Exhibition: Making my Mark

With current covid restrictions, there will be no formal opening, but visitors are encouraged to drop in to chat with Debbie and see her extensive sketchbook collection from this year of drawing, plus many works on paper hanging in the exhibition. Debbie made a drawing every day of 2020 – a selection of these 366 works will be on display.

Incinerator Art Space
2 Small Street
Willoughby, NSW 2068

20 – 31 January 2021
Open hours: Wednesday – Sunday
10am – 4pm

There Are Always Flowers, concertina book, 2020, mixed media on paper

Webmaster Note: We were delighted to meet Debbie when she attended our Christmas meeting last November as guest speaker. Her presentation centered around a discussion of her creative practice and was very inspirational. This exhibition is an excellent opportunity to view many of her recent works.

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Focusing on Barb Adams

Barb Adams, a member of The Papermakers of Victoria, regularly sends news of what she has been doing and although 2020 was mostly a year of lockdowns, social distancing and cancelled workshops that didn’t stop her from being creative.

Circle books inspired by Christine Smith’s instructions

Paper sculptures based on boat themes

She also entered a piece in the Blarney Books & Art 2020 Biblio Art Prize and was selected as a finalist. This is an exhibition of artworks inspired by contemporary Australian fiction and covers a wide range of disciplines, most of them on or with paper. Below we show her handmade paper jacket inspired by The Dickens Boy.

The exhibition is currently on show until the end of January.

This is obviously a very popular event, with many entries, and the videos of both the finalists and other works are well worth watching. So click the link above and enjoy.

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PPA upcoming events

We’re pleased to announce the start of our 2021 event program in a COVID safe environment. Some activities are strictly for members only which is indicated in the description. All event attendees will be asked to comply with our COVID safety guidelines prior to attending the venue. This includes wearing a mask at all times and registering attendance with the Services NSW QR code.

Tips & Tricks Sessions – Members only

To get the year started we are offering two individual days of plant fibre cook-ups. These days are independent of each other and you don’t need to attend both, but feel free to come to the two if you wish. Members will participate in cooking, beating and even a bit of paper-making – time allowing.

Also in January and February we have Louise Gilchrist guiding members through the process of creating small paper vessels. Again, the days are independent of each other and you do not have to attend both if you are unavailable for one or the other.

Workshops – Members and visitors

Each quarter through 2021 we are offering an Introduction to paper-making one day workshop. So if you either haven’t made your own paper or need a reminder then this is for you.

We also have the following workshops confirmed, unless further COVOD restrictions come into being and we are forced to postpone.

  • ‘Bushscape’ Rendering trees in watercolour and ink – with Ingrid Bowen
  • Eco-printing – with Wendy Joyce
  • Box making – with Avril Makula
  • Paper Manipulation – with Midori Furze

Other workshops will be organised throughout the year and will be advertised once confirmed.

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Our thanks to Martin Ellis

On 17 December a morning tea was held at Primrose Park Art and Craft Centre to say goodbye to Martin Ellis who has retired from his role as Director of Community and Library Services.

Martin has been a wonderful friend at North Sydney Council and very supportive of the centre over many years. He was instrumental in getting all the renovations undertaken at Primrose Park Art & Craft Centre.

A number of the groups contributed to a gift for Martin: the Calligraphers made a great card, Basketry gave a wine holder made of a palm frond, Photography gave some “Ellis” wine and Paper Arts gave a book which Diana had made especially for the occasion. To quote Martin, he was “bowled over” by the gift.

For those who couldn’t attend and didn’t get to see the handmade book created by Diana we’ve attached some photos here.

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Sketching Now – Sketchbook Design

On 27 March PPA is offering a workshop with Ingrid Bowen entitled ‘Bushscape’ Rendering trees in watercolour and ink. Ingrid is a landscape artist with her recent practice concentrating on depicting Australian forest environments.

For those of us not confident in our drawing or sketching ability, or those wanting a little practice before enrolling in this workshop our member, Diana, has come across a couple of useful online courses you can undertake.

Both the featured courses are run by Liz Steel who describes herself as an obsessive sketcher and enjoys filling her sketchbooks with records of her travels, daily life and observations around her. Originally an architect by profession she is now a full-time artist, blogger and teacher. Her goal is to share her ideas to achieve loose and fast sketching and to help people find enjoyment in this way of working.

She describes her online course Sketchbook Design (in part) as follows:

Any sketchbook page can be made interesting by spending a little time designing a layout, adding notes and other elements. I want to share with you all my top tips, strategies, and techniques to creating beautiful pages – even if you are a beginner.

