Exhibition 12 February – 9 March 2014 @ Northern Rivers Community Gallery

I have an exhibition opening in Gallery 1 of the Northern Rivers Community Gallery on 12th Feb until 9th March.

It includes some returning Lino-prints from my December exhibition alongside some new works of birds & Gymea Lily Wildflowers.

The Launch Event is from 5pm to 7pm on Friday 14 February 2014.
Following the exhibition launch the Gallery Café will be open with a special menu for
Valentine’s Day. Bookings are from 6.30pm.

For information contact the Gallery Café on
telephone 6681 3888.

NRCG Exhibition e FEB 2014 WEB

The main exhibitors for February are:

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Snapshots – Birds – New linocuts for 2014

I have just finished this set of 8 new linocuts – Snapshots Birds – my first for 2014! So things are off to a flying start – excuse the pun!

They are a series of small linocuts of birds based around some of my ‘snapshots’ or photographs of birds. I love taking photos, as you will know from this blog but I am not a very technical photographer & use the photos as resource material for my drawings and linocuts. So here is a little insight where I have taken my ‘snapshots’ of birds and developed them into drawings and then finally handpainted linocuts.

These will be available at my website and will be part of my return exhibition in Gallery 1 of the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina in February/March 2014.

Snapshot - Birds SET OF 8 - websmall

Australian Alphabets – Fine Art Linocuts Tutorial Video

– Australian Alphabets by Lynette Weir –

The process of developing my

Australian Wildflower & Wildlife Alphabets

Launch Event – ‘Wildflowers’ & ‘Geoff Hannah & his Students’ – Northern Rivers Gallery

Just a little Gallery of images from the Launch Event for my current exhibition at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina.

The Gallery was renovated after my launch & now has some lovely timber doors out onto the Gallery Cafe deck which has certainly enhanced the space for visitors.

The process of developing my Australian Wildflower & Wildlife Alphabets

Australian Alphabets - Linocut WEB

Over 10 years ago I worked on an Australia Fauna Alphabet but over the years my artwork, style & designs have developed & so a few years ago I decided to revisit the idea of producing a new Australian Wildlife Alphabet.

Alongside this I wanted to also develop an Australian Wildflower Alphabet.

When I produced the original alphabet & exhibited it I had a lot of feedback about how it would be great for posters or friezes.

Australian Fauna Alphabet

My artwork has always had a focus on Australian wildflowers & wildlife – growing up in Sydney surrounded by the bush was a defining aspect of my life & it is my love of the bushland – both its flora & fauna – that has underpinned my artwork. I have always been drawn to exploring representations of wildflowers & wildlife whether that be drawings, illustration, photography or relief printing all my life. I love to draw others into this world through my artwork to explore the colour & vibrancy of the natural world that surrounds us in Australia.

So about 5 years ago I started to develop these projects, starting in my usual way of working – the idea/concept with small thumbnail sketches of ideas.

DESIGN CONCEPTS DRAWINGS PHOTOS WILDFLOWERS ALPHABETS 3 WEB

I am constantly taking photos & although I have always loved photography – recording events, including family – but I also underpin all my artwork with my photography. I like to look at everything that I draw & to take photos that capture all different aspects including not only the ‘structures’ of the objects/wildflower etc, but also light, colour & design possibilities. I have thousands of photos both digital & printed – and filed!

This image incorporates kind of how I think in this phase of working from the idea into more concrete images.

Photos, sketches, notes contribute to working through all my different ideas.

I have lots of these small sketchbooks – I usually carry one with me so if I get an idea for something I can quickly note it down.

DESIGN CONCEPTS DRAWINGS PHOTOS WILDLIFE ALPHABETS WEB

I began my first designs with the wildlife alphabet & explored ways to represent both the particular species & the alphabet.

I finally settled on the underlying idea of rather than using the actual letter, I would take the basic shape of the letter & explore how I could represent the particular species around this construct. I also made the decision to create 26 individual 10cm x 10cm printed images with both a header & a footer.

