15 April 2011

A gorgeous evening...

So many beautiful pieces. So many versions of the female spirit. So stunning!
If you have a chance to check it out and support, please do!

For my Sister.
I love you.

13 April 2011

Because I am a Girl

Tonight is the Opening Night for the "Because I am a Girl" Fundraising Exhibition and I am really excited to see all the work and be apart of something very lovely...

‘Because I am a Girl’ is Plan’s global campaign designed to fight gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls out of poverty. Across the globe, girls are at the bottom of the social ladder, deprived of the same opportunities as boys. For example,research has shown that girls are more likely to suffer from malnutrition; be forced into an early marriage; be subjected to violence or intimidation; be trafficked, sold or coerced into the sex trade; or become infected with HIV.
The campaign is based on a series of reports titled Because I am a Girl: The State Of The World’s Girls. To be published between2007–2015 from Plan International, these reports examine the rights and needs of girls throughout their childhood, adolescence and as young women – and how they are uniquely placed to break the cycles of intergenerational poverty gripping many people in developing countries.
Six of the eight Millennium Development Goals – the goals set by the world’s governments in 2000 to halve world poverty by 2015 – are unlikely to be achieved unless there is a greater international commitment to the fight against gender discrimination.Plan recognises that we have to address gender discrimination as a priority if we want to tackle the root causes of child poverty.Therefore we have made the commitment to ‘address gender inequality and the numerous ways in which the rights of girls and women are particularly denied and violated’ (Plan Program Framework, 2009–2013). This is the focus of the ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign and will better enable Plan to achieve our overall mandate as a child-centred community development organisation, committed to child poverty eradication and all children accessing their rights. via becauseiamagirl.com.au

I'll be one of the 30 female artists involved and 50% of price of all artworks sold will be donated to the Plan's Because I am a Girl campaign. How exciting is that?!

Anywho, hope to see some of you tonight @ Smartartz Gallery over in South Melbourne!!

12 April 2011

A Giveaway for some Great Tweeps!

I am so amazed and happy!! 
We're 6 people away from 200 followers on Twitter! You lovely people rock! 
As soon as we are able to hit 200 - I will be giving away a signed print of Mina to a lucky follower!! 
Get to it kids!! Make me proud!! 

Local Bunnies...

I love Easter.. It is one of those holidays that I find rather different to celebrate living in the southern hemisphere.

Easter has always meant the start of spring, new life, new sprouts of green growing through the snowy fields, baby birds and the first sight of the red breasted robin. But here, we're preparing the coming of winter and cooler weather, as well as final harvests of our gardens and hoping to see the new life soon.

Either way - Easter is on it's way... and now, the chocolate bunnies in our near future will keep us happy and add some padding for the winter.

All of these gorgeous Etsy finds are locally found here in Melbourne. 

11 April 2011

Some small scale sketching...

I have been working on small sketches lately. Mostly A5 and under. 
It's nice to just get them out of my system, but am almost ready to start going bigger again.

Also, just a reminder - the Because I am a Girl Fund-raising Exhibition will be opening this Wednesday night at SmartArtz Gallery in South Melbourne. Hope to you see you there!

10 April 2011

Shanna-Beth - Family Portraits

I don't photograph too many portraits anymore, 
but nothing's better than crawling around in the grass with Shanna-Beth. 

My new Art Crush...

Once a week or so, I browse the artists on Etsy and Red Bubble to see what's happening in the world. Sometimes I'm totally uninspired, sometimes I can't find anything that pulls at the heart strings. But some days, I gasp into my quilt, whip the laptop around to show Jacob and then try to contain my jealousy.

Coming across Julia Martins work, that was a day of complete inspiration. Since seeing her Etsy and website last week, I can't stop thinking about it. The colour and tones and especially the textures from the paint strokes make me feel like I have a long way to go and a lot to learn.

Check out the prints on Etsy or her actual site and blog.


07 April 2011

The Boys

Our boys, Timmy & Bruce, aka The Basenji Brothers.

One of the highlights of my day, is getting home from work after a 45 minute bike ride and being greeted by two very lovey boys. (And a bigger lovey boy, aka Jacob) They are troublemakers in their own right. 

Timmy has a fondness for chewing anything paper, pens, books, (watch your homework kids!) and has a habit of making monkey sounds from the parcel tray when we go for rides. He's a bit scared of bigger, darker dogs, and no he's not racist.. just a bit unsure. But we love him either way...

Bruce is a bit bow-legged but runs like a whippet when he wants to. Hmmm. "When he wants to..." pretty much explains Bruce. He's started to mellow out as he gets older and FINALLY enjoys a good cuddle. He also enjoys eating poo and anything that fall on the floor in the kitchen. (Hey, no man is perfect!) He's the peace-keeper at the dog park, never afraid to lay down the law with other misbehaving dogs. 

It makes me happy to think that in less than an hour - I'll have two dogboys wagging and jumping to greet me at the door! 

I love our little nuggets! 

06 April 2011

Jacob says... "Watch your Insurance Bills, People!"

Ok - so not the most interesting of subjects to write or read about, but this little series of letters has seriously irked me and I'm not a man who likes to be irked...

So … the first communication I received was towards the latter part of last year – out of the blue a letter from the mysterious ‘OnePath’ insurance company.
Now I don’t receive a lot of junk personal mail as I make a point of not putting my address on things when I can avoid it but this was personally addressed to me and they even spelled my surname correctly so I gave it the courtesy of actually opening it.

