Tag Archives: australia

#Pupsout Knockout for Wall to Wall

Pups Out for the win in a Perth street art challenge

Kindly reposted from The Rabbit Hole Gallery

Fieldey was dubbed the gong-getter of last night’s Wall to Wall live painting exhibition at Little Wing Corner Gallery.

After a gruelling two and a half hour paint-off- especially for unwell Kiara Thomas, whose voice was dwindling to a hoarse whisper- Fieldey stole the show with her magnificent #pupsout piece.

However, RLSM, Kiara Thomas, Girl The Toy and Breezy E definitely didn’t let her off easy, with some outstanding work in an extremely high-pressure environment and short time frame.

Fieldey walked away the champion with a golden skull-on-a-cricketer’s-body trophy, #vodkabrainartguy, and $300 cash.

The Rabbit Hole sends a huge congratulations to Fieldey and all of the artists involved.

Big crowd at the Corner Gallery in Subiaco Perth

This is RLSM painting a wall

Kiara Thomas painting a rad mermaid piece

Breezy E painting her wall piece

Fieldey and RLSM painting a wall at the Corner Gallery

Girrl Toys mental wall mural

RLSM and crowd

Kiara's mermaid

Breezy E's piece

RLSM's piece

Girrl Toys piece

Fieldey winning the Wall to Wall trophy

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Filed under mural, Street art

On becoming a surf artist and a short PSA about bullying

Fieldey painting a longboard skatedeck

Painting a digestive tract onto a skateboard… dream job!

Everyone’s got a story and this one’s mine. I’m posting this today in the hopes of showing people that there is no ‘right’ path to pursuing an art career and living life on your own terms… it’s never to late to try.

I’d also like to shout-out to anyone else who was bullied, and if you’re being bullied now, I just want to give you a hug and tell you that you’re going to get through this. You don’t choose to be bullied, but you have a choice about how you react to it, and you can choose to be a better person. When you come out the other side you’ve got an advantage over the non-bullied… you’re made of steel now and you have a sense of determination and something to prove to the world. I wouldn’t be who I am today without that experience – so thank you bullies, you’ve given me the resilience I need to do what I love.

The following is a longer version of an interview published in the April edition of White Horses magazine.

Your art background and development: tell us about how you came to surfboards as your canvas?

Like many artists I’ve been painting and drawing ever since I can remember… the feeling when your immersed in a creative project is just the best, you feel like everything is in-tune, and that you are doing exactly what you were meant to be doing – what you were designed to do. From an early age art was my escape and my solace.

When I was young I was obsessed with horses and hated school, so I spent all of my maths classes looking out the window daydreaming and drawing horses in the exercise books pretending I was somewhere else. To this day I am excellent at drawing horses and rubbish at maths. Kids used to pay me $5 to draw ‘portraits’ of their horses…which was pretty much whatever type of horse I felt like drawing except in the correct colour.

Horse drawings

16 year old horse-dork me

In secondary school I was bullied pretty intensively so art became even more important to me, becoming something of an obsession and a way to escape the miserable realities of school life. Everybody thought I’d become an artist, but in year 10, I had a careers advisor who ‘advised’ me that I’d die poor and alone if I pursued that particular career. When I finished school I studied graphic design in Sydney and took off to London for a year or so to hone my craft. I liked graphic design well enough but as the years passed I felt that the dream of becoming an artist was slipping further away… I didn’t have an artistic direction, I had stopped drawing and creating and felt like I had lost a part of myself.

In 2007 I washed up on Western Australia’s sunny shores right before the GFC when business was booming and they couldn’t pay designers enough money to come and design annual reports for mining companies. I got my first well paying job in a design company in Perth and spent the next three years or so detesting the place and the eventually the work. I took some time off to travel to South America, and that was a wakeup call for me to change some things in my life, I took on a freelance job that allowed me more time to pursue my own interests and also took up surfing.

Taking up surfing in Perth was pretty much the best idea ever – everything started to make sense and I enjoyed the beautiful beaches, the laid-back lifestyle and the crappy surf. About 6 months into my ‘learning to surf’ I mistakenly decided it was time to upgrade to a short board and got myself a 6’7″ Superfish. Couldn’t ride it worth a damn, but I had an idea that it would be fun to paint it. I dusted off my art supplies and got hold of Josh from Oceanline surfboards who very sportingly spent some time on the phone patiently instructing me how to prepare my board for painting. So, I painted my board with a fish headed woman and a banner calling it “The Fish Wife” and purposely used a kind of bastardised old-school tattoo style which was easy to paint with my limited spray paint skills… my brother filmed it for me and we chucked it up on YouTube as a tutorial and “Fieldey” was born.

Your relationship with surfing/the ocean… how has that developed?

