Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Gasp!!!!...draws deep breath...

Two years ago my life got busier than it has ever been. I joined a little craft collective called "Fancy That" which runs a small shop in an old department store given over to artists and craftspeople. Something had to give and that dear reader was this blog.
But, I have decided to resurrect it as a record of my time working for the shop as well as pursuing my other hobbies and obsessions.
Be warned it will mostly be photos, as a kind of new age vanity publishing I guess but at least there'll be no selfies!
Time marches on and as my GP pointed out  the other day I am in my eighth decade (thanks for that), the perfect time to indulge myself and join the "me" generation!

Playing with my hand carved stamps and acrylic paint

 Postcard sized.

Heavily influenced by the Frida Kahlo exhibition I visited this year. Always an interest of mine, Frida has become an unlikely Icon for marketers of all things vaguely to do with her life, the more palatable side!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lawdy Miss Claudy, it's August already....

Just a catch up on some of the stuff I have been working on over the past three months.
First to get some of the paintings out of the way:

The daily painting is on hold at the moment, busy making cute things for the shop!
Such as these origami shadow boxy, doirama-y thingys.
and these little birdhouse decorations in readiness for Christmas .
Phew! I have been busy with the usual; sock monkeys, echidnas and various little gee gaws I think up to keep the shop looking interesting. Ironic for someone whose work history has been spotty to say the least to be working like a fool at this great age! Nevertheless when it ceases to be fun I have the luxury of being able to quit!.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Back to basics.

 I have long felt that tingle in the cerebellum signalling a need to get back into painting but this is a desire fraught with danger. One wrong stroke of the brush could leave me a whimpering mess. Drawing, doodling, a little half hearted watercolouring, all good, but when it comes to putting acrylic to to canvas?...there lies that nasty little bug in your brain called the EGO!
The logical answer to the problem was to start at the beginning and go on from there. So, this week marked the beginning of a daily painting exercise on very small, teeny tiny canvases (20 by 20 cm that's about eight inches for the non decimals amongst you). What to paint? well I am currently working through the contents of my refrigerator, hey fruits and vegetables are good for you right? Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday went sort of OK and today was my life drawing day but tomorrow I have a big decision, capsicum or lemons!
Sunday's one.

Today as mentioned was life drawing. The model was a particularly athletic young man with wonderful muscle definition, great to draw.
The craft cooperative operating out of our little shop is doing well, we are all bullish and everyone likes our new name "Fancy That", a name which clearly shows that even we are astonished at our audacious venture.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Oh, OK....

Although normally being an average suburban slug I have been speeding around this week propelled by steroids and a desire to get back into the jungle that is life outside of John Hunter Hospital.
Yes that's right, I have been held hostage to my lungs yet again. These visits to the hospital to administer Drano to those pesky organs are like the chorus in a Greek tragedy, repetitive, grisly and ultimately everyone dies!
I escaped though after two weeks and ploughed into it. Wednesday I was discharged in the morning, went to do my shift at the shop, Thursday catching up on stuff, Friday entertained second son and his friend to afternoon tea, Saturday, shop again, Sunday Barbeque with son and friend, Monday to Sydney with them and a hectic visit until Wednesday morning, home in the afternoon and back to the shop and today Life Drawing!
Result; I am pooped!
The hotel in Sydney was amazing, Addams Family revisited. The decor was fun and spooky, retro and funky. Not cheap but worth it being right in the heart of Sydney.

The Lobby, Qt Hotel Sydney.

Heigh ho!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ups and downs....

A big up this week was getting some little dishes made by a potter friend Ali Sobel-Read Ali made the dishes as a favour using an imprint of my little handmade echidna stamp. she tried four different glazes, all are fine but my favourite is the black one, probably because I am used to seeing the stamp impression in black.
Life drawing was very good this week , our model was a lass who had never modelled before but she did an excellent job and she was very lovely as well. Usually I struggle to draw "perfect" bodies but this model was so classically "put together" that I really enjoyed drawing her.

