Monday, May 5, 2014

A Departure From The Usual …

… nature based article.

Yesterday was an ‘open studios’ day in which a variety of West Gippsland artists opened their studios to allow the public to meet and learn about their skills and work. An excellent map was provided and we simply had to attend any one of the nominated artist’s studio, pay a very small fee and then make our choices from a list of nearly twenty locations from Neerim to Thorpdale.

We commenced the day at Laurel Foenander’s in Longwarry. Mrs Gouldiae was immediately won over as she was greeted by a bevy of old dogs! Me next because Laurel does beautiful pastel and oil paintings of local wildlife.

With an outdoor wood heater burning brightly and a wonderful selection of art works it was difficult to leave Laurel’s studio and move out into the rain and cold again.

Our next stop was close to home. Just around the corner from us in Drouin Helen Timbury has a studio where she demonstrated to us the principles behind producing her creative linocut prints. A very comprehensive demonstration ensued and Helen was very patient with our questions. Her little studio was crammed with her work, inks, tools, computer, reference materials, etc and it was very obviously her own space.

Lisa Kurec at Drouin West is still teaching at Kurnai College in Morwell but obviously enjoys every moment she can retire to her printmaking and etching studio in the foothills. Lisa’s work reflects her knowledge and enjoyment of the environment and sometimes her Ukrainian heritage. We watched Lisa produce a small print from an etched copper plate while she explained the processes involved. She then very kindly gave us a printed example of the etching.

After an enjoyable reminiscent discussion – Lisa is an ex Heyfield girl and long, l-o-n-g ago Mrs G and I both used to teach in the Latrobe Valley – we headed to Sue Acheson’s pottery studio at Rokeby.

Sue’s beautiful bush surroundings would surely inspire her work. She produces ceramic tableware and larger unique sculptural works. Again we were treated to a fascinating demonstration, (of pottery skills this time), as well as a most informative tour of Sue’s wonderful home built wood fired kiln.

Although we’d only managed four out of eighteen possible visits we were well sated. The skills and passion these ladies have for their profession/past-time showed no boundary. We were mightily impressed and the next open studios event in November is in the diary.

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