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Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Mime Host

I shall give a short version of a very complex story.
A friend of mine couldn't think of the world "maitre de" so he decided the "mime host" was a good substitute.
Much confusion and mirth followed.

Taste My Steel

This weekend I was a warrior.
By which I mean I attacked the garden with the whipper-snipper (I believe it's also known as a weed-whacker in different hempispheres).
I fucking hate gardening it should be pointed out.
I dont' mind having my hands covered in ink and paint (and they are regularly), but getting dust and dirt all over my hands gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Here Be Dragons!...Or was it here?...oh

More Devils

The Tassie Devil has some of the strongest jaws in the world (based on size).
They are a bit bigger than largish cat, or a little smaller than a staffy.
At the moment the population has been affected by a horrible cancer, which makes them look like they have plums growing out of their faces.
It's dreadful.
I don't believe there's a cure yet.
They also smell bad, but that has nothing to do with the cancer.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


It's been a very long day and I'm pleased it is coming to a close...

Rare Birds of Tasmania

And keeping with the Tasmanian theme, here are some sketches of rare native birds.

Have a Devil of a Time

I was prompted by a fellow called Allan Moult to start a new links section, dedicated to the state in which I now live - Tasmania.
The leatherwood online link will take you to his great website.
Art folks may want to go straight to the portfolio section to admire the scenery,but please do browse the rest.
The beastie I've drawn above is a Tasmanian Devil.
They don't look much like the Warner Brothers version, but they sound a bit like it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A Brilliant Idea

I went to a client function last night.
A sporting thing.
I dont' care for sport very much.
There were 4 Australian celebrities there.
3 sporting types and a "comedian" called Russel Gilbert, who is a twat in both television programs and real life.
The only one I knew of was Australian marathon runner Steve Monaghetti, who was a great bloke.
Russel and some AFL footy guy spent quite some time discussing how they both shave their balls.
This seemed like quite an intimate conversation for two blokey men.
I was thrilled to be a part of it.
I feel like shit, but not as much as Vanessa, my offsider here, who has been vomiting regularly for about 2 hours now.

A Lovely Day in the Park

I'll get around to finishing this sometime soon...


This was coloured entirely in Photoshop and it was a royal pain in the arse.
It took forever to do.
It's a great deal more flexible than my ancient version of Painter though (linework was done in Painter).
I shall not be colouring in Photoshop again in a hurry (which has more to do with my impatience than limitations of the software I should point out).

Monday, October 24, 2005


Beware the Dullard Army.

Drink, Drink, Drink

The Eurovision Art contest theme this month is "Drunk" and in keeping with the theme I've actually got some animation to post.
8 years or so ago, I had the pleasure to work the the Tasmanian Commisioner for Licencesing on a series of animated commercials targeting poor behaviour in pubs - the program was for The Responsible Service of Alcohol.
Initially they wanted to do a thing about how if you drink and drive you'll end up as a smear on the road, but I don't personally think those hard hitting commercials work that well, and besides which, there are a glut of them on air.
Instead I suggested the very notion that if we tell people what the information is, then at least the punters are informed.
I don't think there is any media based commercials that discourage too many people from drink driving, smoking, taking drugs - whatever.
So I created this character that simply ended up being called Blob.
He's a bad tempered kind of everyman/woman.
This particular commercial targets folks who are having a party: I don't know about the rest of the world, but in Australia if you have a party and everyone gets blind and drives home and kills themselves, then you are ultimately responsible.
This was animated in the same style as the others - in Painter and at the time Photoshop (once I got After Effects I made use of that).
It was made in about a day (timelines are tight in regional television).
Most of my friends think it's hilarious that I was so involved with these commercials (I'm hardly a drunk but I do like a drink).
I'll simply point out the same thing the Commissioner pointed out to us - it's the Responsible Serving of Alcohol, not the Responsible Drinking of Alcohol.
I apologise that this is in the wrong aspect ratio, but you'll get the idea (actually, the viewing window gives you the opportunity to watch it in widescreen which fixes the problem).

Dumb Mutt

I saved this dumb mutt from oncoming traffic today.
One day back and already I've managed a good deed.
The dog was well trained (sit, stay, all that) but had no road sense.
It seemed as gormless as I've drawn it.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I Have Returned

As you can clearly see I have returned from the big island.
I can hardly say that I'm thrilled about it.
I would like however to thank everyone who dropped past while I was away.
Always nice to know someone's here even when I'm not.

Eurovision Art Contest - FREAK!

My contribution to this months contest.

Melbourne - The Eels

The main reason I headed off home was to go see the band The Eels.
They were amazing.
The didn't rock, but instead brought with them a 4 piece string quartet.
It was moving and beautiful.
Before the show a peculiar Russian puppet animated film was played.
A kids thing involving an old lady, a crocodile called Gena and a kind of mouse/monkey thing called Cherabushka.
I have no idea what it had to do with the show, but it was weirdly out of context at a concert which I was entertaining in itself.
The support act was a wonderful Australian singer called Holly Throsby - who I didn't realise was playing which made it even more lovely.
Before I went to the show I spent some time kicking around an area known as Southbank.
It was an area a spent a great deal of time at during my last year of university.

Although these pictures don't really show it, it was almost dark (these were just taken with my digital camera).
It was quite hot and had been pouring with rain for hours.
Melbourne never used to have a tropical feel to it but it's becoming more so.

