Saturday, January 26, 2008

Doggone Beat

My submission for the Illustration Friday theme of this week:
"Tales & Legends"

"Doggone Beat" (acrylic on an 8 x 8 inch stretched canvas)

The pooped percussionist. He plays in his sleep. He sleeps when he plays. Tales of a legendary narcoleptic dozy drummer boy. Dozy often improvises free-form jazz jams with impromptu napping solos.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Niagara at Outre

Exciting news! Detroit pop-punk artist Niagara will be bundling up a collection of her paintings & silkscreen artworks to grace the walls of Outre Gallery spaces in Australia from mid-February. Niagara's "From Detroit with Love" exhibition will tour Outre Gallery in Melbourne from 16th February & Outre Gallery in Sydney from 23rd February. Niagara will be appearing at both opening nights & places are limited, so if interested in attending you'd better RSVP asap. Click here for further details & relevant contact information. Also from there you'll be able to add yourself to the "waiting lists" if keen on purchasing original artworks freshly released from the many wonderful artists Outre Gallery represent.

For those who don't know, Outre Gallery specialises in contemporary international pop, lowbrow, pop surrealism, street, tiki, modern folk, retro & underground art. They boast an ever-changing selection of original artworks, limited edition prints, books, posters, magazines, curios, mid-century inspired ceramics & collectible toys.

Outre Gallery Melbourne (249 Elizabeth St, Melbourne)
Outre Gallery Sydney (13a Burton St, Darlinghurst)
Outre Gallery is NOT located anywhere in Brisbane. This makes me very sad. The good news though is that anybody can purchase from Outre Gallery regardless of their location. Thankfully they do provide national & worldwide mail order. I purchased online from them last year a beautifully framed limited edition Josh "Shag" Agle print. It arrived very swiftly & super safely packaged. In fact, the packagaing was so impressive that if a semi-trailer ran over it I'm quite certain that it would have survived completely unscathed. Peruse & purchase with confidence. Fab gallery. Fab service.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Ruffled Feathers

My submission for the Illustration Friday theme this week: Plain

(click to enlarge)

It's been ages since I've done a dinky little comic. Forgot how fun it is to simply doodle with ink & paper. May even break out the coloured pencils next time!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Indigenous Art

The Queensland Art Gallery's Indigenous Australian art collection is an ever expanding & eclectic accumulation of historical & contemporary pieces. Commissioned in 2002 with funds from the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant is a piece I absolutely adore. It's currently on display as part of the Gallery's "Sand-Savanna-Salt" exhibition. Unfortunately my photo below doesn't do the artwork justice. It is truly a beautiful & striking sculpture.

Joe Ngallametta
Kuga Muminh/Kuga Uwanh language group
Australia b.1945
Thap Yongk (Law Poles) 2002-03
Carved milkwood with synthetic polymer paint & natural pigments.

The Thap Yongk (or Law Poles) made by the people of Aurukun in west Cape York express an issue fundamental to Indigenous Australian culture - the interrelationships of land, culture & the creation of time. Representing upturned trees, the Thap Yongk extend from the ground, suggesting branches hidden beneath the earth, with roots at the top. The poles draw the spirits back to the ground, and the 'hidden' branches symbolise the network of stories & laws connecting people to the land & to each other - QAG.
Checking out Indigenous art is a really interesting & fun way to learn more about Indigenous Australian culture. A culture that we certainly could all learn a lot from.

