Thursday, April 29, 2010

new prints

yes, more tents!
it seems that if i can't have something {coffee} i think about it on a deeper level . . . how much i love it, how it's tied up with being social, refreshed and inspired etc. these thoughts have been creeping into my work, as thoughts do.

:: the music festival 3 + detail
:: tent with coffee

happy friday!
do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

my creative space

i have been making a print of this painting today. and making a dodgy packet vanilla cake! i've had a craving for chocolate cake for weeks {probably started around the time i stopped having chocolate + coffee etc} and i have a throat virus/cold . . . so a little cake and baby steps with the huge long list of things i want to do!

to see more spaces or to play too, visit kirsty. happy creative space day!

p.s. i have made progress with the skirts, i just need a bright day for photos. not so much progress with my display photos ~ the paint looks great as a background, but the lighting issue is very tricky as usual!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

art making + marketing :: an interview with brandi strickland

:: intertidal . 12 x 12" mixed media on board 2009

i am beyond excited to post this art making + marketing interview with brandi strickland ~ one of the first artists i hearted on etsy {way back at the start of 2008!}.
i hope you love it.

does marketing your work come naturally to you, or do you find it to be a task that is always lives dangerously at the top of your to-do list?
Marketing is not my game. But I definitely like sharing my work. Participating in the flickr/facebook/twitter communities, blogging, and sending out monthly newsletters are things that feel good and come naturally. I think of these outlets as fun show 'n tell activities, not ways to make a buck. I'm naturally excited about my work, so I want to share it in ways that keep me enthusiastic instead of dragging me down. Anything I dread never gets done anyway, so if I'm doing it you can bet I'm having fun. Mostly I just want to share my work on my own terms, and enjoy whatever audience or success that it brings. My coffee cup has a great quote, one I try to keep in mind: "If it doesn't absorb you, if it isn't any fun, don't do it." - D.H. Lawrence

:: secret password . 12 x 12" mixed media on board 2007

does knowing that you will be marketing affect the way you work?
Knowing that I'll be sharing my work, that it will be seen, has an extremely positive effect . . . I certainly don't function well in a vacuum. The communities I've come to be a part of over the last several years are inspiring, encouraging, outright helpful and kind. Slowly gaining an audience of friends, fellow artists, and people who enjoy my work pushes me to do my personal best every day.
Paper Whistle itself is a huge motivator. Having a great outlet for my creativity challenges me to keep steady making work that I'm truly excited about. It's a perfect platform to share and sell my artwork on my own terms and it also allows me to be fully involved with the process. Everything is 100% hands on and created with so much love!
Marketing always has the potential to poison a good thing. I see some artists who find a style of work that is highly marketable and then seem to stick to it unflinchingly because it has mass appeal. I don't ever want to feel afraid to grow and change. If something sells well, great. If it doesn't, that's fine too. I am absolutely intent on making work that I love and am proud of, regardless of it's marketability. I never want to create artwork that feels stale or hurts my eyes to look at, just to make a buck.
Neil Young, Ani Difranco and 'Lil Wayne are huge inspirations because they share this notion of 'always do what you want to do the way you want to do it'. Not what you're expected to do, not what's most marketable, but what you really feel and love. I think if more people shared this idealism the whole world would be a better, more authentic place.

:: mountain house . 12 x 12" mixed media on board 2010

i love your new{ish} website {and shop front/logo} that you and robert have set up. has your working partnership helped your confidence in terms of marketing your work?
Definitely. Robert is very creative, but he also has the marketing, technical, and analytical skills that I struggle with. We overlap where it's important and also have really helpful, balancing differences. He's way more easy-going! I've learned so much from him over the last four years, and I think we make a good team. We try to keep it pushing--always surprising, challenging and inspiring each other . . . I know he brings out the best in me. We've had lots of challenges over the years and have overcome all of them together.

:: nine billion names of god . 12 x 12" mixed media on board 2009

has exhibiting your work taken any pressure off self-promotion?
It hasn't taken the pressure off, it's just a different kind of pressure. I think if I had really strong or exclusive gallery representation, or if I showed more often, it might be different. Right now I'm walking the middle path between self-representation and gallery representation. I have a DIY spirit and want to be involved in the process of sharing and selling my own work. But I view galleries as invaluable magical spaces dedicated to putting the physical artwork in front of people's faces, and I hope to move towards showing more in the future.

:: sunken treasure . 12 x 12" mixed media on board 2008

do you have a best selling piece or series? is this piece/series your personal favourite?
Secret Source seems to be the crowd-pleaser and also happens to be a personal favorite. She's probably the most circulated around the internet and is one of my best selling prints. She belongs to the Dark Crystals series, which felt like a pretty big breakthrough in my work.

:: secret source . 12 x 12" mixed media on board 2009

what are your tips for marketing fine art?
Make work that you're excited about, share it in ways that make you feel good, and you'll naturally connect with others who are excited about what you're doing too. People can smell a rat if you do operate only for money, popularity or obligation, so be authentic and use your powers/energy for good not evil! Connect with these like minds and become part of communities that will offer sincere feedback (not just back-patting).

