19 December 2010

miss holly

I know I'm pretty much preaching to the converted, but it just wouldn't be right to end the year without the gorgeous water colours by the equally gorgeous Holly Ward Bimba aka Golly Bard. I have no idea why it's taken me so long - silly me. With an enviable (self confessed!) obsession for intricate patterning, Holly takes us on a naturalist's journey of all things splendid - birds and feathers and snakes and mice and eggs and bats and insects and nests and flora and weather and kooky hybrids and pickled eyes - yes, you heard me correctly - I do love how she slips these works in. With warmth and humour she creates a radiant microcosm that is so beautifully balanced in composition and tone - reflecting an attentiveness to her surrounds and a vivacious imagination that grows without cease. There's nothing more we could possibly want for. xx

> Golly Bard's drawing room blog, Etsy shop, Flickr

18 December 2010

the revenge of the christmas triangle

I'm very scared dear friends. I snapped this in the wee hours of the morning. It seems... that just like gremlins, or triffids, these guys are self spawning... and in the process, they've grown hair. Even scarier. Not sure if I'll be able to sleep tonight... should I set traps? If you don't hear from me again, please contact the appropriate authorities...

17 December 2010

the christmas triangle

Very happy to have finally sent Xmas treats to my wonderful brother and sister inlaw who live interstate. Judy's working hard to finish her incredible drawings for an exhibition early in 2011. She's been a scientist all her life (as is he), and has recently retired to focus on being a full time artist. You can visit her website here for a taster. Still some shopping to do for the rest of the family, but thank goodness I have a small one, so it's not too crazy. I've always made Xmas cards every year - it's been 'my thing' since I was a kid, and this year I'm quite liking the christmas triangle with antlers! The gouache didn't take too well to the recycled card, so will have to work on that. Collage may be a better option. But I can see a nice range coming together for my Etsy shop next Xmas. I'm really hoping to have this open in the new year, firstly with small originals, then some prints, cards and other items that feel right as time goes on.

15 December 2010

sketchbook project

It's official. I'm dumping the sketchbook project. There's a number of reasons:
1. I've fluffed around too much.
2. I don't know how to come up with that many new ideas for each spread.
3. I'm beginning to question whether I want to put that much energy into something that will essentially be lost amongst thousands of submissions (it is pretty crazy - 28833 artists are participating - phoof). I so love the premise, but I think it's got a bit too big. Goodbye entry fee.
4. I feel like what I've done sucks a boogie. Yes... I want it to be perfect!

Feeling pretty disappointed with myself, but a lovely entree at home of smoked salmon, blue cheese and quince paste - a pomegranate lime & orange cocktail - duck breast (yet to be cooked, I'm hoping it will be accompanied with a cranberry jus, but M thinks he'll experiment a bit) - a good New Zealand white wine - animation submissions playing in the background - makes it all ok.

05 December 2010

horse ties

Saleeh Oh

Camilla Engman

Andrew Schoultz

I've been thinking more about horses of late. I've never been a 'horsey' person, and for someone who was apparently born in the year of the horse, it carries no meaning for me. I guess it has something to do with their comparable human scale and the incredible relationship we've built with them - and the fact that during the process of admiring more and more work by fabulous individuals, more horses seemingly materialise and gallop off the page!!

And here... horses tied, playing with lines... legs engaged and restricted. It's an interesting link that has emerged from the work of these three brilliant artists. Despite an obvious love for intricacy and narrative, their style is very different - yet they have all used the Equus figure to depict a variation of a theme. From Saleeh's sweet sweet watery world, to the awkward candour of Camilla's string game friend, to Andrew's astounding war horses in all their glory. Intriguing psychological bindings to delight our senses.

> Saleeh's website, her blog, interview on Miss Onmi Media, video interview re 'breathing underwater' animated project
> Camilla's website, her beautiful book (loved by all and which happily sits amongst my book collection), Studio Violet, Camilla's wares at Third Drawer Down, Book By Its Cover sketchbook series
> Andrew's website, Andrew's wonderful book on his work (which is also on my bookshelf), Fecal Face interview
> Jonathan Levine Gallery - exhibitions re Saleeh and Andrew & other great folk

29 November 2010

vera moller

Many moons ago I worked in a non commercial gallery and studio complex in Fitzroy, and one of the local studio artists at the time was the beautiful Vera Moller. Before immigrating to Australia in 1986 from Germany, she studied Biology, Microbiology and Theology with the intention of becoming a freelance biological illustrator (such a fabulous background) - which never eventuated. I was always intrigued with her artwork (at the time she was using striped stockings and knitting large striped constructions), but unfortunately I lost touch over time. It's only been more recently that I've rediscovered her online. With the eye and curiosity of a research scientist and an enduring propensity for stripes and spots (especially stripes), she has cultivated a distinct surrealist colony of flora 'specimens' that could easily flourish in the sea or on land. They are quirky and sensuous and rhythmic and incredibly detailed, and I could effortlessly spend days languishing in her magnificent imagined world.

