Sunday, August 30, 2009

It seems to be becoming a 'thing' with me that the end of the SALA festival signals rising excitement (on my part) about the approach of 'Gothtober' and the unbridled glee (again, on my part) that is Halloween. Yes, I live in the wrong hemisphere for this celebration, yes the seasonal colors are completely reversed (halfway through spring) and yes most people in Australia not only don't celebrate Halloween but see it as yet another Americanism and can be quite hostile to it. A great pity.....personally, I've loved it since I was a child and wanted so badly to be able to go trick-or-treating, bob for apples and dress up in scary costumes. I love the carved pumpkins, the candy corn and the fun of decorating the house and yard with ever more elaborate props. My kids have now grown up with it and the party that we have each year is probably their favorite family event. So, each August I look back through the photos of the previous years Halloween and start planning. The photos above are all things that I made last year....the dollies were ordinary children's dolls found at my local op-shop, which I attacked with paint, scissors and matches (deeply satisfying in a twisted kind of way).....the kitchen props were all made by me and my daughter Taylor.....also, Dr. Death and the corpse in the coffin and the cupcakes (which everyone felt bad about eating because they took such a long time to make). Here in Australia, each year there is more Halloween stuff available in the shops but you really can't beat the props that you make yourself. At this stage I have no idea what I'll come up with this October, but the seeds have been planted....
Till next time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

We are now over half-way through the SALA festival and I have to say that apart from the 2007 festival, when I was lucky enough to meet and become friends with the extraordinary (I could go on and on here, but I won't) Catchlove/Pills, this has been the best SALA I've experienced. This past weekend I have met some truly delightful, interesting and amazingly talented people. I was very unsure how my 'Open Studio' would be received this year, as I had only a handful of completed pieces for sale and lots of 'work in progress', but the response has been enormously positive with a wide cross-section of visitors (which is what I really love to see; kids, grandparents, and especially those people - usually men - who come in begrudgingly with their families and end up poring over every detail and having to be dragged out!). I've had wonderful conversations with people from Perth and New South Wales, a lovely violinist, an eccentrically fabulous woman with faeries in her attic (no, I'm not speaking metaphorically), two beautiful sisters who touched me very deeply (one is now living with "Old Goat"), two young women who fell so deeply in love with the incomplete "Turtle Man" that they would have bought him 'as is' if I had let them and an incredible artist, whose work I'm ashamed to say, I did not know until yesterday. His name is Ron Francis and I think I may have found another favorite Australian painter. I am always quite overwhelmed when people travel, however long or short, to see my work. Seeing this gifted artist's superb paintings only reinforces this feeling as well as simply making me happy that he could also enjoy what I do.
And all of this reminds me why I do what I do. Of course, I'm driven by what's inside of me....a personal vision.....but it's the sharing of this vision and the response of other people that provides the greatest satisfaction. I've always maintained that I would have to make these creatures even if no-one ever saw them, but lately I'm not so sure. That response from another individual is so important to the gives it meaning. I can derive great personal satisfaction from a well-built armature, nicely sculpted features and a decent paint job, but all of this pales into insignificance when someone looks at a piece with tears in their eyes because, for reasons known only to them, they feel a connection with it. Nothing beats that.
So, I'll keep sculpting and hope that people keep responding. There are some very exciting projects in the works, one of which has to be secret for now, but there will be plenty to blog about. "Turtle Man" is my newest piece, as yet incomplete. The turtle shell is a real one, salvaged by my good friend, Steve. When it came to me it was covered in at least two inches of tube worm casings.....the poor turtle had long since perished, but it took me two weeks of scraping and cleaning to get the shell to it's present condition. "Turtle Man" will be wearing the shell as a kind of armour and if all goes to plan and Steve manages to procure a smaller shell for me, there will be a young'un to go with him.
Again, I really want to thank all those wonderful people I have met over the past week, as well as all my blogging and facebook friends who are so supportive.....special thanks to Nancy for her friendship and wise advice from across the miles.
Till next time.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Just a quick post tonight (it's late and I'm very tired) to let everyone know that my website is now fully functioning with its new 'Shop' page. There will be new items added as new pieces are completed and of course I will keep you updated here on my blog.
Have had an article in the local paper for SALA and another one going in a different paper next week.....good start! Speaking of good starts, I sold 'The Faery Nanny' and 'Spider Girl' earlier this week....they are off to wonderful, loving homes (I still have them with me for the Festival). Photographed the nanny today and am pretty pleased with the pics.....poor thing, I feel the way she looks!
Well, I need a good night's sleep....
Till next time