Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday night's class: playing with our food.

Last night's class was all about creating with non-tradition media. Well non-traditional if you're over the age of about 18 months...

This is the end result of my first experiment:

More photos of the class to follow when I get them sorted...

Melbourne trip part 5: Homeward bound

It's a short entry. Monday was spent in the back seat of the car, knitting my Flora Cap, with the only break being lunch at Morrisons.This time I not only remembered to take a photo of my delicious ice cream (1 scoop: ginger) but also note where it's from.

Melbourne trip part 4: Savers, Scenes and Sun on Sunday

Sunday morning we had a slow start, which was particularly useful as I'd shown Kerry my super easy overnight bread recipe the night before and so we needed to wait for the baking to be done before we headed out.

First stop was Savers, where the price delusion disease seems to be hitting particularly hard: a vintage linen tea towel (slightly stained)? $5.99. An art book? $39.99. Two old willow tins? $34.99.

I did buy a pair of jeans to replace a pair that died last week ($6.99) and a book ($9.99).

After a slap up lunch of fresh bread, hummus and cherry tomatoes (followed by bread and jam for afters) we went back to Federation Square and ACMI to see Setting the Scene: film design from Metropolis to Australia.
Which was fabulous. Here are a few more surreptitious photos for you:Another model, this time the staircase from The Name of the Rose.The sitting room from Australia, which I'd planned to see on Friday night except I was sitting in the back of a car driving to Melbourne, not in a theatre at ANU...

Speaking of theatres, our final stop of the day was the deliciously deco Sun theatre in Yarraville where Kerry had freebies to see Dean Spanley.We had the La Scala theatre completely and utterly to ourselves and took great delight in sprawling on the large leather sofas, sipping our wine (in glasses this time!) while watching the movie and doing lots of usually forbidden things. Like texting boyfriends (Kerry), standing up randomly in the middle of the movie (me) and talking very loudly whenever we felt like it (both of us) It was great!We ended the weekend back at Kerry's in a very suitable manner: watching Poirot on TV.

Melbourne trip part 3: Post this journal

Melbourne trip part 2: Fabulous and free in and around Federation Square...

Saturday afternoon Kerry was planning to see a film at The Melbourne Queer Film Festival and when she heard I was going to be visiting, bought me a ticket as a belated Christmas gift.And a drink to have during it. (All very civilised...)

Afterwards we caught up with her friends over drinksupstairs in the courtyard where the viewwassuperb.

Melbourne bar rules are most odd. It would seem you're permitted to steal the glasses as long as you're not actually wearing them... (Or maybe they have something against Cinderella?)By the time we finally left Federation Square and wandered off to find some cheap food, dusk was falling and the lane ways were emptying out.Thus saving us the potential to blow our (non existent) budgetsOf course, I had to take a couple of ubiquitous lane way graffiti photos:before we finally settled into The Pancake Parlour to devour the $25 gift voucher Kerry had tucked away in her wallet for just such an occasion.After which we waddled home for Earth HourBefore collapsing into bed.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Melbourne trip part 1: Car knitting

Because isn't that the main reason you accept a fairly last-minute invitation to act as ballast on a trip to Melbourne: sixteen hours uninterrupted knitting time?

I rang friend Kerry, who I was staying with. She ordered an ear flap hat, as the only ones she'd seen retail were acrylic and since she's a good Kiwi girl she knows sheep's the shit. She even offered to pay for the wool. Since the wool is part of a $5 bag of Bendi I picked up at Salvos Mitchell, I declined the offer. It seemed churlish to demand 95 cents from her...

I did learn a very important lesson on Friday night: either cut the (unused) second colour when it gets dark in the car or stop knitting:There was a bit of tinking once we arrived at the motel in Wodonga before the knitting was set aside for the chance to play with J's toy computer...Kerry was very happy with her hat, if a little shocked that it was finished so quickly. I was just happy that it turned out exactly as I'd imagined and that I'd remembered how to do crocheted edging after not doing it for something like 25 years...(Note matching wrist warmers, knitted between Wodonga and Melbourne, and jar of lovely homemade jam!)

Ear flap ties were requested, with tassels. I obliged, courtesy of Kerry's new crochet hooks:

Modern Miniatures on Monday: Mon Oncle in miniature in Melbourne!

Spotted at The Australian Centre for the Moving Image's exhibition Setting the scene (and surreptitiously photographed as the signs definitely said NO PHOTOGRAPHY. I'm a bad bad person)Here's a clip with the front yard from the actual film:

And a wee video I had to take of the rolling eye windows:

Not only was it a wonderfully evocative model but there were buttons to push which did things like ring the gate bell, make the garage door open and shut, the dog move up and down the driveway and the fish fountain start playing.

