Friday, 23 September 2016

The Sneeze House...

I must admit that there is a mild chance that my brain may in fact implode this week
 The dreaded/much anticipated renovation starts for real and for just three messy and noisy weeks my studio will be smack bang in the middle of demolition central
I am not sure how much painting will be tackled, but I am hoping that at least enough to maintain my tenuous hold on my sanity will be possible

 added to this excitement, spring has arrived
 with its seasonal swathe of sneezing and watery eyes
 not to mention the truly awe inspiring sneezes from our neighbor
 you have to admire a sneeze that can be heard through two sets of walls, a huge bloody fence and  across the yard... this sneeze is so epic it stuns me
the only disappointment is it is always a single so it scares the bejeezus out of you and then disappears before your heart beat even looks like returning to normal
sometimes I wish it was a pair, or a triple so I could truly admire the force of them, but I am always mildly stunned from hearing it so I don't get to stop and truly admire its volume
not that I admire it so much that I want to be too close
as I fear such volume may come with flyers... and that is never pleasant



But neighborhood sinus stories aside
and you will note I am blithely ignoring the fact that we are in peak snore season here in our house... I scarily think we may all be quite something to hear and perhaps sneeze house call us snore house... though I doubt we can even touch the volume required... perhaps as the season progresses we may work achieve such heights.. maybe
 Hayfever matters aside, I do love Spring well except for Barry's shenanigans
there is always something isnt there... Mushu used to sneeze on our feet and generally snot us to bits, but Barry seemed to be completely uneffected by seasonal snot so I was hopeful that spring life would be quieter with a cat
unhappily with the return of the warm weather sees a return to Barry sleeping in his self proclaimed cat hammock that is the shade cloth over the pergola
this is a genius spot as he can safely watch all that is going on, happily taunt the poor dog that lives in the sneeze house
and drop bear me like crazy when I go out to hang out the washing... every time he gets me
I swear I will just get used to looking up when I go outside and it will be high summer and he will have retreated in front of the aircon like the smart feline that he is
he got me twice this week
washing dropped on the ground, nerves shot and muttered curses that would make a longshoreman blush
quite frankly I sometimes wonder if my nerves will survive the season

When my sanity is in doubt there is always work to get me through
the blue and white love is continuing
This large lino printed urn is finally done 
and awaiting a frame to hang beside the other one
of course on seeing the two together I am more certain then ever that a third of the same huge proportions is required for them to really look great
so I will be turning my brain to planning another this week

on top of the painting I have been crazily filming and writing and the lino class should be up 
October 1
I am so excited to finally have this class opening and if you want to be kept up to date with it all and get the early access to introductory/ explantory video and information then scroll back up to the top of the page to sign up for the newsletter
I am actually filming and doing it as two classes... one for beginners, and one the next step on, so people can do the one that suits, or bundle both together
it is just such a huge area and if I was teaching it in person I would run it this way, so Lino Printing 101 and Lino Printing 201 will come in to being soon
exciting times ahead
happy painting all...xx





Friday, 9 September 2016

Dear Paperwork...

Dear Paperwork 
 I think it is time we broke up
 I know I am supposed to accept you as part of my life
 and yes I know that you are always there for me, quietly waiting on my desk
 but I have come to realize that you aren't my friend
 well not really
 Yes you sit patiently and wait for me to have time for you
 but there is something passive aggressive 
 about the way you stare at me while I am painting
 you don't ever say anything but I can feel the hurt you feel at my neglect
 and I am ever so slightly freaked out by the way you multiply while I am not looking
 I really don't want to know what you get up to to cause such multiplying
 let's just keep that as private paperwork business
  And while I am being open with you I also am not keen on the way you ever so slightly threaten to topple at the slightest provocation 
and paper cuts... I have come to realize that friends don't cut friends!!!
relationships shouldn't hurt and you have cut me one time too often now
 But the thing that really makes me wonder about you is how you say you don't really want to be friends with Tax Paperwork ... and Bill Paperwork
but you seem to hang out together a bit too much for my liking
and this week yourself, and Tax, and Bill have kept me from my real friends
the friends that make me feel good and happy
they might be showy with their splashy colours and their vigorous lines
but they make me smile and feel good and I never get to the end of the day feeling depressed or annoyed when I am with you
you aren't my friend Paperwork no matter what you say, so you can go hang out somewhere else, find friends who like your games 
might I suggest Sinus or Phants... they both seem to have lovely clear desks and I think you would be happy there
I wish you luck Paperwork but the time has come to say I don't want to see you anymore

Kind regards
Tracey... xx 
P.S make sure you take Tax and Bill with you... I really don't want to see them anymore either


Friday, 2 September 2016

Proofing The Next Vase...



