Saturday, June 28, 2014

Play the way you feel it

My beanie and I
My ALL Knitwear beanie :)
My new tangerine coat from Savers 
Faux fur at Spotlight (By the way: does anyone know anywhere to buy really cheap faux fur in Melbourne?)
Snazzy but scary looking slippers at Savers 
Blanket pattern that I loved
Beautiful '50s Sci Fi novel
A great '60s book cover at Savers
Little earless bunny that I left at Savers and wish I didn't :(
I had a kind of good and kind of productive day today. I stayed close to home, my sister and I went to Spotlight and to Savers. I had to buy a whole bunch of stuff at Spotlight for the works I am making for my show, 'Almost Forever' at the Windsor Hotel in August. I also couldn't help buying a bunch of cute iron-on patches. I found the most brilliant coat at Savers - the tangerine coloured one I am wearing in the above photo. It is such a fine specimen, 1970's, a label called 'Virgo' made in Melbourne. Fully lined, and absolute mint condition! Plus it fits me so perfectly and the colour is super bright and happy. It cheered me up monumentally. The feeling of putting something on and it feeling like it was made for you, is so exciting. I can't wait to wear it out and about.

On Thursday night after work I was rather desperate for some sort of distraction from my round and round thoughts so I visited a happy place... a retail store. This one is a good one though, it's called Dagmar Rousset and they used to have a store in Gertrude Street, but now they have a store literally right across the road from my Studio in Collingwood. I finally got the chance to pop in and meet Julia who is the owner. My purchase was definitely a comfort one, an ALL Knitwear beanie, which I absolutely love. They're all different so I had lots of fun choosing my favourite one. I love the pom pom on mine with the little pink speckles!

After my purchase I went to meet up with my dear friend Georgie. She listened to me ramble on and on in similar style to my previous blog posts over a glass of wine or three. We also visited an opening and made a brief appearance at a farewell party, and then I headed home.

Friday morning felt very flat and I wasn't terribly interested in sitting at my desk all day at work, but, I put on my new beanie for the first time and headed out into the now very wintery weather to catch my train. That evening after work I met up with my other dear friend Georgia, and Georgie too, to again rant over wine about my feelings which by now Georgie has heard twice and perhaps three times if she's read my blog, so to her I'm definitely sounding like a broken record, but being the true friend she is, never even let on. :)

I wouldn't have wanted to have spent the past two nights with anyone else. Georgie and Georgia are the smartest and most brilliant friends, and I am super glad that they are in my life. They validate my feelings and decisions, listen to me go on and on and on, are smart (I know I already said that, but just reiterating), beautiful, successful and funny. When I am with them I feel a more confident person. I feel like a smart person. I've really felt grateful for their presence the past couple of nights, and I'm not just saying that because I know they read my blog! ha ha. Hi guys.

Georgia said something to me last night that I've probably misquoted but it was like "You have so much power. You are more powerful than you know" and it really made me swell up inside in a good way. When someone you are close to, who's opinion you trust unconditionally, tells you something like that, it's hard not to believe it. I needed that lift and really appreciated it. I only hope I am as helpful and valuable as a friend to them, even though I never feel that I have a speck of wisdom despite having two sets of wisdom teeth in my mouth (true story).

Tomorrow is going to be another day of thriftin' (I'm gonna go to the Camberwell market) and then working on my paintings. I've been very lonely working on my paintings from home, I don't know when this loneliness crept in but it has, and it's rather unusual for me as pretty much for my whole life I've arranged my schedule in weird ways for absolute maximum alone time. This year I really have made an effort on the social front, and I'm getting so much better at it that I'm actually occasionally enjoying it. Again, hopefully moving into my studio at Gertrude Contemporary will help alleviate some of this.

