19 September 2014

Paint & Patterns

Day 71 of the 100 Days Project and just over a month to go! Discoveries include the joy of deliberate messiness, how great it is to slop ink and paint around and exactly how much I love making patterns. I'm also learning to not be so self-critical, which is a massive achievement for me, the master of picking my own work to pieces. There have been some sticky uninspired patches for sure, but now the end is in sight with a 100 Days exhibition in November, I'm starting to get all excited again.

8 September 2014


This week's Illustration Friday theme is radio - and also one of my 100 Days Project prompts (hurray for killing two birds with one stone!)

When I was a kid I had a little transistor radio like this one. It went everywhere with me - even into the bathroom, where it sat on the window ledge playing the American Top 40 and BBC crime dramas while I wallowed for what seemed like hours in the steamy bath. 

25 August 2014

Loving Blue

We're nearly half way through the 100 Days Project, and it's wonderful watching the construction of a giant one hundred-image grid. I've been through patches where I've fallen behind and there are still a few holes waiting to be filled, but it's usually easy to catch up and I'm still determined to make it to the end.

Likes, habits and new ideas are beginning to reveal themselves, some of which have surprised me. I knew I liked making patterns, but I didn't realise how fond I was of the colour blue - and grids! There's lots of both of those things in my project, and I didn't even realise until I looked at it today.

11 August 2014


It's so good to leave the city, especially in winter. This is Wenderholm Regional Park, next to the Puhoi River and only forty-odd minutes out of Auckland. We stayed in a converted farmhouse right on the water's edge, with a fruit orchard full of grapefruit, oranges and spindly pukeko running around in the grass. 

My favourite part of the visitors' book was an entry by Alma Schischka, whose husband was born in the house's middle bedroom in 1915. And the food! She prepared a daily menu for the farmers that included ten slices of bread and jam (each), multiple billies of tea, porridge, flounder, scones, cold mutton and 'something from the tins.' We didn't quite match that but did eat a lot of chocolate (compulsory walking fuel), buttered crumpets and oranges from the garden. A small amount of art making was done, but not much - I seemed to spend a lot of time just staring at the river thinking about dinner. 

23 July 2014

My Boy

Things I love about making something new every day:
  • Playing with paint
  • Using mixed media
  • Limited colour palettes
  • Learning to work fast
  • Seeing the days building up into a collection of pieces
This was Day 11, with the prompt being: My boy / alter a photo or postcard by drawing on it. Some of the drawings are mine but most are his. He likes drawing small creatures too, but in his ideal world he'd get to stay in bed all day playing Minecraft and eating popcorn.

14 July 2014

100 Objects of my Affection

We're into Day 4 of the 100 Days Project, and this time I'm loving the fact that I have a plan in place. This is my system, which I had a lot of fun devising - four jars filled with little bits of paper. Each jar has its own theme: a word (a something I love), colour palette, material/s and a random instruction. Each day, I pick out a piece of paper from each jar, and that's my prompt for the day. 

This was Day 1: Lists (how appropriate), black white red, use brush and ink, use a caption that starts with your name. Magic! It takes all the indecisiveness away and forces me to try new things. You can follow my progress here, and tell me off if it looks like I'm lagging behind!

I came across this talk on rule-based making when I was looking for ways to create creative prompts. We do use the idea of 'restrictions bringing freedom' in our theatre projects, but I've never used it in my personal work before. It'll be interesting to see where it takes me over the next 96 days.

4 July 2014

Winter Projects

Next to my computer lives a little old school desk, like the ones we used to have at primary school. Usually it's covered in piles of paper and pens and reference books and crumbs, but this is what it looks like when I'm ready to start something new.

It's been so soggy and foggy and miserable here over the past few weeks that the idea of indoor winter art projects is very inviting. I'm trying to discipline myself to stick to one or two and not sign up for everything that looks like fun (hard). The 100 Days Project starts next week - I had a go last year but soon came to a grinding halt because I didn't have a Plan. I just bumbled about doing a few little drawings and hoped for the best, but that lack of strategy was not a success. This year I'm having another stab at it, but this time with a concept in mind. Not sure what yet, but what I think it needs to be is 1/specific 2/small-scale 3/something with an element of surprise so I don't get bored doing the same thing every day. 4/do-able in a short amount of time. Determined determined determined... it's not too late to register, by the way - you can sign up here. Come and join me!

9 June 2014

A Little Film for MATS

This is how the beginning of a project goes: Clean house. Get everything ready. Rejoice in the feeling of a new start and a tidy workspace. After the project ends: Look around at the piles of paper and general chaos. Wonder how I didn't see the army of dustballs in every corner. Clean house. Start again!

So here's my little finished film, which started out as a bit of a play-around with old drawings, which then turned into a competition entry for Make Art that Sells (the little green house is their logo.) It was fun. It was incredibly time-consuming. Working on it became obsessive, but in a good way. It was also a way of bringing all the skills and insights I've learned this year into one package, with the freedom of creating my own brief. And now for a little bit of half-hearted cleaning...