Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Feature Article in Artist Palette Magazine #89 Sep 2010

The much awaited feature article of me is now available in issue 89 of Artist Palette Magazine 2010. Read about my professional artist career journey so far and then check out my demo on the painting "Sunset over the Cane Field".

Please go and grab yourself a copy of this great mag.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Flags of an Imaginary Nation

A competition through the Festival Cairns organisers for 2010 called out for artist to imagine a new nation of where we live (in Cairns/North QLD) and design a fake flag. The background to the new fake nation could be really 'out there' or more realistic. It's all just a bit of fun. It could be set in past, present or future. 10 of the winning designs will be exhibited in a small local gallery and they will be produced into real flags to be flown on our esplanade during the festival (fingers crossed -hope my design is one of the top ten!).

Tropical Northerners’ Coalition

Flag: Yellow Gold, Emerald Green and Sky Blue. The colours are symbolic for the land (dry bush, rainforest and reef). The blending from one hue to another is also symbolic of the ‘blended’ cultures, nationalities and people. The black silhouette of the Luculia Ramsayi or Australian Fan Palm is native to the region and is known for being unique to the wet tropics.

History: Tropical Northerner’s Coalition (T.N.C.) formed in 2010 in response to the Cairns and region community’s desire to unify their multiculturalism. The T.N.C. spans people from all backgrounds and races known as the Cairnsinese People. This vast diversity of people is what makes Cairns the culturally rich place it is.

Tropical Tourist Democracy

Flag: A section of a green Australian Fan Palm painted as the background, and symbolic icon of a Ulysses Butterfly top right corner. The butterfly is a metaphor for the transient population; the tourists. The insect also represents the flittering of people taking flight and the uniqueness of the people specific to the region. The large background image of the fan palm illustrates many tropical colours of blues, greens and yellows reflecting the different nationalities and cultures.

History: The Tropical Tourist Democracy is a futurist political government of the North Queensland region, primarily infiltrated in Cairns. Many years of being a tourist destination for holiday goers and site-seers saw the overhaul of the Cairns Regional Council. The recent democracy governs the region through frequent political change over of authorities (depending on the season). The transient lifestyle allows the governing people to continually evolve their system while standing for the Cairns lifestyle and leisure attitude.

Its all just a bit of fun. What do you think? What would you come up with for where you live? What would your flag look like. Feel free to respond in the comments section below in this post.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Crinkle Tag Blanket

This idea of making a crinkle tag blanket for my baby has come from other suggestions on parenting forums and seeing other examples on the net. I wanted to take my crinkle tag blanket that one step further by sewing and ironing on embellishments to the front and back fabric of the blanket as others do no have this. It adds another dimension of interaction to play "peek a boo" with the flaps and texture in the slikly satin circle fabric and the netting with the "D" felt letter enclosed (as my bub loves to scratch using her nails I thought this textural element might be of interested).

Total sewing time: Approximately 3hrs

Difficultly: Easy

Step 1: Get all your materials ready; ribbons, felt letters, fabric, wadding, plastic, scissors and anything else appropriate. Thread used was just a plan white. Using any colour adds another visual element. The needle used was a sharp point size 11. Good for light weight to thin cotton fabrics. Fabric blanket squares were appropriately 26cm allowing 1-1.5cm seam. Overlocking was achieved using a zig zag stitch.

Step 2: Get your fabric for the blanket flaps approximately 4x5cm. Sew by running a simple dash stitch approximately 5mm around 3 edges, backstitching at the start and finish. Turn inside out to face the correct way. Stuff in wadding. Turn in seam and sew edge/hem using a very small and close together zig zag stitch.

Step 3: Iron Adhesive interfacing to your satin fabric as the thinness and slipperiness will not neatly make a stitch.
Cut to circle shape.

Step 4: Sew the felt letters on. I chose to use a zig zag stitch fo
r added interest.

Step 5: Arrange iron on transfers, letters, flaps and other embellishments where you want them fixed. Sewn down. I sewed the red circle using two separate spiral stitches. The flaps were sewn very close to the edge using a simple dash stitch.

Step 6: On one piece of fabric, place the
ribbons right-side-up on the fabric but pinned with the loop or end pinned inward to the centre. Then secure in place with a running stitch along the hem.

Step 7: On the other piece of fabric, layer fabric wrong side down, wadding and then crinkle plastic on top. Secure in p
lace with a running stitch.

Step 8: Now place the two pieces of fabric front to front, run a stitch most th
e way around leaving approximately half the width of one edge to pull fabric through. Run a zig zag 'overlocking' stitch all around (leaving hole) to strengthen seam in case the side seam stitch fails.

Step 9: Pull inside out. Finish up by trimming loose frays and I used a match to slightly seal exposed ribbon to avoid fraying.

The result:

Finished Back view: