Sunday, November 30, 2008

Camilla and the Crow, getting there.

Camilla and the Crow - update:

Ahh, I love progresssssssss. Nearly finished. I am aware that at the moment any little mark could change the work dramatically. So I am taking it slow. Oh so slow. Working with oils means I have little time for other projects such as the 'Loveliness not Perfection' book. Oh well. Wherever my arty heart goes, I follow. 


Friday, November 28, 2008

Camilla and the Crow.

Camilla and the Crow
And they all came from far and wide 
to see the crow and his bride.
From her hair the flowers grow,
Perched atop, the wisest crow.
They arched their necks, a glimpse they tried
And at her beauty they all sighed.
How magnificent! They all cried,
They dabbed their tears and wiped their eyes.

Unfinished yes, but getting there. I began last night and have had a few hours progress this morning. Will continue at end of day. The oils are getting easier to work and blend.

Another soggy weekend and I still did not learn my lesson in shutting the windows at night - again the rain poured in the bedroom window! The guttering is not good and torrents flow noisily right outside the window. Must ask the landlord to redirect.

I found this large feather a while back. I do have an obsession with crows/ravens/currawongs/whatever we call them here in the land of Oz. I love how their mystery and intensity translate over so many countries, myths and cultures.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Oils Well That Ends Well

The Palette

I am not really able to blog much at the moment. A little speed hump in the road that is life. A few days ago I began a mini-oil painting. I have only used oils a couple of times in my life so the task was relatively difficult in terms of how to use them, the conventions of oils, etc. When starting out it was easy to confuse the oils with some of the other mediums I use. 
I managed however to get a bit of a flow. This is what I accomplished over the course of a couple of days. The work is only postcard size.


Another Messy Desk


Ahhh Finito.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Marcelline and Butterfly String


Another decoration to add to the Froghopkins tree. Her name is Marcelline. 

I think I have a thing for 'M' names at the moment. 

Her dress is made from a beautiful paper I bought from an art supplies store at least a year ago. I have been wanting to use it for ages but never got around to it.

I have had a couple of days where I haven't been able to do anything - I had to take a break from most things and get to bed early. This time of year is a little exhausting! I made myself do page 7 of the 'Loveliness not Perfection' book just to keep me going. All I could do was a butterfly on a string... 

Butterfly on a String...
How many other girls, she wondered innocently, also had their very own butterfly on a string.

Back to normal now I think. Marcelline helped me to realise that.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Birdy surprise

At the beginning of this week my mum asked me to make her some cards after seeing my birdy lino (see page 2 of the 'Loveliness not Perfection' book). I thought I would post her a surprise. I made 6 cards - very very simple - just a gloss card with the lino print on japanese washi paper. I thought of doing a few paper layers but I thought the prints worked better on their own.

Being able to work on the messiest of desks (note the CD, internet connection, sketch book, toilet paper for blotting my watercolours!)
I love how you can print in the smallest of spaces without a press and still get a nice result. Gotta love the little things.

Tools of my trade.
After so many years I have amassed rather a large collection of tools. Tools for printing, for cutting, for painting, for collage, for sketching, for sewing, phew. 

The collection
I ran out of the cream/white washi so had to move onto the cream/yellow. It was ok but not as nice.

Finito with a silver ribbon
And this is the little parcel I sent my mum. Her name is Helen so I addressed it "Herron, from your ruvry dorter", only because I think I am quite funny most of the time. 

I think she will be surprised. Please Australia post, don't let me down (this time).


Fairy dust and dusty heads

My entry into reality this morning was a little slow and I don't think I am quite there yet. As a 6am riser, to wake at 8am is a little surreal, and three hours, a HUGE coffee and a croissant later my head is still very dusty.

I have been loving leaving the bedroom window open as I sleep so I can get some fresh air. Whilst it is a little dodgy considering we live on the bottom floor, I can't resist natural air whilst I sleep. Last night it absolutely poured with rain and I woke to see (as much as you can see in the dark!) the curtains soaked and puddles of water near the bed...nothing a few towels wouldn't fix. But, you know, there was something really lovely about the elements overtaking the bedroom, and something lovely about my arms and face being soaked as I closed the windows.

I have spent the last few hours making another mermaid - Madeleine. Again, more ochre red against greeny/blue, and sprinklings of gorgeous glitter. She is much bigger than her sister. Both hang on the Froghopkins tree looking lovely. Wondering what a mermaid has to do with Christmas would be quite natural, however, considering us Aussies spend our summers in the stinking  heat having BBQs at the beach, well it is not so strange is it? I do like the watery theme.


And what to do with the excess glitter that WONT go back in the tube? Sprinkle it around the window of course! Although you can't see it in the photo, trust me, it's there.

