Category 'Art'

[caption id="attachment_4516" align="alignright" width="121"] Thomas Petrie <3[/caption] Throughout the history of Moreton Bay there is one person who shines more than most, and that is Thomas Petrie. I read all I could about his life but I couldn't find the right story to portray for this project, mainly because he was so heavily involved with the Aboriginal communities and I'm unable to tell their stories without specific consent. Instead I went searching for locations that were important to him which still exist in a natural form today and that's when I found Sweeney Reserve and was immediately taken by its incredible trees. When I learned that it was once THE weekend destination for Brisbane residents I knew I had to include it in 'The Land and I' project which you can see at the 'Stories of Sweeney Reserve' page. I decided that I wanted to photograph a picnic scene as a throwback to the time when it was a popular picnic destination, by including as many picnic baskets as possible, but with no one around, to show the transience of recreational spaces. I studied what picnics looked like during the 1920s and set about collecting as many picnic baskets as I could from op shops and friends, as well as sheets, historical looking hats and crockery. It was a costly process. This image was my problem child and I ended up shooting it EIGHT TIMES. The first was to test what angle I should shoot it from. [caption id="attachment_4517" align="aligncenter" width="300"] My darling Koda, may she RIP.[/caption]   The second was to test if I'd have enough baskets.   The third was in my backyard to see how it would all look. [caption id="attachment_4519" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Say hi to Fudge who we were dog-sitting.[/caption]   The fourth was to test various spots at Sweeney Reserve to find the right location. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="4521,4520"]   The fifth was to shoot my chosen location thinking I could then photograph the picnic baskets at home and composite them together. But I decided during this shoot I'd need to photograph everything in the one place.   The sixth was on Anzac Day. I spent the evening before buying picnic food. I watched the overcast weather all morning and when I decided there was the perfect amount of cloud cover to diffuse the light my Mum and I drove to Sweeney Reserve to set up. Immediately the sun came out and refused to go away again. We set everything up and then I realised I'd left the food at home and had to go back and get it, leaving Mum stranded with a sea of picnic baskets for 40 minutes. We set up the food and waited and waited for the sun to go away. We were stared at A LOT. Despite all this, when I got home I decided the images were too busy and I'd need to shoot it again.   The seventh was in my backyard. I changed the shooting angle. Recreated the basket setting from my first image and waited patiently for the sun to dip behind the clouds. I decided to simplify the scene by using no food.   The eighth was during pouring rain when I had to go back to Sweeney's and find a less busy scene. I sat in the car and waited for the rain to stop and then ducked out and shot panoramas of my chosen areas as quickly as I could.   Then I spent weeks combining the baskets from the seventh shoot and the scene from the eighth into one final image. I was amused by these flying carpets as I added in extra baskets at the back.   The process was a pain as I had to cut out each picnic basket individually, replace the grass underneath which I cobbled together from many different shots, and then painted in shadows under each setting. I added the emu and kangaroo from different zoo photos and the rainbow was created within Photoshop. I spent even more weeks massaging the colour and then at the last minute decided to fade the edges to black and white to give it a historical aspect. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4514,4515"] As you can imagine I am really glad this one is over. The final image: sweeney reserve, sweeney's reserve, emu, dalaipi, kangaroo, picnic, rainbow, park, abandoned, history, travel, the land and i, fine art

This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between theQueensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

 

