Monday, November 8, 2010

A new zine

I've started a whole new book worth of book art, in a Reader's Digest type of compendium book, full of wicked short stories and photo essays, it's a classic in itself. Been changing the pages around and adding things to make it more exciting. Besides being tremendous fun, it counts as Tafe work too, our brief being to use a text as a launching point to create an artwork. Here are the first lot of completed pages, just scanned in flat (no cropping or photoshopping yet).

When I am done with them, I'm going to start the next issue of Book Art (3)

A terminator inspired page. I start by circling words in pencil to make a poem, then add colour (this time with chinagraph pencils which have a wax like consitency mmmm). Then I rifle through my box of papers and magazine bits and find images that fit.

Poem about the apocalypse + Terminator skull = this

A creature from the movie "9"

Same little guy from "9" looking into an abstract line landscape

Snakedog? Dogsnake?

You can find Book Art volume 1 here:
And volume 2 here:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Yes... I am still obsessed with watercolours

and your anatomy. This is what you look like, about four weeks in, like some kind of creepy yet loveable squidgy monster thing. Soon to be made into a series of paintings.... when I have the space to paint in...
My paint box, blind gestural drawing done in class with Fi, then coloured in with the actual colours.

A heart done at the anatomy lab... yes, I went again and it was amazing.

Gestural life drawing drawn with me left hand. I think the boobs are best, very much how they are weighted in life. The face is bloody awful though, a total mess.

Created these two during workshop week, apologies for the terribly dark photo, I'm still learning how to use my camera. They were chosen to hang in the Tafe gallery and I nearly died of the happy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


So, new resolution in order to get life back on track... well, one of many, is to write in this blog more regularly because I think it is kind of a cool record of things to have and occasionally I take photos that I don't really have a place for. So here they are, bits of life...

We've been going on afternoon excursions in drawing class with our excellent and quite hilarious teacher Mandy. Last week was Stockton, a suburb across the water from Newcastle connected by a giant bridge that looks like a dinosaur (the drive to get there takes twenty minutes) and a ferry (which takes two). It was windy and cold, but the sun was out, and I managed to find a spot sheltered by the wind next to the ferry terminal where I could watch the ships come in.

This is my little setup for painting. Beautiful sister Cas's watercolours that I use every day just about, colours mixed up for the sky, the water, the rocks and the grass. I painted an abstract. Will have to scan it in :)

Since Emerald Arts has closed I have been teaching Fi my watercolour student at various cafes and restaurants around town. This is the view from the back of Customs House one afternoon.

Emerald Arts all cleaned out with nothing left inside. 

As I now live pretty much in just a bedroom, I have no room for... well anything much really. I stored what I could at Dad's old warehouse and left everything else out the front for people to take with a little note.

In photography class I have become fascinated with the effect that light can have through the lens of a camera, even one as average as that attached to my phone. Next step is to get a proper camera, but till then I will borrow Dad's and make do with this. 

The picture below is a blurry hot mess, but still wierdly I kind of like it. I wasn't sure how my new striped top looked, so I took a shot of it in my flatmates mirror. Kind of liked the way it turned out, although I look a bit too skinny (lost weight due to illness unfortunately, working on getting it back) and my hair has changed now.

Things are ok lately. I like being by myself, when I get to be. I have been slowly adjusting to living with a flatmate (she's a lovely girl, I'm just missing having space and privacy and it is hard to manage a kitchen with a normal wheat eater). Tafe is going well, health is getting back on track and happiness is a daily occurrence not something vaguely remembered. Sometimes I miss having someone to hug and it sucks not having someone that I can confide in, but all in all, I am myself again. 

Just started a job working for my father two days a week at Newcastle Yachting, I help with their admin and try to learn enough about the boats so i can help sell them. I'm going to be volunteering for a gallery/museum in town called The Lock Up. This, Tafe and teaching a class means that I will have half a day off a week generally, but I function better when I have a routine and I am excited about life again. It's a really good feeling. 

Anyways, I have a bit of a sore throat and a big day tomorrow so I had better go to bed.

Love, Emmeline.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Curious Colony: the best exhibition the NRAG has had EVER!

On Sunday I went to see the latest exhibition at the Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Curious Colony. The name alone had me snared when I read it in the exhibition guide at the start of the year... you could say I've been waiting a while for this one, and I was not disappointed.