I feel like I'm growing up (will I just be 'grown' already!?) just that little bit more lately, and am looking for that little bit more in my life. To be honest I don't even really know what form that may come in. I used to think I could get everything I would ever need from my artwork, but now, I'm not so sure - I think about that kind of existence now and know it would definitely be a very sad and lonesome one. People tend to answer this question of "Something's missing..." with the addition of a significant other, but I'm not sure it's that simple. All I know is I've got so much work to do and these rather abstract and nonsensical thoughts are most definitely not constructive in putting paint to canvas! Curse my forever ticking mind. I'm gonna let these thoughts sail away and get really into watching my new favourite show 'Catfish'. Ha. It's brilliant I swear!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Do what you gotta do

There's not a worse nor more romantic feeling of knowing, not thinking that - something ended prematurely. I think the expression is to cut something off at the knees, or feet, or ankles - it's a damn shame. It may have been the couple of glasses of wine last night, it may have been because I returned to the scene of the crime, but I can't help getting carried away with what ifs and maybes, questioning the circumstances in which we met and how the timing was all wrong for both of us and how I wished it were right. When the rug is pulled out from under something that seemed to have potential to both parties, it's hard to escape the pools of ideas and theories of other possibly more successful outcomes.

I'm actually more down in the dumps than I thought I was, or even immediately thought I would be. I mean, I'm accepting of the fact that all decisions made were the right, sensible ones made with brains and not hearts, or guts, and I know the right action has been carried out. But I'm left feeling rather odd, that this encounter didn't have a chance to resolve itself in an organic way, that something ended prematurely, that I now have another ghost.

People from my past become ghosts to me, who I collect and keep in my head. I preserve our encounters and replay them occasionally if I'm ever in need of some company. Some of these ghosts will fade into insignificance, but some, with whom I believe to have some sort of unfinished business, will stay bright and wide eyed and often visit me when I least expect it, or at inopportune moments. These are the people I'm likely to run into five or even ten years down the track, like how Katie runs into Hubbell at the end of the film 'The Way We Were' - to resolve something, to say what we left unsaid, even just to get one last glance into their eyes to find you can still read them like a book.

I am aware of the corny romanticism in this, but I don't care. It's truly the way that I think. My life is cyclic, in some ways the same things happen over and over again. In other ways every experience I have under my belt is a new one. People move in and out of my life for one reason or another, sometimes I think I'll miss them, and I do, or I don't. Other times they made not even a slight dent in the what I imagine to be porous lining of my brain. Most people, though, with whom I have any sort of significant relationship or encounter with, soak in deeply like a stain, damn near impossible to get out without trying.

I like most of my stains. I like most of my ghosts. Some I'm happy to leave them at that, others, the ones I think about late at night when I'm alone in bed and can't sleep, or those who materialise when I'm listening to Fleetwood Mac's 'Landslide' or floating away on my thoughts while I'm making a painting - those are the ones that I know, I just know, will come back into my life. Too much was left unsaid, or I have to look wide-eyed at their face just one more time, or lightly trace my fingers around the outline of their tattoo.

It is my mostly unfaltering faith in this assessment that allows me to simply carry on, and to physically extricate myself from people in my life when the time comes (and it always does). While it may scream "glorified coping method" to probably most of you reading this, and while I don't care I also acknowledge that perhaps that's slightly the case. I figure, though, if I can't trust what I feel then I could never trust what or how somebody else feels, and to have faith in yourself is empirical when it comes to having faith in other people.

* * * 

For once, instead of photos of myself (I can hear y'all saying: "PHEW!"), I'm going to share some of my collection of found photographs. These are some of my newest and favourite additions. They seem to accompany this post very well.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I could sleep wherever I lay my head

My latest lilting romantic endeavor has come to an end, as they tend to do, so I'm moping about at home right now, sighing with stingy eyes. The weather has been turbulent and volatile, and, as things in my life often do - it seemed symbolic, of something ominous and ill-fated coming my way. Yesterday a very large eucalyptus creaked, cracked and fell in our front garden. It had lived here even longer than me.

Tonight I am reminded of my optimism in the face of adversity, or perhaps not true adversity, just discouraging elements of a regular person's life. For not being particularly religious at all, I hold a lot of hope and faith in things eventually being okay. I never want to lose that, mainly because when I tell people that will be the case, I want them to believe it. When they look right into my rather large dopey looking pools of eyes that are a bit too close together and with darting pupils that if you look real close - don't quite touch the edges of my eyelids - I want them to breathe a sigh of relief and really believe it, because I really believe it.