It was an experience I had at Cedar Creek during an artist retreat that really inspired 'The Land and I' project so I decided to use it as my test location. If you haven't seen the project already, please visit the 'Stories of Cedar Creek' page. After researching the historical history of the Cedar Creek area I knew I wanted to portray the fertility of the region by covering a dress with flowers and scattering flowers around the rocks. I scoured all my nearby op shops and finally found a tattered wedding dress for $20. I have a supply of fake flowers I planned to pin to the dress but I noticed that if they didn't have distinguishable centres (like daisies) it was hard to tell what they were, so after spending more money on fake flowers than I care to mention I safety pinned flowers all over the dress as you can see in the time-lapse below. I created the headpiece by carefully pinning flowers to a hairnet.     [caption id="attachment_4200" align="aligncenter" width="960"]moreton bay, samford The dress[/caption]   I was unable to get permission from the land owners to access the Cedar Creek waterfalls and I wasn't prepared to cart this massive dress 20 minutes up the creek bed so I visited a number of times to find another spot to use, eventually settling for a small waterfall to the left of the private property gate. To get the right angle I had to climb down some tall rocks and rock hop over to the other bank which I must have done 40 times on shoot day! [caption id="attachment_4067" align="aligncenter" width="960"]cedar creek, samford, moreton bay Shoot location near last bridge - I was standing on the light grey rock in the middle, looking back at the waterfall[/caption]   None of this would have been possible as a self-portrait so I recruited a friend to model the dress but because I was about 20 metres from her and with the noise of a waterfall between us there was lots of yelling and hand signals to direct her poses. We shot between 3-5pm on a somewhat overcast weekday as weekends see an influx of visitors and I wanted as much privacy as possible. There was a small softbox with a Speedlite to the model's right just to spill some light onto her face. I shot long exposures to get the flowing waterfall, expanded the frame to show more of the scene, and replaced the background to include the creek bed extending into the distance. [gallery columns="2" size="large" link="none" ids="4203,4204,4206,4201"]   I took along some fabric to try and make the dress blend into the waterfall. samford, moreton bay   My mum kindly acted as assistant, stretching fabric, flicking hair and taking behind the scenes video. Model: Aliesha Kissener Assistant: Jennifer Roberts samford, moreton bay     The final image: cedar creek, samford, moreton bay, flowers, land and i, fine art, travel, history  

This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

 

Cedar Creek is a haven of babbling brooks, towering trees and granite sentinels at the foot of the D’Aguilar Range near Samford, Queensland (not to be confused with Cedar Creek at Tamborine Mountain). With so much natural beauty on offer it’s hard to believe how closely it nudges suburbia being merely 40 minutes north-west of Brisbane's city centre. Speaking with born and bred Moreton Bay residents I was surprised to learn that everyone had a story from their youth of spending time at Cedar Creek; swimming at the waterfall, jumping off the cliffs, or swinging on the ropes. [gallery columns="2" size="large" link="none" ids="4544,4549"]   It’s believed land in the area was first inhabited at the start of the 1800s, became a cattle station in the mid-1850s, and was subdivided into saleable properties during the 1870s when a 200 acre block cost 200 pounds. Aborigines are known to have lived beside Cedar Creek in the early 1900s, but there is no documentation of its Indigenous history prior. Despite the name 'Cedar Creek', there’s not a single Cedar tree to be found. Throughout the early 1900s Cedar Creek was recognised for its excellent timber, particularly pine and red cedar, and logging became a significant industry that eventually died out due to oversupply. Cedar has now completely disappeared but a number of Brisbane’s churches were built using timber from the area so it’s nice to think they still live on in a place of worship. Also notable is that Macarthur Chambers in Brisbane City was built with pink granite mined from Cedar Creek. [gallery size="large" link="none" columns="2" ids="4556,4546"]   During the 1920s dairying and pig farming became popular and the fertility of the region saw all manner of crops being farmed with pineapples and bananas being particularly successful, although Bunchy Top disease killed off the banana industry ten years later. The area has become no less fertile over time with rich soil and plentiful water allowing market gardens to prosper. Farmer’s markets were held locally every Sunday from 1980 but were moved to North Pine Country Park (now Petrie Town) in 1987 due to swelling visitor numbers; a market still popular today. In the 1920s a school was built and named ‘Closeburn’ (‘burn’ being Scottish for ‘creek’) because a number of other schools in the state were already named Cedar Creek. In those days locals collected their mail from the train station and after complaints of their mail going astray, the train station and subsequently the area, were renamed Closeburn to avoid confusion. Residents wishing to travel by train to the city would leave their horses in a small paddock next to the local shop and if running late the shop-keep was kind enough to unsaddle their horse for the day. Much of my research on the area came from the series of books ‘Samford Reminiscences’, stories collated from local families by the Samford District Historical Society. A few of these stories really took my fancy and were used as inspiration for my Cedar Creek artwork:

