Friday, October 23, 2009


Travel Stomach, mixed media , by Clay Ketter.

If only walls could talk ...... Well, some of them do, especially when artists capture the essence of these beautiful old walls, transforming something so mundane into works of art.

Photograph by Clay Ketter

Photograph by Clay Ketter

Gretchen Papka was captivated by the weathered walls she discovered during her travels in Italy.

Select Metal No.III. Mixed media, photo, encaustics, oils on panel. Gretchen Papka

"My work is inspired by bold architecture, textured walls, utilitarian objects and beauty. Each of these is revealed and celebrated in layers of beeswax, resin and color while subtle details are mysteriously hidden. " - Gretchen Papka

Select Metal No 6. Mixed media - photo, encaustics, oils on panel. Gretchen Papka

Wallwork - No I. Encaustic, paper, oil pigments with found materials on wood panel. Gretchen Papka.

Laurie Ann Pearsall "collects images, objects and stories that relate to change over time, more specifically, that relate to how people create a home, both metaphorically and figuratively speaking. My work depicts an intuitive interaction between these collections and my state of mind and spirit at a given moment.I begin with a gathering of concrete visual references: photographs of crumbling or dismantled homes, rusted remnants of cast-off objects from construction sites; flattened boxes and containers. These things are the imprint of a vacated dwelling, the debris of daily living. Like pieces of evidence whispering, “ I was here”, I use these images and materials as my foundation to create responses to my own search for home."

Reforms III. Mixed Media by Laurie Ann Pearsall

The piece above needs to be seen enlarged to appreciate it. Go to Lauries website here

Photograph by Margaret Ryall

Margaret Ryall has been photographing the layers of history in torn wallpaper since 2006. Her Remnants series formed a solo show last May and can be seen here.
"I think the best thing about my wallpaper photos is the natural layers that are created by tearing back to the final layer of board. It is so much like looking back through time."
Photo by Miquel Bohigas Costabella
On Flickr I found the most wonderful photographs of walls with a history. Those by Miquel Bohigas Costabella are stunning.

Scarred, scratched, spattered, speckled and stained. Peeling, flaking, gouged, crumbling and collapsing.
Miquel Bohigas Costabella

Miquel Bohigas Costabella

There are 16,000 Flickr Groups with walls in the title. Scrawls on Walls, Talking to a Brick Wall, Peeled and Patched Walls, Paper Wall, Up against a Wall, Dirty Walls, Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Plants on Walls. A feast for the eyes of the wall obsessed. It's worth visiting Pixmaniaque's Flickr sets, here,

Monday, October 19, 2009


Our 5 day trip to Kosi Bay was phenomenal! We arrived late Wednesday afternoon, cresting the hill overlooking one of four lakes which comprise the Kosi Bay lake system. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a World Heritage Site of breathtaking beauty, home of the Tsonga as well as a variety of wildlife including crocodile, hippo and Vervet monkey.

Early morning visitor (Vervet Monkey)

Ahead of us snaked mazes of fish traps constructed by the locals to sustain their community.

To me they looked like rambling Fibre Sculptures or Land Art.....exotic, tactile and inspiring.

We stayed in tiny wooden bungalows within the forest overlooking the sea. It is a high risk malaria area so the windows and doors are covered in mesh. (A great relief to me because I knew all the other creepy crawlies that chirped all night long could not get in).

I walked for miles until my calves ached and at one stage 3 of us were yakking so much that we inadvertently crossed the border from KwaZulu Natal into Mozambique much to the consternation of our men (fishing a few miles away). They visualized having to cut their holiday short to rescue 3 jibbering women from a Mozambique jail. Not a pleasant prospect at all!

The holiday seemed to be custom-made for me. Each couple took turns preparing meals so the rest of the group could relax without worrying whether they were shirking since their turn would come later. 

For the first 3 days the beach was littered in shells, broken coral and hundreds of jelly fish the size of dinner plates. When the wind changed everything vanished and the beaches looked scrubbed .... pristine clean.

I enjoyed going off on my own, feeling relatively safe, pottering in the rocks.......

collecting shells.......

...... sitting on the dunes, reflecting on life, watching children play in the ocean....
....and returning to camp feeling replenished.

Nobody took umbrage if one person slipped away. In fact everyone relished a little alone time and when we all got together for a meal or walk there was sidesplitting laughter and a sense of goodwill throughout the holiday.

On the long trip home we stopped to take photographs......

looked at arts and crafts.........

....and bought pineapples, avocados and wood carvings from road side vendors.

My only complaint was that it was too short. Aah well maybe next time ....

Friday, October 9, 2009


Particles of Light, etching by Fiona Watson

"It is the child that sees the primordial secret in Nature and it is the child of ourselves we return to. The child within us is simple and daring enough to live the Secret." - Lao-Tzu

Fiona Watson is certainly living the Secret. She gathers nature's treasures and creates still life compositions which she photographs. These compositions are the most beautiful zen-like works of art.

