31 Oct 2014

Why yes, I am an Aussie that likes Halloween

So a trend that I have noticed...
Parents and adults in Australia don't like Halloween because it is 'American' and the kids eat too much candy (to which I would like to point out - they do that everyday. I know because I was a kid once). And my room-mate is on their side saying it is a stupid 'American' tradition and shouldn't be encouraged in Australia.

So, I am that strange Aussie that actually enjoys it. And here is why

1) CANDY! After Easter Sunday, it is the next biggest intake of chocolate and all things sugar.

2) Outfits are awesome! Face it, there really isn't that many excuses to dress up to either scare people or show-off.

3) THIS! Which was horrifying at the time for me, but I love it. Love it, love it, love it. Go watch it, or listen to the soundtrack - it's a win either way for you.

4) Scaring people - A slightly sadistic reason, but once in a while IT IS fun to scare people

5) It seems that many of the cultures around the world and across human history have celebrated the dead and departed souls. I have a love for all these festivals! The colour of Day of the Dead especially.

So whether it is All Hallow Eve, Halloween, All Souls Day - whatever you want to call it, there is always something fun to do or see when there is a festival on, so why be so against one because of how it has been developed in a one particular country? Australian's can put their own stamp on the night as well - we have so many terrible ghost stories in Brisbane alone and look at the Australian Aboriginal to find some of the most scarist spirits and creatures around.

Dress up as a Drop Bear! Wail like a Bunyip! Stomp around and jump out like the Yowie!

But if people are anything like my room-mate, they won't stop whingeing until the whole thing is over.

So here is some stuff I did today, 'cause tomorrow I need to start studying for my exams.

First off...!

Mortica, Wednesday and Marie Antoinette.
For something spook-tacular. I have actually watched some of the old 1960s episodes in the past few days. I can't use watercolours to save my picture at all.

I also went shopping today. Dad would laugh, and Owen certainly rolled his eyes when he looked through the bag. Dolls. I bought Monster High dolls.

The two on the left (Spider and Centaur/Harpy) are the new ones. I also bought one for Mum, but that is staying in the parcel until she gets it.

I also went into Uni to a pop-up exhibition at the Antiquities Museum about Curiousity Cabinets done by some of the students/interns from one of my Classes. It was good, and I saw some of my other Uni-mates. I also had Owen with me, who was clearly out of his depth (and only sticking around because I said he could have the candy I left out for trick-or-treaters when we got back and he wore the witch hat). But he did well.

So here is one embarrassing picture from his candy 'haul'.

Look! He did wear the hat. Watching QI and eating a Wizz Fizz. Wait, are Wizz Fizz's eaten or just absorbed?
He is going to kill me after he sees this.

So, now Beetlejuice is on. And I haven't seen it yet, so if you excuse me, my Halloween is just getting started (and Owen has left the candy on the table - so it's mine now).

Happy Hallow's Eve and All Souls Day everyone! Have a great day and spooky night!

11 Oct 2014

A Studio Ghibli Showcase

How is everyone going today?

I took Mitch and Owen to the cinemas today. They were playing a few Studio Ghibli movies and two documentaries. While Studio Ghibli is most renowned for Hayao Miyazaki films (like 'Princess Mononoke', 'Laputa Castle in the Sky', 'Spirited Away' etc) there are other movies. So on the agenda today was 'The Wind Rises' and 'The Tale of the Princess Kaguya'.

Both movies are around 2 hours each, but it wasn't a Lord of the Rings 3 hour movie or marathon, so that is always a plus.

I liked both of them, had to cover my eyes in 'The Wind Rises' a handful of times (look, I just do not like romance - of any kind), but I really did love the style of 'The Tale of the Princess Kaguya' even though it had a downer ending. It was very amusing close to the end of the movie when I looked over at Owen and asked if he was going to complain about the lack of gravity. He didn't because gravity started to work again, then... His face fell as me and Mitch laughed.

