Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I love working in Cafes as they bring in an array of strange characters. There is this one particular man who I dedicate this post to. Himself and another chap discovered the infection by some unidentified spiral bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, caused gastritis-associated dyspepsia and ulcers, which also increased the risk of stomach cancer.
The amusing thing about this chap is that everyday without fail that we are open, he comes in for a coffee, sits and reads the news paper until we close shop. What makes this guy stand out? Well when you first meet him you think that he might be homeless. He won't wear shoes and always has his shirt completely unbuttoned with his rough cargo shorts and quite happily lays on our couch with his feet up. If you take a closer look you realise that a homeless man wouldn't really carry four Mont Blanc pens in his shirt pocket. I just love that he doesn't give two hoots what someone thinks of him and his odd little world. Quite frankly, I admire his non conformist dress sense and quite ramblings. This world wouldn't complete without a few so called 'odd' characters. Dr Robin Warren, this picture by J.J Grandville humbly represents you. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

What floats my boat

These two illustrators float my anthropomorphism and caricaturist boat. Ronald Searle and J.J Grandville both have shared the "french" life experience such as I have. ( my experience being not as long winded as theirs.) Both styles are different and influence me greatly in how I go about drawing.

Thank you all for your lovely comments too. I appreciate feedback :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

La Fontaine

One sunny afternoon in France a come across a fable by Jean De La Fontaine, The Fox & the Crow. Have you heard of it?

'A Fox once saw a Crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its beak and settle on a branch of a tree.

"That's for me, as I am a Fox," said Master Reynard, and he walked up to the foot of the tree.

"Good day, Mistress Crow," he cried. "How well you are looking today: how glossy your feathers; how bright your eye. I feel sure your voice must surpass that of other birds, just as your figure does; let me hear but one song from you that I may greet you as the Queen of Birds."

The Crow lifted up her head and began to caw her best, but the moment she opened her mouth the piece of cheese fell to the ground, only to be snapped up by Master Fox.

"That will do," said he. "That was all I wanted. In exchange for your cheese I will give you a piece of advice for the future: "Do not trust flatterers."'

A fable is a succinct story that provides a moral lesson usually in verse or prose that features anthropomorphism (given human qualities).

I was originally attracted by this particular fable as I thought I could play on the vanity and flattering perspective for an art portfolio. And I love its child like simplicity.
So this is where my creative journey begins....(to be continued)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Pigment + H20

I spent the last couple of days cooped up in my creative space getting some much needed practice with watercolour paints. So I thought I would share some paintings with you.
I'm currently trying to get my head around an art portfolio project, which I will share bits and pieces with you tomorrow. Have a grand Sunday.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Henny Penny

Once again I'm inspired by the life of the chickens that live in the backyard. This afternoon doing a little drawing and was playing around with a mix of J.J Grandville style verses Ronald Searle, throw into the mix, a nerdy chicken with egg and this is what you get. 'Henny Penny had an accident'.
And for the chicken named Ethal who fell of her perch last week, may you rest in peace. Life continues with only three chickens now.

Monday, November 29, 2010

"Energetically Yours" Ronald Searle 1957

Energetically Yours

Amongst a few old posters at the Jazz festival markets in Nantes, I found the above print. A Ronald Searle lithograph, unfortunately unsigned but a true Paris litho print. I become infatuated by the comedic drawing and heavy lines and ever since I can happily say that Ronald Searle is one of the best illustrators of all time. Do you remember, The Belles of ST Trinians or Molesworth?
Ronald Searle heavily inspired countless illustrators, one of my favourites being Quentin Blake.
His work took me on an illustrative journey of French caricature. I will explain my journey another day.But for now I would like to share a few findings with you to help you see my process.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Just a quick squizz

A few old drawings of mine just for fun.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jimmy Muscle

