Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ketty or not, here I come

Hey pal, what's news?


Oh right, it's only me talking here isn't it? So ok, I guess I'll tell you what's news then. 

There was a faulty train at Flagstaff on Monday at 8am, and so many trains were stuck in the city loop for half an hour. 

A study at the University of New England says apparently people who sit at desks all day have shorter lives.

Melbourne Music Week is in November and searching for venues and record labels to get involved.

And Lara Bingle has avoided a six month jail sentence for "unlawful driving", instead receiving a $2000 fine.

Oh and hey, in-between those four news items, apparently I'm news too, for here I am on page 2 of Tuesdays mX newspaper. 
The article was about how tomorrow I'll be riding the train from the first train at 4.20am and trying to get to the end of all sixteen train lines before the end of the day. Along the way I'll be doing some drawings.

The first thing my mum said to me when she saw the article was "Darl, you need to smile more". Ha, "But Mum" I said, "I was laughing and waving at that big camera for fifteen minutes, they must've taken at least three thousand photos of me with a huge smile!" I wish they had've picked a photo where I looked a little happier,  but I guess aside from me looking lousy it is a nice shot of people looking at my work.

Anyway so it was pretty exciting being a news item, unfortunately though due to a typo any potential new twitter followers I might've gotten from it have all gone to my arch nemesis Ketty Pittock.
What was really cool though was that twitter people I don't know got on board in support of Ketty.

I googled Ketty to see if it's a boy or girls name, and urban dictionary tells me that instead Ketty is;
the state achieved after snorting Mucho's horse tranquilizer (Or Ketamine). 
Ha,  so there you go. Giddyup.

In addition to this there are two people on wikipedia with the name Ketty, one has it as their first name and the other has it as their last name, both are female so I guess it's a girls name, however neither were actually born with the name so I'm still not convinced it's a real name.

But ok, so the person with Ketty as their first name is Ketty Lester, she's an American singer and actress who's song Love Letters appears in the David Lynch film Blue Velvet. I still haven't seen Blue Velvet, nor do I own anything made of blue velvet, nonetheless I did look up Love Letters and here, have a listen, it's beautiful.
The person with Ketty as their last name is Rina Ketty and she's a singer too. She's French. Here's a song of hers from 1938. It's beautiful too.
I can't decide which of those two songs I like more, but between them and the horse tranquilsor I've realised that being mistaken for a kitty is definitely not a bad thing.

But so alright this whole Ketty thing has gotten me a bit off track, (great train pun), what I should be talking about is how strange it was being on page 2 of the mx, and waiting for my train and watching a crowded platform of strangers reading it.

Here's some photos I took of people looking at my dumb photo, it felt a bit like something out of a movie.
And to bring this whole thing full circle, or full city loop, here's a drawing I did of a guy on the train who's reading an article about how I draw people on the train.
Surely that is the highlight of my life in drawing, yeah? I should probably call it quits now cause it ain't getting any better than this, I oughta just get my mits on some of that horse tranquilliser and kick back in a state of sweet, sweet ketty.

But so yeah, before I do anything like that I should really get some sleep because it's well after midnight and as the article explained, I have to get up early and catch a train. 

Another article with a little more information that explains it a little better and doesn't have any typos was also in The Age on Wednesday.
"A kind hearted take on the foibles of human nature" -Dylan Rainforth. Reading that very lovely line makes me feel almost as good as listening to a song by one of the Ketty's. Also, people don't use the word 'foible' enough.

But so ok, thanks so much for reading, and so hey I think the best way to finish this blog post off is to mention that today I got my international drivers license. What that means is that I can now legally drive a car basically anywhere in Europe.

So that's good news, and what it also meant is that for the license I had to have my photo taken. "Am I allowed to smile?" I asked the woman at RACV, "you sure can" she said. 
And so there you go, that's better, the next time I see my Mum I'll be sure to give her an updated copy of the mX article.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How Michelangelow can you go?

Last week it was in the news that Michelangelo's David could be in danger of collapsing due to some micro-fractures in his ankles, it seems that the Goliath known as gravity might finally slay him down.

Some people are saying it'd be a good idea to move the 500 year old teenager out of Florence and into an area less prone to earthquakes, and sure, we could move him somewhere less groundbreaking, but I can't help feeling like no-one's yet suggested the most practical solution to supporting the Achilles heel.

David's got bad ankles right? All we gotta do is call up Michel-ankle-o and ask him to bust out the chisel and make another sculpture, this time of a walking frame. Problemo solved. Here's my artists impression of the improvement.
Acrylic on 225gsm paper. 42 x 29.5cm.

Anyway the reason this David story really stuck out to me is because at the time I read it I was having similar troubles of my own. About ten days ago I sprained my foot while training for the 33rd Puffing Billy Great Train Race.

The Puffing Billy Great Train Race is an annual event where you run 13.5km along the train line of Puffing Billy, from Belgrave to Emerald, and try and get there faster than the steam engine. I've never done any running before, but this year, as part of my "Trying new things because I'm in NEW14", I decided I would compete in the race.

