Sunday 20 April 2014

Me, In The Age

Yup, that's me in Melbourne's The Age newspaper yesterday.  (Click here for a readable online version.  It may also have appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald.  I would be interested to know, for several reasons.)  Kath Dolan was the best kind of interviewer: warm, genuinely interested and wanting ANSWERS as to why I do the work I do.  She gently prized them out of me and when I read the article I found out things about myself that even I hadn't been conscious of.  Photographer Eddie Jim was similarly kind.  However, it may not surprise you to learn that I do not generally sit ON my desk, clean brush in hand, pretending to stroke at a finished artwork -- much less without my trusty and beloved denim apron (a present from dear Bridget, who does not generally read this blog).

Happy Easter.

Saturday 19 April 2014

Knitting Spam

I have been wanting to knit a picture (rather than just words) for a long time, so after I finished designing the graph for my can of Spam I couldn't wait to get started on the actual knitting.

Hmm.  Intarsia (picture) knitting is not so much fun; various colours carried within the same row can mean quite a tangle at the back.  I had forgotten that part.  (Seasoned knitters may note that the navy yarn carried across two rows of the top part of the bun is actually a mistake.)

In case you're wondering, my intention is to make this into a cushion.  One day.

Friday 18 April 2014

How I make things unnecessarily hard for myself (Part 1)

For May's Gardening Australia "The Big Picture" illustration I decided to paint on wood again, but to give it a pink undercoat first, rather than the usual white.  I thought it might give an interesting, warm effect.
The effect is debatable but when I scanned the picture into Photoshop it meant that there was an ENORMOUS amount of cutting out to do (just look at that leafy tree on the right!).

I believe that the cutting took as long as the painting.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

A huge honour.

Recently I had the huge honour of painting a few portraits for Andrea from Stampel, and her equally lovely sister Jen.
Above: Their late mother Marilyn, based on an old black and white photograph.  When Andrea and her sister were little, their mother painted flowers on their windcheaters using puff paint.  Andrea still owns her windcheater and suggested that I use her mother's flower painting style as inspiration, which I think was a brilliant idea.
Marilyn in her later years, below.

And last but not least, Andrea's late mother in law, Janet.  I greatly enjoyed painting these portraits, and feel incredibly honoured that the sisters asked me to bring back a little of these beautiful women who were so such a huge part of their lives (and Andrea's husband's).  While I was painting them, I grew very fond of them as well.

Friday 11 April 2014

Thank you Finders Keepers

Thank you very much to The Finders Keepers for featuring my work in your blog recently.  When I scrolled through I thought some of my answers were a bit naff but I did enjoy seeing the scarf above again.  Long gone to a lovely lady, but still one of my favourites.

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Mr Hockney is a winner!

Mr Hockney is very pleased to announce that he has won the Frankie Prize in the inaugural Reginald Portrait Prize for Softies, brainchild of the wonderful Sue Halliday and hosted by the Melbourne CAE.  It is my absolute belief that any of the finalists could have won a further prize.  They were all fantastic and so incredibly varied that judging them must have been a very difficult task indeed (Have a look at the Reginald site for full catalogues of entries and finalists).  The overall winner was an exquisitely detailed Bjork by Dainy Sawatsky.  I had a fantastic time at the prize ceremony on Friday evening.  It was wonderful to meet the finalists, and MOST wonderful to meet the incredibly talented and very sweet Ms Cat Rabbit.

Saturday 5 April 2014

A couple of milestones.

When I first opened my Etsy shop back in October 2009, I was excited and terrified when I made my first sale -- a black moustache mirror to a young lady in the U.S.  Would it break in transit?  Would she be happy with it?

A couple of weeks ago my Etsy sales clocked up to 500: something I never, ever imagined would happen.  Thank you so much to anyone out there reading this who has ever bought anything from my shop, whether it be a greeting card, downloadable knitting pattern, wooden clock or a whole bunch of original paintings!  

And then another milestone this week!  I have been on Instagram for six months.  To have 1005 followers in such a short time feels kind of amazing and ridiculous at the same time, but I think it says more about Instagram than it does about me.  For anyone out there considering joining (hello Saskia...?!) here's some evidence that it's the way to go. 
There's lots of talk that blogs are dying.  I still love working on my blog and reading other people's (though I find that I have less time to lately).  Posting on this platform takes much more thought and effort than a quick snapshot and a couple of sentences on Instagram.  It also works a lot better as a whole.  After all what we call 'blogs' started out being called 'web-logs' or diaries and that is exactly what mine will continue to be.  For my sake as well as for my readers'.  

(And -- thank you for reading.)

Friday 4 April 2014

New Craft at The Vic Market

Hello!  I will be taking part in Craft Victoria's inaugural New Craft market at the Queen Victoria Market this Sunday April 6.  We will be in Shed A near the corner of Victoria and Peel Streets.  It promises to be a fun day.  Please come and say hi!  More details here.