Showing posts from 2020

The shell tree ...

Todaywas one of the most beautiful winter's day here in southern Tasmania. Just south of the Bay is the awesome Fossil Cove. David & I took advantage of the windless sunny morning to climb the depths of the rivulet crevice to the bottom thinking all the while what goes down must come up. Phew. It was a trek down, down, down but worth every sore muscle now we're home and relaxing.

The most beautiful surprise was the shell tree.  Wanting to do a little beach fossicking one is not allowed to take a single pebble, shell rock or flower away from the conservation area.  With the Cove coming into view as I walked the last leg of the track in, I wondered what the beautiful white flowers were growing down there at this time of year. "Shells" they were, yes shells. So David and I added our own shells to the trees. It was strangely a special treat. So we came out with nothing but sweet memories of the shell trees.

Enjoy these photos from our day!

UTAS Module One: done and dusted.

The title of my first module in the UTAS Wellbeing Toolkit unit I am undertaking is called:
Human Behaviour in Extreme Environments: stress, distress & resilience
I found the module to be extremely interesting. I passed the quiz section and will now await the essay assessment. I thought in the meantime I would share with you a poem I wrote as one of the outcomes to this learning environment on this particular module. It's called When earth becomes sick.

My next module is The History of Public Health: epidemics and social change. Can't wait!


A   N O T E   O F   T H A N K S

I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to the
Sidney Myer Fund & the Myer Foundation for administering a series of grants on behalf of the following
Participating Philanthropists and Philanthropic Entities:

Andrew Myer AM & Kerry Gardner AM
Ann & Warwick Johnson
Berwyn Roberts & Jennifer Mackenzie
Carrillo Gantner AC and Ziyin Gantner
Creative Partnerships Australia
Darin Cooper Foundation
Day Family Foundation
Doc Ross Foundation
FWH Foundation
Inner North Community Foundation
James and Diana Ramsay Foundation
Kate and Stephen Shelmerdine Family Foundation
Kathryn Fagg AO
Kim Williams AM
Lindisfarne Foundation
Mandy and Edward Yencken & Family
Mark and Louise Nelson
Minderoo Foundation
Nunn Dimos Foundation
Robert Bishop
Philanthropy Australia
Sarah Myer and Baillieu Myer AC
Sidney Myer Fund
Simon Mordant AM and Catriona Mordant AM
Spinifex Trust
Tim Fairfax AC
The Skrzynski Family Sky Foundation
Vallejo Gantner
Yulgilbar Foundation

I have gratefully received a…

A happy day - debt repaid

How lovely to have made the final payment on our beautiful new townhouse. Now a few years of upping the Superannuation and we should be okay in retirement. Speaking of which, my plan is to continue as an artist messing about in the studio making & creating things.


My friend from New Jersey Linda Lanza invited me to join her class to undertake a writing adventure. Linda started the course at the outbreak of the coronavirus in the USA to help friends navigate a path through the virus lockdowns. I would like to keep a record of what I wrote during those sessions. I will also jot down the a number of words that have been floating around during our sessions:
ONE-LINERS pick one leaf not the whole forest
what did the writing tell you
we are still in the boat
the dependable colours of old friends
the nurturing that is love
I see many things on the back of my eyelids
hate bites, joy sings
death divides, memory clings

swept away two words seen on a River Derwent walk in March 2020
WORDS caught
nourishment, food, friends, mother, father, freedom, acceptance, love, peace, comfort, space, freedom, burn tear, dissolve, share, save, raw, write, spring, seeds, courage, see, say, feel, thing, vessel, reflection, relief,  pause, peach, recess…

Leave your mark

A wonderful video of my colleague Monica Dengo came across my desk this morning. I have thoroughly enjoyed this interview with our highly respected colleague Monica. The essence of her words are informative, intelligent and knowledgeable about the subject of handwriting, so primal to us all and how handwriting manifest itself so importantly to our creative existence.
This is the best interview I have seen that has resonated deeply within me. And that’s a great thing, what I need right now. Not, I think because we are in the mids of the covid-19 but rather because I am personally in the midst of change within myself. Those can be discussed at a later time as I'd love for you to grab a beverage of your choice, calligrapher or not as it pertains to us all and spent this half hour watching Monica talk about handwriting, materials, community, plastic, working with our hands and our her own art:  click here for artist Monica Dengo

How to make Origami Box

Here is a little video I created a couple of weeks ago just to test the quality of my filming ability, my video camera, clarity, accessibility and quality. I am also testing the new format of my blog. Right now there is plenty of time to simply mess about in the studio - thanks to COVID-19. Enjoy!

At Potters Field ...

A Potter's Field is known in historical terms as a place of burial for the poor and the unclaimed. Here is a potter's field in New York today. Hart Island, the Bronx.

Memory Markers, Perth Western Australia - redux

A few years ago I posted this fabulous sculpture here on my blog. I am very pleased to tell you that both the Artist Anne Neil and the Historian Barbara Dundas have given me more information regarding this amazing work. With their permission I share it with you now. I thank Barbara Dundas for initiating contact with me so I can share with you the true and historical meaning behind the work.

And just to quote from Barbara:"The markers acknowledge the physical and social changes and less obvious, but equally important, the need for the written word to help support and preserve those oral traditions of the First Nation people."

This art work Nibs - Memory Markers was completed by Artist Anne Neil and her team Blackwell Landscape Architects and Historian Barbara Dundas in 2005. The artwork is comprised of 5 dipping pen nibs that stand 3.5m high with blue up-lights
To understand the art work one has to consider the competition brief from the Perth City Council. The art work was to l…

Dishes & fishes

Just a follow up on the dishes & fishes. Here they are in all their glazed & fired glory. The fishes are pen rests just in case you didn't notice. Five of us gathered on International Women's Day for a celebration in clay. Thank you wonderful friend Carolyn Canty!

