It's hung!

After a big, exhausting effort on Friday, the exhibition is hung and we're almost ready to roll. 

Liz (the gallery) and Rohan's (my husband) help was invaluable, I just could not have done it without them (there was maths involved). And in spite of me, it looks fantastic! I can't wait until the 9th!

Toodle pip!

Exhibition is go!

Firstly, a big THANK YOU to those who've signed up to the mailing list. It has been very challenging to put myself out there but knowing people are behind me is AWESOME! In the words of one great Australian, "I love youse all!".

So the invitation is out there, excitement and rapturous applause...

Also, 10% of sales from the night will go to  Women's Health in the South East (WHISE), as a donation for the important work they do supporting women's health and in particular, women in domestic violence situations.

Come along, bring a friend or two, post the invitation to all your peeps on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram... the more support this gets, the more practical help we can provide to local women, AND have a fun night as well!

Everything is at the framers and I'm counting the sleeps now! Can't wait to see you all.



It's all at the framers...

I made it! All my work is at the framers (bar one piece, but that's not far away).

The date has been set for the opening - Friday 9th October. I'll be putting together an invitation and posting it all over the shop next week. Put yourself on the mailing list to get one direct to your inbox!

Timeless , Linocut unique print, 40 x 25 cm unframed.

Timeless, Linocut unique print, 40 x 25 cm unframed.

On success and deadlines...

It's been an interesting month. The print put into the local art show sold! Which was unexpected and wonderful. Having no expectation of selling, and printing it for the purpose of getting ready for my own exhibition made this a bonus... and YES, I'm putting together my first solo exhibition.

The studio where I work has a gallery space attached and I've booked myself in and created a deadline. I've even told other people about it so, it is on! 

Dates are to be confirmed but regardless, everything that is to be framed needs to be completed by the end of August. eek! Only a couple of weeks away. 

If you want to be kept informed just sign up to my mailing list or follow me on twitter (@_essayer).

The works will all be about the washing. Yep, I still haven't got it out of my system. Hopefully this will purge it from me and I can approach the laundry with the same disinterest as the rest of the population. But I doubt it. The washing is always there, another load to wash, another to hang out, another to sort. It never f**king ends. You can never retire from the washing. 

Pegs though, are a fascinating bit of kit. Simple, effective, ubiquitous, useful and (dare I say it?...) essential.

Hand study : Roma i

Hand study : Roma i

Hand study : Olivia i

Hand study : Olivia i

Hand study : Rex i

Hand study : Rex i

Hand study: Rex ii

Hand study: Rex ii

AND... This week I'm the featured artist on the Illustrators Australia website. YAY!

Well, it didn't work... yet!

Previously I'd posted about a print I was working on for an upcoming exhibition, and I thought it was going to be great!  Ba-wah! Boy, was I wrong!

After much to-ing and fro-ing I had found a press to hire and the printmaker, Belinda Nye, was fantastic! I've admired her work for a long time and it was great to finally meet her properly. Check her out here. We did many experiments. Was it the plate? Was it the ink? Was it me? but we couldn't get it work.

Her solution to separate the images and get rid of the border was absolutely the right call, but her double printing the image was ground breaking. It looked fabulous. This idea needs greater exploration. I could have framed up an image from what we got on the day but it didn't feel right and wouldn't do it justice. So, pulled out the proverbial and made a new plate.

With a similar theme which bubbles away in my personal work, the new image was printed with a barren, using the brute force of my able assistant and champion.

So it's all framed and read to go for the exhibition! Woo-hoo! It's not what I'd planned, but I learned so much from the experience... it really pushed me. I'll be working on my three separate plates of women hanging out the washing for a future exhibition, with cleaner plates, better technique and superb composition. It'll be great!

I Got the Image in Me...

I've had an image in me, burning a hole in my brain, for quite some time and like anything, it needs to get out.

With the opportunity to prepare for a local art show in the works, I'm using it to justify sending the time on it. 

