Blog

New Gallery

Fellow artists Steve Howells, Patrick Haddock and I have opened a new gallery on the main street of Deloraine where we will work and sell our art.  Formerly a hairdresser, the gallery is down near the river and right next door to a funky new espresso bar/gift shop, Field Rabbit – very handy!  Come in and visit us in our new space and we promise not to cut your hair!  5 Emu Bay Road, Deloraine.

Artists in Action

I was invited to participate in the Artists in Action event organised by the Launceston Art Society at Eskleigh House in Perth, Tasmania.  I had a delightful day demonstrating and talking to people about art, two of my favourite things to do!  The LAS people were such lovely hosts and the location of such a beautiful stately home added to the experience.  I had a great day and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

The Fallen installed

Finally, the original drawing of “The Fallen” has been installed in its new home. Preserved between two panels of perspex and mounted with an elaborate hidden mounting system, the contemporary piece takes pride of place in the owner’s living room and has relegated the TV to the corner where it belongs!  Congratulations to Roy and Peta Soundranayagam for acquiring the original drawing.

New Studio Renovation

Welcome to my new studio/gallery/shop.  In July, Christian and I began renovations on this studio at the Deloraine Creative Studios.  It is the 5th studio we’ve renovated and hopefully the last!  I went a little crazy with the ideas on this one because, well because, you know, I can’t help it!  I went with an Industrial Chic interior design and up-cycled materials as much as possible – old fence palings, crates, baskets, furniture, display props from the tip.  With the help of my ever-patient husband, we built the monolithic black cabinet (to hide the ugly electrical boxes and to serve as storage), a mobile window display unit, 2 sets of funky shelves and of course the usual, plastering, painting, architraves etc.  All the letters are hand painted with left over paint and yes, those are galvanised plumbing pipes, spray-painted black on the shelves.  The lights are solar-powered from a panel in the window.

before_after

We had loads of fun but I’m happy that it’s finished and I can get on with working in it!  Here’s a little gallery of the work in progress….

A scan of epic proportions

I have successfully scanned an image 2.4 metres long by 1.2 wide!  This may sound like a simple thing, but  it is not.  After failing to find any drum scanner or other type for scanner that would scan an image this big, I turned to a normal household A4 scanner.  I purchased an Epson Perfection V39 scanner for the simple reason that its lid is removable.  I then purchased a piece of wadding (the stuff they use for quilting) and laid it out on a large piece of MDF board.  I worked out a grid system allowing for a 40% overlap required for successful panorama stitching in Photoshop and hammered some nails in the sides of the MDF.  I then attached two pieces of string, one horizontal and one vertical to divide up the image into separate squares for scanning.  I placed the original drawing on top of the piece of wadding and put the string in place.  Next I placed the scanner UPSIDE DOWN without its lid (glass in contact with the drawing) and scanned the image one square at a time, moving the string one notch after each scan.  I pressed the scanner firmly down onto the drawing which was slightly spongy given the wadding underneath.  This allowed the drawing to make direct contact with the glass of the scanner without creating a shadow from the lip around the edges of the glass.  It took most of the day to scan the image.  80 separate scans in total.  Once I had all the scans I went to work in Photoshop.  I used Photomerge to stitch together each horizontal row into a panorama.  I then stitched the panoramas together to form the complete image.  It took a few hours to complete.  Photoshop kept having trouble with one part and I nearly gave up on the whole thing until I realised that one of the scans was rotated 180 degrees.  Once I inverted it, the thing stitched together like a dream.  With a little bit of tidy up here and there, the whole image was flawless at 300 DPI 2400 x 1200mm and 1.26 GB.  I have since printed it at original size and the resolution is amazing for such a large image.  This means a lot for me to be able to print my images at actual size and I had a party all by myself at 1 o’clock in the morning when it worked!

New Charcoal and Graphite blend

WIP_ErinThis is my new experiment in charcoal and graphite pencil.  I love the contrast and ‘painterliness’ of charcoal but I also want the control and subtlety of graphite pencil so I thought a combination might work.  It’s odd how we are conditioned to stick to one media like some sort of purist and it just doesn’t occur to us to mix them.  Thanks to my daughter Erin for posing for me… Again.

Products on Redbubble

I am now on Redbubble! My artwork is now on many different products available here: Redbubble.
Redbubble is an online art community that enables artists to sell their artwork on many different products. It’s so cool to see your own artwork on T-shirts, coffee mugs, phone cases and even leggings! Keep an eye on it because they often have sales and promotions on certain products. It’s taken me a while to get everything up there because for each piece of artwork there are dozens of different products to customise so that your artwork looks its best. It a veritable smorgasboard of merch!

‘Field’ Trip

I went with my family to Mt Field National Park (Tasmania) recently with my family to photograph some cool, gnarly pencil pines.  We did the Tarn Shelf walk (about 8hrs) which is about 1200 metres above sea level.  It was seriously the most spectacular walk I’ve ever been on.  It was like being in a sculptured japanese garden complete with bonsai trees, miniature ponds and strategically-placed rocks.  Part of the walk wove through a dead forest of bleached white tree ‘sculptures’ set amongst verdent green alpine shrubs.  It was like walking in a fantasy world.  There were plenty of pencil pines in their element and one in particular that I was on the hunt for (pictured above).

Welcome to Fiona Francois Art

Welcome to my new improved website!  I have lots of new artwork to show and lots of new things to talk about.  Keep an eye on my blog to see what I’m up to in the art world.  I’ve been working on some really big drawings lately so I will keep updating progress images as I go.  There will also be lots of background information about the nature of the pieces I’m working on – reference photos and links to things that interest me as I’m thinking about new work.  Have fun exploring and if you have any questions, email me: fiona.francois.art@gmail.com