Category Archives: Artsy Stuff

Melbourne Street Art

Special about Melbourne city is the awesome street art, adding to the place’s awesomely arty , urban-vintage style.Comparing to Auckland ( chilled and casual) will be unfair as there are two different vibes here, but both very live-able places i’d say.

(I learnt that Street Art is called Graffiti if it does not hold the consent of the owner of the building.Graffiti is illegal everywhere in Australia)

Now back to the fun part, the photos I took( which i hope is not graffiti) Most were from Union Lane, Hosier Lane and Fitzroy ( an extra-arty suburb).You can find street art pretty much everywhere you go, even on some vans in Dandenong ranges. Wish I took more but Melnourne has so much to do!

















On practice & inspiration

After doodling here and there for years I finally decided to give proper practice a go and ventured out to art classes,drawing meetups and life drawing classes in Auckland.Experimenting  started  with oil painting, moving to acrylics, water-coloring and hung on drawing/sketching now, purely because this requires lesser tools and patience.

No doubt practice has improved me and helped me discover my preferences. Love love love charcoal and think putty rubber’s the handiest thing ever!Still don’t remember pencil names and I’d take figure drawing over anything!Of course, as would be the case for everyone, mood and muse play a huge role too and getting inspiration from fellow drawers – of course not forgetting Instagram sharers.

Some work so far with about a years on and off practice:

Pencil, pen and charcoal:




Angles are fast becoming a favorite:


Playing with watercolor and indefinite lines:



Then why not do a self portrait….



J.K!  haha 😉






What I’ll remember Melbourne by:

Street Art

A few high school students pounced on me armed with cameras and notepads wanting my view on street art, which led me to wonder whether the whole street art thing that Melbourne is so famous for even legal. YES as it turns out! It’s totally legit (you gotta have a permit from the buildings though).How else would Melbourne get that vibrant urban feel!

You can see cool graffiti art everywhere you turn but few known places worth strolling along are Union Lane, Hosier Lane and almost all of Fitzroy.



Hosier Lane was abuzz with tourists even on a drizzly day!



Awesome Bars

My bar hopping days are well behind me but I couldn’t help getting all psyched up like a teenager when my friend offered to show me her favorites because even from the outside its easy to see that the bars are fiercely outdoing each other in terms of style and vibe.

Lucky Coq at Chapel street allows causal wear and has a rustic interior with old car parts dangling around.Great funk, nice mini pizzas to go with standard bar drinks.

Naked for Satan in Fitzroy was interesting – lots of deep reds, antique-type decorations and a wall dedicated to vintage porn! Their bar lunch hour special is yummy tapas for $1 each !

Fallen from Grace on Collin Street has an exciting secret entrance to their basement bar. Very James Bond.Beautiful chandeliers and great use of empty bottles slotted in walls covered with square racks.

1806 bar on exhibition street was pretty suave with coctail menus sorted by era. I chose the older version of martini called the martinez, which turned out pretty lethal!


There has to be sculptures in every nook and cranny in Melbourne!

At the Art Center Melbourne


Over the beautiful Yarra river


Outside the swirly southern cross station


Entrance to the Victoria Art Gallery20160316_133210

At the William Racketts Sanctuary sculpture trail – has about 90 sculptures carved into rocks in in the Dandenong Ranges – amazing!

I was in luck I thought but then began second guessing my enthusiasm after thoughts on on consumerism. Victoria Art Gallery was abuzz with excited fans of Andy Warhol.


I could spend days on the second floor though.There’s a section on eastern Asia and another on European art and this starts with surrealism,cubism etc  and boasts work of some pretty  famous painters such as Pablo Picasso and then on you go to rooms filled with breathtaking paintings and  sculptures, each more awesome than the  next .I cannot imagine the patience required to achieve so much precision! Nudes seemed to be the “in thing” for artists those days. Still is.


From the Victoria Art Gallery

Cool Architecture 

A melting pot of old and new structures, some fresh,young and sleek and some with lots of age old stories to back the character – like people.Throw in some free colorful trams circling the city and you’ve got Melbourne on a plate.Inner city trams are free but I walked everywhere mostly because I lack patience to understand tram routes! And because all key places take 20 mins to walk.

