Wednesday, 28 January 2009


"Obsession" (mixed media on canvas, 12 x 16" )
Another one in the Tender Age series. The one on the left (Tattoo Face Girl, kitted out in blue this time) falsely idolises the seemingly perfect character on the right.

Scratched (finished)

Scratched (mixed media on canvas, 12 x 12 ")

Ta-Dah! The finished product and once again my camera just doesn't do it justice. I like to feel it's got a little bit of IMT inspiration, Peeling Paint was this week's prompt. So, this isn't peeling, but scratching.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Education and Resignation

Today I started my eleventh year of schooling, and it's strange to be a senior. Year eleven is rather weird... this afternoon I had free "study" periods and I felt down right geeky to be in the white senior shirts as opposed to the regular sky blue for years 7 to 10. It's strange to be seen as on the cusp of adulthood and quite frankly it doesn't seem any different.

In saying that though, I'm certain that I'll soon get used to it. It seems better than the past 4 years of high school, that's for sure. This year the only compulsory subject is English, and I absolutely adore it. I'm in Advanced English, actually :)
So, basically I have every subject I could have possibly asked for. I was a little let down when I had to choose between Ancient History and Music, but hey, that wasn't enough to rain on my parade.

This year I have Advanced English, Visual Arts, Photography, Music, Business Studies and Legal Studies. All of these subjects will carry on next year, except for photography... which is a little sad. I'm very lucky for getting what I want.

I quit work yesterday afternoon, at the beginning of my shift. I handed in my letter of resignation to the store's big manager this morning, but I consulted another manager on how I should handle it. I've given them two weeks notice, which I believe is definitely ample time for a casual employee... especially when I could have walked out straight after I told them I was going to leave.

I told them I want to concentrate on my school work, which is partially true, but the truth of the matter is it's just not for me. While I do understand that it's just a part time job and most definitely not a career, I can't help but feel horrible every day I go there. I probably should have searched for another job before I left, but to be quite honest I'd rather bludge for a while.

Anyway, I will report more later. Maybe I'll open an Etsy shop to support myself in the time being, learn to make silver jewellery as I've been plotting with Nadiah (LeArmoire) and make a fortune just liker her :)

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Random Man + a rant

"Random Man" (acrylic on canvas, 14 x 18")

This was a piece I did yesterday just fiddling around. I didn't sketch it up on canvas, but I feel that it turned it reasonable enough. It's meant to be a man, but alas whenever I randomly create something (ie: not drawing/painting etc from a photo) it always turns out androgynous.

From this simple little exercise, I have gained a bit more confidence in portraits and so I think I may attempt to paint a portrait from a photo... sketched up on canvas first, of course.

I'm rather pissed off that I have to work today. Well, perhaps not pissed off, but slightly disgruntled. The last day I worked was Tuesday, so I've had four wonderful days to paint and draw and write... and blog. They have me on a 7 hour shift, which isn't necessarily the longest they've put me on, but when it's doing two different things (one of which I absolutely abhorr) it kind of gets dismal. I have three and a half hours of cash registers, then a half hour break followed by three hours of recovery. Recovery is awful. Basically, we're cleaners, picking up any goods which have fallen on the floor and rearranging stock to look good. My section for recovery is in apparel (clothing) as well, so at the end of the day, my section is utterly, utterly trashed. It's hard and I don't find this type of work rewarding at all, partly because I don't feel that I can complete ALL the tasks they set us within the designated 3 hour shifts. They make a long list of requirements, but you just can't meet every single one of them. It's ridiculous, and I'm not the only one that struggles with it.

