Friday, 1 September 2017

Wearable Art Wooooooowwww!!

Above: Practice painting, gridded up from original design
Below:Photoshop design

Of course, I am wearing the
regulation closed-in shoes and
high-vis vest. Not.
Day 1: On arrival at my Traffic Signal Box (TSB), I was a little daunted, but busied myself with setting up my work area including drop sheets, and foldable traffic cones. I really appreciated having my practice painting with me. Not only was it a great reference point for me, one that was large and wouldn't blow away, but I think it was a great help in showing people what my plans were, and engaging them from the start of the process.  After two coats of undercoat, I was able to grid up the box as per my practice work, although the measurements were a bit out from the template - I wish I had done an actual measurement of the box, and converted my grid measurements prior to being on site!

When I started to block in some colours, I found that the brushes I had bought for the job were horribly scratchy, and I that I could not mix purple out of the supplied reds and blues for love nor money - only a murky grey lavender!
Day 2: After an early start to go via Bunnings and pick up some sneaky purple paint, I was disappointed that the Bunnings Breakfast (sausage sizzle) has not even started - I was counting on that!! Much public appreciation with doots and thumbs up, and a lovely man pulls up, introduces himself, and offers his donation to the arts - $50. I was overwhelmed. That will go towards replacing some of my good brushes that I brought today - thank you sir! I packed up early, fearing rain, but was also exhausted by the wind and blinded by the sun. Whilst waiting for pick up, I choked on a tin of tuna, and enjoyed a wee bag of chips from a lovely Indian lady whose child's birthday it was, so she had many treats on board!
Day 3:  Saturday - a very productive and lovely day, but afterwards,  I crashed out on the couch in the afternoon for a few hours!! The paint is really sticky and dries so quickly on the palette, even though I put only a little out at a time. Because I paint by mixing colours on the brush a lot - I need a bit of every colour, then struggle to use it all up in time, but do my best to make sure the majority gets on the box as at least an under-colour!
Day 4: Monday, was the longest stint of painting, from 8-4, but I took some proper breaks, which made a difference. ! One bus driver stopped at the lights opened his door, dashed over to stand in it, and say how great it is. I enjoyed a mime with another, who gave me smiles and thumbs up etc, and I mimed how tired I was, and he reciprocated. I feel very much a part of the BCC community! Two children, a brother and sister, who I have seen several times before, are amazed at todays progress, say it's very pretty, and he marvels at the small eyes I have put on my figure - unlike all the massive doll-like eyes usually seen - interesting.

Day 5: Friday - just the finishing touches today, and the signature. A fellow TSB painter - or perhaps I should say alumni, after 20+ boxes - stops to compliment my work and chat. More waves from BCC bus drivers! Finally I finish, and sign the box as StudioSvenja, so any interest can be directed here. It's been a great experience, and a valuable extension of my practice.

Wearable Art Woooooow draws on experiences in the local area. For many years I have studied fashion at the TAFE college just up the hill. On a study tour to Japan where we participated in an illustration class at BUNKA College, I designed the front wearable art piece, based on siamese fighting fish. On the back of the box is imagery from my entry into the 2017 Wearable Art Mandurah competition, which had an Oceania theme, and featured shibori shaping. On one side of the box is our beloved cat Mishka, who spent many a night (and Daddy spent many a dollar!) at the Creek Road cat Clinic. He also had a very distinctive meow, which was a very piercing WOOOOOOWWWWW!!


  1. Stunning.. looks like a big beautifully wrapped present!