Vintage Urban CBD


Flinders Train station 


Flinders Station front against modern sleek giants


Flinders station and Federation Square from Hosier Lane20160318_113141

Federation Square


The Grand Melbourne Hotel


The massive Town Hall 


Typical rustic blocks in Fitzroy


Fancy looking Theater Building 


Horse and Carriage rides with very stern looking drivers are plenty around the Royal Botanic Garden and so are statues of sturdy looking important men in Australia’s history. Royal Botanic garden is well……a big garden. Could make for an excellent spot to take the baby out for some air ( If I had one!)  or have a snooze under trees. Also I noticed that lots of people used this place to sit in solidarity and stare at their phones.But of course, a heaven for lovers of flora and fauna.



The Shrine of Remembrance – more massive than the picture shows with painful stories to learn.


View from my balcony!



Dandenong Range 

Dandenong range has quite a bit to offer – cute little villages, walks, bicycle trails, lakes, sculpture trails, gardens, tall tall trees and 1000 steps for those that want to feel a little bit of what Australian soldiers went through in Kokoda in Papua New Guinea ( 1940s).


The trail is short but steep and  a bit crowded  and I am super proud of my cousin ( former school sportswoman of the year and now a busy working mum) for not giving up despite the heat and that she hadn’t worked out in donkeys years. Great day!




Sculpture – Feb/March 16

Sculpture art has really not been my thing because the finance professional within me started to nag me about the use of resource,economical impact, costs etc etc – boring stuff and I’ve tried to kill these thoughts.One of the reasoning in attempts to kill these  annoying thoughts of mine is that people buy these with huge amounts of money and artists buy things to make it so….. it’s must be economically legit! Also I’ve recently found that actually stopping by to read about the sculptures helps appreciate the invaluable messages behind it .Some of these seen are grand to look at regardless of messages within but then there’s one or two that really really had me.

Auckland Botanic Gardens – Sculpture in the gardens 

Back to my old running spot Totara Park ,I took some cool off time at adjoining botanical garden. Some awesome ones such as these could be found scattered around the garden.

Bird Songs by Chris Moore


Khulu By John Ferguson


Gravity Bag by Ramon Robertson


Titipounamu – A  necklace with lost gems by  Bing Dawe


But the following is the one that had me though. Kind of like my sanity before my tongue lashes out.

Tipping Point by Richard Wedekind


Harbor-view Sculpture trail Te Atatu

Back to my first area of living upon moving to NZ, the west Auckland. Some interesting ones were featured relating tales of environmental and social issues.

But this one,I could stand and think about all day!

Playpill by Nicholas Mans in support of improving mental health with this super-cool lobby against some pharmaceuticals that hard sell pills.


Jan 2016 Art Exhibitions

I have a love-hate relationship with art. Sometimes they move me, other times they frustrate me.If someone draws childish squiggles on ply board and calls it art I want to pull my hair! But the funny thing about art is that the same ply board squiggles might just strike a chord with someone else. Art is very personal in that sense.

Here are a few that ticked me:

I have a habit of dropping into the Auckland Art Gallery sometimes when I am in the city. You get to see varied art exhibitions, interesting sculptures on display and some “me time” away from the buzz.

This one caught my eye.

Study of a Samoan Savage (2015) By Yuki Kihara. This is R18 as it features nudity.


Study of A Samoan Savage

Xutong Tian’s Zen Heart

Recently I decided to drop into the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple again. The visit is covered in another post. They usually hold art exhibitions as well and this time around it was Xutong Tian’s Zen Heart.

I was spellbound from the moment I entered the gallery! I must have stayed in there for ages, finding it hard to drag my eyes away even if to move on to the next piece. Each piece brought to mind only one thought – pure tranquility. Zen.

Xutong Tian uses paper and ink and because so many of his work has been targeted by copycats in China he marks his work with his fingerprint. This kind of goes with the whole theme of his work.His style is “less is more” and he plays with a few key peace related figures of the Chinese culture combined with galaxy and mammoth landscape impressions to convey his message. There’s not much color and there’s a feel of lots of space. Some went for as much as $9K NZD!

I have looked online for the exhibition pictures and cannot find anything that remotely has the same effect as the real thing.


More about this exhibition