  • In the early 1900s local families would wash their clothes in the creek. Laundries were set up along the banks and kerosene tins were used to boil the clothes which were hung on lines further up the bank.
cedar creek, samford, moreton bay
  • In 1925 Cedar Creek/Closeburn Hall was built with timber donated by local residents. Every Saturday night bands performed and popular dances and ‘card parties’ were held with supper provided. Interestingly the area didn’t receive power until the mid-1950s after World War II. Another popular form of entertainment, particularly for the region's children was gathering wood to build a huge bonfire for Guy Fawkes night on November 5, held in Upper Cedar Creek.
 
  • In June 1913 11 year old Ivy Mitchell of Cedar Creek Road was murdered on her walk home from visiting a friend. Her body was found beside the bag of lollies and flowers she was carrying. Her murderer was the last man to be executed in Queensland in 1913. Other sad stories include the death of 13 year old Hattie Hunter in 1999 who jumped into flood waters to save her dog Belle. There is a plaque in the area erected in her honour. A young boy was also accidentally shot in the back by his best friend while hunting parrots in the creek bed (once a popular hobby because of their threat to local crops.)
[gallery size="large" columns="2" link="none" ids="4552,4553"]   As for the creek itself, swimming parties and picnics were always a beloved pastime and Albert Eaton (of Eaton’s Crossing) made a portion of his land available to the public for a picnic ground. Visitors used to enjoy a ‘clear stream, busy with shoals of mullet, wild duck and water hens’ and the fresh water was ‘better than tank water to drink’. Children chased eels and catfish. The waterfalls are located on the Upper Cedar Creek property once owned by Andy Williams and family. (These days the only recreational area devoted to the creek is ‘Andy Williams Park’ about half way up Cedar Creek Road.) The family had a kiosk to cater to tourists and a donation box to gain admission to the waterfalls. [gallery columns="1" size="large" link="none" ids="4545"] cedar creek, samford, moreton bay Written information about the area is sparse during the late 20th century but I’m sure every local has a story to tell. In the early 2000s locals began to complain loudly about “people pollution” causing degradation from overuse, litter and lack of toilet facilities. Exotic weeds also began to pollute the water. Reports of vandalism, theft, trespassing and pollution were on the rise and a police crackdown occurred although there was only one arrest for cannabis and none for drink driving but it did successfully reduce ‘anti-social behaviour’ for a time. cedar creek, samford, moreton bay   cedar creek, samford, moreton bay The roadway to the Cedar Creek waterfalls is now private property so you’ll need to park nearby and rock-hop along the creek bed approximately 20 minutes to reach them. cedar creek, samford, moreton bay The area is a charming place to visit. Along Cedar Creek Road you might see a cockatoo or kookaburra, goat or llama with platypus sightings in the creek a possibility. Keep your eyes peeled and you may even spot a gargoyle topped stone bridge! There are plenty of places to paddle in and Andy Williams Park is a prime spot for a picnic. If you're looking to buy your own private haven close to town, property sizes are large enough to provide a rural atmosphere but small enough to prevent isolation with shops a mere ten minutes away.

cedar creek, samford, moreton bay

 

Inspiration for my Cedar Creek image - from 'The Land and I' series

The focus for this image was how visiting Cedar Creek makes you feel. I dressed the model in formal dress to signify the popularity of community dances held in the Cedar Creek Hall. The dress is covered in flowers to portray the feeling of being revitalised and rejuvenated by spending time here. The woman’s dress blends with the waterfall to symbolise a connection or 'oneness' with the land as well as the flow on effect of visitors taking away feelings of nourishment to share within their own communities. I was also drawing on the stories of women washing their clothes in the creek by combining the water and fabric. The woman holds flowers as a tribute to Ivy Mitchell. I chose her reverent pose to portray how spending time in this beautiful, cavernous space is almost akin to worship, and to remember the original cedars that now live on in the form of churches. The flower texture over the rocks indicates the fertility of the region, both physically and spiritually. cedar creek, samford, moreton bay, flowers, land and i, fine art, travel, history I particularly like this quote about the region found in a newspaper article from 1929:
“If rosy-cheeked children are an indication of a healthy district then Cedar Creek, in addition to being unusually picturesque, must possess a very congenial climate.”
Learn how I created the feature image here. [gallery size="large" link="none" columns="2" ids="4550,4551"]  