It was a good day, and I left feeling drained as well as a little bit upset. 1) That no matter what I can do, there will always be someone better. 2) Why can I never write a piece of music that I am happy with (this thought came about as I remembered just how extensive the movie composer's repertoire is).

Mum is not allowed to say anything about anything else - she knows a third reason, but she is only allowed to reply to the two on here

Still a wonderful day that I got to spend with friends, but I am a bit tired, and I should be doing work. I'm not going to, I'm just going to work on a side project for a little bit.

So what are your favourite Studio Ghibli movies? Have you seen them before? Do you have another favourite foreign film? Mine is 'Library Wars', but I'm completely bias with that.

Have a fantastic day everyone!

4 Oct 2014

Life is...

Busy, busy, busy.
Sleep, oversleep.

So I have been incredibly slack with work. I'm meant to be writing an essay on the Reneissance debate of Disegno (that Vasari praised highly in Florentine artists, mostly Michelangelo) and Colore (which Dolce and other Venetian humanists valued in art). A week ago, I was in the newly finished driftwood studio painting with Mum when Dad came in and we talked about the topic. More about how we should be grateful to the debate between these 16th Century artists and writers because it provides us with an insight into the process of creating art as well as what particular audiences valued.

Naturally, I believe art should have elements of both (and most art do). Anyway, as I said I was painting with Mum. I had drawn/designed an image in my idea book that I had wanted to paint. With my book in hand, I grabbed two canvas and applied paint. And then it was a process of me matching the image 'correctly' and fixing all my mistakes (much to Mum's annoance when I started to sigh or groan - but I am a perfectionist)

SO! Here are the pictures of the finished product.

So this looks a bit weird to me...

Ah, much better! I kept the backgrounds plain because I was too afraid that I would screw up the painting.

Life is Fun & Colourful
Life is Boring & Monochrome

In case it is hard to tell, I have two opposing views on life...

1) I enjoy life and most of the people in it for giving this small world a huge variety of ideas/inspiration/colour

2) I dislike life (hate is too strong a word) and the idiots in it that take away the variety and spice that makes the world alive.

It is rather funny, out of me and Trin, I'm the happier one yet I have the bleakest outlook on life and expect the worse in people (as well as understand some of the underlying principles that govern politics and people). While Trin is angry and upset a lot of the time recently, she has a bright outlook, seems (to me) to be very naive when it comes to the world and expects everyone to be 'good'.

We fight a lot nowadays and I don't think she likes it when I'm around.

Anyway! Like the painting? I better get back to cleaning my room so that I can then start on Vasari and Dolce and Michelangelo and Titan and some-other-dude-whose-name-I-have-forgotten. ... Busy, busy, busy!

Have a wonderful day everyone! I hope you all see that bright side of life!

P.S. Happy (Very Late) Belated Birthday Stacy! Hope you had a great day!
P.P.S. I totally did not mean to slightly reference Monty Python. But since I did...

12 Aug 2014

I think I broke my back!

Hello everyone!

Long time no see (Yes I can see you through the computer screen - especially if your computer has a camera attached). Sorry for the dramatic title, but I don't think my back is in that state.


I have been lugging thick textbooks for an essay on proto-Medieval museums around the whole day though. This is including going from Uni to the State Library, then back to Uni (to drop off documents for the Writers Club), then back to the State Library (with a side trip into the Museum because I don't care how heavy my bag, is I will go) then back to the train station and a 800m up-down-uphill walk. So... around 4 hours.

Yes! So I have been really slack, but since everything is happening for me this week, I thought I should post as a update - and go see everyone else to apologise for being lazy.

Well, first off, as I said above (and maybe before) I am part of my University's Writers Club and we just started up a magazine to celebrate writing (and poke fun at things) called Scribble & Scribe - because that is really what most of us do. We use both real names and fake names (such as Henry the Goat who complained about Loud Larry from tutorials) and have a wide range of stories and features like various stories, food (for a Uni student's budget), horoscopes (which you should always follow) and dating advice (Most common was 'BURN IT ALL', but that may have been an overeaction). And, oh yeah. I did a comic for it.

