Friday, October 24, 2008


I'm not sure if you would have noticed but horror movies are not in my usual repetoir of subject or inspiration. So it is kind of strange that I am now in the middle of curating a show based on them...

The idea came from chatting to a guy I know. He had been raving about the Peter Jackson group of very b-grade horror movies that he'd made before he shot to super director stardom with Lord of the Rings. Now I had been thinking for a while that movie night at Brunswick Arts would be a great way to get people into the gallery, and so as he talked about it I had visions of b-grade horror movie nights at the gallery. They could run their bar, I'd make popcorn. It'd be great! Then it seemed quite natural to have a group show with the same theme to go with the movie nights. A convaluted and back-to-front way to come across an idea for a show, but there you go.

Curating a group show is a very strange experience. In putting together a solo show I am used to being in control of the whole process, knowing exactly how the works are coming along, how big, small, good, bad, what colour, shape and size each of the works is and how they will all fit together. With this thing I am left with artists telling me they are doing well, the works are coming along and it'll be great, but I have no idea how they will all fit together, I don't even know what some of the artists are making... some of them don't even know yet!!! I won't know til the day they all show up at the gallery with works ready to be installed!

But I can't imagine it could be too bad, I mean the show is based around the b-grade... bad is good... remember??!?!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

At the markets

Lately I have been so busy that I haven't had any time to actually paint... also I have not had any looming deadlines so my thoughts, time and energy get directed to more immediate tasks. I don't mind this, it is part of the ebb and flow of an artists life. I don't think I could paint all day everyday anyway, that takes an aweful lot of stamina! (I know people who do it though!)

At the Sunday Arts at the Convent there is another stallholder, Elise Hurst, who brings her paints along and does some beautiful work while there. She sets up and starts a fresh painting each time and will often finish it on the same day. I have tried sketching and writing and all sorts of other menial tasks at the markets, coz there is usually a fair bit of time between interaction with customers. I always thought I'd get self conscious and distracted and weird if I tried painting in front of people, and it is a lot of fuss and bother to set up and pack up again at the end of the day. But last month at Rose St and then at the Convent I gave it a go... and it was great~!

I think I had been a bit starved of painting time in the studio due to things like moving both my house and studio, having the red balloon show and getting a few more hours a week of gainful employment. So when I set up I was straight into it and loving it. It made the day at the market pass so much faster and feel so much more productive!

These are pics of me revisiting an image I painted a couple of years ago. I had been commissioned to paint an elephant for a special occasion and it was a real pleasure to play with this image. In fact it had been one of my first successful elephant paintings. The original painting has a story attached that I might try and share sometime soon. I've used the image of the original as a card and it is always a popular one. I was surprised at how easily I blocked everyone out and how much I was at ease with people viewing my shambolic process and half finished work.

I will be doing that quite regularly at the markets. People love to watch, though some get quite shy about talking to me... I hope that it doesn't scare people away from buying stuff!!!

If you come to the markets don't be bashful, I still love to talk to people!