Sunday, September 26, 2010

To the market - part two

Thank Goodness it was a beautiful, sunny, warm spring day.

 As I don't drive, I was lucky enough to score a lift early in the morning to get to the markets. This is the one thing that is stopping me from booking every single market I can for the next few months, and taking my art out there. Without access to a car, it is actually impossible for me to lug my suitcase full of arty goodness, the display stands, a foldable chair and the pavilion tent around Sydney on public transport.

I need one of those carnival carts that I push around on two big wooden wheels, that I can push a button on and it opens up into a musical, moving, colourful art-filled market-stall extravaganza!! Still working on that one....

Here are some photographs from the day, I hope we can do it more frequently!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Flickr Account

I was recently given some advice that I really should use my flickr and facebook more to promote my artwork. This made me squeamish.

My flickr? You mean... that messy scrap-book monster with all sorts of random photographs thrown into my account that serves basically as a hosting service so I can then upload it all into my nice, thought-out, ordered blog?? It's like being told to clean your room when your nine years old.... as you stare at the impenetrable fortress of mess and junk (that is essentially all your loved possessions thrown into a huge pile) you think it is surely impossible....

But I went through, created folders to house sub folders, ordered them into themes, and got it all looking semi decent. So if you ever feel the need, here it is:

My Photostream

ps. the silk dollies for the newly acquainted are made by Crystal A Suh

Latest Inspiration

Feeling in an odd and oogie mood today, I laid aside my pressing to-do list, curled up on the couch in a miserable ball and decided to watch a DVD I had just been given as a gift. I do not own a television, so obviously this means I do not watch mundane mainstream TV shows, but beautiful films are always a treat. 
The film I saw today was incredibly beautiful, and has filled me with awe and inspiration. I can see already that it's style and mood will in some way influence me, and definitely my art. 

"The secret of Kells" is an animated film set in the ninth century, revolving around the safe-keeping and completion of the Book of Kells. Whilst I won't go into the entire story (I URGE you to see it for yourselves) I was captivated by the imagery, the imagination, and the art..... most of all I was entranced by the forest-sprite character Aisling, who looks just like the misty-haired, smoky-eyed girls I've been so drawn to lately.
From a young age I have been smitten with the thought of the Forest. The sort of forest that in fairytales is the home to a proud stags and elusive deer, to elves and faeries and spirits of the trees.... this film beautifully captured the mysterious, enchanting, and dangerous aspects I am so drawn to.

When I started drawing "seriously" as a thirteen year old, I drew a green-haired forest girl over and over again. This is basically how I taught myself to draw the figure, by drawing this one character repeatedly for five years. The thought of sylph-like forest spirits will always be something that entrances me.

Now, please allow me to momentarily bombard my own page with scenes from the film..... I hope you go out, seek a copy, and watch this incredibly artistic animation!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sketches and Scribbling

I've read more than once that as an artist, you should draw everyday to keep in practice, push yourself, keep your hand active, and stay in that artistic frame of mine. I agree with this wholeheartedly... but cannot confess to being a practitioner of this zealously *shame*

Often when I get an idea I will actually write it down in my "sketchbook", rather than sketch it. I just don't like my quick composition scribbles. I've seen some artist's doodles that have an incredible vibrancy and life to them. Mine however, are usually mis-shapen blobs and confusing lines. I'm not very good at drawing an idea down on paper instantly from my brain.

With my finished pieces I have time to work out the composition, and usually use a range of reference materials to get every aspect of the drawing 'correct'. I am a firm believer in using reference photographs in my practice without shame - I like the thought that if I am drawing an elbow, I am also looking at an elbow, there is flesh and blood and sinews and tendons underneath the skin, I'm not just drawing a symbol for an elbow.

I do like drawing from life though. If I'm at a friends place, I like to reach for a scrap of paper and draw portraits. Luckily most of my friends that I "hang out" with are all artists, and don't find this odd!
This gives me a chance to study drawing the human form in a quick and expressive way, without relying on my brain to make things up.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Smoke and Whispers

I like whispy girls. Girls with hair made of mist and wind, eyes of smoke, and hushed whispery voices.

With this in mind... you can imagine, I am sure, how delightfed I was to aquire Mark Ryden's latest beautiful Art Book, with luxurious full page details of the paintings from his last show, the "Snow Yak" series.

Posed with the pages here is my own little whispy porcelain art-doll made by Marie's Garden.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Children's and Baby Clothes!!

I've been wanting to do this ever since redbubble announced they've made kid's and baby's clothes available.

RedBubble for those who are hearing it first is a cool website where artists can upload their designs for sale as t-shirts, long sleeved shirts, hoodies, (and now) kiddy clothes.
All the shirts are printed on 100% cotton American Apparel shirts, which is totally awesome!!