Well I laughed at least.

I better get back to reading for the essay (and probably my debate on Divination). It's the EKKA public holiday tomorrow, but I will be going on Friday instead with my lovely sister instead. And after I move houses.


Lots of work to do.

Anyway, hope you all have a fantastic and wonderful day!

27 Feb 2014

Oh for the LOVE of-!

What day is it?
February 20th? No? 27th?! This is what happens when I don't check the date. And get busy...

Well, Uni starts next week, and I am very happy to be going back. Breaks are great and all, but you need stuff to do (besides work). I didn't get around to doing half the stuff that I wanted to though... So I guess that will be weekends!

The last face I did was Day 18, so I am 9 faces behind. Sorry, I'm Captain Obvious today. Mentally drained. Not drained enough to set up a tripod and do some art.

I did have a camera set up and recording the making of this one, but the camera turned off and the file was lost.

Robyn pre-hair cut. Stubborn and stand-off, she misses the time her little siblings idolised her.
Now, for something a little bit different... Inspired by AlayaArt - the wonderful creator and host of the 29 faces challenge - I recorded myself drawing Robyn (and the Green Dude below). It was a little bit weird watching it back, mostly because I watch it in real-time without the action replay. Mum made a comment once that I had gotten quicker at drawing - and it is true, from taking 40 minutes to draw one face (perfectionist remember?) I now take between 10-15 minutes.

Anyway, if you want to watch, feel free. Music comes from the Cirque De Soleil performance that I went to 1.5 years ago. (on a quick side note - that feels like a lifetime ago)

I tried the crayons Mum had used for some of her faces. The default colour that I choose is green almost every time - probably because it is my favourite colour
And another video. Just because I had it.

So days 19, 20 and 21: Done! That's it! No one talk to me about my slackness in this challenge. I already punish myself enough for that.
I have more faces that I have done (and I was meant to post those first) but someone wiped the memory card so I need to retake the pictures.

Anyway, have a wonderful day everyone!

Oh, there is something else. A preview for the next face. Maybe, it will probably be done in March.

And there is a perfectly reasonable explanation to why I have a baby name book. It was 10 cents and I like names.

20 Feb 2014

Withdrawal symptoms and a face

Hi all!
How is everyone going with the 29 faces challenge? Getting through it?

Work is eating all my spare time and very tiring - Murphy's Law was in full effect today
And also, one of my manga series is being borrowed by a friend. I had a dream that I was hunting demons down and was talking to characters in the series. I prefer to read rather than watch the anime (and then I still prefer a physical copy rather than read via the Internet), and ALL 10 VOLUMES ARE BEING LOANED!! The good news I know why my friend lives, so if it gets really bad (like two months from now and I still don't have the collection back in my hands) I can go to his house and get it back.
Maybe grab some old-school Doctor Who while I'm at it.

Anyway, face for Day 18. Inspired by the series Blue Exorcist by Kazue Katō, because it has cool art, I like the story, and it is always funny when the son of Satan gets friend-zoned. Ha!

There is no shading, it was just a quick drawing to get some stress out. I am most proud of the sleeping hobgoblin and the emblem on the vest. I suck at backgrounds...

The sketch I did at work, that brief moment that is lunch. As you can see, I did not deviate much (if at all) from the original.

I might put on the other arm guard later.
Day 18: Completed! Only two-three days behind now!
I'm hoping to get to an art historian talk on Manet tomorrow in Brisbane, so I have to make a decision in the morning. And to deal with the withdrawal of manga, I am watching 'Whose Line Is It Anyway' - yeah, either way, both waste time (although lower stress levels back to normal)!

Anyway, have a wonderful day everyone! Remember to visit everyone else in the challenge!

