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!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Augie Marching to a different beat

Hey pal, if you're free this Friday night you should totally come to the National Gallery of Victoria, Glenn Robbins is gonna be there!
Wait, no, not Glenn Robbins; Glenn Robins is the hilarious comedian/actor best known from the TV show Kath And Kim. What I mean to say is that this Friday night you should totally come to the NGV because Glenn Ridge is gonna be there!Ha, no wait, I got it wrong again, Glenn Ridge was the fantastic host of the old channel nine quiz show; Sale Of The Century. What I really mean to say is that you should totally come to the National of Victoria this Friday night because Glenn Richards is gonna be there!!!
Yes, Glenn Richards, from the iconic Australian band Augie March, will be playing a live set this Friday night under the big stained glass ceiling in the National Gallery of Victoria! 

I'm actually really excited, I love Augie March! And so don't be late, cause he's only gonna be playing music for one crowded hour!
The other reason I'm inviting you to the NGV this Friday night is because I'll be doing the third week of my six week Friday Night NGV residency, which basically means I'll be in the exhibition of Catherine The Great's collection from the Hermitage Museum, from 6-8pm, where I'll be talking about drawing, potentially helping you draw, (potentially learning how to draw from you!), and handing out a free little drawing book I was commissioned to make in response to the show.

So come for the Augie March, the Rembrandts, Rubens and Van Dyck's, and then stay for my free book. 

I'll talk more about the book soon but for now I'd much prefer you just have a look at one, and the only place to get a copy is on a Friday night at the National Gallery of Victoria... ha, or possibly you might find one on a tram, as this very kind stranger tweeted.
How awesome's that?! A big thank you to Bat to the Future, if that is your real name, I'm super happy you like it.

Oh also, before I forget to mention, another big thank you to 90.7 SYN FM's Get Cereal for inviting me onto their SYNsational show last Wednesday to talk about the Friday nights at NGV. Being in the radio station made me feel just like I was in an episode of Frasier, it was SYNply the best.

Here's a photo of me with the hosts of Get Cereal taken after the interview.
As well as Glenn Richards, also performing this Friday night will be DJ Airwolf. I don't really know about DJ Airwolf, but I am a fan of both air and wolves, so howl can you go wrong?

Plus, during the night there'll be two public talks taking place in the exhibition, one by Doctor Bill Sampson, ha, who I also don't know yet and whose name sounds made up, and the other talk will be by someone I do know and love; Australian artist Jon Campbell, who long time readers of this blog may remember from a post three years ago back in October, 2012 when my buddy Dan and I made him a painting of a giant novelty cheque. (Click on this sentence to read all about that.)
And so yeah, don't wait until Augie January for your next visit to the NGV, and definitely don't wait until Augie Feb or Augie March, instead come to the NGV from 5.30 to 10pm this Friday night on Augie October 16.

There's no need to Augie Push or Augie Shove, just click here for more info and to book tickets, and then Augie March on in to the gallery for a great night. A Catherine the great night.

Ha, thanks heaps for reading, I really appreciate it and I hope you're going really good, and yeah, if you're free, come say hi! There'll be fun talks, live music, grate food and even grater art.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Happy go souva-lucky

Hi pal, I hope you're having a super good day, or should I say, I hope you're having a souva good day.

Here's a drawing I did of a souvlaki.
But I'll get back to souva's in a second, first I'd like to quickly talk about how great it is to have a blog...

Now I think it's fair to say that people as a whole can't agree on much. Probably only two things actually; one, that souvlakis are delicious, and two; that having a blog is really, really cool. 

Having said that though, up until this point the only real benefit to me having this blog is that it's a great way to impress all the hip cats at house parties, as I wear my hat backwards like Snoop Bloggy Blogg while standing in line for the bathroom. 
But a few weeks ago, having this blog actually provided me with a benefit even greater than that; I was invited to attend a VIP blogger opening launch for a new restaurant in Richmond called Jimmy Grants.

I'd never been to a blogger event before, it was pretty fancy, they had a thick red rope at the front door and your name had to be on a list and everything. 
"Right this way, you beautiful bloggers!"
The first thing I did when I got in was go stand in line for the bathroom so I could impress people by having a blog, but then I remembered that everyone in the building had a blog, so instead I just made this drawing.
When you walk into Jimmy Grants you're genuinely taken aback by how beautiful the architecture is. In fact, I was so taken aback by the entrance that I had to sit down and make a quick drawing of a tempting bucket of free drinks.
The drinks were bottles of Redds Apple Ale, which is a cross between beer and cider. It's tasty, I really like it. (Ha, although about five years ago I spent a whole summer brewing my own cider and I really liked that too, so I'm happy to drink pretty much anything.)Jimmy Grants is a greek restaurant run by George Calombaris, you know, from Masterchef. The place has been designed in the theme of George's parents first home in Melbourne, although surely Georges parents never had big circular mirrors on their celling or wallpaper that looks this awesome; 
The name Jimmy Grants comes from the cockney slang for 'immigrants', which is such a great name, I wish there were more cockney slang around, it always makes me bubble bath, (which is cockney slang for laugh).

My favourite thing about a food blogger event is watching everyone in the restaurant photograph their food. Here's a drawing I did of five people photographing their dinner while having a great time and bubble bathing out loud.
After that I moved to the other side of the restaurant and returned to my comfy seat back in front of that bucket of apple ales.
While sitting there I made this drawing of three jimmie dimmys, (which are basically just delicious dim sim balls but with a much better name).
After that I made this drawing of five ice cream cones stacked on top of each other.
And after that I made this drawing of five people photographing a chocolate and salted caramel ice-cream. 
And then after that I had a chocolate and salted caramel ice-cream myself.
I don't think I'd ever been to a souvalaki shop that's also a bar, it's pretty rad, and so the last drawing I did at the blogger event was of these two women enjoying a glass of wine.
And before leaving I gave them the drawing.
It was a really fun night.

