Thursday, July 24, 2014


a couple of photo works that i submitted for the hand magazine. one was published. they were originally taken using a diana camera, which i'd modified to take 35mm film. i didn't do a brilliant job of that, as the light leaking wiped out most of the roll. a few shots were usable, though. by way of explanation, here's what i wrote for the hand magazine...

"When I was a student studying darkroom photography, I could never get the perfect print my tutors were always after. In the end, I realised that I just wasn't obsessive enough about the state of my negatives to do so. So I began to use my limitations as the feature of the work - drawing on the negatives, sandwiching scratched negatives together, exposing different areas for different times, putting my fingers all over the negatives and prints, all the things I wasn't supposed to do. I enjoyed it so much more, the results were so much better, and each print become an unrepeatable one-off. Embrace your weakness."

Beach A
Silver gelatin print - Photographed with Diana F+, modified for 35mm negative
298mm x 238mm

Beach B
Silver gelatin print - Photographed with Diana F+, modified for 35mm negative
300mm x 239mm

Original, one-off prints - AU$50 each (contact for details)

Sunday, June 1, 2014


after enjoying playing around using pole posters as the raw material, i thought i'd do another, so went for a portrait of sam, the other half of boom blip blip.

paper collage on cardboard
78cm x 102cm
(contact for details)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

self portrait 2012

i've always had a liking for the telegraph pole posters used to advertise gigs. i had an idea to use these as collage material. so, using the same ideas as with the painting portraits i've been doing for a while - simplified tone etc - i put the posters to use. this is a self-portrait that i completed to use as part of an exhibition i did with sam lee in our guise as boom blip blip. i did my self portrait, she did hers, then we did portraits of people we both knew, collaborating to different levels on each one. for more details on the other works and the actual exhibition, head across to the boom blip blip website (

self portrait 2012
paper collage on cardboard
100cm x 100cm

Thursday, April 7, 2011

orange gradient no.11 - leigh sales/blue

having started to paint leigh sales just over 2 years ago for the archibald prize, i finally got around to choosing one to enter this year. i started 3 paintings altogether, but only finished 2 of them. this is the one i ended up submitting, which was actually the second of the three paintings i did. it was not selected for inclusion in the art gallery of nsw.

leigh sales/blue

orange gradient no. 11 - leigh sales/blue
acrylic on canvas
72cm x 104cm

this is the other one which was completed, but not submitted. it was actually the last one to be painted.

leigh sales/keeping a straight face

orange gradient no. 12 - leigh sales/keeping a straight face
acrylic on board
140cm x 140cm
march 2011

Friday, October 22, 2010

the scream

has it really been a whole year since i posted something here? i'm so sorry. i have been doing stuff. just not posting it. oh well. i shall pick up where i left the blacktown city art exhibition.

this year i entered two paintings. one was a portrait of æowyn in a similar style to the one of imojjen from last year (i actually started the æowyn one first, but only just finished it this year). it was rejected. the other one was this, called 'the scream'. the basic premise is that language is being dumbed down and impersonalised through the use of txting and msging, why not try the same with images? so it's münch for the emoticon generation.

the first image is a close-up, the second in-situ at the blacktown city art gallery, to give an idea of the scale. the guy in the photo is my dad.

acrylic on unprimed canvas.
80cm x 80cm
september 2010

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

orange gradient no. 9 - imojjen

they accepted one of my paintings for the blacktown city art exhibition this year (though they did reject the one just below - the word became flesh). anyway, this is the painting in the gallery, and a shot of the painting with my model for the image. they even chose to reproduce my painting in the catalogue, which i'm very excited about. i put a price tag on it which i hoped meant that no-one would buy it, as it is a painting of my daughter which i wouldn't mind keeping, but deep down i think it would be nice if someone bought it. i can always paint another portrait of imojjen.

the painting itself was done on a recycled canvas. i like using canvases that students have already worked on and then decided they don't want anymore, as there are built in texture layers ready to go. anyway, this particular one came complete with a nice big tear, so i stuck a new patch of canvas on it to cover it (you can see it sort of top left of the painting). the image comes from a photo bec took in january, which i manipulated in photoshop to get down to 4 or 5 shades. i then painted this onto the canvas. i started by using a projector, which almost helped for the main, basic outline, but proved pretty useless overall, meaning that all the different tones, inspite of appearances, had to be copied the old fashioned way - by looking and drawing.