The next step was to look at each ‘letter’ & particular species that could be used. Sometimes I would work on a couple of different drawings for a letter & some like these caterpillars never made it to the final artwork but who knows where or if they will be revisited for something later.

AUS ALPHABET CATERPILLAR DRAWINGS WEB

I really enjoy this phase of experimenting with ideas & concepts & just the process of drawing is always lovely.

In choosing which images I would use I needed to look at not only the individual designs but also the whole end product – trying to get a cross-section of birds, insects, mammals, marsupials etc alongside colour & design considerations.

Once I had the basic drawings & designs worked out I again inked in each ‘letter’ & looked at the alphabet as a whole. Again changes in individual designs as well as the overall piece as a whole was worked on & developed.

Here are a couple of quick ‘timelines’ showing the evolution of the Hercules Moth & the Echidna.

AUS ALPHABET HERCULES EVOLUTION WEB

AUS ALPHABET ECHIDNAEVOLUTION WEB

Then to the carving, printing & finally the handcolouring.

For the Australian Wildflower Alphabet – I decided to simply represent each wildflower within the 10cm x 10cm format I had chosen rather than use the alphabet lettering shapes I had started with for the wildlife.

In between all of this I have been a Carer for my elderly family members & my sons for about the past 10 years in particular, but at the beginning of this year we became ’empty nesters’ which meant I had a lot more time to actually spend getting back to my artwork!

Over this time I had also developed real difficulties with my shoulder/neck that was significantly impacting my capacity to not only carve Lino but to work generally. In July 2012 I finally had shoulder surgery & set about the slow & steady recovery.

When I was invited by Ingrid Hedgcock to exhibit at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery early this year, it provided the impetus to not only restart my arts practice which had been limping along for the last few years, but to finally complete some of the projects I have had on the very slow burn. This included this long-standing project of the set of Australian Alphabets.

Although I had completed all the individual linocuts for these posters some time ago, I had become stuck on how to develop these onto a poster format & to find funding to actually complete the project.

A few months ago I approached awesome Artist/Printmaker/Designer Joanna Kambourian of Ms Browns Lounge & Lismore Arts Space to work with the design of the poster.

After discussing a couple of different ideas that I was thinking about – you can see a couple of these below, Joanna worked on the final concept design & completed all the pre-press work for production printers.

Australian Wildlife Alphabet EVOLUTION WEB

Then to find a trade printer to commercially produce the posters.

Joanna recommended CJKing Printers who are based in Perth & on the Gold Coast – not far from where I live. I made the decision to use a heavier weight paper that could still be rolled (& springs back to flat) but which I could also get gloss celloglazed.

CJKing have been great to deal with they have produced a rich gloss quality poster that I am just so pleased with.

These posters retail for $20 plus $6.95 for postage in a mail tube (postage includes up to 5 posters in one mail tube) and can be ordered from my website by clicking here – or click on the images below.

They would make a lovely Christmas present (shameful plug :)).

SOULSONG - Lynette Weir - Australian Wildflower Alphabet WEB

SOULSONG - Lynette Weir - Australian Wildlife Alphabet WEB

Magpie Showers

Australian Magpies – Cracticus tibicen are just the most lovely birds. Their striking black and white plumage and beautiful red/brown eyes are topped off with the most wonderful warbling call. It really is one of the iconic bird calls of Australia and its bushland.

Over recent weeks my husband has been spending a fair bit of time pottering around in the garden. He has been putting in a pond with water for the birds. As it has been a particularly dry Spring so far, it seems to being appreciated by a number of bird species including magpies.It is nesting time for Magpies at this time of year and many of the local magpies are swooping at this time of year protecting their nesting zones. Often our neighbours have trouble going into their backyards to do things such as hanging their clothes no the line we have never had that problem. Having been hit in the back of the head by a swooping Magpie protecting it’s nest as a child I can say it really actually hurts! So avoiding their swoop or nesting zones is a definite strategy I would recommend.