I invite you to share your own stories, photos and experiences of Cedar Creek in the comments below so we can create a living history of this moving place for future generations.

  Further reading: Samford Reminiscences Volumes 1-6, edited by the Samford District Historical Museum Society Visit: Samford District Historical Museum   This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Having worked there for three years, Bribie Island is close to my heart, and I've noticed how the local's faces light up when they talk about its history. It was impossible not to include Bribie Island as part of 'The Land and I' project since it has experienced such pivotal historical moments and once I'd learned of the uniqueness of Red Beach I knew I had my location. If you haven't seen the project already, please visit the 'Stories of Bribie Island' page at Visit Moreton Bay Region. [caption id="attachment_4485" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Red Beach[/caption]   Like many I was quite taken with the story of Bribie the Basket Maker and initially wanted to portray the convict with his Indigenous lover but was advised against it by the historical society who understandably are sick to death of the myth. As I was already pretty sold on the concept I decided to keep the idea but shift the focus to Thomas Welsby, the story's creator. I think the notion of this enduring myth having been hotly contested and written about excessively for generations is just a captivating as the original story itself. When studying the few existing photos of Welsby I realised he kind of looks like my dad, so that was my model sorted! We had to leave around 5am to make it to Bribie by sunrise so it's lucky my dad's an early riser (although not so lucky for me who needs my sleep). We walked for a few minutes in the dark to my chosen spot where I set up my camera and lights (which kept blowing over) while he shivered away in his secondhand suit. Thanks Dad. Eagles circled overhead to see what we were up to. [gallery size="large" ids="4488,4484,4486"]   I always envisioned the Welsby character writing the 'Bribie The Basket Maker' story in the sky with an oversized fountain pen because a normal sized pen would be too difficult to see. I tracked down a historical looking font for the the text which was a challenge to make fit in a pleasing way. The koala was added from shots taken at Australia Zoo as many believe Bribie's name actually came from the Indigenous word for koala, 'Boorabee' or 'Borobi' (which you may recognise from the 2018 Commonwealth Games' mascot) but this word originates from the Gold Coast region so no one is sure. The crab and basket are stock images and their significance is explained further in the main post.   It was very difficult for me to get any form of Indigenous approval for this project as none of the elders I reached out to responded, which meant I had to be very careful including any Indigenous content. I decided to show the couple strictly as small silhouettes which I created by finding stock images of an Aboriginal woman and colonial man and filling their shapes with black. I wanted to include other references to Indigenous culture of the time but could not do so without permission. The final image: [caption id="attachment_4483" align="aligncenter" width="960"]fine art, thomas welsby, bribie the basket maker, myth, koala, crab, red beach, skirmish point, history, travel, moreton bay, pumicestone passage, bribie island (Apologies as my website has a terrible habit of making images look fuzzy)[/caption]  

This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between theQueensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

 

