Tuesday, 27 October 2009


Reverie - glue, paper and image, edited and computer generated.

I have been dying to participate in Inspire Me Thursday again for months, but simply haven't gotten around to it. Life is hectic, as usual. But this week - today in fact - I finally found use for the image of Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière that was posted as the week's prompt.

I was stumped looking at this old oil painting, thinking I'd have never been able to interpret or appropriate the image as my own creation. I'm not much of a collage artist, so that was out the window. And I just couldn't be bothered drawing it and stuffing that up.

Then, quite by accident really, this afternoon I stumbled across a list of surrealist techniques on Wikipedia. Whilst looking at some of the awesome things surrealists do, I discovered the idea of "Cubomania". Basically, a photograph or any other image is cut up into small squares. It is then arranged in a manner that aims not to reconstruct the image but rather dissect it, thus scattering complex visual language that may have otherwise been unseen. The eye catches bits and pieces of the composition it would otherwise have overlooked.

So that's exactly what I did. I downloaded the image of Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière from the link on flickr provided within the IMT prompt, then cropped the image and drew up its squares. After having crafted all the lines, the squares where cut, as was a piece of paper to size of the cropped image. I arranged the squares in quite a randomised fashion, then scanned it onto my computer.

From there, I edited the image. I changed the colour to a monochromatic scale. Then, reproduced the image in a flipped fashion - the original image resting beside it - in order to create more interest.

And there you have it, a day dream, a strange reverie created by me and inspired by Madame Rivière.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Mother and Son

"Mother and Son" - 2B, 4B and 8B graphite on litho paper

I finally completed this artwork "Mother and Son" Thursday night, after many hours of sketching and shading. It was due in on Friday as it's my year 11 major work. I'm quite ecstatic to say I got full marks for it, 25/25.

This is based on a legal case involving a mother and son who murdered the husband/father in their family after enduring his abuse for many years. It was said that the mother and son shared a strange and incredibly strong psychological connection, and that the killing was a promise to the son from the mother.

I didn't want to portray the act of the murder (they drugged him and decapitated him with a tomahawk they bought from K-Mart, in case you're interested). But rather, show the twisted individuals who felt they had to kill to be freed from such oppression.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Sugarcandy Mountain

Sugarcandy Mountain - watercolour pencil on paper

I completed this drawing/painting today. I'm not sure what to classify it really, as watercolour pencils confuse me. Your work is essentially a drawing, but you've enhanced it with a brush and water. See what I mean?

I often dream of landscapes like this. Vivid colours and poignant geographic features. Surreal nature, and yet not Dali-esque visions. I couldn't think of anything better to call this than "Sugarcandy Mountain", although looking at it, it's quite the opposite to the crow's alluded heaven in Animal Farm. It's rather apocalyptic, in a children's story book kind of way I suppose. Well, that's what I see at least.

I'm getting to like colour better, but I dread actual paints. I find it easier to work with watercolour pencils if I want that effect - easier to tone, easier to handle. It's been months since I last used acrylic and I find myself shuddering at the thought of "real" paint. The drying time is pain-staking for someone as "now-oriented" as me. There's always a greater level of cleaning involved - palettes, palette knives, paintbrushes, and wiping over any surfaces defaced in the art-making process.

Then there's the worse of it: the stench of acrylics. My face goes numb, with just the memory of it. I've never used oil paints and I've heard they smell worse. So overall, watercolour or watercolour pencils seem to be a better choice. I can't handle the liquid, tubed watercolour varieties though. They have a particular scent to them as well.

Anyway, the holidays are proving to be therapeutic and productive for me.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Old Bird

"Old Bird" - brush & ink, and pen & ink on paper

This afternoon I felt compelled to bring to life a sketch that lay in wait in my art journal. This Old Bird is very much inspired by an even older IMT prompt from around July - "Owl". I actually contributed a photograph of an owl ring for IMT that week, and this quick sketch never saw the light of day again. Until this afternoon that is.

I'm thinking of starting a series on animal masks like this, where the person sort of adapts a characteristic of that animal. This woman with the owl mask is raising her shoulders inwards as if about to squawk or thrust her head and neck out. She's an old and very irritable bird, indeed.

I've never found much inspiration in animals or even been able to draw creatures, as I said when I made my giraffe linocut prints for my mum. But sometimes it's how you actually appropriate a motif to suit your own cause that sets you off.

In The Works...

