Sunday, March 9, 2014

Life is good ...

I live a fortunate life ... And I am grateful for it. I get to study in a creative space specifically designed for learning about and creating art. I live in a beautiful part of the countryside, my kids are independent and I can afford decent tequila. Doesn't get much better than that huh? Well, actually, it does! Every now an then an opportunity pops up that makes life seem absolutely golden ... let me explain ...
A few years ago, when I had first started at art school, I started to watch programmes on TV about art - probably because I felt that with a bit of education under my belt I might have a hope of relating to them! I caught a great doco about an Australian artist, David Frazer. I was amazed by his image making, his process, his subject matter and his approach. Really, I was dead impressed! Among other things (painting,drawing etc) David makes meticulous, highly detailed wood engravings and in the doco he travelled back to his small country hometown to make some images around ANZAC Day. The characters and scenery of his town were so familiar to me - as they would be to anyone who grew up in rural Australia. Have a squizz at some of his work  ...

                        Lest We Forget

                     Downward Mobility 2

                           Another Night On Earth by David Frazer

Now bear in mind that wood engravings are made using the end grain of special wood, lemonwood, box etc ... this means that the images are necessarily small for example, "Lest We Forget" is only 15x12cms! That's crazy small right?! Last year I got to see an exhibition of David's work in Adelaide and I was so excited to see them for real rather than on a screen or in a book! There is no colour in these images yet they are some of the most vibrant pictures I have come across. Yeah well, by now it must be obvious that I am a fan!
So what does that have to do with me counting my blessings and feeling pretty damn lucky? Well. On Friday I got to join in a workshop with the man himself! WTF I hear you exclaim!? Yup it's true. Accompanied by his lovely partner Sarah, Mr Frazer spent the day at AC Arts showing us how to make a wood engraving. IT. WAS. AWESOME. Lookee Lookee ...

David is showing Lucy ( how to put some finishing touches on her block ( that is David's lovely Sarah in the green top working hard on her own engraving)

Intense huh?! David however made it look easy!

These are the clever hands of my friends, Mei Sheong-Wong ( another talented artist!), working on her block.

This is my little block inked up and ready to print.

My first ever wood engraving - I reckon I have a way to go but wow - I learned a lot!

I managed a small edition. All the students got to hang there work in the gallery that is hosting a show of David's work along with students from last years workshop. There was a time when I would have been too doubtful of my ability to join in such a workshop but I am so happy that I did. Given the "quality" of my print I clearly won't be giving up the jewellery making any time soon but it all adds to the tapestry right? . Meeting and being tutored by an artist you admire is a heady experience indeed. Yup, life is good!


Gayle said...

So much detail and texture in such a small space. Amazing!! I am impressed with your first etching...but not suprised, you have mad skills! Yes, you have a great life.....lucky?....I think rather you work at making your life great.....I applaude you!!

Pam said...

Definitely NOTHING wrong with the quality in that block of yours Sue! So loving those chick(adee)s (?) Excellent work indeed.
How fabulous for you to get to share that time with, and be taught by someone you've admired for so long! Very exciting for you.
I'm not surprised you're thinking that life is grand!! ♥

Ms Kath Pathwalker said...

Wow! times-a-million!