Solo Exhibition of Catalan and Australian Animals and Birds this June! (also…Spring is here and it is inspiring!)

Bon Dia tots! Ok, my Catalan is worse than bad, but I do try. I am currently awash with images of roses and flowers as the inspiration of Sant Jordi and Spring seep into my life. It has been 21 days now of #aroseaday #santjordi #artchallange and I’ve really loved it. I’ve been exploring so many different styles and themes within the one topic and it’s been freeing. But at the end of the month I will write a more interesting blog about the month and what April has taught me.

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For now I want to talk a little about my first solo exhibition. I hope that by talking a bit about it I will be spurred onto create even faster and finishes this mammoth-ly* (*not a real word) exciting task.

I have, as always, bitten off more than I can chew. I intent to present a section of 20 illustrations of Catalan and Australian animals that have a convergent evolutionary link. What, I hear you ask is convergent evolution? Well in one sentence, “Convergent evolution is the independent evolution of similar features in species of different lineages.”  So animals and or birds that are in two separate geographical place that have evolved to fill the same function in their environments. For example “The North American kangaroo rat, Australian hopping mouse, and North African and Asian jerboa have developed convergent adaptations for hot desert environments; these include a small rounded body shape with very large hind legs and long thin tails, a characteristic bipedal hop, and nocturnal, burrowing and seed-eating behaviors. These rodent groups fill similar niches in their respective ecosystems.[13]” (please click for citation)

I am looking at how animals and birds in my home land of Victoria Australia and my adopted home of Catalan link in and perform very similar task, lifestyles, and visual resemblance despite being 16,845 km (more or less) apart. This is a serious area of scientific study and I am no scientist, so I’m looking at this from an artists point of view. How these animals behavior and look, and how their habitats look and feel. This is my personal artists interpretation of this scientific discussion.

I have a theory that the areas of art and science are closely link due to the way’s we both use creative, out of box thinking whilst coming from a theory driven background. Obviously the two area’s are vastly different in many ways, but I believe that the similarity in thought process and boundary breaking are not so different to each other.

So, in June this year, in Solsona Catalonia I will be presenting a suite of work built from the above discussion. In the mean time, I leave you with some images from my sketch book on how this is looking now and I will keep you posted on dates and information as it comes to hand. Now, back to the studio to blast my Australian work mix (Hilltop Hoods, Sia, Frenzal Rhomb, You am I, Silverchair, Jebediah, Bodyjar, Paul Dempsey, Empire of the Sun, Grinspoon…the list goes on, I’m a Melbourne girl of the pop punk early 00’s)  Thank you!

For the love of the shade (or colour) black… always go back to black

It’s hard to tell if my love for Black comes from 15 years in the design & automotive industry or living in inner Melbourne for most of my adult life, but you can be sure, I will always defer to black. Not in a negative tone but as beautiful stark statement. I admit I have the same respect for the colour/shade white. Using black and white in any design or illustration can make the difference. I don’t mean just throwing some black boxes in or a white border, I’m advocating the use of black and white to create space, distance, emotional effect and connection to the viewer. Please don’t not use colour! Use it, splash it around, build with it but don’t forgot how powerful black (& white) can be in finishing or moving something forward. 

At high school I had the most wonderful graphics teacher, Mrs Bush, and she spent so many hours just teacher working with a simple black pen. Wether it was stippling, or hatching or just stopping and leaving space be! These lessons have stayed with me and have been strongly re-enforced by other teachers and collueages down the line. Mrs Bush was also the teacher that helped me move from sketching in pencil to really committing, letting go and using a black pen. Not being scared to put ‘it’ on the paper, knowing that there is more paper and time and then you find often what you produce when you are feeling more confident is what you wanted. When in doubt go back to black, in logo design, in spacing out text, in sketching out your next work of art. 

It has taken me many years to start to feel a level of comfort with my art and design. This love affair I have with black and white has helped me to improve my work and my confidence. Although when I moved to Catalonia two summers ago I found I had nearly all black clothes for me and my daughter (Melbourne north suburbs smashed avo hippesters much!?) and we have had to embrace some colour in our wardrobe! This is no bad thing as the Spanish and Catalan’s do colour with confidence and style like no other but I will still always defer to black, like a warm steady security blanket when I feel the need for reassurance. In my wardrobe, my designs and in my illustrations. There is nothing like using black and using it well. 

Perfecto 

Design available on t-shirts, notebooks, pillows, cards, clocks, mugs…!
 

An illustration challenge – #aroseaday For Sant Jordi de Catalonia, and win an original illustration!

