Art Stroll: Grayson Perry at MAC in Sydney, Australia

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Art Stroll


A couple of months ago, I was in Australia and visited a couple museums but I wanted to spread out the posts for you a bit- so finally I would like to take you on an art stroll through Grayson Perry’s exhibition at MAC in Sydney.

“Grayson Perry is one of the best known British artists of his generation, acclaimed for his ceramics, sculptures, drawings, prints and tapestries. With a keen eye for detail and a love of the popular and vernacular, Perry infuses his artworks with a sly humour and reflection on society past and present.” (MCA)


I love how Grayson Perry celebrates craft and wants to get rid of the idea of high art and low art.

In this ceramic he combines heraldic images with important names and dealers in the art world.



For Perry Art and Craft are very firmly linked.


X92, 1999


Woman of Ideas 1990, glazed ceramic




Britain is Best, 2014 – hand embroidery, silk, glass beads, sequins, cotton thread.

Insanely amazing and again – a message on a wall tapestry.



Comfort Blanket 2014- tapestry




Map of Truths and Beliefs 2011 – acrylic  wool and cotton tapestry

As you can see the scale of the work was massive!



Perry says “It is not about being perfect, it is about a give and take between the maker and the material, and the imagery they are using. It is a conversation. Often the most interesting thing happens, is when you allow the material to fight back.” This really speaks to me!



Part of the exhibition was also a great range of Perry’s sketchbooks. He says that drawing in his sketchbook is an almost daily activity and when he puts an idea down he takes it very seriously. No idea is wasted and there will come a point when he will make a work from the drawing. He has a backlog of categories of objects he wants to make.


I loved seeing his sketchbook above and then the actual tapestry that came out of it!





This was truly a treat – I hope some day Perry makes it to the U.S. as I could have spent hours at the exhibition looking at the messages, the imagery – the connection of craft and art. His artwork is inspiring and amazing and his thoughts on society, art and craft are very interesting and appealing to me.

And on this note ….one last goof ball pic from Australia 🙂



I hope you enjoyed this art stroll!



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Comments (2)

  • Kim


    One of my favorite Art Strolls – such a thought-provoking artist! I’m with you – I would love to see more of his work and to really spend time taking it all in. Seems like he also has a sense of humor 🙂 Thank you for sharing both the imagery and some of the big themes behind the work!


  • Sue Clarke


    Love the tapestries! Especially fun to see the leap from the page to the wall. I enjoyed this stroll.


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Letter to my Future Self – Michelle Rydell

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Creative Squad

CS July Letter

It’s Tuesday and time for my Creative Squad to share a project with you with this month’s theme: “Letter to my Future Self”. Throughout the month of July, the team has been using any of my n*Studio Stamps and Stencils they would like to use to interpret the theme. This month’s theme is in honor of my recent 10 year (!) blog anniversary- which we are celebrating until the end of the month! I asked the team to create something that they’d like to tell themselves in 10 years. Like a mixed media time capsule. This theme flips the “If only I knew then what I know now” sentiment up-side-down.

This week we bring you Michelle Rydell’s happy and uplifting postcard!


Michelle July Headshot

The theme for this month was a challenging one: Letter to my Future Self. Hmmm… I have thought many times about what I would say to my younger self if I could; what wisdom I could share that would help her on life’s journey. But what could I tell my future self? She knows everything I know, plus she has ten years more life experience!

I pictured myself in ten years – going to the mailbox and finding a postcard there, and smiling when I see it’s from me. That’s when I knew just what I wanted it to say. It’s a lyric from a Jackson Browne song called “For A Dancer.” It goes like this…

“Keep a fire burning in your eye,

and pay attention to the open sky,

You never know what will be coming down.”

I’ve loved that lyric for many years. I can’t say for sure what Jackson meant when he wrote it; but for me it means – keep your passion alive, and stay open to whatever comes your way.

First, to create the postcard I cut some heavyweight watercolor paper to approximately 4” x 6”. Then I swirled some pink and yellow watercolor onto the background…

Rydell Letter 1

I decided that wasn’t bright enough, so I added some fluorescent pink acrylic.

Rydell Letter 2

I used a blending tool to apply some teal acrylic paint thru Nat’s Lily Wallpaper stencil to add some contrast. I kept the stenciling on the left side of the page to leave room for the words on the right.

Rydell Letter 3

I did a draft of the lyric on scratch paper first, to see approximately how much room it would take up. Then I added some light pencil lines to the postcard and went to town with a black permanent ink pen.

Rydell Letter 4

I want to put this postcard on the inside front cover of my current journal. I have a pocket to put it in that will be just right. Once in the pocket, I stenciled the other half of the Lily Wallpaper motif to make it look like the pattern continues…

Rydell Letter 5

Rydell Letter 6

I took some pre-dyed ribbon and used the same Lily stencil to create a pattern with yellow paint.

Rydell Letter 7

Rydell Letter 8

And here’s the final page. I added some white outlining to the stenciling to show off the detail of the design, and added the stenciled ribbon to the grommeted hole.

Rydell Letter 9


Michelle’s postcard is so gorgeous with those colors and such a nice message. I love that it’s going right in the front of her art journal so she can remind her present self too!

Michelle used the supplies listed below (some are affiliate links):


Please note: Some links on this blog are affiliate links for which I receive a small percentage of any sales generated by the link.

Maybe you will even play along with us -I would love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my next “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Don’t forget that I have a Blogiversary SALE right now going on with 20% off of online workshops (like Creative Jumpstart 2016), DVDs, and select items (including all the stamps andstencils) from the n*Store online.  The sale prices are reflected in the store now.

Happy Blogiversary sale

See you next Tuesday for the another project from the Creative Squad, with a brand new theme for the month of August.



This post currently has 5 comments.

Comments (5)

  • Sue Clarke


    I love the colors that you chose Michelle!
    Especially the initial swirl and added pink to make it brighter.


  • Janet




  • Julie Tucker


    Love love love this! Those lyrics are PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Joi @RR


    Wow – so modern and so poignant Michelle. Brilliant colors. SUPER idea. Creativity at it’s best for your theme. Very special. j.


  • Marit


    I really love the lyrics and the colors you used Michelle (gotta have fluorescent pink myself now!!!) Great idea, to let the pattern run on the page and the ribbon adds something ‘extra’ to the total image. Fabulous card!!!


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Artist Quote of the Week – Henri Rousseau

Written by Nathalie Kalbach. Posted in Artist Quotes / Artist Inspiration

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