Sunday, March 30, 2008

"L" is for lazing...

Drawing day seventy-five

I seem to have slipped into lazing mode now that I've hit the second week of term break. The list of things I meant to do (always too ambitious, but one needs a challenging goal!) is looking less and less likely, though I have done many things: drawing, painting, sewing, gardening (curtailed by the rainy weather), thinking. Planning.

Sleeping :)

K (ooh, Men in Black!)

Drawing day seventy-four

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rain, lovely rain

Drawing day seventy

There was a ripper of a thunderstorm on Monday night, and it's been raining since lunchtime today. Lovely, seriously lovely. It's been so long since we had regular, proper rain that it's a novelty. Though it has brought something of a chill to the air after the hot temperatures last week - the contrast is striking. On the weekend I was in shorts and a singlet, today it's back to long pants and long sleeves. And handknit socks :) My feet are very happy. And the cats are very friendly, looking for a convenient heat sink.

The garden will be grateful. Water restrictions mean that most of the plants are perpetually thirsty since all I can give them is excess household water from the shower (caught in buckets) or sinks (bowls). Yes, I could get up at 6am and water two days a week (one of which is Sunday) but given how much I lerve my bed and sleep, that has Buckley's chance of happening...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Drawing day sixty-nine

I was foiled in my baking impulse - I forgot I used the last egg on Sunday, so will have to make a supply run before attempting banana cake. Of course, I also cannot find the recipe of which I was thinking in any of my cookbooks or collection of cuttings, so I'm about to trawl Google for one.

Had another productive day: made three skirts to sell on Ebay, made my drawing-a-day, then worked on a set of drawings for school Drawing class. We had to do a series of six (at least) pieces using an object we chose. My object was text, specifically book pages (can we see a pattern here? I'm obsessed). I had completed the requisite number but wasn't happy with most so I'm adding more, to be winnowed on return to class. They're going in a better direction now that I've reverted to my Indian ink pens rather than the dip pens and bottled ink (too scratchy and imprecise, the wonky lines distress me), though I did like the way the ink looked when I used a brush (in broad areas rather than detail) so I may employ that technique in these extra drawings, too.

I also finished up the triptych of paintings, darkening the one I was dithering about. Now I'm wondering if it's not too dark, and needs a wash of white to knock it back a bit again (not as much as it was, but more than it is now). Just can't make up my mind over the damned things!
Too light, too dark, perhaps I should just get over it and let the poor things be.

I also put some more drawings and garments up on Etsy. Sometime over the next ten days I plan to go through the box of clothing that didn't sell on Ebay and put it up on Etsy, too. I have so many plans for this break, I need a list. A prioritised list. Yeah, that ain't gonna happen...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Baking? Hmmm....

Drawing day sixty-eight

I have a very unusual impulse: to bake a banana loaf. This is a strange impulse for me on a couple of counts. I can't remember the last time I actually made a cake or biscuits and certainly not scones. I gave up making scones because they always turned out like rocks, a hazard to the teeth (though perhaps a boon to the dentist). I love scones, but not when I make them.

The Bloke bakes (and does so well, even scones). I Do Not.

And bananas, I have an ambivalent relationship with bananas. I used to like them as a child, and even as a young(ish) adult, especially sliced up on cereal. Then one morning I woke up and bananas suddenly had a vile odour and made me nauseous. Exit bananas from my diet. Plus for a while over the last year or two following a cyclone in northern Australia which wiped out the crop, bananas were priced up to $12 a kilo - a price I refuse to pay (yeah, I'm a skinflint). But the fruit has stopped making me wrinkle my nose and run away, I even ate a one a few months ago. So when they were 99c a kilo on Saturday morning I bought a couple, but I'm so out of banana buying practice that they are now very very ripe, hence the urge for banana loaf or banana cake or banana bread.

So tomorrow I fire up the oven, get out the mixing bowl and - ta da! - bake :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Alphabet series

Drawing day sixty-four

Drawing day sixty-five

Took inspiration from the other day's "y" like drawing and I've decided to do my own "illuminated" alphabet. So there's ideas for the next twenty or so day's drawings!