I chose Lake Samsonvale as a subject for my 'The Land and I' project because the history of Samsonvale has virtually been erased by the creation of North Pine Dam so I wanted to pay homage to the community that one stood there by compositing houses rising from the water. If you've not seen the project already, please visit the 'Stories of Lake Samsonvale' page at Visit Moreton Bay Region. Lake Samsonvale provides a number of visitor areas so during my initial site recce I chose 'Tukuwompa Park' as the most picturesque to photograph. I came back one evening at sunset to photograph it as I wanted to use the symbolism of the 'sun setting on the community'. I visited a second time on an overcast day to capture images for the travel blog and figured I might as well shoot the scene again with moody clouds just so I had some options. I also took some panoramas at Bullocky Rest because, as it's the main visitor area, I figured it would also be the most recognisable. After much experimentation I ended up using the photos from Bullocky Rest in the final image because I liked the banks on either side. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4455,4456"]   The houses were all photographed at Old Petrie Town as I really wanted to include authentic historical houses from around the region and felt it was important to include the few remaining houses that were moved from Samsonvale before the dam was built. It was extremely tough organising a time to shoot there as it's a very busy place, complicated by weeks of rain which continually hampered my plans. As the deadline loomed I decided to shoot at 6am on Good Friday. It was raining as we drove to Old Petrie Town but thankfully it eased for the few hours I was shooting and began again just as I finished. Thank you weather gods! Each house was photographed from the top of a ladder because I needed to get the angles right. Many thanks to my assistant, Mum, who is always a trooper in these situations. And also to Nicholas Dodd for his help providing background information on Old Petrie Town.   [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4457,4458"]   In Photoshop I stitched the panorama of Lake Samsonvale, cut out each of the houses and created their reflections, then added the fisherman, flying geese, trees and sunset sky. The colouring took weeks of experimentation to get right and I'm still not convinced (I even made three new colour variations today even though I "technically" finished this image weeks ago!). The final(ish) result:   history, samsonvale, moreton bay, lake samsonvale, north pine dam, radf  

This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between theQueensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

 

A little over four years ago I was standing in the kitchen and noticed how lovely the light was hitting my mother's desk so naturally I had to climb under it and take some self-portraits. It was only the second time I'd ever taken artistic self portraits and I was pleased that there were some really beautiful poses among them. I love the glowing skin, the pop of the pink and my face hidden in darkness. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4395,4397,4396,4394"]   However those photos, along with many, many others have sat on my hard drive all this time, unseen by anyone but me. A couple of times I've tried to make something of them but the ideas never really took off. [gallery size="large" ids="4399,4400,4398"]   I actually really like that third image but I could never quite work out why an angel would be trapped in a jar. If my stories don't make sense I will abandon them. It's frustrating because I've seen plenty of beautiful images from other photographers that have no story or make no sense, but I personally need my images to be believable, despite their strangeness. Recently I thought I'd have one more go at it and by giving the image a more renaissance toning it began to go in a direction I was happy with. My mother loves angels so I've grown up surrounded by them. She even pins an angel brooch to her outfit every single day. Only natural then that one would eventually creep into my work. For me, the story here is about an angel who feels overburdened by modern society. No one is truly good or truly bad and I feel like those lines blur even more as time marches on. If we take the seven deadly sins - pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth - I know that I, personally, commit at least one of these sins daily (mainly gluttony thanks to chocolate) but fundamentally I believe I'm a good person despite this. I'm not religious at all but I'm well acquainted with the bible and if there IS a heaven and hell, how difficult would it be to unravel the complexity of a human mind and proclaim it either good or bad? Particularly when the decision results in an eternity of either reward or torture. So yes, I feel like this angel is trying to hide herself away from the overwhelming burden of her position, hence the name 'A Burden Too Big To Bear'. The ground was photographed at Mt Cook in New Zealand. I chose it because of the golden tone of the grass. Her wings are from a swan in London's Kensington Park. The sky is a mixture of several layers. [gallery size="large" ids="4401,4402,4403"] The end result! fine art, photography, photograph, angel, halo, night, shield, field  

