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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Exhibition, Meditations on a Cook's Garden

Only confirmed at the last minute, this exhibition of paintings of herbs and edible flowers celebrates the edible delights we can grow in our backyards and includes a program of talks, film screenings and meditations over Easter and the Anzac Day long weekend. All events are free. 

If you're in the Bellingen area, I'd love you to come along! 

Meditations on a Cook's Garden

Meditations on a Cook's Garden - Fiona Morgan

April 1st -30th, 10am - 4.30pm every day
Nexus PopUp Gallery, Old Butter Factory Bellingen

A discovery of edible delights right in your back yard.
Featuring herbs and edible flowers, these paintings and drawings are influenced by botanical art, meditation, chinese calligraphic brush painting and the artist's kitchen garden. As a keen cook, Fiona is enthusiastic about good food, possibly obsessed with food plants and on a delightful journey of discovery of edible flowers and "weeds". Connecting mindfulness, an appreciation of nature, eating well and starting where you are in your own garden, come and share the enthusiasm for edible plants embodied in this exhibition.

To further tempt you, explore the related program of free talks, film screenings and meditation sessions accompanying this exhibition.

Meditations on a Cook's Garden program

All events are in April

Talks run for 15-20 mins

Film screenings - 30 mins of related short films will follow each talk. BYO cushion


Saturday 19 (Easter Saturday) - 1.30pm talk,
'Discover the World of Edible Flowers' by Jillian Cranny, edible flower expert - an introduction to the blooms that are more than decorative and surprisingly common plants.

Sunday 20 (Easter Sunday) - 1.30pm talk,
Artist talk by Fiona Morgan on the exhibition and how starting where you are, herbs, flowers, gardening, food, mindfullness, eating well and appreciating nature are all interrelated. Plus a demonstration of meditative drawing.

Chamomile NaturopathySaturday 26 (Anzac Day weekend) - 1.30pm talk
'Healing Properties and Uses of Herbs' by Damian and Laura of Chamomile Naturopathy - an enthusiastic, fun and fascinating exploration of herbs that goes beyond the culinary domain by two passionate and knowledgeable herbalists based in Bellingen.

Sunday 27 (Anzac Day weekend) - 1.30pm talk,
'Food as Medicine - Keeping the Damp at Bay' by Natalie Fitzpatrick, Acupuncturist and food-as-medicine healer - our subtropical paradise comes loaded with fungi, moulds & bacteria that thrive in our wet environment and adversely affect our health. Hear what to garden and eat to keep your immune system thriving.

Meditation sessions

Spirit Rising Yoga'Gardening the Mind & the Art of Meditation' by Brie of Spirit Rising Yoga - a guided meditation in the exhibition space to help you clear the garden of your mind of any weeds, and explore the art that meditation is; not a set state, but a work in progress that we cultivate and develop. BYO cushion if you like (some cushions provided).
Mon 14th - 11.30-11.45am
Wed 16th - 1.30-1.45pm
Wed 23rd 11.30-11.45am
Fri 25th (Anzac Day) 1.30-1.45pm 


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Light as a Feather

From the 'Light As A Feather' series. Celebrating the small side of the natural world with feathers, tiny plants, leaves and grasses. The themes are lightness, delicateness and zen stillness.

All artworks are available in the Official Art Store.

Imagination is a Garden Where Ideas Blossom:

Once You Have Tasted Flight You Will Forever Walk With Your Eyes Turned Skyward:

The Sunshine Was Like Powdered Gold Over the Grassy Hillside: 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Feathers - January Art


Feather painting by Australian artist Fiona Morgan of WhereFishSing.com

Feather painting by Australian artist Fiona Morgan of WhereFishSing.com

Once you have tasted flight you will forever look with your eyes turned skyward.

Feather painting by Australian artist Fiona Morgan of WhereFishSing.com

Feather painting by Australian artist Fiona Morgan of WhereFishSing.com

I, like many people have a fascination with feathers. 
Freedom. Lightness. Delicateness. Flight.

Feather painting by Australian artist Fiona Morgan of WhereFishSing.com

Who can resist collecting this in their pocket and taking it home? Do we unconsciously collect feathers as a kind of talisman in the hope that these properties will be transferred to our lives? I've realised for some time that I don't pick up feathers solely because of the way they look. There is something else going on, a strong
uplifting symbolism that I seem to be responding to.

Feather painting by Australian artist Fiona Morgan of WhereFishSing.com
Feather painting by Australian artist Fiona Morgan of WhereFishSing.com

Welcome to a new year - may it be filled with the grace and light and calm of feathers.

