Impacting Dunedin As Artists

Photo Credit: 

We as artists have all used our mind and body as a vessel, working tirelessly to create some type of personal vision. A vision that has probably deprived us of sleep, having consumed our lives with this other worldly calling that we must bear. But it is also a wonderful gift, that potentially promises reward. Sadly, sometimes it can take months, years, even decades before we are truly rewarded in our careers, which is why we need the support from other fellow artists. When artists unite, it catches peoples interest. The possibilities are seemingly endless, and the things we could create together can be even bigger, more rewarding and  beautiful than anything we could dream of accomplishing on our own. Living in a community that happily supports the arts, we shouldn’t think twice about reaching out to the community in turn.

At our first meet up, one or two members had mentioned a sort of sporadic, abandoned space art exhibit they had heard about, where organizers planned an event in an abandoned building, which brought attention to a seemingly neglected part of the city. I was inspired by the authenticity of the event, and thought it was quite compelling, yet fitting to host this in a more controversial setting.

This whole concept inspired me to start thinking BIG! Together, we can make a positive impact on the community, and enlighten locals and passerby’s alike to surrender to their more creative intuition like we artists do on a regular basis, through engagement. Ultimately giving back to the Community while fostering an interest in contemporary art. The key is collaboration.

I believe our efforts would be well received, and it excites me to collaborate with other artists and the community to do something similar in nature, and maybe even help promote some local organizations & businesses while we are at it.
Here are a few concepts/mediums I’ve thought of, although there are many more I’d like to explore
(while avoiding any ideas that are cliche)

  • Recycling/Re-purposed
  • Boating materials like ropes, hooks, oars, etc.
  • Historic Dunedin
  • Oranges, palm trees, palm fronds
  • Using/incorporating palm trees to mount art
  • For more inspiration please view this website, which is where I initially got inspired for these types of projects.

Please send your input and ideas!


Upcoming Meetups: Themed Still Life Sketches

I have a proud collection of trinkets and doodads, as well as organic materials that have served my inspiration well, over the years. I thrive in flea markets and thrift stores, finding a thrill in seemingly untouched bins of old hoosawhatsits.  Nature also consumes my interest, as I love collecting flowers, leaves, shells, driftwood, and the like. I’d love to set up a few interesting still lifes that we could render as a group using any preferred medium; pen, pencil, watercolor, whatever! We will first choose a theme/concept, members will be welcome to bring something they feel is a relevant & unique contribution to the still life set up. From there we will get down to the dirty work and do what we artists do best: interpret!

Upcoming Meetups: Repurposed/Assembled Art Extravaganza

It became very evident to me at our first meet up that we have quite a few people who showed interest in repurposing ‘junk’. I think this is a great theme for a meet up and find a lot of inspiration in materials from other eras, and simply just using things out of their original context. Not to mention it is an all around fun creative exercise! The possibilities are endless, but if you don’t know where to start I’ll give you some different options. There will be an encouraged theme for each meet up to give you some direction. You can choose which style fits you best, (2d collage or 3d sculpture) and plan accordingly for the meet up.  Everyone will be expected to bring their own materials and glue, although there will be a few paper materials/magazines and etc. I can bring for communal use. If you have extra  junk to share, or know someone that can donate junk that can be utilized, feel free to bring it! Would like to host this on the next upcoming Saturday morning meet up! LMK what you think! Suggestions/comments are welcome.

Check out what has inspired me, here:

2D or 3D?

Are you captivated by collage? You can call it by other names: montage, assemblage, or decoupage. But it all comes down to the same thing: a layering of images, color, and texture.

Do you have a growing collection of clippings of images and letters? Do you love quotes? Do you use your stack of National Geographic Magazines as a table? Then perhaps you should consider pursuing some collage if you haven’t already, and bring some materials with you to this meet up, and start arranging!

What materials? The more unusual and unexpected the better!

