Friday, 23 December 2016

Christmas Update

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I haven’t updated on this blog for a while so on this post I’m going to roundup all the things I have done between now and my last post.

The 12th of November was my 10th birthday and it just so happens that the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) was having their 25th Anniversary cake cutting on the same day! And since they are quite famous they got the PM (the Prime Minister) to cut the cake! And since it was my B-day they got me to cut the cake with him! If you are one of my close friends then you have probably heard this story before.

On the 4th of December the Kids Committee had a christmas party where we played games, had christmas lunch and of course made art. It was really fun and if you have an arty family I recommend that you join the Kids Committee in 2017.       

On the 20th of December my mum, my mum’s friend’s family and I went to the Sydney fireworks at Darling Harbour. They looked very arty with all the lights and the water below. 

I hope you enjoyed today's post. Wishing you all a very merry christmas and a happy new year,S.  

Friday, 4 November 2016

New stuff at MCA

Hi everyone! Last Sunday my mum and I went to the MCA for a Kids Committee meeting about the Family Tours of the exhibition Today Tomorrow Yesterday and to try the Family Space that is based on a new exhibition called Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect With Everything. Tatsuo Miyajima is the first exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere for this artist. It's about numbers counting down from 9. At the end of it, it left me wondering. 
In the Family Space there is a room which has white circles on the floor that you jump on and when you jump on them they make a sound and draw a line on a screen and if you jump on them a lot the lines form a big prism. At a particular point the room goes dark and the white circles turn into lily pads and a recording of a guided meditation comes on and if you move on the lily pads they change colour but if you stay still they stay the same. In another room there is a magnet board where you can arrange magnets to create numbers and there is a camera that takes a picture of the magnet board every 9 seconds and plays the pictures really fast to make a stop motion film. In the same room as the magnet board there are tables where you can make light drawings by punching holes into a black circle of paper and you can contribute your light drawing to a shadow constellation by hanging it up with everyone else’s in a hallway near the room or you can take it home. And if you want to find out about the Family Tours or you want to book for one (if the tickets haven't sold out already) go here.  

I recommend going to TodayTomorrow Yesterday. 
I hope you liked this week's post. See you next time, S.
PS. I'm one of the two voices that you might hear for this exhibition on the MCA app! 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Today Tomorrow Yesterday Exhibition

Hello creators!!! Two weeks ago my mum and I went to a tour of the new exhibition Today Tomorrow Yesterday at the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art). At the exhibition there was an artwork called Untitled (Clock) 2014 which was a big clock that went twice as fast as  a normal clock. Also you could see how it works at the back of it and there is a small globe turning at the back as well. There was another work called Minyma Punu Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters Tree Women) 2013. It was made by seven women living in the Tjanpi Desert. It is made out of bound grass, raffia, fencing wire, feathers and wool. In it there are seven figures. The figures are half tree half women.

Minyma Punu Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters Tree Women)  

I really recommend going to this exhibition. I can't wait till next time, S.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

MCA Wall Labels

Ahoy there!!! On Sunday my mum and I went to the MCA for a Kids Committee meeting. First we went through the new exhibition, Today Tomorrow Yesterday, and the leaders asked us questions about the artwork. There were two people recording our answers to put onto wall labels. If you don’t know what wall labels are, they are the little white squares that are next to artworks in an art gallery. And the recordings will be on the MCA app that you can listen to as you go around the exhibition.
wall labels, Objects At Night (from AGNSW)
wall label, The Breakfast Table (from AGNSW)


I hope you like this post. see you next time, S.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

My First Magazine!

Hello! I’m back! I haven’t been posting on my blog lately because I have been working on something special. It is a kids magazine!!! This magazine is called Kids News, and I made it! It has got stories, activities, articles and so much more! And here it is.

I hope you like my kids mag (feel free to print it out!). Goodbye for now, S.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Things to try

Hi ya people!
I’ve realised that I haven’t posted for a few weeks now and also that I haven’t done many links to things you can try at home. So today I have picked three different things you can try at home to do with nature (I hope to try these this term). And here they are. They are all from the My Place website.

If you want more things to try at home I've done posts on how I made a Baba Yaga house and how I learned to draw manga characters and also how I made mini books.