Awesome bike huh! And guess who owns it?..... My mum and her husband. Yes, the folks like to ride around in style no matter the age. The bike is rather of the original kind because of its second dinky seat at the back. It was adopted into our family last year and only this year it was given a name. 'Jimmy Muscle', this name come about when my brother was given one of mum's knitted toys that she created earlier in life, it was then my brother come up with the name. Although legend has it, the name Jimmy Muscle come from a older source, possibly my grandfather. Anyhow, This awesome bike has had its first movie debut on a local independent short film called Tepid, created by On Track Productions. It was a humble little night down at F.T.I. I like to support small local get togetherness like this that help keep people interested in the arts or crazy Grandma bicycles.
I took a few more photos of the old Woolstores just next door. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Monday, November 1, 2010

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Lets dig up the past

Since being back in my home town, I've dug through some stored boxes of mine eager to find my old artwork. I wanted to see my change in interest and skill since having a lull of creativity for many years. Relationships, travel and myself got in the way of nurturing an important part of my life, art. So last Sunday, I pulled out some old drawings and realized that they weren't as bad as what I'd thought they be.
Most artists suggest that when frustration hits you need to step away for a while and then come back with fresh eyes. Maybe a I got a bit extreme with that suggestion and went to the other side of the world.:)But it helped. So I wanted to share a few pieces of art with you to see what you think. Most of these were during my teenage years so they my express some adolescence, but either way tell me what you think. Please remember that from then to now I've had no professional guidance with my art. I am seeking to do so for the future.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Poulette of choice

Chickens are the future pet that gives back to you. My mum and her husband recently bought 4 pet chickens that are slowly revealing their personalities. It took a while to get the peaking order like most teenage females of any species, but now they are living in harmony after a couple of weeks. We can learn from the humble chicken, for example, remembering to eat our greens and take some time to roost. I'm a tad disappointed though as I like to cuddle chickens, their cuddles remind me of hugging your grandmother, strange but true.( my grandmother had chickens too). Also on New Years Eve at a party in France I remember a friend of friend who invited his pet chicken along for the party. Yes, Les poulettes like to their groove on and party the new year in too. I have a photo to prove it. Its another seven years till its the Chinese New Year of the rooster, so lets get our poulet on and become sustainable house holds with our beloved chickens and make the most of 2017.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Animal Crackers In My Soup

You will have to excuse me for over blogging today. Its stormy outside and there is a coffee in my hand. This equals creative flow of the third kind.
Yesterday I had lunch with a dear friend of mine. She always makes a beautiful spread of fine french food. After a big serving of gateaux au chocolate we shared photos and music together. We started talking about musicals and my days of listening to jazz being practiced at the art academy. My friend decided that I had to listen to a classic song by Shirley Temple. For some reason I've never been a huge fan, yet I have great appreciation, especially after hearing 'Animal Crackers In My Soup'. This Clip reminds me of the three girls I care for at work. They love to sing at the dinner table. Today is my last day working with them as I will be heading back to Australia. I will miss hearing them singing as I iron clothes or make dinner. I dedicate this you lovely ladies. x
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A Slice of Nantes, France

Yay! I've been featured on this lovely lady's popular blog, sometimessweet.blogspot.com
Please check it out. It's called A Slice of Nantes, France. It features some fun places I like to go in this lovely French town. Have a snoop through the other post she has, they are a good read. :)

Packing bags for new adventures

Most bloggers go through a lull in posting new material, the non internet life can very demanding. I like to see this as a good thing as it brings us new material. For me well, I've been test packing my suitcase for another journey. I was sorting through all the things I have collected in the past 20 months. Two books caught my eye. The first is the forever awesome Dr. Seuss, 'Oh the places, you'll go'. This book was given as a gift by my travelling Canadian friend. It has a beautiful yet very important message about how to handle our adventures in life.
The other book was found in the in the shop within the fine arts museum of Nantes.
'Marcel Le Reveur'( Marcel the dreamer) By Anthony Browne. I was taken by the the cultural links in every dream sequence. The once again simple but great message is, dream big use your imagination because that's how all the greatest artist have become who they are today. I'm also a big fan of Anthony Brownes illustrations.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

