dark shadows stronger light

By Sue Davie

This paper was made by Jill Elias from recycled mount board, which I purchased at our recent exhibition.

I always gravitate to Jill’s handmade papers and this one was particularly interesting due to the texture, tone and contours.  When Dinah (Primrose Paper Arts President) explained how it was made (pressed to dry onto the rough walls of PPAC) I was fascinated and just had to have it!

The paper reminds me of a rough landscape with a lot of dark shadows yet is very peaceful, so I searched for a quote to match.  Google is great for this and as soon as I stumbled upon this Charles Dickens quote, I knew it was a perfect match for the paper:

“The earth is full of dark shadows but its lights are stronger in the contrast”

I layered the calligraphy using the paper’s spaces and colour as guides; first drawn letters in graphite, then italicised gothic in white gouache, then one line in black sumi ink following the contours of the paper.


Webmaster Note: Stunning piece, highly contrasted textural and smooth sections, excellent use of a severely reduced colour palette creating an extremely strong outcome.  Just love the lettering and fonts used throughout.

Posted in Member Activities, Paper, Techniques | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

2017 Print Exchange

The Printmaking Sisters are running their third Animalia International Print Exchange and all printmakers are invited to enter, with proceeds of sales pledged to World Animal Protection.

There is a simple set of guidelines to follow, setting out paper size, theme ideas, number of entries allowed per person and entry fee.

Acceptable techniques include: Intaglio, Relief, Collagraphy, Stencil, Lithography, Letterpress, Serigraphy/screen prints or any combination of these hand printed methods.  Exclusively digital/photographic prints will not be accepted.

With a deadline of 18th August 2017 there is plenty of time to plan your masterpiece and send in at least one entry.  Don’t forget that this is a fundraiser for animals desperately in need as well as an exchange between artists.

More information, and entry form, can be found by clicking here and you can check out the entries from the 2015 and 2013 exchanges on the same page (just to give you a few ideas to get started!).

So, what are you waiting for?  Get those visual diaries out, start planning your piece and get printing!

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Exhibition: FEAST

In conjunction with this exhibition Belconnen Arts Centre is hosting:

10am – 1pm Sunday 2 July 2017

11am Sunday 9 July

A little hard to read some of the text above, so click here for more information on both the exhibition and accompanying events.

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Exhibitions: Contemporary Art Exhibition

Contemporary Art Exhibition by two Japanese-born, Sydney-based artists, Midori Furze & Mayu Kataoka.

Wednesday, 28 June – 10:00am to Sunday, 9 – 4:00pm
Creative Space
105 Abbott Road
North Curl Curl  NSW 2099

Origami, paintings and photographs
Wed 28 June to 9 July
10am-4pm daily
Display & talk about Kyoto Kurotani paper on Sundays.

Opening night
Thursday 29 June, 6-8pm
With Riley Lee, Shakuhachi Grand Master

Free Bookmark making workshops
This workshop is a free drop-in style workshop. Come anytime to join the workshop during the workshop hours.

Crystal Bowl Sound Meditation by Eri Totsuka
Sat 1 July 4-4.45pm. Gold coin donation. 15 spaces only.
Booking essential: Click here

Find out more here

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Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award 2017

20 May 2017 – 16 July 2017

Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre
782 Kingsway
Gymea NSW

Held every two years since 2001, the Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award is a significant national exhibition that aims to elevate the status of works on paper while supporting and promoting artists working with this medium.

Brian Robinson, Land Sea Sky – Charting our place in the universe, 2016.

The works in the 2017 Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award demonstrate the materiality of paper, its versatility, and the possibilities of paper as a medium. Works include painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, sculpture, installation and video.

Webmaster note: We would like to highlight the following artist for your enjoyment:

Betty Bird

Knitting the Miles Away 2017
knitted paper
21 x 600 x 3.2cm approx

I bought an old 1980s ‘Reader’s Digest Motoring Guide to Australia’ for $2 at a Brisbane market, attracted by the fine quality of the paper and soft green and pink illustrations.

Knitting up the book was a slow and labour intensive process.  I tore up the pages, shredded them, and glued them end to end to produce the yarn.  With number 10 needles I cast on 30 stitches and began to knit.  That was in early January 2017.

I’ve since processed and knitted over 300 pages.  Each page produced 17 strips of paper, which, when glued end to end, created 6 rows of knitting (about 6cm) taking 40 minutes.  The length of this work is over 6 metres.


This is just one piece from the exhibiting 76 finalists who were chosen from over 850 entries, the largest number ever to have submitted their work for consideration and the chance to participate in the $26,000 prize money.

Some information and images from –

Posted in 2017 Exhibitions Other, Exhibitions | 2 Comments

The (nearly) fought over monoprint

The internal musings of a Primrose Paper Arts member

By Claire Brach

It seems longer, but was in fact only 2 weeks ago that all members exhibiting in our Shadow and Light exhibition got together to deliver their artworks and check their artist statements.