This picture below is for my friend Charmaine.
Every Friday this is where we would head.
The evening would start with 8 people and end with (usually) only 3.
We would drink the house red which was only $10 a pop.
By the end of the evening we'd often spent$120, $150 between us.
I don't recall ever eating much there but I'm sure we must have.
The place now only serves vegetarian food which is insanity as far as I'm concerned.
It's not that I have any problem with vegeterians or vegetables (I love them in fact), but why serve only that???

Melbourne - The Movies

As always when I return home to Melbourne I spend quite a bit of time at the cinema.
As I've already noted my hometown is cinema rich.
One of the thing I especially enjoy about our local cinema is that you can take in your coffee and cake with you, which makes the movie experience particularly pleasing to me.

I saw:
Howl's Moving Castle - completely bizarre. I'll never really understand the appeal of these types of movies beyond the weirdness.
Little Fish - great Australian movie starring the most beautiful woman in the world, Cate Blanchett.
The Proposition - another Australian movie that wasn't really as good as I was hoping but was pretty good nonetheless. It was written by Nick Cave and reflects his usual cheery attitude to life.
I also saw a crazy Russian film called Nightwatch that felt like it was a comic book adaption (which I don't think it was).
One thing that surprised me about this film is that I seemed to be in it (see picture below), which was rather odd as I'm fairly certain I was in Tasmania for most of the time over the last few years.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Update from Melbourne - Hooray for Beer!

Pretty girls always make one look so much better than one really does.
This is my dear friend Llael - a terrific painter.
You can find her website here.
Her work is all in oils and is great - go and see for yourselves.

Why are hats so much more important when one is full of piss?

Update from Melbourne - The City

I had some time in town this morning to take some snaps.
The picture below is the city of Melbourne taken from the other side of the bay (Williamstown which used to be a cess pit but is now all swanky).
I had breakfast there this morning.
It's actually really hot and humid at the moment despite the overcast skies.
I had not been home in over a year and there were a few surprising changes.

At the site of this place used to be a wonderful 24 hour caff called Greasy Joes.
It was somewhere we would often stagger to for a bite to eat before heading home.
It's obviously not there any longer.
I like to think that the current owner sells more than their signage implies.

Gaslight Records is gone!
Gaslight is a Melbourne insitution.
It was the place you could go to find everything.
They had a tiny stage for instore appearances.
They had a nude day.
A classic calendar they'd distribute every year.
They sold tickets to shows.
I was sad to find it gone.

Melbourne keeps getting taller....

Another CBD cinema gone.
This is not such a big deal for me.
Melbourne has more cinemas than any single city in the southern hemisphere.
There are plenty of suburban cinemas that are really, really good, and with Melbourne being such an arty community, it is easy to find so-called arthouse movies.
The cinema below could well have been the very first movie house I was ever taken to as a child.

This is a street sculpture that sits outside a cinema just around the corner from the one above.
It looks like it should move along those tracks and do exciting things but it doesn't - something I always was vastly dissapointed about as a child.

This is a large poster for an exhibition I didn't see.
It's very Australian to mix art and toilets.

There are two things they could be doing to the top of this church.
1) Fixing it.
2) Putting in apartments.
I think it's more likely to be houseing than repairs.
I have no idea what the strange structure is at the front.
I assume it lights up at night as there seems to be neon strips in it.

Melbourne landmark Flinders Street Station.
Any fans of Elvis Costello may recognise it from his film clip "I Wanna Be Loved".

The Centre of the Moving Image which is attached to....

...this arts and TV complex.
I believe it was designed to look like a scab, or the dried remains of a hankerchief.

Under that large spire is the newly named Hammer Hall.
It used to be the Melbourne Concert Hall.
I'll be seeing the Eels there on Friday night.
I was dissapointed to discover that it's prounouced HAY-mer Hall and not Hammer, which gives it a bit of a Lord of the Rings vibe.

I love train stations.
This is about half of Flinders Street Stations platforms.

Will I ever see a Melbourne skyline untouched by cranes and men in hard hats...
There is plenty of this beautiful city that I haven't ever photographed.
The urge to return here permanently is strong of late, so perhaps I'll have the opportunity then...

Update From Melbourne - It's a Load of Rubbish

On my arrival in the 'burbs, I noticed that there was a great deal of rubbish lying on the curbs.
Obviously there was something going on.

I was fairly sure I didn't live in a shanty town, but the neighbourhood had that feeling to it.
Apparently local council were doing what is called a "hard rubbish" collection.
So if you've got any large piles of crap you can't be bothered shlepping to the tip (we called the dump, the tip in Australia) then if you leave it out a council truck will come around and collect it.
There was plenty of interesting stuff so I went around and took some snaps.
I like the chandelier on the puffy brown chair.
Very sophisticated.
I was tempted to settle down for a rest (it was a lovely afternoon).

Some of my favourite bits went missing.
There are a lot of people going around with their own trucks and trailers recollecting the crap for themselves.

I had this notion that in fact the council gets to collect none of it whatsoever as it's all squirrelled away by hoarding fanatics.
There was a load of old soft internal heating heating pipes that looked like a pile of kishkies that went walkabout, and also a pile of computer components upon which sat a bike helment.
I was going to name the post "Where Safety Meets Technology".
Some people had mountains of stuff - taking up the whole nature strip...

Others left hardly anything (or perhaps it had already been plundered).

Does leaving rubbish like such as this say to potential burglers "Please break in and pinch my stuff?".

And to finish - this is the Cowan family contribution of the beautification of the suburbs.
It has since been cleared away...

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