Sunday, May 31, 2009

Perfect Saturday Night


A quick trip to Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets, some good company, a cold beer, and before you know it - a table full of antipasto.

The tomato's were slow roasted with a pinch of sugar and salt and then tossed with some fresh basil and olive oil.

The prawns were cooked in a hot hot hot frying pan, with a squeeze of lemon, then tossed with some parsley, garlic and lemon rind.

The asparagus was boiled for about a minute. Butter was then melted in a pan with some garlic, and then in went the breadcrumbs. Popped the asparagus in the pan for another minute and done.

Button mushrooms were thinly sliced, marinated in lemon juice and olive oil and sprigs of thyme.

We washed it down with some freshly squeezed mandarin juice and sparkling wine.

Anna Boehler- 'Cori loves the moon' series

I spent Thursday evening changing the art work I have up in my house, and want to get into the habit of rotating some of the stuff I have stored - so it isn't just hidden away in my studio. I thought it would be cool to catalogue it via this blog, to share some of the pieces I collect and enjoy.

This work is a collage by Anna Boehler, from the show 'hier und da'. Anna is a German artist, who came to Canberra in 2008 an undertook a residency at Megalo Print Studio, and her artist's statement from the exhibition explains how she draws ideas from both Germany and Australia:
'The subject matter for my collages was a exploration of landscapes, integrating both visual material from my homeland with my visual interpretation of the Australian flora and landforms I encountered during my stay.' 

Thursday night I finally got around to framing this and now it's sitting pretty on my lounge room wall.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Real life might be better, but at least virtual life is hangover free

 Very early in the night, taken while I left the table for 5 minutes...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Real life is better

I started writing this post a few weeks ago when I was under a little dark cloud.

Isn't it funny how sometimes the world feels so so small, but then at other times it feels like everything and everyone is so far away.

I have friends scattered around all over the place, and even more so at the moment. The joys of our virtual world means I can chat daily, share laughs, pictures, funny stories...and it is nice to feel so close. But sometimes doing all those things makes the same people feel so far away. I don't know, maybe it just makes you more aware of what you are missing out on?

A step up from the virtual world is talking on the phone or skype, but even then, it isn't the same as sitting out the back on the rug, drinking beer in the summer sun.

It certainly isn't the same as sharing a cup of tea and talking about our little world.

It definately isn't the same as a late night on the town - full of fun and adventure.

Last week I caught up with a friend I had last seen in Amsterdam, nearly 3 years ago or more. When I hugged her I whispered that I had missed her so so much. Thinking about it though, even if she was in Australia, I wouldn't have necessarily seen her a lot. I think I was more sentimental because so much has changed since I saw her on that holiday, and even though I don't talk or write so often, she is often in my thoughts. I'm not sure that any of it matters, because either way it was lovely to see her, as well as other friends where you can easily just pick off where you left things - no matter how much time has passed.

Tonight I'm catching up with a special friend who moved to the other side of Australia a few months ago. I miss her (and her boy), but now it seems
my virtual world has come to life.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Presets

I'm not a massive Presets fan, but I do rate a band that detours from Sydney to tour our nations capital. And, I have to say this gig turned out alright considering the venue change.
Yes, AIS Arena had limited atmosphere
Yes, there were lots of young girls wearing short shorts and little else on a cold Canberra winter night
Yes, the line for drinks was unbelievably long
The lighting was spectacular 
The sound was excellent
And there were handy steps to help us short people see

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

For the love of Paris

So today I got my 'For the love of Paris' postcard in the mail.

It comes all the way from Slovenia, from an artist called Damien Hirst. On his website Damien says his purpose is to 'demystify everything that was mystified in the name of art.' I ended up buying the postcard because I was interested in the concept. Damien had an edition of 1 000 000 signed postcards available for 1€, or the same image painted on canvas (edition of 1) for 1.000.000€. I hope he sells the entire million.

If you had a recent break up, you got the card for free. I ended up with two because I paid for one when I didn't have to, and instead of just receiving one free card, I thought it would be fun to give the second card to someone else. Not sure how I'll do that just yet...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Baader Meinhof Complex

Last night I went to see the Baader Meinhof Complex, an amazing film about the West German terrorist group the Red Army Faction (RAF). 

The film chronicles the The Red Army Faction's operations, which escalated from student demonstrations against the government to a national crisis in 1977 that became known as 'German Autumn'. The group was responsible for bombings of many government buildings and US military bases, bank robberies, as well as assassinations. They also highjacked a Lufthansa plane, and took hostages at the West German Embassy in Stockholm - and that was just the 70's. They certainly fit in a lot of killing in that decade, and also in the 150 minutes of the film.

