Monday, October 19, 2009

A half-hearted promise

I made a half-hearted promise to myself that instead of starting any new art projects, with the remainder of the year I'd try to finish all the half finished and barely started and almost completed ones I've got.

So here you can see three of the little matryoshka dolls. These three finally got a coat of sealant over the pencil drawing, so they're now ready for painting!

And what's that strange murky black void infront? It's a copper etching plate coated in bitumen. I have a week to finish drawing on it, then I'll try to etch it and add aqua-tint in a day, then hopefully printing within another week or two at the maximum. I have a dealine of early November for this one.
That probably sounds pretty close to jibberish unless you're familiar with intaglio printing. I've been taking progress shots of it, so I'll write a nice indepth post about the process once it's finished!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Following on from the last post, little bramble has already become a good little woodland muse. After not drawing for over a month, I'm pleased to be able to share this little sketch.

Those of you dear ones a little familiar with my work, will definately agree this is not my usual style, at all!
But I wanted to try something small and quirky, to compliment the style of Crystal's doll.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The beauty of an original #3

Originally, I thought I'd follow a rough timeline with these posts, but I just couldn't stand having to wait weeks to introduce her, no, I want you all to meet her right now!
I think the whole entire, long, drawn-out version of this story is important. So let me begin at the very beginning! I hope you enjoy the meaning behind her too :-)

Antlered Ballerina Nymph by Crystal A Suh

One day, as I was walking towards The Strand Arcade in Sydney, where I was to start working at Alannah Hill, I saw a girl in the loveliest dress. It was all lace and layers, soft and cream and white and grey. I didn't dare run up to her to ask where it was from, but I loved it. As I was inspecting the surrounding boutiques on the same level as Alannah, I came across a gorgeous window display, just two doors down. Tiny hand-stitched birds mingled with romantic jewellery fit for the ladies of the most nostalgic fairy tales. In the centre of the display was the most gorgeous little doll I had ever seen. Dressed in tattered silk, her doe eyes hiding beneath lashes made of lace, her full skirt just showing off the tiny garter on her slender legs, antlers curling atop her delicate head. I crept in to the store to inquire about her. Suprisingly, the girl I had seen that morning was to answer, that the little nymph had been made by an artist from America. I never missed my chance to peer into those windows every day.

I could never have guessed then, that I would end up working in that same boutique in less than a year. When I did, one of the first things I asked Victoria, was who had made Odette - her ballerina nymph.
So after a bit of research, I managed to track down Crystal's etsy shop, and contacted her. I had by then decided I would like to commission her. I'm sure my first message was very silly. I tend to gush.
Crystal was lovely though, and she's mentioned to me that she got a lot of inspiration for this little nymph from looking at my art. This is especially noticeable in her colouring, which I adore.
When outlining some "inspirational words" for the mood I thought would look nice for one of her nymph's, this is what I wrote:

"lace and moss, of branches and brambles, of leaves and vines, antlers, long lashes, grey, cream, silky whispers, tentative and seductive, shy and cheeky, quiet things, secrets, mist and fog and old woods, birds and girls..."

I've named her Bramble, and here are some shots of her when she arrived yesterday, posing with the lovely Odette, her big sister. I can't wait to draw her soon, my little wild girl of the woods.

'Bramble' - Antlered Ballerina Nymph #2 made by Crystal A Suh

~An Afterthought~
I can sew as well, and whenenver I do not update here with new drawings, do not think I am sitting on the couch eating popcorn and staring at the wall... no, I am probably sitting on the couch eating popcorn and sewing something tiny. When you are a little poor girl, you quickly learn to make things yourself. As a girl, if I saw something I liked, I would usually go home, source the materials, and try my hand at it. Sometimes the experiment failed miserably, other times, I learnt something new.

I like to think I am a *tiny* bit of a renaissance lady, and the scope of my aesthetic tastes is very plentiful. Unfortunately, the time it would take me to make all the vast things that I like and would like to have, well... I would never have time to draw another picture again!
With my new "art collector" mindset, I hope to support other young artists like me, and form new friendships. I have definately become enamoured of Crystal's style, and really hope she and I can work together again.

Please visit her etsy boutique sometime: The Crystalistic Shop

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The beauty of an original #2

Part two in documenting and sharing my small art collection.

Two One - Thousand cans

This artist had a show in Sydney in April of 2008. At the time I was working at the gallery on opening nights, taking care of the invoice book. And this was a busy show.
Hiroyasu Tsuri, who goes by the monicker of Two One, was exhibiting a project that took him 18 months to complete, inspired by the tale of Sadako and the thousand paper cranes. His intricate and highly detailed drawings are painted on old spray cans, turning old waste into unique artworks. I felt drawn to this aspect as well as his style, as I was drawing tiny insects on old bottle caps at the time, and writing a detailed paper for my final year at art school titled 'Social Refuse and Natural Detritus'.
I bought these two cans during the show, one for me and one for my partner. As I mentioned, it was an incredibly busy show and I was writing invoices as fast as I could. Hiroyasu was very sweet and gave me a third one as thanks for helping out. I do not have a photograph of that one, it was of a phoenix. My brother loved everything about these cans, so I gave that one to him as a gift last Christmas.

Here's his website, where you can see all of the cans from the Thousand Cans show: One Thousand Cans

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The beauty of an original

I find something incredibly captivating about original artworks.
It’s hard to describe, but something about the intrinsic qualities inherent in a piece of art created by hand. To see the artist’s touch, to know it’s been brought to life with time, love, and labour.

A couple of years ago my partner and I decided on a little motto, of: “keeping it in the arts”. That is, if we ever made a little money from our own art, to spend it on supporting other artists by purchasing their works. I’ve taken to this motto very eagerly, and definitely spend more on artworks by others than I make selling my own! (…so far)
I thought it would be nice to write a series of posts sharing some of the works in my collection, the stories associated with them, and my feelings on supporting other artists.

The beginning of the collection: Drop Bear

Now that I’m working full-time, and earning a regular salary, it’s a little easier to save towards my slowly expanding collection, but back when my partner and I purchased our first “work of art” we were in a very different situation. I was still studying my BFA, and he hadn’t yet had his first solo art exhibition. It was a struggle for us to make ends meet, and there wasn’t usually too much left over after rent.

We were at an art opening of a large group show when I saw this little wooden sculpture. My partner had just sold on of his small paintings, and when I remarked this was my favourite piece in the show, and jokingly asked if we could buy it, he said yes. I was quite shocked and said, no, we couldn’t… because we were starving artists and meant to be trying to sell our own work instead of buying others. That’s when he mentioned the motto, and I was easily convinced. We were pretty proud of that red dot.

So drop bear came home with us two weeks later, packed in an old corn-flakes breakfast cereal box, classy.

Sadly, I do not know the artists name. We met him on the night, but I’ve misplaced it. I’ll ask the gallery to go through its records one of these days.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Breathe, Rusty Breeze

Here are the finished progress shots of my plate, "breathe, rusty breeze"

Now I hand it in, it gets a coating of clear glaze and then gets fired. I don't see it again till the auction night! It's always a little suprise, seeing how the underglazes I've painted on will turn out once fired.