To be quite honest, I'm thinking of asking the apparel manager if I can work in another section - preferably hard goods (ie: Kitchenware, Small Appliances etc.) - which I feel I can complete thoroughly after rushing through it as I'm used to in apparel. There was a stage in which I was pondering quitting, despite only having worked there for... well, four months now. I think the better option is asking to transfer to another section, or working solely on cash registers, because the pay is good. They're understaffed as well, so I'd feel a little guilty when it would come to leaving. Also, I'd like to work there for a bit longer if only for the benefit of it looking good on my resume. Like it looks like I can hold a job, which I probably can. It's my first real job, so I suppose it's rather important how long my service was when it comes to applying elsewhere, as an indicator of my reliability and etc. And I am reliable, I've barely missed a shift in these four months, even though I did holiday for two weeks in a black-out period. I told them at my interview though, so everything was fine. I found it strange though that they rostered me on days on which I declared I was unavailable.

I'll write again later, hopefully today will run smooth enough.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Heavy Stuff

Having just finished the Kurt Cobain biography 'Heavier Than Heaven', by Charles R. Cross, I feel a little bit melancholy. Cross is a superb writer and from reading this book I have gained so much more knowledge about a man that created some of the musical compositions I most adore. While I've watched countless documentaries and read plenty of articles which report on the amazing - albeit short - life of Kurt Cobain and his illustrious career with Nirvana, Heavier Than Heaven has far more depth than any other source I've encountered thus far.

I feel that I've gained more from this brilliant secondary source than indeed Kurt Cobain's Journals, and I say this because in Kurt's journals - despite being straight from the heart - he portrayed himself and his band as what he desired, rather than what he may have been. Cross mentions this in the book, not necessarily about the way Kurt illustrates himself in his journals, but the way in which he would depict himself to the media. One example that is constantly drawn upon in the book is the way he bitched in the media about MTV playing his videos far too much - acting the punk rock, alt-rock, reluctant rockstar the world knew and loved - whereas, in secret he would complain to his managers about them not being played often enough.

Regardless of this character issue and the array of problems he faced in his life, I still adore Kurt Cobain and his music, even if the man may have abhorred me for it.

I've been reading alot lately, fiction and non-fiction. Last year I believe I read 9 books, which is indeed the largest quantity of books I've ever read. So far - in the first month of the year - I have already read two.

I love making lists - perhaps it's an obsessive compulsion - and so here is one of the novels and other texts I have had the pleasure of reading over the past twelve months... and a short description of it, which no doubt you'll probably find excruciatingly boring:

  1. "Rock Chicks" by Allison Stieven-Taylor (A biography of the most influential women in rock music over the past four decades) - Jan '08
  2. "A New Tomorrow: The Silverchair Story" by Jeff Apter (A biography of the band Silverchair from their formation up to the release of their most recent album, Young Modern - which went on sale in April 2007) - Feb ' 08
  3. "The Thorn Birds" by Colleen McCullough (A saga which spans over six decades, The Thorn Birds tells the story of Meggie Cleary and her life, her loves and those of her immediate family, including her own children, and the harsh Australian land they live off. Truly a masterpiece.) - Oct '08
  4. "90 Day Geisha" by Chelsea Haywood (A true story in which the author recounts the three months she spent working as a hostess in Tokyo, Japan) - Nov '08
  5. "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer (If you don't know what it's about by know, please, Google it and then buy it. First book in the Twilight series) - Nov '08
  6. "New Moon" by Stephenie Meyer (Second book in the Twilight series) - Nov '08
  7. "Eclipse" by Stephenie Meyer (Third book in the Twilight series) - Nov '08
  8. "Breaking Dawn" by Stephenie Meyer (Fourth and final book in the Twilight series) - Nov '08
  9. "Perfume" by Patrick Suskind (The chilling tale of a misanthropic French boy gifted with an incredible sense of smell, but lacks his own individual scent which disturbs many people. He becomes the apprentice of a perfumer and then travels through France, living for the sole purpose of obtaining and making perfumes from the most beautiful, potent smells he can find. A truly incredible novel, but it's not for the faint of heart. The Nirvana song "Scentless Apprentice" was written about this book, and Kurt Cobain often cited it as one of his favourite literary works.) - Dec '08
  10. "An Affair Before Christmas" by Eloisa James (A romantic novel set in the eighteenth century, the book is written about a conservative Duchess who finds herself falling out of love with her husband and thus lives with her free-spirited friend who is also a fellow Duchess, seeking advice and changing her views on marriage) - Jan '09
  11. "Heavier Than Heaven" by Charles R. Cross (Just read way above) - '09
The next book I'll be reading will be "Naked Lunch," by William S. Burroughs, who was one of Kurt's idols. Kurt even recorded a song with the man, which was titled, "The Priest, They Called Him".
After Naked Lunch, I still have two novels on my bookshelf to devour, which are "The Host" by Stephenie Meyer (I bought it promptly after I was midway through the Twilight series and haven't yet laid my eyes on its pages), and "The Independance of Miss Mary Bennet" by Colleen McCullough, which illustrates the life of Mary Bennet of Pride and Prejudice 20 years after the end of Jane Austen's novel.
I'd also really love to purchase the rest of the series of Eloisa James novels which I believe is called the Desperate Duchesses series. That and an English translation of the French novel Dangerous Liaisons, which is actually my favourite film of all time... so far.

