Archive for the ‘Films’ Category

Stranger With My Face (and hands, too)

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Last January, I was a approached about lending my paintings to Lifetime Network, working on a film in Victoria called Stranger With My Face. I also ended up doing some hand-double work for the main character of Laurie, played by the lovely and multi-talented Alexz Johnson.

I found the film on YouTube a while ago and watched it. I hadn’t realised that the opening shot would pan over some New York buildings, and back into a room (on Yates Street) and that my painting would be the first thing you see, followed shortly by my hand!

So, all the painting and drawing closeups of the girl’s hand and her paintings are in fact my hand, and my paintings. Oh, how fun!

You can watch the first two minutes here on YouTube.


The opening shot...


My hand tickling my painting


Gotta love the framing




Not one, but 3 paintings in this shot...My NSCAD studio mate Daniel is in the centre one


They had me re-draw the portrait on camera. The whole thing! I was cross-legged on the floor and it was freezing in there, then it cut straight to here...


Magic! It's instantly done! Yeesh. That was high-pressure drawing.


We'll give you a million for it...


Tickle tickle... They also had me re-create the "evil twin" portion of this piece on camera from scratch. This time there were about 20 people around, and the camera rolling. It was hard to keep my hands from shaking. And they cut that footage! Oh well.


"Oh, Honey, look what you did!"


I included this one, cause the clever props people snuck in my self-portrait into the background. I like that.

All images copyright Lifetime Network. Don’t sue me.

Bright Star

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Yet another lovely, visually inspiring film: Jane Campion’s Bright Star lives up to its name. The imagery was just as beautiful as Keats’ poetry. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”








Coincidentally, the star of Bright Star, Ms Abbie Cornish (above) was half of the influence behind this painting.

A Little Princess

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

I’ve been meaning to see the film A Little Princess since I read this post on the Unicorn Diaries. It’s been difficult to find. It was directed in 1995 by Alfonso Cuaron, who did Y Tu Mama Tambien, Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Children of Men. I finally found it in Shoppers Drug Mart of all places, and though I’m not one to buy movies, I had to. It’s a lovely story, but it’s the imagery that had me at hello.










All images from The Unicorn Diaries.

Julie & Julia

Sunday, September 6th, 2009


I saw this lovely movie 3 days before our wedding, when we’d just finished decorating the venue and I was overstimulated and exhausted and just wanted to sit in a theater and be entertained with my sister, my mum and one of my best friends. We stuffed ourselves with rather ordinary pizza, crammed ourselves in, and were treated to one of the most delightful films I’ve seen in a long time. Now, I am no cook. I can find my way around basic pasta and some asian noodle concoctions, but the idea of Beouf Bourguignon is something that’s never crossed my mind.


So it wasn’t the food that had me. Aside from the divine Meryl (who looks astonishingly like my mum, especially in this film), what I loved about this movie is that it’s about two happy marriages. Not perfect marriages, but happy ones, in which each partner supports the other, and they find their way together, laughing. This is a rare and wonderful thing to see on screen these days, and was a welcome theme for me so close to my own wedding.


My Top 5 Films About Art

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

For a dancer, there’s nothing like watching dance to make your legs jittery. As a painter, watching a film about painting makes me want to run into my studio and throw paint around to a rousing soundtrack (and hopefully not a sticky end). These are my top 5 movies about artists making art.


frida basquiat


  • Frida    The brilliantly visual Julie Taymor made me snivel at the Lion King on Broadway. Yes, I’m a sap, but her love letter to Frida Kahlo is as textured and rich as the late artist’s paintings themselves. Each scene is so rich and fulfilling and screaming with colour. Now I want to watch it again.
  • Basquiat   Directed by painter Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly made me shudder it was so beautiful), Basquiat features David Bowie as Andy Warhol (how fab!) who delivers one of the films many great lines: “you’re painting out everything I do. I can’t even see what’s good anymore”.
  • Klimt    This one is actually a bit painful to get through, but it’s such a feast for the eyes it’s worth the Vaseline-slow plot. How does Saffron Burrows live with herself? She’s a walking painting.
  • Pollock    Harsh, but marvellous. I  love the homage to Pollock’s own suggestion to a documentary-filmmaker to film him from below through the pane of glass Pollock is dripping paint onto. 
  • Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus      This one’s not about a painter, but the inimitable photographer Diane Arbus and her fascination with people on the fringe of society. Though this film focuses less on her art-making and more on the imaginary love story, it’s just so haunting and delicious it could be real.





Stealing Beauty

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Ah, I love this movie. Liv Tyler, Sinéad Cusack, Joseph Fiennes and Jeremy Irons set against a house in Tuscany…gorgeous.

Stealing Beauty Flowers

beautŽ volŽe



I guess I have a thing for ‘coming of age’ films, girls transitioning into women. It’s  such a fascinating social change. Debutantes, Tweeners, Lolitas, they’re all favourite subjects of film-makers and novelists. I guess ‘stealing beauty’ is what they do by capturing these girls at that moment of change and freezing that moment for us to look upon. I feel a bit like I steal beauty when I paint my girls. But none of them really exist the way I’ve created them, so no harm done.

Speaking of films, I recently made a painting and a series of sketchbook drawings for a made-for-TV movie being shot here in town. I can’t divulge the title or post any images of what I made, as the images now belong to the film. This is new for me. How strange to spend hours working on a piece to have it belong wholly to someone else. It’s different when someone buys a painting from me to hang in their home. They don’t own the image, only the painting. It was fun to be part of a medium I love so much. I’m often inspired by images from films, so it felt like full circle to make a painting for a film. I also got to be the ‘hand double’, as in the person actually doing the painting/drawing in the close-up shots. Very nerve-wracking. To do a whole drawing from blank page to completion with a giant camera over my shoulder and 8 pairs of eyes watching me was a new experience. When it gets closer to the air date, I’ll post the title and channel here.

Klimt & Clichés

Friday, February 6th, 2009

I came across this image recently in a Google search. It’s a Klimt painting, and I used to have the poster on my wall (oh, yes, trés cliché) but I loved it. It’s actually quite a lonely image, but artists spend so much time alone (and with cats). It’s when we lose ourselves in what we’re making, I guess. Then we must refuel by letting down our hair and swirling about naked with friends and big white bubbles & stars. At least in Klimt’s world. Not so much in mine.




I actually dragged my film-loving friend to see Klimt, with John Malkovich (who else?) and though it was visually stunning and made me want to run to the easel, it was rather on the bizarre side. I actually wanted to rent it again and cue it to certain spots to stare at those luscious paintings. The person who got to copy those things for the movie must have been in heaven.

Slumdog Millionaire

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009


I know I’m not alone, but I loved Slumdog Millionaire. How could you not? The beauty and the ugliness together, the disgusting and the uplifting … what a gorgeous film. If you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading this, put down the mouse, and go to the theatre. It’s worth it.