Saturday, October 31, 2009

Painting under pressure

For the last few years a local framer Don Whyte has run an "off-cut show". He makes small canvases with the offcuts of wood and canvas that have accumulated through the year, he distributes them to local artists, who make a painting and then donate a portion (or all) of the sale price. The opening is a buying frenzy, very exciting! If you take a look at his website there is video footage from one of the earlier years.

This is my third year of contributing work, it's been such an empowering experience in the past so I didn't want to miss out this year even though I'm under pressure of getting ready for the craft fair, doing my tax & dealing with the family.

I suppose part of me feels that making my art is self-indulgent, pointless, it doesn't save lives (except mine). So to beable to do this thing that I love, to have it considered of value, and raise money for a good cause, it really is empowering.

I got prepared through the week by painting a base coat on the canvases and glueing on scraps of patterned fabric (which is my preferred way of working at the moment, they suggest the colour scheme and rythmns of the composition to work with). So yesterday I could just sit down and paint. Here they are pretty much finished - I might do a bit more fiddling with the angel one, I don't like the flowers at the bottom - and then hand them in next Saturday. The opening is Saturday the 14th 6pm.

Friday, October 23, 2009

At last

Oh dear, I can't believe it's taken me a week to load up these photos.

Here is the first purse I made last week. After all my complaints the next ones haven't taken as long (I must be getting the hang of it, but I wouldn't like an expert looking at the way I put the zips in!)

It's just dawned on me this week that it's only a month until the craft fair. Only 4 more Fridays, I'd better get my skates on...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Printing versus sewing

I printed this sheet of lino blocks last Friday, ready to cut up and collage onto cards. They are printed the lazy way with a foam roller and acrylic paint, instead of a rubber roller and printing ink. The print you get with the foam roller is not as clean or as dense - but it's fine for cards where I'm working over them with coloured pencils and cutting and collaging.
On Wednesday I chiselled a new lino that I haven't got round to printing yet. I have to confess that carving lino is kind of therapy for me. I haven't been in a great mood this week for no reason (blame the moon, blame hormones, who knows) but carving the lino is so soothing for me and helped me survive a crabby day!
Today the complete opposite, I've been sewing little purses for the craft fair. Ok, I'm lying, one little purse that I haven't quite finished. Sewing is not one of my strengths. I love printing onto fabric... and then I have to do something with it, something fiddly that takes four times longer than it should. I'm fairly pleased with the result (photos soon), but I didn't really enjoy the process. I wonder if I'll ever become comfortable with sewing the way I am with lino?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

On fire!

It's hot and sweaty, and not much hope of a decent bit of rain to cool us down for another month or so, people start to leave town, the ones that stay start to go crazy... But there are some compensations, it's also mango season (yum), and the flame trees come into flower.

This tree is just down the road, it's amazing I haven't crashed the car because I can't keep my eyes off it when I drive past.

Here's a little painting I did yesterday - flame tree and dog.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Last week it was school holidays, so on Friday I was running around with the kids, and no peace and quiet to paint.

Over the weekend I stumbled on the blog the rachel papers, and her wonderful posts about housework. Do read, she's said it a lot better than I can. Personally I swing between doing as little as possible, resenting doing any of it, and very occasionally being inspired by it...a family of 5 creates at least a load of washing a day. In the past I've done a few paintings of washing hanging on the line (long gone and unfortunately no photos of them)...I have the feeling I might have to revisit this subject soon!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Definitely not green thumbs

'Cat in the garden' 5"x7"

'garden at night' 5"x7"

My first two paintings for the craft fair are of gardens.

Gardening is on my mind at the moment, I guess it's because of global warming and the push for people to grow at least some of their veggies. I've been having a try but without much success, my seeds don't grow, and the ones that do look limp and pathetic, and have to survive stray tennis balls etc from the kids.

Down here in the southern hemisphere it's spring, but in Darwin it's the beginning of the steamy build up, soon it'll be the wet season and everything will be battered by storms.

The one thing that grows like crazy is basil. I have to find some other plants that are unkillable!