Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sally in Cinemascope

My submission for the Illustration Friday theme of this week: Homage

Sally in Cinemascope (acrylic on an 8 x 8 inch stretched canvas)

Sally pays homage to film by devoting all of her home movie viewing to the Super 8 film format using her old clunky & noisy projector. Sally's favourite films are Hammer Horrors. Sally lives with nine cats. They are called: The Cat of the Opera, The Curse of the Cat, The Revenge of the Cat, The Invisible Cat, The Mummy Cat, The Cat of the Baskervilles, Cat AD 1972, Cat: Prince of Darkness, and The Two Faces of Dr. Cat. Sally usually refers to each of them simply as, Bob. Sally's lifelong dream has been to feature on a Fantale wrapper. The closest Sally has come to this was in having her name featured on a tree in grade six. The feature was in the form of a declaration of love scratched into the tree trunk by a boy called Sam. "Sam ♥ Sally" it announced. Sally later discovered that Sam was in fact publicising his love for her best friend. Also called Sally. Best friend Sally is now a critically acclaimed actress. Best friend Sally & Sam's growing love for each other eventually lead to marriage. Sally was Sally's bridesmaid. Sally reads Sylvia Plath. Sally rarely smiles. What's to fuckin' smile about when your biggest claim to fame was a misinterpreted childhood crush scrawled into an old tree that was long ago removed to make way for the construction of a multiplex cinema that screens schmaltzy happy-ever-after romance ad nauseam.

Intermission over, now back to the movie...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cookin' up Colours

On a recent visit to the dentist I sat nervously in the waiting room flicking through their magazines. As one does. In one of the magazines I discovered some interesting recipes using things from your fridge, kitchen pantry & garden to make your own paints. Well, not paints exactly, but colourful concoctions that you could paint with. So I subtly and oh-so-quietly tore the page out of the magazine. As one does. Oh c'mon! You've never done this? Seriously? Ok, for those who haven't & think it is wrong, I apologise for my behaviour. I'm despicable. If it's any consolation to you, what I had to endure in the dentist chair immediately following my criminal actions should be punishment enough for my petty page theft. I'd like to share the recipes in case anyone is interested in trying them out. So toss out your acrylics & oils & get cooking!

Maybe don't throw away your paints. I can't actually vouch for these recipes because I've not yet tried them myself. I don't recall the name of the magazine where these recipes were printed, but the name of the person who contributed them is Andy MacGregor. Onya Andy.

To make Red: Roughly chop 2 beetroot removing the tap root & stalk. Simmer in a small pan with 1-2 cups of water for around 10 minutes & allow to cool, then remove the solid material. Beetroot yields a strong colour so there's no need to thicken. To make pink just add a few teaspoons of flour.

To make Orange: Remove the dry outer skin of several onions & break them up into a pan with about 1-3 cups of water. Simmer the onion skins for around 10 minutes. Strain the solution into a bowl & allow to cool. The colour on paper will be very strong so only add half a teaspoon of flour & an egg yolk to thicken. Follow the same process to make brown but use red onion instead.

To Make Yellow: Simmer a large handful of willow leaves in 1-3 cups of water for about 15 minutes. Once strained & cooled add half an egg yolk (approximately).

To make Green: Collect 2-3 nettle plants & remove any soil from the roots. Cut the root, stem & leaves into pieces using scissors & gloves. Simmer the nettle in 2-3 cups of water for around 30 minutes. Once cool add half an egg yolk & a few drops of vinegar to fix. On paper your solution will initially look brown but will slowly turn green.

To make Blue: Chop half a red cabbage into small pieces & simmer in 1-2 cups of water for no more than 5 minutes. Heating for longer than 5 minutes will produce purple. Allow to cool & add a few drops of vinegar to fix. Blueberries yield a wonderful violet blue. Simmer a handful of berries in 1 cup of water, strain, allow to cool & add a teaspoon of egg yolk to thicken

To make Purple: Simmer a handful of blackberries down for about 4 minutes. Squash the solid contents in the pan & once cooled, using your sieve, strain it into a bowl with a teaspoon of flour & egg yolk. Remember, the more flour the paler the colour.

To make White: Mix a tablespoon of plain flour with an egg white to your desired consistency.

