Saturday, February 18, 2006

Anatomy of Childhood: Return To Innocence

(When I think of Angels, I conjure up pictures of those who are guardians, who watch out for lil children. I know this isn't the best collage, but I'll keep working on it.)

Return To Innocence
Return To Innocence
That's not the beginning of the end
That's the return to yourself
The return to innocence
Don't be afraid to be weak
Don't be too proud to be strong
Just look into your heart, my friend
That will be the return to yourself
The return to innocence
If you want, then start to laugh
If you must, then start to cry
Be yourself, don't hide
Just believe in destiny
Don't care what people say
Just follow your own way
Don't give up and use the chance
To return to innocence
That's not the beginning of the end
That's the return to yourself
The return to innocence
Don't care what people say
Follow just your own way
Follow just your own way
Don't give up, don't give up
To return, to return to innocence
If you want then laugh
If you must then cry
Be yourself, don't hide
Just believe in destiny


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

North Star's First Workshop! Collage Angels

North Star Studios is having its first workshop. The subject is Collage Angels, and all friends of the gallery can join in. If you need an invitation to be part of the workshop, just email Gail.
The idea of the workshop is to share and learn - if you don't want to create a new collage that's fine, if you don't want to post an image at all that's fine too.
The idea is to share inspiration and technique. If you have a favourite technique - for example, a way of creating angel wings or adding angelic glitter - your input would be greatly appreciated.
If you do post an image, tell us how you did it! Share with other workshoppers the process of creation.
The images should be no more than postcard or ATC size. It would be lovely if we could release our images into the world as `found art' - by leaving them in cafes, buses, library books etc - for someone to find as an unexpected uplifting gift during their day. Everyone could use a visit from an angel!
I look forward to seeing your work in the gallery.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Art Havens on the web #3

Dover Publications specialise in reprints, especially of vintage art that can be used as public domain clip art.
If you go to this link you can sign up for the weekly Dover Sampler, downloadable pages from their huge range of books. I have found some wonderful clip art this way, including the lantern used in Light of the Ancestors at Lemurian Mail Art
Above is the downloadable page from Dover with the Chinese clip art images.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Driftwood Art

A serendipitous find at my favourite beach - Cabbage Tree Point - now graces my home as art. This piece of driftwood is exactly as I found it, in the shape of a seabird.
I am one of those people who cannot go anywhere without fossicking - I reegularly go beachcombing and bushwalking in search of natural elements I can use in art, and usually find something I cannot bear to alter in any way. My seabird is an example of that.

Pam Thorn has some beautiful examples of driftwood art - her assemblages are quite orgeous.
Patricia Bartlett has written a book on making art with driftwood.
Crosstides has some inspirational driftwood pieces.
Driftwood Arts shows some more lovely ways to use found pieces.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Art Havens on the Web#2

Aisling (pronounced Ash-Leen) means `vision' in Gaelic, and Aisling D'Art's website is certainly a vision of collage, doll art and fabric art. I love looking at her art and collage journal pages - they are so vivid and inspirational.
If you click on Aisling's journaling arts page, there is a free book on making family history shrines to download as well as many other free ebooks. Aisling also offers loads of advice on selling your art.
An art haven well worth a visit and one where the creative soul will feel at home.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Here is another collage created in Photo shop. I made a background using various brushes and added parts of various pictures of books and a design from a handbag. It is such fun to put together pieces from many sources!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

This collage is created in Photoshop by using a photo of a wall and adding various bits of writing.
Some are put in the overlay mode so they blend with the background. I like the effects.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Metamorphosis - Collage

Art Havens on the Web #1: Artella

The bookmark folder made for my mystery musee.

Have you called into Artella yet?
Artella is a website and magazine for artists, no matter what your medium – words, collage, paint, pencil or craft. You can read about art, talk about art, buy art, sell art, swap art, submit art.
If you just want to check it out, you can request a free copy of Artella magazine. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Editor Marney Mandriakis is a passionate woman whose magazine explodes with inspiration and colour.
As a member of the Artella community I get to join in some really fun things. This Christmas I took part in the Artella Mystery Muse, and annual event that brings artists together in a joyful expression of sharing. I was Mystery Muse to an artist in Texas and I really enjoyed putting together a package to send to her. I created a tiny altered book and haiku, and a set of bookmarks, and added in a few little extras, like shells from our favourite beach and a packet of arty notelets. I was delighted when she responded at the Mystery Muse message board.
But in all the excitement of preparing my gifts, I forgot that being a muse also means you are a musee – and I was really excited to receive a beautiful fabric art card from my muse here in Australia. It was a joyful experience and I will certainly be part of it again next year.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

World Views....

