Tuesday, 31 May 2011

New mirrors

New mirrors in the shop, ready to go. I have been neglecting my etsy shop in favour of local shops and galleries and I am very much looking forward to rectifying the situation!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

A second Chanel man.

The first Chanel man sold, and I was asked whether I would consider making another one. Unlike the mirrors, clocks or even some wooden figures (e.g. Gustav) that I make, it didn't seem right to make a double. I decided instead to go back to what I wanted to say with the piece, and wondered whether I could say it in a slightly different way.
The Chanel man is actually based on an old man I once saw emerging from the commission buildings on the corner of Gertrude and Brunswick Streets in Fitzroy, one of Melbourne's oldest and most colourful suburbs. He looked simultaneously scary and sad, and was certainly the last person you might expect to be dressed in 'Chanel'. (The inverted commas are there because the t-shirt was very likely a fake.) The image of him has stayed with me ever since, and even though I don't remember his face clearly, there a feeling that I remember and want to evoke.
I do remember that he had a cigarette hanging from his mouth -- I have left it out in both versions because I don't think that either need it.
I wonder what the old man in Fitzroy thought of the t-shirt he was wearing that day, and indeed whether it meant anything to him at all, other than that it covered him.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Krokodil: Soviet Treasure

Krokodil was a Soviet satirical magazine which commenced publication in 1922. I found an enormous compendium of 1976 issues at the bookshop in Cook's Hill, Newcastle about six or seven years ago. That particular afternoon the shop was laden with old illustration and art books: I felt in luck but imagined that an old illustrator had died and that I had swooped upon his collection. Whatever the story was, the 5cm thick book was bursting at the seams and came with a carefully written explanation of what it was all about, in a previous generation's careful handwriting, above. And because I don't read cyrillic text either, any help that my slavic background could otherwise give me is useless. So if anyone out there is able and willing to translate some the captions for these, I'd appreciate it! (Mum?)

Saturday, 21 May 2011


Here I am, working very hard, trying to answer all the questions that the lovely Kim asked me for Craft Victoria's blog! Wonders may never cease.
Photo by Kim Brockett.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Proudly part of this Story

I am really proud to have my work included in the beautiful Story, an online shop based in NSW and run by the talented Monique Germon.

As you can see, I am in rather illustrious company!!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

I made a jacket.

I made a jacket on the weekend as a sister to the tartan APC one that I wear constantly. It's been years since I made anything this complicated, and I half can't believe that I managed it. The pattern was adapted from a Built by Wendy style, and the fabric (drab from afar, flecks of primary colours up close) was from Job Warehouse. Buttons from Buttonmania in The Nicholas Building. (I enjoyed that little excursion yesterday, what a jewel that building is!)
However after wearing it just once I have realised that the fabric is not very good quality and it will probably resemble a sack before the end of winter. Maybe then I'll make one out of something better for next year....

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Illustration for article about loss

Final art and sketch for an article about the concept of loss, published in Melbourne's Child (and Sydney's Child, etc.) this month. I used some good quality watercolour paper for this one (thanks to dear B). The difference that it made to my style was surprising: because I found that the texture of the paper itself gave a pleasing impression of detail, it ended up simpler than usual.
You learn something new every day.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Kim Brockett's photos of my studio

The lovely Kim from Craft Victoria came to my studio last Thursday afternoon to take photos. She did an incredible job: my studio looks twice as nice as it actually is, especially as it was already getting inconveniently dark outside!

There are many more to see here. Thank you so much Kim, I love them!

Monday, 9 May 2011

"The famous Emanuel Hercik"

These illustrations by "the famous Emanuel Hercik" are from Old Timers' Club's shop on etsy.
I have never actually heard of Hercik, but after a quick Google, I also found this wonderful set on flickr!!!

Friday, 6 May 2011

He didn't make the grade.

This is the last piece that I made for the enCOUNTER show, but he's still living in my kitchen. I feel slightly brave posting this picture, because I am not fond of this work. Even worse, I am not sure why. Is it because it's too literal? Would it have been better if the plant was more like a nineteenth century botanical drawing, and the man based on a vintage male doll, rather than a photograph? Sometimes I try a style that is less cute but often it doesn't work. I'll bet that if I hide this one away then look at it in six months' time I will instantly see exactly what's wrong. Making art is funny like that. (And maybe it's the case for many things in life?)
By the way, I have changed him since I took this photo last week. He now has closed eyes and the bottom half of his face is covered by a bud. Didn't help: he just looks weird, like he is stifling a sneeze.

Monday, 2 May 2011

My enCOUNTER window is up!

I am very excited to announce that my enCOUNTER window is up at Craft Victoria! It will be there for all to see, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until June 4. I am so grateful to Milly Flemming for her HUGE support, as well as her window arranging expertise. A very talented and hard working woman. Thank you also to Eric.

I must admit that I had been getting so sick of staring at all of my work all day every day for the last few months. It is amazing to see afresh in this very special space, looking its bright shiny best. Milly even got the clothes hangers to behave themselves!

Everything you can see is available to buy through Craft Victoria.

Tuesday addition: Hut 13 was SO beautifully photographed for The Design Files' feature this morning. Two great Lucy-ladies! Thanks dear Esme for alerting me bright and early.