So may I please introduce my first two kiddy designs!!

(( For those who aren't child sized anymore, but are still young at heart, you can actually have these designs printed on adult sized shirts and hoodies, too! You just need to click through to Buy/Preview, then select T-Shirts & Hoodies. ))

My prints featured alongside Enchanted Doll

Earlier this year I completed 9 original artworks as a competition entry for Enchanted Dolls. I never thought I would actually see them in use the way I had intended them, fitting perfectly into the (old) Enchanted Boxes.

Can you imagine my bursting joy and overwhelming pride when I saw one of my works featured in this video for Marina's latest show, "In Wolves Clothing" at the ShowSpace Gallery in London.

Edit: Sunday, This Just In-ned: Marina's latest Blog Entry

Marina just posted a new shot of Silk Road, one of her dolls travelling to New York for an exhibition... I am utterly speechless and delighted to see another of my drawings as the backdrop!!

This has made me so happy, and it delights me so to see that she has chosen the prints that echo the dolls the most. For "Beauty" she chose my version of "The Vessel", covered in pale blue flowery tattoo's to match her doll, and for "Silk Road" she matched her with a similarly henna painted depiction of "Shapeshifter/Kia".

Do you know the feeling when for one reason or another you suddenly feel yourself looking at your own work in a despairing way (yes, it happens to me, and can drag on for weeks unless there is a shift in circumstances) then like a small miracle, a few things align themselves to overjoy you and restore your hope.. Marina showing my drawings with her dolls, and the recently completed art-trade with Nati being such a success have been such miracles for me. I'm thrilled and touched and so so so so honoured.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Peaceful Reverie

Peaceful Reverie....depicting a scene that seems to allude to the aftermath of something violent in nature that has not long past. (Violent acts, violent passion, violent exuberance... you can complete the story!)

I am utterly excited to introduce the first artwork I've completed as an Art Exchange! A trade I participated in with the ever-lovely Natalia Pierandrei, a talented young woman whom I have admired for over ten years now. To say I was thrilled when she agreed to embark on this little creative exchange with me is an understatement.... to say that I was excstatic when I saw the artwork she completed for me would be an even bigger understatement.

A friend of mine who saw my finished piece commented that he thought this was my best artwork yet. If that is the case, I am glad it is going to someone as special as nati. I really hope she loves it :-)

You can see the exquisite artwork that nati created specially for me here: Labyrinth
Isn't it gorgeous? I asked for a girl with hair of mist and smoke, dressed in tattered lace and shreds of silk, in a forgotten building overgrown by nature..... putting her in a labyrinth was such a good idea....makes me think the labyrinth was designed so well no-one has been able to get in for a century.....

(I was obviously a lot more demanding than her! She modestly asked for something that was simply "flowery"... isn't she sweet? makes me love her even more!)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

To the market!!

I must admit this great shame....I am a bit of a market virgin. It's true... I've fantisized and even dabbled and experimented a little... but I've never really had my own arty market stall, with my wares up for touching and for taking ;-)

After pretty much a whole year of saying, "We must do it!" with another arty friend of mine, we finally took that first step (well... she did, anyway) and booked a stall. A tiny little simple stall to be hosted at the Glebe Markets on Saturday the 25th of September.

We're both scrambling around realizing we don't have essentials like sand-bags to keep the tent from flying away.... or even a tent for that matter.
With such serious things to still consider and source...I spent the day doing something so much more fun... working on packaging!!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Out and about...

I had the delight of attending a few inspiring and exciting events recently, and I would just love to share!!

Meet the Designers, 2010
Victoria Buckley's luxurious jewellery boutique has participated in a couple of ravishingly fancy soiree's recently, including the 2010 meet the designer's evening.
The whole Strand glams up and beautiful creatures flit about. At the boutique we got to showcase some very rare and expensive Diamonds and Pearl Strands.

Shaun Tan, Live 2010
I also had the extreme luck of getting to see my favourite Australian Children's Book illustrator, Shaun Tan, in person. He started and finished a drawing Live on the night, that was auctioned off at the end to help raise funds for the ILP (Indigenous Literary Project). Shaun Tan's world is one that is so full of magic and imagination, it has been an endless source of inspiration since I first discovered his work.

No Fixed Address.
This is the title of High Tea with Mrs Woo's latest collection, and it fills me with chills, and nostalgia for places I have never been.
I have been a great fan of the work of these three sisters ever since they first opened up their delightful boutique right next to where I live. Esepcially recently when my own fixed address is fading away, hearing the girls talk on the night about what inspired this collection was really moving. Enjoy a few snapshots of their current season (and visit their incredible website, too!!)