I know I haven't contributed anything in forever, so I thought I'd give an update. Basically, I've just finished year 11 and commence year 12 at the beginning of the next school term. It's kind of scary, but kind of an accomplishment at the same time... especially considering all the preliminary year exams I had to complete before the end of this term. Phew.

But now with a two week holiday, I have time to work on some art projects which is just fantastic! One thing I have to do over the break, in addition to one other assignment, is get my Body of Work for my art class pretty much completed. It should be fun, but it'll be time consuming.

2B, 4B & 8B graphite on paper

The concept behind it is the murder of a husband/father by a mother and son that I read about whilst completing a media file for my Legal Studies class about 2 months ago. Apparently they shared this really intense psychological connection, and that's what I want to illustrate.

It took me about 8 hours to get the Mother's face done, but I think it would probably have been less if I hadn't had to lose 10 minutes every art class to packing away equipment and ensuring my work had been stored properly. Still, you can't rush these things. So the Son will take as long as it needs to be done.

brush & ink, and pen & ink on paper

I'm really enjoying working with inks still as an alternative to paint. I did this first work (above) a couple of nights ago, subconsciously reflecting some bad news I received lately. I hadn't given it much thought and then bam! It's in my art. The second piece (below) was done about 6 weeks ago after I'd gone to a Parkway Drive concert a few nights before, feeling absorbed by a new culture. I guess it's kind of mirroring what it was like being swallowed by a crowd, although the figure is male.

pen & ink on paper

Other than all this, not much has been going on. Although, a movie is being filmed in my town. It's based on a John Marsden novel, "Tomorrow When The War Began", and it's going to have the same name. Some of my friends are extras, and I'm regretting that I didn't apply but oh well. Seeing my friends on screen is good enough for me :)

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Twisted Sisters

Twisted Sisters

Twisted Sisters - 2B, 4B, & 8B graphite; compressed black charcoal, and white charcoal drawing on paper

The body of work I have created for my art class. I am yet to receive a mark. The concept behind these drawings are self-image, how one presents themselves, and how other people can distort that image. This is not in any way related to body image.

Giraffes for Mum

Giraffes for Mum

Linocut print, approx 30 x 30 cm

It's been a long time since I've had a chance to post, or even been inspired to.

I finally was able to print a lino block I had crafted for my mum, who's favourite animals are giraffes. It turned out relatively well. Personally, I'm not fond of depicting animals as an artistic subject. But mum seems to like it, which is all that matters.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Breaking It Down

(compressed black charcoal, white charcoal, 2B, 4B & 8B graphite on paper)

I made this for my body of work on the human body - hahaha, a play on words - at school. I have a couple more to do yet. But this is the first completed one. I'll be mounting it on black card. I've cropped this image digitally to what I want it to like like, but I'll have to cut it in real life.

The concept of this image deals with misinterpretation of who a person is / what they stand for. This is a distort external self, that everyone sees. This is not about body image or anorexia or whatever. This is about self worth.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Cheek to Cheek

When I began to design my next lino print, I decided I would ask my mother if she wanted me to make something for her. I've never painted or drawn or created anything for anyone other than myself before, as artmaking to me has always seemed something personal and exclusive - very much an expression of self. So it truly is an odd phenomenon to be making art for someone else.

I know that she particularly likes lino prints. She was rather pleased when I brought home my Venus prints, and she has - what we expect to be - a linocut print of a platypus hanging in our house, it looks embellished (touched-up) to me.

Anyway, I simply enquired as to whether there was anything she'd like me to picture in it. And, because her favourite animal - other than the platypus - is the giraffe, she requested that I created a print of them.

The quick sketch, before it was transferred

I accepted the challenge, and on Google Images found a rather lovely photograph of - what is presumably - a mother giraffe leaning down towards her baby. They were cheek to cheek, and I knew it was something that would make my Mum happy. After all. I'm her only baby. I adapted it to a quick sketch and then transfered it to the linoleum square (30 x 30 cm), of which I was aware it would be printed backwards.

The actual lino square, complete with carving haha :)

Long story short; I didn't feel that I'd be able to draw it opposite to the original, but whilst I drew and carved I frequently held it infront of the mirror - making sure it was symmetrical enough not to be freakishly disproportionate.

Showing the cuts

I've finished the carving, shaded over it with a piece of paper to check my cuts. Now all that's left is buying some larger paper for the printing process. Back to Eckersley's haha.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

IMT: Chalk

A really slack effort on my behalf, I've been busy once again which is my usual excuse. The real deal: productive procrastination. Earlier on in the year I took this photo randomly of the chalk board in my photography class...

