Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Studio updates and tropical bugs!

So have you all caught up with Seths fabulous studioscapes project? I have to say I was most relieved to see the pic I did send in to Seth didn't include all the packaging stuff that was going on at that time! What a relief! Things were a bit tense back at the old ranch here I can tell you. Thats what happens when you're outrageously busy and have the memory of a sieve! So I thought I would keep rolling with Seth's idea and show you a little peek at some of my fav things in the current studio setup.

My inspiration board at present, tada!

And yes it reeally is that tidy! Much of the focus is on all things Pulpy with the Pulp Redux collaboration in full swing. (I don't know what I will do when it's over, cry myself to sleep at night and dream about lost creative inspiration I think! We are all one big family now.)

Here's my desk currently. I admit that arty stuff takes over the entire house really. It just depends what room I am feeling creative in today. I do confine most of the messy paint to this space. However you might just find all manner of other bits travelling around the rest of the house with me.

My chair sits next to windows both behind and beside me. This way I get a great cross breeze without the need of too much artificial cooling. Fans are a problem blowing stuff all over the room but the aircon is an absolute necessity in Summer. (Its the subtropics here, even in the first month of Spring as we have now the temps are hovering at around 28degrees C today and the humidity is in the eighties with a storm on the way.) I need the open air as much as possible or I feel I'm going nutty fairly quickly! I found having the desk looking out the windows was far too distracting. This way I get the best of those views and am able to concentrate better. The natural light spills across the desk too and there is absolutley nothing that can come close to that!

The next pic is of my favourite space. It is just one shelf of the bookcase but it is the place I gaze at from the desk and it inspires me the most, other than gazing out of the window at natures wonderful play that is.

It is really a bit of a shelf of curiosities. There is a large wooden tiki from New Zealand to protect me from evil spirits. Hubby is a Kiwi. I love the paua shell eyes. There is a large piece of coral from the Great Barrier Reef which is as flat as a pancake. I recommend that experience to anyone, just amazing! There are two little seahorses just a few inches long and next to them some tiny irridescent perfect shells just a few millimeters long that belonged to my grandfather. I will never part with them. Some shells which have been sliced open to reveal their natural labyrinths and a small part of my collections of favourite rocks and stones. The large green piece in the back next to the tiki is a solid piece of New Zealand jade. At the front a couple of chinese authentic coins over a thousand years old. Anyeway I think you get the drift. The little bottle at the back is a 100year old chinese snuff bottle that is handpainted. The painting is done on the inside of the bottle and it still smells of snuff.

Next to this motley collection is the bug collection. Oh yes, you live in the tropics and like art you know what happens here!
I have run out of compartments in the boxes so I have resorted to plastic homes temporarily for the latest bits. On top a butterfly that recently passed away on the lawn and under that the wings of a large moth. Each wing measures approximately 6 inches. Oh yes we grow em big up here! That makes for fun times around the bbq at night. The wooden box houses a collection of scented items. From cedar chips to frankinsence and myhrr (is that how you spell that???) its all in there. I always wondered what the heck those items were when I was young. I took the trouble to find out. Anyway it all smells heavenly. I think scent is such an important inspiration too for artists.
Under that the compartment boxes house a collection of bugs that only the tropics could produce! Maybe I'll let a few come out for Halloween and show you all, LOL!
Well there you have a glimpse of a little bit more. So now show me, what's going on in your studio?
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Studio Stuff

Just in case anyone out there doesn't know, the fabulous Seth Apter from The Altered Page has his latest installment of The Pulse going out each Sunday. This installment is Studioscapes. It's a fun and at times suprising look into the studios of many artists. I have found this to be so liberating at at times downright fun to peek into the creative landscape of fellow artists. Liberating in seeing that many are messy creators, (like me!), and funny as often I can pick which artist belong to which studio without the need to see the artists names. Our studios really are a reflection of ourselves and our art. This week Seth has a pic from my studio going up. That should be fun, it was taken right before we moved house and life was utter chaos. In fact, thinking about it, I'm not sure what pics I actually sent him now! Gulp, this could be revealing! Anyway pop on over to view some fun insights and in my case mess, LOL! Anyway click the pic to jump to Seths page, and disregard the mess!

More arty posts coming your way soon!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Beneath the Descendents of the Dragon-Pulp Redux

I've escaped, woohoo! Someone finally left the studio door open here at Wandering Heart Studio's and I've made it back to the outside world dear bloggers! Ahh but seriously, I have been absent for a bit haven't I? Life caught up here and a small break was the order of the day, but now it's back to creativity again. I thought I'd start with a peek at what I have been up to whilst confined to the studio, it's Lisa Jurist's fabulous Pulp Redux book- Roots beneath the Layers. I love this theme! Very Kim this one! Truthfully I had loads of ideas for this topic and really had trouble honing it down. Just when I had a very girly can't make up my mind moment, the creative energy did it's thing and one topic just launched its I must be heard at all costs thingy!

