Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Mikey in progress, etc.

Mikey Relaxing, one of the bigger pieces I am making for the Craft Victoria window, in progress, above.  I found embroidering the hand rather enjoyable, in a giggly-twelve-year-old kind of way.

Above: a cushion that I made some time ago, relaxing as well.

Above: a small detail from an illustration that I completed last week.  I couldn't resist showing you this little fellow, even though I think I smudged him a little on the scanner.  Oops.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Portraits of two gorgeous children


Really happy to be able to show little details from a couple of portraits that I finished painting last week.  Gorgeous kids and the loveliest mum, who was very patient with me as I worked on these in between other things.  They are currently en route to their new home.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Bed Strange Fellows

The 'Under the Couch' fabric print which was initially printed in navy for my patchwork quilt, also looks quite nice in green.  Above: giant cushion for my Bed Strange Fellows window at Craft Victoria, starting next week.

Above and below: my memoir has already been published in two editions, though reviewers have dismissed the work as "somewhat one dimensional."

Friday, 18 July 2014

Around the place this week (and some rewind)

A little textile-y section of my hallway, photographed during its five daily minutes of brightness.  (Actually the quilt on the left was only there as it was drying over the heater.)

I wish I owned this outfit.  I wish it was warm enough in Melbourne to wear it.  (I am actually wearing mittens while I write.)  Carina magazine, 1981.

My ceramic would-be Apple Man lost an arm this week.  I wish I cared.  Why do I keep breaking things and not caring?  I never used to be like this!

More loveliness from an early 80s Burda magazine.

 I made a giant Lady Village Head for my Craft Victoria window!!  (Almost a metre wide.) I think she's pretty funny.  Tick!  I love making lists, and I love crossing things off them even more....
Another item for the Craft window....Mikey Relaxing.  I am embroidering Mikey in a relaxed fashion, on account of still having a somewhat dodgy back.  Lots of hairs on his legs to go, though.  And the all important hand down his pants.  Dying to embroider that!!

Rewind.........to May 2013.  Props for the television 'drama' Winners and Losers: somewhat kitsch lampshades painted with Hawaiian motifs.  I really enjoyed doing these, channelling my days in the early 2000s when I designed a LOT of surf wear for Target and Myer.  I was lucky enough to be able to choose a lampshade to keep when I was visiting my friends at the set today.  Thanks so much Ineke, you made my day.  So thoughtful!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Illustration for Gardening Australia magazine, August


My acrylic on plywood illustration for Gardening Australia magazine, August 2014.  This month Michael McCoy writes about the incredible feeling of being completely submerged under the green canopy of an enormous old oak tree.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

'Under the Couch' quilt in progress

Hello again.  I found some photos of my quilt in progress and thought that I would document them here.  The photo above was taken in a fairly dark front room, so apologies for the lack of quality.  I sewed the fabric lengths and patches around the central fabric in rows, but laid them out first to ensure that similarly coloured fabrics weren't sitting too close to each other.
 Above and below, pinning the patchwork rows to the main area of the quilt prior to machine stitching.

Above: finishing the back of the quilt by hand.  (No wonder my back isn't happy.)

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Getting ready for the Craft Victoria window.....

My window 'show' at Craft Victoria is looming!  Here is some work that is ready, and some other work that is not-so-ready....
Above: Three of the four knitted cushions are ready to go!  They have even labelled already and have a swing tag, thanks very much.
Mikey Relaxing: the last of the cushion-like-objects to be made (phew). He has now actually been cut out, and is waiting at the kitchen table for my embroidery needle to attack him.  However when this photo was taken in the studio above he was still reminding me every time I looked out the window that I hadn't even begun to think about him.  Poor Mikey.  Saving the best til last?
A very small photo of the largest object for the window above, the Under the Couch 180 x 180 cm quilt.  Finished.  Hooray.  Yippee.  Yippee.  Yay.

And --TA DA! -- my favourite item of all: the STAY/GO pillowcase set, above.  Hand embroidered, pure linen.  They will make those big life decisions that little bit easier.  You'll thank me in the morning.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Around the place this week or so




Hello!  I have been working on a few great things this week, but unfortunately I can't tell you about them yet.  In the meantime, here is part of my studio wall, as it was last Thursday....
I am preparing to fill the windows of Craft Victoria with some cosy (and less cosy) items at the end of July.  I have completed some above but there is much more to be done, below.
This will be a nice large cushion made up of a patchwork of little versions of my artwork, printed on cotton hemp.
Part of a sketch for Gardening Australia magazine, September.  I quite like him, so I thought I'd share him with you.  Don't look too closely at his elbows though.  They don't really match.