  • ribbon
  • decorative, handmade paper
  • yarn
  • paper tags
  • seashellsbeads
  • sea glass
  • charms
  • old jewelry
  • old photos
  • jigsaw puzzle pieces
  • buttons
  • feathers
  • maps
  • Scrabble letters
  • old playing cards
  • keys
  • used cd’s / records
  • corrugated cardboard

Do you thrive in the 3rd dimension? Are you always finding alternative uses for objects? Do you love thrifting? Does digging through a basement full of ‘junk’ sound like your kind of a saturday night? Are you ready to take your collage to the next DIMENSIONAL LEVEL? Then 3D Art / Repurposed Sculpture may be for you!

Or Re-Vamp an old item by painting something interesting on it!

Some ideas for materials you can gather:

  • computer keys
  • game pieces
  • cooking tools
  • utensils
  • beads
  • lightweight scrap metal
  • clocks
  • broken machinery
  • old tools
  • cans
  • old pencils
  • bottlecaps


While you can go out of your way to find some neat trinkets, I encourage you to find things you already have that you can repurpose as art.

*Add your special touch to the project with some of your own rough sketches of things you would possibly otherwise dispose of!


More Links & Resources:


Upcoming Meetups: Photo Walk

Dunedin Creative/Conceptual Photo-Walk

This is open to all levels of photographers, including those who are just beginning to experiment with photography. Would like this to be the kick starter to a series of regular photo challenges. . Meet at a local outdoor spot and we will disperse and wander about for 1 hour taking sporadic photos with your SLR, compact, polaroid or phone camera. Meet back at the start one hour later. Choose your best photos and submit them later to the gallery in this group for the event.  This upcoming photo walk is about creatively interpreting the words “doorways-portals-entrance” in any way you wish  Top off your coffee and share your photos. We will discuss our individual plans for utilizing the pictures.

All levels of photo – enthusiasts are encouraged to come. It’s all about meeting up, sharing ideas, getting inspired, enjoying photography, and finding new ways of seeing.

Hope you’re excited as I am for this upcoming meet up! Would prefer to host this on a weekday evening. LMK What days are best for you by completing the poll below.

Art Cards

Artist Trading Cards

In 1996-97, a new art culture sprang up which rejected the tradition of critiquing and pricing art. Swiss artist m. vanci stirnemann is hailed as the father of the Artist Trading Card (ATC) movement. Stirnemann, inspired by hockey trading cards, created and showcased 1200 similarly-sized cards-his original works of art-in his gallery in Zurich, Switzerland. He told people who wanted one of his cards to come back and bring one of their own in trade. A movement was born.

View more of my favorite cards on my Pinterest Board.

Artist Trading Cards Workshop

An ‘underground’ past time of artists, ATC’s inspire you to capture your style on a small 64 mm × 89 mm card, typically made to trade. This is a great opportunity to connect with other artists. A limited amount of pre-cut cards and a few collage materials can be provided, to add some variety to your selection. I encourage you to consider making an ATC at home so you have something to bring to meetings that involve art-share & discussion, although I’d enjoy dedicating a meet up to creating them too!

All mediums and techniques are welcome. Please make sure you add some depth to your cards, whatever style you choose. Your mediums can include, but are not limited to: paper, tissue paper, crayon, acrylic, watercolor, gel pens, colored pencil, rubber stamping, ink, newspaper clippings, magazine clippings, etc.

View the ‘monster list’ of card themes/topics and suggested mediums Here

Although this is still a relatively underground community from what I understand, there have been several groups that have put together some great magazines and inspirational/informal materials for artists who are involved in the community. I think it is so great that these artists are so willing to share all of their insightful techniques and processes with others! The things you will learn can be applied  throughout all types of creative media.

Start reading the informal online zines from Art Trader MagHere.

MOST IMPORTANTLY! Do not let yourself get to overwhelmed & lost in the 20 different tabs you’ve opened (like I had, prior to writing this). Get a good idea of what ATC’s are all about, Jot down a few themes you like, gather the materials you have available to you, and start making! Now! Spend no more than 30 minutes researching!!! Go Go Go!