I am so late telling you all about Australia, the wonder of it, this is week two. For two days I stayed in a small cottage near the sea in a town called Stockton, and walked and swam twice a day.
I traveled from where I was in Stockton to Newcastle by ferry and foot, passing flocks of emerald lorikeets and cockatoos. After two glorious and healing days by the sea, I moved to Newcastle, to the zen and beautiful home of Anne Kempton. She is the owner of Timeless Textiles, a small and beautiful textile art gallery and shop two hours north of Sydney on the coast. She is a energetic and creative wonder who I hope to know for the rest of my days. She grows veggies and is a masterful cook. She is a knitter extraordinaire. I had a day to explore before my workshop started, so I wandered galleries and shops. It started raining as I was walking without a raincoat or umbrella. A chocolate shop suddenly appeared, with a seat available near a window. The best drink and the perfect time. Thinking of you, Orly Avineri, and our journal day about these experiences.
While I was sitting there, a young mother walked by, wearing a shirt that said “GIVE A SHIT” in large letters. She was pushing a stroller and guiding a toddler along the sidewalk. I did not have my journal, but I did have a pen and a brochure. I added this to my journal later. Class started the next day. We worked in an old school full of charm. Anne made us lunch every day. And tea, by the way, which in Australia means lovely sweets and tea at about 10 am. Some places again at 4. And again at 9, when the name of it changes to “supper.” In any case, there was never a crumb left. I might have licked some plates. My Stencil Sister (we work for the same company, Artistcellar) Jane Davenport came in all her bountiful cheeriness. Here she is, on the right, with Anne. Anne is not smoking, btw. Jane made a map of where she lives, a small seaside town hours north of Newcastle. We worked with a gelatin plate printing fabrics and deli paper with stencils. We painted art tissue and used all three for the materials for our maps. Then we added stitching, beads and other elements to the surface. I was so, so happy with the maps. I think you will be too.
Thank you to all of you!