No fixed address is the beginning of another new adventure with High Tea with Mrs Woo. Seeking escape into unkown landscapes, this collection of garments and objects tells tales of endless voyages to far away places.

Soaring high into the sky, light layers of cotton gauze in oversized tops and angled skirts fold and billow in the breeze. Translucent textures and embroidered patterns cast across dresses and trousers like passing clouds on a sunny day. Like the wings of a plane, the pleats and folds of collared wrap tops and toggled jackets, form and take shape, awaiting flight.

With a Nancy-bird’s eye view of the gathering greenery below, home seems like a long and distant memory. Home is now wherever she is, wherever she goes.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Persephone - 2010 Plate

My plate for 2010. Persephone. Un-glazed and un-fired as yet. It will be interesting to see what happens to the colours... I won't get to see it till the opening night!

My favourite character from Mythology is Persephone, Goddess of Spring, and later, Queen of the Underworld, consort to Hades.

A few variations of how it is that Hades, God of the Underworld fall in love with her exist, but my favourite is that Venus, Goddess of Love sees him and thinks that no-one should be free from her charms. She instructs her son Cupid to shoot one of his arrows into him.

Persephone then makes the mistake of frolicking in a field with some nymphs to pick flowers - this is actually a very dangerous passtime for Grecian girls, and is often the setting for disaster..... riding in his black chariot drawn by black horses, Hades bursts from the earth and upon spying her, falls utterly in love. He kidnaps her and returns to the Underworld with his captive.

Demeter, Goddess of the Earth (and agriculture) searches in vain for her daughter, but cannot find her. In giref she neglects her duties as a Goddess and the earth becomes barren. Finally she finds (again, each different version of the story has a different character here) a river nymph that tells her on her way through the centre of the Earth, she spotted Persephone in the Underworld.
Demeter pleads with Zeus and the Gods to give her daughter back, but they refuse. (It should mention here that Zeus, Demeter and Hades are brothers and sister. Zeus and Demeter are the parents of Persephone. Hades, as well as being her Uncle, also becomes Persephone's husband...... that's the Greek Gods for you!)

Furious and distraught, Demeter goes into hiding and wanders the earth as an old crone. No new life grows from the earth, the humans and animals begin to starve and die. Finally the Gods relent and call a council. They demand Hades return Persephone to her mother. When she comes up form the Underworld, Persephone is questioned whether she has accepted any food or drink whilst she was in Hades' realm - for doing so would mean she is to remain there forever.

Hades had in fact tricked her into eating 3 pomegranite seeds, so the Gods decide that for 3 months of the year she is to spend her time in the Underworld with Hades, and for the rest she can be reunited with her mother. Demeter brings life back to the Earth, but every year for 3 months whilst Persephone is with Hades, she lets things die, and these are the seasons. (In some versions she eats 6 seeds, so she spends Autumn and Winter in the Underworld, and Spring and Summer on the Earth).

I have depicted that fateful moment... I imagine she is looking up at Hades, the pomegranite clutched in her hand....

Marina Bychkova of Enchanted Dolls has just unveiled her latest doll, "Beauty" from the children's folk-tale Beauty and the Beast, and references how the tale depicts a case of Stockholm Syndrome. I couldn't help feel a like similarity to Persephone's story.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Originals for Sale

I have just added the six beautiful artworks I exhibited earlier this year to my etsy shop. I'm trying to raise money for future art projects (I really would like to get a delightful selection of quality Giclee prints made up, and even start thinking about a whole range of t-shirt designs.)
.... as well as fantasizing about saving for this....

My artworks are executed in soft layers of watercolours, and they are each matt-framed on an A4 scale, which makes them really easy to frame once they arrive.
The "Original Artwork" section of my shop also has some un-framed pieces that are effectively listed at a highly discounted sale rate, barely more than a lot of digital prints that are on etsy.
The "Sale Darlings" section has some sweet girls, all lonely and looking for new homes.

Leave a little message in the "note to seller" section of your purchase, and I'll include a special little gift to anyone who finds their way over from my blog!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The months ahead....

...are going to be busy.

I've already mentioned working on my entry for the 2010 FONAS plate auction. I finally started working on it last night, and I have to have it finished this week for firing, eep!

Here it is so far:

I also got bullied into signing up for the 2010 Chalk Urban Arts Festival. This is sure proof that my sanity has departed. As someone who works on a small scale, usually between 15 - 20 cm.... what was I thinking when I said yes to a 4 day outdoor event where I have to complete a chalk artwork on the pavement in a 2m x 2.4m scale???? I've been involved in previous years as a spectator, supporter and volunteer, but never as an artist.

So, if you're in Sydney between October 7th - 10th come and say hi!