Monday, May 28, 2007

Shop Update

I've updated the shop with this new original painting on canvas which is listed here. It has quite a long title and is called "There is nothing to complain about today AND I am happy with my Alpaca."
So I did fulfil my urge to paint an alpaca, as you can see. Now I'm off to tackle the mountain of work I have.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday Doodling

It's a lovely day here in Warragul today. A great day to relax and do some "free-time" artwork. Recurring themes in my sketches lately are circles, trees, birds, horses and oblong shapes (amoung other things). It's funny to see how my sketches and doodles evolve over time; I was recently looking back through some old sketch books, and while there are still style similarities there are obvious changes. I can also remember what I was feeling like at that time of my life.
I had an urge to draw an alpaca today (as we drove past a sign saying "Alpaca Farm") so I intend to do some of that today too. No pressure though, it is after all a day of rest!

Also, I have recently discovered two absolutely fantastic tv shows which have caught my eye and my twisted sense of humour. Darkplace, and the Aussie home grown Wilfred. I now have an optimistic view that there are quality shows on tv, after all. SBS knows where it's at!

I'm going to enjoy the rest of my Sunday now, I've got some more news and stuff coming to you soon.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mail Me Art

Here's my submission for the mail me art project. I'm happy it didn't get lost along the way, it had to travel so far! I started this one night when I woke up at 3am with ideas and images flowing through my head (a frequent though sporadic occurrence for me).. it then sat on the end of my desk for a while before I got sick of the sight of it and decided to finish it and post it off. Quite strange taking a piece of art to the post office and handing it in. It did get a second take from the woman behind the counter. I like how this project makes postal workers interact with artworks, making art accessible and bringing it to a down-to-earth tactile level.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New Snap Print

This design seems to be quite the popular one. Maybe it's because we can all relate to it in some way. I reworked it into a digital image, as the first design was a scanned pencil drawing from my sketchbook, so it's the second version of this design. It's in the shop as of now.

..and here's a photo of the lovely Holly's wall from Decor8. It's so lovely to see my work displayed on someone else's wall and being enjoyed. Look at all that other cute stuff too! (Love that deer head..) I'm thrilled that a woman with such taste has a piece of my art above her desk. Thanks Holly :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Illustration Friday: Citrus

This week's Illustration Friday topic.

Ok, I promised 7 facts or strange habits about me due to being tagged, so here goes:

1. I'm struggling with no. 1, how am I going to get 7!?
I like everything Aussie. Akubra hats, beer in stubby holders, sheds with number plates & signs in them.. you get the picture. I'm a closet bogan. Or maybe I'm an obvious bogan? Who knows. Ask Jim.

2. I have tried just about every hobby in the book. (Craft wise.) If I had the option to do whatever I wanted everyday I could keep these hobbies up. I really really have to restrain myself from taking up new ones all the time. My Dad recently told me he's got an old pottery wheel in the garage and I replied with, "The old me would have snapped it up." I also was about to get all the stuff for welding & go halves with my brother.
I've tried my hand at: Knitting, crocheting, mosaicing, beading, fimo, polaroid transfers, photography, gilding, needlework of all kinds, cement sculpturing, paper mache, fibre-glassing, stained glass projects, soap making, candle making, making things from wood, marbling, paper making, ceramics, wire-work, metalwork, resin casting, eggshell art, of course drawing & painting, collage, dress making & sewing, mould making, toy making, frame making, screen-printing, animation, stamp making, lino cutting, etching, and I'm sure I could think of some more but I think that is enough! I truly have a problem focusing on one thing at a time, and most of the time it leaves me feeling depressed that I never finish alot of projects. I have since realised that I cannot do everything and I will get more fulfilment and success by focussing on a small portion of projects. Times are a changin'!

3. I just finished "This other Eden" By Ben Elton and now am on to "Nineteen Eighty Four" by George Orwell.

4. I am fond of my last name. Like the little kid nobody liked at school I feel protective and endeared to it.

5. I used to hate the dark hair on my arms but have grown to accept it and at one stage in my life I even liked it. Women have enough hair to get rid of on their bodies without having to worry about that area.

6. Habit... I need to list a habit or two. Every morning my ritual is to get up, check my emails, my flickr comments, my blog comments, and the front page of etsy then have my breakfast with a cup of chai tea, shower, then walk my dogs together or separately, depending on how I feel. If I don't walk the dogs I feel guilty all day and being in that head space makes for a disruptive day at the desk.

7. I love, love, love camping. If you marry me and take me on a honeymoon, I'd rather go camping than to a resort. I've been to a couple of resorts and I feel guilty being waited on and I feel all of the niceties from the staff are contrived and fake. I can truly relax however, at a campsite. I'm not putting anyone out and getting back to nature is a fantastic feeling.

That's it!

The next stage of the interactive project will be up soon, as it's almost finished.

Tagged again & China

Haha! I've been tagged by Anna AND Inaluxe. Guess this means I'd better do it, hey!? Next post, promise.

Firstly I want to share a few photos & images first from my trip to China last year. I went with Jim's sister Chantelle. Two inexperienced travellers venturing out into a non English speaking country for the first time.. to say it was scary is somewhat of an understatement. I could show you so many more photos, I have many favourites. I took 400 odd photos on the whole trip. The whole trip that was full of laughter, chaos, fun, stress & tears!
This first image is the cover of a sweet little book I picked up in Beijing, or was it Shanghai?? Wherever it was (I can't believe I'm forgetting details already) it was a massive book shop with about 10 levels!

These next images are from a little comic book I picked up in an arty area of Beijing. It's filled with beautiful delicate stylised pen drawings. I love it. Probably one of my favourite souvenirs.