First thing I saw on walking up the stairs was a glittery tackorama by Kate Rhode called "Live Forever No. 3". I couldn't decide whether I loved or hated it. It's like a terrarium, but filled with stuffed birds and a bedazzled sugarglider. I think the irridescent pastel fish around the outside of it swung me over into love. It's hideous, but it has a point... if you can move past the glitter and hot glue to get to it.

The centrepiece of the exhibition was the specially commissioned chest. An ode to the Maquarie chest, a treasure trove of dead creatures and awesome wildlife paintings that we were not allowed to have back because it is too fragile. I could try to explain this, but honestly, it is so cool I think you need to go there yourself to see it. Suffice to say, it is excellent and well worth the hype.

An artwork/sculpture that I really didn't like, sadly I suppose, was "The Native's Chest" by Danie Mellor. It was supposed to be an interpretation of our coat of arms. But it seemed to me a bit slapped together and derivative, a dead kangaroo and emu with a coffin and a few Damien Hurst skulls for good measure. Oh, and some branches spray painted gold. Not a fan. Even it's description seemed a bit cut and paste, which is strange because they are usually excellent at NRAG.

In a back corner of the gallery is a little table with books on it. Was particularly besotted with "Rare and Curious" by Elizabeth Ellis. It catalogues the Maquarie Chest, its beetles and butterflies, birds and corals.... so beautifully presented. I want it. I need it. I really need to get a part time job.

There was also a good selection of paintings by the covict artist Joseph Lycett. He came to Sydney for forgery, forged again and was sent to Newcastle where he somehow made friends with Macquarie and became an artist. His paintings are luminous, so different in real life than in a textbook. He seemed particularly fond of painting tiny little hunters in his work, must find out why.

Such a fascinating exhibition. Many things to look at, please don't let the cultural cringe put you off... if you are that way inclined.

So that's what I think of Curious Colony. It is AWESOME. Twenty eight gold stars. Go see it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Taronga Zoo

My sister lives in a suburb of Sydney called Cremorne, which is but a short bus ride away from the ridiculously scenic Taronga Zoo. Had a fantastic day there sketching a couple of weeks ago, thought I would share ;)
It's called a pidgeon, but it's actually the size of a small dog and has a very lacy arrangement of feathers on its.... crown.

Half-bear half cat, a very cuddly looking creature called the Binturong

Gorillas, a Cassowary, Emu, and some sheep called Barbary

A shoddy Wallaby, a turkey, two spotted pigs and an enigmatic Fishing Cat that had lost one of it's leg in an unspecified accident. It gave hella death glares while I was sketching it, but it's eyes were so fierce I couldn't help but draw them.

A fish design my student Fi and I adapted from one of my singlet tops

A goldfish drawn from a photo. Found a very cool new gold pen at the newsagents.

I loved this little guy. He was sitting on a rock right near the glass which made it easy to do a proper study. Most of the sketches were quick because there were so many people around and nowhere to sit, but this had a ledge and no one else around. Happy days :)

Balmoral... also not far from my sister's house. Cool beach.

Treading water

I've been doing some healing and soul searching lately (sounds a bit hippie doesn't it). Trying to figure out who I am when I am alone (a lot happier) what I am going to do with my business... etc.

The roof still leaks at Emerald Arts. I have been unable to occupy it since early Feb as it grew a black mould that made me very sick, respiratory illnesses are not cool ya'll.

Everything has been packed up and stored out the back for safety, floor to ceiling, which also means that while safe, I am unable to do any stocktake or find anything.... its all in boxes, so that's really frustrating.

Manon (friend of EA) and my flatmate Em helping me to pull up the damp carpet. We figured, even if I can't be back in the place until the roof is fixed, we can at least take out the main culprit for the horrible damp smell.

A pile of my paintings which are unable to be sold.

Carpet up, next stage is to get a really good dust mask and start painting.

I've relocated my students to the local cafe All Bar One for classes at the moment since I can't hold them instore (I ain't making no kids sick man). It's quite nice actually. The weather has been amazing lately so we're out under the awnings with the breeze, drinking coffee and painting.... pretty darn good feeling right there.

Still doing the markets once a month at the Olive Tree, but I'm wondering if it is tenable. The rent has risen and business has been slow (my own malaise? Less customers? who knows?) so it's getting tough. Going to put in a full effort for the next one, make a whole buttload of stuff and hope I do well enough.

Because the wood around the window was mouldy and the shop looked strange half empty and torn up, a lovely green cover is now holding place until things change (oh cross your fingers for me, I am so dying to have my beautiful studio open again).

