Sunday, January 17, 2016

The summer of finding your feet

Hey, how often do you go to the shops in bare feet?...

Yeah I can't remember the last time I did it either, but this weekend I've been waiting in two separate Officeworks and both times I've been in line behind someone without shoes.
Officeworks; come for the low prices, stay for the feeling of a cool smooth floor under your feet... 
So yeah, you heard it here first, it's this summers hottest fashion phenomenon and we can expect to see a lot more people shopping in bare feet. 

Which is why I feel a bit sorry for this cool dude, who I also spotted this weekend, lying on the ground in Fed Square photographing a bunch of footwear for instagram. Poor guy, I didn't have the heart to tell him that shoes are so 2015.
But aside from unlacing that little fashion exclusive the other thing I wanted to quickly let you know about in this blog post is a few upcoming workshop type things that I'm a part of this week. 

Today I’ll be at the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) talking with primary and secondary school teachers about my work and running a little painting and ceramics workshop with them. In addition to that, this Wednesday morning, Jan 20, I’ll be doing the same thing but with year 11 and 12 students, but with a focus on different ways of preparing a folio. 

The teachers workshop is sold out but if you happen to be entering VCE this year, (or know someone who is), then definitely come along to the NGV this Wednesday morning. For more information on that click here

Oh and speaking of the NGV, here's a photo from when I was lucky enough to meet the British artists Gilbert and George at the NGV last November, which was really great because finally my t-shirt makes sense.
(The book that George and I are holding in the photo is actually a ceramic sculpture that I made of their book and they were kind enough to sign for me. 28 x27 x 24cm. Acrylic on ceramic. 2015.)
Another thing happening this Wednesday is artists Dylan Martorell, Dell Stewart and I will be at the MPavillion for a public discussion inviting young people to lead the conversation and ask us questions about our creative process, influences and paths to becoming artists. 

So that's 4.30pm this Wednesday at MPavillion. Come say hi! For more information on that click here.

Oh and speaking of MPavillion, here's a drawing I did there the other day while listening to a harpist harp on about his harp.
And lastly, the third workshop type thing I'm running this week goes from Monday to Friday, (January 18-22), where I’ll be co-hosting a drawing and animation workshop with Melbourne artist Dell Stewart at Signal. (Signal is a government funded creative arts studio for people aged 13-25.)

Signal is called Signal because it's based out of the old building that used to control all the train signals at Flinders Street Station. So if your train gets delayed at some point this week it's probably because I've accidentally leaned against one of the buttons.

So yeah, for more information on the workshop click here.

I think the workshop's gonna be really fun and very excitingly the little animations that the participants and I make during them will be screened at the Sugar Mountain Festival in Southbank on Saturday the 23rd, and also this Friday during a closing celebration at ACMI, (the Australian Centre of Moving Image).

And speaking of ACMI, here's a drawing I did of their very encouraging information desk;
So ok, next time I'll let you know about a couple of exciting group exhibitions that I've been working towards that open in February but you've probably put up with enough information for one blog post. 

And if you want any further details on any of the talks and workshops I just mentioned then here's my footnotes;
Footnotes. 29.5 x 21cm.
Thanks heaps for reading, hope you're going really good and having a great start to the year, and if trends continue the way they're going then hopefully the next time we run into each other at the shops neither of us will be wearing shoes.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

'Tis the seasoning

Hey! Well, it's the last day of 2015, so this morning as I sat down to make Vegemite toast and read my Joy Hester book I figured what the heck, I should really take a moment to try to spread a little joy.
Spreading Joy. Vegemite on toast. 2015.
Spreading joy during breakfast wasn't the only time I played with my food today; for lunch I bought a quarter chicken and chips and because the chicken had such a generous serving of seasoning in it I figured I'd use the stuff to write a quick message to you, the very generous reader of this blog. 

SEASONINGS GREETINGS!

Seasonings greetings. Seasoning on polystyrene. 2015.
There's plenty of other stuff (and other stuffing) to write about but for tonight I just wanted to quickly sneak in this one more blog post for the year to say a huge thanks so much for all of your support, whether it's through buying lots of my work, saying hi in person or in writing, or even just reading this blog, I really appreciate it. 

Thanks again, see you soon, and in the meantime I hope you're having a fun festive seasoning and that your 2016 is jam packed with joy.
Acrylic on paper. 29 x 29cm. 2015.

Friday, November 06, 2015

There's no business like show off business

Hi goggle head, hope your week is going swimmingly.

