Sunday, 11 May 2008

Torbay Mural Waiake, Torbay Shopping Centre, Auckland

This mural incorporates children's art in it's design and also an old Maori legend and a view of Torbay as it was in the nineteenth century. The children's art was borrowed with the kid's permission and carefully reproduced on the mural wall. On one mural done at Snell's Beach, Warkworth I had children painting their pictures directly on the mural wall. That was fun for all involved.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Sculpture Installation; Decorating Auckland

This sculpture was carved in one piece out of a solid block of polystyrene. The head of the guy ended at a slightly wrong angle and I had to cut the head off and glue it back on with a wedge in the neck to get it just so. A few other minor defects were smoothed over with plaster and the finished piece painted with acrylic paints.
I was attending Hungry Creek Art School at the time and the guy running the school had a son in the billboard business in Auckland and a sculpture of a couple kissing on a chaise longue was required by a client, a new radio station; More FM (-more fun in the middle of the road). The art school's boss and I went 50/50 on this job, he had the contacts and readies and I had the artist's skills.
We met the son and his girlfriend at a photographers studio in Ponsonby, Auckland, where a chaise longue was and I took my camera and a ladder and photographed the lovers from every possible angle.
We then bought a huge block of polystyrene, a sheet of ply for a base, some folded sheet metal for a plinth and some steel rods to hold these three pieces together and I got to work on the carving in the art school's life drawing room. After sufficient disruption of the school's normal activities all was shifted to my big workshop at Warkworth where I made like Michaelangelo and polystyrene flew everywhere.
My partner in crime created the plinth and turned legs of the chaise longue and insisted on carving the feet of the couple, to keep his hand in, and the whole job was done in 15 days, from receiving the brief to being mounted on the billboard above a busy, major, central Auckland intersection.
The brief was for a sculpture to last 3 months out in the weather but it stayed there a year distracting motorists and pedestrians alike and causing many near misses at the busy traffic lights.
On the night before delivery of the finished sculpture it was installed in my lounge and we had the fire blazing, every heater in the house in the lounge on full and a hairdryer and heatgun blazing away, dog tired and sweating in the heat at 3 in the morning trying to dry plaster and paint. The last of the paint dried on the drive to Auckland as we raced to be on time to meet the scaffolders who helped with the installation.

Tile Mural, Thermae Christina, 117AD.

This Bathroom decoration was painted on 35 white glazed terracotta tiles 200 mm. square.
The paints used were firing enamels and gold and platinum.
The tiles were fired 4 times, a risky business but all the tiles survived and the completed picture, measuring 1400 x 1000 is fixed on the bathroom wall. Permanent art although the gold, being 24 carat, is a soft metal that shouldn't be cleaned with abrasives if possible.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

The Artist's Blues

Bridie sings the blues

I've noticed that I usually write on this blog when I'm feeling upbeat or I've been mulling over something and start to write about it and get to feel upbeat as the writing flows along in it's own way and it all ends up sounding great ( Great!!!! ).

But it's not all great and I read my posts and think I am a phoney or at least not telling the whole story.

Yesterday was nice weather and a girlfriend drove me and my diesel 4 wheel drive to Cambridge to pick up paintings from the R18 exhibition which ended on Sunday.
There was good and bad news: none of the paintings sold-bad I suppose. My paintings had higher prices than all the others-not bad or good, maybe just interesting. The lady that owns the gallery got a crush on one of the paintings and wanted to keep it on display there-good, yes.

And this painting, called "the cradling of femininity" (you can see it on the R18 post further down this page) is displayed in a prime spot in the gallery, it's own area with lights and everything that says check this out here is a painting worthy of your attention.....


I've had emotional entanglements with two different girlfriends very recently and that and everything else happening in the art scene has worn me out and I feel flat as.
Not the sort of flat that can be relieved by a few drinks, my normal out of the blues, 'cause now I realize that I've lost my driver's licence through drinking and driving and maybe I have a drinking problem.....

Is it possible that I am less than perfect? How can that be in a perfect universe of which I am part? And what a crushing blow to my vanity.... lot's of times other people have made attacks on my fragile self esteem but for my own good self to make an attack on my fragile self esteem by coming up with the nasty, insidious suggestion that I may have a drinking problem is the worst, buddy, the worst. Life fuckin sucks sometimes...

So there you go, balance is restored to this blog in that living the life of an artist is not all beer and skittles and what goes up must come down and moderation in all things and honest self evaluation and that other boring shit when all I want to do is soar....

Roll on the next natural high and painting inspiration, for today is just the opposite.