Sunday, November 28, 2010

More inks

Really liked how this one turned out. There's more focus on line work and the range of mark making and shapes that can be used in an image instead of just tonal modeling.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ink spots and advice

Interpretation is a wonderful tool, and its use should be planned for in every picture. Too many images are blunt in their meaning and their approach to a topic. Without subtlety, mystery or gaps set in the image, whether it be visually or conceptually, you might up with a picture that doesn't engage the mind.

What we have here could be an angry little boy running and yelling. Or a kid with a radioactive head. I will leave it up to the viewer to decide.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Waiting for beach weather

After coming away inspired by Matt Huynh's lovely ink works at the Papermill I did a few tests and spot illustrations. This is one of them, and after being caught in yesterday's downpour (which included heavy fat tropical rain mixed with little evil bits of hail) I decided to add a bit of colour and hopeful wishing. Fingers crossed for sunny weather.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Upcoming exhibition with Matt Huynh

Another of Matt's amazing show's has come around,
this time being held at The Paper Mill
on the 3rd of November, 6-8pm.

If anyone can remember his last show,
including ink and mixed media paintings
shown amongst bones and taxidermy
held at the skeleton gallery in the Australian Museum
I'm sure you'll know not to miss another opportunity
to see the physical manifestations of this creative mind

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pokolbin Village playground

I did my first trip over to Hunter Valley recently, and between wineries and hotels I managed to find an incredibly cheesy fake tourist village. Full of faux homey restaurants (which always seem to have large realistic cow statues) and village shops selling Hunter Valley chocolates (as well as flavored liqueurs available in man shaped bottles) this little tacky respite from grape ferment was surprisingly enjoyable.

There was a bright cheery family orientated feel to the place where previously we'd only come across tittering groups of twenty something’s often vibrating with either a single chicks vibe or pre-marriage hen's night excitement, that and couples.

The fresh squeaky clean attraction left me wondering however who would plan a family outing to an area famous for its booze, let alone plan and build the architectural duet to Disneyland in the Hunter. Leading from assumptions, Pokolbin Village might have been built to accompany the nearby heftily priced Hunter Valley Gardens.

Some entrepreneurial spirit might have noticed many visitors such as myself pause at the $25 entry fee for landscaped gardens and back away without turning, comfortable with trying to peer over the garden’s walls and content with posing for photos in front of their entrance sign and flower display. Understandably the gardens were a thing of beauty, left for weddings and corporate functions. While the village was for people who enjoyed picnic facilities, small town layouts and playgrounds: the complimentary things in life.

During the day the eager bustle of young families in this convenient stop over was infectious, the entire place was made for eating, playing and buying edible gifts. At night however, the sterile timelessness of this kitsch counterfeit community reminded me somehow of Melbourne suburbs. The nice ones that had gone up maybe a little too fast near distant train stops, sudden suburbia of large homes and preened front gardens still awkwardly sitting next to un-cleared land. After sunset and without the neon diffuse of surrounding urban development you felt like you were walking in an empty movie set. Where at any moment the cardboard facades could pitch in the wind, leaving the land to move back in.

There were spots of what I imagine to be forests left in the Pokolbin area. They might've simply been scraps of the original landscape or windbreakers for the wineries and picnic spots for tourist locations. Whatever they were, though unnoticeable during the day, at dusk they gained a solidity. Something we noticed when we accidentally stumbled across the Pokolbin village at around 4:30pm. As one of the awkward late visitors wandering in the deserted tourist village I think we were struck by the lack of lamps and the disparity of the theme park image and its location. Time in the Hunter still runs by sunlight and with all the shops closed and an hour or so left of manageable light I managed to make a brief drawing of the enjoyable and eerie juxtaposition of the empty playground backgrounded with sparse woods.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Me and Bernie hanging out at Mel's Studio

A short sketch of life at the studio, Bernice and I were taking advantage of Mel's hospitality and generous spirit by lounging around her studio space and making little artworks with her materials.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sneak Peak

This is a little sneak peak from a new print that was very popular at the Spring Fair this year. It's an etching that is in it's second stage and hopefully I will be able to push it into a third stage soon. I've been working on it since February and I'm planning more images to build a series of work.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Spring Fair~!