If you’re looking for something to help you get started and build some confidence when sketching then perhaps her Foundation course is more suitable.

This course will give participants the essential skills to start recording the world around them and provides a more structured way of visual thinking, bringing the ability to work faster.

Her website says the 12 week course has been designed to:

  • build a solid foundation with all the essential skills you need to start sketching
  • develop the most effective techniques for sketching out on location regardless of the subject matter
  • help improve your ability to sketch faster and more spontaneously

Two great opportunities to take up your pencils, pens, inks and other materials and get started right away.

And don’t forget to reserve your place in our upcoming workshop in March with Ingrid Bowen.

Webmaster note: Many thanks to our member Diana Brandt for bringing these online courses to our attention.


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Tomomi & Hisashi Kano: Japanese Washi paper creators

This video follows the entire process of transforming raw plant material into functional and delicately patterned washi paper to create Japanese screens. A fascinating insight into the labour-intensive traditions used to form unique sheets strong enough for modern day usage.

Tomomihisashi Kano is the unit name of these two masters (wife/husband). Mrs Tomomi Kano is the master of Obara Paper “Washi” along with her husband Hisashi Kano. They reside in the mountain area of Obara, which is famous for paper making.

Youtube link as above

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Gallery visit: Hazelhurst 2020 exhibition

By PPA member Claire Brach

We recently publicised the current Hazelhurst Gallery & Arts Centre exhibition celebrating 20 years of this venue being in operation. 350 artists from southern Sydney were invited to participate and submit their works for consideration.

Three PPA members, myself included, submitted pieces and were accepted. Here are our entries:

Betty Bird, Paper Birds, handmade paper,polystyrene & paper, 2020
Claire Brach, Banksia serrata, etching & chine colle on BFK Rives, 2020
Jennifer Maclaine-Cross, Intricacy, pen & ink, watercolour on paper, 2015

This is an excellent (and very large) exhibition with a wide array of creative skills on display. Well worth a visit if you are in the Sutherland Shire area.

Hazelhurst Gallery & Art Centre
782 Kingsway
Gymea, NSW 2227

Until 31 January, 2021
Open 7 days 9am – 4.30pm

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Just a few gelli prints

At our December Special Interest day there were once again quite a few gelli plates in sight.

This monthly activity is proving to be an excellent way for members to quickly and easily create designs on both commercial and hand-made paper without the need for involved processes or equipment.

There are multiple ways to use a gelli plate including stencilling, masking, spraying, layering wet on dry, using resists, brush painting, random rolling and more.

Acrylic paints work well and it doesn’t seem to matter which brand. They can be thinned, retarder or fabric medium added and by mixing metallics into matte colours a shimmer can be achieved.

When looking at the paper choices on the day, there couldn’t have been a wider variety. Cathy generously shared some of her deli paper – a rare commodity in Australia. We often see youtube videos from the US showing prints on this semi-translucent lightly waxed paper but we can’t source exactly the same product here. Prints were made on tracing paper, various weights of water-colour paper, cotton rag printmaking paper, hand-made paper, Cartridge and photocopy paper. They all took the paints without issue.

Here are some pieces from the day.

Many of these prints look like they could be turned into Explosion Books, see instructions in our previous blog post, and we hope to see some when we meet again in 2021.

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Make an Explosion Book

From the studio of the amazing Emily Harvey, also known as The Curious Printmaker, comes this video showing how to make an explosion book.

With many members of Primrose Paper Arts exploring and experimenting with their gelli plates, producing some fantastic prints, this small book project provides a brilliant way to showcase some of your work.

Webmaster note: Being a printmaker myself and having many ‘practice’ pieces – you know, the ones that aren’t quite up to scratch and lie around for ages – I know I can fill several of these books. What I love about Emily’s samples is that each one is created with its own theme instead of just random prints thrown together.

So by putting some thought into either a subject matter or colour theme before starting you should be guaranteed a cohesive outcome. Another thing I like about her pieces is the white surround on each section. The individual prints appear to be framed.

The Curious Printmaker website is full of interesting things. Emily writes a blog with numerous tutorials as well as having a shop where you can purchase original prints, greeting cards, paper-shell mobiles and more, and don’t forget to check out her gallery pages.

Youtube link as above

Posted in Artist Reviews, Book Making & Binding, Books, Magazines, Articles, Videos & Kits, Techniques | 2 Comments

Exhibition: A Subtlety

Primrose Paper Arts
present their latest exhibition

A Subtlety

inTransit Art Space
North Sydney Council Chambers
1st Floor, 200 Miller Street
North Sydney

Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

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