Friday, September 4, 2009

the word became flesh

a piece of recycled board had some orange, red and cream paint applied, then layers upon layer of text written in mostly chalk pastels. this was built up for a while, focusing on composing the colour areas. then the white was added using liquid paper. all the text is the title repeated over and over.

the top image is the whole work. the lower two are close up sections.

this work was specifically created for the blactown art show, 2009.

collage, acrylic, chalk pastel, liquid paper, pva glue on chipboard.
august/september 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

peter lawrence

this painting was created at my school's 'big night out' (a kind of expo thing where people come and watch music and drama, visit classrooms, eat food etc etc) in 2007. we set the art room up as a studio with a bunch of students at easels around peter lawrence, one of the school's longest serving staff members (and my english teacher when i was a high school student). we had a bit over an hour to create a work. i had a blank yellowish canvas with lots of textured stuff on it, which i worked the face onto, then varnished at the end. only having that short amount of time means it's very impressionistic, just blocks of tone, really, but it has a nice looseness and directness. the varnish also stripped some of the paint off the textured areas which was quite nice.

the artwork now resides with peter lawrence.

35x52cm. acrylic, pencil, collage and varnish on canvas.
september 2007

Monday, February 16, 2009

20th - january 2009

on the 20th of every month, the fine folk at cabinet pin encourage musicians to write and record an song/piece of music, complete in one day without any forethought or post-editing. all the artists then send their contributions in and they are compiled onto a limited edition cd-r. the only way to get a copy of it is to be a contributor. it's an excellent way to stimulate musical creativity. the artwork is also great and is done by a rotating roster of folk. i've had the honour of doing the artwork for a couple of these now - the latest being january 2009. i basically took some pages out of an old ubd sydney street directory, stuck them to some a4 pages for extra thickness, than ran those through a photocopier which printed the text in black. i then folded and sewed them up and this is the end result.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

sketchbook - george

one of my favourite sydney bands going around at the moment is seekae. this is george from seekae, taken from a photo of him in the studio recording their first album. again, it's a scribble sketch, completely in pen, so some things haven't actually worked true to george's actual face, but working in pen, they can't be changed. however, unless you know him really well, you hopefully won't notice!

Friday, January 2, 2009

orange gradients

the first in a (probably) ongoing series of abstract paintings featuring a linear grid of a red to yellow gradient. each has layers and layers of acrylic, aerosol, varnish, collage and anything else i came across, which were then overpainted with thin layers of creamish colours, then finished with the gradient. each are available to purchase - just e-mail me if you are interested.

gradient 3

gradient 2

gradient 1

paintings $100 each

Thursday, November 27, 2008

sketchbook drawings

some sketches from a new sketchbook - my daughter aeowyn gave it to me for my birthday - it has the very hungry caterpillar on the cover. the sketches are all done in biro without any pencil working out. i like the discipline working with biro makes. you have no way of correcting mistakes, so they have to become part of the final image. so mostly i just scribble for a couple of hours for each one, gradually building up the tone. but, if you look close, it is all ultimately just scribbling!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

carlos barrios

in late 2006 i met the painter carlos barrios. looking for a subject for the archibald, i thought he would be perfect - he's been hung in the sulman and blake prizes on a few different occassions, as well as a bunch of successful solo and group shows. and he's a great guy. i'd been wanting to do a life-size portrait on a large, blank canvas for quite some time. i painted 3 paintings of carlos but this was the one i chose to enter, and it uses that blankness. it's not completely blank - i first copied a large amount of imagery off a variety of carlos' paintings, plus stencilled specific spanish words that are relevant to his life and work. i then painted over all that with layer after of thinned out white acrylic. that was the longest part of the process with a balance needing to be made between making blank space but still allowing the underpainting to show through up close.

a detail of the face -

carlos' face on this painting is exactly life size. the entire work is 180x120cm.

