Saturday, July 30, 2011

Buried Treasure

Here we are again for another round in Seth Apter's Buried Treasure experience and one I have enjoyed every year. It does have it's problems, for example picking one post that I felt a connection with that I hope you all enjoy again as well, but also the much needed butt therapy that derives from the hours spent in viewing all the posts of the participants, LOL!

Butt seriously...

here we go again...

Welcome to...

and my contribution

I hope you enjoy...

'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!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Beginning of the End. -Pulp Redux, Alicia's book, the 'Museum of Forgotten Things".

I have been deep in the darkest depths of the studio for some time now finalising the piece for Alicia's book, "The museum of forgotten things'. Suffice to say I think the rest of the Pulp Redux collaborator's probably think I have forgotten all about it! Not true dear ones! It has taken a long time to finalise this piece. It is quite large and required such a lot of detail. Of course if you have jumped over from the Pulp Redux blog you will know all about the before part of the story. If you haven't here's a quick wrap up for you...

The main charachter is Hester who has recently died. She found out her husband was having an affair years ago and murdered him in an arson incident. After the murder Hester finds she is pregnant to her deceased husband and gives birth to a son, Thomas who dies in infancy. After this Hester embarks on an affair with Hans, the affair peters out and Hester has a child, Charlotte whom she gives up thinking she will have a better life this way.
There you are that's the short version, LOL! Breathe!!! LOL!

Okay so now you are up to speed. The question is Kim, what are you going to do to wrap up this story?

(Good question by the way!)

It seems to me that the tragedies here are compounding throughout as each participant's pieces unfold.

Secrets by their very nature eat away at us.
We are consumed by them, both in wanting to know them, then being horrified by that knowledge at the same time.

But, in the end, the thrill of the secret is in the sharing.

Wise words indeed.

And so I have created the book of secrets.

Able to stand on it's own as a piece but also well able to join with the rest of the participants pieces here, a book structure.

(What can I say, I love books!)

Some sneaky peeks from the inside.

Ladies white lace gloves. What do they keep hidden?

A tragic tale of a family doomed by the guilt and secrets that they keep.

But what happened to everyone, I hear you ask? Hester, and the child Charlotte.

As for the tale, well as you peruse the texture images from the piece I will tell you a little about it.

You see Hester gave up the child to her younger sister Iva who raised her as her own, but renamed the child Anna. (Remember that Hester was survived by her sister and a niece Anna?)

But of course it all went horribly wrong.

Anna (Charlotte) grows up well loved and happy, never suspecting her aunt is her mother and her mother is really her aunt.

She follows the family tradition and becomes a seamstress.

Meets a wonderfully handsome young man and they marry.

They have a child, Anne, but soon after Charlotte's husband is killed in the first world war.

Life continues but Hester becomes consumed in her later life by what will later be revealed as guilt and rage, but for the present is thought to be old age memory loss.

On Hesters death, Anna, (Charlotte) and Iva are clearing out Hester's papers and Hester's secrets are revealed.

And so...

Anna, or Charlotte as she now discovers herself to be, is enraged by the secrecy. Unable to come to terms with the lies and deceit she takes her own life, drowning herself in a local river. Filled with grief, Iva confesses all to Anne who is ignorant of the whole mess. Saddened by the loss of her mother through suicide and the stunning news of Hester's secrets and her murder of Richard, Anne decides to leave and start her life anew. Somewhere where she can forget all the pain and secretive lies of the past. She constructs the book of secrets and donates all the pieces of the puzzle to the Museum of Forgotten Things, finding in the museum's title an apt place to lay to rest the pieces of the lives she is leaving behind.

And there it is folks. I should say that the piece here is part of an art quilt. Measuring 34" x 22" in size the piece detaches completely from the book base if preferred and can be hung complete on a wall as is if Alicia would like to. Now I guess you can all see why it has taken so long to complete. Constructed of three layers of cloth and a mix of both machine and hand stitching it has been a mammoth task to finish in any sort of reasonable timetable, but here it is complete at last, my needle population decimated as I have literally worn out about 8 handsewing needles in it's construction, yikes!

I would love to show you it all in detail of course but that's all you get for now. All the last pieces of the Pulp Redux collaboration will be shown together in an online exhibition in the near future. We will of course give you those details later as they become available and you will be able to view all the last pieces of each book in full at that time.
But for now that's it for the museum of forgotten things.

I hope Alicia enjoys the piece. It will be winging it's way home in the next week dear one!