This has been a short post but I hope you like this selection of things you can try at home and I hope everybody (in Australia) had a great school holiday. 
I know I did. See you next time, S.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016


Hi everyone! Boy, have I been busy!
I have been coding games and animations on the coding website called Scratch.
The thing I have been working on on Scratch is a selection of animal drawings I have drawn on the computer. You can do lots of things on this website like animations, games, stories, make art, music or just look at other people's work. 

I have learned a lot of things from Scratch and I really recommend it (Mum note: Scratch still needs some supervision since it’s a public forum. However, you can download the free program to work offline.) 

Thanks mum. Anyway, that’s all for this week’s post. See you next time, S.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The MCA Zine Fair and review

On Sunday my mum and I went to the MCA for the Zine Fair. It was what I expected. Normally you see lots of artists sitting behind desks, waiting for customers to sell their zines to. A zine is a self-published magazine that is usually photocopied. Some have real information about how to help with life but others have cute cartoon drawings. 
A lady there called Ralpi was really clever and made it so the drawings on each page of her folded book connect up when you unfolded the book out to one page. I bought her book. It’s called Frank, the Long Necked Cat and she gave me another one called (little) Face Book. (little) Face Book has drawings of lots of faces with different emotions. 
I’ve been inspired by these books to create my own. One is called The Magical Swing and the other one is called The Animal Book which is filled with lots of drawings of animals. These books are not quite finished but they will be before the next zine fair which I hope to be in.
The stretched out book on the left is made by Ralpi and the one on the right is mine.
Also you might remember that I mentioned I was going to be doing an interview with the artist Jumaadi for the MCA blog. Well, here is the link to the finished product.

Till next time, S.

P.S. Here are a couple of videos showing how to make two types of folded books from one piece of paper:

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

A drawing a day #7 and #8

Ahoy there!!!
Again I was really tired on Tuesday so I’m posting today. Anyway, here are drawings #7 and #8. For those who don’t know I have set myself the challenge of posting a drawing once a day on this blog. And today is the last day of the challenge. It was just something to do that was fun. It was a bit difficult sometimes to post on the blog everyday but it was quite easy to draw. I recommend setting yourself this challenge. It may be hard but it’s really worth it because it helps to get more art into your life when you have something to work on each day.
This drawing is a still life which my mum set up for me to draw.
And this one is a watercolour which I like because of the sunset and the contrasting colours.

I hope you have a good weekend, S.

Monday, 6 June 2016

A drawing a day #5 and #6

Hello everyone! Nearly 48 hours have passed because yesterday unfortunately I was too tired to post. So here are drawings #5 and #6. 

#5 is a drawing I did yesterday in the MCA Kids Committee meeting where we had to keep our pencil on the page once we put it down. It’s a drawing of my mum. I think it’s bad but mum thinks it’s adorable.
Drawing #6 is also of my mum. It’s something I’ve been working on for the last couple of days which will be entered into something I’ll reveal to you once it’s been done. 

We’re quite busy so that’s why this has been a short post. Tomorrow will be the last day of this drawing challenge and I hope to see you then, S.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

A drawing a day #4

Here it is! Drawing #4.
This drawing is based on the drawings of Jumaadi who I will be interviewing tomorrow for the MCA blog. Jumaadi has a shadow puppet show which I’m excited to see. I thought it was very interesting the way Jumaadi draws two eyes on one side of the face, sometimes three or four eyes! I’ll have to ask him about that tomorrow. 

Also our next MCA Kids Committee meeting is on as well. Tomorrow is going to be VERY busy and I’ll report back to you tomorrow night. See you in 24 hours! S.

Friday, 3 June 2016

A drawing a day #3

Hi! I am proud to present drawing #3!!! 
For those who don’t know, I have given myself the challenge to do a drawing once a day and post it here. I’ve posted this a little bit late today because I just had my ballet class. Then I had dinner. THEN I did the drawing. I drew this picture mostly because Mum suggested it but also because I like drawing in black and white. This is a still life and I think this round vase did a pretty good job at staying still!!! Seriously, I really like the shadow and I tried to look really carefully at it. Charcoal is really messy. I accidentally put my thumb on it and now there’s a big fingerprint on it.