Some practical things, of course:
1. Invest in a D-SLR and learn to take good pictures of your artwork.
2. Keep a solid up-to-date online portfolio of your work, with an easy way for people to get in touch (contact forms are great).
3. Be professional and communicative with customers, clients and people who offer good opportunities.
4. Don't underestimate the power of bloggers and word of mouth.
5. Use social media but don't be skeezy or spammy.
6. Research, learn, seek advice.
7. Do what you want to do how you want to do it :)

thanks so much Brandi for taking part and sharing your thoughts.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

artist exchange package

i felt pretty spoilt when i opened a package from dee sullivan. it arrived the other day as part of the artist exchange project.
thanku dee :)
dee's blog and shop.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

my creative space . outdoors

i'm making the equivalent of a light box for small things for my display photos! our house is a dodgy dark old rented caravan in the winter, and while we have been house hunting for the last 12 months on and off, i thought it time to improvise! {i saw a wheelie bin with a big real estate LEASED sticker plastered on it last week and thought: this really sums up the house hunting experience in melbourne thesedays! it's fairly out of control.}
anyway, i'll be dragging my portable wall panel to the best light source.
the next 2 coats will be a chalkboard paint which i'm hoping will be a dark blue-green grey rather than the standard black. i have high hopes for this board! i can see many things sitting on and against it. fingers crossed that the colour looks good in photos.

hoping you are having fun in your space today. visit kirsty for more spaces or to play too.
happy thursday!

Friday, April 16, 2010

saturday shopping list

1. space dust swing earrings, sterling silver and czech . wingsbysea
2. recycled plastic red bracelet . artworkbykd
3. large orecchiette necklace . ninadinoff
4. vintage scarf dress . d4discus

** all images from the shops listed
** happy etsy shopping!
** a treasury i made yesterday

emma walker

a massive highlight of the trip away was visiting the gallery up the road from my dad's {and his wife's} house ~ the tweed river art gallery. it's a beautifully designed building on top of one of the hills, overlooking the river and the other cow/bird spotted hills {photos of this spot}. there are lots of skinny vertical windows in just the right places ~ it's kind of like a landscape painting in progress!
i visited emma walker's exhibition {the dawn language} a few times ~ the second time she was giving a talk. aggghhhh! she spoke my language! it was so great to hear her talk about the stories behind this work and her processes. her show is all about dealing with the death of her father {a sailor who was killed at sea and buried in the ocean} and the moments between sleep and consciousness. that abstract moment where a dream meets the demands of the day . . .
i felt quite a connection with a both of these themes and especially love the first piece {which is around 3 metres wide}.

1. the rising . oil and mixed media on linen
2. a life time of moments dispersing . oil and mixed media on linen
3. laid to rest . oil and mixed media on linen

**images and gallery info from this page of emma's website

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

my creative space . making prints

mucking around with these paintings in photoshop, making prints and listening to the new joanna newson cd properly for the first time. i like these wood panels, they have rounded corners in real life! just a little sanding required to make them the right kind of rounded.
hoping to do some painting too, but need to go and buy inks . . .

these ones are music festival 1 + 2.
remember those? pitch a tent and pretend that you'll come back and sleep in it!

hope you are having a fun time in your space today. visit kirsty to see more.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


i'm going to try to make some a-line wrap around skirts, and a couple of tops if the skirts work out ok. every now and then i think of sewing. i sometimes give it a go {with a daggy pattern}, make something that doesn't fit so well, then put it away. it would be great to have the skills to make things fit! it would be even greater to be able to design an idea that i had floating around in my head . . .

do you like the colours of the cotton? the fabrics are dark grey, dark blue and black denim, but i thought some coloured thread might look good!

i've been inspired by kylie {+ the cold/dark snap that is autumn} to start a hexagon blanket! again with the colours ~ the others are mid charcoal grey and turquoise :)

** a link to the pattern {thanks to Lucy for writing it out so clearly}
** a link to duckcloth where i found some good patterns and great fabric!
** and a thankyou to meighan who included one of my tent paintings in this post the day before we went away: my love for you is a stampede of horses

Thursday, April 8, 2010

thankyou nancy!

i was so excited to find this package in the mailbox when we got home on sunday. i won this beautiful print {top} and this super stylish original drawing {bottom} by nancy / prettylittlethieves. the giveaway was held by sorcha / dandelion daydreamer.
i really love nancy's work ~ i'm so impressed by her neat line work and gorgeous characters. and her wrapping is great too!
thanks nancy :)

happy friday!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

my creative space

i've been trying to slot back into my space like i never left it, and also trying to maintain the 'fresh' feeling of having just been away . . . there's a little battle going on!
the other battle is keeping away from coffee, again! this time i need to do it properly for a while :( this is ok/do-able out of my usual environment with lots of help on hand, but at my desk it's not ideal {i know you know what i mean}!
this painting on wood is half way there ~ i'm having fun with the tiny simple shapes and colours. trying to keep it simple. working on 2 or 3 at once usually helps with this . . .

happy creative space day! for more spaces and to play too, visit kirsty.

Monday, April 5, 2010

holiday photos

thanku for the holiday wishes ~ it was great to get away!
we had a week at the beach and a week at my dad's place. the landscape pics are around dad + his wife's house and the beach is a particular place that i hadn't been for 20 years! i had been to the town quite a few times, but for some reason not the actual beach ~ my mother's ashes were scattered just here. it felt good to go there {i drove my dad's wife's 25 year old little car over the ranges}, but strangely, kind of like visiting other beaches! the surf was rough and unforgiving ~ the kind where you are either ankle deep or chest deep + being pulled in a few directions at once.

we also celebrated my birthday at the local pool {+ art gallery ~ another post!}. dad and i had a lot of fun on the water slide at the pool {i was re-living my primary school years!}. the boys had 1 go each on my lap . . . maybe they'll share my love of water slides next year :)

hoping that you had a fun easter!
i'm looking forward to catching up with some blog reading ~ 2 weeks away from the computer feels like 2 months!


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