Whilst over there we trudged around some museums, led by our ever energetic (and annoying) tour guide. We dubbed him "fancy pants" as he was quite on the feminine side and would break out into Whitney Houston songs at any given moment unannounced. Anyway, the patterns on some of the old treasures in there really inspired me. If you've seen any of this stuff you would recognise this style of pattern.

Possibly the best damn wall of graffiti I've ever seen! Enhanced I think by the cool guys walking past. What an arty shot! One of my favourites from the trip.

Ahhhh, home sweet home in Beijing for two weeks. Such fond memories of our little hutong (street).

Another arty shot in the middle of nowhere. Blind faith in crazy van drivers got us here. Crazy van drivers with seats that weren't even attached to the floor of the van. The things we do in other countries.

There are a couple of other photos on my flickr page, if you wish to see them. The trip was such a mix of emotions. It was really stressful at times, and we ended up being so homesick by the end of it, but when I look back on the photos I get a wistful feeling and I am truly glad that we were given the chance to have this experience.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Success! My Second Gocco Print: "Nesting"

This new gocco print is now in the shop along with all it's details. Mosey on over there if you so feel inclined. (Is that sentence grammatically correct??...)

I really enjoyed doing this print once I ironed out all the bugs in the process. For anyone that's interested, I did some searching on the net and found a tip to put your ink in the fridge before printing, which helps keep the edges sharp especially if there is fine detail involved. I do find it quite strange that there is not some sort of website/ section that devotes itself entirely to gocco troubleshooting tips. I'd start one up if I didn't have a million things on the go already!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Gocco Woes!

I'm making a gocco print with two colours/ screens. I made all kinds of mistakes whilst on the second use of my gocco printer! First I tried numerous batteries in the laundry cupboard because I couldn't find any freshies.. (can someone please tell me why I keep old used batteries!?) Anyway, so I finally find some fresh batteries and I'm fiddling around with the battery compartment and FLASH! Off it goes right in my eyes! After I blink away the red floating dots in my eyes I see that only one globe went off.. I replace that then try to burn my screen. I see that only one went off again so I put in a bulb on that side and expose again. The screen was a dud. So I wasted 3 bulbs and one screen. Grrr.
Anyway, after all that drama, I mixed a nice turquoise colour and it printed beautifully. I was looking forward to doing the next screen, but as you can see it was a woeful attempt. I'm only showing bits of the design as I don't want to show the whole thing in it's present state.
Why oh why does the ink bleed? Is it when there are largish blocks of colour? (They're not too big, compared to examples I've seen on the net anyway.) Or is it certain inks? What about fine detail? Maybe I used too much ink initially? I've been searching around for gocco troubleshooting tips but so far have not found anything substantial which is disappointing. If anyone can steer me in the direction of some good tips, or even better has some good tips regarding bleeding ink I would be eternally grateful!

Now, check this out.. my Aunty Leonie sent me photos of my cousin Jayden (left.. crazy kid!) and his mate Cody with a cake they made. Ever since I've been craving chocolate cake so I bought a packet mix (cop out, yeah I know, whatever, shoosh!) and am about to whip that up now. Hopefully Jim will eat some so I don't end up scoffing the whole thing myself!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Illustration Friday Topic Neighbour & Street Art

Excuse the Aussie addition of "U" in the spelling here my overseas friends!
I did this little number in my moleskine sketch book last night whilst Jim watched episodes of Family Guy and Futurama. I like sitting at my desk whilst he's in the lounge room.. we're not doing something together but the company is still there & is a nice change from my lonely days painting and drawing by myself. It does teach you to enjoy your own company though, and my many friends on the internet help to alleviate the feeling of being isolated.
Anyway, this pic has no meaning really, it was just a mindless doodle that evolved as I was doing it. I used pen, pencil & paint, then sealed the whole thing with gloss. Too bad the pen seeped through and ruined a drawing on the other side of the page...

Here's a cool sticker/ street art I found whilst hanging out in the Blue Mountains NSW sometime last year. We were walking around some bush tracks and stopped to sit on a seat and take in the view. Someone had stuck this sticker to the chair (I think, from memory) and I had my sketch book with me so I nabbed it and stuck it on the back cover. I like street art. Jim is not a fan, as he is rather pragmatic and finds that people should not be doing illegal things and that the owners of the buildings/ walls should have a say in what goes on there. Fair enough, but we're not about to stop it happening and I say we may as well enjoy it. I like that people out there are putting creative work around for other people to see.. showing that there is culture, individuality and independent thought still around in this time of mainstream trends and mass marketing. Tagging though is another story, that I don't like and find it equivalent to littering.
I just wanted to share this little pic with you though, been meaning to put it here for ages and only just got around to it.

Talking about things I've been meaning to do, basically this is how I live my life everyday. Trying to catch up to the million things I want to do on an invisible list in my head. I'm trying to get something done or finished every single day. I have made a deal with myself that I can't start any more new paintings until I finish off all of my unfinished projects. Quite a task. This may just mean I can paint over some old pics with white paint, ready for something new. (Sketch book drawings/ paintings do not apply!) I saw a show recently on getting rid of the clutter in your home.. I truly feel if I get rid of the clutter, my head will feel clearer too. I am so inspired, I hope this action lasts and it's not just another phase that I'm going through that will pass soon.

Well, off I go to get some work done. Have a lovely day my bloggy reading friends!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Illustrators Australia has a new website

Illustrators Australia now has a brand new website. They are having a few teething problems, though I think that it looks great. Check out the portfolios in the portfolios section (where you'll also find little ol' me), with more to be added soon, I'm sure.
By the way, I'm still waiting on one more lone comment for the interactive project...