Sunday, May 30, 2010

Discussion of a painting

Be warned this could be a long and rambling post!
On friday my partner looked at my new painting and said - what's the story with the buildings and birds? I said nothing really they just are. That wouldn't be an acceptable answer for his tutor at uni, or for an exhibition proposal...

This is not a major or significant piece of work, but it is interesting to think about a better answer for that question. This painting is a spin off (or continuation of a theme) from one of the monoprints I did last week. When I do the monoprints I work fast, I have a few art books/magazines/sketchbooks open on the table as I work, for ideas and inspiration. The bird and house image came from the cover of the last issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine which featured a sculpture made of clay, paper mache, and wire of a bird atop a small house. I really liked the dark - negative version of this print and that's what set off the painting.

There are other things that I might associate with it but they are not what the painting is about such as-1) I'm reading Wolf Hall at the moment, about the court of Henry VIII, it has constant references to people being sent to the Tower - which also reminds me of the superstition that if the ravens ever leave the tower of London England will fall...
2) Lying in bed listening to bush chooks (scrub fowl) scrabbling on the roof.
3) The fact that they are towers not houses has a fairy tail feel, also the size of the birds is magical.
4) Whether the birds are protective, malevolent, imaginary...
5) I could even look at it with an environmental slant - all those high rise developments in town, people living cut-off from nature, unaware of the birds swooping down to roost on their roof at night.
I hope that another person looking at the painting would bring their own associations and meanings to it. But really it's about the visual - that I wanted to make a painting with the dark silhouettes of the buildings and birds, and from there I wrestled with colour and composition to get something 'satisfactory'.

I'd love to hear how others feel about explaining the ideas behind their art. Hope you had a good weekend!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

new monoprints

Just a really quick post (it's late) to show you these new tiny monoprints, around 10x7 cm each.

I've added colour to one with coloured pencils, and will probably be working into and collaging some of the others. I've already used some on cards and hopefully will have photos of them to show soon.

The weather is strange, the rain is back it's very confusing!

I'm a third of the way into Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel - my Mum and sister raved about it so I have to read it too!! It's about life in and around the court of Henry VIII seen through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell, amazingly detailed and completely absorbing. I keep having to go for a little lie down and read a few pages...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wordstorm and beyond

This weekend was Wordstorm, the NT writer's festival. It's a huge festival for a small town, I managed to get to only a fraction of it. I missed/avoided the big names and big ticket events, and went along to some almost randomly picked forums, and readings, which all turned out to be wonderful. I won't forget for a long time Andrea Hirata struggling through tears to read a chapter of his book, of course tears were rolling down my cheeks too.
Each day I dashed off for a few hours of inspiration and then back home to reality, clothes to wash, kids to feed, my mind still buzzing.

So there wasn't much time for painting but I did start this little canvas.

It's the same lacy top as last time - a very young woman was wearing this on the bus a few weeks ago, she was beautiful but 'undressed'. Probably fine for going out to a night-club, but not for the bus at 8 in the morning. I wanted to tell her to beware...

On the writing front another rejection, and nothing sent out yet for May.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Crochet Story...

It all started on a Saturday morning... after our usual trip to the library, I popped into the fabric shop for 5 minutes. It's a shop for patchwork/quilters, I don't quilt but I drool over the fabrics and threads and wonder how I can use them in my work. Well, my son came across a book of 'amigurumi' (cute animal softies), 'let's make these' he said, 'oh but they're crochet,' I said, 'I don't know how to do that.

But the seed was in my head, so a few weeks later I went back and bought the book, balls of wool and crochet hooks. The amazing thing for me was that when I sat down with the wool and hook, my hands knew exactly what to do even though I hadn't done it since I was a teenager (30years ago!)

My son who's 12, went in 2 days, from struggling to make one stitch, to finishing a ball that will be an octopus body! My 7 year olds decided they needed more I taught them finger knitting instead.

Two weeks later the crochet craze is over, hopefully he might pick it up again in the school holidays when he's at a loose end. I've managed to finish this very mutant turtle! (with the book showing how it's supposed to look)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Still in the doldrums...

On Friday morning first of all I had to sort out a bad smell in my kitchen, which turned out to be a dead (decomposing) mouse in the bottom of a cupboard - it took rubber gloves and a lot of bleach to deal with!

Then I forced myself to sit down and paint - 2 little paintings. I'm not completely happy with them, they might need a bit more playing with before they're finished.

Last day of April I also sent out 3 poems to this Australian online journal, there's some wonderful poetry here, do take a look.

1st of May is officially the start of the dry season, and it is feeling a bit cooler in the mornings. I got the kids to help me dig over my veggie patch, raked in some fertilizer, and hopefully next weekend we'll start planting.

Well, it sounds like I got a fair bit done, so why the doldrums? I'm feeling like a surfer waiting for the next big wave of inspiration...