I totally promise I will try harder next week. I will make an effort. No more slacking off and waiting until the Tuesday or Wednesday to get something randomly done.

This is part of my 101 Things, which I'm struggling with at the moment.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Ink and Graphite

Soul Comes Out - ink & pen in VAPD
I'm really loving working with ink and pen lately. I've also rediscovered my passion for graphite drawings.

This first ink drawing was an impulsive drawing and I think it was influenced by those face mugs you see around. Revolting things they are.

Abstract Female Form - 2B, 4B & 8B graphite in VAPD

This second drawing is more or less inspired once again by the armless "Venus di Milo", and Brett Whiteley, and many of my previous odd nude drawings. It's not finished yet, but I'm doing a series of works similar to this for a body of work at school: I think. I've not decided yet. If I do, I think they'll be a mixed media work.

The world seems a little better since I got my muse back :)

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Child Art

As part of IMT's theme of "Child Art" this week, I've created a child-like drawing inspired by my own childhood drawings. I used pretty pink paper like I would have, and a felt-tip pen. Gosh. I really love felt-tip pens when I was younger.

I thought about the way I used to draw, and soon I found - almost straight away - that I had channeled my inner child and crafted something that could easily have been mistaken as something I'd done aged 4 or 5. It was amazing, to pick up on that.

I used to draw like mad - almost obsessively - as a child. Pens were my main tool, and paper. I grew up in an office, basically. I often made little books aswell, and asked Mum how to spell illustrated, so I could scrawl on the front of these stapled pages "Written and illustrated by Sarah I...".

We still have many of my drawings and the little books I created.

A later entry in the week, but I've really enjoyed this topic and getting to re-visit my child self.

Friday, 12 June 2009


While I haven't created anything just yet, I'm really stoked that my suggestion of "Child Art" was chosen for Inspire Me Thursday this week.

I really hope everyone has fun with this topic, as I know I will. I'm really motivated this week to create something messy like Aelita Andre, or something primal like the drawings I made when I was little.

I can't wait to see how everyone interprets the theme :)

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Poem: "Letters"

I've been experimenting with poetry lately, as part of one particular challenge in my Day Zero Project. Number 27: Write a poem a day for a month. This wasn't for the challenge, but one of my other tasks is doing IMT everyweek for the duration of the 1001 days (143 weeks). There are more poems on my other blog, if you'd care to have a look.

Here goes.



If I were to post this today
Dear Postmaster,
would this fragment of my sould reach my
Dear John,
in time?

Do you think that it could arrive tomorrow
Dear Postmaster,
if I were lucky?
Dear John
don't think I didn't get yours.
It was the fault of our
Dear Postmaster
that you didn't get it back straight away,
if only it were to be: the very next day,
as I had yours.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Inks & Lino

Just a quick update. I'm rather glad, you see, as I'm beginning to find a bit of inspiration again. Hoorah! This Queen's Birthday long weekend has been going quite well.

Pen & ink experiment.

On Saturday Mum and I went into Newcastle to buy some art supplies. One of the new goodies I bought was an ink nib and pen to work with at home. I've always had an interest in inks, but it wasn't until this year at school that I developed one for pen & ink. I'd only ever used brush & ink. A totally different method really does alter the image you create. I'm having fun working with cross-hatching. It's a strange way to shade, but it's growing on me. The ink drawing above was something I crafted this morning, just randomly. A quick sketch, and then it was inked.

Lino print equipment.

I also bought some lino printing materials: silk-cut linoleum squares (30 x 30 cm), block ink, lino carving tools, and rollers. I really should have made a point of buying some paper while I was there. It took me until we arrived home at 4pm that day (we did make a point of staying in town all day) to realise my 11 x 14 " VAPD would be large enough to print on. Silly, silly illy.

In addition to all of these I got some charcoals: willow and compressed. I've never had proper charcoal at home for drawing, so that's really nice too.

I've suddenly got a lot more motivation and inspiration on the art front. Part of it, I think, is staring the Day Zero Project; in which I will attempt to complete 101 preset tasks in 1001 days. My blog that will be journalling my challenge and all it entails is located here.

Things are going alright :)

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Sunny's Cafe

On Saturday, Mum and I went into Newcastle for a while and what was originally intended as being a quick run in for art supplies soon turned into a long, yet really fun day. One of the highlights was having lunch at Sunny's Cafe, in Islington.