I had quite a productive day, today, for the first day of term break. Made my drawing-a-day early, made two skirts to sell on ebay, sorted out the weeks newspapers (I go through them quickly before recycling to cut out any inspiring bits for my visual diaries), finished a small patchwork piece to print on next term (and dragged out fabric for the next couple - the brown one is finished, then I think perhaps a yellow one and a green one), heat set the screenprint design I put on five tank tops (also to sell online, I hope), and spent some time scrutinizing my current painting project trying to decide if one of the three panels needs its image darkened a tad. It does, so that's on the list for tomorrow - the light was failing by the time I reached a decision and it will be easier in daylight than artificial.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Woohoo! End of term :)

Drawing number sixty-one

It was a stinking hot day when I drew number sixty-one, the night before was also hot (31 degrees in the bedroom when I went to bed in front of the fan) and I slept poorly. It shows in the drawing.

Drawing number sixty-two

Drawing number sixty-three

Today was the last day of term one and I now have the next two weeks off. Well, I say the next two weeks off, but what it really means is no classes - there's still plenty of homework :)

But it will be lovely to sleep in and work to my own timetable. Or not work at all, sometimes...

Wednesdays are my favourite day of the school week, because it's printmaking all day. I had a great printmaking day this week. The print of five black on white/five white on black that I was talking about a post or two ago are now reworked and I love them so much I want to MARRY them. I cut three of each colour into strips and wove them together so that they became checkerboarded in varying degrees: the first one into quarters, the second into more checks and the third into wavy checks, then interspersed each checkered one with a plain black on white or a white on black (that's probably about as clear as mud). The change of colour is very interesting and does strange things to one's vision. This is the first art I've made that I'm one hundred percent happy with. It worked EXACTLY the way I planned it in my head. I only have one (poor) photo of the series on the corkboard at school, but I'll take more photos after the Easter break and post them (the week was too rushed trying to finish stuff up to chase photos).

Plus I made two editions of a new image, one of the drawings on novel pages I had on Etsy. The first edition is black ink over a double stencil of one yellow and one orangey red rectangle (which required three screens, reasonably time consuming by the time I waited for the screen to dry in between colours), and the second is black on pages I tore out of an atlas from the op shop. I laughed at the gasps from my classmates as I ripped into A Book. Ah, the horror! And me ex-library :) I like the way the lines of the image over the text work with the lines and colours of the maps. I think the yellow/orange one is done, but I'll look at it again next class. It may need something else (not sure what yet). The atlas one, hmm, not sure about that either - I think it does need more. But I'm happy with both so far.

Now I'm putting together some hexagonal patchwork pieces to print on, and I plan to work up some surfaces from snippets of thread and fabric held together by wash-away webbing sewn over and also paper sewn through both before and after printing. Can't wait to print on those!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Still hot

Drawing day sixty

Sometimes I wonder if I'm going to run out of things to draw each day I start one of these, but so far: no. At the moment I'm fascinated by these plant-like images, with the little sucker feet of seaweeds or anemones. Or perhaps they look like mutated illuminated letters; this one is rather like a "y", and one from a day a two ago might be an "f". Hmmm, there seems to be a text theme invading almost everything I do!

It's still unseasonably hot here, almost 40 degrees today. Very late in the season for a burst of such sustained hot weather. I'm melting...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Three freebies

Drawing day fifty-eight

Drawing day fifty-nine

I love a freebie, and today I scored not one, not two, but THREE freebies!

Number one was winning two passes to the Stitches and Craft show ($15 entry fee each) so spent a pleasant couple of hours with the Bloke perusing all the lovely craft books, fabric, beads, and associated accessories. I found, to my surprise, that while I enjoyed looking, the only things I was tempted to buy were a couple of sewing books and a dressmaking pattern or two, and I resisted their siren call. The fabric is still lovely but I guess my focus has changed.

Freebie number two came from the supermarket. Their policy is that if an item scans incorrectly at checkout, it's free. I found a 1.3kg packet of chicken drumsticks mislabeled at $4.99 - should have been $3.79 according to the label on the cabinet - and when it scanned at the incorrect price, got it for free. I did have to remind the operator, but she just shrugged and shoved it into the bag.

Freebie number three was a chair on the nature strip on the way home from the supermarket, leftover from a garage sale we passed earlier in the day and, along with a couch (too small for my purposes) and some other chairs, labelled free for the taking. So we took. It's a bit stinky, smells like a smoker has loved it well, so it's outside in the heat airing. The joints need a little attention as it's a little wobbly but that won't be hard to fix. I plan to make it a lovely arty cover, perhaps a monster of some description.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

School, drawing, hothotHOT!

