Friday, August 24, 2012

Some Australian Labels

Melbourne fashion is dominated by the need for layers and the ability to change up your 'look' to adjust to the temperamental climate and a palate thats forever based on black. Anywho, Australian brands that are iconic & a few brands I have plans to purchase from are:

Dizingof, the people I'm working for; really do kind of have an aesthetic I would describe as 'Melbournian'. A Palate saturated in black with a touch of avant-garde and an asian influence. I'm pretty excited about the new line theres at least 3 pieces that i'm pretty set on adding to my wardrobe.

R.M. Williams, they are the Eddie Bauer/Ralph Lauren/Shepler? of Australia with their specialty being their handmade/bespoke boots. They handle the high end & dress wardrobe of Australian ranchers, cowboys, and farmers. I owned a pair of their Millicent Cuban Heeled boots on my last trip that sadly went AWOL the week before I left. Bummer right? yeh, thats the understatement of a decade. I'm sure I'll fold and buy myself a new pair relatively soon (hoping for a sale!!)

Coogi, notorious enough to even be mentioned & worn by Notorious B.I.G back in the day. In my opinion they're kind of like cosby sweaters that have gone 'dreaming', know what I mean? I'm on the fence about this look. Not sure if I picked one up if I'd ever wear it out of the house and I kind of have my saints cricket jumper for that. Plus if I got one ten to one I'd wear it with my red suede fringe boots, and that would be A LOT of look.

Footie gear, Europeans have their football clubs (soccer) Australia; primarialy Victoria, has their footy (Australian Rules Football League). I have a St.Kilda jumper stylied after cricket jumpers but maybe I'll get a jersey too.

Jack London, is a men's store; but it's beautiful. I'm gonna end up with something from here I'm sure of it and it might be this jacket or a tie at least.

Country Road, is the word for Australian prep. I guess I'd compare it to J.Crew but honestly not all that familiar with J.Crew. The big thing is their duffel bags. I got mine the first time around and I still love it, though I'm always convinced that mine is 2x bigger than anyones? Are there sizes? I don't even know.

Crumpler, This is Australia's answer to TimBuk2 as far as I can tell. They've got some goo gear but honestly, I brought my TimBuk2 with me and it hasn't faile dme yet so I have no urge to replace it.

And in accessorie must haves: PAW PAW. this stuff is magic. It cost $4.95 at the chemist and works better than anyother lip balm in the world, I kid not. Plus it also can be used neosporin which is great if you're accident prone like myself.

"You are who you wear it's true. A girl's just as hot as the shoes she choose"

Lady Gaga

(belatedly edited and posted) So my new job has definitely edged me into a different view of the fashion industry but in some ways just made some things more apparent.

1- Women have mad body image issues. I get ladys in (yes I was tempted to call them 'broads') that are size 8s in AU sizing; American sizing is so weird, so lets say an aussie 8 is small, like a 2-4 small; and they talk about needing to lose a couple of kilos. It's madness. I had a few mates who thought that working this job would make me more self-concious, but if anything I think I'm less. For one, the sizing is still so arbitrary at times from garment to garment. And two, strangely; even if I look a bit rough at work people still assume I'm stylish - even more so then them. Guess it's part of the persona of the job but still - bit weird. Anyways, I'm more concerned with my customers looking good and spending heaps then doing an overhaul on myself.

2- Trends are boring, but hell so am I. I still think the perfect day to day look for me is boots, dark pants (jeans or casual slacks) a t-shirt or button down (or both) and a jacket. Yes this makes me androgynous as but I tend to counter it with my fabulous hair (which I won't cut short ever again (I miss my mane so) and make-up.

3- I've had a gander at the 'Man Repeller' blog and overall there is a divide between womens fashion in that 1/2 is attractive to men & the other to women, with a little cross over in between. The irony in my own situation is that if I lost weight and thus became more "attractive" I would actually wear more 'man repelling' outfits. To start with I already do. For example my father calls my glasses 'BC'* and many a man has questioned my taste in footwear. Well, if I lost 5 - 10 kilos it would be far worse. Baggy jump suits, 'boyfriend' jeans, big clunky boots, suits, maxi dresses and full length skirts, more t-shirts, ties, braces, massive Scarves. Ok- so I already do the scarves but you get the point.

4- dressing in your twenties as a woman is HARD. You're at that point where balancing classy/funky/sexy and how formal an outfit an outfit should be seems near impossible. And every work outfit turns you into a stewardess/secretary.

and as a side note, I haven't really gone shopping since I started working in retail. True story, now that I spend all day selling stuff to people I have no desire to have stuff sold to me, to window shop, or to even think about spending my hard earned cash on clothes. I still want my RM Williams boots but I'm not dying from the lack of them.


Thursday, July 19, 2012


so i haven't updated in AGES. my bad. I promise an epic return and better form in the future.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fashion - David bowie

Pre trial jitters:

So im on the train to the city. Ive got my highheeled boots with me in a bag ( i know, deja right? not gonna let a repeat of that happen even if i have to stash them in a library locker for a few hours.) anyway, chose to bring them because i find something tacky about red heels and black stockings. To the job trial im wearing my ochre jacket, jewel tones wrap around dress (another great item picked out by my mother; see the trend here?) and my black riding boots. Doesn't matter too much since they're gonna change me into clothes from the collection but he first impressions.

Walking out to the train station i did stop and turn around and put a slip on since the dress was clinging to my stockings - which i took as a positive sign. Im not totally uncouth, i just need to channel my mother ;p

Post trial:

first thought? "Thank god i wore the boots", feet are feeling tender.....

Instead of doing a one hour trial (apparently it was supposed to be 2hrs) i was in dizingof from quarter till one until a quarter till 5. The newer girl that was there said that that was a good sign. I have a second trial next week and if that goes equally well as today then i start training the next day apparently. Hm.
As Im typing this the tram Im on has paused outside the Brunswick st location. Weird.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"His clothes are loud, but never square. It will make of break him so he's got to buy the best, cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion"

- The Kinks Dedicated Follower of Fashion

Suddenly the other day I felt like I was falling into an antipodean adaption of The Devil Wears Prada. In my effort to find employment I applied at the Dizingof boutique on Brunswick St. The sales girl was very eager about me applying for the position and getting me set up with an interview. Literally within a half hour of me leaving the store she had called me with an appointment for an interview. Sounds good right? Let's add to the action of the narrative, let's describe the mise-en-scene. 