Took some time out with my sister Cas down at Balmoral beach last weekend. So beautiful down there, did a lot of sketching.

and speaking of relaxation...
This is my to read pile :P

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hello there stranger

Well.... it's been quite a while since I've posted here, so many things have happened, kind of hard to update all at once, but now that things are slightly getting back to normal, here is a list of stuff that happened last year....

-Broke up with Ten (partner of four and a half years, live in for three) and moved in with parents.

- left parent's house due to personal differences

- Finished a year of Tafe passing everything (goodness knows how)

- was homeless for six weeks (or almost, lived in Nige's garage on a futon)

- discovered the joys (snerk) of a diet consisting of mostly rice and whatever I could get my friends to feed me, not so easy when you're a coeliac... and thereby lost a fair bit of weight

- Finally managed to get onto Austudy in late Nov and thereby be able to have somewhere to live again

- Moved in with Em

- finally began paying back debts

Oh I feel I could have such a massive whinge about it all, and it was massively hard and heartbreaking, some friends have been amazing, helpful and understanding... others, not so much.

I feel very much like I have been in a pattern of two steps forward three steps back. For example, I finally came to terms with being by myself again. Had managed to find a place to live, had Emerald Arts looking just as I wanted it.... then last wednesday the damn place floods and I lost most of last year's Tafe work and a whole lot of books. Luckily everything damaged was mine. I have not been taking on much consignment stock because I cannot bear the thought of it being ruined by rain (although I do have contents so that will be covered, that section of the shop is always fine though)... pathetically, what hurt most of all was that I could not run to Ten to cry about it. Oh well.

EA is currently not in a very good state. The back section where I keep all my paintings in progress, drawings and sketchbooks was flooded, still trying to get the carpet dry and it's almost been a week. Have to wear mozzie repellant in the shop because they are breeding in the ceiling and the place smells due to the damp. Have developed a cough... better look into effects of mould on health I think. People walk up to the door, sniff the dampness then walk off, so it's rather hard to make sales.

Trying very hard to be positive, think that things will get better, but it's quite hard when you're truly on your own.

So yeah, Emmeline is still here, if somewhat battered and bruised by a rather rough year last year. Here's to 2010 being far easier and less eventful. I'd be delighted with boring :P

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Some pages from my sketchbooks

In Painting class we are working from what we see around us, in particular flowers and figures. As an adjunct to this I've become fascinated with Botannical illustration. I love the detail. This is my first try... but I will do many more I think.

A terrace house in Carrington, around the corner from my teacher Dallas's studio. Still needs some work I think, shading particularly to give it depth. Might go back there in the holidays and finish it orf i think.
Check out the work of Dallas Bray, painting teacher extroadinaire:

Our second Sculpture project was to make a mobile or stabile inspired by the artist Alexander Calder. I really like his stuff, it's quite whimsical, has a really good sense of fun.

Last friday they gave us a big block of styrofoam and told us to design something then have at it. Sketched out a few ideas, ended up going with the avocado even though it was probably the most challenging. Took quite a bit of work cutting the seed out from the avocado... could probably have done it separately but I like a challenge. Covered it in plaster, then next week we'll put some kind of finish on it.

Egon Schiele is one of my life drawing teacher's favourite artists, and judging from his work, it's very easy to see why. These warm up sketches were not really an attempt to get into his style, they were actually from the week before, but I like to write my notes around drawings these days.... thinking of making a zine out of pages from my sketchbook.

This is the mega talented Cherie's work:

Seriously, my teacher's are just insanely talented. I can't tell you how much bigger it makes my brain feel to be studying at Tafe, so many new ideas flowing in. I'm only a little bit sad that I can't spend more time there, but hopefully after I finish this course I can take something up full time.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fat as Butter 2009

You know something blogger? I think it's time for a bit of time out, given recent dramas.... so here are a few photos from a massive concert I went to last week end called Fat As Butter. My awesome buddy Methody got me a ticket VIP BABY and we had the most amazing day......

Standing by the side of my favourite stage for the day. Excellent photo, thanks to Methody's knowledge of camera angles ;)

As you can see, the weather was rather damp. This bright spark decided before leaving (when it was muggy) that I probably wouldn't need a jacket... so I got completely soaked. As did everyone else though really :P

This is Methody. Witness the glee with which she greets the rain.

The Cassette Kids

Eventually, after I had apparently turned blue, a kind gentleman with very big muscly arms gave me his poncho. Saved my day.

Peace :)

Some guys from some very awesome acts.... I'll have to ask Methody their names though and then come back and name them for you. Pretty sure the guy on the right is called The Tongue though.... no, I don't know why