This week has been all about the blue and white again
 I printed an edition of the large lino block of a vase which was awesome fun and resulted in half the house being blanketed in blue and white prints which was truly a sight to behold
They were printed onto A2 size paper so they were covering every spare surface
beds, floors, countertops... they were everywhere
 but it was a complete joy and Astrid was a fabulous printing assistant as it turns out she  has quite the talent for spotting uneven ink on the block and it is quite fun watching someone who happens to be a tad height challenged carry a wet print with the breeze wafting... it was like watching an adorable smallish person carrying a blue and white sail
 so she's not just a one trick pony with her ninja fence climbing abilities it turns out


Today was all about proofing the next block
and I am almost happy with it
it looks pretty close when I slipped it in the frame which is the first pic on the post
 and while it isn't quite there yet, it is very very close

Barry the cat was supervising and despite the whole walk across a wet print incident
 followed by his genius tip toeing across the perspex I roll out the ink on
 and finally rounded out with the constant flicking of his tail across ink 
he kept me company the whole time and watched with interest as every print was pulled
until he was bored at which point he meowed with increasing volume until I put his favourite box on the table so he could nap


I was kind of panicking about proofing this one as I believed bloody Sinus when he said he could carve the background for me to save me some time
so I was happily starting to carve the giant ginger jar I had drawn up
and we were chatting away and then he proudly showed me my poor block
needless to say a lot of repair work was required, including the need for superglue
but it has survived relatively intact after my initial misgivings and it is close to being sorted
Turns out he needs way more practice before being let loose on a block again

 Between drawing up blocks, carving, proofing, doing illustration work, ignoring jobs and chores, harassing Barry, buying even more fixtures and fittings and choosing endless stuff for the renovation I squeezed in some more painting
it was about the only time I felt sane all week
which is saying something I know
happy painting all...xx

Friday, 26 August 2016

Endless Blue and White...


My blue and white obsession has continued this week
 when I've not been working on a couple of illustration jobs 
 that have been keeping me a little too much on my toes if truth be told
  and some lame arsed attempts to get my paperwork in order 
  I have been continuing to obsessively paint all things blue and white
 there is something about the freshness of the colours that just makes me happy
 so I am running with it until I get sick of it
 though scarily it really doesn't feel close to running its course yet


Part of the problem is that I had this idea of having some blue and white lino prints of vases above the bed in the main bedroom
the room is all blues and whites and soft white furniture so it feels pretty perfect
but then I had the idea of maybe doing a gallery wall of all different prints and paintings
in blue and whites and can't decide which to go with
the roof is really high and the room is huge so it can take some colour but for the life of me I can't commit one way or the other so I am creating both options and will decide later
I figure that at the very least the online store and etsy shop will both get an influx of new work so no time is wasted, and quite frankly I am having a blast so am having no trouble justifying all my spare time going to creating them
I also know myself well enough to know I just need to go with it until I am done with the idea
or else it will just nag away at the back of my brain
and I have enough things nagging away back there


things like whether it is worth trying to desensitising Barry the cat so he doesn't freak out at the sight of cauliflower... and carrots
turns out he's not keen on carrots either

I also have this nagging doubt that I had an appointment that I was due to go to next week but for the life of me can't think what it is

plus deciding what taps we should choose, and light fixtures, and when to book the arborist and where the lid to my hand cream has disappeared to and the fifty million other random things that sail through my brain all day
it is like a news ticker on speed in there... 
so I shall retire to some more blue and white and try to ignore it
happy painting all...xx

PS here is the next two videos for the questions and answers series
of course after last week's posting of the first two I got a flood of more questions... ok not a flood but certainly more than a trickle so I will do one last video answering your questions
so if you have anything you wanted to ask now's your chance
pop it in the comments below or contact me via email etc... 




Friday, 19 August 2016

Blue and White China and Ninjas...

 It has been a glorious week creatively speaking
 full of blue and white lino prints and paintings
 several more are already started after this tester watercolour was such a pleasure
 and my lino print of the huge blue and white vase/urn made it through the test print stage
 which was a relief after so long carving the sucker
but all was well and even the block looked beautiful inked up


Yet another blue chair was drawn up and painted
I am starting to think I have a problem and maybe should just buy a blue chair 
and be done with it

Barry the cat gained a new quirk and has decided to only sleep 
if a human is also lying down with him

he also discovered the vegetable crisper in the fridge and just likes to touch everything in it
except cauliflower... he is still deathly scared of a whole head of cauliflower




In amongst all of that fun and wonderfulness 
I also had the thrill of watching an actual ninja doing their thing
after going out walking with my great friend and partner in crime, Rach
we arrived home to find me locked out... no clue why I removed the fence key from my keyring, but I did... so while I am busy calling Sinus to get his late butt home to let me in
 Rach scaled our six foot fence like she was a ninja crossed with a mountain goat
Poor Sinus got a very garbled message which consisted of me loudly asking him where his mildly late butt was, interrupted by me suddenly 
yelling at Rach to get down off the bloody fence as she isn't 40 anymore then more panicked yelling and name calling as she scaled the 6 foot structure like it was about a foot high, happily dropping over the fence, nailing the landing and unlocking the gate for me... bloody legend
plus in amongst my panicked name calling  and voicemailing  Sinus I even managed to snap a pic so we have evidence of this madness... talk about multi- tasking

Rach has unparalleled talents it turns out and I feel this now necessitates a change in alias for her... for years she has been Astrid Tagliatelli to my Kiki Von Stroganoff, but in light of these new skills I feel we need a more scaling great heights type name
my suggestions of Heidi was shot down and countered by her suggesting Xena
but that is just silly... who is going to believe someone is called Xena Tagliatelli...
the search for a new name will continue
of course any suggestions will be welcomed...


 so this afternoon the block will be shaped and the final adjustments made 
 so I can print an edition very soon which is crazy exciting
just seeing the palette is enough to make me swoon...

 I also got some youtube videos up which I will attach below for you if you want a squizz
I am answering some of the questions left after last week's post  and on social media
 and the lino class is finally finally moving in the right direction 
 it is all go really

happy painting all...xx