18 Feb 2014

Celebrating half a century and 150 years!

No, I am not turning 50, or 150. Rather, Dad has hit the 50 milestone and despite his protests about it, I used logic and beat him into at least acknowledging it. The logic that I used was "But Dad, in cricket you cheer if someone gets half a century. That just takes 1 day, it takes 50 years for everyone else to reach that mark."
While using that argument (I use that term in the way it's used for writing an essay), Dad was listening to the cricket match - So there really wasn't any good comeback. The letter I left for him on his present today was "Because you have to celebrate when someone hits 50".

BUT!! Dad shares his birthday with the great Banjo Paterson. If you have never heard of him (and most probably haven't), you might know this instead...
The unofficial Australian national anthem - Waltzing Matilda

Or maybe...

The Man from Snowy River - featuring footage from the movie with the same name

And then there is

Hehehe! A Bush Christening

Yes, Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson has a long rap sheet (compared to some), but I know him best as a poet about the Australian bush. You could go into the whole debate about his 'romantic' bush and Henry Lawson's 'dangerous' bush, but I think the argument is invalid because both a true (in a way) and I don't particularly care. I prefer Banjo Paterson's poetry. And here's why;

In our family, Mum's dad (so my Pop - although I never got to meet him) was fan of Banjo Paterson's work and could recite all of the poems by heart. So Mum did read them to us when we were younger, although Trin and I never really did understand what was going on (although we did like them). Now that I'm old enough, and have done an art history course (in which the Australian art and the themes around it were briefly visited) I can understand why the poems are so important to an identity and culture (even though I live on the coast and not in the bush).

Of course I'm not an expert - other people are - but I can just understand it. It's funny how much I learn when I read for enjoyment or to research deeper. And so that is my scholar reasoning to why I like them, my emotional side is that the poems have sentimental value to Mum and me, and to put it simply, I just really like the poems. I haven't read all of them, but one day I will.

Mum's copy has her father's name in it, and no cover so it's very carefully handled.

So, in honour of Banjo Paterson's 150th Birthday (and Dad's) here is the face for Day 17 2014!

A bit hot isn't it? I suck at backgrounds. Anyway, Mum did the hand and then I turned my back for two seconds and BAM! There's a horse and jockey.

Day 17:*Wipe sweat from brow* Whew, I was starting to run low on ideas! Well, there's always tomorrow...
And hey, if any of you guys are interested in some of the other Banjo poems here's a link to Australian Geographic's Top 10.

Yikes! That was a longer post than I thought it would be! Well, have a wonderful day everyone!

12 Feb 2014

QUICK! Before I get caught!

I have to get up early in the morning. It will take all my willpower and several alarms. Mum told me to bed 40 minutes ago. But I'm so far behind in the challenge, I just needed to do ONE face. So I cranked this one out.

His name is Hyde, and he has appeared (not as a fully developed character mind you) on this blog before. Damn! I forgot to 'whiten' the eye! I knew it! I knew I forgot something

Day... 10: Complete!
Thanks everyone and I hope you all have a wonderful day (or night)!

9 Feb 2014

New things

How is everyone?

According to some people, they are always surprised with the things I do. I have lived a sheltered life (as Dad will often point out) but sometimes I do things that are way out of my comfort zone. From my schooling days people were surprised when I volunteer for things that I wouldn't be able to do normally, speak my mind and make a huge teenage rugby player back down. I generally put it down to my ability to remember many details and adapt to situations - Being left overseas has helped with both of those skills.

Anyway, the point is that I attempt a lot of things, I don't always succeed (in fact, I'm lucky if I do), I just enjoy a variety of things. That said I will not sit through a zombie film. I don't care what the setting is, if someone is infected, they become aggressive/violent, skin changes colour, the infection passes onto other people and can only be killed with a bashed in head, then it is a ZOMBIE!
Sorry, Mum and Dad had me sit and watch a sci-fi movie, but as soon as the zombies appeared (Dad insists that they were zombie-like but there is no difference) I immediately went "Nope, not watching this", so I put on headphones and played a game.

