Thursday, January 28, 2016


Another milestone for the Homo-insecta watercolours: yesterday morning's delivery to Counihan Gallery in Brunswick.

Pictured above from left: my partner Shane Jones, Modern Myth curator Domenica Vavala, two members of Counihan Gallery’s crack team and, far right, gallery director Victor Griss.

Monday, January 25, 2016


Collected last week from the fabulous Bonnie Hanlon at Omnus: some of the watercolours that will be part of the group exhibition Modern Myth at Counihan Gallery in Brunswick. If you’re free (and not living in another state or territory) join us for a celebratory drink at the opening night on February 4.

5 February – 6 March



Opening: Thursday 4 February, 6-8 pm
Artist Talks: Saturday 13 February, 2.30 pm
Counihan Gallery In Brunswick
233 Sydney Road, Brunswick VIC 3056 | 03 9389 8622
Wednesday - Saturday 11 am - 5 pm | Sunday 1 - 5 pm

Friday, January 22, 2016

Eupholos linnei Weevil Woman

A good selection of the Homo-insecta watercolours I've been working on over the last 18 or so months are about to make their debut appearance at the Counihan Gallery in Brunswick, in a group exhibition curated by Domenica Vavala titled Modern Myth.

Eupholos linnei Weevil Woman (2015, watercolour, 41.91 x 29.72 cm) is the last work I made for the show. The watercolour was finished late last year, but this is the first chance I've had to devote a post to it. Pictured below are a series of developmental views and some of my reference materials, followed by the completed work.

Modern Myth will be launched on February 4 from 6 - 8 pm. The exhibition runs until 6 March.

Counihan Gallery in Brunswick
233 Sydney Road
Brunswick Vic 3056
Phone: 03 9389 8622
Wed - Sat 11 am - 5 pm
Sun 1 - 5 pm
Facebook Page

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Outsider Artists

The miniature linocuts Wallpaper Rose, the Disappearing Woman, Spider Woman and Bearded Lady featured in this post are part of Outsider Artists, a long-planned series that was stalled when other projects intervened. They finally came into the world after one of several unsuccessful attempts to edition the linocut Cossodes lyonetii Moth Woman. Sick and tired of wasting so much ink after each failed effort, I decided to proof some of them. A further incentive was the birthday of my good friend Paul Compton. Paul has always encouraged me to continue with the series, so it's entirely fitting that the very first proofs were presented to him on that auspicious occasion. 

Lino block and first proof of Wallpaper Rose, the Disappearing Woman

Hand-coloured artist proof of Wallpaper Rose, the Disappearing Woman

Lino block and first proof of Spider Woman

Hand-coloured artist proof of Spider Woman

Lino block and first proof of Bearded Lady

Hand-coloured artist proof of Bearded Lady

Meanwhile, acting on my partner Shane Jones's suggestion, I turned to Master Printer Bill Young to edition the vexed Cossodes lyonetii Moth Woman. I'm extremely fortunate that he agreed to take it on, especially at such short notice. Bill is one of the finest, most knowledgeable printers in the country. He's done a magnificent job and I can't thank him enough. Today I'll begin hand colouring the edition, which should still be ready by the deadline. The results will be shared in a future post. 

Once this is done, I stand firmly by my intention to take a break from lino cutting. Although the freshness and immediacy of working on a small scale has revived something of the sense of pleasure and satisfaction I once derived from making relief prints and the completed set of Outsider Artists prints may also become the basis for an artist book, all of this will happen in my own good time. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Insect collaborators

The photographs in this post were snapped over the course of two visits to Newstead in as many days. (See also Blog Post December 31). For some time, I’ve been wanting to document the Eucalyptus trees that provide the raw materials for my current work. Their leaves come in infinitely varied forms, with invaluable creative input from unseen insects which subtly alter the contours in ways that add immeasurably to the unique aesthetic of each leaf. The identities of my insect collaborators, however, remained unknown to me – at least until now.

Upon arrival I couldn't resist harvesting more leaves for my growing collection, It was then that I made a thrilling discovery. The sapling from which I gathered the leaves was dotted with dazzling gold and blue bugs. Closer inspection also revealed what I recognized as a species of shield bug, also - a tad less poetically - referred to as stink bugs.

Some basic research conducted as soon as we got home to Ballarat revealed that the entire insect population of the sapling are Amorbus alternatus, AKA Eucalyptus tip bugs or Gumtree bugs, which are usually found in the tropical climate of Queensland. The brightly coloured bugs are nymphs; the mature insect is brown and orange.

The photographs third, fourth, fifth and sixth from the top were taken by Shane Jones.

For more about the Eucalyptus tip bug, go HERE.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Opening today: Return to Hanging Rock

As regular visitors to this blog will be aware, two of my works, Vignette Vitrine and A Cabinet of Moth Masksare part of the exhibition Return to Hanging Rock at the National Trust property, Mulberry Hill. The show commemorates 40 years of the novel Picnic at Hanging Rock. Mulberry Hill is the former home of its author, Joan Lindsay.

Pictured top: Return to Hanging Rock exhibition poster
Pictured above, top: Vignette Vitrine (2012, miniature canvases in display case, 31 x 31 cm). Bottom: two of its contents. L-R: Avenger and Bird Pin (both 2012, acrylic on canvas, 9 x 7 cm).

Return to Hanging Rock was curated by Cara-Ann Simpson. It opens today, January 2, and runs until March 27, 2016. Details are on the poster above. For further information, visit the website HERE.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year

2016 is a leap year, so whatever your resolutions may be, you will have 366 days to realise them. Whether your goals include turning over a new leaf or you decide to stay just as you are, may you rise to every challenge in a year filled with happiness, creativity and good health.

A clear work top ready for the New Year and new beginnings. (My workstation at Abbotsford in Melbourne).