If interested in exploring Indigenous art in Brisbane, then Fire-Works Gallery is THE place to go. They represent a long list of both well-established & emerging Aboriginal artists. They're also a super friendly mob! A bonus! Art galleries & super friendly don't often go hand-in-hand. Or it could just be me. Not that I expect super friendly customer service when visiting art galleries. I'd happily settle for moderately faked-friendly. I shoosh now...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pulpy Goodness

After fuelling on a few strong coffees I was prepared to brave the eager first-day crowds at the Lifeline Bookfest yesterday morning. The organisers claim it's the world's largest pre-loved book sale. I don't know how accurate that statement is, but I've yet to find a larger second-hand book sale anywhere. I've also yet to travel the world in search of one. Bookfest runs twice yearly (January & June) & has been operating for 18 years now. The range of categories & the quantity of books is overwhelmingly huge. Everything from rare & collectable first editions through to well-thumbed bargains are on offer. I was unusually organised this year, having carefully compiled a 'want-list' beforehand. I found oodles of gems that I wanted. None of which remotely correlated with those scrawled on my list, but it didn't matter in the slightest. I was super pleased with what I found anyways. One great find was an almost pristine copy of "The Philosophy of Andy Warhol" for mere $3. Yay! It was difficult to pass on the cheapo penguin classics section, so I stocked up on some penguin titles. My happiest penguin purchase was a battered old copy of Dosteovsky's "Crime & Punishment" (I may never even read the thing, however it does look all clever-like & impressive in my bookcase!). I managed to walk away (in a slightly stooped fashion) with a big & bulging backpack stuffed with pulpy goodness. The other wonderful thing about Lifeline Bookfest is that all funds raised from the event goes directly towards supporting the work of Lifeline. A worthy cause.

Bookfest - 12th to 19th January, Brisbane Convention Centre

Mopey Ms Smithy

My submission for the Illustration Friday theme this week: Stitch

Mopey Ms Smithy (acrylic on an 8 x 8 inch stretched canvas)

"I would go out tonight, but I haven't got a stitch to wear"
- The Smiths

So Mopey bitterly contemplates an evening of baking cupcakes.
Brooding aurally accompanied by the melancholy of Morrissey.
Mopey finally found comfort & happiness in the sweet solitude
of devouring 12 delicious cupcakes without having to share any.
& shortly after endured a lengthy & painful sugar induced stitch.
Or it may have been indigestion...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Say Cheese!

Woohoo! My new toy arrived today! A Diana+ Lomo Camera. It's a faithful reproduction of the original 1960s Diana model, with a few new nifty features tossed in. I'm especially excited about the removable lens & super small aperture setting for pinhole photography. AND, the two image formats for square shots. I just adore goofy & eccentric little low tech cameras. Cameras that take film. Yes! Oh-so-glorious film! Digital Schmigital! Ok ok...I must confess that digital cameras are very convenient & mine certainly gets a lot of use. I believe that my digital camera & I have a classic love-hate relationship. Or at the very least an obligatory friendship. I'm going to enjoy getting to know & bonding with my new gadget & hopefully I'll post some of the developments here as things progress.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


My submission for the Illustration Friday theme this week - "100%"

"Audiophile" (acrylic on an 8 x 8 inch stretched canvas) - This painting is part of a series I'm currently working on & thought this little fellow fit the theme. His name is Anton & he is a 100% fanatical & geeky vinyl loving analogue purist.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Love & Secrets

Learning To Love You More is a website showcasing work made by the general public in response to "arty" assignments given by artists Miranda July (Yes! Miranda July! Writer/Director/Star of one of my favourite films, You & Me & Everyone We Know) & Harrell Fletcher. Anyone can participate. Simply go the the LTLYM website & choose an assignment that appeals to you, follow the instructions, submit & see your work posted online. July & Fletcher have also curated a selection of their favourite & most memorable submissions for publication. The LTLYM book was released in September 2007. So there's another reason for submitting your assignments to this cool collaborative online art project. For possible inclusion in any future publications!