Many recent German films like Sophie Scholl - The Final Days, Downfall, The Counterfitters, and The Lives of Others, document the oppression faced by German people as a result of the state controlling every aspect of their life. This film does as well, but in a more contemporary sense. It documents a modern part of German history that is often largely overshadowed by the war and it's aftermath, and in doing illustrates how a group like the RAF can form as a monumental reaction to all those years of distrust. Doesn't mean it is right, but it certainly makes for interesting viewing. 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The bridge

Driving into Sydney, I thought after paying the $5 toll I'd get my moneys worth by going over the bridge. Note to self - it is hard to take photos and drive at the same time. These photos are for sale in my etsy store

That dress...

I'm just back from an overnight trip to Sydney. I went to celebrate the birthday of two friends from high school days. It was a bit like a school reunion, and it was great to catch up. There was one person there who I hadn't seen for years, and I didn't recognise him at first. We had a quick catch up, and after ten minutes or so he said  'Do you know... I still remember that dress!' 

I know you are probably looking at this stylish, classic dress and quietly agreeing with him. It is pretty frinken unforgettable. Though the reason he remembers this dress so vividly is that it fell down while we were dancing - causing quite the wardrobe malfunction. Boobs everywhere. 

I can't believe, after all these years, that is what he remembers me for.

Friday, May 22, 2009


So I have this book in my lounge room 'A Guide to Japan' by William Duncan. I like it because it is old and the cover is pretty. Tonight was the first time I read any of the text.

'Shinjuku and Shibuya Districts
These are two of Tokyo's sub-cities which have grown up around the railway stations. In the morning an evening Shinjuku is black with people. Walking is often reduced to shuffling along the street in a crowd. '

Shibuya is not quite so raucous and crowded. It is regarded as Tokyo's middle class quarter for nightlife and shopping'.

I thought it would be interesting to see what I wrote in my travel diary about Shibuya, because the Shibuya I know is different to the observations of this circa 1970 travel guide. I remember Shibuya as a bustle of people, a wave of colour and this sub-city had a gritty, honest character that you often don't see in other parts of Tokyo.

So I checked my travel diaries, to share my wonderful observations and see how they compared with the quote above.

My first trip to Japan, was at the end of some travels to San Francisco and Europe so by the time we got to Tokyo the diary entries were pretty light on. The page relating to Shibuya mentions the big video screens, and neon signs - but the bulk of it talks about the gyoza and soup we ate at lunch...

I wrote a lot more in my diary the second time around in Tokyo. The entry about Shibuya is longer, as it talks about the lunch we bought in more detail this time. The lunch we bought from the department store consisted of:
  • Hotdog cooked inside breadroll (Japanese style)
  • Gyoza (some things never change)
  • Pork bun
  • Tempura
Apparently it was very good. I did then write about Love Hotel Hill and its kitsch maze of hotels, so I covered off some of the sights... only to move along to documenting the fight my travelling companion and I had over sticker film. I remember at the time declaring sticker film to be 'my thing!' (so don't you go wrecking it). The diary just politely notes 'a slight disagreement over how many stars should appear in the sticker film'

At least I took lots of real photos to remember the trip by.


     Love Hill Hotel

    Too many stars

Meet Tassie

They are learning to like each other....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Listening to Dinosaur jr.

And listening to it loud. Fossils. I'd forgotten how good Side Two is, with 'Freak Scene', and the cover of the Cures 'Just Like Heaven'.  J Mascis is a genius.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The pinky promise...

How to make 4 hours of Eurovision fly by? Have two single girls brainstorm the number of ways to meet normal single guys in a place like Canberra. The list of possibilities was long.The four hours flew by. The short list is…umm short. And why was this a hot topic of conversation? Well, I was reminded of the promise I made a few months ago. The promise that if I had not gone on a date by the end of June then action would need to be taken…that action was to be speed dating.
Without apportioning blame, we think the problem lies pretty firmly with Canberra guys. Men - you need to be more forward, without being pushy.And why be nice to us if you are married, already going out with someone, or gay? We already have enough platonic male friends so just frick off. Look, if you do insist on befriending us (because we are pretty awesome), spend some time thinking about your own single male friends and maybe just set it up. You make other  stuff work; just think of it like organising a football team.  But don’t be too obvious or awkward about it. 
We aren’t desperate you know.

