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Archive for June, 2011

Ooh so Harxest made this cool video of the Dr Sketchy ‘Sylivia Ji’ themed life drawing class I went to last Sunday – held at Outre Gallery, Melbourne. Was a great afternoon – The models were stunning!

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I spent my Sunday afternoon down at Outre Gallery on Elizabeth st sketching these gorgeous girls.  Outre collaborated with Dr Sketchy’s, Melbourne to put on a special Art Star event in celebration of their latest show Ofrendas  – Amazing prints and new paintings by American artist Sylvia Ji.Silvia’s paintings feature mysterious girls in rich colours and dramatic Dia de los Muertos decoration. Our models Vespa and Camilla were decked out in extravagant day of the dead costumes and feather headdresses to compliment her work. Seeing as I haven’t actually been to a live drawing class since first year fashion design 8 or 9 years ago, I’m pretty pleased with how my drawings turned out… In fact I even won a copy of Angelique Houtkamp’s Tattoo Darling with the top left sketch as Camillas pick of the night. It makes me wanna find a bit of time to see what these girls would look like painted up in gouache and ink – the colours and patterns combined were just stunning.

Thanks Outre and Melanie of Dr Sketchy’s for putting this cool afternoon on!

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I have finally finished the second native bush panel that has been in progress for what seems like ages now. This time featuring both Riroriro *Grey warbler* and Tui.The time lapse is due to a few things… Being sidetracked with a couple of wonderful commission pieces, and also with my Tui’s lack of sleep last week now that she can climb out of her cot.  This week however things are looking up – The novelty has worn off and there has been an afternoon sleep every day. Its allowed me to finish second said commission piece.                                                                           Having my two hours in the afternoon to paint back… So good!The first bush panel featured one of my Kotare – The New Zealand sacred Kingfisher.

The battery off D’s flash camera was flat today, so I had to photograph w my iphone instead… Promise to put up clearer pics as soon as its charged tomorrow.

 

 

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I had a request from a friend for my Anemone girl in shades of red and orange, and on a slightly larger scale than the original A4.  So here is a variation on her at 56x38cm, and with added detailing… I might have got slightly more carried away with this than planned! You can see the original Anemone is this previous post here.

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A couple of weeks ago seven of my paintings were destroyed when a pipe in my friends house burst and their kitchen ceiling fell in.  Wrecked artworks are the least of their problems really, but I will be sad not to see these works when I visit Wellington next.  The downfall with gouache is that it doesn’t like moisture – So water damage means they’re pretty much gonners.Because these were earlier works of mine they were block mounted, which I now wouldn’t recommend if you actually want your pictures to last – I also seal them with multiple layers of mat or gloss varnish now for further protection.                     But in the end : Varnished, sealed or framed. Water and artwork just don’t mix well. Doing up a quote for their insurance really made me question the value put on gifted artwork :

When someone gives you an artwork its not just some bit of paper with some paint… Its an idea that may have been thought about for quite some time, that has gone through multiple mutations in its rough form. Its hours and hours – Often days and weeks worth of work to get it to that finished state.

I’ve come to place a higher value on my work and time than I used to, so now I don’t give so much away. And when I do, Its often for something really important like a wedding.  Gifted artwork should always be appreciated and valued – It’s worth thinking about if you are ever end up with a present like this.

Because if you dont, If you are someone who chooses pass it on in favour of some tacky trademe buy, you may just find you will never be given something with this much love in it again. For you, I would much rather grab a mass produced, store-bought itunes voucher.

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And here is the last of the Kotare set *for now* that I’ve been working on – It’s taken me a bit this week to get it done… Tui has dropped her daytime sleep, so the only painting time I now have is in the evening, If I’m not too exhausted.So next I get to focus on getting another almost-finished commission piece done, done and sent, and then I’ll let myself start on a new idea thats been in my head for a week or so.  Exciting!

 

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I’m quite pleased with how this series of Sacred Kingfisher has progressed over the week. Here is the latest offering in a native New Zealand bush scene.                       I think it may be my favourite and my best yet!Here is a close up of the Kotare… They have been such a pleasure to paint in their pretty colours – If you click on the image, It’ll give you a bigger pic  to view.

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A couple more small gouache works on handmade flax paper in my new Kotare series.  These little ones are 10x19cm masked, with a 3.8cm flax border.The one with cupcakes on the left was for a friends birthday today… She got those red velvet cupcakes last night, so felt appropriate to add them into the pic… oh so cute!

Notice how the flax paper on the left is darker? Thats the difference between varnished and non-varnished like the one on the right. I’m going to seal that one too to prevent the gouache cracking an flaking off, but the varnish makes it a bit tricky to photograph at night with all the spotlights in our kitchen.

I likes how her cupcake piece turned out so much, I thought I’d add another to the series too.

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So this is how I spent my Saturday evening… well, this and watching reruns of Venture Bros!                                                                                                           Its the first paint up from my Kotare sketches I did a couple of weeks ago. I’m doing a few of them for a commission piece – I’ve had a request for a Kotare, New Zealand’s Sacred Kingfisher. But without any limits or guidelines so I thought I’d paint a short run of them to pick from because its such a pretty little bird to paint.The flax paper is really lovely to paint on, but as it’s handmade it doesn’t contain size and so needs sealing first because it would disintegrate if painted directly with gouache – which is water based.  Rather than using a universal size, which I’ve found comes out a bit patchy and uneven on the flax paper; I sealed it with a layer of polymer resin, which has made it firmer too.                                                        I then masked off the area I wanted to paint in and put a couple of base layers of acrylic on to prevent the gouache from bleeding at the edges.  I’ve found gouache will paint on top of acrylic once you have put a couple of layers of base washes on. But you do need to seal the painting afterwards with a varnish to stop it lifting and flaking off – I use a Le Franc retouching varnish which is supposed to be for oils, but gives a beautiful gloss finish without muting the colours when applied over gouache (I use the same brand in this paint too… sooo good to work with)Cant wait to paint a couple more now – Yay for commission work huh!

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I’ve been trying to set aside my Fridays as one day of the week where I can paint whatever the f@#k I want, rather than anything more serious I might have been working on, say commission pieces, or my birds which are taking longer than expected. …Not that I don’t love doing these, Its just that I have a rather short attention span – I think thats why I have so many different styles and themes going at once.  This is where Monster Run was born, so in keeping with that, here are a couple of bigger poster offerings inspired by the series – It was nice painting bigger… I think I need more large sheets of Saunders and Waterford now!I’ve also added them up with new available work on my felt site : http://felt.co.nz/shop/mightymouse along with a couple of my skate decks.

 

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