Monday 29th May – Primrose Park, Cremorne –

I checked in my pieces and caught up with some members I hadn’t seen for a while.  A space was reserved for delivering prints and handmade paper to be sold as unframed works in our sales area.  Our member, Brenda, was doing a fine job of ensuring pieces were displayed well, priced properly and marked with the artist name.

I wandered over to have a look and chatted as my hands flipped through the cellophane packages.  My fingers stilled and I pulled out a particularly lovely monoprint ……

Claire to Self: Oh, this is nice.  They’re all lovely but this one, well, it just jumps right out at me.  Got to buy this.  Seems a bit cheeky to ask if I can get it now.  I mean, it hasn’t even got to the venue yet.  The exhibition is only open for two days before I go in for the official opening so, if it’s still there, I can buy it on Saturday.

Saturday 3rd June – 1.30pm, The Palm House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney –

Claire to Self: The speeches aren’t until 2pm and it’s already so crowded.  Wonder if the print is still there.  Fingers crossed.

What a brilliant afternoon, over 500 people visited the exhibition that day and many were from other art and creative groups.  We drank champagne (or as good as!), nibbled on a vast array of finger food, admired and bought exhibited artworks and exclusive sales items.  4pm came, time to clear up and close up.

Claire to Self, walking to the train station: Oh no, I got so carried away with the camera, the artworks and talking to everyone that I forgot to buy the print.  OK, don’t worry, I’m back on Monday manning the exhibition.  If it’s still there then it was definitely meant for me.

Monday 5th June – The Palm House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney –

We counted the float, read the instructions, checked the artworks and restocked the cards for sale.  Peter, Janet and I were busy, busy, busy but Brenda’s print was on my mind.  I moved to the print stand and flicked through.  Yes!  There it was.  I picked it up.

At that moment (during a slight lull) an old acquaintance of mine, AM, arrived – she also knew Peter.  We updated each other on our lives, talked about the exhibition and so on.  I felt awkward standing holding my prized find, especially as more and more people arrived  to be greeted and given information.

Claire to Self: If I put the print at the very back of the stand no-one is likely to pick it and I can come back in a few minutes when the rush is over.

I turned to speak with some other visitors.  A couple of minutes later Peter called me to help record AM’s purchases as she was buying some cards and handmade papers.  The items needed packing.

Claire to Self: What’s my print doing on the table?  Did I inadvertently put it down instead of in the rack?  Didn’t I deliberately hide it?

And yes, you’ve guessed it.  In those couple of minutes, whilst I was turned away welcoming some other people AM ‘found’ the print and instantly bought it.  What can I say: great taste, eh?  I was gutted!

So the moral of the story is:

If you ever see an original work that you love, and especially if you have it in your hand, never put it down again until you’re at the till and paying for it!

Sunday 11th June – 2.30pm, at home –

Claire’s final note: Well my luck didn’t entirely run out.  When back working there yesterday I took a couple of minutes to search right through the racks and came up with an equally lovely print from the same set.

but it would have been nice to have 2 ………

Selected prints created by Brenda Livermore.  Photos by the artist & Claire Brach

Posted in 2017 Exhibitions PPA, Exhibitions, Member Activities, PPA Activities | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Seaweed Paper

By Dinah Beeston

Recently Jess contacted us about making paper out of seaweed. She is currently completing her honours degree at UNSW art and design and for her honours project she is investigating how seaweed could be transformed into packaging. We agreed to have a play day to work out whether seaweed would make good paper or not.

Jess brought down 5 different types of seaweed – kelp, fan weed, green fingers, neptunes neck and ulva – which we put  in separate, well labelled bags.

We got out the copper, put in hot water, then added soda ash and brought the water to the boil again.

We left the bags in there for about 40 minutes and then washed it very thoroughly – not an easy job as it was very slimy.

By the way – don’t try this at home, the smell was awful !!

We beat up each one in the blenders, and then put them through a mould and deckle to make a sheet of paper. There were various results – mostly the pulp was very mushy (technical term!!) and so didn’t stay on the mould to make a sheet of paper.

Liner & mould

We tried a number of different things – using a very small gauge mould, using a liner with the mould, mixing in formation aid, and combining the seaweed with other pulps such as recycled mountboard and banana pulp.
It was interesting to see the reaction when the Neptunes neck was mixed with the banana pulp which clumped together in the paper and was very obvious when it was dried.

The sheets dried at very different rates as you can see from the pictures below:


Jess’s comments when she collected her dried paper were:
“There were some successes and failures from our experimentation. I can see potential in the Ulva species and would like to further experiment with paper making as well as heat pressing to refine and articulate the final result.”

Photos by Dinah Beeston & Claire Brach

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