Thursday, 22 January 2015

New work/ around the place this week

SO pleased to be able to show you this little portrait, above, which was commissioned by a wonderful husband to his darling lady on the occasion of her 40th birthday.  They recently bought a house in Footscray, and are very happy there, despite kind of living on a flight path.  Have a look here for last year's birthday present commission, which I was also very privileged to be involved with.

I have a longstanding fear of canvas (I paint on wood normally, using acrylic) so I decided to buy one and paint on it largely to try and get over that fear.  Here he is above -- pretty boy -- a gift for a friend.  He is actually feeling quite relaxed about being on canvas, after all.  It seems to require more paint but overall it doesn't feel that different.  Maybe if I had made a dreadful mistake it would have been a problem: the sanding back option that one has with wood is one that I really like.

Above: Mouse looking particularly evil the other morning.....

Above: last Sunday I tackled a mending job that I had been avoiding for about a year.  My trusty patchwork quilt has holes no more.  (And can someone please tell me why it was largely the RED fabrics that had not just faded beyond recognition but looked like they had been chomped on?  Are there special moths that like to chew red dye??  I may never know the answer to this question....)

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Two commissioned portraits

I'm so pleased to be able to show you these portraits, which were commissioned by a young lady in Sydney called Amber.  The subjects are her grandmothers Audrey and Valerie, who are both still alive in their  90s.  Blessed with a fantastic eye for colour and detail, Amber played a big part in making these paintings as lovely as they are.  Her grandmothers are very lucky.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Around the place, this year so far

My sketch for Kitty (2013) and a print out of Sylvia Sleigh's Annunciation: Paul Rosario (1975) bid you hello, above.  Moving just a few years later, below, my brother Nick and I say hello to you from a framed Polaroid.  Nick is wearing a purchased shirt, while I am dressed entirely by our mother, including the knitted belt.  I still enjoy a bit of double denim, or denim combined with red, white and blue.

Above: this dear koala has moved to a new home in New Zealand!  I know that he will be very happy there.

 Above: don't store your cotton reels in a shoe box.

 Above: this month's illustration for Gardening Australia magazine.  
 Above: a beautiful gift from my beautiful friend Anna.  WAAAAHHHH!!!!  I miss your presents, I mean, um, presence....!!
Above: DRUMROLL, PLEASE!  I am going to be teaching a knitting class at the Melbourne CAE this March. It will be an all day class for people with basic knitting skills who are ready to go further and try a bit of experimentation with colour and words.  It's going to be fun!!!  More details here.
Above: there's a new volcano cushion in the shop.  US customers please note: due to the fluctuating fortunes of the Australian dollar, items from Australian Etsy shops (like mine!) are cheaper now than they have been for a long time....

Monday, 5 January 2015

My studio in Beci Orpin's new book

Happy New Year!
It was a lovely (and slightly surreal) experience to have Mrs Beci Orpin visit my studio last year and take some snaps for her latest book, which features ten creative studios in Melbourne alongside Beci's craft projects.  I have been a fan of Beci Orpin's work FOREVER.  Yes, FOREVER.  I am happy to gloat that I spotted her work in her RMIT Textile Design graduate show sometime in the mid to late 90s, and wanted to buy some of her printed silk fabric but was too poor -- or too shy -- to go through with it.  Since then I have admired from afar the various guises of her happy, clever and beautiful work, from the Princess Tina fashion label to graphics for Beatbox Kitchen.  Photos of my studio above by Beci Orpin, taken mid 2014.  Below: signature Beci Orpin goodness: just some of the beautiful craft projects in the book.  (I really want to find the time to make a mask or three!!!)

Make and Do by Beci Orpin, published by Hardie Grant, Melbourne, 2014.