Sunday, July 2, 2017

Artist walk - North Head Manly

Have you ever played "tourist in my home town?" It's easy: pick a spot where a bus might pull up and let tourists take photos. That's what I did yesterday, after all North Head is only about 15 minutes from my house. It was a brisk 7 degrees C, but that blew away the cobwebs to take inspiration back to the shed.

An artist walk to North Head, Manly from tara axford on Vimeo.

Here's how the collage went after I had gelli printed some pieces to play with..

Well, time has again flown by, my June newsletter is about to go out, so if you're not on the mailing list and think you might like to be, pop over to and sign up :)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sydney Workshop June 18 at the Happenstore

It's time folks...!

Sydney workshop: June 18 at The Happenstore from tara axford on Vimeo.

Print + Pattern
monoprinting made easy
Have you heard of gelli printing? Here’s your chance to try it out.
This workshop will have you learning the basics of working with stencils, both natural and man-made. Students will create a variety of prints which explore layering acrylics to achieve unique works. For more info, or to book head over to the Happenstore

Monday, May 22, 2017

artist walk - Manly Dam

The other morning the Autumn sky was grey and waiting to rain, anticipating a day inside, I ventured out for a brief walk - here's what i saw... and heard - video has bird sounds and a bit of chat.

Artist wander: manly dam from tara axford on Vimeo.

This walk is a 2.5km round trip from my front door. What do you see 25minutes from your desk?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Thoughts on Autumn

Yesterday I attended a session by the School of Life in Sydney, the essence was: what can we learn from the seasons? With Autumn as the theme. Which lead to my response in words: "I see Autumn as freedom from summer's opressing heat, free to move we disperse, we can flutter and drift in the breeze. With crispness comes clarity. A comforting glow in the fallen leaves. As trees become empty, their true structures are revealed, their strengths and weaknesses exposed. I think not of decay, but transition."
from my collection

trying to capture the movement

textures + lines
What does a season study in your neck of the woods reveal? What have you observed?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

More wanderings...

So I may have mentioned that i am planning a couple of online courses, which is an excellent excuse to keep looking for footage... although this of course also presents the problem of where do I find the time to edit and create with said footage? While I haven't quite solved that one, it did get me out and about... There is sound if you want to hear my slightly cold affected narration..

An Artist walk at Mount Annan Botanical Gardens from tara axford on Vimeo.

More info on Mount Annan Botanical Gardens, an hour south west of Sydney, can be found here
Sadly as the weekend drew to a close - it meant there was no time to interpret all the visual material I had collected.. which is why i had to pop into Adobe capture and at least generate a few patterns in the meantime!

Friday, April 21, 2017


At the beginning of the year I launched my website, I felt it was time to reclaim my name!
After years of being Dudley - well, it was time to be Tara. Since then I have been exploring both nature and in the studio, working on content for my online course. In between the day job of course.
I'm always on the lookout for new things - today I tried Adobe Spark - an app that lets you edit all your bits and bobs together on your smartphone. While the transition from frame to frame is not really controllable or the panning used on each shot - it's a nice start.
It also lets you add narration - so here you go, Dudley moves aside and let's Tara talk!

An artist walk from tara axford on Vimeo.

Note: the digital patterns included in the above were created with Adobe capture - so addictive!

Friday, March 10, 2017

September Workshop in Wales!

Exciting news: I'll be in Wales September 2nd and 3rd teaching a one day workshop.
V E R Y    E X C I T I N G!
The gist of it is this:

Wabi sabi - finding beauty in the imperfection.
Being inspired by our surroundings we will collect, edit, print & create.

"Wabi-sabi is about the minor and the hidden, the tentative and the ephemeral. 

Consequently to experience wabi-sabi means you have to slow down, be patient and look very closely."

- Leonard Koren

Let's discover new ways of seeing, to create pieces that resonate with where we are.

We will begin by gathering our inspiration literally, to create a nature table.

We will discuss the process of editing our source material so as to find a starting point.
Using Gelli plates we will create mono prints inspired by our findings, we will then use these prints to create various artworks, including a pocket size artist book.

 Held at Springfield Arts, UK, I'm so looking forward to distilling the landscape
into memorable works of art.. perhaps you can make it?
See here for more info

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Back to the bush, again.

While I have enjoyed looking at lots of misty landscape and snow covered branches, we in Sydney have been experiencing humid days of 35-38C /100F. Which is lovely when you are wafting around in the water - but fairly taxing if trying to do much else.

Yesterday I thought I could beat the belting sun, if I ventured out before it did. I pretty much wandered the same path down to the dam - but tried to collect different colours and textures on my iPhone... I thought you might like to come along.. The video pieces have the sounds of the bush left in.. the rest.. is quiet..

Another bush walk to the dam from tara axford on Vimeo.

 I picked up some lovely leaves.. enjoying the effect of nature's mark making

I did a little macro photography, using some 'tube extenders' i purchased fairly cheaply on eBay
that fit onto my Canon 700d. I love how the leaves become the landscape..

Then I wanted to play around with the a4 inkjet prints, 
so added some marks and watercolour splurges of my own...

I've always enjoyed playing around with scale, and this was also fun, 
seeing the leaf patterns larger than usual...

Printed on my canon inkjet - I was expecting the non pigment, non archival ink to shift, but it was fairly resistant. I continued to add more splurges of my own....

I think I will revisit this again... as the weather hopefully cools down a notch, 
I look forward to getting out and about some more.

ps. if you leave a comment - lovely.. however, if you do not have a email address attached to your profile, I am unable to respond. Please go to my website and use the contact form there. That way I can answer your queries. Thank you!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Summer school - Ballarat

It was lovely to spend time hanging out at home & in the studio after the whole Christmas period.
Taking a couple of days to notice the small things: pods, leaves, foliage.. and do a bit of printing.

This year I am determined to launch my online course modules, and began filming course material .. 
so stay tuned to the n e w website for details

This january I attended summer school.
Organised by fibrearts australia I took a 5 day work shop with British textile artist Dionne Swift, as I had previously done an online workshop and was keen to see how it all worked in real life! It was my first time being at such an event - but with a jam packed timetable and all meals sorted - I soon adapted.

It was super to meet lots of creative people and share in the activities like the 10 x 10, and 15 x 15, exhibitions - these were my contributions... (above)
Next it was looking for inspiration..

threading up the machine...

and beginning a stitching frenzy.. starting with this 5cm brooch piece...

it was a wonderful start to learn how to paint with thread

I was a little shocked to realise how quickly I adopted that timetable.. 
but once I realised how to create a few 'holes' I left the premises to discover: The Lake

which was timely as we needed to begin a larger piece on our last day

It certainly was a whirlwind stitching kind of frenzy 
the last night all classes compiled a show and tell.. 
here's some of my pieces, and the sketches that informed them

I hope your creative plans for 2017 are coming along nicely ....

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Back to the bush...

As we turn the new year's (page) to 2017 - it's nice to start with a local wander.
It occurred to me that I post a lot of close up pics - and that you might not be familiar
with where I walk. I was also reminded of how as a child if I was taken on a bush
walk my response was often "but it all looks the same!" How wrong I was!

I thought this snippet would show you how scrappy and not particularly special my
'neighbourhood' is, but doing this quick edit on my iphone of course I couldn't help see
the beauty was SO obvious..

Bit of a bush walk down the dam... from tara axford on Vimeo.

Then it was time to do a few close ups...

Really, this was an excuse to play... stay tuned as I've had the post it notes out
and have a plan... here's to a creative year...


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