Papa Tawhai pop art portrait

This is a whanau illustration, of my maternal grandfather, Tawhairiri.  He was one of the last cowboys. A real legend, in his grand daughters’ eyes. The first picture is a portrait from 1993, at his last family Christmas with us. Papa Tawhai passed away in 1994. I named my son after him, Tawhairiri. Or Tawhai, for short. While I was growing up, he lived in a converted school house at Bartletts (about 30 km south of Gisborne). His father is buried in the family cemetery there.

This was an experiment in pop art portraiture. Hopefully more Johnny Romeo than Andy Warhol. The colours were inspired by the land and seascapes around Whareongaonga, Tawatapu (Bartletts), Wharerata and Muriwai, all south of Gisborne. For more information about the whenua and moana, please visit Te Iwi o Ngai Tamanuhiri on their website or facebook page.

A framed digital print featured in the tribal exhibition, Toi Tāmanuhiri,  at Te Muriwai Marae in 2013.  It’s shown in one of the photographs, alongside art pieces made by my older brother and sister.

NFS

 

 

 

All Hallows Eve

 

This is a portrait of Peter Steele (1962 – 2010) from Type O Negative. They are one of my most favourite-est bands ever.  A good friend told me about them in 1995, so I bought ‘Origin of the Feces’, the notorious ‘live’ album.  It was the only one I could find in Auckland! I will be honest and say I didn’t really get the sense of humour at first (“these guys can’t be serious! That sounds like a pretend crowd…”) as I knew nothing about them and hadn’t heard anything else by them.  Then that same friend gave me ‘October Rust’ to listen to in 1996.  And like millions of other goth girls around the world, I was a goner! Sigh, swoon etc.  It was only a matter of time until I got their other albums. And it has all been cheerfully downhill from there.  I never got to see Type O Negative live unfortunately.

Some of my best memories are associated with Type O Negative.  Driving from Auckland to Wellington with a Type O hater in the back, shouting his own version of Black No. 1 lyrics (LOVING YOU WAS LIKE FUCKING A GOTH!) while we giggled in the front. It was funny cos it was true, you see.  There are many many more, I’ll save them for another time.

This is my tribute to Peter Steele and the most excellent music he created.  I wanted to do something special for Halloween, so I have spent the last week of October drawing this portrait and thrashing the Symphony for the Devil live dvd.

Because as we all know, everyday is Halloween.

XII. All Hallows Eve

Fall fires burn ‘neath
black twisted boughs
Sacrifice to above
Smoke swirling quickly
towards misting clouds
Offering of this blood
Into the flames
and without shame
Consumed with howls
and screams
Pumpkins grin
in their despair
On All Hallows Eve

Cruel be the wind
as it quells my words
I shout out to the rain
Incantations I so hoped
you’ve heard
That you live again
From deep Earth
brings forth rebirth
Witness but I shan’t believe
From below a chilling glow
On All Hallows Eve

Be spiderwebbed
and glazed in frost
She wears death beautifully
More stunning now
than in her life
On a bed of Autumn leaves
Into her eyes
and quite surprised
I whispered
don’t you leave
Sing macabre songs
and we’ll dance to dawn
On All Hallows Eve

Saint Lucifer hear me
praying to thee
On this eve of all saints
High be the price
but then nothing is free
My soul I’ll gladly trade

Cold is the night
in so many ways
Luna round, full and bright
Deep be the mud
on the fresh dug graves
On yours I recite
An ancient spell 
I know so well
Success is guaranteed 
I’ll bring you back
from where you’ve gone
On All Hallows Eve

From the album World Coming Down by Type O Negative.  Lyrics by Peter Steele.

 

Texture used in this image by Bitt Box.

Turbo Maori

This is a painting I did a little while ago (last year in fact) and it’s taken me this long to put it online.  It’s already the face of the Turbojugend Aotearoa U-666 Facebook page (oooosh lookit me squeezing those links in!) so this little breather has been on the nets for a while.  But you all want a closer look at it – and even better – a chance to buy it don’t you?!?!

This picture was inspired by my love of all things Turbojugend and my Māori heritage.  This makes it Turbo Māori! I’ve based the koruru (face) on Ngāti Porou carving forms that I’ve looked at over the last couple of years.  If you study them you see their likeness to the people; the large foreheads, piercing stare and sharp, sometimes forked, tongue.  Tāngata like those deserve to wear a peak cap, haha.

The picture uses 3 colours; a warm blood red ground with thick black linework and white highlights.  Red, black and white, the ‘traditional’ Māori colours and also those used on the Tino Rangatiratanga flag.  Layered on top of an old placemat, varnished with polyurethane and mounted on a wooden block with a painting hook. 29cm x 21cm x 5cm (roughly 8 x 10″)

If you’re interested in buying this creation, contact me at mel@aotearoa666.com.

 

Skull Flower

“Why don’t you paint some nice flowers” I thought to myself one day, “that’s something nice” So I set about painting a nice flower.  Oh! let’s make it blaack! I added.  And a nice skull in it. Yeah, I like them types of flowers!

I pondered this greatly as I worked on this small canvas. It is a blue black flower (he pua) with a skull (he tohu o te tangata) in the centre, blossoming upon a vivid blood red background.  As I daubed away at the skull in the centre I asked myself “Geez – why do I like skulls so much?”

Is it all the doom and gloom? A symbol of death?  A morbid fascination with the darker side of life?

 

 

 

Yeah fuck yeah!

 

Ha ha – you thought I was going to say no, didn’t you?

Well, over the last six years I’ve lost a few friends and family, for various reasons.  I am not afraid to die, but I am afraid of what will happen to my son if I should shuffle off this mortal coil before he becomes an adult.

And ever since this started happening, I started drawing skulls.  Lots of them.  Skulls are the ultimate symbol of humanity.  A skull could represent anyone.  It could be me, it could be my son. It could be one of my whānau who have passed on.  It could be you! :O! Nothing represents my essential love for humanity like a good skull.

You can check out photos of the painting in the making on my tumblr or facebook page.  (And while you’re down there, chuck us a like or a follow please? Ta!)

This painting is 8 inches by 8 inches, painted using Golden acrylics and a nice medium as a finishing varnish.  This painting is also for sale! as it is small enough to ship.  I have paypal and can also accept bank transfers.  If you are interested in purchasing this painting, contact me at mel@aotearoa666.com.

This is my first post in Spring! Spring has sprung (at least here in Kaiti, Gisborne) and a merry sneezing season to you all.  I have included some photos of the plum tree blossoms, just in case some of you wanted an actual really nice flower.  Hehe.