Mostly I come back to tell you that I’ve been gone

My dears.  What Mountain Goats nonsense that is.

Hi.  I’ve been away.  Out of my tiny mind with stress and worry.  And nobody died (which was likely for a bit there) and now I’m back to masquerade as an actual artist that tries not to be an insult to anyone who actually does art properly in a fashion that doesn’t involve a lot of flailing around.  For Reasons.  Ahem.

What to say… I did end up finishing the Rothko rip off bs down below.  It looks like this:

this thing

Which I did in three days between seeing my clients in the clinic and now I can’t look at it without being stressed.  Spent the second half of last year wondering what on earth I was going to do with the damn thing only to find that my family had been fighting over who gets it.  For now it’s at my grandmother’s and is officially owned by my parents because I don’t go over often enough to have to look at it all the time.

What else…

I went and looked at a hell of a lot of art.  I read a hell of a lot about art

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Which kind of furthered my idea that a lot of straight white male artists that we’re taught to revere could really have done with a damn good kick in the pants.  I read a lot of other drier, factual, technical things too, I promise.

I made my sister and future brother-in-law a blob for Christmas

blobby

They were understandably thrilled.

I decided to snap myself out of my artless, heartless funk by signing myself up to do exhibitions again.

So I’m participating in Arttime Ipswich’s Purple Exhibition, coming up next month.  Kate gives you a canvas and a tube of purple paint and away you go.  Pretty rad.  I thought I’d have a go at Titian, even to go so far as to make my own paint.  Because just painting when you don’t paint isn’t hard enough or something.  So I made tempera out of egg yolk and used soft pastels as my pigment.  Then I found out that I learnt several filthy habits as a soft pastel artist, the main one being that I mix my colours on the canvas while my palette sits pristine next to me.

not titian at all

She’s alright, for turning out ridiculously modernist.  But hey, they had years to work on these things and I had weeks.  Whatever.

I signed myself up to do the Ipswich Art Awards again too, also due within the same time frame.  Mostly I’m still faffing around again.  I have my ideas and my concept pieces are quite highly evolved this time.  I am not feeling it today so I’ve occupied myself with busywork in the background, sloshing around liquid latex again and printing reference material.  Oh, and writing here.  This is totally a valuable use of my time, right?

My problem with one of them is that I thought I’d just get the sky done and then something amazing fell out and now the rest of my plans have to do a significant amount of evolving in order to keep up.

blink

I mean.

Who does that to themselves.  Anything after that is going to be a bit of a come down, isn’t it.  Am working on the other thing until I get over giving myself the willies.

I’ve also signed myself up to do the Celebration of the Female Form exhibition, which is in November this year.  An exhibition I adore.  The reason why I’m writing this now.  “Have you got a website or link?” she asked.  Good gravy.  Well.  There’s this thing.  Good luck.

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Flying

So I finished him.  Nine goes I had at his face.  NINE.  We’ll talk about that another day when it’s a bit further away.

He’s fine.  I’d probably keep doing his face over and over until I got to this fictitious point where it is perfect.  It won’t ever be perfect and I’ve got other shit I need to do.

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“The Boxer, 1953” by Rachel Brennan, done as a collage in ballpoint pen, ink wash and soft pastels.  Which is not even close to what its going to say on its didactic.  Whoops.

As I said, he still doesn’t look right to me.  A bit part of my problem is that he doesn’t look like Clive Owen, which is what my heart and imagination want.  But that’s a problem that he has in common with just about every other man on the planet so if I’ve gotten used to the rest I can get used to this one.
I’ve gotten started on my next thing.  Because I have five days until I have to hand these suckers over and I work full time at my own small business and I apparently don’t like sleeping and I’ve got my eye on that Hannibal auction that’s going on.  (The hats!  And a murderplaid is out of my budget but you know one of those white business shirts of Hannibal’s would be beautiful quality.  Anyway.)

I’m going to be turning this

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into a landscape that looks realistic.  I can’t find the original photo right now, but that’s fine.  I have the printed copy.  You lot can wait.

Seeing I don’t have much time and I’ve stupidly called the thing Grace I’ve been meditating on a piece of music that I’ll have hopefully guiding my hands while making that Rothko knock off bullshit above realistically  look like the Australian bush.  I haven’t done a landscape in ages.  All of my pieces have had people looking directly out at you, and it’s a bit of a mental gear shift that I’m hoping music will help me through.

Fly, by Einaudi, who always soothes the raging beast

 

Hopefully I’ll be able to encapsulate what I love about art, which is small representation of what I love about being a human being at the end of a very long line of other human beings who have sung and danced and belched and farted and created and fought and overcome and innovated all throughout the past eighty thousand years on this tiny, unlikely blue marble hurtling through space.

It’s a lot to say on an A1 piece of Mi Tients paper, but I’ll have a crack.

SCREAM

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IT WORKED

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH

JUST LOOK AT THAT BOOTYLICIOUS SONNOVA B

 

(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?

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Guess what I did.

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Nooooooooooooooooooooooo.

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.

Hm.

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So you turn him into a sewing pattern

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

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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.

Insert Optimism Here

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

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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.

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Prep Work

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

Basically, this:

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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

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Yum.

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.

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

Removes the dust sheets, evicts the possum from the chimney

Hello!

It has been a while, hasn’t it.  (I say that a fair bit, don’t I.)  I tend not to think of self-promotion for my art until I’m grabbed by the back of the head and thrust into it nose-first.  Then I have to sit over there and think about what I’ve done.  (Which is, usually, flap around about deadlines and producing good work and then forget about the rest of it.)

Well.  What I have done, when not being consumed by the rest of my muggle life in the past year is:

Receive second place in the drawing category for the Ipswich Art Awards for my piece “Sunken Forest, Arnhem Land” as judged by Ben Quilty (!!!!)

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I was honoured to be selected by the Ipswich Art Gallery to display my work in their People, Place exhibition back in January.  In that I covered ground that I have before, in drawing burlesque girls, an idea that I thought I was done with, but you do what you’ve got to do when you’ve got a short deadline.  It was still rewarding, in that I produced one of my favourite pieces (more about her another day).  I also discovered that I have progressed enough that I can bring things to life one early Sunday morning when the piece I was working on started looking back at me

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She gave me such a fright I had to take myself out for breakfast.  Far too much Dorian Grey for so early in the day.

This has since opened up a whole new train of thought for my next solo, which so far involves a lot of research into Renaissance art and will hopefully develop into my being able to portray coherent ideas about how women have been erased from history, art history in particular.  We’ll see how that one goes.  So far it has just meant that my trip to the Lifeline Bookfair was very heavy and full of incident and I’m reading a few pages of Vasari before sleeping.

Anyway, next we get to the good bit, the reason why I presume you have found me.  In February, Glen Smith, our local tireless, passionate arts advocate finally (after probably a year of trying on his part) got word that he can bring a group of artists from Ipswich to display their work at the Regional Arts House in Teneriffe, Brisbane.  Here are the details if you’re curious – https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/a-handful-of-ipswich-artists-tickets-21647223428

I was fortunate enough to be one of those invited.  I’ve created two new pieces specifically for this show, and experimented with entirely different (to me) techniques and mediums, which I’ll be posting about shortly.  A Handfull of Artists From Ipswich runs until the 23rd of April and if you are around I do suggest having a look.  There are a lot of talented people taking part and I’m sure you’ll find it worth your while.

In honour of this exhibition, I’ll be posting here daily while it runs.  You lucky ducks.

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