For some time now I've been feeling the call of the wild, a desire to run off into the woods and shack up in a log cabin away from society. As urbanisation consumes the natural world and disillusionment with consumerism and 'stuff' grows I've noticed that more and more people are sharing this desire. I've been reading about people with similar interests, starting with Barbara Newhall Follett's, 'A House Without Windows', a novel about a girl who leaves her family to live in the forest. The book was published in 1927 when Barbara was just 12 years old. At 35 she walked out of her home and was never seen again. Currently I'm reading 'The Nature Fix: Why nature makes us happier, healthier and more creative' highlighting the studies of leading scientists into nature's effects on health, crime and productivity. It's fascinating stuff and I hope to explore it further in a forest based series I plan to work on next year. Lacking the funds and the means to find a forest home of my own I decided to book into O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat in Lamington National Park. Here I spent four days alone wandering by waterfalls and through ancient forests in an effort to soothe my soul and unload some of life's burdens. Forest bathing, or Shinrin-yoku as it is called in Japan where the term was coined, truly is magical and I long for a time when I have a little forest of my own. I hope the intent of the image is obvious in that, by spending time in nature, it causes us to bloom ourselves. This image was photographed in two spots. The pose was taken from me draped over an Antarctic Beech tree estimated to be thousands of years old.   antarctic beech, tree, lamington national park, o'reilly's, photography, moss, green, forest, rainforest   The location was photographed near one of the waterfalls along the Box Forest Circuit.     A really cool little feature of this image is that if you look closely between the two centre rocks and behind the middle one you'll see streaks of white and blue. This is the Lamington Spiny Crayfish which only lives in this part of the world. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4366,4365"]   I've released the image to coincide with Earth Day, the focus of which for 2018 is reducing plastic pollution and being mindful about your consumption of single-use plastics such as plastic bottles, cling wrap, food containers, cups and straws. We have lost so much of the natural world but as governments start to realise the healing benefits of green spaces we can all do our part to preserve what remains.   forest bathing, shinrin yoku, forest, rainforest, woods, plant, grow, earth day, o'reilly's, lamington national park, waterfall, river, ecotherapy, nature therapy, nature, healing  

When I was 16 I overheard someone in an elevator say ‘why waste the emotion’.  At the time I was riddled with teenage angst and thought this was the most profound thing I’d ever heard. I adopted it as my mantra, my security net against the world, and slowly taught myself to repress the messy and unnecessary emotions that come from not only being human but also an empath. After two decades of practice I’ve become a fairly unemotional person. I am an INTJ anyway, the type of introvert who prefers reason to feelings (hence why I like to categorise myself), and I’ve learnt to avoid situations that require emotional expenditure. I refuse to watch sad or scary movies, I have little to no desire for a relationship let alone children, and I keep my friends at an arm’s length. I do these things unconsciously and I’m certainly not proud of them but I’ve had to make peace with the way I am. Naturally as a black hearted ice queen I’ve built up a fairly impenetrable fortress with bricks made of cynicism and distrust. So you can imagine my surprise when I found someone had snuck through my defences. This series is about a heart that starts to feel again and the tidal surge of emotion that comes after decades of repression. It’s also, in part, about the need for an artist to bleed to create meaningful art. I want the images to portray something beautiful, about broken and hardened hearts that begin to heal and awaken; about that delightful moment when something or someone touches your heart profoundly. These are the messages I will send these images out into the world with. The reality though is much darker. The reason the security of my fortress failed is because it was not equipped for the small percentage of people who operate differently from the rest of us. This is how I became briefly entangled with my first and last narcissist; that particular breed of toxic human who feeds on the emotions of others. When you’re cautious about guarding your feelings there is no worse person you could invite into your life than these masters of manipulation. But empaths and narcissists are drawn to each other because they both have high emotional intelligence, it’s just that one uses this skill to heal while the other uses it to destroy. Thankfully I quickly realised what I was dealing with and was able to escape with only slight emotional bruising. That story might inspire my next series. I read a lovely quote on a blog that said ‘narcissists can be like angels in disguise. They are catalysts of change in people’s lives: they stir up all the old wounds, scars and shadow elements in a person and force growth.’ This sums up perfectly what this work is actually trying to convey. [gallery size="medium" link="file" ids="4312,4314,4313,4315,4318,4317,4319,4316,4320"] [caption id="attachment_4311" align="aligncenter" width="300"]love, heart, digital manipulation, coming to life, fine art, composite, color, dark, photography, photograph, valentine, romantic, steel, guarded, protected, metal When I realised it was all lies[/caption]  

How I created ‘All the times my heart awoke’