Sunny's is an organic vegetarian and vegan cafe, who do serve gluten free meals. All the ingredients are bought locally, so you know they're fresh (and you can certainly taste it). The eggs used in the restraunt are free range and come from the Tilligery area, not too far away.

The restraunt is owned and run by a lovely lady named Amanda, who is a vegetarian herself. She happily chats to you as she gets her many tasks done, and you can really tell she has a passion for what she does. The atmosphere is really cozy, calm and you immediately feel at home. There's music playing softly in the background and a number of rotating works on exhibition by local artists, which you are able to purchase. The restraunt also does catering and cafe hire!

So now on to the best part: THE FOOD.

The meals are scrumptious, and even meat-eaters (like my Mum) who dine in are amazed at how fresh and tasty Sunny's cuisine is. As a vegan, it's nice knowing that I can get a delicious meal pretty fast, either dine-in or take-away, at Sunny's. There is a set menu, but also a variety of specials so there's plenty of variety. The lunches mum and I had were on the regular menu.

Sun Pocket Wrap - vegan style

I had the Sun Pocket Wrap vegan-style (the vegetarian version of the meal has cheese), which was very yummy. The salad in the wrap was so crisp, and really complimented the lentil patty and hummus (all "home-made" :D) which were just to die for. Seriously.

"The Feast" - vegetarian

My Mum, who is neither vegetarian or vegan, really enjoyed her "Feast" of Tilligery eggs, fried vegetables and salad; with a side plate of avocado on multigrain toast that I did not photograph. She also really enjoyed her coffee. All the coffees and teas at Sunny are fair trade too :)

I would have loved to try one of Sunny's fresh juices or a smoothie, but I was a bit full after my meal. I had a Phoenix organic cola with my lunch, which was really nice. Next time the juice is on the agenda.

Long story short, Sunny's Cafe is great! If you are in Newcastle - regardless of whether you eat meat or not - definitely rock up at Sunny's for a good meal, or even a quick coffee.

Sunny's Cafe logo
Sunny's Cafe:
86 Maitland Road,
Islington, NSW

Phone: (02) 4962 1304

Open Wednesday - Sunday.
Wednesday : 9am - 4pm
Thursday : 9am - 4pm
Friday : 9am - 3pm
Friday (night) : 6pm - 9pm
Saturday : 9am - 3pm
Saturday (night): 6pm - 9pm
Sunday : 9am - 4pm

Saturday, 6 June 2009

"Venus" Coloured

Linocut print & oil pastels
We were told to colour one of the poorer prints we made in class with out linocuts. So I got out the oil pastels. I think I'm going to touch up the yucky bits that didn't print good with some black paint.

I've had to cut some of the prints to fit them in my VAPD.
I'm going out to buy my own lino squares and carving tools today, as I've mentioned before, I'm quite fond of this medium.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

"Venus" Linocut Print

Linocut print 2 /3 (so far). Approx 30 x 30 cm.

In my art class at school we have been creating artworks that revolve around the human body. One task we have had to complete recently is designing our own simple linocut prints of a size of approx 30 square cm (1 square foot); obviously featuring the body or body parts.

I researched Linocut printing on Wikipedia and apparently it's a modern and cheaper adaptation of the comparatively ancient woodcut printing. So there you go. It's an altered ancestor.

I'm truly sorry that this has nothing to do with one of my beloved oldies, it's simply that at a time like this - one when I've got no inspiration - when I still want to participate in IMT I have to twist things a bit. I think this printmaking exercise has really combatted my creative block.

I love lino printing now. It's awesome fun. The designing, carving the block, inking and printing. Well. I love it all except for the cuts I've gotten on my hands from my own stupidity at times. Hem-hem. I really want to keep making lino prints. I'm going to Eckersley's to buy my own pieces of linoleum and some carving tools, block ink and rollers. AND good paper, of course.

This is one of the best prints I've gotten thus far from the linocut I've designed. Print number 2 / 3... thus far. It's inspired by the Venus di Milo.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Ink pen, charcoal and graphite in VAPD

I have just been so lazy lately with drawing and art lately. I've had some really good things in terms of inspiration over the past few weeks, but as soon as I put pencil to paper I just lose it.
I'm lacking energy in everything: art, guitar, school, exercise. Especially school & exercise. I've been sick 3 weeks in May alone - from 2 or 3 different illnesses - and I feel so bored and lethargic and fat. I've only been to school 4 days over those 3 weeks, and I haven't been to the gym in a month or so. That's BAD. I had a viral cold and my monthlies for a week and a half, was on antibiotics and then just as I was starting to get better I got a tummy bug that started from my little cousin - and it's been attacking the whole family.

