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:

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.

Monday, 6 April 2009


Buddha-inspired - 4B graphite on art paper (in my school VAPD)

Nude - 4B graphite on art paper (in my school VAPD)
Here are some drawings I've done quite recently. The first is inspired by Buddhas and the second by Brett Whiteley's elongated paintings, drawings and sculptures of the female form.

At the moment I'm feeling most comfortable in drawing. It's always been something I've done since I was a little kid and I've noticed myself starting to shy away from painting and focusing mainly on this particular medium. I feel that I can get the most expression and my best technical ability out of graphites and pencils. Anything that I can do darrrrrk. I'm not aiming to portray a subject with photograph-like quality - that's what we've got photographs for, after all - but rather with a more distorted quality.

I really like cubism, and in particular, the 'soft' cubism works of Tamara de Lempicka really interest me. I supposed you could pick that in the first image. By the way, speaking of the amazing Australian artist Brett Whiteley (1939 - 1992), yesterday I went to my regional art gallery and saw an exhibition which showed his various 'periods'. It was really quite inspiring. We also saw ArtExpress at the same gallery, which focused on HSC students from my area which was very interesting. We saw an array of works in all different mediums - painting, mixed media, sculpture, ceramics, graphics, video. It was a pretty damn good day as a matter of fact.