This Is For You, if you’re intrigued about the Why behind my pictures in Julie Frahm’s and my FLOW(ER) exhibition!
Knowing our work would be exhibited together, Julie and I set ourselves three challenges to respond to in our own way, own mediums, with the aim of a coherent display. It worked really well, even better than I could’ve hoped – our work is vibrant and alive together. Have you seen the exhibition… do you agree?
The challenges are: Kandinsky, Kahlo, and a tip the hat to Australian Native Flowers. We allowed ourselves to interpret the challenges however we liked.
Challenge 1: Kandinsky
This kitty’s playful pose was inspired by the adult-yet-sometimes-kittenish cat at my house and the concentric circles of Kandinsky. [I’m realist enough to know one doesn’t ‘own’ a cat! Like one doesn’t just ‘walk’ into Mordor…]
If you go to the exhibition… check out the entrancing fine background detail up close, and the colours almost glowing under the Very Good Art Lighting at T’Arts Collective :)
Imagining the hand-drawn yet geometric dream vibes of an artist so fascinated by colour combinations and concentric circles…
[I kept the picture width the same here for my blog, so this one looks tinier than the other pics – but in real life it’s actually the same size!]
This one’s on the easel at the exhibition.
Here’s some of Julie’s Kandinsky inspired jewellery:
Divine, right? Wearing those will warm up your Winter! Here’s Julie’s blog post about challenge #1!
Challenge 2: Frida Kahlo
Frida and Green
What if Frida was a moggy on the cover of Vogue? Good lord, would the world be awesome or what? I dearly wanted to have a go at the iconic green backgrounded photographic portrait, later used as a VOGUE cover of Frida. Here, a black and white kitty sits in her stead, rocking the red and yellow flowered Mexican shirt and lariat neckpiece.
While I painted I kind of wished Frida had been alive when her picture was used for the Vogue cover.
I’m so grateful she took lots of photos and created dozens of painted self portraits. So grateful she left so many clues and stories for us to know about her – thankful there was no decluttering zeitgeist at that time!
Inspired by Frida’s beloved Mexican embroideries … Frida loved the native handwork of her home country, and often wore skirts, blouses and jewellery made by local artisans.
I experimented with bright stitch-like patterns, decorating a calm blue kitty in her garden under the moon…
Here is some of Julie’s Frida inspired jewellery:
How I love the Many Bird earrings Julie has made… Both Julie and I danced with the bird motifs in Mexican art/jewellery.
There’s much much more at the exhibition … Go see – it’s so vibrant and alive, and might even help ward off Winter blues…
Challenge 3: Tipping our hat to Native Flowers
Native Flowers : Our way. While I adore-adore-adore native plants and animals and believe we need to protect-protect-protect them, they are rarely the motifs I play with in my art.
I have ‘my’ dear kitty (the playful one) indoors mostly, and when they’re outdoors have a lovely area that’s netted. Kitty is safe. Birds are safe. [Errant mice taking a shortcut through are not safe!]
Still Life with Gum
This still life is the only nonKitty pic of mine in the exhibition!
The almost airy fabric background hints at the movement of autumn winds, and the rainbows and and storms which blew in a corella and a magpie’s feather.
Say the title aloud … it sounds like Glorious Patterns, right?
My native flower jumping off point was the red background shapes… some amazing red gum flower pod lids (the part which pops off and reveals the yellow flower). The pods seemed sculptural, colourful, intriguing on their own, and I wanted to create a pattern just for them – that’s the background.
Meanwhile dear kitty has a heart on her
sleeve chest and is surrounded with rich joyous patterns, a cosy Autumn patchwork.
I’m writing this blog post at the start of week 2 of our exhibition, and the print of this picture has already proved popular.
Here is some of Julie’s Native Flowers : Our Way jewellery:
Delightful, right? Which is your favourite pair?
Did you know, Julie and I interviewed each other? It’s true … Click this to read my Bold Interview with Julie Frahm. Here’s Julie interviewing me on her website.
Read more about the exhibition (including location and open hours) here. To get a piece of our exhibition in your life, below you can purchase prints of my artworks. Original paintings and Julie’s jewellery are available only at the exhibition until June 26th.
M x o
PS Click this to read more and join my art lessons :D It’s super fun, and the next lot will probably be in a different format…