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

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The sun will come out... tomorrow....

Beautiful weather today. Technically it's my day orf, but in my usual fashion I'm doing paperwork and getting the washing done. I've been sick the last few days, took a couple of days off work towards the end of the week because I couldn't see straight enough to drive. Allergies turned to bronchitus and grossness. Vacuumed the hell out of the garageyroom and dusted down as many of the boxes as possible, going to ask the boys if I can move the dryer somewhere though, perhaps to the other end of the room. It's pretty dusty in there and the dryer just kind of stirs it around.

Spent Saturday and Sunday at Emerald Arts, hoping for lots of sales but both were very slow days. Had a lot of interesting chats with tourists (we had a giant cruise liner come into the harbour) though so that was pretty neat ;)

Enough of that though, lets talk Renew Newcastle. I said in my last post that I was at the end of my rope, and I was, but I've come to realise that I love Emerald Arts (and Newcastle) and I will cling to that baby like a limpet to a rock... if I can.
Lately, a few of the other Renewers have had their leases terminated due to commercial interest. Which means basically that they have a month to move out from their current space and Renew will try to replace them somewhere else... but we are out of spaces so I'm not sure how that is going to happen.

I'm hoping that the leaky windows, paint spattered carpet and murals on the walls will save Emerald Arts from extinction... but given that I am behind on my rent and that my studio is in an excellent spot... right across from David Jones... I am very very worried.

So what would losing Emerald Arts mean to me? Besides losing a space to teach my students in, somewhere to paint, somewhere to communicate? It would mean the loss of excellent storage (which is important since I am currently kind of homeless). It would mean that I would lose access to the general public, something I have come to value greatly for advice while creating artworks. It would mean that some goals had been achieved... the city centre has been revitalised to a point where shop holders are willing to come back, that the city is seen as a viable place for commerce... my little bit of it would be gone.

Is Renew Newcastle a sucess though... for me personally? I don't know. I'm having a whole lot of trouble making a living... but that could be because I am trying to go to Tafe as well as run a studio/shop. Factors such as lack of stock (choice for customers) and no advertising may also contribute. I was making serious inroads while living at Mum and Dad's... because i was saving money that could therefore be used on stock creation and advertising... but being kicked out has put me back on that front a very long way.

Sigh, I don't know. I'm going to try not to stress about it, que sera sera. Emerald Arts is my heart, there is so much of me in the place... but I guess it's only a shop and I knew full well when I entered into the contract that losing the place sooner rather than later was a distinct possibility.


Sorry for being such a mopey moose blogger.

Think I'll go for a walk, that always cheers me up.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Minding Your Mouth in a Public Forum: or why Em is an idiot

The saga continues, I've moved again from living with my parents back in my old bedroom to staying on a futon in the garage of my best friend forever Nifty Nige. Things had been going ok there and I was hoping to stay and save some money until moving in with my friend Emma in November, but that was not to be.

Long story shorter, a cousin of Mum's who had friended me on facebook read a status update on there that I had made in jest and immediately called my parents to find out what was going on.

Mum had a bee in her bonnet about some pillowcases I had borrowed and not returned, I got sick of explaining that she would get them back when I managed to get all my stuff back and had time to go through the hundred or so boxes. Right here I'll admit that I am pretty terrible at looking after things and the move was messy, it's entirely possible that they are lost forever.

Mum and Dad were not particularly fond of Ten, my partner, and seemed to expect me to get over the breakup more or less straightaway. It's only been a couple of months and I am still pretty shattered. I find it extremely painful to talk about him, Mum kept talking about him and his faults. So I pretended that it was because she had been bitten by a spider and was feeling so awful that she didn't understand how painful a breakup can be and kept rubbing salt in the wound by constantly bringing him up.

It frustrated me and I vented on facebook, honestly thinking nothing of it. My comments were never meant to be hurtful, but they resulted in Mum and Dad kicking me out at a time in my life when I very greatly need their help. I got home late at night to a quite horrid confrontation and was told that I was no longer welcome to stay with them. Oh I know, I'm a grownup and I should be looking after myself, but sometimes in life (particularly when you have a chronic illness) you need looking after.

I guess it's a lesson in how carefully words need to be guarded in a public forum.
What was for me a vent, was for my Mum extremely hurtful. What was no doubt genuine concern on the part of a relative, lead to homelessness and separation from my family. Sure, my parents may have overreacted but I can definitely understand where they are coming from.

So for now, I'm living day to day. Most of my money is going on petrol because Nige's house is a fair way out from town, gawd knows what I will do if my car fails. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping like hell that my centrelink application for Austudy is succesful, otherwise I don't know what I'm going to do. Either Tafe or EA will have to go, given how much I have lost already it's a pretty horrifying prospect.

I'll keep updating this blog as I can, hopefully in a month I will have somewhere steady to live and a computer/scanner to use.