2017-02-09 17.28.46I’m challenging myself to break out and improve my creativity. For the month of April I will be painting, drawing, illustrating A Rose A Day in honor of Sant Jordi. In my adopted home of Solsona, Catalonia Sant Jordi is a wonderful time of year for these amazingly festive people. Sant Jordi is the Catalan name of Saint George, who is the patron saint of Catalonia and “La Diada de Sant Jordi” is on 23rd April. I love a challenge and this (on day 6) is turning out to be equal parts challenging and inspiring. flag

Sant Jordi is a curious day, the St Valentines day of Catalonia and the “world book day”, which, when combined makes a romantic “red rose and good book” gift for your true love. My challenge is to make this month creative and freeing and at day 7 I’m feeling good. I feel looser and faster and like I’m rolling into the process with much more ease. Out of the 7 I’ve done so far, I honestly like 2 of them, but I’m forging ahead and showing everyday the rose I complete and owning the art. It’s not all going to be awesome but it is more a process than an end product project.

Sant Jordi’s rose is traditionally dark deep red and I think next week I’ll change up medium and get some deeper reds working for me, but for this last week, it’s been watercolour pen (and one crazy day where I through caution to the wind and used silver and gold paint! It. Was. Fun!)

And now for the chance to WIN something!!! All images are for sale and at the end of the month I will be choosing someone to receive an original signed artwork sent straight to their door. All I need is people to like my Facebook page, share and leave a comment on what is their favorite rose drawing/painting/ect (by any artist, anywhere!) and on April 30th I will choose the winner based on their comment. I am a true believer in art for arts sake and for dressing your home or space in art which has been touched by the human hand. A beautiful image can make the difference between a rough day and an ok day if it is sitting in the right spot. Even a challenging image can spark a debate or conversation you never thought you would have, breed an opinion or spark a revolution. Whilst my work is far from sparking revolution I do hope it brings some light into your day, and creating it brings into mine.

Petons guapos i guapas

SO here we are… art and stuff

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My mother would describe me as a precocious toddler with big dreams and an imagination on another planet. All of which is a beautiful compliment from (and to) my lovely upbringing and awesome supportive parents, and little sister. It is a cliche but I can’t remember not wanting to be creative in some form, with anything I could get my hands on. I have a vivid memory of being about 6, in the native garden at our house next to the park, picking all the flowers that the bees where drawn too and trying to ‘infuse’ a perfume from them (with the garden hose and an old jam jar). I’m mean, a 10 for effort, but not my most successful enterprise.

It is also true that I have never been able to sit still and do nothing… even if it looks like I am! I draw, paint, cook, knit, embroider, write, think up impossible new projects, work out the next days ‘craft-a-noon’ for my possum (my super 3 year old daughter!) explore new recipes to make from the fresh Spanish market produce picked up in the morning… my head is full to exploding! I get energy from the creative process and I will try my hand at anything. Hence the the ‘art and stuff’ title because my life and loves are not simple art, they are everything creative!

So now I have multiple website designs on the go for commercial (pay the bills) work (but I still really enjoying the coding and design process of digital) (see work here- www.expressionsofinterestdesign.com), I have my mornings in the knitting shop Mans i Mànigues (see the shop here Mans i Mànigues Facebook & here Mans i website – another of my web designs), painting, designing, practicing my Spanish and Catalan and enjoying the beautiful village life in Solsona. I have my digital ‘life’ on social media reaching out to other artists and creatives, getting inspired and getting feedback on  my own progress. It is a good life.

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Right, back to working now… there are a few new projects on top of the above mentions and I will be posting about them soon. Also, I have the luxury of living a 1 hour drive from Barcelona and I will be doing and full days art and design walk there in the next week which I’ll upload as soon as I can.

Until then my amigos, bon dia i petons.

C

The first

I’ve tried before, with little to no luck to maintain a blog. I have lots to share, give, contribute too but for many reasons (some honest obstacles, some just cop outs!) I haven’t got this going!

This is why this is titled The First.

It is the first honest, true real shot at writing on art, illustration, design and life. I am focused and organized with aim and purpose…! 😊


This is me. An artist/illustrator/designer living in beautiful Catalonia España with clever clogs husband and beautifully feisty 3 year old daughter. We are 1&1/2 years in to our 2 year secondment to a beautiful ancient village at the foot of the Pyrenees’s, for husband work.  I am an industrial designer/ graphic designer by trade and have worked for Ford Motor Company, Mojo Motorcycles and other boutique agencies. But my heart belongs to art and design in all its forms.

When it boils down to it I’m an artist, naive but willing!

Work? At the moment? Well I have the luxury of a studio space in a gorgeous antic building in the Main Street of Solsona. I’m sharing a space with the lovely Laura in her stunning shop and workroom “Mans I Mánigues” wool, yarns, crafts and workshops. I am thrilled to be working in such an inspiring space.

My work- lets be honest, I’m eclectic and driven by lust to create. My main focus right now is pen and watercolor inspired by nature. In the next three months I’ll be holding my first solo exhibition in this mix medium… more to come on that in the near future. I also love tattoo art! I love the boldness, the color, the unique canvases! I’m also working on a few new children’s books with a brilliant young author! Plus the web designs, logos, adverts, and a few important probono jobs for the good people of Solsona. I do enjoy working!

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There will be much more to come but for now my amigos -Petons/Besos/Kisses

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