Monday, October 27, 2014

Cnr Wilson & King Streets - Newtown

King St Newtown can be absolutely jam packed, often you are concentrating on dodging the obstacles in front of you (people, dogs, shopping bags, more people, artisan bread etc) and you forget to look around. Next time you are on King St, remind yourself to look up, above the awnings. The suburb is littered with ornate colourful buildings bordering the main st. 

The sketch for the corner of Wilson and King Sts took some time to complete. The detail in the top of the building was quite complicated, I would finish a section, put the sketch away, finish another section, put my pencil down, work on the Enmore Theatre for a bit, then come back to it again.In contrast to the Enmore Theatre artwork, I completed the majority of this piece in watercolour, which again took some time and patience. I used a subtle amount of fabric in some of the surrounding buildings, as well as in the road. I quite enjoyed to process of painting, leaving it for a few days and coming back to it with additions and gradually building up the colour. I finished off the painting with a touch of gold ink for some sparkle.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Oxford Tavern - Petersham

The newly revamped Oxford Tavern is located on the corner of New Canterbury Rd and Crystal St in Petersham.The Daily Telegraph published an article about the iconic pub's closure, read it here. 

Although we all knew what the old Oxford Tavern was about, indicated by the nude neon female sillohettes outside, it has always had a mysterious aura about it with it’s dark windows and sealed doors.

The bar is now under new management and has swapped babes for boars, offering a southern American inspired menu featuring pulled pork. With bands, a beer garden and open windows the bar is a place that welcomes everyone, though it retains the famous nude neon ladies as a nod to it’s past. The pub was a fun illustration. I wanted this to be a night scene to make the neon really pop. I grabbed the fabric box and pulled out some heavy nits (I was doing this in winter) for the dark night sky. There was minimal watercolour in this one, just a few highlights.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Liverpool Road - Ashfield

Ashfield was established in 1838 and now Liverpool Rd is a place we go to often for dumplings and our favourite Asian food. At night the strip looks particularly colourful with the glow of the restaurants lighting up the street and buildings. Dinner is a busy time for these restaurants with people spilling out onto the footpath waiting for their number to be called.
I was particularly taken with the washed out glow of the building colour and the reflection of the VB sign in one of the windows. I watercoloured the buildings, making them look a little patchy. I added a denim night sky, with a slight sun down yellow glow.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Rio Milkbar - Summer Hill

The Rio Milk bar, located on Smith Street in Summer Hill has been serving people milkshakes and snacks since 1952.The line work for Rio’s was quite busy, as I decided to illustrate a lot of the brickwork and tiling. I hand watercoloured the brick work and the bluish tiles around the windows, dabbing the paint for a rougher texture.
I really enjoyed drawing Rio’s Milk Bar, the building has a lot of different textures to it and quirky hand touches. The front windows feature heavy white paint, hand lettering and cardboard ice cream cut outs. For these I used crumpled paper, denim and watercolour.

This is my favourite piece of the exhibition. It uses a variety of texture and complex linework, captures an old iconic Milkbar with happiness.  

In August this year an interesting article was published in SMH on the Australian Milk Bar, The Summer Hill Rio Milk Bar was featured. Read it here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Enmore Theatre - Enmore

The Enmore Theatre opened it's doors in 1908 and is now the longest serving entertainment venue in NSW.
The Enmore Theatre was the first piece that I decided to include in the ‘Best Inner West’ series. I was originally approached by a lovely couple to illustrate the theatre, it had significant meaning to them, as it does to a lot of people. The Enmore being an art deco design featured geometrical embellishments and lines. I was very nervous about drawing so many straight lines – as I was inking I think I was holding my breath with each stroke.As the lines and shapes of the theatre were so ridged I chose to paint some very loose red water colour shapes for the doors and a few of the lines. I thought the piece might have needed a bit of wonkiness and softening. This illustration is fairly fabric heavy, using an old jumper for the pink, a grey knit for the road/footpath, a little bit of canvas and a gold cardi. The fabric texture breaks up the large wall surfaces, adding a bit of grit and age. I have a lot of warm memories of the Enmore Theatre and the shows that I have seen there, I think the cosy textures help convey this feeling.
The Enmore Theatre is also on display at Sweets Workshop for my ‘Best Inner West’ Exhibition, on until the early Nov along with a few others.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Salisbury Service Station - Stanmore

The Salisbury Service station in Stanmore was opened in 1935 and has been run by the same family until it’s recent sale.

I drive past this charming service station in Stanmore every week or so, it always catches my eye. The cream and green colour scheme and the rounded roofing is classic art deco style, there aren’t many servos left that look like this, they are all so shiny and clinical now.  I thought it was a great example of the disappearing inner west and that it had to be included in my ‘Best Inner West’ show.
The sketch for this artwork came together quite quickly, I was inking the black linework before I knew it. I used a few different thicknesses in inking pens to get some depth in the drawing. The watercolour for this one was minimal, I wanted the building to really feature the cream canvas texture. I subtly watercoloured the surrounding shops and painted the Holden a darker retro green, which offered a good contrast against the fabric texture of the building.

I found the perfect frames for the show, a rustic natural birch box frame that sits approx 10cm deep from the wall. The colour and the texture of the frame highlights the detail adding to the charm of  the subject matter.

The Salisbury Service Station is now on display at Sweets Workshop for my ‘Best Inner West’ Exhibition, on until the 3rd Nov along with a few others. I will be featuring a couple of the pieces a week until the show closes.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Best Inner West Exhibition Opening

On Saturday I officially opened my art exhibition 'Best Inner West', featuring scenes and landscapes from Sydney's Inner West.

I wanted to thank everyone who came along to Sweets Workshop to offer their support for my show. The launch was great fun, it was so good to see so many familiar faces.

The show will be on until November, there is plenty of time to get in and have a look at my Inner West landscapes. To give you an idea of what 'Best Inner West' is all about, click here to read a little interview I did about the show  at Sweets Workshop, as well as a handful of snaps (above) from the opening party to check out. I hope you can get along to see it.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Inner West decorations

 A little fun idea I had for the launch of the exhibition was to create some decorations of some of the iconic buildings I had drawn. I contacted the fantastic Lyndsay over at Online Laser Cutting who etched my illustrations into colour transparent acrylic. 
I threaded twine through the top, so that you can dangle them from your windows or, well... anything. Now you can take a piece of the inner west with you where ever you go.

The Inner West decos are for sale at Sweets Workshop instore.