LTLYM Assignment #9 - Draw a Constellation of Someone's Freckles
(photo above) "Muffin's Constellation" by Marya DeBlasi, Ohio USA

Another ongoing communal art project well worth checking out is PostSecret. People anonymously send creatively decorated postcards bearing secrets that have never been revealed before. Submissions range from the provocative to the profound, and many are uniquely inspirational. In 2004 Frank Warren started the PostSecret project. From a beautifully simple idea it has evolved into a multi-award winning blogsite, with the release of four best selling books & a three year PostSecret International Art Exhibtion which is currently touring. If you haven't done so already take a sneaky peeky at the international phenomenon that is PostSecret. Go on, you know you want to. It's ok. I wont tell.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Warhol in Brisvegas

Exclusive to Brisbane, Australia's first major Andy Warhol retrospective. Finally made it to Warhol. I was fortunate enough to score a free double pass (& Warhol T-Shirt, badge & fridge magnet!) last month from the fine folk at 4zzz Community Radio. I've been patiently waiting for the crowds to thin a little. Over 300 works are on display covering all areas of his practive. Installations, prints, paintings, drawings, films and photographs. Did I mention films? Yes indeedy I did. The Andy Warhol Film Program alone is worth excitedly jumping up & down & flippin' your silver wig over! Screening are hundreds of restored films and screen tests that Warhol made in the 1960s. Yeh! Bring on the POPcorn! There is a fantastic Silver Factory: Andy Warhol for Kids Program (free) which includes lots of hands-on activities and workshops. For kids only. Grrr. Not fair! Not fair! They even have a room full of floating silver balloons. Waaaahhhh! The exhibition also features a Warhol Supermarket where you can purchase all sorts of wacky Warholish goodies. I purchased the below item.

Yeah I know...hardly wacky. I love it all the same. It features one of my favourite Warhol quotes. It's also very functional. I drink a LOT of coffee. All in all it was a great day (& btw, you really need a season pass to see & experience everything) the exhibition is amazing & a real coup for Brisbane. Go GoMA! Obviously I wasn't permitted to take photos inside the exhibition so I took this shot of the GoMA exterior. Super quickly taken during a very brief rain-free period. I got lucky. Or maybe the pretty pink pop gods were smiling down at me from above the miserable grey clouds. If in fact pretty pink pop gods exist. If so, I'm wondering why that rain-free period didn't continue as we made our way back to the bus stop. Grrr. Perhaps they don't exist.

Andy Warhol 8 Dec 2007 - 30 Mar 2008 - GoMA, Brisbane.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Looking for Harriet

Well here I am typing my first entry to post into the blogosphere. This is intended to be an art themed blog. I plan to cover art that I like, the creators of the art that I like and any other art related stuff that takes my fancy. I'll also likely be including some of my own art from time to time. I hope to be selling reproduction prints of my original paintings in my ETSY store soon. I'm aiming for February/March. I'm just wondering who's going to be reading this blog anyway? Anyone? Anyone apart from the friends I've emailed links to? I've just had this funny thought. A possible scenario about a computer savvy and sweet granny who's trying to contact old friends from the CWA (Country Women's Association) that have moved on. Her name is Ethyl and she is looking for her old pal Harriet who relocated many years ago. Ethyl and Harriet were best buddies at the CWA. They were keen crocheters, they baked the most awesome apple tea cakes and the walls of their homes were adorned with kitsch Beswick flying ducks. Ethyl's google search has brought her here. Unfortunately I'm not the Harriet you're searching for Ethyl. I can't crochet to save my life and Nigella Lawson would likely scoff at my attempts at baking. BUT...I do share your love of kitsch flying wall ducks. So Ethyl, therein lies the connection. A connection. It may be small but it's a connection nonetheless. You now Ethyl have the option of ending the connection or continuing with it. Nurturing it. Spreading the word and introducing me to your friends. Your family. Your neighbours. Bookmark me and check in on me regularly. Because Ethyl, I'll be here for you. I'll continue posting. For YOU Ethyl and for anyone else who's interested. In the meantime I'll try perfecting that apple tea cake in anticipation of your next visit. Served to you on my very best china of course.

Stay tuned for a POP post tomorrow. Or possibly the day after...

I'll now leave you with a quote from Mr Pop himself.

"Art is what you can get away with" - Andy Warhol