Sunday, May 27, 2012

Erin at National Gymnastics Competition Level7

I booked a flight to Sydney to see Erin compete at the Nationals tomorrow .
Her parents and 2 cousins will be there and so will I.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Erin, 1st overall, level 7 Gymnastics SA

Erin at Gym Competition.SA
SA State Team Level 7 in Sydney

Erin and Carla holding teammate.

Showing off and excited in Sydney for the Nationals.
We picked up Erin from school in the city and took her for her last massage,yesterday,before she and her teammates fly to Sydney for the National Womens' Gymnastic Titles next week.

Over the last two months South Australia have had four Competitions and they have been trials for a place in the state team to compete at the Nationals.
Out of the four competitions, at level 7, Erin placed 3rd overall, and placed 1st overall in the last three. so she hopefully will do well for South Australia.
 Three girls made the state team from her club "Tea Tree Gully" and she was especially pleased when her best friend Carla also made the team.
They will be watching the Olympic tryouts for this year's Australian team tonight so I'm sure they will be inspired.
Their competition will be Monday evening and the finals will be Wednesday night, so "good luck"and enjoy the experience.

Tea Tree Gully Level 7 Team with  StateTeam Trophy

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kangaroos and Casts

Work began yesterday on the second cold cast bronze bust for the Mary MacKillop Primary School at Sunshine, Victoria and the wax is also ready at the foundry for a  memorial in a parish church at Canberra, ACT.

I should soon be working on a new project of a sculpture of aboriginal soldiers to be cast in bronze for Adelaide, SA. I hope this will start in June this year and will give me work for 4-5 months.

Meanwhile I am enjoying painting and also getting out on a few trails.

I did the Pioneer Women's Trail a few weeks ago which begins at Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills and climbs up steeply over Mt Lofty and down to Beaumont in the suburbs and is a 26 km trail that in the early days of colonization,  the Pioneer women walked their wares to sell in Adelaide.
I teamed up with a couple of other walkers and took 5 hours 25 minutes to complete.

My friend Cathy and I will be out tomorrow to walk another steep hill, Chapman's Track. We usually get out walking bush tracks  once a week and I go out another morning per week.
Last week we were out and came across two groups of kangaroos in the bush and the week before I sighted a Koala in a gum tree. It's a great feeling when you come across native animals on our walks.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mary MacKillop Bust available in cold cast bronze

Mary MacKillop Cold Cast Bronze. 2012
I have been wanting to post about the cold cast bronze and the bronze I am now producing to sell as  limited edition.
The dimensions are 83cm x 60cm x 52cm.

As a number of Australian Catholic Schools have approached me for a sculpture of Mary MacKillop that they could afford to buy, last year , after I finished the large bronze for outside the Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel in North Sydney, I began a new sculpture for this purpose.

I finished it in late 2011 and had a " Dragon Skin" mould made of the clay sculpture with a mother mould of fibreglass to house the silicone mould.

I was very aware the costs needed to be such that a school could afford to purchase  a sculpture of our first Australian Saint.The portrait needed to be of a sensitive, kind and loving woman and I have endeavored to portray her as I believe she was.

I have employed a partnership of artisan mould makers to do the work and we looked at various ways of making a statue .

We first thought of making it in cement with a ground  marble aggregate and also looked into a product called "Duo Matrix Neo" but ended up doing some work with Epoxy Resin and incorporating fine bronze powder in the first few layers. It is then backed up with fibreglass layers and the inner layer  is filled with marble aggregate mixed with epoxy resin. This gives it a solid interior.

The beauty of the bronze powder is then bought out by rubbing the exterior with '0000' steel wool and the cast can be treated the same as bronze and a classic patina can be applied to it with similar results as a hot cast bronze.Wax is then applied to buff the surface for protection.

The first school to ask for a sculpture was given the first option to buy one and it has been delivered to Mount Isa in Queensland, the school being St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School in far North Queensland.
They are going to give it pride of place in a garden setting.

The second school is in Sunshine, Victoria and their sculpture is going ahead and should be ready within a few weeks time.

I am also casting this bust as a bronze and one is being poured at a foundry for a Parish church in Canberra, Act as a memorial bronze.

