Thursday, 27 January 2011

Finished Painting - Feral Love

It is kind of a strange title. It has to do with the fact that rabbits have become feral in Australia and do great damage to the landscape. Yet how can anyone resist a bunny?

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Bear Art Journal Page and the Refashioned Purple Shirt

I thought maybe I could entice you guys in with an art journal page. These two pages are facing each other (the bear looking at the young woman and vice-a-versa) but unfortunately I don't know how to do that on my blog, so please use your imagination.

These pages are quite fun because they got fairly storybook. The story is written in the trees and the bush behind the bear. I wrote it spontaneously as a response to the picture, which was really fun.
The written stuff on this page is my usual journaling blah blah.

This page is where I originally drew this woman, then I photocopied her and put her on another page later in the book.

I must have photocopied her when she was still a black and white drawing since I painted the second one in different colours. If you photocopy stuff you can paint over it. If you print it on your inkjet computer, it blurs when it gets wet.
It is also amusing to make the photocopies bigger or smaller.

Aha, fooled you. More refashioning. Here is the rather daggie shirt before I do anything to it. I like the fabric, a lightweight tight weave cotton - and the colour. I wrote about it here.
I cut off the sleeves and sewed up the sides for a more fitted, less boxy look. I like it but...
Yikes! There is this poochy out bit in the back! It is because of the pleats under the yoke. I have a friend with a similar figure so I put it on her and got out some pins. That took several weeks to get around to.
Before I show you what I did in the back I gotta show you the front again.
Okay, here is the back. Pretty cool eh? I was quite pleased with my solution.
You might be able to see the pleats a little better in this photo. The colour is more like the previous picture.

The shirt is still kind of plain. But it is an old shirt and I might just leave it as is for wearing about the house. It is more of an experiment as I am new to this refashioning stuff.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Working on another 'Old' Painting

I have begun working on this painting again after about 8 months. I put it aside when I was doing work for a group show in Byron Bay. I talk about that process and another painting I have picked up here. It feels good to work on these paintings again. Sometimes I will leave work for many months finding that when I return to it I am able to know what it needs as I didn't before.

Some paintings just 'die' and I never work on them again. Some seem to need time to sleep. Or maybe it is me that needs the time, to learn what I need to know to go further.
I worked on the window and its curtain, the doorway, her dress and the cloud. There is still a long way to go. I would say the painting is about 2/3 done though it is difficult to know for sure.

Monday, 10 January 2011

More Refashioning

Okay I promise that my next post will be about painting or drawing or something in my studio. I know many of you signed up for my art journaling or visual art posts. And here I am detouring onto refashioning-- and I am not even very good at it.
But that is the way of creativity. Sometimes we need to try a new medium or a new way of doing things - and you gotta follow these inclinations. They often renew enthusiasm, and besides, you never know where stuff is gonna lead. You gotta trust this stuff.

Anyway, look at the pink jean jacket above. This is quite funny. Now look at the post before this one. Below I have this huge jean jacket and am wondering what to do with it. Rice from Notes from Voodoo Cafe suggests cutting it off at the sleeves and the bottom - which I am seriously considering. I have already cut off the sleeves.

Then I remember that I have a jean jacket, also from the 80's, that I already cut the sleeves off of. Look, it is Calvin Klein - those were the days of the designer everything. And notice more embroidery! I love this pink sleeveless vest. I wore it today over a dress.

Nothing more to say, I just thought it was interesting that I had forgotten it. I don't have a lot of clothes. Unfortunately the blue denim oversized jacket is much bigger than the pink one and I will have to take it in or something to make it work as well.
Here was a quick refashion I did yesterday. One fushia t-shirt looking very stodgie. I left my head on this photo so you can see my disgusted look. I never feel like wearing this t-shirt, it makes me feel like not-me.
This is what I did. Fringe. Easy-peasy. I just took to it with the scissors. Haha! Then I knotted each fringe at the bottom so they would separate more. Does it look better? I think it looks funkier, which is what feels good to me. I am still not completely thrilled with it (I don't like the shape of the neckline), but I think I will wear it now.
And finally the black t-shirt that I started about a week ago. Here it is while I was still working on it. I have worn it twice since I finished the beading. It feels good.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Funk And Flash style Embroidery

I told Rice of Notes From the Voodoo Cafe that I would post my 90's embroidery because it was done in a kind of Funk And Flash style. It looks rather more modest than I remembered. I love satin stitch embroidery, but it takes ages.
On this same jean jacket from the late 80's, before the winged heart, I had another embroidery. It was a beautiful crow, its wings spread wide. All satin stitch and very realisitic. I embroidered it onto a circle and then appliqued it onto the jacket. I took off later and gave that beautiful embroidery away to a dear friend who reused it for her sacred pipe, so I can't complain (though I would like to, just a little bit. I would not have the patience to embroider it again.)

While I am at it, I will show you the entire jacket. I would love some suggestions for it. I used to love that 80's oversized look, now it just seems two sizes too big. What should I do with it?
Sorry about my smirk. I never know what expression to have while waiting for my camera to go off. I should just cut off my head in these photos.
You can see how oversized the jacket is.
It is a bit better from the back. The sleeves are too long as well. It looks like I am wearing a man's jacket. Very unflattering. I never wear it anymore.

I no longer like the ribbons anymore. I could take them and the tiny hearts off. But what would I do with it? Come on, throw out any thoughts, doesn't matter how wild. We will do some creative brain-tanking. Brain-mashing. What do you call it?

Thursday, 6 January 2011

An Unplanned Drawing

You know how you have ideas that just stick around? Ones that usually start with "I really should..." But they don't make you feel guilty (not like when I think about gardening), the idea feels like it would be fun. There might be a little anxiety, but it is a kind of excited feeling.

For me the idea that has been hanging around (months or longer) has been to draw with nothing in mind and see what evolves. And to do this regularly over a length of time.
I draw regularly but I usually have something planned, and I draw from life or photo references. Drawing is quite different when you are making it all up. Usually the drawing comes out simpler and less skilled. Here is the first one. I think she took about 40 minutes.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Working on a New (Old) Painting

I haven't been in the studio much over the holidays, but I have managed a few days. A good thing too, it really helps my sanity.
This painting has been set aside for maybe 8 months while I was working on a new track for a group show. I wasn't sure whether I would continue as I didn't know if it fit into my new series. But in October, when I worked out which paintings were continuing, it was one of them. That post is here. You can see this painting along with the others I am keeping.
I forgot to take a before photo, so I had already altered the wall by her feet before I photographed it. It is a small painting, about 10" x 12".
Here I have worked on her skin and hair, and put the rat in a bit stronger.
It is difficult to show the more subtle changes. I have been working some yellow-green highlights into her dress to make it more harmonious with the wall. Obviously I put in her eyes. The white lines on the wall are actually chalk lines to draw out the perspective of the bricks, I will rub them out later.

I realize that this painting isn't as immediately appealing as others that I have posted and I feel some need to explain. When creating a series of paintings, it is kind of like a story. Hopefully the paintings each contribute something new to the story and create a kind of 'dialogue' with each other. This means that you might see a painting a little differently because of the paintings that are next to it, or how often a similar theme is repeated. While I don't consider myself a dark painter, I don't really want to be seen as whimsical either. I am more interested in the combination of light and dark that make up reality. So I am sometimes moved to put in some darker works to balance out ones that I think would be interpreted more fancifully.