Art show success

I’ve recently had three artworks in the Victor Harbor Art Show, the largest show in our state I believe. There were over 1,500 paintings and the judge awarded a winner and 12 “Highly Commended” awards. This piece, “Homeless” won one of those “Highly Commended”s. I understand that it’s a fairly confronting image and highly unlikely to sell, but my aim was to tell a story with it and create an “It could happen to you too” moment. Let’s face it, with the recent devastation in Haiti and Chile, that too could happen anywhere and it’s one of my goals to educate people not to judge the homeless and disadvantaged but in fact to help and be part of the solution. I have a friend who has volunteered to teach English in Chile. Her stint was cancelled when the earthquake hit but that made her even more determined to go, and she’s there now making a difference. Congratulations to all those people who would rather help make a difference to the disadvantaged than bitch and moan about life in our own affluent societies.

Ngoma Zanga

Ngoma Zanga is a restaurant in Livingstone, Zambia, close to where Victoria Falls are. It’s billed as the best traditional African restaurant (in Livingstone? in Zambia? in Africa?). I won’t argue – I was stuffed when I left. The food was absolutely delicious. The staff all wore traditonal tribal costume and paint and one waitress in particular caught my eye. I buttered her up by saying she was the most beautiful person I had seen for ages and asked if I could take a photograph. Well, who could refuse my boyish charm?!

This is scratchboard on a 16″ x 20″ Ampersand board and though it ended well, it caused me no small amount of frustration. I tried two different styles for the skin, I kept getting the eyes offline (which looks silly if you don’t fix things) and the material took about ten attempts to get to where it is now. In fact with the material, I used sandpaper to rub ink off but I went too far so I had to re-ink with diluted Indian ink. I had to keep adding more layers and then I created the texture simply by dipping a paper towel into a strong mixture of ink and water and then dabbing it on with the paper.

Ngoma Zanga means ‘My Drum’. She could be a drummer but I named this after the restaurant as I had such a great night there and I love the traditional clothes.

The hat and beads were challenges and took a long time but I got there in the end, but with lots of patience.

Swapping art on the net

I’ve recently organised an event where 31 scratchboard artists each did a piece of art and I drew their names randomly so that they could send their piece to someone, and receive a piece from someone else. It was very successful and can be seen in this thread at Wetcanvas

My piece went to a friend in New York State and is below.

The entire piece has been scratched with the use of sandpaper and a fibreglass brush, and then coloured with watercolour