I didn't think I'd be home alone tonight, with my wheat bag as a woeful substitute for the warmth of another human... but here I am, as I have been for more nights than I could probably ever even have hope of evening out with company. And, it's okay, or rather, will be okay, or, either way - and that's okay. When I begun this year I wanted to meet as many new people and have as many new experiences as I could, being the introverted homebody internet-dweller that I am. It's gone brilliantly so far, and I wouldn't trade in a single experience for something different, if that was at all possible.

I may believe everything'll be okay, but like any sane, rational adult, I can't resist a melodramatic snapchat for my friends.

Monday, June 23, 2014

It's a peach

Peachy keen drawing
New PAM Bambi skirt (well, new to me) paired with a warm Op Shop knit, black tights and black Funkis clogs. 
Bambi in the sun (It's faux fur obviously!)
New stripy Where's Wally cotton jumper from Savers, book and fabric also from Savers.
Close up of the flowers on the above fabric. 
I wish
Cute cover
My new Copic markers came in the mail today!
Detail of my new painting! shhh!
I'm listening to the choruses of my sister's child music students singing Dancing Queen in the room downstairs. Occasionally my sister will stop to tell them off for mucking around but otherwise it's mildly enjoyable, I am a not-so-closet ABBA fan you know.

I've been working at home today, on paintings mainly, as well as quotes, emails and various stuff that I put off till the absolute last minute and then simply HAVE to do in the space of an hour or something. One of my many vices. I'm having a burger with my friends for dinner tonight which I'm looking very much forward to, in fact, I wish time were going a little faster so it were dinner time already. I often feel if days were shorter I'd get more done, because maybe I'd sort of make the most of the time I had rather than becoming complacent with the seemingly endless hours.

The painting I'm working on at the moment is facing my bed where I'm currently residing on my laptop, so literally every couple of seconds I look over at it and try to get a sense of if I even like it or not. Every time I look is another thought - it looks derivative of so-and-sos work, or I wish I didn't make that huge shape there in that colour. It's endless but I suppose that's good, on the other hand I wouldn't want to make something that I looked at and was just like "Perfect, NEXT!" because then it's like what's the point or something. Eh.

Today in the mail I received my first set of Copic markers, that I bought with a portion of my last paycheck. It's going to be a massive change to using $2 shop textas, but I'm so excited! I can always use a combination of both of course, this isn't the end of an era - but it's definitely the start of another new one. Quality materials make me feel like I'm a 'real' artist, which is a total myth but I can't deny that feeling of legitimacy.

Often when I think about colour, or I'm using colour in my work (all the time) I get a feeling of dissatisfaction or something, a feeling like there must be MORE colours, colours that no-one can even imagine, let alone even see if they did exist (maybe they're invisible to the human eye!). While I get that there's a science of colour and it's probably impossible to come up with an entirely new primary colour or something, I love the idea of it. It's like when I get to thinking about being on the moon or aliens or what the universe is or something - it's pretty much beyond comprehension. Or, I like the probably disproved theory that everyone sees colours differently, which is why we have specific colour preferences and stuff. This is how I occupy my time when I'm supposed to be getting on with actually doing a painting!

Don't have much planned for this week. I'm just going to be working on art stuff, organising stuff for art stuff and maybe a opening or two. It's strange, because as someone who craves time alone and cites it as one of my favourite past times, working on an exhibition day after day, by myself, is a little lonely. While at VCA sometimes I'd resent being interrupted or distracted by my marvelous friends, occasionally I wish for that now. I'm looking forward to moving into my new Gertrude Contemporary studio in December where there will be a bit more activity and bustle you know.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rainbow Connection