To make Black: All you need to do is find some charcoal. You can make this yourself of course, but you can get willow charcoal from any good art store. Alternatively if you have a working fireplace you can use soot. Grind the charcoal to a fine powder with a pestle & mortar, then add egg yolk to the desired consistency.

Hope this is useful or at least of interest to someone. If so, happy experimenting!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dem Wascally Wabbits

I think I have a fairly good grasp of the meaning of Easter. I believe I also have a good understanding of it being a very important, if not the most important of all religious observances for Christians. Even many people of no, or only nominal faith celebrate Easter on some level, sometimes it being a predominately commercial one. However, I must confess my ignorance pertaining to the many finer details associated with this religious occasion. I've never really understood how bunnies fit into the whole Easter festivities.

Oh, I see. That's where Easter eggs come from.

Thankfully the busy bunny above found some time in his frenzied schedule to deliver a load of chocolate my way.

Have a great day y'all, whatever your faith may or may not be.

PS: For anyone who may have concerns for the chicken in the photo, I have it on good authority that the activities taking place in the above image were mutually agreeable between the two participants. My highly respected, all-knowing & super secret sources also revealed to me that the chicken recently gave birth to a cute & bouncy 3 pound baby chickabbit. The proud parents named him Harold. It's possible there'll be an abundance of pretty foil covered elaborately packaged chocolate Harold clones on all supermarket shelves next Easter. Fine. Don't believe me. O ye, of little faith.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shag's Coming to Town!

Hooray! Shag is coming to town! Unfortunately not my town though. Sigh. Josh "Shag" Agle is very soon returning to Australia for his sixth visit & with his sixth collection of paintings & prints especially created for Outre Gallery & Australian fans. Shag's exhibition is called The Birds and the Beasts & will be touring Outre Galleries in both Melbourne & Sydney. Outre will also be presenting the exhibition in Perth at the Breadbox Gallery.

Above, Glorious Lifestyle, is just one of the many brand spankin' new prints for the upcoming Shag Aussie exhibition. For all the tour dates, launch/gala openings & book signings check out Outre for details & for the complete lowdown on all things lowbrow. Yay Outre! Another very fab artist from Outre is one of their very own staff members, curator Gemma Jones. Gemma is a well established Aussie artist having had many successful exhibitions with her sweet sixties inspired mod girl paintings. Have a look at Gemma's website for samples of her enchanting art. I particularly love the Girls Dresses & Dreams series. Oh-so-adorable.

The above image is titled Delia Daydreamer, a signed & numbered limited edition giclee print available in Gemma's Etsy store, Paintergirl. Besides curating amazing shows at Outre & creating her own wonderful art, Gemma also runs the Kaotic Kraft Kuties collective in Melbourne. If you'd like to know more about the crafty collective maybe shoot Gemma an email via her website for more info & details about upcoming events.

As much as I love Brisbane, it seems my ever expanding list of reasons why relocating to Melbourne would be more fun is growing at a phenomenal rate...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ladies of Obscura

Two things I love are art and coffee. Sometimes these two things combine forces to create a most compatible and perfect union, and when a relationship like that develops it is truly a beautiful thing. This is very much the case regarding the collaboration between Obscura coffee and Melbourne artist Eveline Tarunadjaja. Obscura are Melbourne based distributors of organically grown Fair Trade sourced coffee, offering a range of different specialty blends, each with unique & elegant illustrations as part of their packaging. The Ladies of Obscura designs were commissioned especially for Obscura by artist Eveline Tarunadjaja and the prints are all screen printed by hand on each coffee bag. Not having tasted Obscura coffee before ordering, I purchased three bags online purely because I loved the look of the stylish packaging. I was hooked on the darling designs. My coffee arrived a couple of days ago, & so I've now had the opportunity to taste the blends I can very happily report that I'm also hooked on the coffee. Yum!

To view more of Eveline's artwork visit her website lovexevol

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

For the Love of Lego

Daniel Brown is a Lego enthusiast, TV Blogger and a huge fan of the film, Brokeback Mountain. Daniel paid tribute to his favourite film by cleverly recreating scenes from the movie using Lego bricks. He called the collection Brokebrick Mountain and they are very funny, especially with the inclusion of Daniel's humorous little captions for each scene. I believe they were created a couple of years ago but I only recently stumbled upon them, so thought I'd share them with anyone else who may not have seen them & who may be interested. I loved them! I chuckled! Yay Daniel!

