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Black Dog Studio's Open Studio, SALA 2015

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by Jo Harris (subscribe)
I love the things we have here in South Australia – the fabulous food, wine, people and places – beauty everywhere. And, for more beauty in my life, I own and operate a gorgeous little gallery called Mrs Harris’ Shop:
Event: -
Handmade prints, watercolours, life drawings, artist at work
This is the third year that Julia Wakefield has opened her new studio for the South Australia Living Artists Festival (SALA).

After working for years on kitchen tables, in print workshops and rented studios, Julia finally built her own light-filled space in her back yard at Christies Beach.

The studio is called 'Black Dog' after Julia's own dog, Portia, but when people ask her if it has any associations with having the blues, Julia is reassuring.

My studio is so warm and friendly, it's a sheer delight to work in. Most people want to take it home with them!'

Julia is well known for her romantic rabbits, who hopped into her head while she was living in the UK and have adapted remarkably well to the Australian environment, appearing on cards, mugs, t-shirts and handmade relief prints.

The Black Dog also features in wood engravings and linocuts. An occasional flying pig finds its way into the studio, and other creatures you might encounter include a pair of musical camels and a spider that knits woollen scarves.

Julia Wakefield prints
Granny, what Great Big Eyes you have! Solarplate etching by Julia Wakefield

The studio is only 5 minutes' walk from Christies and O'Sullivan's beaches, where you can walk your dog without a leash all year round.

Julia Wakefield prints
Masked booby, woodcut by Julia Wakefield

It's open to visitors on Sundays and Mondays from 11am – 4pm (except for Sunday August 23), until August 30, but the Studio will also open on Saturday August 22nd, 11am – 4pm.

Julia will be on hand during these times, and is happy to demonstrate her drawing, watercolour and printmaking techniques. She gives classes in beginners' drawing and also workshops in life drawing and watercolour at community centres all around Adelaide. She often experiments with different media, including digital art, to get herself 'out of the square'.

Julia Wakefield
Parrot fish, digital print by Julia Wakefield

Julia is currently working on a series called 'Postcards for the Reef', which includes watercolours and prints in various media on the theme of the Great Barrier Reef.

Julia Wakefield watercolour
Green Sea Turtle, watercolour by Julia Wakefield

I got tired of signing petitions and decided to try and do something with my art to help the Reef, which is under direct threat from a very unpleasant coal mining project' said Julia.

All profits from sales of the postcards and greetings cards that I have made from these artworks will be donated to the Fight for the Reef Fund'.

Julia Wakefield watercolour
Mimic Octopus, watercolour by Julia Wakefield

More information about the Postcards for the Reef can be found HERE and you can follow the progress of her postcards as she produces more images on her Facebook page.

Julia Wakefield watercolour
Snubfin dolphins, watercolour by Julia Wakefield. The snubfin dolphin is unique to Australian waters and was only discovered in 2005. Snubfins are extremely social and can become so engrossed in one another when playing or feeding that they are dangerously oblivious to oncoming boats.

Follow her blogs Touchpaper Drawing Tips and Touchpaper Printmaking Tips to find out more about her work and her workshops.
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Why? Come and see a SALA artist at work
When: Sundays and Mondays 11am - 4pm (except 23 August) until Agust 30, Saturday 22 August 11am - 4pm
Phone: 0433 975 590
Where: 40 Hunter Rd Christies Beach SA 5165
Cost: FREE
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