The "down" this week is that the days of the craft shop co-op may be numbered. Difficulty with manning the shop and attracting suitable makers whose work will not clash with other shopkeepers in the building is proving very disappointing. It has been fun while it lasted, the only bright side is that if I am not so involved in making and manning I will finally have time to get famous! I do feel however, that I'm cutting it a bit close, being in my 70th year.
At the very least my forearms and fingers will thank me for it because such has been the demand for the stuff I make, there being fewer people involved, that I have been in danger of repetitive strain injury!  Always look on the bright side!
We shall see...maybe I will have time for that portrait painting group, hmmmnnn.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A long humid Summer..

means a lot of "lounge lizard" (in)activity.
Work for the shop goes on and in between there is life drawing, Urban sketching and finally some etegami.
A little bit cryptic but says a lot of what I feel. Valentine's Day is this weekend  so a heart image seemed appropriate. It sounds a bit dramatic to say that one is misunderstood but there are some who willfully look for a reason to paint you in an unfavourable light...just sayin'.
Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day peeps, I'll be getting my usual nothing (the Prof is not romantic) but it is the other 364 days that matter, not to mention the 51 years of being a wonderful mate.
So, Happy Valentine's Day my love.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The naked truth!

A great session at life drawing and a great model.
Nice to take time out from feverishly making 'stuff' for the Emporium Shop and just indulge in  something that has no need to sell.  It was a bit of a surprise to me then  to find that I had actually sold one of my sketches at the group end of year show! The drawing was one of Angela which I previously published on the blog.
I guess this has emboldened me to publish some more from last week's session;
I choose to take an academic approach because I feel that I don't have to make an Arty statement or produce a finished work, I simply want  to get my 'eye' in. Amazing that this discipline has helped my drawing overall, even the Urban Sketching

Sunday, November 16, 2014

51 not out, a little down maybe!

Yep, it is our 51st wedding anniversary today so bear with me while I trip down memory lane.
The  scene; university of Sydney Wheat Research Station, Narrabri  NSW.
Enter, Don, AKA the Prof, a recently graduated fellow now researching root growth in wheat plants (a topic which caused some hilarity among the farm staff), and Carole, recently graduated high school student  filling in time as a research assistant while expecting to go on to greater things.
The plot thickens!
Thrown into close proximity during a long cold winter in the potting shed the two young seekers find warmth in each other's company, the rest is history.
Fifty one years, a Phd, an Art degree, two children and numerous moves and here we are, still providing warmth for each other.
That day 51 years ago (the world was black and white then).
                                                                                                                                                                    Who could resist those eyes?

I miss my freckles and the gap in my teeth!

Thank you for your forbearance!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My life in fuzzy pictures.

Moving into town has certainly given me a new lease on life and a greater involvement in doings outside of my four safe walls.
 During the last couple of weeks I have been up and down the main drag (Hunter St) on the lovely free bus which directly connects me to the local fabric and craft store...pig heaven. The only catch is that I have to cross the rail line using 30 looong steps up and over to catch aforementioned bus. I count it as a compressed form of exercise which surely substitutes for that recommended 30 minutes a day! Regular trips are necessary to top up the supplies for things I make for the craft shop.
My involvement in the Emporium craft shop/gallery is moving right along, I have been busy this last week or so making origami birds and little stuffed bird ornaments and the echidnas are still selling like, well hot echidnas!

Our attempt to Christmas-ify the old space, behind the wall is the ghost of a very ritzy department store.
 Young Madeline arranging my birds on our Aussie Christmas tree!
A sad spot in the week was a gathering at a local pub with other "True Believers" to farewell a grand old man of the Labor Party, Gough Whitlam, who died last week at the great age of 98. He can truly be said to have been a man who changed the face of Australia and implemented many social justice reforms for all especially the indigenous people. Vale Gough.
I made three terrariums (or is that terrarii?) and dressed them for Halloween.
A cruise ship came and went......
I met an Etegami Club friend from Brisbane for the first time. Leeanne was in Newcastle to show off her skills at a Ukelele Festival! We are a diverse lot in the Etegami Fun Club!
And a spot of Urban Sketching to record yet another building which is in the process of demolition, I guess they will keep the facade to give the planned apartments a bit of character.
If they keep repurposing and wrecking these old buildings where will all the funky coffee shops live? (worried look).

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thursday life.

More of the same.....
Life drawing yesterday was  very enjoyable. Our model, a tall African girl was expert at holding poses which made it easy to concentrate on her fine musculature. I do think that going to a life drawing session every week is helping me to see better. Unfortunately it is not helping me with my photography skills.

I am desperate to learn how to photograph my drawings, this is my latest clumsy attempt to  adjust the colour, really the paper is white not blue and the pencil is sanguine!