Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bloomin' blossoms - it's Christmas!

Ahhh! just where did those last 2 months go? Just as I jump into the festive season
 and look forward to some creative projects on the other side.. I thought I'd share this...


A little bit of Jacaranda, a little flowering gum, hand carved rubber stamps..
if you'd like to see behind-the-scenes... take a look...


Happy holidays everyone!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Nine days in The Netherlands

I don't know about you - but I have to 'process' my trips. Yes, I lived in the moment while I was there, but to be honest, I was also flat out recording them for when I was no longer there. Now that I'm home and looking through my shots & footage - I'm really glad that I whipped out my iPhone to film from the tram when I arrived, or that moment the boat passed me on the canal, and to be honest - it is second nature to me (it's not a chore) so I appreciate it more when I discover the details when I'm editing. Here's a snap shot of my week, which I hope gives you a taste of Holland.

Nine days in The Netherlands from tara axford on Vimeo.


Here's some tips too:

1) Citymapper app here was fantastic. It was like having a personal concierge without the overheads. I constantly used the 'get me somewhere' feature, entered in my start and end, and it showed me overground, underground, tram, train, taxi and walking options, how long it would take and how much it would cost. It also lets you save this offline, plus I did screen shots or wrote down the info for later.

2) Rembrandt's House Museum was definitely a favourite, less queues, and it's where he actually lived and worked. There were also live demonstrations like the etching one shown above, worth planning your trip around this.

3) The Rijksmuseum is worth it. Fabulous collections, beautiful gardens, super shop + cafe. Book tickets online and get there early. I did the multimedia tour - so i could just view suggested highlights or key in numbers to hear about specific works (it emails you back your favourites too). No point getting museum fatigue. AND if you loved The Miniaturist - Petronella's dolls house is here..!

4) Why not continue the literary theme with a visit to the De Hortus Botanicus? If you enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of all things you'll enjoy this oasis in the city.

5) Follow locals of the city on instagram a little before you set off, one afternoon as I sat with my cake enjoying free wifi - I came across a picture of a photographic  fair - I googled it to find out that it was 20 minutes by tram from where I was sitting. So instant!

Next I'll be working on a nature in The Netherlands video AND hopefully taking that to the shed to bring you another one of my process videos... stay tuned!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Well, September. It's gone. I took some of my long service leave and went. To Europe. Solo.

8 days in Berlin... from tara axford on Vimeo.


Berlin, was one of those places that had crept into my mind as a destination to visit. It didn't disappoint. It was colourful, stimulating, yet also calming. I was happiest just wandering the streets. With big cities it can be overwhelming working out what to see, what to leave out. My tip would be to do a tour on arriving - get your bearings.  I did this 'alternative' one first. It took me to neighbourhoods that I wanted to visit, but wouldn't have gone to immediately. Alex our guide moved at a good pace - just the right amount of history and local street art based knowledge. We caught a couple of trains (a great intro to the German transport system) + walked for 3 hours.
I also discovered free tours are a 'thing' in Europe. You sign up - for free - then you have the option of tipping the guide how much you think the tour is worth. Excellent. I did this one, although both companies offer several different options, including evening + more specialised trips. It was an ideal way to tick off a few of the key points of historical interest while leaving me plenty of time to embrace getting lost on my own.

I stayed in a wonderful apartment in the old East Berlin (via airbnb) - which really added to the experience of listening to Stasiland by Anna Funder, as an audio book some evenings. Because of this focus, I sidestepped popular museum island and went to the DDR museum, and visited The Story of Berlin. Both these museums have a multimedia approach to telling a story. You can walk through recreated scenes or vignettes, you can pick items up, open drawers and cupboards, listen to audio - ultimately get a real sense of some of Berlin's history, without just walking up and down corridors peering into glass cabinets.

Images such as this - which showed the impact of a 'sudden' wall between two parts of the city were fascinating.. as was visiting it's remains.


I had purchased Lonely Planets pocket guide, as this was super overview and had an actual MAP, good for avoiding excessive 3G/4G charges. Although free wifi was available in most cafes - a perfectly timed pitstop. Having cash on hand rather than relying on cards was indeed a good tip, others would be that shops are shut Sundays. So head to Mauerpark if flea markets are your thing.

Berlin in September, for me, had it all. Colourful neighbourhoods, fabulous food for every palate and budget, history, inspiration, super art supply shop,



 fab soy flat whites .... 



plenty to explore and experience.







Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pattern Play: from the desert to the shed

Reflecting back on last year I realised once again how much I love taking + making pictures. It seemed a logical next step to make them move... in the Christmas holidays I signed up for a course with the filmmaker /photographer Xanthe Berkeley, soon i was chopping and clipping all over the place. Now 6 months later, I could experience the incredible environment of Central Australia capture the memories, AND bring it all back to the studio.

While not a how-to film, hopefully how i translated my inspiration and the process involved will become apparent. I don't know about you, but there is something about watching other people create... I know I enjoy a bit of sticky beak into a studio - i hope you do too!

From the desert to the shed from tara axford on Vimeo.
After a visit to Uluru, Northern Territory, Australia I spent time in the shed looking at my photos to see where patterns formed. I made marks, made prints and then made my patterns.

