Monday, August 29, 2016

Little things of life on a tea bag....

Having a long time obsession with making art with tea bags ( see previous posts September 2014 including exhibition invitation) and with new inspiration from tea bag artist Ruby Silvious , I started a very humble tea bag drawing project while on a break last month in Townsville, North Queensland,
"Humble" is an apt description - I had a black felt tipped marker and five coloured paint markers and six dried used tea bags as my materials - all one needs for an 11 day holiday. As this wasn't really a sightseeing holiday to somewhere exotic, and more of a family visit, I recorded the minutiae - some of the trivialities which create memories.  These funny little drawings  were a few minutes each day of quiet reflection and single focus - no pressure, no deep meaning, no attempt at  artistry. Even now, a month after, just leafing through the little tea bag pages has a calming effect - just appreciating the little things in life.
top row l-r : drinks at the airport,poinciana tree in winter, roast chicken dinner
middle row l-r : birds in a tree, shopping at Renegade Handmade, Perc Tucker art gallery exhibition
bottom row l-r: birthday cake, frame for embroidery, new walker for my mum 
top - close up of cover
bottom l-r : clouds ; Burdekin Dam 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Quirky Characters

I often wonder if perhaps I am  becoming a little more eccentric. When the last fortnight's Tag Tuesday themes were announced - Masculine and Feminine - my mind wandered all over the themes until I settled on using some cardboard templates I  already had and with scissors, glue, a couple of abandoned book pages and some magazine and stock images, I came up with these "Quirky Characters". I need to mention that the book page backgrounds were from a book of literary criticism, with the masculine ( apologies to Salvador Dali) about  Shakespeare's Richard III and the feminine background came from a page about the work of Jane Austen. Quirky, but fun!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Arty Places #16 :Renegade Handmade

On a recent visit to my home town, Townsville in North Queensland, I was really happy and super impressed to discover an arty place I hadn't heard of before...Renegade Handmade.  I visited this delightful  "handmade"  gift shop on a Saturday morning. It was  23 July 2016 - a warm day for Winter. The arcade was abuzz with people indulging in coffee and snacks, shopping at the fresh food market  and browsing and  enjoying  the various trendy and bespoke shops in the arcade.

This scene was hardly the Townsville of my childhood and I am embarrassed to admit  that it surprised me that the atmosphere was so cosmopolitan , contemporary and "with-it".

I applaud Renegade Handmade for its vision for both the shop and the markets - to offer "opportunities for makers to mix with shoppers in an environment that is supportive and nurturing of handmade."  That nurturing support was obvious - the art was well displayed, presented with style and respect. 

 I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to browse leisurely amongst the varied work of many artists and artisans and listening to the murmurs of delight and discovery by others doing the same as they happened upon a special treasure which appealed.   The work was of a high standard and quite a few items were exceptional because of an unusual  or unexpected  design.  Assistance was always nearby and readily attentive when asked for, when a collector like my sister sought specific items.

Of course, both my sister and I made purchases. Neither of us has ever needed an excuse to "buy" something we don't really need,  and who can resist the temptation  here to buy and support local "handmade" and know that whatever you buy is unique!  We were both so impressed with the packaging, too!
I really recommend a visit  the Renegade Handmade Gift Shop if you visit or reside in Townsville or check out their Facebook page.  Make sure you have a few hours to spare because you will also want to look around The Katz Alley ( vintage and rockabilly) and Otto's Food Market( fresh produce, handmade bread and pies and brewed coffee)  all in the same shopping arcade - Warrina Shopping Centre, Illuka Street, Currajong . If you are feeling even more energetic, try ice skating  in the tropics, in the same complex or if  you just want to chill out, take in a movie in the nearby cinema.   

The last words about Renegade Handmade belong to the creative founder  in this short video following.