Thursday, April 30, 2009

Late One Night

Sunday Arts, one of my favourite programs on tv, had a segment about an artist (Bill Luke) who goes on nocturnal explorations through the streets of Melbourne collecting swathes of advertising posters from the city's walls. In his studio Bill strips back layers from the posters to reveal scraps of pictures and text. With careful composition they become new works of art. As most of the backgrounds in my work are inspired by old bill boards I was totally in awe of this and had to have some old advertising posters too. I enlisted the help of my nocturnal daughter, Julia. We have been on two heists now and below are some of the treasures.

I want to use scraps of text, images and textures with layers of paint and gesso, some stamping and other mark making and see where that leads me. I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself. Maybe its the naughty nocturnal jaunts that I'm excited about hehehe hahaha hehehe.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Meaning of Art

There's a blog I came across by Katherine Treffinger. There Katherine poses the question "What meaning does art have for you? Why do you show up in your studio, or wherever and pick up your tools day after day?" Well I thought about this for several days before I emailed Katherine the answer. She posts the answers on her blog so you can check out my answer and answers from other artists there.

New work below. That makes 28 pieces for the exhibition. I set myself a goal of 30 so only 2 more to go. The colours aren't exactly right on the photo as there was no sunshine today. Only gloomy dark skies. We've had quite a bit of rain YAY!!!

mixed media on canvas
50.8x60.9cm (20"x24")

Monday, April 27, 2009

Back to Work

Play time with Zoe is over. Its back to school for her today. We had a lovely time doing the usual things like making waffles for breakfast, sitting in bed reading and playing with her Nintendo DS. As April says we were making memories.

Back to work for me now. Tomorrow its only three weeks till delivery of artwork to the gallery. I resurrected the disastrous cupcake painting. Well I saved the background. I just couldn't get those cupcakes looking right. I suppose that happens sometimes. I decided I didn't have enough time to fiddle with them any longer so I had to shelve the idea. Like I said I managed to save the background and am painting yet another inanimate object on it. This time an alarm clock. The type with those big bells on the top. The story behind this painting is quite simple. My best friend Vanita lives in Naracoorte so when I visit I usually stay a few days. Vanita collects clocks. All sizes and shapes and her house is one ticking symphony for want of a better word. Most of the time the usual daily sounds disguise the tick tick ticking of the multitude of clocks. But at night when you try to sleep the ticking becomes so loud and the rhythm of their ticking enters your brain and starts to drive you insane. Tick tock, tick tock, tickety tock, tickety tock ahhhhh! Vanita likes the sound. Its comforting to her. She tells me to take the batteries out if I don't like the sound but I usually remove the clock from the room or put a pillow over it hehehe. In all honesty staying at Vanita's wouldn't be the same without the tick tocking but I'm not going to tell her that. She might go and buy that big grandfather clock she's seen and then there will be ticking and bonging hehehe.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sleep Overs

Its nearly the end of school holidays and Zoe is coming for a sleep over before its time to go back to school. She likes staying at Oma's (grandma's) place because I spoil her rotten. I cook all her favourite meals and have her special treats on hand. We go to bed early but stay awake till quite late talking and playing games in bed and reading our favourite books. Our favourite series of books, since Zoe has been quite young, is Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy and all his friends. Written by Lynley Dodd. We just about know the words by heart we've read them so often. Its been raining today and the weather is quite cool so I can't wait to snuggle up in bed with Zoe and Hairy Maclary of course.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009


The cupcake painting is just not working for me. I think its time for a day off. I've been working way too hard and I need to go and fill the well. Mmm I wonder what I should do. I need to treat myself to something fun. I think I might even take the rest of the day off. I will go and clean up and then I might take Jack for a long walk before cooking dinner. We both will enjoy that and I will plan something special for myself tomorrow.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

For the Love of Old Books

New work. Another one completed, yay. As is the norm with my paintings, its larger than life size.
It's on the Shelf
mixed media on canvas
50.8x60.9cm (20"x24")

I just love old books. I like them to be written between 1920 and 1940. I really enjoy the style of writing between these dates. They are simple interesting stories and very descriptive in their narrative. And of course nothing compares to the smell of an old book.

Well I'm off to paint cupcakes now. Cupcakes or muffins, I haven't decided yet. Will just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Got Mail

No bills in the letter box today. I got mail from my friend Julie in the UK. A photo of her shadow rocks, which I love and the sweetest little card wishing me all the best for the up and coming exhibition. Thanks Julie from the bottom of my heart. It brought tears of sheer joy to my eyes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Painting Painting Painting

Its 5 weeks till delivery of work to the gallery and I'm painting, painting, painting. I'm really enjoying it too. I still love losing myself in my art but am getting increasingly annoyed when I have to pull myself back into the now to cook dinner or some other necessary thing.