Have a good weekend everyone, S.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

A drawing a day #2

Hi everyone! It’s raining where I live so we mostly stayed indoors today.
Welcome to my second post in the challenge I have set myself to do a drawing a day and post them here for one week (click here for yesterday's drawing).
Today I did a drawing of a city. I really like this drawing because I got the inspiration from one of my favourite TV skits. At first I wasn’t sure of what I was going to draw but then I did my inspiration trick of daydreaming and noticing something in the corner of my eye which makes want to draw what I see. 
I really like the detail I did in the white building in the middle.
The staircase through the window is inspired by a friend’s house. When you go to their front door you can’t see inside because the windows are blocked by stairs.
The top floor is an office, the floor below has the reception.

I hope you like my second drawing. See you tomorrow, S.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

A drawing a day #1

HI everyone!
This week I’ve given myself the challenge to post a drawing once a day onto this blog.

Today I did a self-portrait. I was in our study and I saw a book with the word ‘self-portrait' in the corner. I normally get ideas this way. I daydream sometimes and look into the distance and see something out of the corner of my eye. When I stop daydreaming and look at it clearly it usually doesn’t look exactly as I thought but then I go and draw what I imagined. Then I thought about the time my old art teacher got out some small round mirrors and told us we were going to do self-portraits. So here is today's drawing.
Self Portrait, 2016, 420 x 300mm (A3)
I hope you like my idea and I hope you're inspired to do more art, S.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Sydney Writers' Festival 2016

Last week my mum, my friend, her mum and I went to the Sydney Writers’ Festival.
It was very exciting to be traveling with a friend. We took two trains and one bus to get there. With a bit of walking in between. 
We got there early so we could line up for some tickets to see Frank Woodley and Aaron Blabey. They are pretty similar authors because they write AND illustrate their own books. 
I knew Frank Woodley from some other things like seeing him in shows on TV which were very funny. My Grandma introduced me to Aaron Blabey’s books and bought me four of them. She gave me Pearl Barley and Charley Parsley, Sunday Chutney, Stanley Paste and Noah Dreary. I was very excited to meet him.
About two weeks before the trip I decided to dress up as Sunday Chutney. Sunday Chutney is a girl who has travelled all over the world and is always the new kid at school. The drawings and the story are very good. Here is a picture of my outfit. I made it from scratch.
Aaron Blabey read us his new book that he’s been writing and drew some characters from his book The Bad Guys. He had a camera which was filming as he drew which was shown on a screen behind him. He also answered some questions from the audience. I asked the question ‘what advice would you give to a kid who wants to write a book?’ 
He said ‘write about something you are interested in and also keep working at it’. I think it was very good advice.
At the end of his presentation he gave out some of the pictures he drew to the people with the best questions. I got a picture of the character Mr Snake.
Frank Woodley’s presentation was very, very funny. He showed us how to walk like a muppet and something he used to do in a stage act which was a crazy game of tips. I laughed a lot. He also told us about how he taught himself to draw his artworks on the computer (my mum was super inspired by this and couldn’t stop talking about it).
We bought two books there. One was called The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon by Aaron Blabey and the other one was called Kizmet and the case of the Tassie Tiger by Frank Woodley.
On the train home we tried drawing the characters from the book The Bad Guys. We copied the picture of Mr Snake that I got and tried to remember how Aaron Blabey drew the others on stage. 
Here are the pictures I drew of them.
I feel very inspired by the two authors we saw and when I grow up I want to write a book. I hope through this post I’ve made you inspired too, S.

PS I photocopied the picture I got and gave it to my friend.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Mini origami books

Hello everyone! I hope all of you have had an arty week! I know I have. 

Anyway, today I will tell you how I made these origami books.

I started doing them more than a year ago now after we found this great video on making books from scratch. 