If any schools churches or mother houses are interested in a cast in Bronze or the much less expensive version of cold cast bronze, please contact me by email at :  or phone: 61 8 825102040.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Xstrata Percival Portrait Award, Townsville, QLD


Banner outside Gallery with my painting.

 I found a photo of my painting in the gallery, it looks small on the wall and there are some beautiful paintings in the gallery, Pity it is so far away, I guess 4000Km away from where I live.
I also found out that the gallery used the painting on a banner outside the gallery so I asked if they could send me a photo of the banner and this came today.

Gallery  - Ground Floor

Paradise Harbour- Antartica

I am working on a painting this last week of an iceberg I took a photo of when we went to Antartica in 2008. It's quite hard to get it working with all the ice blues.
I am hoping to have it accepted for the Waterhouse Art Prize. This is one of the best exhibitions in Australia. I would love to have my painting selected as a finalist for this show.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mary MacKillop Bust for Schools

Mary MacKillop Bust For Schools.

If you have been following my posts I last mentioned the Bust I had been working on last September 27th 2011 post.

Mary MacKillop Bust in clay
Since then I finished the sculpture early December and began looking for the best way to make the sculpture so that it would be affordable for schools to buy.
I was very interested in working with a Smooth-On product called duo Matrix Neo.
I had a sample of the product and produced a very good looking little sample cast.

As the bust was just over life size I wanted to get it working well before we went into production and I wanted to add Bronze powder to it to have a piece similar to cold cast bronze but found as soon as I used the bronze powder, it required more than double the latex to get it to mix and it then set within minutes of mixing.

I went ahead and ordered 3 packs of the duo Matrix along with some retarder to slow the working time.

As it was just before the agent closed for Christmas I ordered and had to wait till the end of January for the delivery from the States.
When the material was delivered, I tried to get it working without any success. I had the agent come out to review the way I mixed it with no better results.
In the end I returned the product and was refunded my money. I really was disappointed because I really liked the look of it so if any one has any experience with this product I would love to get it working the way they show it on U tube.

Working the first coat of Dragon Skin

I hired two men to make a mould out of Smooth-On's " Dragon Skin" and we then looked at other material to make a sturdy cast for schools to buy.

After trying concrete we then looked at working with Epoxy Resin using a gell coat  mixed with fine Bronze powder and a black base colour. The tests worked out very well so we proceeded with casting the first piece and it was rubbed back with 0000 steel wool and looked really close to what a real bronze casting looks like and it took  a patina of Potassium sulphide and I waxed it with some beautiful wax from Sculpt Nouveau also from the USA.
The epoxy was backed up with fibreglass and filled with a resin and aggregate mix which made the whole cast 92.5 kg.

Cast Front and Back

Gosh, I  haven't been blogging since December last year and I have found the format has changed.

I spent a couple of months painting early this year. I have been wanting to follow up on a couple of ideas that I had and luckily my two granddaughters obliged and allowing me to set them up in a couple of funny poses.

Caitlin had gone to a fancy dress Halloween party and had made herself up as a doll.I asked her if she would makeup her face again for me to paint her and this is the result.

I was sent information about Xstrata Percival Portrait Award 2012 in Townsville, Queensland and the entrant had to indicate some link with Townsville. As Caitlin was actually born in Townsville and spent her first two years living there I thought I would enter her portrait and although I did not win the award, they did use her portrait to feature on the brochure about the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and I was rather pleased they selected my painting of her as there were some 179 entries received for the Award.

Erin is our other granddaughter, she is mischievious ,"out there", larger than life sort of girl and has been wearing this hat she received for her birthday during the winter so this is how I painted her.

It ended up turning out to be a great painting and even her dad, and Erin herself thought it a very good likeness.
I have entered it in the Doug Moran Portrait Prize so I will have to see if it gets accepted as it is one of the richest Art Prizes in Australia.

I also have 24 paintings on show at the Golden Grove Arts Centre Gallery, The Golden Way, Golden Grove. I have the wall space for my paintings whilst our club "Tea Tree Studios"have the venue showing their pottery and glass. We had a good opening evening Thursday  and had a lot attend the opening. The Exhibition is from 1st May  until 18th May 2012.