Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Christmas Wish

Here's a little poem for you...

Every year I swear it,
Back as far as I remember,
I'll be organised for Christmas,
By the end of each November.

So why on Christmas Eve,
Am I shopping on the run,
For Totally Bimbo Barbie,
And a Mega water gun?

If my Visa card survives it,
We'll have presents for the tree,
(which I'll need to find this evening
in the attic after tea).

And on the kitchen bench,
I've a chicken gently thawing;
All the supermarket turkeys
Got snaffled up this morning.

I know by two or three A.M,
I'll get to rest my head,
The presents wrapped, the turkey stuffed,
Me too-collapsed in bed.

My stocking's out for Santa,
And next year I'll be wiser,
You see he'll leave me just one gift;
A personal organizer!

Merry madness 
xxx Fifi

Monday, December 07, 2009

God's Gift

13 days until my exhibition and I've been hard at work creating velvet paintings; saving Jesus until last. You might be interested to see how a velvet painting is realised, so here are the steps (after I hand cut the board to shape, stretched velvet over it and backed it with felt). I just have his hair to finish and a bit of a starburst on his chest on which to place the velvet flaming heart.

So why velvet you ask? The very essence of 'low art'.

It goes back to viewing an exhibition at Te Papa in 2006 of Bernard Roundhill's work. Roundhill was an airbrush artist- in fact THE airbrush artist in New Zealand; he led the way. As a graduate from Wellington Polytechnic Design School in the early 80's, I did quite well with an airbrush myself. It was my main tool for illustration (oh the fruit I have illustrated for yoghurt cartons!) I was tickled to see that Roundhill painted velvet for a hobby, yes, stags on mountain tops, that sort of thing. I wondered if there was a more artistic way of using the medium, so I dusted off the old airbrush and played around with velour. Two successful exhibitions later, 23 pieces of velvet art sold and I'm hooked. I like to think of my work as an appropriation of low art- finding the humour within the medium... and in creating 'Jesus' I found it ironic just five minutes ago to find on google that Bernard Roundhill had been an enthusiastic Scientologist. There, he and I part artistic and spiritual company.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Velvet Cowboy

 Ride ‘em

I watched Tony Curtis in ‘Some like it Hot’ as a kid. His very distinctive curvy lips made an impression on me at an early age as did his very comic role which almost denied those extreme good looks in his salad days. I never saw him in a cowboy hat though and I think he’d have possibly looked a little like this- clean cut and very smooth. His pocket badge, the little gun, came from a army surplus junk store on Cuba St (more recently The Krazy Lounge, now Ernesto’s). We were design students of the late 70’s, beating path to pseudo punk and falling on the wonders contained within Krazy Rick’s on the corner. There you could buy army bags, plastic baby dolls just the right size for earrings and sometimes cheap tin jewellery from Japan. I’ve had that pistol in my pocket for years; just right for a velvet buck.

The 'Brush with Velvet' exhibition opens 20th December at The Deluxe Cafe, Kent Tce, Wellington