I really have caught the reading bug... and it's true... there really is nothing better than curling up with a good book! Well, except perhaps writing my own :)

Friday, 23 January 2009


"Delusion" (mixed media, 14 x 18"), 2009

Today I dedicated all my waking hours - well virtually - to creating this artwork. Feeling inspired to create a series based on the character whom I affectionately - and blandly - nicknamed "Tattoo Face Girl" that I used in "Tender Age" (below), I did a sketch about a week ago of the image on this canvas. I'll explain everything...

"Tender Age" (mixed media on canvas, 50 x 60 cm), 2007

Tender Age (formerly called 'In Bloom') is about a girl on the cusp of womanhood, which is represented by the way she sniffs into the flower. The 'tattoo'/pattern on her face is a sort of symbol for all her negative thoughts and experiences, which are made to look like roots and seeds - as though she indeed has some sort of mental illness, and along with her emaciated figure it indicates that she had/has severe body image issues. The bee in the background flower warns that she'll soon be hurt. The swirly stuff in the background is just decoration, really :)

Delusion is a portrayal of the hurt hinted at in Tender Age. The large, solid-coloured face which dominates a large portion of the canvas denotes that her pain was inflicted by another person. She's been hurt by someone's words, as shown by the black swirls escaping the plain face's mouth, which wilt tattoo face girl's flower.

There are many more canvases to come of Tattoo Face Girl, and if anyone can suggest a better name to christen her, I'd really appreciate it. While there is quite a bit of difference between the two already made aesthetically, the subject matter is very much the same. The difference in the images comes from different supplies and brands of materials, in addition to 14 months of artistic development.

It's the first time I've completed an artwork in a day - well, one on canvas anyway, so I feel rather accomplished. Both works were made of artist's inks, black acrylic paint (just black), and graphite, but as I mentioned above, all different brands.

I can tell you I won't be using Jasart canvases again, which is what I used for Delusion today. It was a nightmare attempting to put the ink on, everything seemed to pool as it contracted - as though the canvas were like a sponge. It wouldn't let the liquid spread upon the canvas properly unless large amounts were put on. I was rather peeved because it made the process last a whole lot longer than it had to, and in addition to this, once it dried, there were little spots of white canvas poking through where I had doused the fabric with colour. I used a Jasart for 'Androgyny' as well, but because I didn't lay down the colour as I did in this work (Androgyny is just lines, lines and more lines), I barely noticed this horrid little phenomenon. Fine for acrylics though. Haha.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Jammed-In Breakfast

"Jammed-In Breakfast" - watercolour pencils on paper

This is the first prompt that I've responded to by Inspire Me Thursday, and right at the end of the week, mind you. This is one of the first works I've done without a concept in, well, ages. Any still life work I've done before (ie: my Vase Series) has had alot of symbolism involved. This is also one of the first pieces I've done in watercolour pencils. Much less fiddly than the tubes of paint, that's for sure.

