(In seriousness – Will add more details, draw his face and add some texture to the background.  There were pipes and taps behind him but I dunno…  I think it might over-complicate things.  Sometimes the purity of a naked dude is enough.)

Oh, he’s drawn in ballpoint pen.


Leaning in to your mistakes

Remember this beautiful thing?


Guess what I did.



But.  I still love the background.  That thing is beautiful and I haven’t finished with it yet.

So.  What to do?  Collage?

Could work.

Not one bit of paper I own is big enough to fit all of him on at once.

The shops are shut because it’s Easter Monday.

I do not want to get through today without measurable progress.



So you turn him into a sewing pattern


Get a paper-obsessed friend to help.  (You don’t actually have an option on this one.  Just go with it.)


Make rude feminist cracks to yourself, muse upon this being the lesson you learn when you think something is going to be boring, put a new cartridge into your grandfather’s pen and hope for the frigging best.

Here goes.

Valiant attempts and stalwart companions



I’m enjoying how much depth I can get by layering translucent washes of ink.


Second layer


Third layer


Fifth layer

I’ll probably do one more and then get started on adding texture with soft pastel or charcoal – maybe taking it out onto some concrete and doing some rubbing, I dunno.  Then I need to tear off that artist’s safe sex condom that successfully stopped fluids from getting where I don’t want them to go.  (The latex masking fluid.  Don’t panic.  I like art a lot, but I can control myself.)   By tomorrow afternoon I should have this bad boy back on the easel where I can get on with the actual drawing part of this Drawing entry.

And once again, my stalwart fluffy companion hung out with me until I finished at 1am, being a very damn good little art cat


Hey, Andy Warhol and Ah Wei Wei totally dig art cats.

She would really appreciate it if I went to bed now, please.

Insert Optimism Here

Well, I’ve gotten started on the next thing.


As a thing in itself, I love how quickly the lines came together and how they flowed.  It’s supposed to go in the Best Drawing category though, and I think it’s going to be a bit boring for that.  I want to slosh ink around and have him scratched out of white lines emerging from darkness.  I don’t know how anally retentive they are about the purity of mediums.  I’ve been refused entry in this competition before because someone put up the wrong drop-off time on facebook and I and three other people missed out by twenty minutes.  What are they going to do about a drawing with ink painted on it?  Stick it out the back near the bathrooms?  Refuse entry again?  Usually there’s a mixed media category, but not this time.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away from it for a bit and come back to it later.  Quite good at cat pats though.  So there’s that.


Prep Work

Tonight’s been the night of busy work before I get cracking tomorrow.

Basically, this:


My beautiful Art Spectrum soft pastel box, the source of most of my art and a significant amount of my joy.  All effed up.

I’m clearly not one of those artists who has everything just so.  I have my selection of colours in a corner of the box and heaven help anyone who is walking past should I lose track of them.  I don’t see the point in getting one colour from one tray and then putting it back, and then getting another from another tray and then putting that back too.  I change between them too fast for that.

Plus, I just like a bit of chaos



Don’t worry.  They’re fine now.  I lost the brochure that tells you what everything is in what order.  Basically, keep the colour families together, it will be fine.


Yes, it looks nice in a hipster’s bookcase kind of way, but it’s just not the same somehow.

Down time

It’s officially Slug Day over here at Bluenette Brennan HQ.  I think this might be the first time I’ve sat still this year.  My house is a tip, my fish are green, my Ipswich Art Awards entries aren’t even started yet and I need to hand them over in less than three weeks (the framing is started though – I can muck around as much as I want, that is quite okay, but I am not going to muck around my framer.  Once I know what I’m doing and the size and colour scheme I get up there and get it started.  Be respectful of others even if your creative modus operandi is to flap around until the last moment, kids.  They’re not sitting around on their arses just waiting for you to turn up.)

But even though I can’t settle on what I want to watch, even though there’s a movie on but the movie theatre is all the way over there, even though I’m looking at everything I own and thinking maybe I should throw it all out and that will solve my problems, my brain is still ticking over what I’d like to create.

My next couple of things, the Art Awards entries, are not going to be that clever.  I don’t have time.  Three weeks, like I said.  They’re going to be pretty much from a photo (suitably altered, obviously).  My brain is playing around now with the composition of the pair of them – how do I get this landscape to more completely encapsulate the notion of Grace, which is what I’ve called it (Naming a thing that doesn’t even exist yet.  I set myself up.)  How do I get that man to look alive while still a mess off crosshatching lines, of light coming out of darkness?

My next couple of things aren’t going to be that clever.  I’ll have to wear a smile when other people see them but I’m really excited about what is going to come next.  My garden landscapes made out of unlikely plastics lit by the afternoon sun popped back into my head yesterday.  I’d forgotten about that one.  It’ll be a show-stopper if I can pull it off.  My renaissance art series is ticking away, one of them that I’ve been musing on lately will be a combination of at least three different photos that have been taken of me, something I’ve never tried before.  How tightly era-specific am I going to keep it?  How far up am I going to punch the next time I get a body of work together?

I might repair that seam on that towel while I think some more.

Day 2 and I’m already phoning it in.

The opening was last night.  It was grand.  Proper words will be written when I am more together.  Insomnia kicked my butt and I ended up doing seven hours of manual labour on four hours sleep.

My girls were in an excellent possie.  My mum and my sister were a bit disappointed that they were over the food table, making it very hard to lurk and eavesdrop and spring out at people to talk me up (which is what my mother did last time.  It is hilarious and mortifying all at once.  Thanks, Mum.)  This time she’s even got my business cards.  Look out, world.


Photo by fellow artist Kylie Stephens