a la Mediatheque

'Library', translates to Mediatheque in French. This can be lost in translation. The French still use the word Library but it stands for 'book shop'. So if you are expecting to borrow some books from a public service, please be aware of this fact. You do not want a crazy French person chasing you for money. So I decided to visit La Mediatheque. Its a rather grand place, although I didn't get to see most of it. I couldn't get past the graphic novel section that takes up most of the first floor.
The French are obsessed with the graphic novel culture. Its the largest section in any book store as well. You can always find people of all ages enjoying this counter culture. Its not an odd site to see old grannies having a good parooze through a graphic novel too.
I thought it would be a great idea to study up on some good illustrators. These two drawings I did were inspired by some of the best. The boy is very similar to my favourite illustrator, Adrian Tomine. I advise you to check out some french cartoonists Winshluss- 'Pinnochio', and Matteo and Zidrou- 'La Meche Rebelle'.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Check it out on Romance-a-tron blogspot

Every time I walk past the birthing clinic across the road from my lodging, I hear the cries of new born babies through the windows. Each time it reminds me of a Woody Allen poem that my 62 yr old friend introduced to me, and now i shall share it with you.

NEXT LIFE, by Woody Allen

In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead
and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people's home
feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go
collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold
watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you're
young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and
are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then
go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no
responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you
spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with
central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and
then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!
I rest my case.)


I have been graciously featured on the fantastic blog http://romanceatron.blogspot.com/
Romance-A-Tron is an amalgamation of the old Romantic age and the new Electronic era, an odyssey, linking the beautiful origins of contemporary art and culture, with the future, which is streaming towards us at light speed.

Lovely talented people from around the world share their creative thoughts please check it out.

Hook up to your ocean

In relation to The Waterboys song- This is the sea, and me craving the ocean, my mother has sent me something special.
She sent me the shores of Western Australia in a matchbox. So wherever i travel i have the ocean with me.
I found this quote by Shri Bhagavan yesterday, ' The world has an ocean to give, don't come with teaspoons'. In my mothers case, she came with a matchbox and i big heart of sharing something that is so special to me. Although the quote is a metaphor for being ready to receive something greater than we expect.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Moustache Mood

It occurred to me that i have a moustache collection in my pictures. Maybe I've been picking up vibes from a moustached frenchy.

Jen goes jogging with Diana

This is my first experimentation with Diana the Lomography camera. And after a very expensive development process i now can share with a few images of what Nantes looks like to me. In a 'Monet' kind of way, the lomography creates the exact effect that my eyes do when I'm not sporting my spectacles.

The Waterboys - This is the Sea-Riding Giants

In the spirit of summer and all the french fleeing to the ocean this month. This song was released the year i was born and twenty five years later i discovered it on the documentary, Riding Giants. The Waterboys- This is the sea, is playing in my head nonstop and is exactly how i feel right now. I live by the river and i miss the sea.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Walking Pigeons

As i was walking to la poste yesterday afternoon, i thought i had sore something absurd. I thought i saw a lady walking a pigeon. Yes it was probably trickery of the eye, i should have been wearing my spectacles, yet such an act would not surprise me. The french love their animals, especially their pooches. I have seen Cats and Ferrets walked by leash. While speaking to my mum on the phone yesterday, she randomly mentioned that the russians had sent a cow paraglyding over the ocean. Why do we mess with the tranquility of an animals state of being.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My new goal is to find a weekend inspiration course to be creative and artistic. I was clearing out photos from my constipated computer and found some photos from a course i did in Perth. The weekend course was with Sabrina Ward Harrison who flew from the states for us Perthians. Its was fun, thought provoking and very therapeutic. The best part was drinking coffee and getting creative on the floor of the hair salon. Joy!