The first ones I made were based on the book Where is the Green Sheep? written by Mem Fox with drawings by Judy Horacek. I called mine Where is the Pink Mouse? and Where is the Yellow Owl?. I think I could do a better job of drawing the illustrations now but I still think I did a good job. I still have to finish one called Where is the Purple Cat?
Around that same time mum and I had been reading a book called How To Be An Explorer of the World by Keri Smith. The book suggests arty ways that we can ‘document and observe the world’ (see page 11). One of them is to start a collection based on the first object you see. So we went for a walk through town to see what we could find.
First we found a twisty blue ribbon at the park. So we were looking for twisty things or blue things or ribbony things. As a matter of fact we found a lot of blue things that day. I already had a tiny plastic blue bag and a blue plastic dinosaur which I added to the collection. I bet you’re wondering where the books come into it. Well, we decided to hold the collection in a homemade book and call it Everything is Blue. I typed out the words, printed it in blue ink and pasted everything into the book.

It’s not an everyday book, it looks a bit bumpy. It’s more like an art book.

I haven’t been doing these recently but doing this post has inspired me to do more. I’ll let you know how they go, S.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

An arty Mother's Day

Hi guys, I hope everyone had a good Mother’s Day!

I missed last week’s post so I’m going to try to do two this week.

I went up to the Art Gallery of NSW yesterday and I did a ‘painting a ceramic platter’ workshop as part of Art Club 2016. I really liked it because the teacher was nice and all the other kids there liked doing the same things I do. And it also meant that my mum got a Mother’s Day treat of not having to look after me for an hour and a half.

The workshop was based on the Tang exhibition. I had been to the exhibition before but didn’t get to see the special cave where you can see a tomb through a tablet and you can see all these pictures and particular objects on the screen. They turn 3D when you hold the tablet up to the wall. You can see what the cave looks like in this video here (Mum: The tablet showing the digital recreation is at 1:45).

There was a tour guide in there who was showing everyone the cave. She showed us the dancers that come to life in the animation and a harp that moves and plays a tune.

First we drew our ideas for the platter on a piece of paper. We had printouts of the objects and paintings in the exhibition. There was a gold dragon that looked like Mushu from Mulan 2. I felt that a dragon was a little bit complicated for me to draw so I decided to do a brown horse based on a horse in the exhibition. 
My design is a mix of three different artworks, actually it’s a mix of two artworks and a scene from a movie. The first thing was a brown horse which was a sculpture.

And also from the style of one of the paintings. I mostly copied the style of the eyes.

The reeds were from Mulan 2. I remembered a scene where you’re looking down and Mulan and her gang are walking across a path next to where farmers are gathering reeds.
And here’s a picture of the plate that I did. 

Of course, I gave it to mum for Mother’s Day.
If you haven’t seen the Tang exhibition I highly recommend it
Looking forward to next time, S.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Art Gallery of NSW

Hi everybody! How ya goin’?

Two weeks ago we joined the Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) as members. So today I’m going to let you know what it’s like. Even if you’ve been there before, there’s lots more to discover all the time.
I’m writing this today from the Gallery itself.
To get here we got on a train to Sydney and walked over from St James station.  It’s worth the trip when we walk because when we get to the members’ lounge we get free hot chocolate! We go for the art but hot chocolate is a bonus!
I really like the lounge because there are activities for kids like books and colouring-in pages. There’s also a library of books on art that you can read. I also like it because there’s a lot of people around and a little cafe (I had a scone this morning and it was really good)
Near the main desk at the entrance there’s usually craft making, it takes about 20 to 25 minutes.  This is probably best for younger kids like 3 to 6 year olds. I liked making a dragon out of a paper plate last week but it was a bit too young for me. Today we made a mask.
Then we joined a tour guide who took us around part of the Biennale of Sydney called The Embassy of Spirits.  Our tour guide was very good and very funny. But he was also very respectful of the artworks and he explained them very well. My favourite was a mechanical shark which was inspired by headpieces that people wear in the Torres Strait Islands. It was modern and original and between two different times. 

And I also liked a work with two layers of mud covering the walls of a big room, one which sticks and one which falls off and it will change each time you back to see it as the bits fall off. I felt it was like being in a big empty space with no one else around. The tour guide suggested that was what it was like in the north of Australia or in the outback.
Well, I’m just going to get another hot chocolate now and then go in to see the Art Express exhibition. Art Express is artworks by high school students. 

If you’re an art lover like me I think you would like this gallery. I suggest you come therefor a visit, S

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Stylin' with manga

Hello artists of the world, I hope everyone in Australia is having a great school holidays!