To view the rest of Daniel Brown's cute and cheeky Brokebrick Mountain collection, click here. Yee-ha! Lego celebrated its 50th anniversary on January 28th of this year. Gosh. Happy belated birthday Lego!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Pulp Sushi Rocks!

While catching up on some favourite blogs this morning I was so excited to discover that Pulp Sushi's FEF (Friday Etsy Finds) theme for this month is all things LOWBROW! I adore lowbrow, it's one of my all-time fave styles of art & I'm so pleased Pulp Sushi will be featuring lowbrow goodness each Friday throughout March. Woohoo! If you've not yet checked out Pulp Sushi's first FEF, go do so now. Super adorable! As if anyone needs an excuse to visit the popular & well loved Pulp Sushi anyways. It's one of the finest & fun-filled destinations in blog town!

Another fine thing to get excited about in March is International Women's Day. IT'S TODAY! So a great big happy women's day to everybody! The IWD's global theme for 2008 is 'shaping progress' & if you're not too familiar with what IWD is all about & would like to know more, then click here for the history & further information.

What!?! No No No! It's so not a day to be doing ironing ladies! Or any housework in fact! Nope, it's a day to be celebrating & indulging in joyful things. Be sure to do something nice just for you today. Treat yourself. YOU deserve it! YOU truly do! Harriet wouldn't fib about such important matters.

The above photograph © copyright Getty Images

Thursday, March 6, 2008


We are fresh into the first week of Autumn here in sunny Brisvegas, but if you're a local you still have a couple of weeks to catch the SLQ's feature Summer exhibition called Paradise.

The exhibition explores the many notions of paradise through art, historical objects, kitsch and memorabilia and particularly how paradise has been represented in the history of Queensland - State Library of Qld

My favourite piece from the exhibit is titled "Hawaiian Sausages" by artist Colin Suggett. It's a cute & cheesy playful sensor-triggered installation, so upon approaching the artwork, the hotplate lights up & the sausages start dancing to the sounds of Hawaiian music. A Polynesian Pop party in a pan!

Mmmm...can't you just smell the silicone gravy? Kitsch-o-rama! I couldn't stop myself from continually triggering that sensor device either. I'm far too easily amused me thinks...

Paradise exhibition at the SLQ Gallery until 24 March 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Under a Mushroom

I've been pondering the relationship between art & everyday household objects. Those cherished possessions, or even less treasured items we have scattered around our homes. Things we sometimes take for granted because of their familiarity, and therefore not always seeing the beauty in what's right in front of our faces on a daily basis. So what the heck is art anyway? Any definition given to what constitutes "art" can never be conclusive & will remain to be debatable due to art being so subjective. If we believe aesthetics to be the dominant branch of philosophy with regards to art, then art can be perceived in any old thing that takes our fancy. Yes, I truly believe art can be found in anything. And everything. I've found it in my beloved Atomic stove-top coffee machine. It's an old, yet still very functional kitchen appliance that I've had for years, but it also transcends beyond the seemingly ordinary role for which it was designed, into a beautiful object of art. I'm now beginning to think that all of this waffling is an attempt of sorts to rationalise why I've chosen to post a photo of my coffee maker on what I claim to be an art themed blog...

...and attempting to further validate the relevance of the photo...

The Atomic coffee maker has an important place in the history of art and design. It made a bold statement that resonates with us today. If you think about it for a moment, you will agree: the Atomic represents the past, present and future of four generations of coffee enthusiasts. Their hopes and dreams cast in bolts of aluminium and bakelite...under the cloud of the mushroom. ~ Excerpt from the CoffeeCrew site (Yay!)

Oh & if you're really passionate about coffee I highly recommend checking out the uber cool CoffeeSnobs site. An extremely informative site dedicated to coffee lovers everywhere. Be sure to visit their Coffee Art Gallery for amazing photos of Latte Art, along with some great tips & tricks on how to pour your own. And by the way, next time you're at a cafe & your coffee arrives with a decorative double rosetta or other pretty pattern floating on top, don't be shy about letting the barista know how much you appreciate their creative talents. The compliment could possibly make his or her day!

With the idea in mind about household appliances being considered great works of art, this suddenly opens up an exciting range of new possibilities. I'm now off to photograph my refrigerator!

Way too much coffee. But if it weren't for the coffee, I'd have no identifiable personality whatsoever. ~ David Letterman