I haven't started the cupcake painting yet. Just squeezing in another before I do that one. I would like 4 more paintings. That will make 30 altogether. That should be enough shouldn't it???

Ok I'm rambling. I'll just go and do a little bit more before cleaning up.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Tablecloth Saga Continued

So here is my tablecloth painting nearly complete. I still want to add some real stitching where the hem and the trim is. I added more text to the background and a few more washes of paint, some subtle shadow to the tablecloth to really show the movement of the fabric and painted the peg and the clothesline. Its lost a lot of its power in this small image. The sheer size of it in real life adds something which is lost on the computer screen. It hasn't got a title yet either but that will come.

Next painting is in the planning stages. The theme was inspired by my friend April. Yes a cupcake painting, low cal of course hehehe.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Tablecloth Saga

The tablecloth and the peg painting is going well. I should really call it a construction not a painting. Not much painting going on but lots and lots of tedious cutting and gluing. Very tedious cutting and gluing. Did I mention it was tedious ugh! The results however are quite pleasing to my artist's heart so it keeps me going.

I prepared some altered and stained newspapers before I started as these were to form the checks of the tablecloth. So I needed two types of red and a white.

I started with a bit of text stamping but I lost most of it as I continued to paint in the background. This still needs to be resolved with more text I think but I will worry about it later.

I started cutting and gluing the checks of the tablecloth. Each 'square' is such a different shape and I have to pay careful attention to this to get the movement of the tablecloth right. The wind was moving it ever so slightly as I took the photo and I want to capture that. The colours are a little richer in real life as I took these photos inside with a flash. I looks a little like a patchwork quilt rather than a tablecloth but I don't mind that. Like I've said before, the canvas is on the large side 101.6x76.2cm (40"x30") with the peg measuring 35cm (14"). Still a bit to go and I still need to resolve that background so I'd better get to it.

The Tablecloth Saga Continues

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Tablecloth and the Giant Peg

Bob is home and is doing well. We are hoping this is the end of it. He's sick of going to hospital and he wants his life back. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and well wishes.

I'm working on a new piece. The canvas is on the large side as usual. I can't get my paintings to work on a smaller scale. The canvas is 101.6x76.2cm (40"x30") and I started with the theme of washing on the line. I always start with a photo. I can see what composition works and change the subject matter etc. Anyway after quite a few photos and strange looks from my son as I was standing on a stool in order to get the right angle of the washing line, I settled on a photo of a red and white checked tablecloth being held down by a peg (see image below). Now you think this would be an easy thing to draw but as I found out today the red and white checks take on all sorts of odd shapes depending on the fall of the fabric.

What I decided to do is to depict the checks in various altered and stained newspaper so after taking photos I went to work on some papers to make sure I had enough to choose from. It will probably look more like a patchwork quilt than a tablecloth but that's ok. At this stage the background will consist of text being stamped on with medium. This forms a bit of a resist when you paint over it and the result should be some subtle text showing through in the 'sky'. I won't have any of the buildings or other things in the painting. Just the tablecloth and the peg. As the canvas is on the large side the peg will be huge. It will be about 35cm in length which is roughly 14". My love of inanimate objects continues and this time I'm showcasing the humble peg hehehe. A giant humble peg, wooden of course, all grey and weathered. I wouldn't use any other. Anyway the papers are prepared, the image is drawn onto the canvas so I'm ready to get stuck into it but not till tomorrow, I'm done for today.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Little Miss Series

mixed media on canvas
91.4x60.9cm (36"x24")

mixed media on canvas
91.4x60.9cm (36"x24")

mixed media on canvas
91.4x60.9cm (36"x24")

mixed media on canvas
91.4x60.9cm (36"x24")

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Day Off

I took a day off yesterday and didn't do any art. I did do some business relating to the exhibition but that was all. I didn't take the time to do housework either. Larger than life dust bunnies still hanging around here. Oh well they are just in time for Easter hehehe. I really just had a break. The Little Miss Series is nearly there. Sorry for keeping you waiting. They are coming I promise. The sad news is Bob is back for more surgery tomorrow. Not sure what will happen, how long he will be in hospital or whether he needs more skin grafts or not. We just have to wait and see. Its about 6 weeks since he had the last skin cancers removed. He hasn't really gone back to work so the larder is getting rather bare. His type of skin cancer is quite aggressive and can grow quite quickly. I checked his whole body and wrote down every little blemish and made the doctors at the hospital look at these. They believe 3 of these are cancer, groan. What I'm angry about is that I believe the hospital should have checked his whole body, not me. They are meant to be the experts. Anyway we have talked to his GP and he will do regular checks from now on. Well that's it for now. Got to get some sleep. Up early tomorrow. Bob has to fast from 6am so I want to make sure he has a good breakfast. Will post pics as soon as I can. Thanks for your patience :)