Saturday, 28 December 2013

Another Christmas present: from a dad to a mum

This portrait was the last job I had to complete before my self imposed Christmas break.  Commissioned by a friend-of-a-friend as a thoughtful (and brave) gift to his wife, originally the task was to paint a portrait of the family's beloved deceased chicken.  The idea became more ambitious, and lots of emails containing photos went back and forth between me, my client and our dear go-between friend. There were plenty of moments of panic at my end, and I am grateful to both client and friend for being so calming and kind.  For better or worse, this is the result.  I don't know the subjects in the portrait very well, but know that they're charming and was enthused about trying to capture their personalities.  I hope that the recipient likes it enough to want to live with it every day.  Either way, it will become an interesting record for the family as the children grow older.
 I so rarely paint pictures with backgrounds that I found this the trickiest part.  (Don't tell anyone.)  I hope to allow myself more opportunities to practice next year....

Smiley Sunday holds the beloved chicken and wears a Bowie t-shirt.  I enjoyed painting 'mud' on Leo's dress, perhaps almost as much as she enjoys being muddy herself.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Bear-y Christmas!

Good Christmas Morning!  I made a teddy bear as a gift for young Noodle.  When my brother and I were small, an old friend of our Adelaide aunt's kindly made us a pair of large woven-wool teddies.  They wore matching coordinating vests, bottom hugging shorts and red bow ties.  We lovingly referred to them as Strop.  My homage to Strop above is a bit more modestly dressed, and looks more like he should be on the back of a truck with The Beverly Hillbillies than sparring with the young Paul Hogan.  I very much enjoyed making this bear, though my pants pattern drafting skills need some work.  (The shirt was quite easy, even though at first glance it appears the more complex garment.)  The bear was from a 1970s pattern which was the most similar I could find to the bears that we had.  He was easy and fun to make, especially at that relatively large size.

Strop -- click here
The Beverly Hillbillies -- click here

Merry Bear-y Christmas to everyone!!!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

A few things around the house

An inadvertently Christmas-y arrangement by the computer, above.  Below, my 1946 Italian Carta Gastronomica being fondled by my newest clock.

And above: the last portrait standing!  When I submitted my ten portraits to The Design Files Open House over a month ago, I wondered of course how many would get to go to good homes, and which.  For some reason I never considered that the lady above would be the  one left.  Acrylic on wood, just over 30 x 40 cm, beautifully framed.  $750.  If you like her, please contact me.  I am offering free shipping anywhere in Australia until December 31.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Relaxed cushions.

My cushions have been extremely fancy lately, spied relaxing in the window of Craft Victoria above and Modern Times below.  I have also made some new ones for my shop!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

New painted wooden things in my shop

Lots of new painted wooden things in my Etsy shop, including above: a Pink Autumnal Apple Man, a Blue Gustav, a brand new Tattoo Clock (the arm of a crew member of the Pequod, which hunted for Moby Dick), as well as a Sweater Clock in a new teal, inspired by The Design Files Open House 2013 palette.
AND, above: my small Flourishing Hipster painting (which was part of the Illustrators Australia 9 x 5 Exhibition 2013) is now in the shop too.  He is rather pretty, I think.

Now it's back to making cushions....

Saturday, 7 December 2013

New mirrors in my shop + Hut 13!

I have some new mirrors in my Etsy shop.  If you're in Melbourne, Lucy Mora also has a HUGE new selection of my mirrors at the beautiful new Hut 13 in Richmond (Swan St, right on the corner of Lennox).  A treasure trove of beautiful, colourful and cleverly designed things.  Richmond needs you, Lucy!!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

A big week, far and wide...

Many of the things that I have been working on will be making their public debut this week.  Above and below: two of my six cut-out acrylic on wood paintings which are very proud to be part of a group show at Boom Gallery in Newtown, Geelong which opens this Friday evening.

Above and below two of my five 'home' themed acrylic on wood works which will be part of my lovely friend Jo Grant's Home group exhibition at 1 Avery Street Port Fairy next weekend.  This promises to be very special, with artists such as Sandra Winkworth, Eleanor Voterakis, Catherine Bailey, Fiona Kurnadi, Phil Ward, Trevor Smith, Megan Nicholson, and of course Jo Grant herself.  If you happen to be in that beautiful part of Victoria next weekend, make sure you go and see it.