Dizingof is posh. The capital of 'Swish'. It may not have a location on Collins St but if I remember correctly it's CBD location is a door down from Hugo Boss. I have walked by this store and admired the designs but not even let myself in because It wasn't going to be my price point. So, when I did walk in at Brunswick St location I had my 'A' game on right? No. I had been rained on, was carrying my Country Road carry all bag, had slept the previous night at my mate's, was wearing the same outfit as the day before and sporting day old makeup. What was I wearing? Oh the height of sophistication for me. I had on my nice brogues, tight jeans, a paisley blouse and grey V-neck jumper. No idea what my hair was doing. Apex of fabulous, right? I did get an interview though.

Yesterday was my "interview". I say "interview" because it ended up being a 6-8 minute discussion. The interview was supposed to take place at10am at their QV location but there was some sort of last minute change and they needed me to come back at 12.30. Of course I said that that would be fine. I went down the road to the State Library and flipped through a Lucien Freud exhibition catalogue.*

Nothing like flipping through an artist who's work you really admire to bring home the disappointment in yourself for being worked up over a retail position vs. at home painting. Anyway I grabbed a cappuccino at Mr.Tulk's to pep myself up and went back into the unknown.

I walked up in what I thought was an outfit that hip-ly mixed classic and avant-garde. I wore opaque black stockings with my chocolate suede high-heel ankle boots, had on my black turtlenecked long sleeve dress with my fancy asymmetrical top i picked up in Port Fairy. To top it all off I wore my ochre winter coat, which my immensely fashionable mother picked out for me. I suppose i was aiming for art gallery owner but a little less black? Less severe? Well, it felt a lot like this:

She assured me for the trial they'd have something for me to put on. My trial is on Thursday afternoon, must bring my heels and stockings. I either blow her away or get 2 more chances to do so or no go. Of course I'm hoping that ACMI or one of the other gallery opportunities I applied for will save me from my own public humiliation but I kinda like the challenge. Is it the job I would have picked or would expect people to associate with me? No, but I don't plan on failing either.

It's not that I have a problem with fashion, in fact one of the reasons I moved back to Melbourne is that people give a damn what they wear out in public (I have a physical revulsion to sweat shirts and sweat pants). I love fashion blogs, picking up a Vogue and buying a ridiculous fashion item every once in a while. However I just don't feel 'stylish'. Part of that is due to the fact that I literally think I could spend the rest of my life in one set of clothes. RM Williams Cuban heels, Black skinny jeans, a black v-neck t-shirt, a dark or tweed blazer and a jumper for when it's colder. maybe i'd shake it up with a grey t-shirt or a button up for special occasions but, seriously. I may like dressing up, doing my hair, etc but I never feel more myself or more confident then in the afore mentioned outfit.

So, the gauntlet has been thrown. Can the cruddy art student turned nomadic graduate pull off being a posh sales girl/stylist?

Stay tuned to hear about the trial and the training. Hiring would be a lot like this right? Hahaha.

*Will talk about the Lucien Freud catalogue in a later post, have a review on it since I read it all in the 2 hours I had to kill.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

"I looked at the Rubens and Rembrandts. I liked the John Singer Sargents. He told me he liked Turner. Never have I turned since then"

- Rufus Wainwright, The Art Teacher

Yesterday was an ARTday, not a Friday for me.

It was pouring rain yesterday, all day, so I showed up to the Brunswick Street Gallery looking like a drowned rat. Yes, this is partially due to the fact that I refuse to buy an umbrella. However, I have never had an umbrella and not lost it, and frankly I'm convinced they don't do all that much good. If it's raining you will get wet.

Anywho- I arrived at BSG to help install their current exhibition, and they put me through my paces. I installed 4 artists' works, and I have to say I was pretty happy with the installations. The one artist I helped who was actually there was super sweet and I hope to remain in touch with her. I enjoyed her work and her company immensely. I also hope that in the near future I'll be helping install my own work at BSG. They have a small works competition coming up that I plan to submit to. The space is a residential building that the two top floors have become the art gallery (the ground floor is a shop and two restaurants). Windy steps, high ceilings, well lit, and there is even one room that is painted the same ox blood red that my bedroom was when I was in highschool. I love it. They get a wide variety of work and change it over frequently, which I think is a good practice to keep the space more vibrant and dynamic.

After helping with the installation I booked it down to Federation Square to hit the Ian Potter (the NGV Australiana collection). They were having a NGV Members free entry to the Fred Williams: Infinite Horizons exhibition, and I just had to see the Upwey Landscape and Silver and Grey again. I also did some sketching so I could better understand how Williams was abstracting the Australian landscape and basically distilling it down to its most powerful elements.

Fred Williams is an Australian born painter, from Melbourne actually. His works, in my opinion, are some of the most beautiful interpretations of the Australian landscape I've ever seen. Probably my favourite. You can read more about him here on wikipedia, but I think I'll write up a review of the exhibition as well in the near future.

Anyway, met up with e at Fed Square and headed to 1000£Bend for some mulled wine and dinner. I had the grilled roo burger of course. Then we headed up to Brunswick St to go to the BSG opening and then split a slice of 'death by chocolate' cake at Joe's Garage.

Friday, May 25, 2012

“I’ve got Friday on my mind, I’m gonna have fun in my city”

- The Easybeats*,  Friday On My Mind

I've been delayed in doing an update (how many times do I make that statement), however here is the entry for Friday 18th to Monday 21st:

On Friday A couple of friends and the mrs. had tea and a pint at Pugg Mahones in Carlton before heading to Tullamarine to pick up "A", a high school mate of hers (and I'd say a mate of mine too) who was coming in to visit us from Canberra and go to the Florence and the Machine show. It was a bit of an adventure that evening. Going to the airport and not flying anywhere or arriving is weird for me. It's also tempting, despite my love for Melbourne; to go off on and adventure. I'm always tempted to go off somewhere. Seriously - so many times I've just considered buying a V-line ticket and seeing how it goes. It seems so irresponsible though....