Working on some circular-ish drawings
New art supplies
Stairway to heaven drawing
Unimpressed '60s ski lodge Queen in the laundry outfit.
David McDiarmid magnet from the National Gallery Victoria gift shop
Breakfast in Carlton by myself on Monday drinking out of a jar pretending I'm cool
Rainbow connection on Monday
Infinity drink cards for me at Westspace on Tuesday
Pamela playing at Westspace
My safari outfit combination today
I got some exciting news this week, details of which I will reveal very soon - but it's a big project I'm putting together at the same time as my upcoming exhibition at the Windsor Hotel that I think I mentioned in my last post. It is a brilliant big scary amazing opportunity that makes me quiver with excitement and also makes me quiver with fear as to how I'm going to get everything done... I've asked for some time off work leading up to the two exhibitions and know that it will all come together (not magically mind you, via some good old fashioned hard work...) But I'm just at the stage where these things seem so large and dream-like in my mind that they don't feel as though they'll ever be real. But they will. They will they will!

I had a good conversation with my Dad this morning before work about what I'm going to do for the project. I really like talking to my Dad about my 'career' most of the time because he knows what he is talking about as a creative person, as a business person, and as someone who has my best interests at heart. My family are (...pretty much) the only people I listen to for advice about my work, and, well, anything. With a lot going on at the moment, those conversations with various members of my family truly make me believe everything will be a-okay. A little bit of re-enforcement never goes astray, not that I look for it - but when it's there, I'm grateful.

Hmm. This week has been good so far. It's Thursday night now and I'm preparing for a weekend of painting painting and more painting. This week I've done a variety of things including singing at the Westspace fundraiser, rehearsal with Pamela, Sunday Funday at Sircuit to see a drag show, working, spending over my card limit on art supplies, a few glasses of wine, hand holding, giggling nervously and strange encounters.

I don't quite know how I feel at the moment, because I'm squashing my feelings in favor of thinking about my art. Experience tells me this is probably not good. Maybe there's just no space for my feelings, or maybe my feelings have been there all along disguised in what I'm making.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

If I Could Change Your Mind

FUN FUN combo - Romance was Born leggings and Gorman shoes - resting on some amazing fabric that I bought
Working on some more illustrations for the Rookie Yearbook. Can't wait to see it all together!
A detail of my friends Cheralyn and Gonzalo's exhibition
This has been sitting on the top of my desk pile for a week or so
Found this nice orange pair at Savers today
Knit detail on a jumper at Savers
Pattern detail on a skirt
An illustration for Rookie, for a piece about '70s funk singer Betty Davis, by Britney.
This past week I've been doing a whole bunch of logistical, boring activities that are necessary but never incredibly exciting. It's times when I have to do these tasks that I wish I had someone to just make all the calls I have to make, and present me with all my materials and surfaces to paint on and I could just sit back swirling a glass of wine (or in my case it's more likely to be orange juice or another similarly childish drink) and thinking of things to paint. Alas, this will most likely never be a reality, and if it were there would be some hidden clause that made the whole situation nowhere near as good in reality and I'd be wishing back to the days of begging for lifts with my massive canvases and ringing people I don't care to be speaking to.

Other than those few tasks, I've been at work, doing a bit of socialising after work, and working on my own stuff - illustrations, emails, etc etc. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary. Yesterday I did get a cool email, from the effervescent Kate Nash, who's work I happen to have admired since those long ago teen years. Not only is she a brilliant musician, but she has provided us with the most motivational quote in existence: "I am a bad ass bitch from hell and no-one can fuck with me" damn right. But, as it so happens, apparently Kate is a fan of *MY* work, and, blushing ensued - she's interested in purchasing some! So flattering and exciting. So that was a fun lift for the week.

I was really looking forward to today because I had the whole day to myself to do stuff. As usual, when I do have a whole day to myself, I end up sleeping in and dawdling around and doing things like washing clothes or stacking things into aesthetically piles. That was the case today, although I did get to go to Savers. Truly, in my opinion, going to Savers is the most relaxing activity in the world. I love methodically going through the racks, sussing things out - focusing only on the hunt and nothing more. I love not wearing makeup, being anonymous and slinking through the isles. Then, I love going home and browsing my purchases and stacking them on the top of my aesthetically pleasing piles... plus, what can I say, the elated feeling of a good find stays with you for days.