Basically, this afternoon I decided I was going to combat this artistic impairment. I told myself: just draw something. Muck around with mediums and texture and imagery. It doesn't matter what you freakin' do. JUST DO SOMETHING.

This isn't good by any standards. I just thought I'd post it to keep motivating myself. SO: I am soldiering on. Which is technically kind of a play on IMT's theme of "warrior" this week. I know. Tacky. But oh well.


Ink & pen on paper

The original photograph I took this from was from one of those ads by Dove for "anti-aging" cremes and stuff. Basically, they don't photoshop the models and etc.

As part of art at school we're doing the human body. I'm out of class for a week or so, this was left on the drying rack and some year 8 kid/idiot decides to draw something just LOVELY on the back of this.

I don't have any opposition to phalic elements in art, but it totally ruined my ink work and I was forced to abandon it. GRRR. I covered it up with a package of mix CDs my friend made me for my birthday :)

To be honest, I'm guessing it was a male. There just seems to be something with boys at that age where they draw dicks all over everything. It's never really girls. The guys just seem to do it, and whatever they draw isn't necessarily a glorifying depiction haha.

Long story short: I'm pissed off, and off school again for this second time this month with a tummy bug (before it was a viral cold). So who knows what else of my work is being destroyed by the little non-elective-art vandals.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


For IMT this week we have been given the theme "Petals".


It is pure coincidence that I took photographs - not dissimilar to the one above - two days ago. I found that after the heavy, late-Autumn rains of the weekend, on Tuesday many of the developing flowers in our yard were virtually dead. I picked this one of the ground and decided to give it a "sea burial" in our pool.

Dead Bird of Paradise flower - willow & compressed charcoal, white pastel, graphite on paper

It is also with this theme that I have reflected on the subject, and just how petals - and, naturally, flowers - are used in my art. Flowers are great symbolically. They represent everything about women: how strong we are, how delicate we can be, how charming we are, how memorable we are.

The charcoal drawing above was done at the ArtCastle workshop I attended in April. It is of a decaying Bird of Paradise flower: a flower that has such unique petal structure - something which is even more fabulous when it's a bit on the dead side.

For more flower-inspired art, check out my deviantArt account.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Where Is My Motivation?

Today I've been feeling rather off: physically and creatively - although the latter's been more frequent as of late. I need some serious inspiration and I need it now, though Inspire Me Thursday is good for a weekly dose.

We've just started a new term at school 2 weeks ago, so it's been pretty draining getting back into the gist of things, especially after having an exceptional two week school holiday break. I'm finding it harder to concentrate, and then there's the whole assessment crap coming up yet again. And I've been a bit sick the past couple of days, but nothing to really complain about. Just your average change of seasons drama I suppose.

It's taken me a while, but I'm really starting to get into photography. I just take pictures of things that interest me, and things that I think are beautiful. Today while I was trying to take photos of broken flowers - killed by the recent late Autumn rains - floating on top of the water in my pool, I found I wasn't being met with much success. Instead, I came to find just how cool the light patterns were on the green-coloured water and the shapes they created.

So being under the influence of hands - as I have been lately - I stuck my hands out in random gestures over the water and photographed them. These images above haven't been edited at all. I was quite happy with how they turned out.

2B & 4B graphite in home vapd

Also, on the advice of my awesome fibre/visual artist friend Nadiah (who you most likely know as the creative mastermind and entrepreneur behind LeArmoire) I've decided to continue my venture into abstract figures, but like the half-drawn, work-in-progress lady above. I'm not sure where it will take me, but I would like to - for the moment - draw these figures in distorted, yet real-life situations. It'll be nice to start depicting different things to my usual subject matter as well.

Also, I'd like to get into more sites like Inspire Me Thursday. I tried doing something for Illustration Friday once, but I couldn't post my link on their site. That was a bit of a downer. If anyone knows of any similar sites or blogs that deal out prompts, I'd really appreciate the information :)

Friday, 8 May 2009

The Body

A new term, a new topic. In art we are now studying - of all things - the BODY. Now, being the sort of artist who frequently illustrates bodies, as you can imagine: I was enthralled. I found that I had to get a new VAPD (art journal / sketchbook) to use this term, as my old one only has maybe 5 pages left.

Today we were asked to begin drawing a particular gesture using our hands and fingers. Although being a senior class, our teacher still had to tell us not to use any *hem hem* "rude" gestures. I haven't finished my drawing yet, but I will do it over the weekend. I enjoy drawing the joints and nails and all the hand bits.