Welcome to...

'The Descendents of the Dragon.

Did you all hear that spooky laughing and thunder too, LOL!
(Halloween is close, mwahahahahaha).

But, back to the world of reality.

The descendents of the dragon is a term that the chinese people have used for centuries in reference to themselves. The theme of the piece however, is actually inspired by the culture of the Chinese people. China is home to the world's oldest continuous civilisation. Leaving all the facts and figures behind for a moment, I wondered when doing a little research about chinese customs and culture, in a civilisation as old as this one, there had obviously been many changes over the centuries. What had changed I wondered? What has been discarded over time and what has survived and still holds a place in the Chinese culture of today? And so to research. Now didn't that just keep rolling and rolling along. Suffice to say that I found so much information it became an overload. In order to present a piece within the confines of the book structure it was necessary to do a lot of whittling of ideas, honing the project down to something achievable both in terms of dimensions, and information size but also in obtaining the support items required to do justice to the ideals I was trying to present here. The piece for Lisa's book here reflects just a small part of what I have found. And so to the piece.

Here it is, it just needs to be slid onto the book posts.

But wait I hear you say what's this? There's something that resembles a book structure and some red bag thingy, what is going on?
We'll get back to the bag thingy a bit later, first to the pages for Lisa's book. A piece always needs a good introduction, something to capture your attention. Here it's a set of doors, (yes Kim has done doors again! I love them, so effective and dramatic!)
The doors here are based on designs found within the forbidden city. I love all the drama of those huge red doors!
Under the doors...

a bit of an explanation about the piece for the viewer.

Over the page and...

meet Long, the chinese dragon.
Chinese dragons are fequently depicted with a flaming pearl under their chin. The pearls is associated with prosperity, wealth and good luck.

The dragon here is made from layers of fabric paper to give it depth and dimension. The flame surrounding the pearl is made from strands of silk fibres. The background colour, looking quite washed out here from the camera (it is much richer in person) is traditionally the colour retained solely for the use of the Emperor under Chinese custom as is also the figure of the five toed dragon. The background fabrics are all satins on this page resulting in loads of trauma for both the camera and yours truly at picture taking time.

Opposite Long, the key book. The key book is the depository of the rest of the piece for Lisa's book. It is a collection of fabric quilts sewn together as a book structure. Each page highlights one particular aspect of chinese cultural beliefs. All are still relevent to chinese customs and practices today although they have undergone some significant changes over time. Each page of the book has been designed so that each colour and embellishment used here is symbollic of current beliefs and practices. They were chosen to reflect and highlight the main theme of each page. Although mostly of a fabric construction, any paper used in the book structure was sourced from China to reflect the importance of paper in Chinese cultural history but also to maintain the ideals of the books original theme. Each page also contains a piece of literature also chosen to reflect the theme of the page, even if that theme may be a little obscure by western standards. With the exception of the last page, each page has a piece or excerpt of poetry attached. Most of the poetry here is from the Tang dynasty and many of the pieces were written by the master of Tang poetry, Li Bai. Poetry is regarded as the pinnacle of Chinese literature and reached it's height under the Tang dynasty. It is still held as the foremost form of the art today. The last page differs in that the quote here is taken from what is regarded as one of the four classic novels of Chinese literature, but more on that later too. All the beads in the book are made from bone, lotus seeds, wood or gemstones, including freshwater pearls, coral, amethyst, agate, and lepidolite. The fabrics include, silks, satins, cottons, a few man made pieces and chinese silk brocades.

The key book free of it's confines.

Onto the book.

Here's the book as it appears tied into Lisa's book structure

I decided that it would take forever to post all the pics and describe the embellishments in detail so here's a little slide show instead.
(You can click on it to bring it up to full screen size if you like.)

Oh and about that bag at the top.
Well, like I said there is so much background detail attached to this piece I decided to make a scroll with all of that information on it to fill the viewer in on the details. The scroll is made from linen, paper and silk and when finished measured over 2 metres. As it is too large to fit comfortably within the structure I decide to make a matching silk bag to house the scroll. So now the book has a doggy baggy for all the extras, LOL!

This piece was such a pleasure to make and work in. It certainly presented some wonderful challenges too. (Photography was one of them, all that reflective shine from satin and silk!!!) It is quite different from most of the other work so I hope Lisa likes it. Now to package it all up and send it on it's way. Yay Alicia, watch this space! Now it's back to the studio and onto the next pulpy book that's been waiting for me. Oh dear, hopefully I can find my way out of the studio a little faster this time!

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