to take apart to put back together (dr alfred j. coren)

my second go at the archibald. in september of 2004 i had a futsal accident, where a knee smashed my cheekbone. to put it all back together, the surgeon, dr alfred coren, cut from the top of one of my ears, across the top of my head, down through the other ear, then peeled the skin off my face, in order to repair everything without leaving huge scars across my face. and he did an excellent job. in the time i spent with him around then, i learned that he is actually one of the foremost surgeons in his area of expertise (crano-facial reconstruction). i put what he did together with renaissance ideas of image construction. the mona lisa was painted layer by layer - bones, muscle, skin, clothing, as da vinci felt you can't accurately represent an object (in this case human) if you're only painting the surface. i thought that was a similar idea to how the surgeon worked, and also my own style of layering texture up before sitting an image on top. so there's photocopies scans of my smashed face, facial diagrams etc, underneath the final layers of surface image. i also made a feature of his hands, for obvious reasons. and the work is exactly the same dimensions as the mona lisa - 53 x 76cm.

yellow drummer (andy rantzen)

since this is a new blog and i have old work as well, i thought i might start slowly uploading some of it, even though it's not brand new. so to start, the archibald prize. i've entered three times now, though i've never been chosen to be hung. i have neither the name myself, nor the access to high profile sitters that guarantee you a place, but i do like entering anyway as it's a good discipline with deadlines etc etc. so...

my first entry was andy rantzen (he of itch-e & scratch-e fame, most famously, though he's done lots of other brilliant stuff, but it is itch-e and scratch-e that qualifies him as a person of note in his field). this work now sits on my studio wall, and i still quite like it. i was going through a thing with blurred computer graphics at the time, and was wishing to paint that. so the background of this is blurred computer graphics. the actual face is also supposed to be blurred, but that's quite hard to do - i think i nearly succeeded, but not quite.

the image is 130x130cm (i was inspired by the secessionists' use of square canvases at the time, which also reflected one of my favourite design spaces - the album cover).

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Cure - 17 Seconds, Neu! - Neu! '75

The first two Bootlegs photographed in their jewel cases. See below for details.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A.J.E. Bootlegs Artist Statement

Statement submitted with the following two artworks for the Art Groupie exhibition, September 2008:

When I was a teenager, cassettes were the way to build a collection on a budget. Countless C-90s and C-60s were amassed, copied from friends' copies. I always liked to make my own tape covers, religiously hand copying the fonts from the originals. It was the beginning of an obsession with music packaging, which has grown into a significant factor of my own music – both as a musician and in running a microlabel. In part this collection is an homage to my youth.

There is currently great debate about the ethics of digital music distribution. I'm keen to be a part of that debate. The plan is to hand draw my favourite 100 albums which I own. These are the first two in that project. Their number reflects their current position in my top 100 list. As it stands, under current Australian law, these copies are not illegal as I own the original CDs and still own these copies. However, as soon as you decide to purchase one, they will become technically illegal. But, of course, music piracy has many shades of grey – I would assume you won't be buying one of these because you want to own a CD-R copy of the album – it would be much cheaper and easier to head to JB-HiFi or i-Tunes, or switch on your copy of Limewire. You will be buying an idea, plus a little bit of my nostalgia and musical taste, and I'm not quite sure where the law stands on that.

A.J.E. Bootleg #81

The Cure's Seventeen Seconds

pencil on paper
24.2cm x 12.1cm

pencil on paper
24.2cm x 12.1cm

felt tip pen on cd-r
12cm diameter

pencil on paper
15.1cm x 12.1cm

all packaged in plastic jewel case

A.J.E. Bootleg #43

Art Groupie Number 2 opens in two weeks' time and both David and I have work going in. I have submitted the first two of my A.J.E. Bootlegs. Here's the first, Neu!'s Neu! 75:

pencil on paper
48.4cm x 24.2cm

pencil on paper
48.4cm x 24.2cm

felt tip pen on cd-r
12cm diameter

pencil on paper
15.1cm x 12.1cm

all packaged in plastic jewel case

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

self portrait 2008

i had an abstract orange painting. i was interested in david salle, so added a white strip. i always intended to add a portrait, just never worked out who. with a two week deadline looming for the blactown art show, I figured every artist has to do a self portrait at some stage, so here it is.

self portrait 2008
acrylic on canvas
with pencil, biro, enamel, pva glue, varnish and collage
80cm x 100cm

post script - i just got the details back - the painting was rejected for the blacktown art show.