Virginia Woolf portrait

Oh, those sad and weary eyes break my heart. A very short but poignant quote of hers that I like to remind myself of from time to time:

You cannot find peace by avoiding life.


So it goes


As someone still swimming around in grief, I found comfort in reading Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut (possibly my third reading?). I find this particular paragraph from the book to be quite softening for me:

“The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is “so it goes.” “

I made this painterly caricature tribute to Vonnegut. I wish I could send it to him, apparently he used to be quite warm toward his fans. But his body is in a bad condition at this moment in time.

Complete! Post Impressionist BFF’s.

Well, my painting is finished and in the mail to Illustrators Australia to be hung in their yearly 9×5 exhibition. I’ll post details about the opening night closer to the date. In the mean time, here’s my piece all colourful and finished. I used gouache which is my new favourite painting medium. I like how matte it is and how easily you can paint in layers without it getting all tacky like acrylic.


WIP: Post-Impressionist BFF’s

I’ve recently become a member of Illustrators Australia who have a yearly exhibition for their members. We’re all sent out a 9×5 plank of wood to paint on and this years theme is “Play time”. It’s taken me some time to come up with an illustration which isn’t overly obvious. But an idea came to me quite randomly while going for a walk (though this is how ideas often come to me).

I was thinking about the friendship between Van Gogh and Gauguin, how legend tells us they were rather close while also being quite argumentative. So I loved the idea of a playful illustration with Van Gogh giving Gauguin a piggy back ride. Kind of sums up a sense of closeness with a touch of antagonism. I don’t think either of them thought they were better than the other (or did they?). But it just felt right, Van Gogh’s personality considered, for him to be trudging along doing the heavy lifting, cementing his devotion to his friend.

Oh my goodness, if only my high school art teacher could see me now! I used to hate going in to detail about art theory and symbolism, but look at me go! So much nonsense over a lil illustration.

So yes, the sketch is ready, but I need to paint a background before transferring these guys. I’m thinking a rolling meadow with lots of flowers.