The house that I live in is quite odd I think. We are renting here and I have loved it from the day I saw it. Outside my artroom, facing the street, is one of two gargoyles (there are more out the back) and all the little kids stare at him as they walk past. My landlord says he is to keep away evil spirits. I will post more photos of this crazy house in the future. It is quite fabulous at Halloween.

Well, that's it for now. I really thought that would be a short entry but it never quite works out like that ;-)

What a nice day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Philomena and the mermaid

I lay in bed at 4:30am this morning thinking how there was absolutely no way I would be able to go back to sleep. The solution to that? Complete page 6 of the 'Loveliness not Perfection" book:

Page 6
Philomena liked to spend all day in her purple ballet shoes. And everyday she would think "what pretty shoes I have".

And then I moved onto Marguerite the Mermaid. She started off as a whole picture however she did not sit well so I cut her out and made her into a decoration for the Froghopkins tree. I think she is more beautiful in real life. Nothing compares to an ocean-themed image combined with good quality glitter that shines beautifully. I have always loved the combination of red hair with deep blue/green. I saw the combination on a model in a magazine once and have loved it ever since. Looking at Marguerite now makes me realise I have used my favourite combo unintentionally. 

Marguerite the Mermaid

Op shopping

My trip to my local 'Lifeline' yesterday was dangerous. I am not a huge op shopper and when I go I mostly buy knick knacks and jewellery rather than clothes. Yesterday was bliss. I found three skirts then a whole lot of lovely other objects. In the end, as per usual, I had to abandon the skirts so I could buy the toys. Go figure. Here are a couple of the goodies I bought...

Deer me!

Apparently this ceramic deer was made in Canada. I fell in love with him straight away. There is no marking or signature on him so I will just imagine he was born and bred in the Canadian Rockies. Over Christmas he will sit under the Froghopkins tree and then he will come back into my art room to keep me company as I wile away the hours.

Pretty blue
I loved the colour of this cheapo vase. Such a beautiful blue. And the blossoms are so pretty. I look forward to putting some flowers in this.

Kewpie cutie

I have always loved Kewpies - who couldn't? This little cutie I also fell in love with although I thought the dress it came in was not very fabulous. I binned the dress and now the kewpie stands nakie on my bookshelf. 

My partner asks where am I going to put all these things I keep bringing home with me. I ignore the question artfully and I know that I will always find a place for them. Besides, imagine all the people I am helping by shopping at my local Lifeline.


Monday, November 17, 2008

The big post. Procrastination tea anyone?

I wanted to post some images I have done in the last few weeks as they were 'pre-blog' and I want to keep a record of them.

Blue bird decoration
This has been added to the Froghopkins twig tree. It balanced the tree up nicely. Hand painted with Japanese Yuzen paper collage and a page from an old book on technology in art. I like the irony of that.


Again, hand painted watercolour and Japanese Yuzen paper collage. I love her necklace - this was already part of the paper and not painted on! How perfect.

Pink Alice

During my 12 week internship at a boy's school I had to teach the boys watercolour techniques. As a result I have a small pile of watercolour paper with wash blobs all over them. Pink Alice was born from one of these blobs. Like one of those weird psychological blob pictures, I saw Alice in this. A little mish-mashed and very imperfect but it really resonates with me.


The birds liked the colour of her hair. It was like the softest straw they had ever seen. How lovely they thought.

Again, watercolour, some collage.

The Tea Party

The Tea Party was done ages ago (a year or so?). Never documented this one. The bubbles and tea pot and seagulls are 3D - using mounting tape.

Now I have to get back to the real world. Sometimes that is delicious and sometimes I would rather dream.


Can't I just make art forever???

I had every intention of beginning work today at 8am to catch up on those "working from home" hours I lost last week. However it is now 11am and I am still not there. I have had coffee, banana bread, been to visit my local discount store for a friend's birthday present (cheap I know, but some very cutesy Japanese notepads, cups, etc.), and now I am doing this. I also want to go to my local op shop today. I guess what all this means is that once I have finished these entries I must work consistently until early evening. Hmmmm, I will sit on that one.

Until then, here is the most recent "Loveliness not Perfection" entries.

Page 4:

The Seagulls...
Most days she would go down to the ocean and watch the seagulls circle the rocks.

I wasn't sure about this page. Too much going on, the seagulls are fat and weird and I don't like the white halo around her. She does have glitter hair and I quite like that. Still, I did say it was loveliness not perfection I was after.

Page 5:

Vintage Clothes...
Millicent knew how good she looked in vintage clothes.

After the mish-mash of the last page I wanted to keep this one simple. I may make changes to any of the pages as I go but for the moment I liked the simplicity of this one. I wanted the focus on the Japanese Yuzen pattern, and of course, on Millicent.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Birdy Abundance page 2 and 3

Here are pages two and three of the "loveliness not perfection" book. Such a little book, such yummy fun.