I should add here that this collaboration has been an absolute joy. For me the prurpose of joining in was to both better aquaint myself with each of the participants, each and everyone of which I was already a fan of their work, and also to push myself. To tackle new mediums, ideas and make them work within the limitations of the structures provided. To boldly go where I had never been before...

Okay I digress, but you get the picture.

I must say the collaboration has in everyway lived up to those original aims and expectations. I have indeed pushed myself way... way, out of my comfort zone. Had to tackle completely new ideas to integrate a piece or problem solve the how the heck am I going to get that idea over thought. I would strongly recommend the process to anyone. Go into it with your eyes open. It will be harder and challenge you more than you ever thought, but the rewards...


Would I leap in again, especially so soon after just completing this one... you betcha!

In a heartbeat.

The bonds of friendship I have gained, and the insight into my own artistic abilities, creativity and concepts have been the singularly most insightful process I have ever had the priviledge to be a part of. Yup, as I said ... in a heatbeat. Thank you girls for the bestest and most creative fun ever. Mwah!

Soon there will be more exciting things to show you as I delve into some projects which have had to take a backward step in recent months.
Stay tuned.
Also don't forget to visit Seth's blog, The Altered Page for all the latest goss from his new editions of the pulse, which I am happy to say I have again taken part in. It is such fun to find out what everyone is up to, thinking, participating in. I love interactive sites like his and he does such a colossal amount of work to collate it all and get it out there to everyone. If you haven't popped in to join in the fun, where have you been?

That's it. I'm off! See you all again soon with more fun and games!
(Well, at least the latest doings here anyway)!

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

An Absolutely Shameless Plug!

Since my last post I'm afraid I fell immediately into the firm grip of the local dreaded lurgy (commonly referred to these days as flu!). At last I have regained some temporary control of my throat and lungs again and have reduced my coughing to some sort of nightime annoying tickle and am able to at least function in some sort of semi coherent way approaching normal again, YAHOO! But enough about my health issues and onto the arty news!

I'm sure many of you know that the fabulously hardworking Alicia Caudle over at the Altered Bits site has released her first edition of the Altered Bits zine as a print issue! Oh hooray! While I love downloads for their space saving and green tree preservation soft and fuzzies, I am the first to admit there is nothing more mystical for me than the slow drooling over a real page turning experience. It's probably the reason I love book arts so much. Can't resist the touch of the page or an intimate session with something textural either for that matter. While art is forever a feast for the eyes, the more senses I can engage at any one time in an artistic experience, the better I like it! Having said that smello-vision might have me rethinking about some experiences, but I digress!

I have two submissions in this edition of the zine. Below is my piece in the Notorious section entitled
'Never Dull'.
The piece is a 8" x 10"mixed media collage mounted on a wrapped canvas featuring the rather infamous Bonnie and Clyde.

The second submission was for the theme -Letters and Symbols, and is also a mixed media collage although this piece is mounted on a
9 1/2" x 11 1/2"book cover.

Titled 'In Praise of Writing' the piece is a reflection of the Chinese peoples contributions to human society with the invention of both paper and writing. The central symbol is a fragment from a silk and paper scroll and is the character for 'water' or 'river' and is symbolic of the ink used to produce writing.

(Both pieces are available for sale. Feel free to email me for details or leave a comment here and I will get back to you.)

While that covers my own submissions I would strongly recommend that you consider purchasing this zine in either the downloadable or hard copy print edition. Neither will break the bank or your hip pocket to purchase and in return a fabulous feast of arty offerings will be yours to pour over for eternity.

Including 21 artists who offer an array of styles and pieces and 46 drool worthy pages, there is bound to be something that sparks off your own creative senses.

So what are you waiting for.
Click the picture above now and it will whisk you off to the dear Alicia's page where you can order your own drool worthy edition!

As for myself I will be back in the very near future with some Pulp updates for you.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Where does your inspiration come from?

Confessions of a blog hopper!

Right now, right here I will confess all!

I am a blog hopper!

Yes, yes...I am!

I admit to you all that I spend WAY more time than I should in looking!

Truthfully now, I think this probably counts as some sort of major addiction. I can visualise a future in which there will be institutions set up for the rehabilitation of many like minded souls who will require years of therapy in able to live more normal (read that as less addicted) lives, and physiotherapy sessions a plenty aimed at the reduction of flat bottomed butts! This is bound to be a major by-product of blog addiction in the future.


I must say if you are seeking inspiration, then, this is certainly a place where you will find it.

(It is also damn handy to be able to get up and attend to the chores and distractions of life as required then flit back again later for the next drool session as time permits!)

I admit to perusing all manner of others blog types.