This week will be relatively busy - from what I can see now, anyway - Pamela is playing a gig at the Westspace Fundraiser on Tuesday night, I've got a couple of social-ish plans and of course, work. I get stressed when I can't fit in time for my art with everything else, so I'm truly going to make *sacrifices* when it comes to my own stuff. I have a new thing where I keep reiterating in my head "My work is THE most important thing" and I have to remember that. When I let it slip from 1st place to 3rd, or 4th, I feel off kilter. Number one will always be my art. Everything else must come second.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Make and do

If you noticed in the above photo, I am wearing a beanie. I bought it from Gorman because I intend to not feel a degree of cold weather this winter. The last time I wore a beanie was on Year 8 Ski camp, which I hated. It was a Roxy beanie and it's probably still kicking around somewhere, actually.

Today was Saturday and I had a great day. This morning my friends Beci Orpin and Alice Oehr came over to my house, to take some photographs of my work/bedroom space for one of Beci's upcoming projects! We had some tea and an amazing pastry thing that they bought over because I had been too busy tidying my space to think about providing some food for my guests...

Then I had lunch with my Mum and my Nanna and we went to the local Op Shop. I found some great stuff, all photographed above! The Women's Day on the left is from 1965, and the one on the right, 1969. The scary looking 'Family Cookbook' is from 1975, and the 'Ewoks' comic is from 1985 and has some fantastic colour advertising inside. So pleased!

I'm having another night in tonight, which I'm glad about (no surprises there). But, it's a long weekend, and I think I might hang out with some friends tomorrow night (Sunday) but because Monday is a day off it's like tomorrow night is Saturday night so that's when socializing will occur... so logical.

Wow. This post is turning out to be rather boring... more opinions soon, I promise, ha ha. Now that we're down the boring path I should confess to what I'm actually doing right now - 'Babe', that movie about the pig is on TV, which is like one of my most cherished childhood films that I watched over, and over, and over again on VHS. It is such a sympathetic film, as a child my heart just broke for little babe. It is actually still breaking right now. I'm also flicking through the '60s issues of Women's Day I bought today, reading all the letters that readers have sent in and getting some great advice on a diet consisting only of peaches and cream... Ah, life. Or rather, ah, my life. It can be very collage-y and insular and odd. And then it can be the opposite.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Rainy night house

Quick stop off in my studio 
My MIA illustration in Filmme Fatales Issue #4
My friend Joe and I drinking goblets of wine. Photo by Heather Lighton for The Thousands.
Brodie, Ella and I. The dream team.
Polaroid of Joe and I by Aevoe. They even provided the stickers!
I'm back in the swing of things - as of... yesterday, pretty much. Last night was the launch of my friend Brodie Lancaster's zine Filmme Fatales (Issue #4!) which I had been looking forward to. I had the pleasure of illustrating the centerfold to accompany Sinead Stubbins' article on Mia Farrow. It was such a fun piece to work on. You can see a picture of it above!

So yesterday I had work and then I went straight from there via my studio to Rooftop bar in the city, where I was meeting Brodie early to help set up and decorate the venue. Rooftop, as its name would suggest, is on a rooftop, which means it's not undercover and is exposed to the elements. As soon as I got on the tram it started raining, and didn't look like stopping! While looking out over the wet, shining streets of Melbourne through the wire fences was rather reminiscent of rainy nights in New York, it wasn't super practical for everyone to be standing in the rain.

Eventually the party was moved one level down, to a nice bar who's name has escaped me... but it was the perfect last minute undercover venue. And there I was! At my second party in two weeks. If I was even slightly more daggy than I already am I'd say something like "Has the world gone topsy turvy...?!" Slightly.

Lots of my friends were at the launch which made me happy, and then the ultimate friend appeared, Ella Hooper - the shiniest, most brilliant human being ever to grace me with their presence. I had my new fluffy pink jumper on and was feeling light, not just because of the goblet of wine I appear to be drinking in the above photographs. Another night out of my little box, not working, not worrying about working, not feeling particularly unwell... is another victory in my mind.

Last, but not least, Brodie gave me a very exciting and generous gift. Emoji stickers. That is, stickers of every single Emoji there is to exist ever.

*shocked face emoji*