Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our tacky Christmas tree

Merry Christmas all!  

I have been waiting a week to post this, because my internet connection is bonkers and I haven't been able to up-load photos. 
 
My cousin Rob and his wife Mairead are visiting us from Ireland for Christmas.  They are wonderful cooks and the house is full of yummy, yummy food. Today they made olive tapenade, hummous, and babba ganoush and I am in dip heaven!
 
 Last week Mairead had the idea of making a Christmas tree using a branch from a gum tree. We grabbed some of my spray-paints and painted the leaves red (yes, they match Mairead's hair!)


Then we we painted the trunk bright green and went into town to buy some tacky lights which we wrapped around the stem and put into the leaves. Here's what it look like up:


It is completely tacky and ridiculous and we LOVE IT! (The rest of the family don't seem so keen but the whole thing cost $10 so we don't care). 

Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

House Portrait

I was lying in bed the other day thinking random thoughts and one particularly random thought came up, 'Gee...I just love pen and ink drawings.  I wish I could do something like that.' 

So I opened up Photoshop and found a photo of my dad's farm where I'm living at the moment.



I used Photoshop to put a layer over the photo, and then I just started tracing everything I saw.  I did it freehand, because I wanted it to look a bit quirky and messy - not like an architectural drawing.

After I'd finished tracing and drawing (it took about three hours) I deleted the house photo and was left with just the tracing.  Here's what it looked like:

I quite like it. I love all the little details, like the  gate that's almost falling down. 
 
 I'm thinking of getting it printed onto paper, just in a small size (around 4 inches long) and framing it for my dad for Christmas.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Alchemy II

Last week I wrote about getting a little custom artwork made for me by a Bulgarian print-maker named Plamena Doycheva.

Because I do portraits on commission I was interested to try out the commission process from the other side, and so far it's been really interesting and enjoyable. 

Plamena saw my portraits and asked if I wanted to incorporate a child into the artwork. This is what she sent me: 


I loved the layout of the piece, but I didn't really like the child. Perhaps I've been doing too many portraits, but the child just reminded me of work (and stress!) 

So, the child was taken out and this was the next sketch, which had a volcano instead of the child.  I loved this.


I was really interested in learning about the print-making process and Plamena wanted to know about making stencils, so we've been exchanging photos.  

Once Plamena has the basic sketch, she uses metal plates (washed with some kind of chemical) and some etching tools to etch the design in. These are some photos of the plates, tools, and her etched design. 


I can't wait to see how it turns out.  I really like the whole feel of the piece, and how the quote is wrapped around the image.  

So, stay tuned - I'll post an image of the final artwork when I get it.  (It's a Christmas present to myself - along with some bikinis.  Yes, I know - where am I going to wear bikinis?? But, they were so cute!)