Then of course there's The Big Design Market in Melbourne this weekend, for which I have made a mountain of cushions and dolls, an assortment of embroidered linen scarves and a great deal of A4 and A3 prints, ALL of which will be part of Craft Victoria's stand.
And last but not least, The Design Files Open House in Surry Hills, Sydney, at which my dear lilac lady above and her four friends (see them all here) will be making their decorative debut.

I am very, very proud to be involved in all of these events.  Now it's time to work on retail orders and plump up the Etsy shop with some new things!  Phew...

Friday, 29 November 2013

The desk that saved my back!

I highly recommend a standing desk if your back is sore from too much sitting in front of the computer. Shelves which my father kindly made for my Finders Keepers debut now have a new dual role -- card stock storage + computer desk.  I love my laptop.  However, I cannot hunch over it for more than 15 minutes without severe back pain setting in.

I will forever remain a distant admirer of those who can do a day's work while sitting languidly in a cafe.  Oh well.

Friday, 22 November 2013


I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the response to the five portraits that I painted as part of The Design Files Open House in Melbourne.  Thank you so much to everyone who left lovely comments on Instagram, tagged, followed and even BOUGHT one!!!  Meanwhile, the five ladies above are destined for Open House in Sydney in two weeks' time.  (You can see each in more detail if you scroll down this blog or look here.) If you would like to put first dibs on one, I don't think that Lisa from The Design Files would mind.  These paintings are acrylic on wood, measure just over 30 x 40 cm not including the lovely blonde wood frame, vital statistics exactly as the Melbourne ladies in the previous post.

Thank you so much everyone!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Design Files Open House is OPEN!

I have stolen some of Brooke Holm's fantastic shots of The Design Files Open House party, as I was too excited to take my i-phone out to snap any myself.  Typical!  That's me on the left with the delightful Mrs Emily Green.  To my right is my portrait of my dear sister in law, who kept us company even though she is actually interstate and won't get to see the house.  :-(

The incredibly talented and hard working Lucy and her team have outdone themselves.  Sydney will be in for a treat in a couple of weeks too.  DO NOT MISS IT!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Instagram beginner.

Good morning!  I am now posting on Instagram, though I am yet to understand how hashtags work.  I must admit that I already have a love-hate relationship with this addictive social medium.  I love its spontaneity but hate the glamourous, sanitised culture it seems to encourage, reminding me of why I fled big brother Facebook.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

YEAH, it's my collaboration with mattt!

I am really happy to announce my collaboration with Matt Thomson of mattt fame.  A series of Matt's beautifully designed and hand made bags featuring a digital print of my Yeah No knit design is now available for a limited time from the mattt Etsy shop.  Thank you very much Matt for supporting my work and improving on my mediocre Photoshop skills......
Now I just have to decide which one I'll get for myself!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Yay, it's Esme!!!

My very sweet and brave sister in law agreed to sit for the final of my ten Open House portraits.  Yesterday my darling baby niece became the toast of the town (OK, lounge room) when she pointed to this portrait and said "MAMA!"  It's the greatest compliment I have ever received for my work.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Stitching class at Northcity4!

It's almost Hand Stitched Linen Scarf class at Northcity4 is in a couple of weeks!  Learn how to make your own variation on the above scarves, and use your new knowledge to knock over a few Christmas presents too.  Your friends and family will be impressed, and we won't tell them how easy they are to make.  Book here.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Two MORE lasses for The Design Files Open House

Good morning! Here are two more portraits for The Design Files Open House.  This one is my favourite.  I like the aqua vs. burgundy palette, and her hairstyle reminds me of my mother in the mid 1970's.  Meanwhile the budgie was inspired by all of the time I have been spending behind the counter at Cottage Industry lately.
 Above: helmet hair!  I enjoy painting hair as I can be sweepy and quick about it.
Above: the fat budgie came last.  I did not have a good reference and was actually tempted to run up the road from the studio to said Cottage Industry to grab a stuffed one to use as a model.  Instead, mine is a kind of giant obese version of a budgie, but the dear lass loves him just the same.
Above: another young lady, who was directly inspired by Lucy Feagins' lovely palette for Open House.  

Sunday, 3 November 2013

More ladies for Open House

A few more ladies for The Design Files Open House, Melbourne and Sydney.  Acrylic on wood.