A few days ago I went for a morning swim, in an attempt to start the week off with a splash, and so before jumping in the pool I did what I always do which is size up the other swimmers to figure out whether I belong in the slow lap lane or the medium lap lane. And every time I do this I always think about this drawing I made back in 2010, titled Life in the Fast Lane.
So with that in mind, when I got home from the swim I decided to make a SHOW OFF painting.
Here I am showing it off.
Last night I went back to the pool again taking my new painting with me. When the coast was clear I snuck up to the FAST lap lane sign and did the old switcheroo, proving once and for all that I am in fact Banksy.
Once the new sign was in place I couldn't work out whether my drawing had to come life... or if I was in my drawing.
And then just for fun, here's a 50 second video I made last night about being in the Show Off lap lane. Thanks heaps to Cherie Peele for filming, and thanks heaps to you for watching, hope you like it!
Speaking of Life in the Fast Lane, something else that's really zoomed up on me is the fact that this Friday night, AKA tonight, is the sixth and final Friday night of my position as 'artist in residence' at the National Gallery of Victoria. 

I've loved every second of drawing with the NGV, and as my artist residency is drawing to a close I just wanna say a huuuuuge thank you to the NGV, being invited to take part in this incredible series of events has been a total dream come true. 

So yes, tonight, from 6 till 10, please come to the NGV, you'll get a free copy of my new little book Catherine the Great Gatsby, plus you'll also get to experience the incredible collection of Catherine the Great, as well a DJ, choral singers, expert lectures, yummy food, and headlining it all, you should totally come to the NGV tonight because there's gonna be people making love underground!
Ha, no wait, I can't believe I've gotten that so wrong, what I mean to say is that you should totally come to the NGV tonight because the headline act is the Aria award winning band Underground Lovers!!
(If you don't know how awesome the Underground Lovers are here's my favourite song of theirs; Losin' It.)
But if you unfortunately can't make tonight then you'll still have one more shot to draw with me at the NGV, and that's tomorrow, between 2 and 4pm. Click here for more info on that. 

Tomorrow's Drop By Drawing is gonna be slightly different from my Friday Night Drop By Drawings for a couple of reasons, the first is that, well, it's free, so that's awesome, but also I'll be doing slightly less talking one on one and a little bit more of talking to the group as a whole. Because of this I'll be wearing a Madonna headset microphone, which is very in Vogue. 

While wearing the microphone I'll try to resist the temptation to give everyone in the National Gallery a taste of my world class beat boxing, but I'm not making any promises.

Oh and a couple of other little plugs, and I'll talk about these another time, but just quickly incase you're interested; on Sunday November 8 I'll be selling a few of my self published books in the Open Spaces event at the Abbotsford Convent, from 11-4pm. Click here for more info on that. 

And then opening on Thursday November 12, I'm in a group show at Blindside Gallery in Melbourne curated by Verity Heyward and Lucie McIntosh. 

And if you're in Sydney on Wednesday November 18, I'm in a group show at PomPom Gallery, curated by Talia Linz. 

So yeah, I'm super excited about all those things and if you can make it to any of them come say hi! But definitely the big thing right now is please come to the NGV tonight from 6-10pm, and/or tomorrow from 2-4pm.

So drop by and draw with me, I'll do my best to teach what I know and make it a good time, and hey, if nothing else it'll give you a nice chance to improve your techniques and show off your drawing skillz. Everyone likes a show off.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Letting the Laura Jeanie out the bottle

Hey, what's news?

Here's something that was news a week ago but just incase this blog is the only place you turn to for all your hottest celeb goss I'd better say it anyway; last week cool guy rapper Drake released a new song called 'Hotline Bling' with a film clip that's heavily inspired by the work of American artist James Turrell.

Here's a little painting I just did of James Turrell's work.
And here's a little painting I just did of Drakes new video, (can you spot the difference?)
So move over Jay Z and Marina, there's a new rapper/artist colab in town. Although apparently it wasn't actually a colab and despite the similarities Turrell has recently put out a funny little statement saying that he was not involved in the making of the video.

Now I know there's a good chance you'd already heard about this on other hot celeb goss blogs, but what you wouldn't have heard on other hot celeb goss blogs is that Drake isn't the only one to have made art about being in a James Turrell piece; and I actually beat him to it back in February with this drawing, (which you might remember from my blog post about going to Canberra and seeing a James Turrell exhibition).
And here's my drawing but this time as a Drake video. 
But ok, I hadn't actually planned on writing about Drake, really all I wanted to say here is that if you're free tonight (October 30) you should totally come to the National Gallery of Victoria because a genie named Laura is gonna be there!

No wait, er sorry I've gotten that slightly wrong, let me try again; you should totally come to the NGV tonight because my friend Laura's jeans will be there!
Actually, hang on a sec, I've gotten it slightly wrong again, yes a Genie named Laura will be there tonight and so will my friend Laura's jeans, and as fantastic as they both are neither of them are the headline act. The actual reason you should totally come to the NGV tonight is because the amazing Australian singer songwriter Laura Jean will be there!!!
Click on this sentence for all the info and to get tickets. Also, if you unfortunately can't make tonight you can also get tickets for the final Catherine The Great's Friday Nights at the NGV, which is next Friday, November 6, headlined by The Underground Lovers.

