Having announced my decision to give up painting with enamel by the end of the year – a story covered nationally in the Australian press – I am now eager to complete several outstanding commissions in the medium. I've been labouring over study drawings for three more Dangerous Career Babes. A few days ago, I finished one of them. Commissioned by a prominent Sydney business-woman, The Ninja, traditionally, a shadowy figure, cloaked head-to-toe in black, is wraith-like, partly naked and wrapped in subtle shades of ivory that throw into relief the blood spray and bolt of crimson fabric that bisect the composition. In the background, rendered in matt ivory on a high-gloss ivory of the same shade, 'war' is declared in heavy gothic kanji – a reflection of both this blog's catch-cry, Art Is War, and the ruthless, cut-and-thrust reality of finance.I'm pushing myself to complete two more before the end of the month: The Stockbroker and The Roller Derby Jammer, both for collectors in Hong Kong (where so many of my recent works end up, these days). In my new enamel studio, work on half a dozen other enamels at different stages of completion is on hold until the temperature and humidity moderate a little and paint surfaces cane be kept free of moisture. At least I benefit from a little more time away from enamel's sickening vapours.My father's decline and death early in the New Year made it impossible for me to deliver the watercolours Amanda Palmer wanted to project at her widely publicised Australia Day show, last month. However, a tongue-in-cheek portrait of her, painted in enamel on canvas, has turned up inside the cover of her latest album, Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, which made it to no. 25 on the local ARIA charts. One of my early sketches for her song, Map Of Tasmania, took a bit of liberty with Amanda's new husband, the best-selling author Neil Gaiman, and depicted him giving her head. His hair, re-imagined as a map of Australia, hovered over (or should that be 'hoovered'?) Amanda's bush, which was every bit as unruly as the not-so-small island state across Bass Strait. I gave the original, in watercolour on paper, to Amanda as a gift but a digital copy has been distributed widely on the web. I suspect it's only a matter of time before it's sold as a poster.
In the meantime, I'm thinking about selling the acrylic on paper studies (image size 43cm x 60cm) I did for Amanda's enamel portrait. They're not cheap but if you're interested, please email my studio.