Sunday 31 March 2013

Lucky Numbers Blue and Pink

This pair is painted on wood using acrylic, and cut out.  They are about 1/2 lifesize.

Unexpectedly lucky: I haven't been able to access the internet from home for over a week.  It has actually been fantastic: I have become a more efficient human being as a result.  I have also spent a lot more time at the studio, and not just because there's free wi-fi.  More work to show for it soon... Enjoy your Easter Monday: go outside!  (Those in Melbourne anyway: I hear from my cousin that in the south of Europe it's been pouring relentlessly.)

Tuesday 26 March 2013

X & Why

I enjoyed incorporating some embroidery into my wooden work.  These hands are one and a half times the size of an 'average' real adult's hand.  I hate how internet convention privileges the vertical over the horizontal, making my actual piece (the last picture, above) seem inconsequentially small.  From now on all of my pieces will be incredibly tall and slim....

Saturday 23 March 2013

Presents for Strudel

 I made a little man for Strudel, who turned one recently.  Like Strudel, he needs some coaxing in order to walk.  I realised while I was making him that he is almost entirely made up of scraps of fabric that I kept from my old work places.  (Years spent in the fashion industry have their advantages.)  The knitted front panel is my work.  If you have been reading this blog for a while you might recognise it.

He was inspired by a Czech book cover which I pinched from Fine Little Day and stuck in my scrapbook, above.  Please excuse the dismal i-phone shot.
Strudel loves faces, so I made her a little digitally printed cushion too.  Happy Birthday, Noodle!

Tuesday 19 March 2013

A patchwork house + Perlmutter

I painted a little patchwork house in homage to this actual one in Scotland.

Work by the Hungarian artist Izsak Perlmutter (1866 - 1932).  Great compositions.

Sunday 17 March 2013


Tingatinga is a painting style from Tanzania that was named after its founder, Edward Said Tingatinga.  Tingatinga painted on masonite using bright bicycle paints, often depicting subjects that would appeal to the tourist market.  The style has since spread to much of East Africa and has developed from the simple copying of Tingatinga's work to encompassing more individual interests.  The work above is by Mohamed Wasia Charinda, b.1947.  
Just a few of the treasures from TingaTinga: Kitsch or Quality: Bicycle enamel on board or canvas by Tine & Hanne Thorup, Copenhagen, 2010.  This book belongs to my friend Anna.  She spent much of her childhood in Tanzania and has a wonderful knowledge of East African art and culture.  Thanks Anna for the inspiration. 

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Mr Freedom

Sometimes I make work with the hope that there is a mildly interesting message in there somewhere.  Other times I just want to create funny people and paint nice clothes: the sorts of clothes that I love but can't wear right now because it's too hot.  
Mr Freedom was inspired by a vintage jeans advertisement.  He was going to go for double denim but he chickened out at the last minute and as a result will be donning checked flannel and a fair isle scarf until the end of time.  Even when he has to pose for his photo in 35 degree (high 90s F) heat.  No wonder he looks grumpy.  But then I am grumpy too, and I am only wearing a thin cotton dress.  
Here's to civilised weather, wherever you live.  It's coming!!!

Sunday 10 March 2013

Saturday 9 March 2013

A new patchwork doona cover, and some photos

For some reason I own a single bed doona (duvet, whatever) but no cover.  Living in a house heaving with scrap fabric, I decided that the best course of action would be to make a patchwork cover instead of just going out to buy one.  Because there were only 35 squares, the project was super quick.  The backing ended up being the remnants of a striped double bed cover which died a while ago.  A form of resurrection, perhaps?
There is a story behind every patch: an old skirt, dress, blouse, scarf, tea towel, pillow case, even a fabric that I designed for Seed.  An apron from my aunt (the pocket in the centre!), beautiful scraps from my friend Anna Banana, op shop finds, even a screen printing experiment from a CAE course that I did centuries ago.  There were also a few scraps from a splurge at a beautiful patchwork fabric shop that briefly graced Auburn Road....
While I was piecing this together last Sunday I watched Kevin McCloud build his shed from discarded materials, and felt similarly virtuous.

I am also trying to take more interesting photos of my work.  I find styling frustrating but also quite rewarding.  On a whim I decided to take a workshop with Sibella Court next month, and I am very much looking forward to it.  In the meantime, I have begun wondering whether I should buy myself some styling props: perhaps a mini world globe, a few sheets of vintage wallpaper, or some interesting crockery?
(Of course if I succumb it will pretty much negate my virtuous non-consumerist patchwork cover making.)

Sunday 3 March 2013

P-Plate Pinterest

I have officially been on Pinterest for about 5 seconds (OK, a week) but I have taken to it like a duck to water.  I find that my appetite for images is instatiable.  Hours can go by looking for the next strange or beautiful thing, brilliant idea or all of the above.  And not just on Pinterest either, I do rather well wasting time on Etsy and Flickr too.  (Wasn't it 9am about two minutes ago?!!)

Above: hand shaped biscuits from Kurokawa Patisserie, New York, via Penelope Norfolk.  
 Above: Japanese artist Misaki Kawai via Mrs Pachinski.  I LOVE her.
 Above: Child's patchwork dress c.1944 via Desdemona Mccannon.
 Above: 19th century Hungarian artist Izsák Perlmutter via Desdemona Mccannon.
 Above: 1960s Italian artist Domenico Gnoli via Robin Ayres. 
 Above: antique French children's sewing set via Penelope Norfolk.
Above: a contemporary Russian home entirely decorated with plastic bottle caps, via Designboom.  (Actually via my friend Anna -- thank you!)
Above: Paula Rebsom via Victoire Meneur.
 Above: Sabine Finkenauer via Mrs Pachinski.
Above: Paul Poiret via Desdemona Mccannon.