocean just off the Captain Cook Highway, about 10 minutes south of Port Douglas. It was the first stop on our mother / daughter weekend together after pancakes on the Esplanade in Cairns - and the only things rivalling the views were the house made cheese balls, duck crepes and a parfait dip with grilled bread. The champagne wasn't bad either! The lodge is heaven on a stick and then some. We were made most welcome, as day trippers, and decided we had to return. The view from the dining area is gorgeous - open and inviting - immersed in the trees and wildlife.

Next stop Port Douglas where we walked for miles, so it seemed, in search of lookouts, lighthouses and the beautiful (if tiny) multi faith church serving serenity by the windowful. Long sits not recommended for those who melt quickly or prickle in the humidity.

We had a great time at Mossman Gorge which deserves its own post - then we spent Monday on the old Kuranda Railway - it's been a year since the last train adventure in the Rockies - and did girlie things at the top (Kuranda), including a close encounter with the WMBMs favourite wild bird  and rather smart to ignore the humans trying to attract its attention.

Last part of the weekend was the Skyrail over the rainforest - an incredible experience that has lost none of its magic over the years - here we are crossing the Barron River. It is sometimes good to be still, and quiet, and simply listen with one's heart.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Gerhard and Natures Face Art

© Image of Gerhard Hillmann
A really nice thing happened on the way to the market in Cairns on the weekend. I met Gerhard Hillmann from naturesfaceart on the Esplanade with his exquisite photography, cards and fabric squares. The selection of colourways and imagery is vast - landscapes with earthy and autumnal tones, the electric colouring of Ulysses butterflies and passion flowers, wattle and eucalyptus leaves, lilly pilly and a kaleidoscope of natures art. The images are printed on quality cotton and are available individually or in coordinated packs through Gerhard's website or by email. Thank you Gerhard - your work is simply beautiful. I can't wait to get back to sewing and being creative with these squares.

© Image by Gerhard Hillmann

© Image by Gerhard Hillman