Where was I again? Oh yeah, so I tried to do something different for the faces today. First off, they are both ACEOs - something that I haven't done for a very long time. One of them is incomplete and I plan to try out some water colour techniques, the other took 3+ hours to do. Luckily I had something to listen to while doing so.

Pointillism inspired and a bit of Colour Field. I liked trying out the technique, although I had no idea what I was painting in while doing it!

It was a overcast day here and raining in the morning. I could tell - besides hearing the rain my hair was curly.
Day 8 and 9: Mission accomplished!
Have a wonderful day everyone!

P.S. I finished the Professor Layton game yesterday and burst out into tears. Mum started to laugh at me, but she is a sympathetic crier and so we were both crying. And laughing at how hopeless the both of us are.

7 Feb 2014

Puzzle solved!


So I realised I am a two days behind. And I have a perfectly reasonable excuse (almost as good as Mum's). I've been busy.

Very busy.
Solving puzzles...
It just happens ok? And it's always "Oh, I'll just finish this puzzle and then go to bed" but NO! That never happens! 


So, yeah... I've been playing the Professor Layton games for a long time. Originally I thought it was a stupid idea for a game (really, Brainteasers?), but someone gave me the game as a present many years ago (2008 - That's six years ago!) and I've been playing it ever since. Me and Mum sometimes sit up at the bench, a 3DS and a DS in hand and solve puzzles. Occasionally switching when we get stuck on one.
Anyway, I'm playing the last game right now, and I'm making it last as long as I possibly can. It's really testing my willpower.

And here are the faces for days 6 and 7!
I call it "I Found Another One!"

It is a little known fact that puzzles hide in bushes like wild Pokemon. I plan to eventually colour the picture (and draw the hands), but I'm happy with this right now.
Oh! The character at the front is Luke Triton and of course, the Professor is up the back.
Day 6 and 7: A true gentle(wo)man leaves no face undone!
One day, I'm going to get into trouble doing things like that... *Sigh*

Well, have a wonderful day everyone!

P.S. This is how I felt when I suggested drawing Professor Layton and Luke as catch-up to Mum and she said it was like solving a puzzle.

3 Feb 2014

Don't Draw and be Angry

Hello all!

I had a pretty decent day. Until after dinner where someone *coughDadcough* made a comment and I turned sour.
So, I did not feel like drawing anything. At all. It was all horrible and wrong.

So here is the face that came out of that bad mood.

I'm pretty sure I saw a picture like this. Donald Duck? Scrooge? Daffy Duck? I forgot, but it seems awfully familiar to me
Day 3: Completed!
Have a fantastic day everyone!

2 Feb 2014

A quick face

Hello all!

Had a chaotic day with train lines being repaired and having to bus back (thank goodness Translink - the transport company in Queensland - had express buses). A lot of waiting at the train station.
Got home had a tea with Trin and talked to Mum at the bench, dinner, then Trin dragged me off to watch 'Frozen' with her.
I liked it.

I'm going to post some of the photos from the New Lunar Year festival tomorrow with a face.

Anyway, the quality of today's face is lower (like really low) compared to the animation yesterday. I drew it on the back of a newspaper while waiting.

What?! I was desperate!
I'm sorry! I took the photo on my phone, and it's a really small picture, and it had this weight loss ad so I cut that out... Anyway, meet - uh - Michel. (Yeah, that works)

Day 2: Done. It was inspired by one of the women that passed by.
 Sorry about disappointing all you nice visitors after all the nice comments on the first face. Regrettably, I will not be doing cartoons everyday, but maybe a few small ones here and there.
Have a wonderful day everyone!

