We’ve been celebrating heroes this month at our LibraryPlus. As many of you know, I love to scrapbook – paper, scissors and glue for adults. I decided to make up a ANZAC / Heroes scrapbooking kit for our customers to try as part of our ANZAC events. Lats week a few ladies gave it a try at Patea and tomorrow they’ll be doing the same in Waverley. We had a wide range of ages and abilities in Patea that morning and they all did so well; going home with a finished page they could be proud of.
This is the basic layout they made. Each brought along a photo for us to copy for them, and we handed them a kit with a page of step by step instructions. The packs are random colours, but all pre-coordinated so they just have to put it all together. This is my Dad, in 1945, as a young man in the Navy.
This year I entered Dale Copeland’s International Collage Exchange after a break for a couple of years. You send off collages, Dale does a huge amount of work to swap them round, and you get a package of collages back (bit more to it than that, but anyway…). I opened my package, looked at one of the collages, and went “Oh my god, I don’t believe it!”. I was 99% sure straight away that the work in front of me had been done by Carol Staub, an artist whose work I have admired for years. And I was right! So excited. So grateful. The image below is not the one I received, it’s the one that was for sale on the Virtual Tart site, but shows the style of work.
Just. So. Happy.
Last night was one of those nights where all I wanted to do was paint – not sleep, work, or whatever – just create something. Turns out it was the full moon. Along with many other creatives, I suffer from “full-moon-itis”! About 10pm I gave in and opened a packet of A4 size Hahnemuhle watercolour paper. The 300gsm is heavy enough that I can work on it without needing to stretch it; perfect for doing mixed media at my desk, and it’s a lovely surface to work on.
I have done a lot of works inspired by the old Patea Freezing Works over the last few years, and since going to Italy in 2010 I’ve also done a lot of works that involve poppies. Last night I combined the two and depicted the freezing works site regenerating, with poppies growing where the land has been disturbed, just like in Cassino, Italy. I kept one derelict building at the far right, and a few ‘ghost’ buildings along the horizon, where they still exist in my memory. I used Golden airbrush acrylics, a super fine Sharpie pen, Faber Castell aquarelle sticks and Caran D’Ache Neocolors, then added text in Photoshop.
I’ve been doing the Crusades off and on for years now. Michelle has enriched our lives in so many ways; thank you so much. The sense of community is huge. Michelle’s taking a well earned break. So this is my final Crusades entry for a while – the writing says it all for me. By the way, the challenge was to “show restraint” – to leave some space and let the work breath.