Monday, 28 March 2011

succulent thoughts

succulent blossoms

The end of summer is a funny thing. The garden starts changing, mornings are darker, the birds get up later (a good thing as we have some noisy ones around here), even the cat sleeps in :) And the season of serious chai drinking begins!

I rescued these succulent blossoms as they were beginning to wither and dry out on their plants a few days ago. When they're fresh they have a beautiful orange colour, but when dry as you can see here, quite pink. Am I a bit of crazy woman for having dried out succulent blossoms, old seed pods, and driftwood all over the house? Other people have fresh flowers, me the deader and more dried out the better. I love the way their stems go a boney-white, a bit like Georgia Okeefe's paintings of cow bones dried out in the New Mexico desert sun. I just love that washed out look.
Cow's Skull with Calico Roses, Georgia O'Keefe

I quite like pressed leaves and flowers too. Here's a quick wikihow link to flower pressing in case you're keen.

Are you a fresh or dried flower person? And are you a collector of things?

Friday, 25 March 2011

blue noodles in texas

blue noodles
Blue Noodles, Japanese woodblock print, Kylie Budge

I was really very touched when food magazine, Edible Austin (as in Austin, Texas) approached me about using one of my woodblock prints featuring Japanese food to illustrate a story about this same topic. So Blue Noodles sits proudly alongside this great story about Japan's gift to good food in the world. You can see the web version here. Hard copies are available from Edible Austin. They've included some fab resources and recipes.

Blue Noodles was created about 8 years ago while living in Kyoto, Japan. I was surrounded by incredible food all day long and it seeped into my creative consciousness, and then leaked out into my printmaking. At that time I was very fond of eating enoki mushrooms and renkon (lotus root) and so if you look carefully you'll see them swimming around in this print. You can buy fresh renkon in some Asian grocery shops in big cities in Australia. It's highly nutritious (why don't we eat more of it in the West?) and really nice lightly fried with a touch of soy sauce or chilli powder (zing!). Add it to stir fries for a bit of pazazz.

Here are some links to a couple of Japanese cooking blogs if you feel inspired to learn more:


In terms of other Japanese favourites I'm a bit of a closet fan of okinomiyaki. Each region has their own way of making this dish but I do love the Kyoto version. A friend from Hiroshima once made me their local style (with noodles). Interesting! Do you have any favourite Japanese food/s?

Saturday, 19 March 2011

nihon power

paper lanterns, Kyoto
A beautiful post about how Japan will rebound, from David Bull, long time Tokyo resident and woodblock printer extraordinaire. You might find it a refreshing break from the news coming thick and fast from the mainstream media. Thanks to Annie for alerting me to it.

Monday, 14 March 2011

of white & blue

egg vase: anne ronjat

It feels quite fitting with my current egg obsession in illustration (pics below) that I should now be the owner of this beautiful egg vase by Melbourne based ceramicist, Anne Ronjat. Really, how lovely is this? It's gorgeously thin and delicate - an example of very good crafts-person-ship. Ask any potter, it's not easy to make pottery this thin. Bought from a place not to be missed if you're in Kyneton, Victoria: the Stockroom.

float in deep blue

float in deep blue

Mr Kitly has a beautiful raffle of Japanese products going on to raise money for disaster relief in Japan.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

breakfast work

egg studies in red
egg studies in red
egg studies in redegg studies in red
egg studies in red

Egg studies in red - work done in my pj's this morning. It's a breakfast thing, these eggs.

Beautiful drawings can be seen at BSG this week. Two artists in this exhibition whose work is beyond words: Simone Capogreco and Gisele Zuchner-Mogall. Such small detailed lines and patterns with pencil.