The next morning I went back to my studio and put the finishing touches on a ceramic sculpture I was making of George Calombaris' excellent kids cook book; 'Georgie Porgie'. 
And the day after that I went back to Jimmy Grants on the first day it officially opened to the public, and amazingly, George Calombaris dropped by and signed my sculpture. 
He wrote "To Kenny, cook in love". And so there you go, a masterpiece to inspire my master feasts, signed by a Masterchef. 
Best of all, after that George also signed my chef's hat.
After meeting George I was in the mood for cooking up some drawings. Here's one I did of a guy with his hair in a top knot.I gave him the drawing and he was super friendly. He told me all about the Melbourne folk punk band The Flying So High-O's, who were on his t-shirt I'd just drawn. But if music's not your thing maybe sport is, as also at Jimmy Grants was AFL football superstar, number 15 himself, captain of the Hawthorn Hawks, Luke Hodge, who was eating a souvalki with his Dad. (As you can tell from the photo Hodgey looks so much taller, and masculine, and with shorter hair, when you see him on TV.)At this point a couple of kids began watching me draw and pretty soon I was surrounded by a herd of them, one of the mum's asked if I could show them some of my drawings, so I did of course, and they were all nice enough to at least pretend to be interested.Unfortunately by the time I'd done show and tell with the kids Luke Hodge and his Dad had vanished before I could give them the drawing. He was so fast, which I guess is probably one of the reasons why his team won the Grand Final on the weekend. So after that I drew this family.
And here they are with the drawing.
They were so nice, and sent me a thank you email the next day. I asked them what their favourite thing on the menu is and they told me it was the shrimp souvlaki. I didn't even realise there was such a thing, I might have to try it next time. 

At this point George Calombaris was just about to leave so I quickly had a go at drawing him. 
I nervously gave George his portrait and fortunately for me he was souva into it. He asked me to sign it and he was generally just a great and souva generous guy.
And after that, to wrap this thing up, I went out to the seats in the sun and drew a souvalaki, (my drawing of the souvlaki is the first image you saw way back at the top of this blog post). 
And so yeah this was a fun one, eating good food and giving out drawings, thanks so much to Danielle Poulos, George Calombaris, and just a big thanks to everyone at Jimmy Grants Richmond. I'm by no means a 'food blogger' so when I first got contacted about attending the launch I thought it must be spam, fortunately for me though it was something much, much more delicious than spam. 

Jimmy Grants is located at 427 Church Street in Richmond. There's also a Jimmy's in Fitzroy, in Ormond, and one on Lonsdale Street in the city. It's easily one of the best souvalakis I've had; give it a go!

But ok, really quick before I finish this blog post there's a couple of other things on at the moment, unrelated to souvlaki's, that I'd also love to tell you about.

The first is that if you head to Kings Artist Run gallery on Kings Street in Melbourne between now and October 24, then you'll get to see the exhibition that's just opened by Sydney artist David Greenhalgh, but also you'll get to pick up a free copy of the exhibition essay I was invited to write to accompany the show as part of the Kings Emerging Writers Program.
The next thing I wanna mention is that if you happen to be out in Regional Victoria Gippsland over the next couple of months, I'm in an exhibition there that opens this Sunday and goes until November 30. The show's at Cowwarr Art Space, which is where I did a two week residency back in May. I've got five new sculptures in the show that I've never shown before, and yeah, it's basically just a group show featuring all the Cowwarr Art Space resident artists of 2015.

And speaking of artists in residence, the last thing I'm super excited to invite you to is that every Friday night for the next five weeks, (October 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th and the 6th of November), I'm extremely honoured and thrilled to be the 'resident artist' at the National Gallery of Victoria! Crazy right?!

Basically what that means is I'll be standing in a room full of works from Catherine The Great's Hermitage exhibition talking about drawing and giving out a free little drawing book I was invited to make in response to the show. Come say hi! For more info on all that please click here!

Ha, and so yeah, what better way to prepare for being a resident artist at the NGV than to be the resident artist at a souvlaki shop.

Speaking of which, after drawing a souvlaki in the sun here's the last drawing I did at Jimmy Grants. It's of a Mum and daughter eating souvlaki's and salad while the Dad sips lemonade through a straw.
When I gave them the drawing the Dad said "You were drawing us?! That's so funny cause we were watching you as well! I was just saying how bad I felt for you for being a Collingwood supporter!" 

I asked "Well, who do you go for?" and he put his head down and said "...St Kilda". I told him "I should be the one feeling sorry for you!" 
And then as I walked out the door here's a nice photo of the family looking at their drawing while the sun sets over beautiful Richmond.
And so in conclusion, not much has changed; we can all still agree that souvlaki's are delicious, (particularly the ones at Jimmie Grants!), and we can all also still agree that blogs are still very, very cool. 

The only thing that actually has changed is that now when I'm in bathroom lines at parties and I'm trying to impress people by having a blog I can seem even more impressive than wearing a backwards cap by instead wearing my autographed chefs hat.
Ha, and the other thing thats new is since getting George Calombaris's wonderful wishes of "cook in love", now every time I cook jam toast it pops out of the toaster in an extra lovely heart shape.
Anyway hope this post wasn't too jam packed, thanks so much for eating. uh, I mean reading. See you again really spoon and hope you're having an awesome chews day.
Do you believe in love at first bite?

The simple joys in life. 
Or should I say, the dim simple joys in life.
Or should I say, the dim simple soys of life.
Ha, ok, sorry, I'll stop kebabbling on.