Saturday we took A down to Brunswick Street for a little shopping and exploring. I bought that ring at the artists' market I've been eyeing for the last two months and picked up a cup and saucer from T2 with a gold chrysanthemum pattern on it. It's lovely and reminds me of my mum. That evening we had tea at Thy Thy a... Vietnamese? restaurant the girls favour. It was good food at a good price and they had the footy on. I got bagged out a lot over the weekend for catch bits here and there of the footy. shrug. After dinner we headed over to d's (whom had crashed on the couch) housewarming/birthday party at his new place. I always enjoy a good house party where everyone knows everyone. I always found uni parties kind of.... awkward. Do you make new friends? Chat with the people you know? Should you chat up your acquaintances and or that person in your class? Anyways, it was a whole lot of fun. I considered staying out with the boys and going into the city late that night but decided against it - I'm not sure if I do or don't regret that decision.

Sunday morning we spent some time down at the Victoria Markets, then had a bite at the pub then went to.... Florence and the Machine at Rod Laver. Awesome show, Florence Welch has an incredible voice that's even more powerful in person. She also seems to have the most adorable personality, she reminds me of my mate j.

Monday before A had to catch a coach to Tullamarine I showed her around the CBD, mainly stuff on and around Swantson St in a whirlwind walking tour. I think she enjoyed our jaunt and got to see some of Melbourne she hadn't seen before, least I hope so.
"A" snapping a photo on Hosier Ln

Later that day I got into VicRoads (the Aus equivalent of DMV, etc) to sort out my paperwork and appointment time to get my full Victorian Drivers Licence. I'm going to say far less painful then teh DMV and the people working there are friendly and helpful - which not trying to over generalise but, I mean..... some could compare the DMV to one of Dante's circles or purgatory.

* The Easybeats are actually an Australian group from the 60s known for Friday On My Mind as well as Made My Bed Gonna Lie In It

Monday, May 21, 2012

"I want you to be free, Don't worry about me, And just like the movies- We play out our last scene"

- Alien Ant Farm Movies

I caught two films this week (May 15th & 16th that is), and oddly enough both involved vampires. Don't worry - neither involved anything that sparkled.

The first film I saw was chosen by my mate for CineCult. CineCult is... "More than just a once-a-month evening of obscure, obsessive cinema, CineCult@303 is a mad and groovy collision of styles, genres, place, time and everything! CineCult will go to the limits of sanity to bring you back the finest features imaginable in the sleek and sexy surrounds of Bar303."

The film she chose was a fairly obscure Australian flick called 'Outback Vampires' or 'The Wicked'. It wasn't over blown camp and the production wasn't blockbuster there was still heaps of attention to detail, it was well developed. I thought there were some great angles used and the film was upbeat and didn't allow romance or an overbearing backstory weight it down. The film was lots of fun with some great laughs. I fully enjoyed myself and the film and look forward to my future CineCult@303 experiences.

(If you think you might be interested in attending a CineCult at Bar 303 screening check out their facebook here. They meet one Tuesday a month at Bar 303 on High St. Screenings start at 7.30 but typically everyone has a drink before hand.)

The second film I saw was Tim Burton's latest collaboration with Johnny Depp and his wife, Helena Bonham-Carter. Dark Shadows wasn't horrible, but it lacked punch. I feel like the writing was tired and didn't take advantage of so many opportunities - that frankly felt like they were laid out on a silver platter, The time setting itself gave so many opportunities for jokes not only to compare 1800s to 1970s but also both time periods to current day, and it wasn't touched on at all. There was also a lot of poorly developed back story and unnecessary inclusions that just slowed the film down narratively and emotionally. Admitedbly I have never seen the TV show, but rather than try and re-create and condense the TV show, as I expect Burton attempted; I would've taken the premise and run with it.

On another yet related note - Does anyone feel like Johnny Depp needs a new 'role'?  Something he can really stretch in? This seemed like a melding of Edward Scissor hands and Jack Sparrow, the last re-visitation of Gonzo-ism was equally expected....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"And in the bottom of a concrete basement, Robin flies again"

- The Breeders Opened

the bar @ Bar Open
This last weekend (Fri - Monday really) was good, if not a bit exhausting. It started out with a Friday night meet up on Brunswick St. J and I had a few scotches at Bar Open before regrouping with the rest of the crew to go check out the opening at Brunswick Street Gallery. The work was quite nice and I'm impressed that they have such a quick turn around on shows since I was just at another opening there the other week. We then re-convened at Bar Open to celebrate b's last exam and upcoming job interview (fingers crossed!). There was also some late night munchies and quite the range of discussion topics that night between the jugs and the kebabs. After that j, f and I went round the corner to the Night Cat to dance up a storm. Plus who knew asking what brand of jeans a person is wearing would be such a successful pick up line? I know - right?

the GPO building
 J, f and I all got home pretty late and had a bit of a chat, which seemed to just continue on seamlessly in the morning. I proved to have magic panadol finding skills as well.

J and I then headed off to the city to see s before he caught his train back toward SA. We ended up having coffee at Southern Cross station and a great catch up with s before having to see him off at his platform. He'll be back next week though, so the good times will continue!

J and I then split ways, her to Footscray and me back to the Box. I had to get home and sort out a few things - including a MUCH NEEDED power nap before I headed back into the city at 5 ish.

I got my power nap and the mrs. was sweet enough to drive me into the city on her way to meet her cousin. Thank goodness because I needed the extra moments slugging it on the couch before standing up serving beer tastings all night as a volunteer at the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular!

a photo of the bar i worked, which was a
shipping container filled with kegs
60 different beers and one cider. 5.15-11.45pm. It was a long night of bar work but not un-enjoyable. I got to taste some good beers and some very unique beers, and some that were both - like a coconut infused stout. yummmy. A chilli pepper with chocolate porter and a watermelon warhead -lager? pilsner? also stick out in my mind. The White Rabbit ale made specifically for the event in collaboration with ... I want to say Little Creatures was also fantastic.

After I was done serving I headed out to meet some mates at The Aviary and on my way ran into one of my co-volunteers from the Bar 03. He was visiting from Brisbane apparently and I dragged him along.

the view from the bench out front the Library

Sunday was mostly spent feeling exhausted and run down with a bit of a cold, and a little home-sickness. It was Mother's Day.