Drawing day fifty-six

Drawing day fifty-seven

Still drawing, still busy at school, and now March has decided to revert from autumn to simmering summer - 38 degrees C today, a predicted 40 degrees C tommorrow, and high
30s over the weekend. Urgh :)

I'm loving printmaking at the moment (painting, not so much!). I've been working on a silkscreen print from one of my drawings (I suspect I doodled the sketch it's based on during a meeting at my ex-employment), playing with the medium and seeing how far I can stretch it before I get tired of it. After several incarnations, I washed out the screen yesterday, so bye-bye Green Man. I did an edition of ten over an existing print/poster a friend gifted me, several in fabric paint on tank tops (which I'll list on Ebay/Etsy over the upcoming term break), three in fabric paint over embroidered doilies sourced from the op shop (still working on mounting them - I'm going to try starch and iron-on interfacing, then depending how firm they are use velcro dots to hang them, or if that fails put them on some foam core), several more on various fabrics (red, white, black/white stripe - the optical illusion that creates really does the eyes in!, and a black/white print) which I'll incorporate into either clothing or other prints, then five on black and five on white paper for which I have a cunning plan (if it comes off, I'll show it to you). I'm burning along in printmaking, with several editions of work already and so many more I'll never fit them all into the year.

Painting, hmm. We're working on "Diaries and Collections". I had an "AHA!" moment last week and I'm "collecting my thoughts". I've painted three canvases a kind of parchment colour, and on the first I wrote a list (in Indian ink) of things that shit me (not a complete list, mind, that would take a LOT more than one smallish canvas!) and then knocked it back a bit with a wash of watered down white acrylic paint (the ink was a little too black for my liking). Over the words, I've transferred a photocopied line drawing of a brain (using eucalyptus oil, a really cool technique) with branches erupting out of it to represent my thoughts, in graphite first then went over it with grey Indian ink. At least that was the initial plan, but now I prefer it upside down to the way I originally planned it, so that the writing is upside down and now the brain has a network of roots representing all the incoming knowledge feeding my rabid thoughts. On the second canvas, I've eucalyptus transferred photocopies of random pages from the travel journals I keep while on holiday, so the writing is backwards. I'll put an image over the top of that, too, but haven't quite decided what yet. The third canvas is still in the ideas stage.

Monday, March 10, 2008

More drawings, less writing

Drawing day fifty-three

Drawing day fifty-four

Drawing day fifty-five

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Flat out like a lizard drinking :)

Drawing day forty-seven

Drawing day forty-eight

Drawing day forty-nine (perhaps that should be "image day forty-nine"!)

Drawing day fifty

Woohoo, made it to drawing fifty! Given that I anticipated this might last no longer than a week, I'm pleased that I'm still going and, what's even better, still enjoying drawing-a-day. The image for day forty-nine is another found poem - my drawing mojo was on hiatus that day and words were simpler. I kinda like the blacked out page with the white rectangles :)

Busy, busy, busy. Two excursions this week. One into the city centre for printmaking to view several galleries plus a paper-buying opportunity - oh, how I agonised over all the gorgeous papers but good paper is pricy! I settled for four large sheets of 350g Dutch Etching paper. I want to re-use an image from last year that I silkscreened from an x-ray of my wrist, using it multiple times over the large sheets and inking something else over the top, maybe in several layers. Dutch etching paper is made from cotton and feels soooo lovely.

We also went to (and this both amuses me and makes me squirm) to my ex-employer: the library where I used to work, to the Rare Books department to view their collection of artist's books. Felt a bit wierd having the libarian know me, plus he dragged out their copy of the book one of my short stories appeared in and had me sign it - even stranger! The artist's books were fascinating and often beautiful. I coveted one in particular, called "The Art of the Cake", which was fashioned as a concertina with gorgeous hand coloured and gilded drawings, presented in a patisserie box with a lace edged pair of white gloves, all contained in a gold etched clear plastic carry bag. I could go on and on about the books...

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Drawing day forty-four

Drawing day forty-five

Drawing day forty-six

Spent ten or eleven days battling a gastro-intestinal bug, including a five hour trip to Emergency for rehydration, and didn't have the energy to draw until yesterday - hence the big gap between postings. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program...