The letter was an introduction to their company – my current housing contents insurer ‘ING’ insurance – had been bought by the wonderful ‘OnePath’ insurance company apparently over a year prior – which in itself was odd as I’d only renewed my policy with ING in April and nobody had bothered to mention anything. So my policy now belonged to them but I didn’t need to worry as I was covered for the duration of the policy I’d previously held. You’d sort of hope so considering I’d paid for the full year in advance back in April.

The next communication I received was in about January / February – this letter was asking if I’d like to take out some extra flood cover on my existing policy. The letter stated that it wasn’t a mandatory requirement and it would be included in my next policy renewal. Strange, I thought, I’ve only got contents insurance with them and I don’t live in a flood-prone area so I thoughtfully declined that offer.

Just last week I received my much awaited policy renewal letter (note the sarcasm). Included with my existing coverage was ‘flood insurance’ of a meager $10,000 – not really much when you consider our contents insurance is for $95,000. Don’t worry – the letter indicated – I didn’t have to do anything – as of May the 1st my premium would be deducted from my previously nominated credit card…..
So… let me get this straight, not only did you take over my policy without my consent or knowledge but you also got hold of my credit card details – hmmm – good thing I’ve cancelled that one since last year then huh?!
I was also being ‘given’ $9,000,000 in personal liability insurance – because that’s highly important for a guy like me… and, come to think of it, I have that on my life insurance policy anyway so not overly useful.

As if that wasn’t enough to irk me, it really doesn’t take much, I continued to read the letter and the expected premium amount to be deducted - $1116.

Hold on a minute – I could’ve sworn my premium last year was in the late $600 range. Surely they can’t whack on an extra $500 for flood damage that I didn’t ask for and don’t even need. I was so surprised by the amount that I trawled through my financial records to confirm that yes, my previous years insurance premium was for $620 for effectively the same level of insurance.

Perhaps I was being naïve – there have been a lot of floods and natural disasters in Australia over the last 12 months – maybe contents insurance really has jumped by 80%.

Online I go – fill in a quick online quote with another insurance company – did all the figures and they even included the stupid personal liability insurance which is actually fairly standard these days apparently.
Clicking on the ‘quote’ button and waiting with baited breath I thought to myself – hey, even if these guys are as expensive as OnePath I’ll probably go with them to prove a point…… ‘bing’ and the quote pops up – grant total of $689 per annum and I even get the option of paying monthly in case I don’t really want to commit to a 12 month policy….Sold!!!!
I could probably shop around for an even cheaper rate if I could be bothered but I’m relatively happy with these guys and I have car insurance through them also so I’m happy to go with them for now.

I am very much looking forward to calling OnePath when I get a chance and informing them that I am most definitely not renewing my policy with them.

This whole small and fairly insignificant incident got me thinking about the number of people that probably don’t read these communications or even bother to remember the details of their previous years premiums. How many people out there simply file the letter away and then get whacked with massive premium increases through no request or confirmation from themselves. Beware of the dodgy OnePath – which is an ANZ subsidiary by the way but don’t even get me started on the banks under handed behavior.

End of rant!... for today…


05 April 2011

Sisters - Sneaky Peeky!

The painting is totally finished. Varnished. Scanned. And whatever else you can do when you finish a painting! I'm so happy. It's one of those paintings I thought I would never do. Until now, I've always sat outside myself when I draw and paint. But this has been a really hard process for me.

I'm just so happy it's finished. Yesterday, I thought of it being sold at the gallery (trying to send out those good vibes, you know how it is...) and started to cry.

It's like letting go of so many old feelings and being free.
It was rather odd.

01 April 2011

I don't want a pickle... Just wanna ride on my Bicycle...

After a few moments of complete frustration and yelling at the television at my work’s local café and Jacob getting knocked off his bike earlier this week by a car (he's fine, just scrapes and bruises), I thought this was an appropriate selection of Etsy finds…
via SweetRide

The Channel Nine’s Mornings with Kerri-Anne has a few things to answer for. Not only has she blatantly been against cyclists in her past episodes, but today seemed to be a repeat of her appalling opinions against cyclists all over again.

Again, she and her panel are trying to prove that cyclists don’t pay for roads and quite a few other issues that have nothing to do with cyclists. If cyclists paid for regos and had number plates, that still doesn’t account for the fact that people break the law. And the idea that motorists take account for their actions is complete bullshit. *pardon the french*
...if cyclists expect other road users to give way we should reciprocate by following the road rules. In the midst of the Tour Down Under I was very disappointed to see an amateur team sail through a red light, no doubt in a desperate bid to get to their coffee venue. If we can't be bothered why should everyone else - except, of course, the cyclist will come off worse. Jonathan Miller, Adelaide SA via Australian Cyclist.

I think EVERYONE needs to play by the rules, there are laws in place for a reason. Whether it's running red lights, wearing helmets, or having a bell, they all need to be followed.

Anyway, I’ve been too angry to write about this propaganda whoring, but you can check out the finer points of many shared opinions here from a past show where she claims the same ideas. As well as here for a good opinion email about common courtesy.
via PosterPop
via papercutsbyjoe
via linedraw
Anywho. That's all the angry I can deal with on a Friday. 
Have a good weekend and Be Safe!