The train does the 13.5km's in about 56 minutes, which is pretty darn fast, but I'm young and fit, I figured I could beat it. Just think of all the times you've been on a train that's barely moving and you think to yourself "I could run faster than this", well now was my chance to prove it.

But alas, a week out from the day I trained too hard and while running 11km on treadmill I somehow managed to hurt a ligament. I went from preparing for the biggest run I've ever done to suddenly not being able to walk from the couch to the kitchen. I was hoping it'd go away overnight, here's a shot of me in the studio, trying to get a little peas.
A few days passed and I still couldn't walk on it. Here's a drawing I did in the emergency room that slightly exaggerates how swollen my ankle became.
Four days out from the race I called up the Puffing Billy people and asked them if I'd be able to do the race on crutches. They said no and that the track would be too steep, wet and muddy and it wouldn't be safe, plus the maximum time limit is two hours. They offered me a full refund, but I didn't care about that, I wanted to race.

I did a bunch of googling on people who have run marathons on crutches, and people have done it, but once I actually got my crutches I realised how difficult it would be. 
Who'd have thought that instead of the race being the next new thing I'd do, it turned out instead to be using crutches. 

Getting crutches is kind of funny, I thought there'd be like a little lesson or something where the doctor shows you how they work via a little puppet show, or maybe they make you watch an old induction video, but really they just give you the crutches and say "off you go".

After three days on crutches it was race day, and despite Dad telling me how stupid I'd be to do it, I strapped up my foot and drank my Up'N'Go. The main reason I decided to go through with it is because in preparation for the race I'd started following this cheeseball running guy on twitter who posts cheeseball inspirational running quotes, and the afternoon before the race he tweeted this;
And I thought yeah, you're right Mr. weird marathon running guy, I don't want life without running either, so I decided I ought to be the greatest hero in the world and run on the sore foot. I wasn't trying to beat the train anymore, I just wanted to make it the whole distance and if possible, not come last. 

So here's a shot of the 3300 other people at the starting line.
And here's me and my pal Alex, looking cool.
And here we again, looking slightly less cool, as I do some stretches.
But cool or uncool, sprained or unsprained, here I am feeling like David as I race that Goliath train.
Here's some anti-McDonalds protestors we passed on the way.
Here's some firemen with cups of water.
Here's a nice house that looks a bit like a Barbie dream home.
Here's the halfway point.
Here's Alex a second before he ducked into the bushes to relieve himself. 
Here's Alex tying his shoe, with a person in the background gaining on him.
 Here's Alex still tying his shoe, with the person getting closer.
And here we are with just a km and a half to go. 
And finally, here we are triumphantly crossing the finish line.
After the race you get a free leg massage. I'd never had a massage before so this was another first for me. They oil you right up and dig pretty deep. It kind of hurt, I guess it's meant to, I don't get why people like it so much, you weirdo's.
Anyway since the race I've been going easy on the foot and it's almost fully recovered, I won't be crumbling anytime soon, and neither will David once the new walking frame sculpture is built. In fact the only David that's gonna fall down ever again will be this print of him that I found earlier today on the floor of Arthur Dailey's Clearance Warehouse.
But yeah, I guess all I'm saying is try to stay grounded and not take your feet for granted, and mark my words, next year I'll race that train again and I will be writing here about how good it feels to beat it.

Oh actually before I wrap this up, one last running related thing I want to mention is that tomorrow night I'll be running a drawing class at ACCA. I ran one a few weeks ago that was just for primary and secondary school teachers and it was so much fun, here's a picture of me with Melissa Bedford from Monash University and a drawing she did of me.
There were so many really great drawings that came out of the day, and yeah maybe in the next post I'll share some of them with you, but in the meantime this class is open to the public, tomorrow night, (Wednesday May 13), from 6-8pm. It costs $40, which includes all the art materials you can stuff into your hands and all the fancy wine you can stuff into your stomach. 

Here's a screenshot of ACCA's post on facebook.
Or click on this sentence for the full run down of all the info about tomorrow night.

So yeah, I love doing this kind of thing. I'll try and teach you everything I know about drawing, (which admittedly might not be a lot), and even if you don't learn anything I can still promise it'll be a lot of fun. Anyway, thanks heaps for reading and hopefully we'll run into each other sometime soon!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Sinking the Boot in

The other day my Dad said to me Hey I like your new painting

Yeah, really? I said, thanksIt felt a bit weird, I don't think my Dad's ever said that to me, so quickly followed it up with Which painting?

The squiggly one out on the porch, he said, and then I realised what he was talking about.
Dad I didn't do that, it's a Van Gogh.

Oh ok.

You know the Don Maclean song, "Starry, starry night", that's the painting he's singing about. It's pretty famous.

Yeah, alright.

Ha, Dad telling me he liked my new painting and pointing to a Van Gogh print is a pretty funny joke, but I think the fact that he was being sincere is even funnier.
Anyway, after all that I've decided I'm gonna get rid of the Van Gogh print, I can't have it sitting around and outshining me. And so if you'd like to be the new starry-eyed owner of this print then this is your lucky weekend, all you gotta do is come to Das Boot.
Das Boot is an exhibition fair type thing on this weekend, as part of the Next Wave Festival and curated by two of my favourite Melbourne artists; Oscar Perry and Esther Stewart.