Yesterday, Monday that is; I met up with e in the city for some mulled wine at Section 8 then went on a wander for food - got some tofu curry at 'Don Don' or  'Bento Don'? (Japanese place across form QV on Swantston St). It was a wet night but sat on the benches outside the front of the State Library and ate. The rain had pretty much stopped it was just a beautiful night. I love Melbourne after it's rained at night. It may be cold but the lights reflecting off the wet streets is just lovely.
soem of the seating @ E:fifty-five

Of course given that it was a wet, kinda cold night - sitting in a basement seemed ideal.

As such e and I headed off to  E: Fifty Five at 55 Elizabeth Street which is basically a cross between the cool basement all your friends hung out in high school (like that 70s Show - Eric's basement) and a Shag painting. They were also having a special on a 12yr old Yamakazi whiskey, so... YUM! It was a good night and while a little bit of a late one I woke up feeling refreshed and less sniffly.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"I never needed anybody's help in any way. But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured, Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors."

- The Beatles Help!

Yesterday I had a 'day at home' applying for what I think would be the perfect job for me, but ultimately I won't get it. Its to be a member of the Exhibition Team at the ACMI (movies and visual exhibition - drool!). My lack of ability to get a position in the art world just makes me think of a particular scene in Art School Confidential. Yeh, ya know - the one about getting ahead? right? Sigh I also skyped with someone in the same city as me for the first time ever. Not a bad thing really.

A Gum Tree I saw on my adventures today

Later in the evening I met up with f at the Provincial on the corner of Johnston and Brunswick Streets for a bit of tea and a few jugs. I'm not sold on having vanilla vodka in my Pimms Cup but I'm not a lover of Singapore slings either really. Frankly, but don't tell f; I think even canned pineapple juice makes my head feel a bit dodge. I'm deathly allergic to fresh pineapple by the way. Any who - the pizza was good nad though over priced the Guinness there isn't half bad.

The Provincial on Brunswick St

I crashed on f's pull-out couch to get a start out on the right side of town to cut down on some of my transport today, which was a failed attempt. Due to incidents involving myki and my sometimes lack of ability to rapidly get where I'm going ("Did you ride a camel into town?"), It might not have really helped. I did have a lovely breakfast on Brunswick St to keep me going through the day. Either way I've come to peace with the fact that I can not coordinate myself so nor could I troops and I would've struggled utterly in OCS. Thankfully my day was saved as was I when I was chivalrously rescued and my day salvaged.

My new favourite store 'Art Stretchers' on High St. There goes rent!

Then later in the evening the mrs. took me to Bunnings (Australian Home Depot) for a staple gun and some wood glue. I re-stretched "you talkin to me" this evening over a film viewing and an amazing roast chicken and avocado sandwich made for me by the mrs. What can I say life is good. d, the buyer came around in the evening and picked up the painting and had a bit of a chat and now I'm just debating going straight to bed or popping on a cheesy film to drift off too. In other words, not a bad 48 hrs. Have a few things that NEED to be done tomorrow but I look forward to a little induced productivity.

vice grip clamps form art stretchers on high st

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"Indian Summer. I love you the best Better than all the rest."

- The Doors Indian Summer

Today was an' Indian Summer' sort  of day. 22 degrees, sunny - just lovely. Met up with E after she'd gotten off work and had a drink down at what is one of my favourite little spots in Melbourne, Pony Island. The bar is under the walkway bridge over the Yarra River in South Bank and has just such a lovely, laid back, summer vibe. The music was a bit crap today but other than that....

view of yarra river from Pony Island bar in the middle of the yarra
After that went for a bit of a window shop. E has impeccable taste but unfortunately both of us are trying to be wise with our funds...... but we can still look! We would've bought heaps of socks but we're struggling to find exactly what we're looking for. Neither 'Big W' or 'Socks Club' in Melb. Central shopping arcade had what we were after.

We then went to have a bit of a bite at another favourite spot of ours, Lounge on Swanston St. No longer has a down stairs (which is missed) but still a nice spot with some yummy food. [Sorry no photo for that.]

Next we thought we'd find a new place, and while we didn't end up at our intended destination (Berlin) the one we found, Fad Bar, was a nice spot. The bar tender might have been inexperienced but she was friendly, and it's not her fault the manager doesn't carry sweet vermouth.

"Monday You Sure Look Fine..."

- Fleetwood Mac Monday Morning

Monday is becoming one of my more favoured days of the week, I know - bizarre right? I just tend to get so much done in the morning and then am able to arrange something interesting to be getting on with later in the arvo - so it's brilliant. Work then rewards.

Monday I finally had the pleasure of meeting e's father whom is an established painter and a technical expert in painting mediums. He's gonna help me sort out my stretcher bar situation for my buyer and has offered to lend a hand with the re-stretching, he's utterly lovely.

E and I then spent the afternoon.... (pause for drama) ..... working on a jig saw puzzle! We did get up to a bit more than that but mostly is was a lazy afternoon of chatting, eating chocolate crackle biscuits (homemade by e and delish at that) and working on an INSANE image of a school of fish. It was a lovely day spent in the northern part of town.

Darebin Station late on at night.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Oh, the line forms on the right, babe Now that Macky's back in town

- Bobby Darin Mack the Knife

This photo and the one of me w/o the mrs.
taken by Daniel Taylor.

Secretaries and Secret Agents Party (MadMen and Archer fancy dress party) at me and the mrs' place was a blast! had some great tunes, a great crowd, a lovely punch concocted by the kitchen queen herself and of course some wicked good outfits. I of course 'went' as Joan, and I think I did alright pulling her off.

Also I think I might really, really look like my grandmother Carolyn. Suppose I'll email a photo to my grandfather and ask his opinion. I think overall everyone had a great time.

I hope everyone had as much fun as I did and there were plenty of memorable moments - some not even caught on film like the one to the right (haha). I think the mrs. and I aren't bad hostesses (and of course honourable mention to f) and I look forward to our next bash - I think it's becoming a thing for us to have one per month or so.