In Fiona's artists statement she says, "The patterns, rythms, forms and colours of nature in a microscopic and macroscopic sense have always fascinated me. This initially led to studying Biological Sciences at Leicester University. After several years of working for various medical journals, I eventually studied printmaking at the Glasgow Print Studio - etching copper and steel plates with acids turned out to be the perfect blend of science and art. As a complete contrast and foil to messy printmaking, I also work extensively in digital printmaking."

Fiona sums up her journey to becoming an artist with a quote from Ben Okri. “We plan our lives according to a dream that came to us in our childhood, and we find that life alters our plans. And yet, at the end, from a rare height, we also see that our dream was our fate. It's just that providence had other ideas as to how we would get there. Destiny plans a different route, or turns the dream around, as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream in ways we couldn't have expected.”

See Fiona's work here, here and here.

Take a look at the "Playing with the Pieces" series. Fiona writes that they are "sort of visual exercises .... like piano scales ... before I start work."

Last but not least, feast your eyes on the stunning "Unwritten Book" series. Someone ought to write a poem about it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Untitled (detail ) , fabric, wood, rust, 132 x 288 x 8 inches by Leonardo Drew

Discovering the imposing work of Leonardo Drew was a turning point for me. I couldn't believe what I was seeing .....

Huge wall mounted tableaux of stacked boxes, nooks and crannies stuffed with found objects ...... rusted debris, papers, fabric, discarded wood and domestic and industrial trash.

Installation by Leonardo Drew

In a way Leonardo Drew gave me permission to continue collecting junk. Afterall, collecting and making art can go hand in hand. I had already started creating my niche carvings but I was finicky about the objects I chose to put in them..... and paying through the snout for these objects too, I might add. Since discovering Leonardo's work the more junkier junk is creeping into my art and I do like it!

Detail of one of my niche carvings.

"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." - Thomas Edison

Assemblages by Romanowski

Swiss-born artist, Romanowski certainly knows how to fill his assemblage boxes with prime found objects. I imagine he spends many a blissful hour hunting the streets of San Francisco or there abouts. His work can be seen at Fabric8 Gallery, San Francisco. Click here and scroll to the bottom to see the rest of Roman's work on this exhibition. 

Turntable, assemblage by Romanowski

There are a few more nooks and crannies to explore at Musing Relics where Lynne Parks features her work......

Assemblage by Lynne Parks

"I am drawn to the discarded, forgotten, and obsolete which are by no means inert. I collect fragments found in the marginal spaces of alleys and abandoned buildings, trash heaps and flea market bins."

"As a child, I explored the unfamiliar and forgotten objects cluttered in my parents' drawers. Many afternoon hours were spent guessing at their practical usage, often as not imagining unlikely ones and imbuing them with life. The fountain pen nibs, defunct cigarette lighters, sewing machine parts and broken jewelry were my "plastic animals." My father's horological tools were especially evocative, later I was entranced with his beautiful landscape designs. My brother Bob and I read mythology together and I appropriated the notion of composite beasts." - Lynne Parks

I love Lynnes statement. It reminds me of my own childhood when squirreling found objects took up most of my day. The assemblage (below) by Kecia looks much like the boxes of treasures I kept in my "museum".....hoping that one day Gerald Durrell would stop by and be very impressed.

Typesetting Nature Box by Kecia Frazer Deveney at Lemoncholy

"We are left with objects that have a hollowness that we can fill with our own wonder and fantasy." - Thomas Moore

Shadow Box, lithograph by Clayton Thiel

Last but not least, little nooks with handmade treasures within.

White Pebble, (Ceramic) by Novie Trump

The Waiting by Novie Trump.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Collage by Daily Poetics on Flickr

There are many things that interest me at the moment. I feel a bit like a bee darting from flower to flower, searching and assimilating. Not that I wish to include these ideas in my own art at this stage or even try new mediums ..... I'm just enjoying the mulling over and wallowing in all the amazing art that I'm finding, both in books and on the internet. At the moment I'm drawn to art incorporating handwriting, calligraphy, lettering, text and type.

Collage by Daily Poetics on Flickr

Daily Poetics has created the most wonderful series of "personal collages, compositions or gatherings, driven by inspirations or wonder and expressed in the spirit of meditation or play ..."

There must be over 200 of them to look at here.

Beautifull photographs by Giovanni Sesia, here.

Ophelia by Dolan Geiman, here.

Silence by John McQueen (spruce bark, cord and plastic rivets), at Jane Sauer Gallery

Paper Cut Letters by Annie Vought, here.

My Ethiopia by Wosene Kosrof

In the paintings of Wosene Kosrof, "the calligraphic forms of Amharic are broken apart, abstracted, and reconfigured to create a new visual language that draws upon the artist's Ethiopian heritage while incorporating his experiences as an expatriate living in the United States."

Wood-type, photograph by Susan Lomuto

Susan Lomuto is the creator of the excellent blog, Daily Art Muse.
Detail from Tabula Rasa , a book covered in porcelain clay and wax, by Jessica Drenk.

Ceramics by Connie Norman

If you enjoy art incorporating script, calligraphy etc, you will love tackad a blog overflowing with art and links.