And of course as well as the aura beams of Laura Gene you'll also get to experience DJ's, choral singers, expert talks, yum food, Catherine the Great's amazing art collection and plus these next two Friday's (as well as Saturday November 7th) are my last two weeks as the NGV "artist in residence" and hosting Drop By Drawing. So please drop by, say hi and if you're in the mood do some Drop by Drawing with me. 

And hey, speaking of drawings, here's one I did a week or two ago during a wheely great and funny talk at the Wheeler Centre by Jess McGuire and Russel Howcroft, (from the TV show Gruen).
And ok rad, thanks so much for reading this, hope you're having an awesome day and in conclusion; sure a video clip of Drake performing in a James Turrell work is pretty great, but if you really wanna watch something special come see Laura Jean perform under the NGV stained glass ceiling.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Game of Drones

Hi pal, if you're free tonight (Friday the 23rd) you should totally come to the National Gallery of Victoria; there's gonna be drones!
No wait, I mistyped that, not drones, even better, you should totally come to the NGV tonight cause there's gonna be Gareth Liddiard, the front man from legendary Melbourne band The Drones!


This'll be week four of the six Friday Nights I'm super stoked to be resident artist for at the NGV and if you haven't made it to one of the Friday nights yet this is an awesome one to start with. If you haven't heard how friggin good Gareth Liddiard is, here's one of my favourites of his;

And as if Gareth Liddiard wasn't already enough there's also great food, great dj's, great talks and Catherine the great's art. 

Plus on top of all that you get a free little drop by drawing book I made responding to the exhibition full of lots to read and draw. Here's a couple of photos from last Friday night of some of the fantastic drop by drawing participants getting into it.


Here's a young couple who drew each other and then demanded I tell them who'd drawn a better portrait. I said they were both excellent for different reasons, ha, but that clearly the girls was better.
And then when they asked me to show them how I might go about doing a drawing I did a quick little demonstration by making this drawing of another couple who were also drop by drawing. 
But one of my favourite surprises from the night was at the very end when I went to pick up my backpack and I found that the security woman working the cloakroom was also drawing in one of my books. So cool.
But so yeah, please come be a part of drop by drawing, it's clever, creative, and just plain fun... 

Ha, but no, those aren't my words, I'm just quoting this very generous tweet by one of last weeks participants.
Thanks heaps Michelle Anderson! And also thanks so much to a guy named Jesse Chambers for this extremely flattering tweet.
Those tremendously kind words are of course tremendously appreciated, but there's no way they're true; Catherine the Great's collection is genuinely amazing and Augie March were friggin awesome. So awesome in fact that I spotted a couple in the crowd literally tearing up with happiness. Naturally I made this quick drawing.
"But for one crowded hour they were the only two in the room."
And after the final song was over and the guys from Augie had marched from the stage, I gave the couple my drawing. 

Fortunately they seemed to like it and they were super lovely. Ha, and when we posed for a photo I definitely didn't look ridiculously dorky, no way, not in the slightest, that's for sure.
Even though I wasn't crying like that couple I do also really like Augie March, and so in the lead up to them playing at the NGV last Friday night I made a ceramic sculpture of a blu-ray DVD of everyones favourite hit 2005 nature documentary 'Augie March of the Penguins'.

Towards the end of the night I found the frontman Glenn Richards and showed him the sculpture and asked if he'd please sign it.

He was super friendly and wrote a really generous little message. What a superstar.

Acrylic on kiln fired ceramic. 16.5 x 13 x 1.5cm. 2015.

I also asked Augie March keyboardist Kieran Box if he would sign it and he was also really cool. While Kieran Box was signing the sculpture I asked him "so you probably get this all the time, but are you related to Fifi Box?" To which he replied "yeah, she's my mum..." 

After a little pause I laughed and he said "No, she's my daughter..."

I laughed again and finally he told me that Fifi's his sister, (which I just confirmed by reading it on Fifi's wikipedia page).
So there you go, small world, Augie March's keyboardist Kieran Box is the brother of Fox FM radio star Fifi Box. Two Box's who are both very outside the box thinkers.

Also hey, longtime readers of this blog might remember that I was actually invited to draw Fifi Box with her then Fox FM radio co-host Jules Lund back in 2013 when Fifi'd just had her baby. (To read all about that click here.)
But as well as Kieran Box and Fifi Box, another person who loved to box was Catherine the Great. In fact, Catherine was actually given the title of "the Great" in 1978 when she knocked out Muhammad Ali. Up until that point everyone had thought Ali was the greatest.
Another fun fact about Catherine the Great is that as a teenager she was bitten by a radioactive spider and became Spiderman. This is where she learnt that with Catherine the Great power comes Catherine the Great responsibility.
To learn the rest Catherine's impressive history, as well as fully experience the incredible depth to her collections, and just have a great night, then click here for more info and to get tickets to the NGV Friday nights

Thanks so much for reading this, I really appreciate it, hope you're going really good and hopefully see you soon! But so yeah, I don't wanna Drone on too much, I'll leave that for Gareth Liddiard, but you should totally come, because just like Catherine did in her day, this event rules!