6B pencil in new school VAPD

Our teacher has also been setting us some still life work: statuettes and dolls. Appropriating a statuette of the woman in Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus", I drew this:

Willow charcoal, "synthetic" compressed charcoal & white charcoal on art paper.

I just know that I am going to love this term in Visual Arts. We're also studying video in Photography now, which is going to be good. At the moment we're watching "The Seventh Seal". I can't wait till we begin making our own films. It should be interesting :)

Thursday, 7 May 2009


Graphite in VAPD. "Dishes". Sorry about the glare :)

IMT: Family
I think that one of my favourite things to express in my art is gender roles and issues, specifically those involving women. And of course women face the issue of having a family, and then there is the problem of her role in the family.

I think that this is an attack on the ancient views of what a women should be: a beauty queen who can cook, clean, and will make babies and silently raise them - all without protest. Nothing more and nothing less. No thoughts, no opinions, no discussion. This image depicts the strong woman as she sees herself, but with the added voids that our grandfathers and great-grandfathers would have seen.

I completed this drawing about a week ago, but I feel it is very much appropriate for the theme of "Family".

Just for the record:
Personally, I have nothing against stay-at-home wives and mothers, so long as it was HER decision and she knows that she is able to do whatever she wants - without being ruled over by a dictatoral husband.

I'm actually rather pleased today because I received my school VAPD diary mark - which is a form of assessment - during today's art lesson. I got 93/100 :)

Friday, 1 May 2009

Venus Figurine

B & 4B pencil in VAPD

This week's Inspire Me Thursday prompt is "Umbrella".

Now, being the person that I am, I instantly thought of "Umbrella Terms" for some reason. I thought about what I understood this particular phrase to mean, and after doing a little research I found that I was correct. An "umbrella term" is a word used to describe a collective of similar objects or phenomena.

Being a member of the iGeneration - or Gen Y - I was bound to use Wikipedia for my "research". That's when I stumbled across a link and an umbrella term for a range of miniature prehistoric statues that depicted obese or pregnant women - "The Venus Figurines".

This drawing is an image not disimilar to any of the Venus Figurines. It too depicts the primal beauty of a voluptuous or pregnant female. This is an 'umbrella image', if you will.

Saturday, 25 April 2009


Inspire Me Thursday's prompt this week is "Push". Here is a photograph I took, and a few thoughts...

Pushing For War

Why is it that after society has witnessed 2 World Wars and thousands of other harrowing battles - in rapid succession, too - that we still push for bloodshed when our nations dispute. Is it still patriotic? Is it still viewed as being romantic? Or is it still just the idea of asserting one's power?

I appreciate what my country's men have done for me, but only when there was an actual threat, when Australia was really in peril. Happy ANZAC Day, all the same.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

ArtCastle Workshop!

On Monday and Tuesday this week I attended a creative workshop at the Newcastle Region Art Gallery, which was called ArtCastle. It was freaking amazing!
Visit the Art Castle blog: http://artcastle.wordpress.com/

Basically, we created artworks through experimenting with different mediums and adapted the styles of artists on show in the gallery with the help, advice, critique and praise of our three tutors: Luke, Lucas and Michael. Luke and Lucas are professional artists, and Michael is training to be an art teacher.

On Monday we did charcoal and ink drawings of dried up plantlife (on the verge of death) which drew from elements of Brett Whiteley's works, and then moved on to do a street-art inspired piece on primed calico material, mainly influenced by David Griggs - which I wasn't able to complete but will finish at home.

Me & one of my charcoal drawing of a decaying Birds of Paradise, in our "exhibition" :)

On Tuesday we created a canvas piece influenced by Amanda Davies, in which we painted a 12" x 16" canvas a certain colour or a mix of colours, then on a sheet PVC plastic drew a design and decorated the design. We had to draw our design on backwards, as the PVC had to have the design side (with all the "raw" materials) placed on the canvas side so as the design was sealed and couldn't be erased when the PVC was stretched over the canvas. Oh yes, I actually learnt how to stretch my own materials for art purposes :)

Me and my Amanda Davies inspired work. After two days I was pretty tired, as you can see with my droopy eyes.