This year's spring fair has been moved to another location because CoFA is currently under development and half of the school is closed for demolition. The Spring Fair (renamed Awfully Nice Markets) no longer sits in the artist community in Paddington but is relocating to the main campus of UNSW. Other than the space and the name business is as usual and so you can expect the same art and design fair of handmade artworks, jewellery, clothes, ceramics, paintings and prints. I've put a little selection of printed goodies that I'm going to be selling on the day to whet the appetite. Come along to see and purchase more!

The exact location is:

UNSW, in Kensington
The Commerce Courtyard, (near the library)
Oppo The CBD (I don't know what that stands for)
in Upper Campus, the side closest to Botany Street
Closest Gates are 9 & 8 on High Street

If That doesn't help you there will be signs and 'yellow shirts' pointing you our way,
as well as a whole cheese plater of other information as
UNSW's Open day for future students is happening at the same time.
That being said there will be information about CoFA courses and degrees
but to get some insider information strike up some conversation with students selling their work!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Love is in the air

It's nearly Spring! or it is Spring! I come from a tropical island without seasons so I'm not the best source of information on this. But I feel like the weather is becoming beach friendly. Nevertheless I managed to snuggle down with a friend at Bad Manners (spelt Badde Manors) down at Glebe to have a nice warm fizzing mug of cider. Awesome. Also got a quick sketch on of these two love birds who are gave off the Spring couple-y vibe. So cute! I've tried to catch the millions of ways they managed to hold hands while a poor neglected carrot cake sat forgotten between them. (They still hadn't eaten it when we left)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

John Fries Memorial Prize

Brief reminder!
I'm part of the John Fries Memorial Prize
That is happening Tuesday 10th of August
if you are interested in coming please RSVP at


02 9310 2018

Look forward to seeing your there!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Zoo cafe with Husky


This is a nice loose image I produced a while back at the Zoo cafe in Bondi Junction. I'm just having fun with the construction and placement of chairs, particularly their relationship to other objects and their own distorted parts. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Voiceworks Magazine

Voiceworks is a national quarterly magazine that features young Australian writers and artists. Full of poetry, fiction, illustration and comics it is one of the very few literary magazine that pays its contributers! I'm part of issue 81, themed Birthmark and I'm paired with the literary styles of Lauren Lovett's Hidden Tiger.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sugar Cafe


Just a quick image of a lovely cafe nearby. I've gone to Sugar cafe quite frequently. Not because of the coffee (grinders) but the service is just really relaxed and friendly and don't chase you out the minute you're done or 15 mins before closing time. Also the decor and the shape of the cafe is just so enjoyable to be in and to draw. They have quite a few customers and due to my eavesdropping I hear their lunch menu is pretty good though everyone else's opinion on their coffee has been mum.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

John Fries Memorial Prize

Brilliant news of the month:

I am one of the finalists for the John Fries Memorial Prize!

The prize was formed by the family members of John Fries to commemorate his work as former director and honorary treasurer at Viscopy, a not-for-profit rights management organisation for the visual arts.

The John Fries Memorial Prize is an annual award of $10 000 and solo exhibition at Viscopy's contemporary art space, Blackfriars off Broadway. Entries open each April and I, on a whim, entered one of my charcoal portraits. I am now one of the lucky 17 selected out of 300 entrants to exhibit at Blackfriars off Broadway and possibly win the award.

