Archive for July, 2011

Here are a few photos from the Gertrude St Projection Festival that opened last Friday – It finishes at midnight tonight. I managed to make it along on Thursday. The evening was perfect and still, so great for viewing… But absolutely freezing!We started down one end of the street by Gertrude’s brown couch and walked up that side of the street before swapping over to the other side for the walk back.Which was a great idea in theory, but by the return journey from Smith street I gave in and picked up an amazingly delicious Columbian hot chocolate from Trippy Taco to keep my hands nice and warm on the walk back to the car – Because I stupidly went out without taking my gloves.… So most of my pics from the night are from the way up, or across the street only…I think my favourite for the night was this teeny figure projected inside a cupped pair of gloves, resting in a jewellery store window between their over-the-top, but totally gorgeous earrings and creepy stuffed birds. We were so close to just walking past that window…So it fully made me feel like I had found a little hidden treasure!

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I finally got around to completing this moth orchid painting I’ve had sitting in my pile of half-finished work for literally years… Its ended with quite a few built up layers to get a colour combination i’m happy with.

Below are a few pics of how it progressed to the end result :To achieve the background which I wanted to look almost like a monoprint I first painted a soft duck egg blue, before over painting with varnish and a thin layer of resin then a dark blue wash before adding a slightly more turquoise mid blue. I then worked back into them with water, a scrubby paintbrush and a cloth. I love the mottled effect I’ve ended up with!

I also re-worked the orchids – First lightening up the purple and toning it back to a slightly less garish shade, plus adding warm cream and soft pink tones to the white which was initially a bit harsh.  Glad its finally finished – And that I didn’t just give in and overpaint it with a completely new image like I was tempted to at times…

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After writing my last post I went to bed and ended up dreaming about shopping for china plates.  So I thought I better follow through…

I would really like to be painting these birds on beautiful white or cream vintage saucers with gorgeous ornate detailing – A bit of embossing, Scalloped edges or gilt. However first I need to do some basic testing and fully work through the idea, So I picked up these basic white saucers from our local Sally Army shop.  I found a set of three, which is a good start. Here is the first one along with the Chocolate-Vanilla cupcakes Tui helped me bake … Mnnnn they look so good with the piped frosting and sugar hearts I think I may need to paint them!

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We discovered that there is a flock of swallows at the park we visited on the weekend. So today I decided to head back there to see if I could get a few pics.As it turns out, my serious lack of camera skills combined with making sure Tui didn’t run off too far, and how damn quick these little birds flit about meant that most of the 260 shots I took captured rather small birds. Great to use for silhouette cutouts, but probably only 30 or so worth drawing from.  Still – Not bad for a first attempt… Next time I’ll just have to talk D into coming with me for a weekend walk.I’m playing around with the lace birds for a big work I have in mind, but couldn’t help but think how lovely these birds would be painted in the same ink blue shade onto old vintage saucers… I may have to go check out some of the great junk shops we have here in Melbourne and have a play with this idea!

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The Gertrude Association‘s fourth Projection Festival opens this Friday and will run from 22-31 July from 6pm to midnight each night. The festival has become a significant arts event in Fitzroy and I’m really glad I’m over here and get to go see it!

This year’s Projection Festival features 29 different artists and sites with the theme hidden spaces and places – A theme that has literal, as well as abstract meanings. What is hidden away is often more appreciated when it is found.How cool is it to have a free outdoor gallery for week of projected media that you can see just by  taking a walk, bike ride or a tram up Gertrude street. Free opening night event on Friday, 7pm at the Workers Club on the corner of Brunswick and Gertrude.

Animations mapped to the Builders Arms Hotel, Melbourne 2009 by Kit Webster

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Well this is my latest monster work – It was initially supposed to be along the lines of my older Taniwha series, but after re-drawing three or four times I ended up with this beast instead. I just couldn’t fit myself back into the same space I’d been in for them; So this is my compromise : A carmine Kraken with a multitude of tentacles. Just waiting to get a grip on that which has been long set in its sight, to wrap itself around and drag way down deep…I like the depth of colour and the gloss shine that the resin gives – Usually gouache dries a little lighter than originally mixed, and with an almost dusty finish. This brings it right back to the colours I mixed up wet, plus its a good protection to prevent cracking and easy damage.

And here’s what I was listening to while painting this particular Kraken :…I’m making the most of thrashing the album while Jon’s back in Nz!

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This is a little prototype piece for an idea I’ve had in the last week or so – It’s just tiny, smaller than postcard size. The idea I’m working towards is going to be on a larger scale though, approx 50x100cm or so.  I’m also planning on something more complex, with built up layers of gouache sandwiched between thin washes of resin. Less dimensional than my skate decks, but keeping that gorgeous candy shine.This work is inspired by Bird in Motion which was damaged at the start of June.     Often I look back on older work and see flaws and things I would change… If I were to even want to paint the same sort of idea again. But I always loved Bird in Motion just as it was.  I put a lot of planning, time and love in with all the detailing in the water lilies, and getting the birds body motion right – I used to own individual photos of each of the four panels (I think they’re in storage somewhere now) and if you flicked between them like with a flip book the bird actually looked like it was flying.

Coming up with a new work which still has this feel, but at the same time is more fitting with my current painting practices is going to be a challenge, not to mention finding time now that I have a lot less with my darling Tui up and about all day long. I think this will be a good project though, So promise to post up some in progress pics as it develops.

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One of the many different projects I’m currently working on.  There are quite a few, as I’m rather easily distracted and get a bit bored of working in the same theme and style for too long. It means my painting box always has a pile of half finished work in it… But I am trying to get through this rather than grow it.

This orchid piece was actually one I had started back in New Zealand before we first moved to Melbourne. I never got to finish it with all the packing and moving, and up till now havent been in the right space to do anything with it. After the last visit back to Wellington I actively shifted my thought patterns though… Up till now I’ve felt a bit displaced over here and missed ‘Home’.  Now I actually feel like I’m living where I want to be – Sure I still miss my friends and family, my favourite cafes and how easy it is to run into people… But not in the same way.

I’m feeling a lot more happy and settled. Good things are : Our wonderful new house which I love… Its great living somewhere a lot less pretentious than South Yarra.   We get so much light here which is a win for my painting and its only a fifteen min walk into town, even less to the Vic markets. There is a lot more space so it’s great to entertain in and I have met some wonderful new friends – Yay for the awesome baking and Spanish food that has happened in our house in the last couple of months and the going out to fantastic exhibition openings *Less for the not-so-fantastic-and-overly-hyped-up warehouse parties.

So all in all things are going good and its about time to get some of those older pieces back on track… Well, if Tui ever sleeps that is!

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So here is the finished result of my Friday brightness… Tui is having on and off again daytime sleeps so its taken me until now to finish the linework for it.

Unfortunately its just a no go for when she’s up… She love love loves my paints. Even though its less complex than the native birds I’ve been working on of late, its still taken a bit of time to finish off – Missing that guaranteed two hour block each day *sigh*

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