Monday 2 November 2015

Catching Up

Do you know the feeling when you haven’t spoken to a friend for a while and you know you really must call them, but the longer you leave it the more reluctant you are to call because you now need even more time to dedicate to the conversation? Well, this is how it is with my blog lately.

So much has happened since my last entry. I’ve been to the Gold Coast for the opening night of my solo show "Debutante" at 19 Karen gallery. I’ve travelled to Byron Bay to visit the staff at Retrospect who do such a great job of exhibiting my work both at the gallery there and at art fairs around the world. I’ve picked up several commissions. I’ve braved my first paid speaking engagement at Warringah Creative Space (I thought I had nothing to say and then couldn’t shut up… typically, I was the only one who was shocked). I’ve sewn 20 tarantulas onto my younger son’s shirt for Halloween, I’ve started organising a solo show in Tokyo next year, I’ve been talked down from the panic tree by my patient husband. I’ve filled numerous orders for prints and in the process learned the names of all the staff at the local post office….. and I’ve slunk to the school to bat for a headstrong child who is not playing nicely with the System!

All this activity is clear evidence that it’s a very bad idea to neglect your baby Blog. I’ll leave you with a very generous article about my solo show, written by Fiona Purdon for "U", the Weekend Magazine of the Brisbane Courier Mail. 

Pinky promise I'll be back soon.... ahem.


Thursday 10 September 2015

It's "Me on a Plate"!

Today I feel like I’m a contestant on MasterChef, ingredients are spewed around me, and I only have one minute left to "Plate up".
I don’t know what it is about the process of creating, but however organised I think I am, guaranteed I'll be always working right up to the wire.
The courier is due at my studio in about an hour to deliver all my work to the Gold Coast for my solo show at 19 Karen and I have only just finished my sculptures. Phew.
Stuff the fancy food, I need a drink.

"Beatrice" clutching her proteas, Front

"Beatrice", back.

"Clara", side.

"Clara", front


Thursday 3 September 2015


It’s an exciting thing to be offered a solo show by a gallery. Last  year I joined the stable of artists at 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, under the direction of Terri Lew. Terri is very special—she has a great eye, a super cool gallery space, an independent spirit, plus she’s loyal and trustworthy. So I was thrilled when she offered me a solo show in her gallery for September 2015. 

Yes, at the end of this month!
19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, Mermaid Beach, QLD

I have been working my fingers to the bone this year in an effort to get a little World of Watts together to exhibit. Get a bland man in a suit to cut the ribbon: I am officially a one-woman manufacturing plant. But it’s so worth it.

This is the first official solo show or “Coming Out” for my Wallflower paintings, so I have called the show Debutante. 

For those of you who are new to my Wallflower series, it started with a question: is a Wallflower the one who shrinks into the background and becomes invisible? Or is it something that emerges from the wall, opening, blossoming, divulging its secrets? Perhaps beauty is more about the observer than the observed: if there is someone looking, then what is hidden may be revealed.

Breathing Dreams Like Air, 90cm x90cm

Holding the Rainbow, 80cm x80cm
Flower Girl

Debutantes, wallflowers, clinging vines, china dolls. These are all completely outmoded ideas of women. But if you revisit a place with new ideas, in fact when you look closely at anything that is familiar, it transforms into something unfamiliar, something new.

For a cheeky sneak peek at the work, lob over here to my website.

September 26 - November 14, 2015
19 Karen Contemporary Artspace
19 Karen Avenue, Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast

If you’re in the hood, come along to 

The Opening Night!
6pm - 8pm
Saturday 26th September


Friday 7 August 2015

Getting Amongst It

I’m not one leap into unknown realms. Actually, that’s untrue, I will leap... but I’ll be clutching a damned good plan.
I am currently working toward a solo show at 19 Karen on the Gold Coast. (September 26 - November 14). The paintings are pretty much in the bag: many are complete, some are still in my head waiting to get to the easel. I'm on target. 
OK, so works on walls are great. I’m a painter, paintings go on walls, tick. But there’s something missing… and that’s when I realise, I want something on a plinth! NO, WAIT! I want things on MANY plinths!! It’s not every day a solo show comes along and I want to create a world, not just a wall.
Small problem: I'm not a sculptor.
The idea is for my 2D works to come alive in a 3D world. My Wallflowers will stop hanging on the edges. It's time for them to step into the room and get in amongst it.
Flower Girls are art vases which will be watertight to hold beautiful, freshly cut voluminous bunches of flowers.
It’s been a push, and there have been countless times during this process I thought the whole thing would fail, but I'm actually getting there. And it's pretty exciting. So here are some photos of where I’m at. Right now it's looking like a very pink mummified birthday cake.
I have a long way to go, which is kind of daunting since the show is only 8 weeks away. But if you don't push yourself, how will you ever know what you're capable of?

Maquette for my Flower Girl

First Steps: Building the original from clay using the coil method. Thanks to Nola from Brookvale Ceramics for your patience!

Here is the basic shape of the vessel. It is now ready for me to cast a mold.

Making the silicone mold and adding the keys. Looks like a a sweetly iced straight jacket... next stage: fibreglass casing, stay tuned!


Friday 24 July 2015

Put Some Art On It.

I’m a bit of a sucker for an interiors magazine. Toss me a Real Living and plop me in a room facing north and I can be happy for a disturbingly long time. It may be because we have been renovating our house for almost a decade. 
I say “renovating” like it’s a “doing word”, which is a bit generous since in recent years our home has mostly been a glorified storage facility for my husband’s tools. The man has turned me into a frustrated interior designer.

Art is an integral part of interior design, drawing the eye into a space and extending personality into a room. There's nothing more boring than a plain white wall. I realised recently that although I fastidiously record my work before I send it off to a gallery or a client, I rarely photograph it within an interior setting. Coming to think of it, I seldom see any artist photograph their work this way, which seems like a missed opportunity since most of our art will end up in someone's house.

One of my fantasies is to have my work slapped all over the walls of an architectural home, maybe styled with a bit of a fiddle leaf fig or a sheepskin throw, and professionally photographed in a frenzy of deeply glamorous vignettes. Unfortunately for me, all the professionals are currently busy working at the designer homes my husband is off building.

It’s time to get my glossy on. 


Thursday 16 July 2015

Ephemera is a friend of mine.

"Scout's Honour" 2014

"Lucky Numbers" 2012 (detail)

"Holding the Rainbow" 2015

I like to collect things. Particularly things that were only really useful for a short while: these things immediately transport me back to a specific place and time. When I dip a hand into my vat of take-out chinese fortunes I am instantly returned to the kitchen of my apartment in New York. (Quite an annoying room, just sitting there wasting valuable space). I still love every font catalogue I own, the rubber stamps pilfered from hotels across Europe, the vintage bingo games, my childhood trading cards… and my boxes of rub down Letraset letters still make me downright misty. For me there is a tenderness and affection in the process of breathing new life into things that have been discarded, so although I work predominantly with oils, I always start with collage.

Wednesday 15 July 2015


Hello friends and welcome to my blog! 
This is a place where I will post images of my work and process, the chaos of my studio and the things that inspire me. I hope you will follow along. 

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