Please come and support me on:

The 10th of August (tuesday)
from 6-9pm
Blackfriars on Broadway

1 Blackfriars Street
NSW 2008

The winner will be announced on opening night
and the exhibition runs from the 11th of August to 30th of September

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Evolution of an image

Long time no post, but I have a lot of news and images so this week will be chock full of entries! I wanted to break pace a little bit with my sketches so here are some process shots of the charcoal portrait I had in the show at Monstrosity Gallery! (It also made its way into a magazine! but I will write more about that later)

Hopefully you can still pick out details and follow the evolution of this image despite the bad quality of the photos. Dodgy as they may be they still show crucial moments in the rendering of the face as well as some of the drastic changes I made between stages.

I had been working on this image for a while and had some interesting marks happening, but it wasn't moving anywhere and at the end of the day it was just a slushy indistinct collection of facial features. So I clarified where I wanted the head and the shoulders to be with some strong lines. After solidifying my guideline I was able to push the image because I was confident on the placement of the face.

Most of the fun happens in the beginning when I am just throwing water and smearing charcoal around trying to find patterns I like from the resulting mess. I draw a face and then water it, let it dissolve for a while and then re draw and then let it partially melt again. Then I slowly piece the image together from these leftovers like a fortune teller with tea leaves.

Towards the end I make smaller and smaller adjustments, slowly becoming more afraid of my image and a little too precious with it. Some images die this way. I get too hesitant to change certain areas and I get into a stalemate, where I can't move the picture forward without somehow damaging my favourite part.

Thankfully this one went quietly, though before when I had been pushing it to be a young female with four eyes it had rightly argued. You can still see traces of this in the earliest image's luscious lips and the thinness in the face.

This work is titled The Swimmer and as I said before was on display at Monstrosity Gallery's Portrait exhibition. During the show there was an artist talk and small get together over some munchies. A video was made of some of the artists (me included). Hopefully this video will eventually see the light of day and you'll be able to hear me describe some of the thoughts that go into my drawings.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Smoking Woman at The Zoo


A quick drawing of a beautiful french woman smoking in an outdoor cafe. The thing that made me hastily bring out the sketchbook on this one is that she's partially obscured by a giant palm leaf plant in a shopping trolley. So with just a few tantalizing glimpses of her through the foliage I managed to capture the basics before her coffee and cigarette ran out.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Snap draw of my life

This is a full page spread of crazy squish happening. Its fun to have lists and notes on my life collide with images and doodles every now and again. Although they may not be as pretty to look at I really enjoy these pages just because they remind me of my concerns and living standards at particular times of my life.

New Cafe Blood for the drawing

close up below

Hello all!
Sorry for the long delay between posts. Unfortunately the space between doesn't allude to fantastic and amazing works being produced but actually the opposite. I've been having a lazy time this beginning of the year (I do know its the middle of the year already but I refuse to accept it), funnily enough I've found that almost everyone I've been talking to has said they're in a bit of a hiatus themselves. So either there is a natural phenomenon where productivity drops during the early (middle) months or productive people are staying away from me.

On the up side I found a new cafe which had a decent interior to sketch close to home! The coffee was alright, unfortunately the music was terrible and I had to leave soon after the image was done.

Another upside I will have to mention is my attendance at talks. There are a couple tips and comments that I found particularly helpful or interesting and I'll try post those as well as competitions and opportunities in the future.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Group Show on Friday!

Hello all,
I've been included into a group show! The Opening (incase you can't read the small print on the post)
Is on:

Friday the 28th of May at 6-9pm

at Monstrosity Gallery
93 Bourke Street Woollomooloo

(You can access it from the stairs near the AGNSW
or just by going down Bourke street)
You can find more information about the gallery here

I'll be showing a new never been seen charcoal work in this exhibition!
and after the opening I'll put up some process images!

I look forward to seeing you this friday!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Experimental portrait

I've finally worked out some sort of routine/area for my art making at home! Losing my studio space at University was sad sad time for me, and to help me get over it I snuck back into University and decided to use some unmarked territory as my own. Alas all good things must come to an end, and I am now resigned to working at home.