Friday sky

The view from my backdoor on Friday evening, the sky was a different colour from every corner of my yard. At the back was a stormy grey, and to the left was a blue so bright.  These photos are from the right, where there was this beautiful palette of colour. Bring back the weekend....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Green apples

I had a stack of green apples to use so I thought I'd make up a recipe for apple cake.

First melt about 50 grams of butter and caramelise 2 sliced green apples. To caramelise just add about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to the apples and butter, and a dash of cinnamon. Cook for 15 minutes.

While that is cooking, melt 125 grams of butter and mix that with 125 grams of sugar.  Beat in 3 eggs and 200 grams self raising flour. Add in a dash of milk and mix.

Then place the batter into your cake tin, or in this case - cupcake patty, and place caramelised apple on the top. I thought I'd add some crumble mix on the very top ( I didn't think I'd used enough butter) before baking in an oven set at around 175 degrees celsius. The crumble was a mix of about 50 grams butter, 2 big tablespoons of brown sugar and same of flour. Bake for around 12 minutes. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Best in show...

I picked up my prints and prize from Dog of a Show (you can see the prints at my Etsy shop).
The prize is one months studio access which is an amazing as access don't come cheap, so this is a big incentive to do more printmaking.

I've started working on some sketches for a series about the Wolf of Soissons, so that will probably end up being the first lot of prints that come out of all of this. I'll share some of my sketches later in the week.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Some friends of mine are travelling through Europe, and an email yesterday made me think about my trips to Spain. The first time I was in Madrid, I didn't really take to the city. On the surface, it isn't as pretty as other cities in Spain, but I don't think it was that - I think I was overwhelmed by all the movement and activity.

I'm not sure how to describe it. Madrid has beauty, but it also has that big city grit and hustle. But that isn't it either...Madrid is big trying to fit into small. Small squares filled with hundreds of people enjoying the afternoon sun. Tiny balconies in the city centre, home of the worlds biggest dogs. Small cobble stoned streets, with cars parked up the gutters and people lurching from one tapas bar to the next.

Maybe it was just that Madrid wasn’t what I was expecting that first time, because when I returned I fell in love with all of that big.

Here is a photo taken on that first trip, of a big plaza hidden behind the myriad of small alcoves, underneath the arches. I miss my gypsies.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Finders keepers

Some of my friends are quick to tease me about my habit of finding and collecting bits and pieces. I used to walk to Lyneham shops nearly every workday with Stacey, and at least once a week I'd look down and find a shiny bottle cap, or an interesting piece of wood. It got to the stage where she would laugh and point out any old piece of rubbish for me to pick up...but to me I saw treasures.

I often hang on to this stuff for years before I use it, though the print below was a different story. It was from that sketchbook I talked about yesterday. Last night, when I opened it up this matchbook fell out, and I remembered the day at uni that I found that pretty box on the floor. It was just before my etching class and I used that image straight away. I loved the design of the boy under the sun and the colours and texture of the old worn box.

Lines in the sky

Monday, May 11, 2009

Screenprinting Sketchbook

I was flicking through my journals and came across some old sketchbooks from university. Some of the images still resonate throughout my work today (like using text in my work, drawing hearts, and the shape of a snowdome) which is interesting considering I hadn't realised or remembered. I was doing okay looking at these drawings. Nothing to 
be embarrassed about here. Nup, no cringing...until I read the words. Why do these words seem so familiar? How could I remember those words seeing I hadn't looked at those books for years? 
Why? Because none of them were mine. The first page begins ' I know you, you are too short, you have bad skin, you couldn't talk to them very well. Words didn't seem to work. They played dirty tricks on you when they came out of your mouth. You tried so hard to understand them. You wanted to be part of what was going on.' I go on and on for an entire foolscap page. And another. Thank you Mr Henry Rollins.

A few more pages in and I'm relieved to see words that don't ring any real bells until 'it was hard to find, oh well, whatever. Nevermind.' Oh my god, could I 
have been any more predictable? Looking closely at the words on that drawing it seems I have...well, kind of composed a medley of text from Nirvana's Nevermind album.

Later on there is also a reference to some lyrics from the Hummingbirds - though I could have probably gotten away with that one. Actually it isn't a reference, I copied from the song 'Get on Down'. Only one sentence 'You told my friends about the chariot I rode'.  Not so bad, except if my memory serves me correct I used many of their lyrics in an entire series of paintings. Oops. You can hear and watch the song on You Tube. Go look at what I stole, it will make me feel better.