Sunday, January 17, 2010

In the Rockpools at Low Tide

The form, shape and colour of this algae is just exquisite - inspiration for a future design and print.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

On a Roll

Sometimes it just all comes together.

The rough drawing

The stencil

The printing


And the print. This is the best bit - seeing the result.

Printing using stencils is very forgiving - you can make mistakes in cutting, and get away with it. Just adds to the character of the final result.

And from this this (now in my online shop)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Casuarina Moods

These graceful beauties with their distinctive foliage are probably Casuarina equisetifolia or Beach She-Oak, a coastal species widely distributed through Australasia, southeast Asia, and islands of the western Pacific. The smell of the crushed needles and the sound of the wind through those trees brings back memories of growing up in coastal south east Queensland. I remember we used them as a substitute for Christmas trees. Now I am trying capture some of this essence as a screenprint. Not easy.

The name has an interesting derivation -  apparently derived from Malay Kasuari  referring to the similarity between the drooping foliage and the feathers of the cassowary. It was collected by Joseph Banks during Captain James Cook's first voyage across the Pacific in the Endeavour, 1768-1771and sketched by natural history artist Sydney Parkinson. I have just discovered this website which has everything you ever wanted to know about Sydney Parkinson, including links to the Museum of Natural History in London which holds the Endeavour botanical illustrations collection. This website is amazing and you can even search the database of the collection online and see Parkinson's original water colour  from the Society Is. (1769), and his others as well.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Back to the Tropics

First print for 2010 - the Fan Palm (Licuala ramsayi)
I love how the different texture of the fabrics influences the print.

This is a tree of lowland wet tropics (rainforest) now under threat from land clearing. The Licuala Fan Palm walk at Mission Beach has some spectacular examples which hopefully expose lots of visitors to the beauty of this palm and help its preservation (photo from

Printing in my Derek of New Zealand (!) mad sheep Christmas present apron - thanks Judith Smiley