After a few trial and errors I have finally found a way to fit my messy practice into my small apartment. I will post hilarious images of my canvas' sitting on my bath tub later. At the moment I am jumping between my bedroom, living room table (aka easel and stool in one) and my couch side table depending on the medium I am using. And at the moment I am using a few. After countless arguments about the benefits of working charcoal on paper VS canvas I have conceded to see how the other side lives. (The other side lives in a sucky part of town. Canvas all the way.)

I will admit that a deliciously smooth surface does await the paper user, but so will large framing costs.

Paper has been very friendly towards inks however (though I've used those with canvas as well) and I have been playing around with mixed media especially after being inspired by Matt Huynh work and solo show (happening on the 1rst of June!) I've posted my favourite piece above, it's a mixture of inks and acrylics on paper.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Unwary transport-riding victims for my pen

Someone I managed to capture in decent detail on the bus.

I love sleeping subjects, they don't move around much and you are free to openly stare at them when drawing.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Exhibitions I've made it to recently

Close up of below

Art gallery of New South Wales

Here are a few inspiring exhibitions I've been to recently as well a couple great galleries I've stumbled across.

4A deals in contemporary Asian art, it was hosting a great show with Aris Prabawa while I was there (images above). It's a beautiful space practically opposite Capitol theatre. They are also holding an Animation competition for anyone interested.

White Rabbit is one of the largest private collections of contemporary Chinese Art (I'd say in the World but I don't know enough rich people to check, but at the very least definitely Australia) Three floors of gorgeous art with a cute teahouse on the ground floor. The collection gets changed twice a year so plenty of time to wander on down and check it all out. (Image of Cang Xin's work)

I'm sure everyone knows the AGNSW.
The Archibald Portrait prize, the Wynne and the Sulman-which I have to sat was particularly good this year-finish on the 30th of May. (The above image comes from Martin Ball's entry) Art Express is also on, although I didn't make it there and an enjoyable (free!) mish mash of young contemporary Australian artists in the exhibit called Wilderness can be found upstairs.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Here's a little shot of my notebook journal a loose collections of scribblings, notes, ideas and rough sketches of people I see on the train. I usually am too afraid to mar my precious moleskin with unplanned or long dedicated images so I like to carry this little A6 journal around for scrap notation. Very handy and I find that I enjoy doing and having these little doodles as well as making little proofs of visual ideas I would otherwise forget.

Long time coming

I've let things slip a bit with uploading, but I have a few long winded projects I am attempting to finish so there have been less small illustrations and sketches. Here is just a quick sketch I completed in April of a cafe in Paddington next to Dinosaur designs

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Illustration Friday: Dip

I was caught between choosing a dip in the pool and food dips.
I love drawing people swimming or just lazing by the pool

but I also love food...

In the end I compromised and did both.

So next time you're hungry and in need of cool refreshment
why not go down to your local dipping pool?
Everyone loves a good dip

But don't forget!
wait 30 minutes between eating and swimming
and apply sun cream

Friday, April 2, 2010

More Bear antics

Different vehicle,
same animal,
for more transport related creatures stay tuned!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Inking about

I recently was very inspired by Jillian Tamaki's post on inks, and her ink abilities in general, and I wanted to try a little out myself since I'd been ignoring them and favouring watercolours recently. She had painted crocodiles and since I'm partial to them myself I followed suit.

The idea of a friendly crocodile comes from a children's rhyme or story I heard when I was younger. I can't really remember it but I'm pretty sure the moral ended with the friendly crocodile eating a few children that got swayed by its charms. For this reason I think it was written by Roald Dahl. Who had several kids, and even some adults, meet their end down the gullets of giants, rhinos and other menacing creatures.

For this reason I wanted my crocodile to appear very debonair and affable and a contestant for least likely to swallow and digest anyone. So when it ever did come to devouring it would come as a complete surprise.