11 Jan 2014

2013 Retrospective: Part 1

Happy (Late) New Year everyone! It's been busy here already... On the first day of the new year, Trinity single-handedly (its a word, I checked) wiped Europe an most of America off the map. In a game called 'Pandemic'. It's really fun, although to win you have to cooperate, and Trin just decided to hang out in Asia.
Trin has had guests over or going out herself every second day. I've been trying to write and draw, but thanks several things I am never able to. Mum has been busy with work. Dad had been, well, Dad. And Mum, Trin and I just had a boxing lesson yesterday. Mum almost collapsed trying to pick up a water bottle, I became light-headed, and Trin fell to the ground after half a push-up (in the first 10 minutes). And today, our muscles are killing us.

Anyway, I'm not sure what to post, since I haven't done anything. And I'm trying to do something with Mum, so instead here is some things I've been to.

1 - The EKKA 
The Ekka is a major agricultural event in Brisbane and goes for around 10 days. I went once when I was really little (before I could really make any memories) and had never been again. Until last year. As luck would have it, the University was closed for the public day and I bought myself a ticket.

A breakdown of the main events...
  • I embarrassed myself by first off, going by myself. Usually not that bothered, until I got to the flying swings and was placed with a group of three because I bought a single ticket. The group were very nice about the whole thing
  • Dagwood Dogs!! I don't think anyone could really understand what's so good about them (calourie-wise it's nothing), but I like them. I was fairly obsessed with eating them there mostly because it would be another year before I eat them again.
  • Animals!! Lots and lots and lots. And somewhere in the petting area a virus mutated and infected all the little kids and their parents. It's a good thing I stayed away from that area (it was very crowded). I did go see the dogs and play with the Greyhounds. I totally blame Mum for my love of them (and all animals).
  • Rides! I love rides. Here are some videos of them.

 *Cough* Moving on
  • I got a Kewpie doll! Ok, it's plastic, but I love them! It also reminds me of a favourite Australian play of mine - 'The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll' (Don't watch the English movie, they screw up the ending).
  • The events, there was an Livestock show, which I didn't see because I was busy watching a Horseshoe Making competition. And eating my lunch. In the shade. 'Cause I was badly sunburnt an hour and half into the day. *Sigh*
  • Ok, so lots of things happened, but at the end...

The show went for 20-30 minutes. I recorded all of it. It was AWESOME!
Unfortunately I can't upload big files, so here's the start of it!

2 - Volunteering at the Anthropology Museum
  • The Antiques Museum has a list running out the door on people who want to volunteer but can't due to numbers. On the floor below, is the hardly visited Anthropology Museum. All 5 volunteers are girls. We work under Kiri (who is from Papua New Guinea if I remember correctly)  in cataloging and checking all the wonderful items. I normally work with Janine, a journalist student from Germany (apparently I'm the first person to say her name correctly). However the last time I was in there which was just after Uni finished, it was just me and Kiri. And there was something really interesting in that area...
"Hey Kiri, why are there shoes in the list?"
"Ah, those are black magic shoes. A group that wanted someone dead would call the Kurdaitcha - magic men. They were avoided by people and because of what they do, their shoes are made out of emu feathers so they don't make a sound and are considered taboo, filled with black magic."
I was told to avoid that shelf, but mark it for Kiri to do (and there is a really cool reason for that, but this post is already too long so I'll save it for another time). I have seen many wondrous things from musical instruments, art, decorative masks, stone tools, shell jewellery to - uh... - pubic covers. It really is a lot of fun.
3 - Passed my first year of University
  • So I must be doing something right. Albeit I have suffered several huge blows to self-confidence and have yet to recover completely from them. I had fun though. I got lots of ideas and knowledge and I'm loving it. Most of it anyway...

OK, so, yeah. Part 1. Sorry about this. I just really don't have anything ready to post.

Anyway, have a fantastic day everyone! Hope the firework brought a smile to your face (or maybe the thought of me staring a pubic covers having no idea what they were or what gender they were for - That thought worries Dad). Haha!