> Vera's work at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Vera's work at Tim Olsen Gallery, 2005 interview

27 November 2010

storm palette

If was an incredible evening, the sky rumbling with the threat of a serious storm (still yet to break), the contrast between the ominous dark scene from the front of my apartment with the glowing orange (reminiscent of fire storms) scene from the back of my apartment was quite startling.

26 November 2010

friends come out to read

I'm so pleased these little friends have greeted my recent second hand book purchases with such enthusiasm! Besides an obvious natural affinity with the subject matter, they have become captivated with the ageing beauty of the covers and pages within. They agree as a whole (even the birds) that the first book, 'The Life Of Spiders' (1912) is indeed a special find. J.H. Fabre, scribes his research with a poet's prowess, and there is something about the tone of writing in this era that I personally love - and I'm sure they'll agree. The pages smell dusty and woody, and one feels drawn into the drama of an unfolding tale, as though we've been shrunk in size so as not to miss anything in this eight legged world. The second book 'An Australian Bird Book' by J.A. Leach (1923) is in contrast far more literal. Facts accompany colour and b/w plates, preparing us for a day of serious bird watching with binoculars, safari hat and a thermos of tea(!) in hand. Tally Ho!

> Ceramic spider: by Megan Bogonovich - her work is wonderful
> Yowie Birds: Once upon a time, Cadbury chocolate developed a product a bit like Kinder Surprise. I just happened to REALLY like the birds the most.

dingo study

... and the weird ghost image of the odd ink drawing on the other side of the page!

23 November 2010

mark manders

Mark Manders has been a fave from way way back when I was completing my honours in sculpture. His ongoing project of over 20 years entitled 'Self-Portrait As A Building', reveals itself in installations of objects and drawings and maps/plans - 'fragments' of imaginary rooms built - fluid narratives abstracted - poetic placements - as an architect of sorts, he is forever rearranging his rooms.

I was in London late August, early Sept 2009, and I was kinda beside myself to find that he was exhibiting with a number of other artists at the Hayward Gallery at Southbank Centre. And lo and behold, one of my most favourite sculptures of all time (pictured above) was on display. I couldn't believe my luck. I'm sure this work heavily influenced my need to tie things together, and I fight not to directly copy this idea. Made in unfired clay, it's so very very beautiful - in my mind, a perfect impression. 'Black Bird, Dead Bird, Current Thought' (cover also pictured) is a
second hand catalogue from a 1997 exhibition in Ireland, that I stumbled across ages ago - gotta love those finds!

> mark's website, hayward gallery exhibition, video interview at artforum, artdaily profile, contemporary art daily profile, mousse magazine interview, artist talk

18 November 2010

volcano head and general explosions

It's just been that kind of day... so i pulled out this very apt drawing...

but then I found these next to it... which are considerably more calming!

12 November 2010

allyson mellberg

Flourishing micro organisms cultivate on the skin, as vegetation and organic formations - moody dreamscapes unravel and entice - resting and compromised figures, forlorn and betrothed in tender sweet relations.

When I visited Allyson's Etsy shop recently, I became completely smitten with her paper cuts. I seem to have a thing for hairless androgynous figures at the moment - I have no idea what that's about(!!) - so it's no surprise that I was drawn to buying the top image. It's just beautiful. In contrast to these, her charismatic drawings/paintings are created with a soft palette made from natural pigments/washes such as walnut, spinach, organic paints from the Kremer series and egg tempura - which seems to very much reflect the lifestyle choices she and her artist husband Jeremey Taylor (they often collaborate) make. All incredibly inspiring.

06 November 2010

birds emerging at b flat

So where DID that profile image of mine come from?!
I stumbled across a fabulous image online from a vintage natural science mag (have unfortunately since misplaced the link), where a man was on his hands and knees in the forest with a bird helmut on, trying to be inconspicuous in the act of studying birds in the wild. Just brilliant! Not sure why these guys are pantless... it was just necessary I guess.

30 October 2010

petra hilbert

I found these gorgeous gorgeous painted plates on Etsy last night by Slovakian artist Petra Hilbert - I really really want one - (I'm developing a painted/drawn plate fetish I think)! Petra graduated from the Department of Puppet Stage Design of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava - what amazing experience I imagine that would be, as puppetry has a remarkable history in Eastern Europe. Her drawings are pretty wonderful too - there's certainly a strong 'heart organ' iconography running through the works - at times just ever so sinister. She doesn't have a website link on Etsy, so I had to pull on my investigator's hat and conduct a little searching with the o-so-handy google website translating option (LOVE this!). You can find some extra links below to learn more about her.

> Etsy shop, website, Slovak Illustrators Association profile/portfolio, nice long profile on Citarny - choose your language when you get there!

29 October 2010

i'm coming tracey...

