Grayson Perry’s “My Pretty Little Art Career”

wow. I went to Grayson Perry’s “My Pretty Little Art Career” exhibition at the MCA today. he’s so prolific! and varied. there were pots/ceramics, paintings, tapestries, a digital room with interactive displays and screens plus his books and many others on ceramics etc., films, interviews, sculptures. I hadn’t seen his pots up close before – only images on occasion. I was thinking how great an example of collage they are – he has text, paintings, photographs, tradition patterning, modern styles mixed with the older styles. so layered! I was getting dizzy just walking around each one to see everything, and I think I missed looking at everything in detail and will need to go back again once I read through the catalog. loved the tapestries – the large ones were there – taking up long walls, and filling the room. such bright colours. I saw the ones from his tv series on social classes. my favourite was marked as a hand-embroidered piece, “Britain is Best”, which is quite substantial. so many French knots! and so neatly stitched. perfect rows. I also loved seeing some of the pages of his sketchbooks which were on display. I wish I could have seen more of these. he really seems to think in pictures, and add text notes, rather than making text notes with added images. it was great to see the preliminary sketches / ideas dump for one of the tapestries (from the tv series). loved his work, he really puts himself into the work, both in effort and as the subject. and I loved that Alan Measles, his teddy bear was featured quite often. as was Princess Diana. and Claire – even one of her dresses, and some photos. so much social and modern commentary and analysis in his work. loved the maps too – very intricate, and I could see some marks similar to Piranesi also. we were allowed to take pics too which was nice. some closeups below for things I wanted to remember in detail as great examples for inspiration.

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tonal still life #2


last day of painting class / term today. it wasn’t my best day painting. when I tried to add shadows and to make the objects more 3D, I wrecked the tone so spent most of the day trying to get this back – lots of squinting and standing back to look at it from across the room. eventually I had to wipe the paint off and start again. I’m not happy with the shapes either (especially the teapot) – I lost them on the first day when painting the flat tones with the large brush, and couldn’t get them back in time. oh well. my teacher said he was happy with the tones. so I need to practice drawing objects (and drawing in general). it’s still drying in the shelves at art school so I need to go collect it this week once it’s dried.




today I started my second tonal still life painting — oil painting #4. after working on the contour, my teacher wanted me to just paint flat shapes in the four tones, no details. if you squint it’s easier to see the tones. when I did this, the bottle (which is dark green) looked almost black. I originally painted it with straight raw umber as I thought it would be the darkest tone, but it’s a lighter brown. when I was fixing the tone of the background fabric, a mix of the white + raw umber gave me a really dark brown-black shade which was perfect, so I overpainted it with this. I had the teapot too dark originally also, so had to lighten it a smidge.  I lost some of the contour shape when painting the flat colours, so will have to adjust this next week. but my teacher was happy with the tones so that’s the main thing.

next week is the last class for this term so I hope to finish it and have it dry enough to bring home.



string making

at the “Second Skin” workshop with India Flint (held at Beautiful Silks in November), we learned how to make string from strips of fabric. then we used these as measuring tape measures for our body measurements. it was so relaxing to twist and turn the fabric into string, even though part of mine did unravel a bit when I lost concentration and must have twisted or flipped in the wrong direction – serves me right for trying to speed up.

these are the strings from everyone in the workshop – mine’s at the bottom left – I put it down too quickly at the end, so it’s not in a perfect circle like some of the others, though I like the colours, and since the photo I’ve fixed the unraveling and added red stitching to keep that section in place.


I bought a bundle of silk sari strips and started making more string during the evenings whilst on our gypsy caravan ride in the country (thanks Pixie – miss you! & Colonial Way). will post some pics soon. I also dyed some silk in India’s dye bath on the last day of the workshop – still deciding what to make with that.

VSW100 Art + Creativity

I’ve just finished VSW100 Art + Creativity at Curtin Uni / OUA too. waiting on official grade, but it’s looking good from my assignment marks. it was another fun subject, and challenging too. we had to create objects (based on artist research) using a cardboard box, create a maquette for a public art work and finally, create detourned collages, create either an animation or plan an exhibition & its catalogue. I chose to make an animation as I hadn’t done this before. it might have been better to choose the easier (for me) option of the exhibition, but I felt that I could do that already as they’re similar to music events I’ve curated in the past.

We also had to do quite a lot of artist research, which was interesting, and I found when I became “stuck”, doing more artist research helped me break through this feeling, so it was well worth it. I need to work on the structure/organization of documenting all my work as I think it’s still a little chaotic. I also need to work on writing up my artist research at the time I do it instead of later! as this will save me more time during the last week to actually have time to review my work, instead of having to skip this important step. if I could have changed anything in my submissions it would have been to have a day or two to review before submitting.

assignment1: the cardboard box objects


assignment2: the public art maquette


assignment3: the animation