You’re ever welcome with me any time you’d like, Let’s drive to the country side, leave behind some green-eyed look-a-likes

- Fleet Foxes Blue Ridge Mountains

A lovely fella tok me to the Dandenongs yesterday. I really loved it, you could see all of Melbourne. The CBD was just a little cluster like something squiggled out on a map, the Emerald City along the path. I wouldn't be surprised that if on a clear day you could see Geelong.

This is all instagram-artsy, it wasn't that dark out but it was cloudy and overcast. I mean, it is winter.
It was really lovely as well that we went up on a Sunday, reminded me of my runaways to Skyline Drive when I was living in Harrisonburg. Crisp, forest air and a beautiful view with great company - couldn't have asked for a better Sunday.

Later in the evening I met e for tea & a double feature (Pan's Labyrinth & Amores Perros) at 1000£bend. We ended up foregoing the films and just having tea and a drink. We were both a bit tired from the weekend. We then went moseying around and ended up at Section 8 Container Bar (as you do) and having a glass of wine before calling it a night.

1000£ bend on Lt Lonsdale St just beyond Elizabeth

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Waiting for the Man. . .

- Lou Reed

At Southern Cross station waiting for s to get in from the vline. Bloody starving but quite excited about the day.

Brekky with s, bit of shoppes because *woot!* the painting made it over with no worries full stop ...

[Some gal just asked me to watch her bags as she ran into the loo. Love this country. She trusts me to watch it and i trust she isnt a terrorist leaving me with a bomb. Brilliant] I need stretcher bars, clamps and a staple gun. May borrow gun and clamps depending... And then (drumroll) Secret Agents & Secretaries Party (madmen and archer fancy dress party) is tonight!
Quite a good day ahead if I dont die of starvation waiting for s. I swear my stomach growled so loud I jumped in surprise. Which also meand it was audible over the trains.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Easter Bunnies?! Easter Bilbies! (easter post coming soon)

Darrel Lea Chocolate Bilby

I spent this Easter at the mrs.'s folks in Culcairn, NSW. For Easter her mum got me an Easter Bilby instead of an Easter Bunny! It was delicious and put money toward saving the Bilby, an indigenous bunny-like marsupial that's endangered.

Easter was a laid back affair much like it is with my folks. We spent an evening with her lovely school friends, I got to meet her father's parents and as always had a bit of a paddock bash. This time the mrs. drove the 4wheeler while I held on for dear life and photographed one handed. I also video-taped!

Of course, there where Kangaroos!

There were many kangaroos and the land was much lusher and greener then the last time I had been to their farm. The decade long drought broke while I was gone and as a result all of Australia I've seen this time around really does bring Donald Horne's "Lucky Country" to mind. I had a lovely time, the mrs.'s parents are tops and I look forward to my visits in the future.

"A painter must think of everything he sees as being there entirely for his own use and pleasure."

- Lucien Freud, Man with a Blue Scarf

On my epic train ride to Eltham/Montsalvat yesterday (seriously, take the bus ALL the way there if you live in my side of town) I finished Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucien Freud by Martin Gayford. Yes, the purchasing of such a book went totally against the rules for myself but lets just say it was the guiltiest of guilty pleasures and totally worth it, even beyond the lovely plate reproductions of Freud's work and the lovely kodak snaps of the artist at work.

The book is a collection of anecdotes of Martin Gayford from his time spent sitting for a portrait. The anecdotes contain reflections on the process of sitting, Lucien Freud's painting process, conversations the two had and some historical background on Lucien both taken from the artist's stories and the writer's knowledge and research.

I loved it. It is not salacious look in to Lucien Freud's studio and life but rather a very mediative book that can really give an appreciator of his work and/or a would be painter a look into how one of the 'greats' went about his process; especially in the later years. (During the course of Lucien Freud's career he went through many changes in style and even at times subject but is best known for his mid to later works that are portraits developed out of strong and deliberate brushwork that both in reproductions and of course in person the tactile nature of the brushwork is especially compelling.)

I found Martin Gayford's insights about the sitting process a 'view through the looking glass' as it were since I'm rarely on that side of the canvas or camera. Its very apparent from the nuanced recounting of the experience that Gayford was studying his subject just as much as Freud was studying his. Gayford's knowledgeability about art and the way he inserted that expertise was both interesting and informative, especially the information on Francis Bacon, whom is usually paired with Lucien Freud as the 'big things' in the London art scene and international art scene at their prime.

Most of all though I loved how Gayford captured how Lucien Freud worked as a painter and artist not only because it can give someone like me, an aspiring artist; a sort of road map to procedure but also the very gratifying experience of finding similarities in between my process and Freud's. This of course is not at all shocking given that portrait painters working in oil are going to have a wide range in similarities in their process, but it was the little idiosyncratic things that aligned that I found truly gratifying being such an admirer of Lucien Freud's work. When I first came across one of his paintings, the one of illustrator John Minton; it kind of all came together for me.

To this day this is one of my very favourite paintings and Lucien Freud one of my favourite artists. So, when I read "When he is really concentrating he mutters constantly, giving himself instructions: 'Yes, perhaps - a bit', 'Quite', 'No-o, I don't think so', 'A bit more yellow.' Once or twice he is about to apply a stroke then withdraws, considers again, then re-scrutinizes..." or that his palette is typically incrusted with blobs and not cleaned, I felt ... assured? An assurance that yes I am meant to be a painter and maybe someday in the future there will be a book written like this about me with similar anecdotes and maybe even parallels drawn between my work and Freud's as Gayford does with Freud's and other artists.

While I really enjoyed this read I'm going go ahead and state that it's probably not for everyone. If you aren't into Lucien Freud, painting, contemporary/modern art then it might not hold the same interest for you that it did me. It's a bit of a niche book.

 c. esbenshade

“I don’t know what tomorrow brings. It’s alive with such possibilities…”

- Bright Eyes, ' Method Acting'

Its been ages since I've posted. So long in fact that Blogger has undergone a facelift and I barely figured out how to create a new post - there seem to be many more options of gizmos and gadgets from when I last updated.

Well, what's been happening? Heaps but noting worth mentioning I suppose? Or more that it was not fit for publication? Really I think it was just so much going on that I just couldn't be asked so lets see if I can work my way backward through the last weeks and pull out the notable moments.