Last Monday I went to a manga class taught by Matt Lin. I was really nervous at first because I’d never drawn manga before.
Manga is a style of Japanese comics. Manga actually means 'comic sketches' in Japanese.
You would know the style if you have seen Astro Boy or Kimba the White Lion. One of my favourite animated series is Avatar: the Last Airbender and I also watch K-On!

Before I went to Matt’s class I had a go at drawing manga from a book. It was ok but I like Matt’s way of drawing characters because he uses shapes. For example, in the book they say to draw a line skeleton to show where the hips, shoulders, head, arms and legs go and then draw the body around it. Then, draw the clothes over that and rub out the in-between lines of the body. It was a bit too complicated for me but I can see why it would be a good way to draw action figures because the angles of the hips and shoulders always change as we move. 
My first go at drawing manga (from a book)
But with Matt’s type you start with a shape (like a circle) and then put other shapes behind and in front (like triangles for the legs) and then rub out the lines in between. 
Before we got onto the human characters we started with some cool and wacky monsters. Have a look at my very first character from the class. See how I drew the circle for the start and added triangles for the legs? Then I added details like facial expression, a spiky tail, and stripy horns.
My first manga monster

A page of manga monsters
Then we moved to human faces and positions. First we learned how to draw a child’s head. We started with a shape which looks like this
We added ears with details
Then we did the face. First we drew the eyes and the eyebrows. It depends on the emotion where you draw the eyes.  If your character is bored then the eyes are in line with the ears but for happy then the eyes are just above the ears. 
Next is the nose and the mouth. Draw a curvy smile shape then draw a semi circle hanging down from the smile shape and finally a little semi circle inside to show the tongue and colour inside.
Add hair or a headband.

Add colour if you want to.

Above is a ninja that Matt taught to us. I’m not going to show you how to do it because you should all book into one of Matt’s workshops. He’s a really good teacher. Or have a go at following a book on how-to-draw. 

Catch ya next week, S.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Interview with Britta Stenmanns

I’m excited today to bring you an interview with the winner of the Wingecarribee Landscape Prize 2016 Britta Stenmanns. Here is a picture of her winning work called Plein air paint & camp.
Plain air paint & camp by Britta Stenmanns

Britta kindly agreed to answer some questions I sent her via email. If you are a kid then you might need some help from someone older with some of the words if they are new to you.

I like these answers because they come from an artist’s heart. Britta says to be strong and independent and to do what you think in art is the best. But also try to learn other techniques.

I hope you enjoy my interview with Britta Stenmanns.

Siobhan: What advice would you give a 9 year old who wants to be an artist?

Britta: Observe and learn to look properly at everything- really look- your perception (how you look and how you see things) is entirely your own and unique. And the way you use this observation as well , the way you draw a line is entirely unique and your own , like your signature of your name will be. When you want to draw paint or do anything creative you should just enjoy the process (the doing so) . Don’t ever listen to people if they say: but this isn’t how you draw an eye or figure, if you want to draw it your own way, do so!

Except if you want to learn how the other artists over the centuries have been doing things and to learn from their technique and build on this knowledge and your little discoveries you will make . Never because someone says so. Its always good to look at other artists’ work and try to imagine how they felt in certain situations and why they did what they did in certain conditions. How they expressed themselves.

S: How do you motivate yourself to keep working at your projects?

B: I don’t have to motivate myself too much, of course everybody has bad days, but in general there is a drive there of getting going or wanting to finish a  project or artwork and to want to get to the bottom of an idea. Without really knowing it, it fills me with something worthwhile.

S: What does it mean to be an artist to you?

B: It means a lot to me ! It has been and is my life and got me through everything, as it extends into everything I do, my daily life, my children, my garden, my traveling, my caring for others...It means I have an incredible freedom, but where I am sometimes my worst self’s enemy as well.

S: Do you send messages through your art?

B: It often seems that it is important to me even if it might be not that obvious at first sight.

S: Are you proud of your work?

B: Well , I never asked myself this, all I know is this, I try to be as honest and authentic in my work practise as I can be. Being proud might be a good thing, but I never learned to be proud, it would feel weird...

I hope you enjoyed my interview with Britta Stenmanns. Next time I'll be showing you and teaching you some Manga drawings I learned yesterday from Matthew Lin.

See ya next time, S.