 There are some new items in my Etsy shop.  I have made a flame which you can hang from your wall. However I can't promise that it can warm those of us in Melbourne on this very dark and rainy wintry day.  (Good time to finish that quilt for the Craft Victoria window, eh Sandra??*)

 A burning house for your wall -- in green!  And a volcano for your wall too.


The one frustrating occurrence is that despite regular swimming + Pilates I have again damaged my back through too much obsessive knitting.  So that's OUT -- for at least another week.

* I would rather be lying under a blanket reading A.M. Homes' May We Be Forgiven, which I am enjoying very much, but I really need to finish that quilt today.....

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Illustration for Gardening Australia magazine, July


Background first.

I think that this might be my favourite one so far.  I have decided that I need to make my illustrations around A4 size to get enough detail in, while keeping the overall design fairly simple.  I do regret not writing 'SEEDS' on the broccoli packet at left though.  Possibly that was taking the keep-it-simple maxim a bit too far....

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Album cover artwork for Rob Snarski's Wounded Bird


I am so pleased to be able to show you my little painting above for Rob Snarski's (The Black Eyed Susans) new solo album, Wounded Bird.  Concept by Rob Snarski.  Acrylic on wood.  


Work in progress, above.  After Rob approved my pencil sketch, we decided on the colour palette by doing what Rob called a "blob painting": I very quickly outlined all of the different sections of my sketch in Photoshop, and coloured them in until we were both happy with the result.  (The sparrow is a photo that I manipulated in Photoshop in order to simplify it a bit.)  It's a great idea, and one that I will definitely use again, especially as it's not so easy to change colours when you are working the old fashioned way.
Above: the painting has begun.  Background first, then I get to know who is in the picture by doing the majority of the face and other visible skin before tackling the decoration.
This is the first sketch, which Rob did not approve, even though I quite liked it.  Boo hoo.  But all's well that ends well.  The final art is simpler and probably communicates Wounded Bird better.

My first ever CD cover!  Very exciting.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Old and new, here and gone


Hello!  There's a brand new kind of Dino in the shop.

After getting my dear old scarf above out for the first time this season, I started to obsess over the colour combination of cream + a certain shade of green, which was kind of weird.

I decided to get it out by reinterpreting my little old man in a new colour combo, and couldn't believe that I hadn't tried it until now.  He will be in the shop by the end of this week too.
And, I decided to show you a little of what I have been working on for a while now: soft goods of all sorts for the window of Craft Victoria, starting July 30.  I painted the motifs for the cotton fabric above last year, and finally they are getting an airing.  They will form the main part of a large quilt.
Looking back at old sketches from 2006, and remembering a country fella I went out with, whose little brother turned 21 while we were together.  The manly ritual above was part of the birthday boy's celebrations.  
 And another exceedingly fine fella above....Vale the Doc.  Here's a bit more of the Doc for you non Australians.  See youse later.
(Photo from The Courier Mail.)

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Signs of winter...?

The  weather has been extremely mild in Melbourne.  It's hard to believe that today is the first day of winter.  This week I had the great pleasure of being a guest at an art class at a boys' school.  I helped two classes of year eights get going on their wooden footballers (my work in progress above).  I can't wait to see and share their footballers when they're done.
 I brought in examples of my own work to show the boys.  Unfortunately, I pretty much wrecked my Neighbourhood Watch, above.  I don't care as much as I imagined I would.  Perhaps because it is technically salvageable, but mostly because I must have moved on from Wayne.
This is my example of a finished footballer, which I used as a demonstration for the two classes.  Interestingly, a substantial number of boys chose to depict favourite soccer and rugby players.  One or two decided to show their school team's colours instead.
 Other signs of winter: sunset at the studio.  Haven't had to put the heater on yet.  Crazy.
 The heater is on at home, although that hasn't stopped mould from growing above.
Last but not least: a page from the brilliant Fritz Kahn, a gift from Lil Nick!

ALSO -- thank you so much to everyone who said hi or even bought something from me at Markit last Sunday.  I had a fantastic day, even though I was ridiculously tired by the end of it.  I regret that I didn't get to see the rest of the stands.