Today's brief message.

A brief message:

Well that didn't go very well. I tried the Glover, I tried to sell a good work here but to no avail on either. Not to worry, we are well and that's the important thing. I am in the studio working and David is practicing for some small (three peeps) ensembles and interviews to be recorded by the TSO during the covid-19. Marvellous!

Though here in Australia we do not have a total lockdown we, like so many others, are staying at home only to go out to the market and the pharmacy as short five minute walk for both. We check on our neighbours and we practice social distancing.

I feel a bit more positive, more than I have over the past few days. Let's hope that continues.

Covid-19 sucks!


Watercolour painting: 300gsm Arches cold press H 83cm x W 57cm
Cost: $800 AUD
I created this work as a response to the Australia bushfires earlier this year. The colours are of course more rich and sumptuous as appears here. The texture is almost tactile.
If you are interested please contact me.

Tasmania closes borders

Tasmanian Mercury Newspaper 20th March 2020

This happened a few days ago but I would like to save this photo here so that a visual record will remain of this time. When I first saw this it actually shocked me, I think because it was a blatant "in-your-face" message which of course was what the public needed to hear. As I mentioned in my facebook post on this it jolted me to think "no room at the inn". Sad, needed and real.

To be honest I am sick and tired of all the fun jokes and memes about the virus. I am normally not a doom and gloom person rather quite the opposite. And, I'd be one of the first people to raise the spirits of someone in trouble. I am bitterly annoyed though, at the the number of people particularly the young in Britain & Australia flouting the regulations to stay away and self-isolate. These are the very people who will either get sick or worst still carry the virus to their families and the elderly. Selfish selfish selfish individuals.…

Cancellation of all classes.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemicall of my international and Australian workshops have been cancelled.

For me this will mean a loss of that arts practice and teaching income. I hope to be able to change tactics in a creative way to keep a small amount of money coming in. I just need a small amount and I'll be happier than I am feeling right now. I know many in the arts sector are feeling this right now. I'm working on it!

COVID-19 two weeks later

Well, it has been a whirlwind of a fortnight with the virus spiralling out of control with more cases diagnosed in Australia.  Two nights ago the Tasmanian Government took the step to close our island borders only allowing a short period of time to receive returning citizens and residents and those returnees have to self-isolate for fourteen days.

I was to teach in Sydney today and tomorrow and as of Tuesday past I was still going, then all of a sudden the spiral began. By Thursday I had cancelled my workshop with notice from Jetstar that my flight had also been cancelled. The workshop has been rescheduled to November 21 & 22 and my flight credit will be available "if" airline is still in business.

Australia's borders have now been closed isolating us from the rest of the world but is it too late? Only time will tell.  Many people here in Australia are flaunting the rules of "social distancing" of course in some cases spreading the virus further.  My feeli…

COVID-19 interesting times

I don't think there is anyone left in the world, perhaps with the exception of some refugees in war torn areas of the globe, who have not heard about the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. It is a new influenza with no vaccine at this stage. We are four months into the spread of this new virus and right now the world is indeed a wretched place. It is wholely up to each individual to keep themselves free of the virus to the best of their ability. through personal hygiene and cleanliness. The stories and visual images of cities emptied of people & traffic, closed businesses and schools, people working from home and so on are compelling. Hospitals are gearing up for one of the worst epidemics we have seen since 1918 with the Spanish Flu, which if I remember correctly had nothing to do with originating Spain. The WHO has not called it a pandemic yet. Many in government and health circles believe it is just a matter of time.

It is not funny but oh how fickle and selfish people a…

2020 Workshops

2020 W O R K S H O P S
For workshop themes and contacts email Gemma

Sydney, Australia 21st & 22nd March

Hong Kong 2nd & 3rd May

Singapore 6th - 10th May (two workshops)

United Kingdom
Ardington 1st & 2nd June
Cinque Port Scribes 5th, 6th & 7th June
Oxford 13th & 14th June

Milano, Italy 20th & 21st June

Kranjska Goro, Slovenia 27th June - 1st July (two workshops)

Germany (two workshops)
4th - 7th July
9th - 12th July

Bazel 17th, 18th & 19th July
Morris & Co. 22nd, 23rd & 24th July

Canada ABC2020 Red Deer 10th - 14th August
(two workshops)

USA to follow:
Rochester 22nd, 23rd & 24th August
Boston 28th, 29th & 30th August
Washington DC 3rd - 6th September
St Louis 11th, 12th & 13th September
Atlanta 18th, 19th & 20 September
Orlando 24th, 25th, 26th & 27th September

Home Sweet Home

Trying for the Glover

I have boldly taken steps to enter these two works into The Glover Prize here in Tasmania. Oh how brazen I am. I'll report back after 7th February 2020 when I'll know if I have been shortlisted. Fingers crossed everyone!

Silent Landscape
52cm x 95cm 

52cm x 75cm


All Pieces of Peace are sold!

Dear Friends,

I am humbled by your generosity and thankful for your kindness towards our Australian fire fighters. We all know friends with stories and I know many of us feel a small part of their trauma because we are unable to physically help them.

As promised 25% of these sales ($210) will go to the Rural Fire Service via the Australian Red Cross and David and have decided to match that amount to donate $420 in total. I firmly believe every little bit helps and I thank you for putting your trust in me to do this on your behalf and for you to get a little something in return.

For those living overseas it will take a little longer for you to get your little Piece of Peace but they have all now left my hands. Even #10 has gone, it sat there for one day longer than the rest. All up it took exactly 24 hours for them to be chosen. Some of them many times over.

I thank you all.  Go well.