Ahhh, so having the start of a pattern, a textural print was all very nice - BUT trying to repeat that had eluded me! Once again I ventured online and found the lovely Jessica Swift who made the technique ... just about seamless! As they say practice does make perfect, but here are some of my initial attempts seen in the video above.



a gelli printed base with additional marks

a gelli printed base with additional marks + collage elements

a gelli printed base with additional marks

digital design using Adobe Shape app on my iphone
to capture sketches and convert to vector art. Then repeat in Adobe illustrator.

So there you have it, first round. It'll be nice to have those sit for a bit 
and then come back for round 2 perhaps...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Red Centre

Aahh, where did the time go? ...
Last weekend we were lucky enough to visit The Red Centre/Ayers Rock/ Uluru. Having migrated here 30 odd years ago from the UK I always figured that one day, i would go to ... The Rock. Until you are actually standing in the vicinity of such a monolith it's hard to know what going to "The Rock" means. Of course I have many a photo from the weekend but here is the essence of our 3 day trip into 3 minutes.

Uluru, Northern Territory, Australia from tara axford on Vimeo.


Hopefully next weekend I'll be venturing into "The Shed" with this inspiration and another one of my process videos will follow...

Sunday, April 26, 2015

An Artist's date

A few weeks ago i took myself for an artist's date... 
unfortunately it was a wet, windy, grey Saturday morning - but I had it 'locked in'.

I wandered for a bit around Reef Beach which is down the rocks from Arabanoo lookout, 
Tania Park, near Manly, Sydney Australia.


Arabanoo was an indigenous man who was kidnapped by marines in 1788, it is said that he first thought  the handcuffs to be ornamental. I wanted to explore this idea through imagery of pieces I found on Reef Beach.

Reef beach from tara axford on Vimeo.

From my foraged finds I took photos of some of the arrangements


shot on my iphone 5s
I used these images to form a grid of images that captured the essence of what I saw.


Making the structure  of the wristlet from sculpey,
I printed out the images onto fabric using my inkjet printer.
(ironing the fabric to freezer paper first, to keep it firm).


This monoprint was created using my gelli plate.
I'm enjoying the process of visiting a place and creating a response to it -
easier than sketching the great outdoors insitu!



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bowen's Creek and gelli printing

Last weekend we visited Bilpin near the Blue Mountains of NSW, while I had a little wander around the property I recorded a few snippets of inspiration.

Bowens Creek from tara axford on Vimeo.


Once back home I popped into the shed to print:

Gelli printing a visit to Bowen's Creek from tara axford on Vimeo.


Once I had finished making textured papers I could evaluate 
what I had, and how I might work with them next.



Here's a few finished pieces...
collage from prints

collage from prints

collage from prints

These two prints below, also used watercolour masking fluid to 'block' 
out paint, leaving white areas when finished. 

postcard size gelli print

postcard size gelli print

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Why did the duck cross the road?

Sometimes it's the little things. Or supplies, that speak to you. Sometimes it's both.
I recently came across this lovely paper designed by Melbourne company Inkyco..
i had to 'work' or is that, play? with it...

Why did the duck cross the road? from tara axford on Vimeo.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Gelli print peek

OK, so if you prefer looking at 'what' i create rather than what i 'see' then here is my first process video. As you may be aware i started dabbling in imovie over the Christmas break. This is an experiment filming with my ipad on a stand. Had I known this would be the crop - i would have dressed differently! Although it was about 32C that day! Anyway, as impatient as ever - i release this peek for viewing..

Gelli print peek. from tara axford on Vimeo.


Here are the pieces from the video. All use masking fluid (used for watercolour painting).




The orange + green shapes were a mask cut from sticky backed plastic film.


Roll on.

Out and about...

I see red....

I hope you all had a lovely Saturday. As you may have seen on my instagram (i'm dudleyred) i wandered around the city for a bit. I had a lightbulb moment when i realised that the Lunar New Year celebrations were overlapping with the Valentines ones. Either way ... i was stalking both..
here's a snippet...

February 14 from tara axford on Vimeo.


If you'd like to see my favourites from the HSC
(final year high school art students) click on the link here ...






Sunday, February 15, 2015

Market days

Continuing my experiment  with 'moving pictures', last weekend i wandered around near Sydney's 'Coathanger'... amongst .... well coat hangers..

Sunday morning from tara axford on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

words and pictures

So it seems that January had me making little videos.. here's one i made last weekend, although Sunday was sooooo hot, it was hard to do much at all.
This year I'd like to explore creativity and sharing the process more - so this is taking tiny steps in that direction... Spoiler: I had to get infront of the camera :\

Dudley has a think from tara axford on Vimeo.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Treading water

Yesterday was quite warm, 35 degrees C. Probably should have gone to the beach, but the girl was back after 2 months in Holland, so we sat around and caught up. I have been to the beach recently though - one time it wasn't so sunny. I borrowed a gopro, here's what i saw... although i didn't see it at the time... because what i didn't realise (but the 16 yr old told me, as he handed it over) was that the go pro doesn't have a viewfinder. der!

Fairlight from tara axford on Vimeo.

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