I'm not at all proud of myself... I had an exhibition some time ago and I was so amazed and grateful that a school friend and her family turned up. They bought this little drawing and once I pulled the exhibition down I subsequently misplaced it. Terrible!! I've finally found it (it was safe n sound amongst a stack of paper) so it's time to head to the Dandenongs - she lives on the edge of Sherbrooke Forest which is just divine - well known for its Mountain Ash/Stringy Gum trees, glorious ferns and the extraordinary lyrebird. I think I need to take yummy treats and wine as well...

26 October 2010

monika grzymala

Today I was scanning through my blog feeds while things were quiet at 'work', and was immediately struck by these astounding space drawings by Monika Grzymala posted on the 'contemporary drawing salon' blog, established by artist Yifat Gat (you should check out her work too). Monika has transformed her spaces with different types of adhesive tape, lead tape and graphite - (I sighted somewhere that in one exhibition she used seven kilometres of it!), crafting an immense physicality that is at once melodic in it's entirety (rushing and plucking with measured invervals), reminiscently digital with it's streaming dots and dashes, and wonderfully organic as lines weave and contour to create garnered lengths and self imposed features.

Monika's website, contemporary drawing salon blog, Art World article (pdf), exhibition with Kelly Wood

24 October 2010

feathered friends

Earlier this year I bought a couple of very gorgeous birdies. They were looking mighty fine in the Spring filled air today... I'm sure they wanted to take flight... but somehow they seemed happy to just hang together... funny little feathered friends...

> large bird, small bird

23 October 2010

baroness elise raymonde deroche

With an addiction for the skies, this remarkable aviation pioneer made the (natural!!) progression from ballooning to become the first woman to hold a pilot's license in 1910. Sensational stuff.

17 October 2010

takashi iwasaki

Oh my... Takashi Iwasaki. Where do I start... how I chose these three from his vast folio of embroideries (which these are), paintings, drawings and collage is a mystery! All I knew is that I needed to post something bright, playful and outstanding!... coz it's been a biiig week. I'm back on the 8.30am-4.30pm office wheel, which unfortunately does awful things to my psyche, I've said goodbye to my partner for another six week period and I updated the Blogger editing interface which is giving me more than a headache. These works introduce a little light and equilibrium!

11 October 2010

homage to omo

My sister bought the book 'Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa' by Hans Silvester, which is a stunning photographic portrayal of the Surma and Mursi tribes who live in the lower valley of the Omo, at the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan. The youths in particular, extravagantly adorn themselves with body paint, vegetation, horns and other found matter, and their sense of colour and form is truly exquisite. While visiting her one day a couple of months ago, I made these funny little drawings after flicking through the book - nothing at all like the real thing, but kinda fun!

09 October 2010


With a skip in my step, I headed to Melbourne's The Finders Keepers market today at Shed 4 at Docklands (behind the good folk at Open Channel). With funky live music, there was a great vibe and so much delectable work it hurt. I was thrilled to come across the store of 'benconservato' aka Emma Kidd. Her shop was one of the first I discovered at Etsy, and immediately I fell in love with her enigmatic monsters and characters. The main thing that struck me today, was how different her original works were in the flesh. Emma often uses gold ink, which photos just don't pay justice to. Her works literally shimmered in the light, which gave them an added depth and beauty that made me want to take home several immediately! Her colouring book, prints, softies and cards were also a delight, perfect for anyone wishing to get in touch with their inner monster. It was definitely my favourite stop, so I suggest all you Melburnians head down in the glorious weather they're predicting tomorrow!

> Emma's website, blog, Etsy shop, Flickr, Redbubble shop, The Finders Keepers market

07 October 2010

ana & renilde

I'm discovering the amazing world of contemporary stitch/needlework, and the artists who incorporate it into their body of work, or who perdominantly play in this medium. And the talent out there has blown me away. I'm a complete convert, and would love to at some stage dabble myself. I remember mum's gorgeous needlepoint work when my first nephew was born. She didn't think she was being 'creative' because she was working from a pattern, but it was all truly truly lovely. For the moment, I'm just going to focus on two artists for this post because they seem so well suited to each another. Plenty of time for the others!

I profiled Ana Botezatu's work recently, but as I try not to clutter each post with too many images, I just included a selection of her drawings. She's such a talented gal, who seemingly works effortlessly with different materials, and her little cross stitch works are just superb. If you head here, she'll acquaint you with her textile work, but I recommend scrolling through from the beginning, because all her work is wonderful.

Renilde Depeuter's gorgeous blog is 'at swim-two-birds'. Her incredible works have been covered quite a bit across the blogosphere - as they should! There's a wonderful abstraction to her Worm Hole series which are also quite rustic (an interesting mix), while the Metropolis series are more pictorial like Ana's.

Ana's blog, website, Book By Its Cover sketchbook feature
Renilde's worm hole series on flickr, her blog, nice interview I found on Fine Little day blog