I can frequently be found jumping from artist's blogs to decorating blogs, and store blogs etc.
Yes. I do not snobbishly leave out any particular type of blog. In this I am a model of tolerance for all!

In truth though I am looking for inspiration.

The trick is to stop looking at the items as objects and to start to look at them more closely.
Blur the lines and discover.
What is it that appeals to me?

If you are seeking inspiration take a closer look with your artists eyes not your usual 'scanning and immediately passing over it without really seeing it' eyes.

Look at the colours... the hues, shading, tone.

Look at the textures, how they work off each other to form the whole.

Line, form, it's all there. What do you see?

Here's what caught my eye from the world of architecture.

(Disclaimer- The following pics are all from my inspiration files and very naughtily I forgot to list their source, which I would normally do.
Obviously this day I was somewhat distracted but at least had the good sense to file the pics.
So if these came from your blog, let me know and I will credit you as the source, and thank you for the wonderful inspiration!)

A beautiful vaulted ceiling. The sinewness (is that a word???) of the lines caught my eye and the colour shading and depth.


How can I transfer this to my art?

I'm in love with the texture of the stone, the lines formed by the design of the groined vault.

The cut and smooth set against the rough hewn blocks.

I would love to walk through here and touch the beauty of the stone and hear my footsteps echo.

And who can resist a staircase, winding away out of sight to...


And then there's this ...

the 'piece de resistance'...

Wow! Now that's a staircase!

No way I'm walking down that in my high heels, I'm putting mine on at the bottom, LOL!

(The woman in me is saying I would hate to clean that!)

I'm loving the curved lines.

So there. Flat bottomed people unite!

Confess your sins.

Where do you go to find your inspiration?

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Texture Peeks

I know it's a bit quiet over here at Wandering Heart Studios but there is lots happening.
Of course you know I can't tell you about it yet so...

until then enjoy some texture from the studio.

Perhaps some white...

and some not quite white!

(and no this isn't a picture of my skin!!!)

Texture from sneaky peeks...

and the imprint of a leaf in hand made paper.

Hope your day's a textural one!
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Learn How You Really See Color!

Ever wondered how you really see colour? We all have our own perception of colour. Some of us view certain colours as more red or blue, or maybe yellows get you confused! Maybe it's just certain hues that get your knickers in a knot!

Ever wanted to try to work out exactly where your colour perception is at? Try this for a little fun. It only takes 5 minutes and is relatively pain free, LOL!
Here's a pic of the test.
See easy, just arrange the squares in order.

and here's how mine turned out.

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Not too bad really. I can live without the need to be perfect!

Why don't you give it a spin.

You never know, maybe you have perfect colour perception!
Good luck!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Things are gettin' hairy!

Christmas and New Year...



and then...

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Now I know you have all heard about the rain in Oz, especially in Queensland where I live. I was talking to Cat, from La Dolce Vita the other day. She was asking if we had had any of the awful flooding here where I am and I answered that most of the serious rainfall has been north of where we live and things are wet here but pretty good, no real flood damages in our area, but after today there might be a bit of a reassessment.

The heavens opened here today...

just for a few hours we had some serious, and I do mean, SERIOUS rain.

Looking out my front windows the yard suddenly became this...

Then this when I opened my front door...

In the space of 15 minutes the front door mat had sailed away down the river that had begun to flow from the front, around the side of the house and into the pool in the backyard.

Do, do, do, lookin out my backdoor!
(Channelling some Credence for you all, LOL)

Don't know if you can see it but it was bucketing, even for subtropical us!

Oh, No, gotta go!
Down tools and every man/girl/there's only me here, gulp, to the rescue the water is risin real quick folks!

2 hours of, digging trenches for drainage, siphoning off the pool of 6 inches of water and setting up some ag pipes to carry away excess water and I finally got to go inside again.

No-one home but me, and thank goodness I was!

The view over my back fence...

We have lots of native bush and parkland around us here but over the backfence which is about five feet lower than the yard this is the stream running through the land now! I think the local bush turkeys have lost their nests!

Thank heavens I managed to save everything and the weather has eased back to mere normal rainfall instead of torrential bucketing!

This is the forecast for us until approximately mid April!

The thump was my jaw hitting the ground today when I was told the long distance forecast.

In need of some middle ground here I think.

Anyway's can't let you all go without leaving you with some art to look at.

The last of the journal pages for 2010.

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Look into my eyes...

Told you things were gettin' hairy, LOL!

Looking for a way out?

Hope your 2011 is fabulous!

So what are you up to?

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