Sunday 30 October 2011


Today I am sketching a rough for the December/ January issue of Melbourne's Child (Sydney's Child, etc.). This is a section of it, above.  Because I am not sure whether it is OK to show the rest of the sketch before the illustration is published*, I have dug out some sketches from this year for things that didn't eventuate, for one reason or another.
Above: a sketch for Sophie, a character that was in development for the uTales children's story Eva the Diva and Sophie Too by author Jackie Kramer.  I was chuffed that the author chose to work with me, but I decided to abandon the project as I did not feel that it was the right time to tackle an entire book, both in terms of my illustration skills and my time constraints due to other projects.

Sketches for the cover of Haley Tanner's Vaclav and Lena.  I was floored when I received an e-mail from Random House New York with a book cover mock-up featuring a pair of my wooden men!  I was asked to illustrate child-like versions of them, as well as a few motifs representing Coney Island and magic tricks.  This time it was the publisher who decided not to go ahead, although I was paid handsomely for these sketches.

...It is still a big dream of mine to illustrate a book cover.

* This might be an unnecessary paranoia left over from my fashion industry days when of course one would never show work in progress in case someone copied it.  Perhaps it's not relevant to publishing?

Tuesday 25 October 2011

A Caribbean woman in the shop

A new Caribbean woman clock is in the etsy shop.  She has two cousins: they can be seen in progress below.  One of them will be available in December from The Design Files Open House in Brunswick, the other from the Modern Times pop-up shop in Collingwood.  There will be a selection of my other wooden work available in both stores.  Modern Times will also have some framed original artwork and prints, which I am very pleased about!

Friday 21 October 2011

Colourful clocks in progress

I have enjoyed painting this new and colourful bunch of clocks.  I tried to channel a beautiful lady from the Caribbean with an armful of bracelets, crossed with a bit of Ms Emily Green.

Today there will be cutting, sanding, drilling and assembling of clock parts, but only if the acting class downstairs doesn't complain about my noisy saw again...

Tuesday 18 October 2011

A couple of goings-on

I received a lovely e-mail the other day with an image that made me do a double take: was that really a giant version of my little Lady with Village on Head with children in a gallery setting?! On closer inspection I realised that the children were actually small plastic models, but that made it no less of a surprise.  The photo is by Julian Wrigley and will form part of his exhibition exploring gallery experiences at Kinokuniya Books in Sydney.  Thank you Julian for using my work beside the likes of Marcel Duchamp and Damien Hirst -- surely the first and last time that will ever happen!

Clocks in progress, again.  After these are finished there will be even more to make.  I have never made this number of clocks at once.  I can reveal now that some of them will be destined for The Design Files' Open House, which is very exciting indeed.  (Admittedly that excitement comes from the shopper in me just as much as the maker.)

Better get back to work.

Saturday 15 October 2011

Don't stop, sure shot

This is my entry for this year's Illustrators Australia 9x5 Exhibition.  Each year IA members receive a 9x5 inch piece of plywood in the post.  Ages ago I decided that every year I would shape my wood into an object after painting it, because I thought that it might detract from my comparative lack of illustration skills.  Anyone who knows what I make now on a day to day basis will realise that painting on wooden shapes has become a defining feature of my work.  So that's how a negative can become a positive, I guess.

...Having said that, I am not entirely happy with these two!

Wondering who they are?  Here's a clue: the theme of this year's exhibition is RAPTURE.  Here's another clue, thanks youtube.  

Wednesday 12 October 2011


Last month I started to feel scared, like I had done the wrong thing, wondering whether I should go back to a full time(ish) job.  Then the calendar ticked over to October and -- BAM! -- I am suddenly really busy and the word "Christmas" is being bandied around as though it's tomorrow.  The dreaded backache has also returned.

So excuse me while I paint and saw away.  Here is someone whose work I admire more and more each time I look at it on flickr.  Genius!

Saturday 8 October 2011

A teen for Melbourne's Child

I was really pleased to be asked to illustrate a story for Melbourne's Child (and Sydney's Child, etc.) about a depressed teenage girl who also happens to be mildly intellectually disabled.  I used to assist at an art class for intellectually disabled adults and I still pay a weekly home visit to one of the students I met there. We either chat or I help him run his errands as he has difficulty getting around by himself.  He also has some complex mental health issues which have not always been dealt with properly. This story is about separating such mental issues from the intellectual disability: from my own experience I know how crucial this is.

I have included my sketches here as the editor asked me to simplify my ideas for the final versions. It's a shame that that Twilight DVD isn't clearer, as I was quite proud that I remembered to include the most likely teenage girl's companion!  Hee hee.

By the way, if anyone in Melbourne reading this is interested in doing the very rewarding work that I have been discussing here, do contact Inclusion as they are fantastic people and always on the lookout for new helpers.

Monday 3 October 2011

New Riches scarf in the shop

Due to popular demand (OK about 4-5 people) I have made a Rags to Riches scarf and put it in my etsy shop.  Fellow knitters will appreciate that comparative to the work involved I am offering it at a good price.  :)

I enjoyed making it and would like to spread the enjoyment to someone else too.

Ola has a blog -- yay!!