Prior to my realisation I had started storyboarding ideas around the concept of someone who is reluctant to give their heart away. I found that many of the ideas revolved around physical representations of a heart coming to life from a state of stasis and so I decided to explore this theme by applying different creative treatments to one heart image to try and tell the same story in as many ways as possible. I thought about photographing a real heart but naturally this came with its own set of icky complications and so I decided to use a stock image from Pixelsquid. Pixelsquid is brilliant because their images are 3D renders which can be rotated 360 degrees. This allowed me to use the same heart image from a range of angles to add variety to the series. [caption id="attachment_4321" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Human heart from Pixelsquid[/caption]   I wanted this series to be a Photoshop project instead of photography one and so I didn’t shoot a single image for this series, using only stock I’ve purchased or photographs I’ve shot before. With much experimentation and the help of YouTube tutorials I applied different effects to give each heart a unique look. At the moment my focus is on creating work that, while still dear to my ‘heart’, is faster to make, cheaper to produce and more affordable to buy. After much soul searching I’ve decided to spend 2018 focusing less on pursuing a fine art career and more on creating collectible art pieces for my Society6 and Redbubble stores and so this series is in that ‘vein’. [gallery size="medium" ids="4324,4325,4323"]   I created the first nine images with the intention of portraying something romantic and uplifting. After much deliberation I then created the tenth image that puts a whole new spin on the series. Since it was partially inspired by real life events the last image was necessary in sticking to the truth. While it’s difficult to talk about the exact circumstances that inspired it, the beauty of art is that it allows you to abstractly express the things you’re uncomfortable saying with words. It’s the best kind of therapy. I loved the challenge of telling a story in this way and recommend the exercise of using one object to tell a story for other creators who are feeling stuck or looking to hone their skills. What does this series stir up for you?

After the success of my 2017 calendar and the many requests to create another for 2018 I am proud to announce my new calendar is ready! My 2018 collectible calendar features double exposures of some of my favourite animals and landscapes. Creating double exposures is one of the most fun things to do in Photoshop allowing you to sandwich images together with different parts showing through. You can learn how to do it here. [gallery size="medium" ids="4258,4259,4257"]   The calendar makes a thoughtful Christmas gift for every animal or art lover and will pretty up your home the whole year through. It looks great printed on 200gsm glossy paper and is personalised for Australia's notable dates and climate but can be changed if you'd like to purchase one for another country (just let me know where you live). At only $20 Australian (a measly $15USD or $11.50GBP) plus $10AUD for local postage or $20 worldwide it's the most affordable way to collect my prints! Purchase through me directly (via my contact page or send me a message on Facebook).     Here's the images featured in the calendar in the order they appear. You can click on each to see them full size. [gallery size="medium" link="file" ids="4267,4266,4265,4270,4264,4268,4269,4263,4271,4262,4261,4272"]   Wishing you strength for the festive season. May it be the merriest yet! x

It was the scenery of New Zealand's South Island that had us embarking on a two week road trip but it was a wedding that brought us here and today was the day! To make the most of every sight seeing opportunity we got up super early and headed to Akaroa, about 1.5 hours south east of Christchurch. It'd been suggested that we drive the scenic Summit Road but be warned that its windiness was a great cause of stress for my mother and the views not much better than the main road. Do beware of the motorbike riders who don’t seem to value life as highly as the rest of us! Akaroa is a pretty French themed harbour town with a fascinating history (the locals will be quite happy to tell you all about it) and of the many places we visited in New Zealand Akaraoa was the one I'd heard hyped the most. After everything else we’d seen on our trip I was surprised to find it all a little underwhelming although the souvenir shops were interesting and there’s plenty of wildlife tours to do if you have the time. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4167,4168,4169,4182"]     The rest of our day was devoted to wedding preparations but if you have the afternoon free visit the Cardboard Cathedral and Earthquake Memorial followed by a guided tram tour of the fascinating earthquake ruined city centre. [gallery size="large" ids="4177,4176,4178"]   We were excited that the wedding was to be held at the top of the Christchurch Gondola. If you fancy a wedding with a view then there’s no better than this and it was great to have after hours access to the views after the tourists had all gone home. We will, however, not speak about the party guest who was left dangling in the gondola after the staff forgot about her. [gallery size="large" columns="2" ids="4172,4187"] A night of drinking and dancing marked the end of our trip which brings my New Zealand travel blog to a close. After dreaming of visiting New Zealand for so long we learnt that our dreams weren't big enough to contain the majesty that is New Zealand's South Island. It exceeded every one of our expectations with its relentless beauty and the welcoming locals. I hope you're inspired to make it there yourself one day, just be sure to invite me. :)   We stopped at: Akaroa, Christchurch Gondola (and because we has one extra morning the Cardboard Cathedral and Earthquake Memorial and the Christchurch Tramway) Distance: Christchurch to Akaroa is approximately 1 hour 20 minutes drive

