Vendor bender

So I heard a last minute callout for interested artists to contact Wendy from The HIVE Atelier in Surrey Hills to join forces for a impromptu popup makers market.

Held over two days the market was upstairs at a multi-function creative workspace and the first day happened to fall on an oppressive 43°C Friday. The streets were bereft of living creatures. Plus there was an eerie thick smoke haze blanketing Melbourne from the Sydney bushfires. We suspected people were probably bunkered in watching the cricket so we decided to pull up stumps around lunch time.

Second day rolls around with a cool change and time to string up some mega cutsie hand made hipster bunting.

My confused partner Mike questioned the use of handpainted cardboard signs. “The signage needs some work Nay, it’d be good to get some slick corflute ones made.”

No, he didn’t get it — he does now : )

Of course the relaxed, haphazard signage did the trick and pulled in curious passersby looking to see what local talent had been flushed out of the surrounding leafy surburbs.

Among the makers were a glass artist, wheel potter, another ceramicist who made pinchpots, earrings, reusable food wrap stall, jewellery, an etching artist, handmade scarves and clothes, cactus stall and more – all assembled and set up with two day’s notice.

And me.

With mostly flip folders of art in my first real market, I thought I’d be a bit nervous but having the ever-so-cheery Wendy overseeing everything, the event had a chilled vibe and it hummed along quite nicely.

People were a little surprised all my works were the real deal.

I don’t make reproductions of my stuff and flog it off for sale. I only offer original paintings, drawings and my printmaking editions are very limited (10 or fewer) with the very definition of “printmaking” meaning the work is hand pulled through a press after inking up a lino block or wiping back an intaglio plate – each impression is an artwork.

There are so many artists who only sell reproductions of their work. Copies which show nothing of the artist’s hand in the printing.

No shade but I’d be a bit disappointed at being sold something marketed as “original artwork” when 67 other people in Fitzroy have the same futuristic sugar skull zombie cactus tiki monster hanging in their living room.

Long story short, the market went off without a hitch but it struck me just how often I was toggling between digital and analogue:

  • Writing memos in my physical diary/google calendar
  • Accepting payment via cash/swiping cards
  • Exchanging business cards/following people on instagram.
  • Using downtime scribbling on paper/drafting this blog on WordPress.

The featured image above is a visual representation of this modern duality. I’m literally grasping a pen/stylus simultaneously on the regular.

I guess we’ll be straddling the real world/digital realm for a while to come, what do you think?

See you at the next market/on Etsy folks.


Sorry to be so negative

In a negative light

Don’t let your eyes deceive you, this is not an etching.

Light painting is all the rage with photographers. You can even purchase bulky flashing apparatus to strap to your body and physically run around with in front of the lense to create some cool effects, while looking like a complete nut job.

“But how do I get to experiment with light painting while maintaining my dignity?”
Well I’m glad you asked.

This is my version of light painting, or what is better described as The Lazy Git’s Guide To Light Painting.
You too can achieve these funky results in only three quick and dirty steps.

Step one: Have a scout around for an interesting location with a combination of light sources. The busier, the better – cars, roadworks, thai massage parlours, it’s all good.

Step two: Hold the shutter open for as long as you think you’d like to take in the action. This particular effort was only ten seconds. Too short an exposure will be somewhat featureless, while too long will just be a smudge of light.

Step three: Induce a spasmic jitter into your dominant arm. Flexing your bicep like a wound-up John Cena in an arm wrestling contest will achieve this effect very nicely.

Does any of this make sense? I hope so. Jokes aside it is indeed an interesting effect. Obviously this is a negative and greyscale version of the original image. The dashes are where the flicker of fluorescent lights were captured and perhaps the flashing blinkers of a cornering non-BMW.

To art lovers and printmakers I thought it may look like an intaglio etching where someone has gone freestyle with a diamond pointed stylus and an electric dremel. It even comes complete with what looks like scratches and a hint of plate tone.

So there you go. A deception double.
A less ethical person could pass this off as light painting photography. Minus the planning, equipment and effort.
A less ethical person could pass this off as an etching. Minus the skill, expense and exposure to hazardous chemicals.

Of course I would never consider doing this myself. Nope.

No sir-ee Bob.


How much do giclée prints cost these days?

Renée Garling