At the end of the two day workshop they held a mini "exhibition" of our work, while they played a slideshow of pictures to one wall of our artmaking processes. My Mum and cousin Hollie came to see the exhibition. Myself and two other girls - Rebecca and Charmaine - made a speech about what we so enjoyed about the ArtCastle experience. This year was the event's first time in Newcastle, there had been one event of this type in Sydney last year. It felt really special to be involved in the first Newcastle event. The Smith Family - the charity organising the event - invited a representative from their major sponsor, Clemenger's Group (a transnational media/advertising/marketing company based in Australia) to view the works we created.

I had an amazing, wonderful, glorious, fantastic time at Art Castle. I met some amazing people, got to create some shmick artworks, learnt some cool new techniques and tricks, and of course I feel alot more confident in my abilities now and want to develop more and more and more. The art gallery even gave us a kit with decent drawing materials and a new art diary - to keep! Also! I exchanged details with a girl named Rebecca (the same Rebecca that I made the speech with) and we're going to keep in touch and even do some collaborative work :)

It was just great. This first taste of non-school art has me craving more!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Earth Mama

Watercolour pencil in VAPD, A4 size

Inspired by the IMT prompt: "Green". There's a little bit of glare from the scanner.

I know, strange interpretation.

And a strange prompt, actually. All these events in regards to the environment have been popping up in my life lately, and all within a period of less than five days:

Cleaning my room (well, that was a conscious decision) and consequently filling garbage bag after garbage bag with paper for recycling; a random entry for the Waste As Art competition through the mail, and then IMT has a prompt that in honour of Earth Day that will be occuring this week (April 22). I honestly never knew it was going to be Earth Day this coming Wednesday, which is why I am quite freaked out.

I wonder what the world has in store for me with all these hints.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Art News

More work in progress...
For a couple of weeks now I have been aware of something, but not blogged it. I just honestly haven't gotten around to it.

Next Monday & Tuesday I will be attending a workshop at the Newcastle Region Art Gallery (our local art gallery) - appropriately dubbed 'Art Castle' - at which I will create art works individually and collaboratively with the other selected senior high school students within the group. I had to submit a written application and attach a reference from my art teacher, as this is a "scholarship" (ie: a charity organisation - The Smith Family - has paid for our gallery time and the materials we utilise, in addition to the catering and any travel expenses we may come across).

I was lucky enough to be accepted to attend this workshop, as was another girl in my art class. At the end of the two-day period, we will hold a mini exhibition, where our families and friends will be invited to see. I had to sign a release form type thing. The Smith Family will be documenting our work through photographs and other media for their own purposes. That's a little scary. It's very, very, very exciting to have my work "shown". I will take photos of my artwork on these days, and of course photograph our "exhibition".

Another arts-related event I will be taking part in will be the Hunter Region "Waste As Art" 2009 competition, run by the Hunter Waste Education Group (HWEG). Yesterday, quite coincidentally as I'd just finished my big clean-up, I randomly received a letter addressed to me which contained an entry form for the competition. Strange, I thought. But then I thought about it some more... and am developing my concepts.

Waste As Art encourages artists of all ages within our community to create works using recyclable materials and found objects (though not organic waste materials such as animal or plant parts, as stated in the competition guidelines). It is free to enter the competition and all artworks submitted are exhibited. First place and runner-up money prizes are awarded in each of the competition's categories, in addition to "People's Choice" and "Judges' Highly Commended" awards, which also present a reasonable amount of cash. Again, I would have to sign a release form.

I'd really like to take part in Waste As Art, as I am with Art Castle, as it allows me to experience the art world more thoroughly - through both contributing to an exhibition and being amongst peers.

Other than all this I am still doing what I usually do. Except it is the school holidays! So I have alot more time to do what I usually do, and even more. I am also taking alot more photos, mainly influenced by my new use of flickr. I need to buy art supplies but.

More graphites and a couple more VAPDs will do nicely, but I'll have to purchase larger diaries than what I usually buy. For home-use I generally buy A4 sized diaries, but at school I have been using 11 " x 12 " - or whatever that funny inbetween size is - for the past 2 years. So, as a result I've become rather accustomed to using a larger scale VAPD and really hate it when I have to down-size. That's probably the reason why I have been using so many pages in my school diary. Seriously, I only have half a dozen pages left and as such I have almost completed this VAPD in 1 term. In the past I have never finished a school diary within one term, let alone one full year!

Look out, tacky table!

Time for a makeover!

A 'quick' post first, just before I get into the nitty gritty of what I'm getting up to with art.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was very motivated to clean my room and thus completed a two-day intensive clean-out, disposing of fripperies and other junk. Basically, being quite a lazy young lady, and not having had a decent cleanout in quite a while my room was cluttered. Cluttered, cluttered, cluttered. But that was just the beginning.

