A new Koko Black commission

So my secret job of the last week was to work on a new painting for Koko Black. This one is for their Christmas boxes and it was interesting to think of what iconic elements of Christmas to involve in the design – while still doing something that different and particular to my style. As the Easter painting was set indoors, I wanted this one to be in a completely different space. At first I toyed with forests and snow scenes, giant trees and magical lights.

At this point I must say that I really love how in Australia we generally have no problem with appropriating European Christmas trappings and popping them everywhere in the middle of a blazing hot summer. Maybe it’s because we are a bit of a magpie nation – we collect people of all backgrounds and take on our favourite bits of their cultures (whether we understand them or not). I especially love seeing fake snow sprayed onto windows. My grandfather had a log ‘fire’ with lights and orange cellophane for effect. It’s about the best you can do in 40° C.

Where we went with the design revolves around the experience of walking down a street with glittering window displays and people shopping for friends and family. It’s a little more idealised than we are used to (no huge crowds, for example) and there are some of my trademark surreal elements and characters. I really hope I don’t have to wait for December to show you… I’ll ask.

While we wait, here is the Easter painting again, on view in the Koko Black Salon in The Royal Arcade, Melbourne. If you didn’t see it, there is a YouTube video of the painting happening in timelapse. I’m doing the same for the Christmas one.

   I wouldn’t mind a hot chocolate myself, right about now…

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