Click here for the rest of the New Zealand itinerary

 

22
Jun

How I created ‘Sweeney Reserve’

Throughout the history of Moreton Bay there is one person who shines more than most, and that is Thomas Petrie. I read all I could about his life but I couldn’t find the right story to portray for this project, mainly because he was so heavily involved with the Aboriginal communities and I’m unable to […]

16
Jun

How I created ‘Cedar Creek’

It was an experience I had at Cedar Creek during an artist retreat that really inspired ‘The Land and I’ project so I decided to use it as my test location. If you haven’t seen the project already, please visit the ‘Stories of Cedar Creek’ page. After researching the historical history of the Cedar Creek […]

16
Jun

The Stories of Cedar Creek – from ‘The Land and I’ project

Cedar Creek is a haven of babbling brooks, towering trees and granite sentinels at the foot of the D’Aguilar Range near Samford, Queensland (not to be confused with Cedar Creek at Tamborine Mountain). With so much natural beauty on offer it’s hard to believe how closely it nudges suburbia being merely 40 minutes north-west of […]

13
May

How I created ‘Bribie Island’

Having worked there for three years, Bribie Island is close to my heart, and I’ve noticed how the local’s faces light up when they talk about its history. It was impossible not to include Bribie Island as part of ‘The Land and I’ project since it has experienced such pivotal historical moments and once I’d […]

13
May

How I created ‘Lake Samsonvale’

I chose Lake Samsonvale as a subject for my ‘The Land and I’ project because the history of Samsonvale has virtually been erased by the creation of North Pine Dam so I wanted to pay homage to the community that one stood there by compositing houses rising from the water. If you’ve not seen the project […]

7
May

A Burden Too Big To Bear

A little over four years ago I was standing in the kitchen and noticed how lovely the light was hitting my mother’s desk so naturally I had to climb under it and take some self-portraits. It was only the second time I’d ever taken artistic self portraits and I was pleased that there were some […]

22
Apr

Forest bathing

For some time now I’ve been feeling the call of the wild, a desire to run off into the woods and shack up in a log cabin away from society. As urbanisation consumes the natural world and disillusionment with consumerism and ‘stuff’ grows I’ve noticed that more and more people are sharing this desire. I’ve […]

7
Jan

New series: All the times my heart awoke

When I was 16 I overheard someone in an elevator say ‘why waste the emotion’.  At the time I was riddled with teenage angst and thought this was the most profound thing I’d ever heard. I adopted it as my mantra, my security net against the world, and slowly taught myself to repress the messy […]

15
Nov

My 2018 calendar is here!

After the success of my 2017 calendar and the many requests to create another for 2018 I am proud to announce my new calendar is ready! My 2018 collectible calendar features double exposures of some of my favourite animals and landscapes. Creating double exposures is one of the most fun things to do in Photoshop […]

28
Aug

2 Weeks in New Zealand’s South Island. Day 16 : Akaroa and Christchurch

It was the scenery of New Zealand’s South Island that had us embarking on a two week road trip but it was a wedding that brought us here and today was the day! To make the most of every sight seeing opportunity we got up super early and headed to Akaroa, about 1.5 hours south […]