EASTER (will get it's own post)

April 12th- Hello Sailor Vintage Market in St.Kilda with k&j where I tried on this lovely number:

April 14th- Pints of Guinness at Pugg Mahones with f, unfortunately they didn't show the footy match I'd hoped to watch. pout. Go SAINTS!

April 19th- Got a hair cut @ Biba in Camberwell and then met up with e for some drinks, goss and then saw This Must Be The Place  at the Nova. The movie was good and I thought it was a very different role for Sean Penn. I also really liked how Frances McDormand and he worked together. It was not a sad movie, but not an entirely uplifting film - but really anything that includes the Holocaust in the plot can't be all that light hearted.

April 20th- M's 25th at the Carlton in the CBD, press ganged f into joining, also saw the girls a bit before hand.

April 21st- A morning coffee and a chat, a retail therapy session with f on Brunswick Street and then Girls Night at ours filled with bunnies, de-lish nosh and some great chick flicks.

April 23rd- Free passes to the wish you were here advance screening at the Palace. Took f and afterward had a lovely dinner at a american style diner the Soda Rock. The film was good, an Australian Independent that had truly touching performances from the actors and really drew you into the narrative. Had no idea what was going to happen so really enjoyed it even though on a broad scale - also not a feel good movie.

April 24th- Free passes to Irvine Welsh's Ectasy screening at the Nova. Took w and had tea on Lygon street and ate Maltesers during the film. Not as good as Trainspotting but also not the same budget allowances. Enjoyable film, some really great scenes as far as cinematography and overall engaging story. Also came across my new favourite joke in the ladies' on the stall door:

"Hisenberg is driving Schrodinger to the pet store when the police pull them over..."

frankly, it's right up there with neutered watermelons for me. I know, bizarre sense of humour but some people love me for it and when all hope seems lost I can get a smile out of myself.

April 25th - ANZAC day. Ashamed to admit but between my mood and the downpour going on outside I didn't bother with the dawn service or the parade. Went out to Preston and saw my mate's new digs and she showed me a shed thats open for my artsy needs - which I fully intend to take up she and her roommates offer of it's use. the mrs. made a de-lish casserole/stew and f came round as well.

April 26th - bit of a date with the Mrs. (aka my roommate)

April 27th - Volunteered at the Brunswick Street Gallery on Brunswick Street. Helped install their print exhibition upstairs and later attended the very lovely opening. On my lunch break (Joe's Garage?) I passed the Gypsy Bar which while not open had flyers and such sitting out front, including the poster I designed for the upcoming 'Trentfest'. I was quite excited to see my artwork hanging around one of the hipper streets of Melbourne. Also met a mate for a few pints at the Provincial before the opening and then joined another mate at a work house party which was also quite enjoyable. Low point of that evening/ early the next morning was my mobile having an independent adventure from me that ended in a termination of service to that particular SIM/mobile. I now am an owner of some sort of samsung smart phone which I reckon is cleverer than I am. While off put by it I am enjoying it and feel compelled to name it..... but haven't chosen one yet.

April 29th - Due to lack of phone a hiccup in communications occurred and I accidentally stood somebody up. They are incredibly gracious and magnanimous though and as such I have been forgiven. (yay! felt real horrid about it as you know I would)

April 30th - Completed a web development job, can be seen here: The Cybercologist and then had celebratory pizza & beer with a dash of archer w/ the mrs.

May 1st- Went to Montsalvat artist community in Eltham & the painting 'you talking to me?' arrived at it's buyer's office and met f for tea in Heidelberg.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

1st oil painting in Australia ever (process)

and i’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. so negatives first? This was something I started in at at 11.30 and it’s now 23.39, roughly 3 hr break thrown in the middle and around tea?
It’s not a true likeness, I haven’t at all considered the final background, all the features need major tweaking and this is not how I usually paint.
I’ve recently been reading Man With A Blue Scarf : On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud by Martin Gayford. Between that and a feeling that I only tend to push my art in one direction (a correlative increase in detail/idealism and abstraction) I should just full stop try a different style all the way to getting rid of my trademark blending. I just don’t know how I feel about it. It ages her for sure, is challenging in a different way on top of trying a new style, and just not sure if it’s as striking a piece as a blended out one would be. I don’t know.
I am proud of myself for pushing myself into something not only new but radically different (this might not seem so to non painters but it is - completely different ways of applying paint. Unlike popular conjecture I do not apply this much paint and then blend it all together - that would make mud.) I also think that for roughly a one day piece using my computer screen in a non-mess friendly work space I did alright.
I definitely think I took my insecurity with the painting out on others today (an especial gentleman who was pointing out the contrast between the face and the rest of the piece I really cracked it at so I’m sorry.)
I can just hear my mother stating how glad she is not to be living with me. I base my confidence and self worth almost entirely in my art so when it doesnt go to plan i get a bit insecure. and intolerable.

Also, might name it 'girl with a black earing' just because I like canon references that much.

Friday, April 6, 2012

eight days a week I loooouveeee you

- the Beatles

Sometimes I sit back and realise that my totes horrid emotional state leading up to the last time I left oz was completely on point because it was kinda like getting kicked out of heaven. Oh how the glorious angels sing.

this post might be a tad blasphemous on the eve of easter but whatevs.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Muss es sein? Es muss sein!

- Beethoven String Quartet No. 16 op.135  "The Difficult Decision"

Finished unbearable lightness of being.

It was strangely just the book I should be reading at this time in my life. Lately I've had a lot of decisions about what to do, the right next step to take and they are no where near done - and the more I gather will they ever be. Kundera uses existentialism in a way thats easier to apply to the realities of life. It's not any less...'hard lined' then directly pulling from Sartre or Nietzsche but rather shows all the facets of how it can be applied to the physical and emotional/mental.

I think the book makes a great marriage between the concepts of Angst and the Absurd from beginning to end with the literal name and overall concept. In many ways the book is a well laid research paper with the thesis of "the unbearable lightness of being". Yes there exists existential angst but as soon as you feel it it's negated by the Absurd and the continuing absurdity of the individual life because either it does not recur or it does. You either have no way of knowing what decision is good or bad having nothing to compare it to or you have infinite trials to choose another path. I'm not even sure I summed that up correctly - thus why I think the book does so well. It's not really a concept to be put forth in a sentence.

