"A studio with a view"

One of my art theory colleagues and aspiring painter, Luiza gave me a beautiful drawing book, ink bottle and pen to encourage me to draw while overseas in Italy last year.  These are just a few of the drawings I did.  I can’t believe its now been nearly 7 months and I haven’t had the time to sit somewhere quietly and draw.  One of my resolutions this year and need to get cracking!
29 June 2011 – I attempt my first drawing and choose Galleria Borghese.  If you only have one museum to visit in Roma – this is the one!  It has the most stunning collection of Renaissance artworks and housed in the most beautiful villa and surrounded by a beautiful park.  As I draw, children skate past, older couples hold hands, a man sits next to me and feeds the stupid pigeons and dogs take the lead as their look a like owners prance along.  A really nice way to spend the day and feel less of a tourist.

"A studio with a view" While Adam was working I had to fill my days with walking the streets of Roma, go shopping, eating and visit museums, galleries, parks etc.  But there were days when I stayed home…the heat at 38 degrees plus was full-on…and one day drew the view from our studio apartment.  An older couple would water their balcony garden (where the white flowers are popping out) everyday – he in singlet and she with rollers in her hair.  Not quite as romantic as Julian Sands and Helena Bonham Carter from “A room with a view” but sweet enough.







  Excerpt from email

Sent: Saturday, July 09, 2011 6:28 PM
Subject: Fwd: Roma – food glorious food

” … Anyway, sights, sights and more sights.  While Adam is working I’ve had to entertain myself and so far have managed to visit Villa Farnesina which has the most beautiful frescoes by Raphael, Baldassare Peruzzi and more Italian artists.  I’ve been to Orto Botanica which has 20 different sights to visit within the gardens – roses, japanese garden, medicine plant maze, bamboo forest and even a Wollemia Nobilus from good ole Australia.  I run into the gardeners and have a laugh trying to converse.  They introduce me to Pierre from France but I can call him Peter…wink! wink! I laugh and give them big smiles.  Chris, you’ll be pleased to know that there was no swinging of the hair…moi was a tad perspired under her hat and wasn’t going to give that one away.  I decided to draw Corsoni Greenhouse as Queen Christina of Sweden used the basins for her stay 1659-1689 at Villa Riario now Palazzo Corsini.  I also read somewhere that she entertained many lovers during her stay and reckoned she must have needed those basins for luxuriating in after her many conquests … “

Botanicus perfecto – as you can see from the photo below this was a beautiful specimen in flowering on a hot summers day and a perfect excuse to draw in the shade.













I’ve since discovered that you can buy the plant at one of our local nurseries and its called “Purple Caneflower”.  Guess what I’ll be planting in time for our Spring….








Mel photographing me in front of her stunning photographic works

The past 18 months have been an exploration of hand making and realizing the fragility and beauty of crafting with Australian manufactured ‘Southern Ice’ porcelain.  This series includes hand carving and deep etching so the trace of the curve is subtely linked to the subject matter and echoes the line work synonymous with the style of Art Nouveau.  My thematic focus was to provide the wearer and viewer with a sensory and social distance experience through body adornment.  By creating a tactile surface to be caressed and engaging the wearer’s senses, I invite the viewer to step into the wearer’s intimate space.

Richard Ginori factory and museum visit June 2011

I was fortunate to have a letter of introduction from USA Visiting Artist Professor Anna Calluori Holcombe, and as a student visit the Richard-Ginori factory/museum – a 1/2hr train ride from Florence to Sesto Fiorentino, Italy. My husband came along and luckily he did as he has the memory of an elephant and soaked up all the technical aspects of the factory while moi focused on the creative components.

Excerpt from email

Sent: Saturday, 25 June 2011 6:45 PM
Subject: re: last days in Firenze as we head to Roma tomorrow

” … In the last 24hrs I have managed to fatigue poor Adam with too much porcelain viewing. Yesterday we headed to Faenza, a 2hr train trip from Firenze to visit the International Ceramica Institute and Museum. The day before, we travelled by train to Siesta Fiorentina (11 mins out of Firenze) and headed to Richard Gionori Porcelain Factory and Museum.  The Museum Curator Olivia greeted us and took us on a tour through the factory and museum.  It was a very informative and insightful view into the world of ceramics produced in Italy by the founders back in 1753.


It would be too much to try and tell you all about it but basically we saw production work of machines and people producing 17,000 objects a day.  From soup tureens to dinner plates to cups to sculpture work – there was something happening in every corner of this large factory.  Probably the most fascinating area for me was the hand painting area and mould-making.  I was brave enough to show the head designer my 2 latest pendants and he was fascinated with the raised surface and sheen.  Adam was so good in trying to translate some technical details in addition to Olivia translating.  It was a nice moment and clarified my love of studying and pursuing ceramics as a career …”

In my 2nd semester of studies, Patsy Payne, Head of the Printmedia and Drawing Workshop, ANU School of Art, encouraged me to draw and to use different sources – photographs, nature in real life, and my imagination.  Thanks Patsy.





One of the sources – seeing the bowl in person at Richard-Ginori Museum …







Another source:

Doccia, Museo Richard-Ginori della Manifattura di. Richard-Ginori 1737-1937 Ceramics from the Manifattura Di Docica Museum. Edited by Gangemi Editore. Florence: Gangemi Editore, 2007.