Page 2 (lino print on paper):
Little Bird...
How are you today little bird? What did you see? What did you do? Oh if only I could be like you.

Page 3 (Felt and paper collage):
The Apples...
On that day I decided that the abundance of apples meant I would have a full and rosy life.

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree. How lovely are your branches.

Here are the promised pics of my Christmas tree. Only detail shots. I don't mind a twig or two for a tree even if the neighbour thinks it is silly and tells me I should buy a 'real tree'. 

Loveliness not perfection

Here is another Christmas faerie I made. It has now joined the Froghopkins tree (a bunch of twigs - so 2007!!!). Tomorrow, when there is more light in my cave of an art room I will post a photo of the tree as it stands so far.

Page 1 (paper collage)
The little bird from high in his perch loved to watch the seasons change.
I have also started this mini book. My intention here is to have a little drawing/collage and a bit of text on every page of this delicious little sketchbook I bought for only $2.95 at an art supplies store in Newtown. A little like my friend Messy Fish's 90 drawings in 90 days, I hope to complete one page a day until the little book is filled with gorgeousness. I am seeking loveliness, not perfection - metaphor for my life really.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Angel hearts

My first Christmas angel. Made of paper, gold and silver, and a beautiful leaf for a dress. Seeing this picture makes me realise I forgot her shoes. It is too late tonight. My eye balls hang from my head and all I can think of is sleep. Tomorrow she shall be given glitter shoes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pyjamas, Pyjamas wherefore art thou Pyjamas.

It was my first time into a Peter Alexander store today. Bad move. I did not buy anything but I did fantasise and I will be obsessing until I go back. Very delicious. 

I had to, instead, play out my fantasies on paper. Now, I know I have not been using my camera and I really should because the images are so much more accurate, what is even worse is that when my computer takes a shot the text is reverse, and therefore unreadable. I, however, will translate:

"Carmelita did not care much for matters of the global economy. All she wanted was that perfect pair of Peter Alexander pyjamas".

Crazy fun

I stumbled on this great website. Quite arty and relatively pointless:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Milly and Saskia

This is Milly. She likes to hang with the ravens.

This is Saskia. She is a bit of a swamp girl. I liked my hand in the shot so you can see how little she is. 

I love doing my blog however I am having so much trouble uploading my pics. They are small files but sometimes it takes AGES or does not happen at all. Does anyone have any pointers?

Sophie and Christmas

This is an image I did today. Her name is Sophie.
I know I take a terrible photo but I use the camera in my laptop - much easier than using the camera then downloading all the shots on to my computer, resizing, etc. 
And here is a little gift tag/Christmas decoration I painted - Hark the Herald Angels Sing. I am quite full on about Christmas. It is fairly huge in my vocabulary and I can feel the Christmas crafty stuff coming on. I know for a few people Christmas this year has gone a little eco and less money oriented so I am liking the idea of paper decorations. 

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gumboot Girl and the Pink Faerie

Gumboot Girl I finished this morning...I think. Probably will add a few more colours, etc. here and there.

 This little lady I sold on Sunday to a lovely country boy and his girl. It was a present for his mum. Bless.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Monday-itis? I think not!

The day began a little cloudy - heading over the bridge on the bus, falling asleep, longing for my coffee at Wynyard.

I am sitting at uni today trying to concentrate. It is 9:38am and already I want a coffee break. As you can see I am, instead, blogging, so I may as well get that coffee. I am at a little booth in the library, on my laptop, by myself. I am sitting beneath a James Gleeson painting. All gold and fleshy and earthy.

Walking through Martin Place this morning (my usual path to uni) I snapped the Seidler MLC building. 

I also snapped an awesome sculpture/spiral maze made for a promotional exercise for Visy recycling. The maze was created out of huge bales of cardboard. All the business people rushing to work just stared at it, however, I walked the spiral maze for the sheer joy of doing something silly. 

For lunch I went to the MOST amazing sandwich shop. It is off Oxford St and the sandwiches are HUGE and so delicious. The bread is a fresh, soft, crusty loaf. I had tuna with gerkin, red capsicum, lettuce and chive and lemon mayonnaise. I would have had a Chinotto too but I resisted the temptation because of the huge amount of caffene and sugar I have already had. 

I stopped at the art store and bought, of all things, some pigment. Pale gold. Oh so beautiful. Like everything else in this life I had to purchase a couple of other products to mix it with (a different product for watercolour, for oil and for guache. Blimey). Still, it is stunning! It is a small bottle - $22 but half price so I got it for $11. Happy me. I can't wait to use it. I have been given some wood to paint on which will look beautiful.

Finally, dinner in Newtown. The yummy Kammadhenu. What a charmed life I live! Here is a pic of my friend Grahaeme's dinner. Mine was Palak Paneer (spinach and cottage cheese) with coconut rice and the best roti you've ever had.