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Renovators delight

In need of some design or renovation inspiration? Take a peek at my profile on Houzz…then have a click around the projects on the site.

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Bring unloved office space to life

Office space is expensive, especially metropolitan space. Given the huge investment/cost of space it seems crazy that wall space isn’t utilised to deliver more than just holding up a roof.

When Switched On Group moved to a larger, open planned space, they identified an opportunity to put some blank space to work.  The area itself sat on a windowless side of the building and could be seen from the foyer entry as well as other parts of the office. The challenge was to create work that directed light into the right area and create a sense of fun that’s complimentary, not jarring like street art and graffiti can be.

The solution was a mural that balances design trends and mass appeal by referencing a classic image loved by several generations, painted using contemporary techniques.

 

 

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Save the date – Distractions opening

For any Melbourne art lovers, I’m showing a selection of my paintings and drawings in February at Imbibe, a great little wine bar in Port Melbourne (at the ‘Paris end’, not the trashy fake tan end).

I’ll provide previews over the coming weeks – hope to see you there.

Exhibition invite

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Imperfect veneer

This is the largest (non-graffiti) painting I’ve completed to date. Painted on two large, light weight ply doors the piece is 2m high x 164cm wide.

Since my short period working in advertising I’m acutely aware of the tricks used to mislead people about body image and beauty.  I started by painting a portrait, similar to what you may see in a full page ad in a fashion magazine, then destroyed it.  The result is a sequence of textures and layers, not unattractive, but not a celebrated reflection of aspirational beauty.

This piece will be available for purchase soon.

Enquiries to mark-cowell@hotmail.com

 

perfect

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Find the lovers

Hidden away in an alley opposite the South Melbourne markets is a new mural just for the lovers…follow the clues and try to find it?

from camera 003

 

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Nostalgia and beer always go well together

I love my local pub.

Moving from Brisbane to Melbourne a few years ago, good pubs make the winters here bearable. My local pub is a classic warm friendly place with an honest menu and great beers from dedicated brewers…and it’s free of poker machines! (*I’m not anti-gambling but those machines ruin the atmosphere and are a source of misery in many places; keep them in the casino’s)

I jumped at the opportunity to contribute a bit of artwork to one of the courtyards. Based on an old advertising board from the 1930’s I recreated a classic Melbourne Bitter ad. The original ad looked strangely like an old American prairie scene with an Aussie ‘digger’ overlayed with the iconic Melbourne Bitter label.

If you live in or are visiting Melbourne pop in for a visit

The Palace Hotel South Melbourne

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Mmmm cheese

cheese lady at Harper and Blohm

It was a nice surprise to get a little bit of a mention in Melbourne newspaper, the Herald Sun.

I’ve been enjoying getting back into painting in the last year or two and it’s been nice to get some positive feedback. I’m very thankful and don’t take it for granted.

When I began doing this type of artwork in the mid-90’s it was hard to shake the negative connotations and baggage of painting with spraypaint. It’s great to experience more people enjoying the work without the old hangups around it.

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Heath Ledger redux

The tribute to the iconic character played by Heath Ledger was initially painted in a cartoon like style by another artist.

I was asked to make it a little bit more life-like.  The artwork, popular with many locals, disappeared from the streets of Port Melbourne for a few months after garage door broke and needed replacement.

Now it has returned, hopefully better than the earlier version, to stand as a tribute to a young talent lost too soon.

Heath Ledger tribute