Either way, I was able to identify with the characters but also remain objective enough to actually absorb the concepts and not just be swept into the plot. I loved the way it was written and it has given me plenty to think about, not only as far as existing in Authenticity but how to evolve my art to the next level - which I really think will be an exploration of motifs. It's something I've played with in the past, my own set of motifs are fairly re-occuring but I think incorporating a  wider recognised set of symbols and making them more concrete would give me an outlet for my dreams and a level of symbolism I've till now glossed over and give greater depth to my work. In the past I think my symbols have been too obtuse and self-referential and maybe that will be rewarding to viewers if I ever become famous enough to have biopics made about me or if I explain it to some but..... it all comes back to Anna Karenina. By that I mean that yes the canon of literature or form is just that, old and archaic but working within the canon is a great way to directly communicate visually, and since I'm not painting apostles it's time I picked more recognisable symbols. I think my 'western canon' played with this idea but went at it the wrong way, both too literally and in a limiting - surface based fashion.

Monday, April 2, 2012

gotta run run run (saved, never posted)

because I can't keep up with myself. I'll admit - missing my previous phones' ability to blog remotely.

mon - missed my transport back out of the city so crashed at my mate's (QV apartments). Saw the most amazing view of Melbourne I have ever seen - plans to make a stop motion as the sun sets and raises. Had brekky with him in the morning and decided that despite my level of grunge to take advantage of being in the city and went to a book shop to pick up unbearable lightness of being - the man with the blue scarf - and postcards from surfers, hit up the NGV - so great. First time I was back to the NGV international saw the Brent Harris exhibition that I really enjoyed but the 19th-20th suite was shut. Got home and watched peep show with a new perspective and really enjoyed it - though kinda weird.

sun - had a bit of a lie in then did a few errands. caught up with some mates for a wonderful bbq in northern suburbs

sat - Did job applications, shipping research, then went out into town with a mate to catch up with other mates including one who was in from out of town at the drunken poet on peel st.

fri - did job applications, caught up with m in the city. Had a drink at the charles dicken tavern. We wandered down to the Victoria College of Art 40th anniversary street party which Clairy Browne and the Banging Rackettes were headlining. Ran into i, a Chisholm college buddy from last go around - great reconnection. Went to Pony Island under the bridge over the Yarra (princes?) then down to Swanston St. to the Cabinet, a new place I hadn't been before that has a swell little view of that section of Swanston St.

wed/thur - did job applications, picked up roommates car at the shop (whew driving on the left side!) and had tea at J&D.H - which A joined in as well.

tues- Had the interview with the greenpeace fundraisers, walked out - wasn't my thing. Made a new friend who did the same thing - Arika! call me! - who had only been in the city for 6 days so had coffee and a nibble at Degraves St. then went around town. Visited the Ian Potter, had a walk through some arcades and then lost her in the crowd at the State Library. whomp whomp. Met up with a mate for a lemonade and bitters - decided to head home and had some drinks with roommate and mate with pizza and a film.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

These days I seem to think about How all the changes came about my ways And I wonder if I'll see another highway.

- Nico

port fairy (sat-sun)
-didnt go in to the actual festival as usual - however regretting it? I don't know. Had issues with communications again because so many people were trying to use their phones so it was a bit touch and go, didnt really get to catch up with everyone too much, drank a bit too much, got sunburned, but did have a great swim out in the icy waters. Love the beach at port fairy.

rooftop art space (mon)
-went in to go see the 'Janice Darling' opening, a group of works by Lucy James that plays with the narrative of the life of  Janice Darling, a woman from Jane Fonda's Workout Book. The concept I thought was really fun but the number of works was limited and while the presentation was pretty neat overall I thought the work was weak. I like the look of Lucy James' work but I think my expectations of a larger exhibition (I got the Rooftop Art Space and the gallery space below it confused) are the main cause of the let down.

de ja vu in bundoora (mon)
- caught the bus out with y to La Trobe to see l and his band Sordid Ordeal practice for their upcoming gig. Very blast from the past - It was very 'was I doing this 3 years ago or 3 weeks' kind of moment.

tea in box hill (tues)
- Had tea with f in Box Hill, tried out one of the local restaurants -noodle kingdom. Noodles were good steamed pork buns were sub-par.

david bailey (wed)
-watched great doco on David Bailey, David Bailey:Four Beats to the Bar and No Cheating. Had some really great information I didn't know about him, showed some great views of his work and was a bit of the jump start inspiration I needed for my photography. I think the film captures an artist whom is happy with his achievements but wants nothing more then more time to continue making more art, thus the memento mori recent works that use imagery of skulls and withered flowers.

lunch at el albero's - on st.georges street of brunswick rd (wed)
- had a potato & rosemary pizza before the LOST&FOUND opening at The Library Artspace in Brunswick. Great pizza place, ended up going back later in the evening with new friends. the 'albero' pizza is also delicious.

pint at  the railway hotel on nicholson st (wed)
- had a pint to burn more time before the opening at what one could consider a very australian hotel pub. Old folks playing cards, construction guys off work and a footy-playing bartender with wickedly tight jeans on. Did not so indirectly get called a word not appropriate to print (foreigners moving in & tourists to blame for the overpacked trams) but such is life.

- overall enjoyed the work, few criticisms here and there.... mostly about the door pieces. I really enjoyed the photographs and their mounting onto the doors - but i disliked their presentation. maybe this was due to reading some curation articles on the way but I felt the mystique of the doors was lost in them being double sided and suspended from the ceiling. without the door frames and suspended as such they ceased to have the possibility and curiosity of 'whats behind the door' that makes doors so appealing. if they had had frames and the illusion of them opening -whether or not they actually could have- or had been mounted onto the wall so you were tempted to open it to see whats behind it - i think the pieces would have been more powerful. obviously this may have been less effective in the horizontal pieces (or more like alice in wonderland).

i'm interested in learning more about the art space and how its run (collective, collaborative, private, funded, etc) and not just because they're calling for entries for shows later in the year.

I made some new friends at the opening and we went for tea at el albero's - hopefully they'll be able to join me and my mates for st. patrick's on saturday.