 These 10 latest works continue on with the Meditative Studies with the addition of, quite literally, a splash of colour! Soothingly repetitive to draw. Tricky to get just right. Requiring a really delicate touch with the pen. And it can all go horribly wrong with the randomness of the paint splatters after the effort of getting the penwork right. Yes, they are nervewracking to do! However working the other way around by doing the paint first and the pen after is strangely awkward and results in a drawing that lacks life. The life of the artwork seems to be in the bravado required to SPLAT colour all over a very careful drawing and trust
that it will work out.
Feather painting by Australian artist Fiona Morgan of WhereFishSing.com

Feather painting by Australian artist Fiona Morgan of WhereFishSing.com

Each piece is created on watercolour paper with artist quality materials, is matted and ready to frame at 8"x10". They are $38 each with free postage within Australia.

These latest Feather Meditative Studies are available now to purchase in the Official Art Store. If you'd like to be the first to know of new artworks, sign up to the newsletter (yellow box, top right) as subscribers are informed before everyone else.

Feather painting by Australian artist Fiona Morgan of WhereFishSing.com

Friday, March 29, 2013

Meditative Studies, the why and #45-53

The Meditative Studies series of nature drawings - where did it come from and why?

A daily habit

I wanted to instill in myself the habit of a daily drawing practice. Like drinking a litre or more per day of fresh water, or walking the dogs each evening, there are habits for good physical health. So too are there habits for excellence. I don't want to be average at drawing. I want my drawing to be excellent. A regular drawing session always gives better results than occasional large ones. And so it made sense to begin to form a daily drawing habit by just starting, working through the awkward and hard to commit to stage, and sticking with it long enough to end up with a daily reflex.


Many people find stillness sitting meditation or in yoga. I've always found that the full concentration required of careful-yet-free drawing, or of painting for that matter, to be just as quieting. I had begun to notice that my drawing and painting sessions were really meditation sessions. Just like some people do walking meditations. Without my drawing meditation I notice myself become edgier. It has a soothing effect.

Nature in ink

Old botannical illustrations. I love these but I don't want to reproduce their stiffness. Old pen and ink book illustrations. There were so many unnamed talented illustrators in generations gone by. A childhood of being a bookworm has had the unintended effect of giving me a huge respect for the art of pen and ink drawing. Pieces of nature. To tell the truth, I didn't even think this out. I just notice curiousities while out with the dogs and wanted to draw them. All these influences simply meshed together.

Zen for your walls.

Small nature studies.
Quietly created as drawing meditations.
Each one is unique.

Peaceful simplicity. Slow looking. Radiating stillness.

These are delicate and deceptively simple drawings on quality artist's paper. Matted to fit a standard 8x10" frame.

My art explores an ongoing love of nature and celebrates the brighter, calmer, radiant side of life. It is a reminder that the world smiles with possibility.

All currently available Meditative Studies are listed here: http://www.wherefishsing.com/meditativestudies

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gumleaves and ....

A new and occasional series celebrating the curious forms of the iconic Australian gumleaves and the emotions of connection with nature. It has grown out of the Meditative Studies and my daily drawing practice. I wanted to take this Japanesque woodblock hatching theme that has developed and make it larger and really explore the shapes, and make it more substantial and move onto stretched canvas. I wanted to make these colourful. I wanted the feel of the bush to be present.

Nature painting Gumleaves & Tranquility by Australian artist Fiona Morgan
Gumleaves & Tranquility

Nature painting Gumleaves & Joy by Australian artist Fiona Morgan
Gumleaves & Joy

These pieces are 8x10" ink on acrylic on canvas. The canvas is deep edged gallery wrapped, so framing is optional.

All currently available artworks are listed here: http://www.wherefishsing.com/officialartstore

Monday, March 4, 2013

Creative Cauldron - the attempt at a giant summary

Australian artist Fiona Morgan - Phoenix
Phoenix - 12 x 11.5cm etching by FionaMorgan circa 2003

These analytical type posts where I try and define what it is about a creative's work that I am drawn to is really hard work for me. It's not how I tend to think. I tend to receive information in impressions and sensations. Although critical logical thinking is a strength for me, analysis is not. It's been a great exercise to do these Creative Cauldron posts as it forces me to explain why I like what I do and thence to see the common threads and connections between, on the surface, disparate influences.

On one hand it feels crazy to go through and analyse the work I admire to get a really good idea of what it is I love. Then again, it has been wonderfully useful to understand and become fully aware of these things. It feels crazy that this process has been so useful to uncover what is right under my nose.

While this series has been mostly for my benefit, I do hope I have not bored you all to tears but have given you some insight into where I am coming from, what I am about. This series may be added to occasionally from here on in if I find another real wow to write about, distill and internalise.

For now, (again mostly for me to see these all in one place so I can see what it is I am aiming for in my own work), a summary of the commonalities in my admiration for the work I have profiled in these Creative Cauldrons. In brain-shorthand bullet points, as that's how I tend to think.

