Sunday, September 12, 2010

Love, Hate and Vampires

I've been working on a collage recently - well okay, two of them.  One is called:  'Just A Girl' and it's about how society expects girls to grow up in a particular way.  From the moment they are born, they are given dolls, teddy bears, prams, little shopping trolleys and tutu's to play with while boys are given all the cool toys of Tonka Trucks, soccer balls, water pistols and skateboards.  So, 'Just A Girl' is about how girls shouldn't be put into a box - or boys for that matter either.
The other collage I'm working on is called:  'Love, Hate and Vampires'.  It's mainly using old books that I've scrounged from charity stores (don't worry, they were falling apart
anyway) and I've glued the covers, torn pages and other bits on the canvas of other pages as a background.  Then, using the paint colour red, I've represented three emotions:  love, hate and vampires.  It's yet to be finished and I've still got to tweak it to make it look more or less better than it does now.
Anyway, I'll keep you all posted on how it looks when I near completion.  It's look pretty good now, but I really want to make it look a little better than it does now.  The red looks too much like paint and less like blood... if you know what I mean.

How I Began With the Arts

I love working with all kinds of mediums when it comes to art.  I started off being a glass painter and having to buy a mask for the toxic fumes the leading put off.  It was a fun and very addictive art form.  Then, I did glass painting again; but used different kinds of paint... it involved brushes and a very steady hand. 
This lead me to painting on canvas.  But I didn't pick it up straight away; instead I took an 8-hour bus trip out to Roma in Central Queensland and was taught to paint by a wonderful woman... my then boyfriend's mother, Gail Humphreys.  She was a great artist when I knew her; and taught me the basics.  Dan was so proud of my first painting and I still have it around here somewhere (I'll never part with it or the other three I did that week).  She was so proud of how I picked it up so quickly.
Not long after I returned from Roma, Dan suggested I try to get some work in an art gallery.  He looked around for me and said that the Logan Art Gallery was looking for volunteers... I didn't know at the time that there was an art gallery here in Logan; so I drove there and met the curator at the time (Julian Bowran).  He welcomed me with open arms and I was on the roster immediately; and it was even better that I had a car!
Years passed and I learnt more about art.  There were installation days I was allowed to walk around and watch them hang the paintings.  Sometimes, I'd even pick out a detail in something that wasn't installed right and Julian was impressed and relieved somebody had picked the mistake (it would have been embarrassing on Opening Night if the smallest thing was wrong).
My art got better and I painted more and more when I left home on my own.  It was then, in my 30's I began working with collage and mixed media.  I enjoyed the texture of it and how it conveyed more than just plain old paint.  I tried out the style of artworks where you find stuff on the side of the road, but because of the lack of space, I couldn't do it.  So, collage with little things was the best thing for me.  And those things aren't hard to find in charity stores or in Council Pick-up days.
In the last month, I've painted a Traffic Signaling Box near my house.  Mum helped me and we had a ball!  It's so much fun when you take part in a community project; and it helps make your area look better.  And I've had such great feedback about that box since it was finished; so much so, I'm determined to do another one.
Art is something I've always loved; and will probably will always do in my life - as well as writing and love books - and so since I'm in a house full of arty things, I'm sure I'll be recognised for that one day as well in some small way; even if it's just my family who loves it and nobody else.

Friday, September 3, 2010

TSB - Day Five. The Finishes Touches.

This morning, I woke up and found I was feeling very sick.  It had been a hot night and was turning out to be a sticky day.  Well, that's the beginning of Spring here in Australia for you.  But after I had some breakfast and a few glasses of water, I was well enough to get into going to finishing up the TSB across the road.
Mum and I arrived there at around 11:30am or so; and it was already a pretty hot day.  I had put on sunscreen at home,
but I could still feel myself being burnt an hour later; and the heat of the sun was really getting to both of us even though there was a nice breeze.  
But today, I had been asked to paint up the Top Hat section of the box.  This is what we left blue last time.  This is to really make sure that this box doesn't get tagged again.  so, I designed a template for a sun and some rays to come off it last night, cut them out with some small scissors.  We
had some funny times drawing on the sun as the Top Hat section is taller than both of us.  And so, when it came to me doing the main painting of it, I had to pull the paint out of the box, flip it over and stand on it (as we hadn't brought a ladder!).  The trials of being a shortie!  I tell ya!  But we had our fun with the sun on the box.
Once we had it drawn on, I cut out the circular section where the sun's centre went to draw in that area and then we were set to put on the rays and then some white birds.  We put some undercoat on before painting the sun a gorgeous orange (for the centre) and bright yellow for the rays.  So, that the orange centre wouldn't be tagged, I painted in red swirls that were visible from the road.  And once we had three coats of yellow on, I outlined the whole sun in a cool red so it stood out brilliantly.  The rays were orange and outlined in red.  Mum did some birds flying all over the blue sky and had to work on them.  She tried to make them look like Seagulls but when they looked like they had been picked off one by one(with red dots for beaks and eyes, it wasn't looking very nice), she decided to just stick with a nice white colour.  Then, to finish it off, Mum mixed a nice green together and painted the concrete underneath the TSB making it look like grass.

It was very hot work, but it's been worth it.  I do love the way it worked out; and so does Mum.  I would love to do another one next year.  Mum would be in it with me for sure!  I'll have to work on another design soon to get the wheels in motion for next Winter as today was so hot, we agreed doing this in the Summer months would be dreadful for both of us.