I'm rather disappointed about the way this scan has turned out. The purple stripes on the tablecloth aren't meant to be purple at all, but a lovely Prussian blue. Damn it. The rest of it is pretty much right though.

Scratched - Work In Progress

Scratched (Work In Progress): mixed media on canvas, 12" x 12"

This is an abstract I'm working on at the moment. As like many of my works, this is something spawned in serendipity after painting over the same canvas, which was also an abstract, but was not to my liking. I want this piece to look very metallic, as though someone has scratched into a piece of steel, perhaps a security door, in such agony as they realise that they could not escape, that in their last ounce of strength they left an ominous reminder of their existance for us to bare witness to. This is the sort of imagery that reminds me of fires, where people have been unable to vacate their homes by either doors or windows, though more so of the former.

I need to buy some silver paint, along with some other metallic hues like copper and gold, of course. So just one week after purchasing some much needed supplies (as in paint) for home and school - and thinking I wouldn't return for atleast a minimum of six months - because I've experimented with another artwork, I now recognise the need for these supplies. I do have metallic oil pastels in silver, which I'd thought would work as an inexpensive alternative, but alas it's off to Eckersley's, as the pastels barely show any metallic quality as I'd hoped.

How awesome is impasto? Though I've used it in art class at school, this is the second work that I've used impasto on at home. In the past, I used to think that I could achieve the same effects with paint, slapping it on courageously. But it all shrank, dried only to be discovered as slightly raised, not having the same 3D quality as it did wet and as I'd envisioned. I realise you'd have to apply layer upon layer of thickening paint, so in my own mind impasto is far easier to handle. I now adore impasto.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Collection of Works

These are a collection of drawings and paintings I have done over the past 2 years (2007 - 2009). I've done quite a few more, but these are some I would like to show on my blog. I'm improving as I go along. I use a variety of mediums and often create a variety of mixed media works, but I haven't settled on just one yet, but I'm finding myself starting to develop a soft spot for artist's inks. I use a variety of different techniques too. I've began experimenting with palette knives as opposed to paint brushes, in fact, I've even got a substitute for a palette knife - I use a plastic cake spatula! Trust me, I'm not trained in anyway.

Visit my deviantArt page:

Vase Series: "In Bloom", "Withering" (both: mixed media on canvas)
"Tender Age" (mixed media on canvas)

"Krist Novoselic" (graphite on paper)
"Kurt Cobain" (graphite on paper)
"Moonlight, Suicide" (graphite on paper)

"Sassy" (oil pastels and soft pastels on paper)

"Head Over Heels" (oil pastels and soft pastels on paper)

"Pollution" (mixed media on canvas)
"Them Bones" (acrylic on canvas)
"Androgyny" (artist's ink on canvas)

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Welcome To The Jungle

So, here it is. My first post on my first real blog. This will act as another outlet for me to express my views on the world, and yet another to journal my art and its journey.

Introductions? Certainly.

I'm 15, almost 16 now, and Australian. My name is Sarah and I'm an only child. I'm a vegan, and I believe that animals experience the same emotions as humans and have a soul just like us. Don't ask me if I have a religion, I'm experimenting with ideologies at the moment, but the one about animals will always stick. I play guitar, I sing, I write songs, I'm into all that art stuff... like painting, drawing, mixed media, photography and sculpture. I also write stories and poems... alot. I come from a very matriarchal family, on both sides, as I see it. I have a very strong respect and empathy for fellow women, and I suppose you could call me an equalist. I wouldn't label myself a feminist... anymore. My parents are divorced and I live with my Mum, but my Dad still visits me often and calls several times a week.

There's no denying I'm some sort of creative cliche, and it's a cliche that I always admit it, but I enjoy being me none the less... on this level anyway. I like that I am free to give meaning to my views in a variety of mediums and I'm so lucky to be able to do so. There are so many people - both in third world countries and developed nations - that are unable to speak their mind, which is a true atrocity.

When I leave school I want to attend University and become and Art Gallery Curator. Big dreams, big dreams.

So thanks for reading this, and I'll keep posting.

- sarah