Finish this entry with a note on anti-americanism, and how tacky it is when it's for stupid things. Politics? Foreign policy? Maybe even interactions with horrid tourists - OK.  however getting in a pet over the avengers/firefly and whatever else comic book crap - lame.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

per usual...

I've been up to heaps but have posted none of it, is the anticipation a killer? Frankly i feel like i'm writing to myself on this thing...

so on that note I think I'll change my approach. I'm not saying i'm going to be inconsiderate, but I might be a touch less tactful. So, think more like when I'm actually speaking to someone but in an exciting digital format free of any accent.

win right? or are you considering your exit strategy?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

sid vicious played a four-string fender bass guitar and couldn’t sing and everybody hated him except the ones who loved him a ukulele has four strings, but sid did did not play ukulele he did smack and probably killed his girlfriend nancy spungen

- Amanda Palmer [ukelele anthem]

Amanda Palmer at Northcote Social Club on March 6 2012

The other day went to the Northcote Social Club to see Amanda Palmer the Grand Theft Orchestra. It was AMAZING, such a great show. There were also opening performances  which were also really great. I hadn't ever been to an Amanda Palmer or even Dresden Dolls performance before but I really enjoyed it and look forward to the album she's currently working on with the Grand Theft Orchestra here in Melbourne. She's doing heaps of shows at NSC, I advise everyone to try and go see her if they're in town, though they might have just ceased as they've gone into studio to record.

Monday, March 5, 2012

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”

- Oscar Wilde

On Friday some mates and I went over to Footscray to check out Steamscape, an exhibition hosted at Post Industrial Design which explores “the steampunk movement through fashion, design, sculpture, painting and much more.” I was only peripherally aware of what ‘steampunk’ is, thankfully I serendipitously met Oscar on the way to the event. As the coordinator of SteamUp, the past steampunk event in Melbourne; Oscar was happy to give me a thorough introduction into what exactly ‘steampunk’ is.

Steampunk is a sub genre-culture of Science Fiction that embodies what life today would be like today if imagined by somebody in the 1800s, or more or less if electricity hadn’t taken off and replaced steam power. Aesthetically it rejects mass production and consumption and focuses on craftsmanship that melds victorian design with mechanics. What I gathered is that it’s much like living life in a Jules Verne novel or inspired film. The sub-genre of science fiction came into prominence in the 1990s and appears to have taken off in Melbourne in the last 5 years.

Steamscape itself was a wonderful introduction into what I find most interesting about cultural movements of all types - the art and aesthetics of it. My friends and I were both surprised at the size of the event and it’s family friendly nature - there were heaps of kids. There was also a lot going on. Complimentary wine and food in the back (great sushi & Devil’s Elbow - a nice drop) with music by The Penny Dreadfuls. There was heaps of mingling and lovely folk dressed to the nines in their own creations or commissioned outfits. Dandyism seemed to be a major component of the work and the event itself. 

There were also performances, which my friends and I unfortunately missed in the midst of our mingling but we heard great things about. The work on display was a good range of pieces and included quite a bit of millinery and haberdashery, and a fashion show. The fashions displayed on the runway were from Clockwork Butterfly. 

They were elaborate and very impressive. In truth though, many of the looks I saw off the runway were just as well put together. Really the entire affair was one of sartorial elegance.
Some of the dandy folk I met included some gentlemen named Dayrl, Sheridan, Sebastian, and of course Oscar. While they all came into the steampunk phenomena through different angles I suspect what keeps them involved is reason to get suited up and look so snazzy, In fact I appreciated many of the get ups I saw and some I managed to photograph.

Steamscape was part of the cultural events L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival which is hosting a range of events this month around town. Notably it’s also the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. I hope to take advantage of a few more events from both and me and some mates are hitting up the Amanda Palmer show tomorrow at the Northcote Social Club. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Gonna Take Her for a Ride on a Big Jet Plane...

- Angus & Julia Stone

I wanted to rewind back to before I touched down and make a few notes about my 'voyage' back. A trip to Australia from anywhere is a long haul, and I say this with many journeys across and around the Pacific under my belt. You can't shorten the trip past a certain point - but you can try and have an enjoyable one.

Antipodes Map taken from here.

1. Avoid LAX. If I offend you in the next few sentences, apologies- but unless you can make a valid argument to the following point; I don't want to hear it. LAX is a hole. It is a total pain to travel in and out of and most of the stress of negotiating the Pacific regions can be greatly reducing by giving it a wide berth.

2. Don't fly US-based airlines. The crews tend to be surlier, the food falls right into the Palahniuk-ian 'model food kit' observation and they're a complete pain about luggage. And now they don't give you pillows and blankets.

3. Don't bother catching up on semi-new release films before you get on the plane - you have 24+ hours to view them at your leisure. At this point I might even begin advocating leaving your ipod in your baggage and just using the provided music. It's a much larger range then it used to be, you don't have to worry about keeping track of your ipod when your not using it (like when watching inflight movies) and you get the cabin announcements piped in.

I do advocate a libation here and there but be wary - jet lag is directly connected to dehydration. Avoid landing at your destination insanely jet lagged & hung over as a result of over indulgence. Personally, I find a drink at a weird hour of the day at a terminal bar is best. You can stretch your legs, stay awake, be aware of whats around you, and strike up conversations with interesting folk. Plus you're having the best thing to ease you into sleep once you've re-boarded for the next leg of your trip.

And at last I feel I should admit that I do not tend to fly Qantas, rather I fly Air New Zealand. Shocker right? It's not that I haven't enjoyed my Qantas experiences but I just end up flying Air New Zealand for the extended trips because frankly it's cheaper. Now that I'm racking up my frequent flyer miles I'll see where AirNZ can get me domestically too.

I must say I really enjoyed the in-flight safety video:

-which yes, involves: Richard Simmons, the All Blacks, and body painting. 

And I am finding their recent advertisements to be fairly humorous, but maybe I always find hipsters funny?

- they have a few more you can find here.

Now that I've shared that I'll get back on with the present goings on - but really, would you have ever thought to pull up air line safety videos on YouTube? thought not.

- Oh, and yes- Air New Zealand did provide me with a pillow and blanket, thank you very much.