It was always going to be a lino cut. Funny how sometimes, you just know... sometimes it's clear and not right unless it's done that way. Other times of course you can puddle around for hours trying out different mediums, formats, compositions. Not this time.

I've done a small version to test out my technique and it seemed to go well so I'm looking forward to getting it finished and seeing it all.


The Business of Illustration

Recently, Illustrators Australia (IA) held a professional development night with a topic close to my heart (and wallet), The Business of Illustration.

Keep in mind I've been to a few business type of seminars and I'm jaded and sceptical about what these types of talks can offer. From previous lives in previous industries they have all blended together to form an overwhelming mass of information that seems quite impenetrable.

I can do the illustration, and there's always new things to learn and ways to be better at it, but the business of illustration has been another whole hairy beast I'm just beginning to get my head around.

Luckily I went to this one. The speaker, Vincenzo Pignatelli of Blue Quoll Publishing was AWESOME!

I'm cross at myself for not speaking to him afterward (I should have got a photo!) but there were lots of people there (a full house - great work IA volunteers!), and lots of people wanting to speak to him after the talk. Everything he talked about made so much sense and it cut through all the other management-speak that turns my brain into  blancmange. 

This talk, coupled with Lisa Congdon's book Art Inc. which I read a couple of months ago, has changed everything.

Lisa's book is a practical overview of the industry and how to go from making art to selling art. With lots of examples it described the why's, how's and opportunities that are out there. When I read it, it gave me a new sense of purpose and commitment to myself and my work. I carry it with me in my work bag.

Vincent's talk brought all this into focus, unbeknownst to him (or may he knows?) he reinforced what Art Inc. discusses, and he spoke in a direct, open and friendly manner which was clear and understandable.  Not only was it a great talk, it was delivered well. What's not to like!?!

I know I'm still finding my feet but it's exciting in a way it wasn't before, so I'd just like to say to IA, Vincent and Lisa a heartfelt:


Melbourne Art Book Fair

Recently the Melbourne Art Book Fair was held and I went to the opening night at the NGV. It was a crowded affair with many beautiful books on display and for sale. It was a fantastic opportunity to see books from boutique and micro publishers as many of these type of publications a not held in bookstores. They're even hard to come across in independent bookstores.


I'm still processing some of the things I saw on the night, and I might discuss the later in other posts. Needless to say though the hall looked gorgeous, we are so lucky to have this available to us... (And I bought a tote bag! I love a tote bag.)


As you can probably see I've redone my website, this time with Squarespace.

I transferred the last two blog posts to this format which is why the dates on both are the same.

Using the new platform was an interesting experience. I'm not technically illiterate but still found it challenging. I think the evolution of 'help' pages in the tech space in general is continuing to be a growth area. And trying to get my .au domain to point to the right place was fiddly, but I did it!

The industry seems to want us to do it all, which I think is the way to go - we then get to have more control in our own presentation on the web, and they try very hard to make it available to a broad audience, but have yet to hit a way of cutting through. I don't know what the answer is, it would be impossible to try and cover all bases of technical proficiency and platforms... and cultural differences (even if we all spoke the same language, semantics are everything) I don't envy their task at all. 

In general though, having used a number of platforms now, this experience has been the best yet. Its clean and simple design, although not intuitive enough for me yet, is the easiest I have had to use to date.

Now that it's done though, I can concentrate on making more art!


Mother's Day

I received an email from one of my sisters last week which took my breathe away with its simplicity and generosity of spirit. Sometimes it just takes a good idea and a bit of motivation...

St Kilda Mums is a  charitable organisation which provides help to mums who find themselves in trouble. Their project for Mother's Day is From one mother to another and your job is to make up a toiletry bag with all the essentials, send it in to them and they'll make sure a mum in need gets something she needs.

So with an open heart I built a couple and sent them off today. I shared it, like my sister, with my own friends and now they're involved too! It's not too late to  contribute, I reckon they won't even care if you're not a mum yourself and just want to help.

You can get more information from their website and or check them out on Facebook or Twitter

Thank you St Kilda Mums, you're ace!

From one mother to another

From one mother to another