  • immaculate presentation 
  • absolute technical mastery
  • decorative pattern, sinuous, dancing, flow
  • very Australian colour, subtle tones, pastels contrasted with deep rich coloured darks, tonally related, limited palette
  • bravura brushwork
  • textural brushwork, paint as texture, emphatically paintings not images
  • luminous
  • space to breath, not busy design,
  • Japanese influenced design 
  • absolutely beautiful images, mesmerising
  • Australian light

  • intelligent 
  • thoughtful, a thinker, free thinker, new ideas
  • has an opinion
  • straight talking
  • kind
  • gracious
  • ability to synthesise and see connections from a wide landscape
  • wordsmith

  • poetic, evocative, ephemeral, mysterious, mood, dreamy, other worldliness, more than ordinary reality, soulful, graceful, spirit, there is more to life than we can see
  • playful, silly, fun, humour, quirky, make people think, have a laugh, irreverence, cartoon, wit
  • weaves mythology, spirituality, archetypes, truths distilled, essence, iconic, symbolism, collective unconscious direct line, synthesis, shaman, mirror into us, storytelling for the soul
  • zen like stillness, presence, magic of the moment, mindfulness, slow looking, nature is respected, presence, calm, gentleness, intimate, celebrate, childlike, soulful, thoughtful, innocence, playfulness, quiet, happiness, contemplation, delight, observant
  • unique style, no one else, own voice
  • top of their game, redefined their genre
  • respect for hard work, discipline, do the work
  • themed bodies of work
  • seeing in new ways
  • experimental
  • imaginative
  • genuineness, not whimsy, not contrived, honest

About the Creative Cauldron series of posts

Creative Cauldron - artistic influences & inspiration for Australian artist Fiona MorganThe Creative Cauldron series of posts explores and showcases the visual styles, techniques, attitudes, ideas, artists and paintings that have had the most impact on me. 

The rest of the series is accessible via the Creative Cauldron page. Have a meander if you please, and remember to check out my artworks on Flickr, and have an insider peek at life as an artist on Facebook.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Creative Cauldron - Joseph Campbell

Artist inspiration and artist influences. No biographies, dates or scholarly research here -  this is a personal response to the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell by Australian artist Fiona Morgan.

Joseph Campbell quote
Joseph Campbell quote - this & other inspiring quotes on ceramics are available from mbartstudios on etsy

It seems strange to me that Joseph Campbell's work on comparitive mythology and religion has been done so recently in time. I mean that it has taken all of history until now for someone to really take a good look at the belief systems around the world and draw out their essences, similarities, histories, relations and differences.

Despite the overdue arrival of this scholarship, oh my goodness was it done thoroughly. Such detail, such comprehension, such insightful cross discipline views and such synthesis and so much careful thought.

Joseph Campbell quote

Where do we arrive at from this?
We now have a roadmap of how religions evolved. If you can manage to wade your way through the four part series 'Masks of God', of Primitive Mythology, Oriental Mythology, Occidental Mythology and Creative Mythology, your views on religions will probably never be the same. Your understanding of the opposing viewpoints operating in the world will be sharpened.

 We now have the understanding that myths are meant to serve as guides on how to live life and they need to be updated for each time period, each generation. Myths are there to help with how to handle adversity, transitions to different life stages and to help us with what life is all about.

Joseph Campbell quote

We have an understanding of the structure of the great overarching communal monomyth, the hero's journey, and some eternal truths which have been distilled from it, the most famous being, 'follow your bliss'.

Mythology turns out to be centrally important to humans to function healthily. Myths connect us to another way of being. They help us find happiness.

What a stupendous legacy.

Joseph Campbell quote

I have a huge admiration for the thinker who synthesised and distilled the roadmaps people have made for life. His explanations are detailed, well thought out and very complex. It often takes me several passes of his information to be able to comprehend and digest what he has to say. I enjoy the challenge. And the rewards are well worth the effort. Too much information out there is too simplified.

While I'm not sure I can call him a wordsmith, Joseph Campbell is a storyteller for the soul. It may be one of the most important jobs there is - reminding us that there is more to life than we can see.

Interview excerpts on how myth aids us in growing out of childhood and into adults:

And how myth helps us place ourselves in the life cycle and accept where we are (very odd audio/visual mismatch from about halfway through - I recommend shut your eyes and just listen!):

More Joseph Campbell links

Joseph Campbell Foundation: http://www.jcf.org/new/index.php

About the Creative Cauldron series of posts

Creative Cauldron - artistic influences & inspiration for Australian artist Fiona MorganThe Creative Cauldron series of posts explores and showcases the visual styles, techniques, attitudes, ideas, artists and paintings that have had the most impact on me. 

The rest of the series is accessible via the Creative Cauldron page. Have a meander if you please, and remember to check out my artworks on Flickr, and have an insider peek at life as an artist on Facebook.

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