meet patch

As promised, here’s Patch. He’s the first ever dog sculpture I made – this time using the same system for the armature but hand sewing the body for the finish.

He turned out great and I love him. He’s about twice the size of my usual dog sculptures and he took way longer to make due to the hand sewing. I want to make more like him but they are very time consuming, and I also love the glued fabric look… hm… Then again I love the hand sewn patched look as well… Oh the dilema!

Whatever. I’m really surprised I couldn’t find him on my blog yesterday. I was sure I’d shared him. Obviously not. Either that or I called him/the post something totally unrelated so he didn’t come up in my search.

Odd.

z

a little donkey

I thought I’d try something other than dogs a while back and just finished this little guy the other day.

This is how he started – newspapers, DIY paper pulp, foil, toilet paper rolls, cardboard and tons of masking tape.

And this is him finished. Air dry clay for the details, fabric and a bit of colour to finish him off. He’s a very solid little guy, not heavy but chunky.

This guy is actually bigger than the dogs, about twice the size. More the size of my first fabric dog. I can’t find the post he’s in so here’s a pic.

Ok… I think I never shared this guy… I can’t find him on the blog anywhere… so I’ll have to share him soon!

Other than that, its back to work tomorrow for a few weeks. No idea for how long, we’ll see. Summer is more than halfway over now. Time flies.

The island is full. Traffic is horrendous. We have one main road that runs across the back of the old town and getting from one end to the other can take almost an hour when ferries are in the port (which is almost all the time from about 10am till mid afternoon). Meanwhile if you want to get to the other side of town you best go by 9am cause traffic starts to build by then… People drive like total idiots. They overtake on bends and on double lines. One guy went around me at an intersection, then cut in front of me as I turned!!!! Ambulances rush around the island picking up people off the road where they’ve crashed their motorbikes or 4 wheelers. Its constant. And yet our powers that be in their infinite wisdom think bring MORE tourism to a small island via an international airport is more important than building a hospital or shoring up the infrastructure that already can’t cope with the swelling population of the summer months.

Enough of my whining. I have to live with this shit since I chose to live on an island/tourist destination which is growing and being plugged as the party island thanks to the German reality TV series shot here…

But enough.

Winter will be here soon and with it the calmness of only people who live here driving like idiots.

z

marble paintings

As I said, I’ve been busy using my non-work time to do some of my own work and finish some projects I’ve had sitting around the house in various degrees of incompletedness. (Ok, I don’t know if that’s actually a word but its working for me.)

Here are some of the paintings on marble that I’ve done over the last week.

Its been really windy lately. And I mean so windy there are no mosquitos or flies outside when I open doors. I love that. The wind, not so much when its this strong. However, I’m not complaining. Its been so much cooler with the wind to cool us down. I hear we’re heading for another heatwave this week – just in time for me to head back to work. Wonderful.

My back has been killing me for the last few days. I think it might have been sitting at the computer for long hours to get some work done. Ugh. Hopefully that will heal itself before I have to head back to work. A heatwave and a sore back won’t be fun.

I’ve been loving having this time to myself though, to be able to get stuck into my own work and my own home. I even mopped the floor! A useless exercise as with this wind everything is covered in a fine layer of dust the minute you finish. Oh well. Such is life. At least mom can’t complain that I didn’t make an effort.

Lainee has been much happier in the cooler weather, jumping around and playing when we go out for pees. I love that. She never used to do that when I first got her, nor did she cuddle in bed. Now every morning she wakes me up with kisses and demands belly rubs and cuddles. I love her.

Well, back to work. Can’t sit here and chat all day!

z

another sea rope basket

I am loving these guys. They take ages to make but its very satisfying to see them come together. Problem is that during summer there isn’t quite as much rubbish on the beaches as there is in winter so the pickings are slim. I’m almost out of rope bits I collected in winter now so once I use them up I’ll have to get creative to make more baskets.

I’ve had some of my baskets placed in a local gallery now (1 sold already!) so I’m afraid I can’t list and sell any on Facebook till the season is over. Ditto with my marble paintings. I have opened my FB shop to see how it goes and I may re-open my Etsy shop as well. Every little bit helps!

I’m still only working part time (ie I work full time for a bit, then stop for a bit…) great for having fun in the sun, not great for the wallet.

So, Lainee and I have had some fun times. Here she is having a fancy dinner at a beach bar.

And here at a beach side restaurant.

And enjoying a sleep in at home.

I’ve had a lot more time to myself this last week as I wasn’t working, but I used a lot of it at the beach. However, I did use some to finish projects I hadn’t touched in ages, just to be able to set them aside, put them in a gallery, or whatever.

So. That’s my news for now. More later as I share projects finally finished.

z

marble paintings

The last few days I got back into painting on marble. I mentioned that it sometimes takes me ages to get into something, but when I do I tend to immerse myself in it.

The downside of that, of course, is that once I immerse myself in something I can’t then easily switch my brain off. Which means sleepless nights. Ugh

So while I rub my red eyes, enjoy some marble paintings.

z

upcycled cabinet door

Well, I finally finished another painting. I’ve been spending more time on handy work than on painting lately… Not that I’ve done any handy work at all on my two re-do cabinets…

This piece is a sort of natural progression from the fish I painted on old wood a couple of weeks ago. While looking for old wood to paint on I found this cabinet door just sitting around doing nothing, begging to be made use of.

Yes, there is a hole in the large urchin. Came in handy!

I had planned to paint mostly white on white and shades of white, but in the end I put in more colour. Not sure what I’ll do with this but I have time to decide.