I realised that in order for my room to keep clean and organised, I was required to dutifully discard of a lot of crap. From old school books that were no longer relevant to my current studies and nonsense school assignments from year six (I'm currently in year 11), to letters and clothes and other everyday items such as photoframes that I no longer used. Leather shoes was a biggie. I finally 'threw out' all my leather shoes after I had them sitting there, decaying under my bed as my veganism thrived almost a year now.

I didn't 'throw' them out really, but donated them to an op shop (thrift store), along with 2 garbage bags of clothing, accessories and novels in addition to the box full of a decent amount of leather and non-leather shoes. I recycled ALOT of paper and cardboard as well. I weighed them, aswell. The combined total of 2 garbage bags and 2 smaller shopping bags worth of paper-waste weighed in at just a little over 21kg (that's 46.3 lb for imperial system-ers).

For all my efforts my mum has promised me new furniture, as I've never really had decent, "goes-well-together" stuff, let alone anything that matches. I've had the same bedside drawers and chest since I was a baby. I'm 16 next month. Though I do acknowledge I'm lucky to even have what I do have.

This weekend we're going out to Domayne, and Freedom, and other furniture stores to just take a look around and what's currently "in". I'd like to down-grade to a king-single bed now too, as I've got no space whatsoever in my bedroom as my queen bed totally dominates all floor space. I'll be getting rid of an old computer that's no longer used on my desk, and then getting rid of that desk to so as I can have a nicer table-top to work on in my own room. A desk with drawers. I know it sounds kind of spoilt and totally consumerist, but I think it's fair.

BUT! I am doing something quite non-consumerist... I am "recycling" something else...


In the process of all that cleaning, I managed to clear the surface of this miniature op-shop-sourced, knee-high, cheap, wooden "coffee-table" - which wasn't actually used for that purpose - and realised just how tacky it was. My mum had let me use it when we moved house five years ago as I didn't have much furniture in my room.

This table-top gives the impression of a corkboard rather than a smooth surface.

This will be my first ever project of this kind: redecorating an old, nasty used piece of furniture.
In these photos I think you can see that it is rather daggy, but I think it has some potential to be quite beautiful. I rather like the shape and form of its legs, and this table truly has served me well. It deserves a new lease on life.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Old Spice

Old Spice - Mixed Media (watercolours, newspaper and pen & ink on paper)

This piece looks at people stuck in their particular little ways, and how this can ultimately impact on a person's perception of reality. The haystack and silo are drawn over newspaper which notes that this man is more worried about his crops and rural way of life than, say, politics and other current affairs. And of course he just spits any-bloody-where.

It's called "Old Spice", to keep in with the current IMT theme. I can just imagine him slapping on his deodrant every morning, but no shower, of course.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

flickr! (+ inspiration)

I gave into temptation and signed up for a flickr account :D

Check it out.

Also, right now I am feeling very inspired with everything...
With art - I have two new art books, one on Brett Whiteley and one which documents some of the most prominent female artists of the 20th & 21st Centuries.
With music - I'm learning new songs and styles on guitar, frequently, and I've started singing again with some encouragement.
With school - I'm doing quite well and I aim to keep achieving. I'm studying more than I ever have.
With home - I am actually motivated to clean my room and dispose of the clutter that has accumulated over... a long while. Also, I am going to learn to cook my vegan meals :) It's about time I learnt to cook!
With my body - I am exercising and have the determination to exercise for life. My mum and I go to Curves 3 times a week and now we're looking at doing good ol' Belly Dancing once a week as well. I do believe it is time to dust off the treadmill that is lounging, dormant in our living room.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

School Holidays! (+ Some Drawings)

Stuff from My School Bag :)

Japanese Girl

Renaissance Girl


Old Man

I'm quite glad it's the school holidays now. I'm one third through the Preliminary HSC course and it's going well... so far.

Some more drawings I have completed - although some aren't quite finished.

The top one was a study of 3 things we had in our school bags and it was done in the perhaps the second art class we had this year. Then there's an image of a Japanese girl - an appropriation of a photo by Sharon Lockhart - not really finished, but I just wanted to show it. Ha. The next is an appropriation of a painting by Renaissance painter Domenico Ghirlandaio (who shares my Dad's first name :D), in which I unintentionally gave the woman a receeding hairline. A ribbon. A mixed media featuring an old man - which is very much still a work in progress.