Meanwhile, joy of joys it's Saturday! I intend to hunker down to some non-stop drawing today and I can't wait! Fortunately the weather is very pleasant today - a reasonable 29 with a cool breeze unlike last Saturday which was an apocalypticaly (is that a word I've just made up?) dreadful 40 +!
One of the best things that has happened to me since opening a shop on Etsy has been the opportunity to meet and chat with fellow artists and creative types! Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to introduce you to these splendid people personally so you get to see their delightful work and read about their creative process and the story behind the scenes. This week it is my great honour to introduce Wendy Paula Patterson, a Sydney based artist, who has two very fine shops on Etsy: Mulberry Muse and Cafe Baudelaire. Tell us a bit about yourself. What first made you want to become an artist?
I was born in England, and immigrated to Australia with my family when I was
14 years old.I have always wanted to be an artist, no other career path was ever seriously considered.
I studied Graphic Art and Design in Adelaide and was apprenticed to one of
South Australia’s leading packaging designers,Wytt Morro & Son.Vintage graphics and packaging has always been a passion of mine although initially my ambition was to be a children’s book illustrator.
I am an avid collector of beautiful packaging.I sometimes buy a product
simply for the package it is in!Finding a vintage button card or music sheet can inspire a whole new range of designs.
I have worked as a Packaging Designer and Illustrator in Adelaide, Holland,
London and Sydney.Some years ago I began freelance illustration for a Sydney based Greeting Card Company, Phil Taylor, and I now work full time as a freelance Illustrator & Designer specialising in the greeting card industry.Using photoshop and computers to work with is a recent addition to my portfolio. I used to do everything by hand even lettering. It is so much fun to collage original work with vintage images on photoshop and I am addicted!
I am married to a wonderful man who is a scientist,but also creative,he writes amazing,funny poems,we hope to publish a book together one day.He is very good at keeping my bookwork up to date, something I dislike doing,maths being my least favourite subject!
Our children, both adults now, are very creative too and are studying graphic design.
Tabitha also has an etsy shop (Tabidesigns) and she introduced me to the amazing world of
internet shopping.Benjamin, my son, as well as being creative is a computer genius and my close technical adviser! He built my web site for me from scratch doing all of the coding himself, I am in awe...
What's it like living and working in such a creative house hold?
It is quite wonderful to be part of such a creative household. I have always been involved in art and craft, and come from a family that has strong creative genes. My grandmother made and designed formal wedding cakes and both Tabitha and I love to create something special for festive occasions. We have a photograph album dedicated to our cake extravaganzas.
When the children were small we were always doing something creative
together with craft, sewing or cooking.
We love to share ideas and gain inspiration from each other and share
similar tastes. However, life can get a bit crazy at times when we are all busy working to deadlines as we all like to work at different paces and in different ways.
When Tabitha and Benjamin were small they would complain as we dragged them
around antique shops, junk shops and markets looking for furniture and inspiration. Now they both are addicted and love vintage pieces!
We do not work well together in the same room! I am very tidy and organised and like to have 'peace and solitude", I love to listen to stories on CD as I work.Tabitha on the other hand is very untidy, fabric, thread, paint and paper scattered to every corner and loud music! Benjamin is tidy but loves his solitude also and the loud music.
Routine is not for me, I am pretty well disciplined though and always set
goals for myself to achieve each day. Ideas pop into my head at the oddest times and I feel frustrated with the need to pack and post orders when I would rather be working on a new design. With internet sales I need to be flexible and often work late in the evening.
Our timetables are all over the place with both Tabitha and Benjamin studying and working odd hours at their part time jobs. Meals are often chaotic, I eat when hungry or when I remember to!, but we all usually share our evening meal together.
Name your top 5 movies.
I have no favourite movies but I was completely absorbed by and loved the
stage shows "Les Miserable" and "Phantom of the Opera"
In ten years I'd like to be...
I have a chronic illness, ME, which is painful, debilitating and sadly very
restricting. It makes it difficult for me to work as productively as I would
like to build up my business.However, I would love to have my own bricks and mortar shop to share with Tabitha but also have more time to create without the everyday chores of running a business.I long to be able to go back to my home in England and visit Europe,especially France.I adore European history, architecture and art.I think I would love to be living in France but I need to brush up on my high school French first!