I’m planning/hoping to have an exhibition this summer and almost all my work will be recycled and art from trash type of works… (dog sculptures, plastic bottle naked ladies, sea rope baskets etc) This fits in with that so maybe it will be included… or maybe I’ll list it for sale on Facebook. Who knows…

z

fish – lockdown 2 day 161

Just a quickie today as I have a trip to Syros to get ready for.

This is the commission I had to have ready by Easter. Its a pic taken as I worked on it. I painted directly onto a couple of pieces of weathered timber I sanded down for that recycled rustic look.

Stay tuned to see after pics of the unit with this on the wall above the bed.

z

monkey boy – lockdown 2 day 158

Meet Monkey Boy. Well, its a dog with his toy monkey. The dog is one of my papier mache, fabric and clay dogs and I needle felted the monkey.

My first toy poodle, Timmy, had a rag doll I’d made years before I got him and he loved that long limbed thing. It was so much bigger than him but he dragged it around everywhere with him. He inspired Monkey Boy.

Other than that, Lainee’s growth more or less opened up to a crater the other night and when I checked it in the morning it looked like a volcano. Awful. And stenchy as hell.

So I took her to vet to get it cleaned out and to get her antibiotics. While there we did the blood work in preparation for surgery on Monday.

Poor Lainee. At least she no longer stinks, though it still weeps. I think I found a better solution though… baby onesies!!! Maybe she’s not so obsessed with licking it now the pus is gone, but at least she’s leaving it well enough alone. I think I’ll go buy another one or two onesies so I have a change for her. She’ll need to wear them to protect the stitches after surgery anyway.

She seems so much happier now the pus has gone. Fingers crossed for a non-eventful surgery!

z

searope basket – lockdown 2 day 145

I’ve been a day behind on the blog for days now so today you get 2 posts so I can catch up. At least I think this is catching up. I may be 2 days behind… hmmm…

Anyway, I’ve been working on art sporadically but seem to have spent most of my time lately doing things other than creative work. Like cleaning up the courtyard out the back, planting seeds and other such stuff. Considering I’m planning to have an exhibition this year, I really need to get cracking on art.

One thing I began and actually finished this week was another sea rope basket. I’m now officially low on sea rope so need to go for a walk on the beach to gather more. I had to buy more thread this week too as I finished the last spool. I like to use a crochet thread in a natural colour for my baskets.

Making these little baskets is kind of zen, I can do it while sitting quietly with my thoughts (though my thoughts tend to get loud at times…) or while chatting to someone or watching TV… They take a while to make and I’m getting calluses on my thumb from pulling the needle throught, but hey, you gotta suffer for your art.

I love finishing off the edges of these little guys with loose bits of rope, in this case knots I had to cut off the bits of rope in order to make the basket. It gives them a sort of whimsical feel…

They’re not really big. I’m considering making a bigger one but it will need a whole lot more rope…

Anyway, its time for another beach scavenger walk…

z

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reminiscing – lockdown 2 day 135

Sometimes when I think about making art I remember things I painted in the past so today I’m going to share some of them. I can’t share everything. A lot of my photos were lost when I had a hard drive crash a few years ago… backing up to a hard drive sounds great but its not fail proof… I guess I could learn to use the cloud, but haven’t yet. Luckily a lot of my old photos are still on my blog in past posts, and on my website – http://www.zefiart.com.

The main thing I was thinking about my art was how easily I get distracted from painting or drawing given its always been something I do so easily. I literally have no idea how I do it, it just comes out of my hands and fingers on its own, the art takes over my brain and takes control of my hand. In fact, if I overthink things I mess up. I have to let the painting itself take over and just go with the flow.

Over the years I found the way I work best is with the TV on something I don’t have to watch closely. The Gilmore Girls is one of my favourite paint-to shows. The Ranch is next. Having the TV on splits my focus between what I’m doing and what I’m watching and allows me to take a step back from the painting.

In a way, this is what my first art teacher, Mr Swan (in Campion School in Athens when I was a teenager) taught me. He made me draw without my glasses so I couldn’t see the details. If I could see details I’d get caught up in them and mess up the ‘whole’. He told me how Degas was going blind and that explained a lot about his work, which is brilliant – allowing us to fill in the details he describes so well without actually painting them.

I am constantly trying to work that way.

I also like to live with my work in progress. I’ve always loved painting in my living space. I know I go on and on about wanting a studio and workshop, but what I’m really saying is I want a workshop to do dirty work in (power tools, making stuff) and a studio to live in. If I had a bigger house the living room would be similar to here now, but with space to keep my easel out all the time. Its what I used to do in Australia. That way the work was there and I could see it all the time, no matter what I was doing.

This is how I tend to work: I start something. At some point I hate it and stop in disgust. I leave it and do something else. Sometimes I’ll watch TV, other times I’ll move on to another project. The whole time its there… my subconscious is working on it. Sometimes even when I hate it and don’t want to work on it I can’t keep myself away. I’ll stop and sit down, then get up and do a bit here, a bit there, stop, sit down, get up again. Or I’ll stop for days and then suddenly I’ll change a line here, add a smudge there and it all comes together. That process is necessary for me.

Right now I want to paint, I do sometimes paint on pieces of marble and I have some small cardboard pieces I’ve prepped to paint on, all things I can do on the table… But I long for the easel again…

So enjoy looking at some of the artwork above. I know I do. And every time I do, I marvel at what I created. It may sound strange, but I really do. At how I got the feathers on the birds to look like feathers without thinking about how to do it. I marvel at how something like that came out of my fingers. I am grateful for the gift I was given.

z