The art of Hiroshige Uragawa, the last great woodblock artist in the Ikyo-e tradition. This woodblock of Mount Fuji was published after his death in 1859. The cool clear colours, the exquisite line detail, the depth and breadth of the ocean suggested with a limited palette and intricate lines, make this one of the most inspirational pieces to an artist. The perfect symmetry of tree and wave form the beating heart of this woodcut that ensures it will live forever.

Image from Wikipedia

Collage Theme - World Views

In this series of collages, I have tried to capture my emotional response to other lands and cultures. This collage is called Out of Africa. It is very simple in strong earthy colours with a fibre and African bead trim.

I read the book Memoirs of a Geisha and now I am looking forward to seeing the film. I have been fascinated with Asian culture ever since I came to Australia in the 60s, where I was first exposed to it. I have used origami in my art many times, including making folded boxes to give as art gifts. This collage uses amn origami geisha doll, fibres and handmade Japanese papers.

The Emerald Forest was one of my favourite films of all time. This collage started with the image of the Indian `being invisible' in his covering of leaves. I used fibers and corrugated card in the background, with green glass mosaic pieces.

Friends of the North Star Gallery

Because of the uncertainty of life and thunderstorms, I am issuing invitations to people to become Friends of the North Star Studios. This means those who choose to join can display their art works without contacting me first.

You can offer your art for sale or trade or just for the delight of visitors. Just let me know if you want an invitation.

I will also be organising a collage workshop and challenge on the theme of Angels in the near future. I hope you will all join in, even if you’ve never tried collage before, and any tips or tricks you want to share can be left in the comment boxes. The workshop will be held some time in February so there is plenty of time to prepare.

Yes! The studios are finally open for business! Please enjoy your visit, and don’t forget to make a wish as you leave.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

North Star Studios Reopening

North Star Studios on Duwamish Bay is under new management and will be officially reopening on Saturday January 7. If new owner Gail Kavanagh - that's me - can do half as good a job as AshleyShea in making this gallery something Duwamish Bay can be proud of, she will be a very happy woman!

As you enter the gallery on Saturday you will notice a shining new plaque by the door. It states that the gallery is dedicated to AshleyShea's brother Stan and will forever remain so.
The good fairy Providence has elected to stay and keep the gallery sprinkled with stardust so that your wishes can be granted.

If you want to send art for sale or display at the opening or at any time, just send your images to me (click on my name for the info) and they will be posted in the gallery.

Now I am off to gather some art for the opening, because Providence has gone mad with the fairy dust and it's making me sneeze!

But at least I know my wish will come true...

Monday, October 31, 2005


Today, in honor of a brilliant artist who left us too soon, I have put on display three views of the same image created by this wonderful artist. First a photograph, then two images of a watercolor, in progress, made by looking at the photograph.

I believe this was his first, and only, watercolor. I know he was just beginning to "dabble" as he put it.

To see more photos, go to

Monday, September 26, 2005

Searching the World for Art

I'm glad to hear there have been visitors to North Star Studio in my absence. Providence is minding the shop and keeping me up to date on the comings and goings. With all the footsteps taken through the studios, I'm sure some wishing dust has been picked up by shoes and hair and clothing. Wishes should be coming true. I hope my visitors return and tell me of their granted wish.

Where am I? I'm traveling around the world, by donkey, of course, to search for the most exotic, moving, soulful pieces of art on the planet. You will be the first to see them when I return.

So that you don't get bored during the wait, I must show you a photo a took along the way. Did you know that donkey's can travel faster than the speed of light? This is my photo of a beautiful sunrise. My donkey was simply moving so fast, I could only capture the colors and essence of the sun. I hope you find it as breath taking as I felt taking it!

Wanderers, travelers, continue to find your way to the North Star. Providence will make you feel at home. I'll be returning soon with wonderful wares to display.