Is Emerald Arts worth it? Sure the place looks great, but it's a continuous uphill struggle and with no support and next to no customers (they've been digging up the street outside for the last three weeks, the construction noise and roping off cuts me off from them). How do I know if I am a good enough artist to justify all this other crap that my obsession with the place has caused.

I'm at the end of my rope.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New video

The ABC show "Stateline" recently ran a feature on Renew Newcastle, serves as a bit of an update on what has been happening and the effect that the project has had on the city centre.

If you look carefully, you'll see a very brief flash of your's truly and Emerald arts ;) WOOHOO!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Feedback is tops.

There is a new poll on Facebook from the Renew Newcastle founder Marcus Westbury:

Thought this might be an interesting discussion starter. Now that we have nearly 40 projects that Renew Newcastle has done so far, what do you think has worked best and why? I'd love to hear people's thoughts and feedback. We're curious about how what we've done is being perceived and what people have most enjoyed.If you want to look at a list of projects thus far, check out our project page: opinions are good, but be nice to everyone!

So.... not to be a pest, but if you, Dear Reader, have had a fun/awesome/rockin good time at Emerald Arts and want the world to know about it, take a look and post a comment.

Eternally in your debt,


Monday, September 28, 2009

You like to party? How about an Art Party?

Dear Friends of Emerald Arts.... DO YOU LIKE TO PARTY?

How about an Art Party? This Friday evening Renew Newcastle will launch its series of twilight events in the City – First Friday. On the First Friday of the month in October, November and December the Renew Newcastle art and creative projects will host a collection of special events in the early evening 5 – 8pm. At Emerald Arts we're having an Art Party... details below... love to see you there.

Date: 2.10.09
Time: 5pm-8pm
Project: Emerald Arts
Location: Shop 2, 196 Hunter Street, Newcastle

Event: The Art Party
Description: Come celebrate the awesomeness of art and play some party games, including pin the badge on the Widget and Pass the Parcel. There will be drawing competitions and delicious snacks.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dusty McDust Dust

Crazy amounts of dust over my part of the world lately.
Makes me:
a) sneeze a lot
b) laugh at climate change sceptics
c) laugh again because climate change sceptics are not generally Skeptics.
Found an article which counts Renew Newcastle as among one of the reasons why Newcastle is starting to undergo a mini-development boom (you can count my Dad as another).
Couldn't help from putting in my own two cents worth, even though they don't make two centses any more and no one had commented for days....
Hello :) I'm Emmeline from Emerald Arts, one of the Renew Newcastle projects.
My studio was one of the first spaces to open, and in the eight or so months since I have heard every argument in the sun for and against the rail line.
Sick of hearing about it to be honest.
News of new apartment blocks on the other hand is very interesting. From a retail perspective, they and the mall being open to traffic are very positive signs. More people living in our city means that those people might want some food to eat, somewhere to chill after work, some art to hang on their walls. I think that this article is projecting a little.
Renew Newcastle has been working darn hard to bring life to the city, however, we're not quite there yet. After all.... there is only so much that a bunch of artists and a mastermind like Marcus Westbury can achieve without help from developers like GPT and a suddenly much more helpful council (thanks for the free parking on Saturdays guys, you rock ;)
We're aiming high, to bring a pretty shabby city centre back to awesome again, but I definitely think we're getting there, but there's still a lot of hard work to go

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shifty behaviour

Man, it has been one crazy week.

No photos this post.... because someone came in, complimented me on my artworks, then stole my phone right off my desk. Can't afford to get a new one for a while, so it might just be writing and links to stuff I like for a while.

Such a shame because I had a mega spring clean and decoration binge and Emerald Arts is looking AWESOME!

I'm just going to have to learn to pack my things away better I guess, or keep phone in pocket if waiting for a call.

Adjusting to life post-Ten ok. It's hard in some ways because I lost our mutual friends at the same time (they haven't contacted me since it happened and I haven't had the guts to contact them and be barred). Hurts to hear that they're having parties that I'm not invited to, but I guess I'm not surprised.

Have to say though, it's forced me to do things I wouldn't usually do (attend art openings alone, make speeches in front of lots of people). I'm reconnecting with people I rarely got to see while we were dating and making new friends. Last saturday night Joe and I went to club G (local gay club... so much fun) and danced on the stage. The music is excellent there, so nice to be able to dance without getting my bum pinched too. One boy was even nice enough to tell me I look like Katy Perry. Sure he was pretty drunk, but I'll take that, thanks ;)

Also, I kind of really like having a whole double bed to myself. STARFISH!

In other news, my brother Lachy tore a ligament in his knee by crashing the quad bike he was driving into a mate. He's on crutches at the moment, having the day off school. Mum's blind furious with his soccer coach for organising a day where 17yr olds are allowed on such dangerous machines. I'm just miffed that I didn't get a go :P

Speaking of Mum, she got bitten by a white tail spider... horrid and dangerous little buggers. I won't link you to pictures, but the results can be very VERY nasty. Luckily for once she listened when I told her that she should REALLY go see a doctor, so she's going to be blotchy and sick for a couple more weeks, but she'll be ok after that.