Thank you so much Wendy for such a terrific interview! The two images can be found in Wendy's beautiful Etsy shops: Mulberry Muse and Cafe Baudelaire. The photo in the middle is of Benjamin, Wendy and Tabitha - the creative team!
Happy Australia Day one and all! Today is Australia Day and that can mean only one thing - the annual NRMA antique car motor festival! The NRMA is an organisation that you can join in Australia that is a motorist's friend. It does all sorts of things but principally it is a break down service so that if your car breaks down you can ring them and they hot foot it over to you and do their level best to get your motor running - so to speak! On Australia Day there is this enormous display of every single car you can possibly imagine all buffed and pretty lined up around Hyde Park and Macquarie Street in the city. So, being Australia Day I thought what better car for my blog than the iconic Aussie FJ Holden. This car was produced by General Motors - Holden from 1953 - 1957 and was billed as the "all Australian Car". Behold! My boyfriend took a photo of the attractive car hood ornament that decorates the bonnet - an Aussie Kangaroo. Below are more FJ photos and then last of all is my ultimate dream car - a 12 cylinder Jaguar in my all time favourite colour - pale green or lavatory green as my Mother used to call it! Don't get me wrong - I'm no petrol head but if I absolutely had to buy a car, you could twist my arm into buying that lovely looking Jag!
I also couldn't resist taking a photo of one of the darling little Fiats, although this isn't a terribly good photo this little guy does have an Aussie flag. Below him is a Topolino - another sweet Italian car possibly made in the '50s too.
Now I really know that I was born to draw! If anyone can even contemplate doing absolutely anything in 40 degree heat then I think they are either bonkers or extremely dedicated to whatever it is they are doing. Hopefully I'm the later.So, here's "Love" my latest charcoal and pastel drawing that is now up in my Etsy shop.
Hope all my fellow Sydneysiders are keeping cool! Fingers crossed for an afternoon thunderstorm to break this heat!
I can't tell you how hot it is right now. It's only 7:20am but it is blast furnace hot! We had the fan on ALL NIGHT! Yet it did little to cool us down. No jolly sea breeze, nothing but beating sun. I think the ice cube tray is going to get a work out today!
I've got a terrific book that I take out and gaze at lovingly about once every couple of months. It's a reference and history book called Euro Deco. It is, as you might have guessed, full of German, French, Spanish, British and Dutch Art Deco posters and advertisements from the 1920s to 1940s. I just can't get enough of good Art Deco design! It's so clean and stylish and daring! Above is a 1933 French magazine cover for "Art and Industrie" by Paule Max Ingrand. Directly below is an exceptionally attractive 1926 Italian department store advertisement by Sepo and underneath that is a 1937 underground tube advertisement by the famous British poster artist Abram Games. Aren't they smart and modern looking?
Here's Juliet - my new charcoal and pastel print. She looked kind of innocent and sweet and what with Valentine's Day fast approaching - I thought hmmmm "Juliet" why not?
Meanwhile in Sydney it was a mild day with a frisky breeze and I ate far too much chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream with my Dad. Naughty me - must go and run up and down the Woolloomoolloo stairs (there are 140 of them!) as penance for my naughtiness! I can't see that happening somehow.
I saw these very pretty lantern window displays in Paddington. They are a combination of three of my favourite things : lanterns, blue/ green and lights.
I went and saw the epic nine hour Robert Lepage play yesterday called "Lipsync". Phew! It was phenomenal and I
think I'll be processing it for weeks to come. It followed the intertwined story of nine different people and their connection to the central character who was an orphaned boy. But that doesn't really do the story justice because it's infinitely more than
that of course. It was like a finely woven basket which tied up very nicely - or tragically should I say - in the end. It was a mystery play where Lepage gave you small clues and hints as to what the final truth was. But it was done so well! What an enormous brain Lepage must have to conceive
of such a microscopically detailed and entertaining nine hour story. I was not bored for a nano second and I know the audience was fully engaged 110% for the entire duration too.
The stage sets and lighting were a wondrous thing unto themselves! The acting was very solid and everyone interacted with each other's characters seamlessly. What more can I say but that we, the entire audience lept to it's feet when it was over and gave the cast and crew a full fifteen minute cheering, whistling, hooting, clapping standing ovation. What an incredible experience it was!
Just a quick one here folks! The very lovely Gabbi of Felinofelice fame has posted some of my prints on her blog! Go have a look - and become enchanted by her gorgeous pussy cat George while you're there!