Thursday, 7 August 2014


A few weeks ago, I organised a school excursion for my Year 11 Studio Arts class to visit the studio of artist Deborah Klein in Ballarat.  What a fabulous morning it was!  Deborah was incredibly generous and welcoming, and shared so much information about her artistic practice and ideas.  The students had brought along their own visual diaries and were able to get some individual time with Deborah, talking through their ideas for their lino project.  Everyone on the excursion felt enthusiastic and inspired after leaving the studio

Thank you Deborah and also to your lovely husband, Shane Jones for making us feel so welcome and for the lovely cake!


Hi everyone, 

For this month's Art Club theme which was Quinten Tarantino, I wanted to make something that addressed Tarantino's foot fetish.  Have you ever noticed how many shots of feet there are in his films?  No?  Well there are!  I quite like drawing feet too, so I did some ink drawings of a few different feet to start this project.  I feel he has a particular affinity for Uma Thurman's feet, which I decided to feature in my print, from the film Kill Bill.

This artwork was a little experiment in moving away from the size number 1 lino cutting tool - and venturing out into cutting tool number 5 - a slightly bigger and chunkier tool.  I tried it and I'm not sure I really like it....but at least I tried it! (I know this sounds incredibly pedantic!)

Hope you like, Gillian 

The original ink drawing, which I transferred onto the lino surface using eucalyptus oil and the print press...

Uma Thurman's wonderful feet from the scene in the film...

Carving the lino block...

The cutting tools...

The scene from the film.  I love this little bit of the film...

Sunday, 22 June 2014


Hello everyone!
Yesterday I made my 'Winter' submission for Art Club, which is a portrait of Dave - a lovely friend in Melbourne who is the uncle of even more lovely friends.  I think Dave is a terrific human being and for a while I have been wanting to make an artwork using his face.  I originally took some photos of Dave way back in 2011 and finally decided to use these photos for this month's theme.

  The artwork is a lino print/cut, measuring 30 x 30cm.  I started the process by playing around in Photoshop and manipulating the image to have lots of dark shadows.  Dave is also wearing a wooly jumper which I also added in Photoshop.

I also attended a workshop at the Silk Cut factory in Highett yesterday, which was ran by the wonderful printmaker, Heather Shimmen.  Heather makes lovely layered prints with incredible detail, and was incredibly generous and sharing with ideas and tips for novice printmakers like me.  She introduced the class to working on a gesso surface on the lino surface - which I hadn't tried before.  Some of the marks on Dave's print are due to the gesso paint brush marks - which I think work really well with this image.  

Hope you like (I'm a bit chuffed with how it turned out)! 

Gillian x

Cutting the block...

The original photo of Dave....taken way back in 2012! (Yes, it takes me a while to get to working on projects, but I eventually get there!)

Monday, 7 April 2014


Last weekend I attended a workshop at Northcote Pottery in Melbourne.  I loved the day and was totally amazed that by 4pm I had a large, rather ugly looking head to take home with me!  I thought  would share the making photos and the finished head.  I loved this workshop so much that I've decided to make this a task with my Year 11 students next term!  More large, strange heads!       


Hello everyone, here is my submission for this month's theme for Art Club which was 'Garden'.  It is a little lino print titled 'Garden Dress'.  I just finished it yesterday after a little day using the press at school.  I was led by the idea that our bodies are like gardens and can grow and mend in such an amazing way.  And particularly female bodies - as we can grow babies! When I was researching  found an image of Adele in an amazing red Valentino dress which led me to making the initial ink drawing which I've included a photo of below.

Hope you like it!

Gillian x

Monday, 3 February 2014

Repetition/Beardie Men with Wooly Jumpers

I finally got around to finishing up this month's (cough, last month's) art work for Art Club which was, 'Repetition'. 
I was back in Scotland in July last year and came across a curious little book all about traditional knitting patterns, see here.  In the book were some pretty groovy looking guys that were modelling the jumpers. I loved their cool haircuts and the facial hair combos, as well as the beautiful patterns of the jumpers.  I took some photos of the book during my visit for use at a later date, and ta-dah, I found a use!

I started this project way before Christmas by doing some ink drawings using brushes, and being quite free.  I loved the marks made with the ink and the quality of the line.  After playing around with a few different faces, I settled on this fella to make into a lino print.  I originally began drawing his face onto the lino via the tracing paper method (in reverse etc), but soon realised that the lovely quality of the ink was lost.  I then had a brainwave - why didn't I just draw with ink directly onto the lino surface!  I wasn't sure if it would dry and not smudge, but it worked beautifully.  It was such an obvious technique that I was annoyed for not having thought of this much, much sooner!  I think I have found something that will really work for me.  I love both drawing and printmaking, but so often feel that the 'stiffness' of lino can work at odds with the drawings.  If I were really clever, I could carve into the lino without drawing any lines on there directly, but I am simply not brave enough and I also know that I distracted very easily!  Alas, I found something exciting!  I also like the idea of taking blocks of lino out and about on drawing excursions then carving back at home.
'Repetition' can describe the repetition of the patterns on the jumpers, or the very repetitive act of lino carving and printing.

I am pretty happy with this chap and plan to do some more lino cuts based on other ink drawings that I made.  I like the idea of having a series of these beardie men in cool jumpers!

 I hope you like it!

Lino detail...
I made a few drawings using black ink....

The original ink drawing of the one I took into lino...
Original source photographs from the book (with Gracie hovering around)...