Damned shame I haven't managed to actually see the movie yet. There was a DVD copy in the ACMI shop but I was strong and reminded myself this was a trip on a tight budget: a tight budget that didn't include $39 DVDs, no matter how much I wanted to see them...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Test shots

I had my new camera with me when I went to the opening of cosmetic and Touch Me Gertrude Stein at Craft ACT last night.
( These are both Jay Kochel's work from Touch Me Gertrude Stein.)

I think the new camera and I will get along famously if this is what we managed on our first night out. I'm just not sure how well my geriatric laptop (which has been with me 5 years today) is going to cope with all these massive files...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New toy

No, not the Kaleidoscope House but my "new" Canon IXUS 500. 5 mega pixels! 3 minutes of video! (Err... far more than I was really wanting to pay but it's the last generation that takes CF cards and I "need" a higher res camera for class next term)

The only problem is (apart from the fact my coffers are emptying rather too fast at the moment) that I now officially have a collection of IXUS cameras: my original IXUS 1 (which makes the cost of this one look like a total bargain), the IXUS 2 I bought off eBay last year, and now my IXUS 5...

Hey! Do you think CMAG might be interested for a future Cabinets of Curiosities exhibition ("My three cameras")?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My $12 haircut

I can safely say a $12 haircut isn't much different to a $78 haircut, except it takes longer and you don't get to drink bubbles (or a latte with a chocolate on the side)...

I think I can cope with that.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Duck it's good...

This Ugress video I found on YouTube:

And the Flickr set w/extra duck. You'll never look at the art classics quite the same way again.

As one commenter said:

"Rubber ducky
You're the one
You make Art History
So much fun"

Speaking of duckies and fun, I couldn't finish this post without this classic video:

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's all about me...

The subject of tonight's class, I mean. We started by drawing self portraits "pulling different facial expressions from different angles and using a variety of mark making materials* and techniques ." Number three (charcoal) is the only one you're going to see:
The next step (after eating banana and walnut muffins to celebrate two classmates' birthdays) was "recognisable self portraits using colour schemes that attempt to elicit the following responses from the viewer.
A) Joy/ pleasure
B) Fear/ anxiety
C) Revulsion/ sickness"

Here's my "Joy/ pleasure". (It obviously worked because every time the teacher looked at it he burst out laughing. I told him off.)

I had the sudden idea to take the collage I did on Saturday night and play with it a bit further.

First I penciled in the basics: the rocket and the figure inside it, inserting my head which I copied from the photo in the collage instead of the original one. Then I blocked out the main colour parts in bright, primary, happy colours (utilising the texture of the board behind it in the drawing):
I fixed the pastels before continuing, filling in the colour of the rocket and the helmet (after adding a few more sheets of padding behind the picture to smooth things out). I added colour over the black shadowed areas and other coloured details:Another round of fixative before I added black edging:It's not finished yet but I was running out of time and still had the other pieces to do. I hope to get back to it soon (especially as I suddenly realised the rocket is just crying out for a set of training wheels!)

"Fear/ anxiety" started with Self portrait #3 above as I thought it would work quite well with the theme. I penciled it in large, covering the whole left side of the page (giving myself a nose-job in the process): Since the whole "block it/ fix it/ add detail/ repeat" experiment worked so well with the first picture I tried it again here:(once again using the texture of the board backing to create a sort of scumbled effect.)

Layer two with details:I wanted a chaotic, jarring background but also some cohesion in the piece so I used the teal of my eyes (since there was no "hazel" pastel in the box) and the red I was going to use on the lips. Which I know from class last week are two colours that provide simultaneous contrast (ie: if you put them next to each other the edges tend to jump around)

And on to layer three:where, once I added the lipstick, the stripy shirt and the yellow zigzags, I suddenly realised I'd transported myself back to the worst of the early 80s. I may have, in fact, just drawn Little Nell...

(*art speak for pencils, pens, charcoal, crayons, pastels etc)

Sewing and secret messages

"Sew this page" it said. So I did,trying out a number of different approaches (I bet these are the only buttonholes to be found in a WTJ!)

And the message? It links to this pagewhich, as I was creating it, caused a sudden flashback to my most favourite comic of all time: Groo the Wanderer. (Anyone else read this?)

In every issue of Groo there was a secret message. My memory gets a bit hazy here: either there was one secret message and several others that said "This is not the secret message", or possibly the actual secret message read as above. (It was a long time ago!)

Whichever is correct, I suddenly had the urge to supplement my actual secret message withseveral"Not"messages...