Hmmms... what time is it? Think I'll go work on my Figure in Landscape project. I'd show you photos.... but yeah LOL


Monday, September 7, 2009

Spring cleaning and playing shops still

Tree mural with some more leaves on it

Oh how I wish I still had photoshop to play around with, I do miss it so.
Much as I love the red silk sheet I have been using as a tablecloth since the studio opened, I thought it was about time I tried something new, so I bought some el cheapo ones from SoLo Prices and cut them to size ;)

They also had a whole lot of pretend flowers, so I have been weaving them into my displays too

and making some large watercolours to give a bit of colour and life to le Emerald Arts

Mannequin hug?

Einstein is going to write witty things on my chalkboard

Someone scratched nice things into my tree mural already... which cheered me up after another someone stole my ipod. Well.... whadaryagunnodo?


Sunday, September 6, 2009

First week of September

In the midst of spring cleaning Emerald Arts, giving it a makeover.

Throwing myself into art seems to be (so far) an excellent way of coping with the fact that within the space of a few months I lost my home, my dog and my boyfriend.

That said though, it's really lovely living back home with my family. I tried to keep things civil with Ten, kept the lines of communication open... but then I got sick of hearing a lot of self justifications for mean behavior... rather than maybe an apology or some kind of sign that he's sad we broke up... so I'm trying to take a break from talking to or hearing anything about Ten. People still tell me that he's out partying all weekend, friends and sister, but I've taken his number from my phone so I don't text him pathetically and have minimised his updates on facebook.

I'm getting back to happy and realising that sometimes people don't live up to the ideal we have built up of them. Sometimes boys do not act like gentlemen. Sometimes dreamers wake up and make a change for the better.

I got jealous of all the nifty Sandwish boards that the other shops had and made my own version on the back of a For Lease sign.
So cute, this little customer bought the English Bunny Jane at the Olive Tree Markets on Saturday and tied her to the front of her scooter.

I've been drawing a tree mural on my front window for spring..... because I can.

This is Ross and Kate's new baby Ella. She's adorable, perfect little puppy. Makes me dream of having my own little labrador that could hang out at Emerald Arts and keep me company. Mum says no. But I still want one.

Puppy Plinth

Cas said that she couldn't help thinking of Eddie while holiding Ella. Neither could I.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Look Hear: Architecture and Design talks

This wednesday I'm giving a talk bout Emerald Arts and the design principles behind it....

So far I have gone through all my photos.... thousands and thousands, and pulled out all relevant then sorted into folders, next to put them into a powerpoint demonstration, then write the speech.... better stop procrastinating then....

Is it wrong that I'm kind of chuffed the used my new haircut vanity shot for the website?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back again....

Well, once again it's been awhile, but sometimes real life gets in the way of blogging, so please excuse my absence dear reader. I think I mentioned before that I have moved back in with Mum and Dad, which is just wonderful (both of them and for me). Broke up with Ten for good after finding out a few things and having a good hard think. Now I have my own bedroom back, my studio and Tafe are just down the road and people are happy to see me when I get home so everything is win.

I'm submersed in a world of Art, living, sleeping and breathing it. Here's a few shots to catch you up....

Mum came home with poppies one day so I painted them for her

My tribute to Monet, painted last weekend. Was going be for sale but when I hung it on the wall I realised that the damn thing was wonky, one side longer than the other. That will learn me for being lazy and buying a cheap Chinese one instead of making my own.

Found a Cherry Blossom tree when I was on a sketching things walk. Tore myself off a branch for the studio then spent the day playing around at drawing and painting them. Had my students do the same.

Been making wrapping paper by splodging watercolour paint onto A2 sized cartridge. V. fun.

Some of my stolen blossoms on display in the Emerald Arts shop window. Wasn't until I took this photo that I realised that the silver spinning thing next to it has cherry blossoms on it too.

Sketch made in life drawing. This lady is my favourite model. She's so gorgeous and always looks very tranquil. A dream to draw too, curves are way easier than angles. For once I listened to Cherie and drew really lightly, amazed by how much it helped. Still not finished, but quite like it.

In Sculpture class we are building Toas, which were markers used by certain Aborigional tribes. I'll let Wikipedia illuminate you further:

I'm making mine to look like a bird, even though that's not quite in the spirit. They're supposed to be simplistic, but I want mine to be fancy. Will probably lose me marks, but for once I don't care because I can just picture how it will look and it makes me giggle.

Here are my anatomy drawings up on the wall in the upstairs gallery at Art School. I'm that proud of myself I can't tell you. First real exhibition *dances*

Le Windpipe

Oil paint crayons on black paper. Not so fond of this one, was really hard to make it distinct because they are not exactly a precise tool....


Am orf to (finally) write the speech I'll be giving on Wednesday night. It's about the design principles behind Emerald Arts....
Ciao ;)