Our little band of local magpies however, come into our native garden frequently without any animosity. It is a different matter if you were to go outside the fence but it seems a kind of ‘magpie swooping free zone’ inside the fence.

Whilst gardening one of the ‘locals’ decided it was a great idea to stand nearby my husband and wait for him to throw any earthworms he dug up its way. As a result the two have built up a kind of bird / man relationship of sorts.

It seems this has now extended to lining up for a shower when he goes to water the veggie garden and keep the pond filled up.

Magpie shower 2 Magpie shower 3 Magpie shower 10

This lovely creature preens, fluffs and just so enjoys his little shower.

He flies away but comes back again and again for more of that delicious cool light misty spray from the garden hose.

It has been particularly warm this Spring so far so just was we used to do as kids a good cool off under the garden hose or sprinkler this lovely Magpie thinks it is just the bees knees.

Magpie shower 20

Flat Rock, Ballina – Birdlife

Last week I went for a lovely walk to Flat Rock near Ballina. I went to get some additional photos of some local flora for a new design based on the beachside flora of this area. I also went to take some extra photos of the bird life that gather there. It was an absolutely stunning Spring-like day.

On arrival I encountered as I have always know them, a Scrub Turkey. They are also known as Australian Brush Turkeys or Alectura lathami. Bold as brass he/she was! Strutting around almost posing for the camera!

Scrub Turkey 3

Scrub Turkey 1

I kind of like these odd-looking birds and their sense of entitlement and arrogance. I love their odd-looking scrawny heads and have been drawing up a new linocut of one of their heads – great colouring too!

Scrub Turkey 2

Flat rock is basically a rocky outcrop on the beach where at low tide the local sea-bird life gathers.

Birds in FLight 1

Birds in FLight 2

There is a sign as you approach the beach talking about the local sea birds.

BirdS of Flat Rock

I am very much an amateur bird watcher so fortunately today I managed to have  local birdwatcher there with his binoculars and he very kindly identified the birds for me. Some I knew already some I didn’t.

Bird watcher Flat ROck

There are Crested Terns seem to be the biggest colony there at the moment. They are white, grey and black and have a lovely ‘crest’ or tuft on the back of their heads.

Crested Tern 1

At one stage the birds took off rather spectacularly and the birdwatcher tells me is was a raptor overhead probably a Brahminy Kite. Unfortunately I didn’t see the raptor!!

Birds in FLight 4

Birds in FLight 3

In amongst the Crested Terns out towards the sea were Ruddy Turnstones which I managed to not get a photo of, but did get a rather distant photo of Red Necked Stints. They are the small brown birds in the middle of this photo of the surrounding Crested Terns.

RED NECKED STINT

There were also some Sooty Oystercatchers but didn’t get any worthwhile photos of them. A couple of Gull Billed Terns were there and although I didn’t get a worthwhile photo of them last week I did get one of them flying a previous photo of them back in April. They have the dark beaks.

Gull-Billed Tern

Silver Gulls – or Seagulls are very common and there were a couple of them out there as well with their distinctive red legs, beak and ring around their eyes.

Silver Gull

There were only two Little Black Cormorants there, this is one of them, but I had taken a photo of one flying there back in April as well.

Black Cormorant

Black Cormorant Flying

Only one Little Pied Cormorant was there that I could see.

Little Cormorant 2

Little COrmorant 1

But by far my favourite are the Pied Cormorants. They have a distinctive orange eye patch and bare throat skin. They also have large webbed feet.

Pied Cormorant 1

You often see them with their wings outstretched and drying which is just rather lovely.

Pied Cormorant 3

Pied Cormorant 2

And they can be quite graceful once in the air.

Pied Cormorants Three 5

These are a series of photos of took of them back in April. As the tide came in they made numerous small flight hops to the next rocks.

Pied Cormorants Three 3

Pied Cormorants Three 2

I can just imagine the conversations these three were having.

Pied Cormorants Three 1

Pied Cormorants Three 4