The event is for two days only, tomorrow (12-6pm ) and Sunday (10am-2pm), at the Arts House meat market car park, 5 Blackwood Street, in North Melbourne.

Here's the flyer, and as you can see there's some pretty big names in the show, (Clare Wilmot Griffiths and Benjamin Lichtenstein are officially the biggest names, they both have twenty letters).
Lots of artists will be flogging stuff and there'll be all kinds of events going on. Here's a link to the website, (it's designed by Rowan McNaught, and a particularly fun thing about it is that the classifieds in the background change every time you click refresh).

The only work in the show I really know about is by Melbourne artist Natalie Turnbull, I hear she's making a sculpture by filling up a car cover with balloons. I can't wait to see it. Hopefully she uses helium balloons so that it turns into one of those futuristic flying cars that science fiction has been promising us for years.

Anyway, once you've been blown away by the future please come back to the present in time to my stall and make me an offer on the Van Gogh print. 10 bucks? An old pipe? Your ear? I'll take anything. EVERYTHING MUST GOGH!!!

Actually no, not everything must gogh, in fact at this stage aside from the Van Gogh print I don't think anything at my stall will actually be for sale on the day. Instead my stall will just be made up of a collection of my sculptures, some from the past and lots that're totally brand new, that just look like a typical market stall, based on the kind of stalls I see at my favourite market; the Wantirna Trash and Treasure.

Speaking of the Wantirna trash and treasure, here's a photo I took there of a wee little girl who was very excited to see a stuffed dalmation.
Ha, hopefully you're equally as excited about this weekend, and so yeah, this weekend, don't leave me all alone, have a rummage and hang ten at the Next Wave! If you ask nicely I might even draw your portrait. Das Boot is gonna be heaps of fun, so come say hi, strap on your das boots, cause you know they were made for das walking.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Third of May, May the Fourth, and yesterday

Hey! how was your weekend? Good? That's good. I thought I might write a quick something to help keep things up to date.

Three days ago it was the third of May, so here's a photo of Goya's 1814 painting, The Third of May 1808, drawn by me as a pretend "It's moments like these you need..." Minties wrapper cartoon.
Moments like these, (After Goya). Acrylic on paper and ceramic. 2012.

The piece has since been bought by the awesome Melbourne artist and past VCA teacher of mine, Lou Hubbard. Here we are on the day I delivered it to her office.
(Lou is pictured with the wrapper drawing in one hand and the Mintie sculpture in her other, meanwhile I'm just eating a real Mintie.)Oh also, this photo was taken just before Christmas, hence the stylish hat that's falling off my head. 

But so yeah, last Saturday was the Third of May, which thanks to Goya is a day that reminds us of the Peninsula War, between France and Spain, and so then obviously the day after the third of May is May the Fourth, which thanks to George Lucas is a day that reminds us of the Star War, between the Rebels and the evil Empire.

A long, long time ago, (when I was about 10 years old), in galaxy far, far away, (at Upper Ferntree Gully Primary School), Star Wars was my whole world. I was thinking about this last Sunday and it made me want to dig up a drawing slash painting thing I remembered doing of Boba Fett all the way back in 1999, when I was in grade five. 

The fourth was strong in me when I drew this, although it's a shame I must've left it outside at some point because the fourth was clearly strong in the rain as well, which seems to have blotched the image quite a bit.
Boba Fett. Connector pen and acrylic on cardboard box lid. 20 x 35 x 1.5cm. 1999.

I did the drawing on the lid to the box that I keep my Star Wars figures in. Looking at it today I can't believe I never realised how similar this lid is to a canvas. I guess I didn't even know what a canvas was back then. 

But so ok, just because May The Fourth Be With You ended Sunday night it doesn't mean that all the Star Wars fun has to stop, remember you can still head on down to NEW14 at ACCA and check out my sculpture of Chewy.
Gum. 1.5 x 1cm. Acrylic on ceramic. 2014.

Ha, and finally in other news I've got a little update on a photo that I included in a blog post last Thursday. 

Here's the photo, in case you missed it.
So on the weekend I tweeted this photo along with the same explanation that I included in the blog post; 
I like to imagine that the six inches on the left of her sub is Veggie Delight and the six inches on the right is Meatball.
In reply to the tweet one of my twitter friends tweeted me saying "It's Victor Victoria from @eastendcaberet", and sure enough she was right, just check out @eastendcaberet's most recent twit-pic for all the proof you could ever need.
Since then I've watched all of her (and her cabaret partner Bernadette Byrne's) youtube videos and become a big fan, and then yesterday I tweeted to them asking if I was right about the sub, to which they replied; 
Pretty amazing hey?! Ha, we sure have come a long way since the Peninsula War of 1808, and a long, long way since the days of stormtroopers. 

Anyway it's moments like these I need to finish up the blog post, thanks heaps for reading, hope you're having a fully sixth day.