I was born in New Zealand, but when I was 8 my parents moved to Norfolk Island, a tiny tiny speck in the South Pacific – about halfway between New Zealand and Australia. From the highest point on the island you have a 360º view of nothing but ocean – the nearest landmass being about 1500km away. The island is surrounded by huge cliffs and we routinely got hit by cyclones and wild storms that would lash the seas up to huge peaks and batter the cliffs… when I was a kid I used to go fishing off the rocks with my dad, and I was always on the lookout for the legendary “Seventh Wave” that according to local legend, could spring up unawares out of a calm ocean and sweep you off the rocks to your doom. People had been washed off the rocks whilst fishing or swimming in rock pools and I used to have continual nightmares of it.

Cyclone waves on Norfolk Island

Scary cyclone waves – bad day for fishing

Growing up like this, surrounded by an unpredictable and huge ocean as well as seeing the size of the sharks that would cruise past when we were fishing, I was scared of waves and swimming in deep water. When I was about 26 I did my PADI Open Water diver course as a way to help conquer my fears of the water and developed a love for scuba diving.

I took up surfing both for something to do, and also as a way of getting over my fear of waves… in the early stages of kookhood I went out in stupid conditions at Trigg beach in Perth and got washed back up on the beach in a tangle of bruises and surfboard after being mauled in the dumpers, but I started to learn about the right conditions and as I got the hang of things I realised that surfing is super addictive. Mostly I just love to be out on the water, it seems to induce a meditative state and that’s where most of my best ideas come from. Nowdays being on, in or near the ocean is something I regard is being necessary for a healthy and happy life… I don’t think I’ll ever live away from it.

Where’s it all heading for you

The last few years have been a crazy ride – if you had of told me five years ago that I would be painting surfboards professionally, I wouldn’t have believed it!

In the last three years I’ve painted dozens of surfboards, bowling pins, a giant remote controlled jet boat, designs for Iron Fist Clothing and heaps of skate decks.

I’ve recently opening an online store of board art decals and inlays, and I’m in the midst of filming more YouTube tutorials with sponsorship by Molotow paints, The Butcher Shop and Star Skate and Surf. I’d also like to have a fine art exhibition of painted wooden alaias that I’ve been working on.

Most of all I’m achieving my dream of being an artist and doing the things I love, and it’s a big adventure. Life doesn’t get much better!

Surfing at Trigg beach


Filed under Art, Inspiration, Interview, Norfolk Island

We Love Perth Interview

So stoked to be interviewed by the lovely ladies at We Love Perth a few weeks back! Read on gentle reader, to be scintillated with my witty ideas about what Perth needs, and other exciting things.


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April 1, 2013 · 6:19 pm

Radical Rodents – your new favourite thing

For your Thursday viewing pleasure I give you the silliest and coolest thing in the world ~ surfing mice!

You’re welcome.

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February 21, 2013 · 2:12 pm


Click to view a larger image

After writing about the Great pin challenge of 2012, here’s the finished article! Looks pretty fabulous no?

This pin was a commission for George who has a collection of retro pins that he’s getting custom painted by low-brow artists all over the world. I was the first artist off the rank with this rendition of the life (and death) of Ned Kelly.

If you happen to be a non-Australian, Ned Kelly was an iconic Aussie bushranger (aka.highwayman) who was famous for stealing and murdering his way about town and having an allmighty shoot out with the authorities while wearing a suit of armour shaped like a mailbox. Amongst the fighting, the police who believed him to be some kind of indestructible demon, finally figured out that he wasn’t wearing armour on his LEGS. So they shot him in his achilles heel – HIS LEGS – and he was bought to justice. When told the date he was going to be hung he uttered his world-famous (in Australia) phrase: Such is Life.

And that, my friends, is the story of Ned Kelly.

Custom painted bowling pin with Ned KellyBowling pin with waratah flower and Ned KellyCustom painted low-brow bowling pin with skeleton


Filed under Commission, Finished Art, skulls

The great pin challenge of 2012 – Day #4

Workspace with Molotow Belton cans

So while you guys were all skydiving, Flyboarding and  jet-skiing on the weekend, I was at home shackled to my desk and painting a bowling pin. It’s the most challenging commission I’ve had for sure – but it’s looking so sweet, if I may say so myself!

The pin was fairly beat-up, so I had to prepare it by filling in the holes with moulding paste and then sanding it a million times over… I did that twice. After I had a nice smooth(ish) surface I sprayed the whole thing with Belton Molotow paints, and spent two days painting Australian native plants and a set of wings onto it’s smooth, hairless sides.

I’m thinking that this is going to be the pimpingest Australian-native-plant-and-fontier-mythology themed bowling pin around.

Custom painted bowling pin in progress

Custom painted bowling pin in progress with wings

Custom painted bowling pin in progress 3



Filed under Art, In progress

Mutant waves at Ship Stern Bluff, Tasmania

“Raw Antarctic swells come out of deep ocean and jack up into a roaring righthander in front of the cliff which gives the spot its name. The uneven reef causes weird steps and bubbles in the wave, which are always an unpleasant surprise when you’re still trying to navigate the drop down the face.”

Ahh Shipsterns… the most mutant wave in all of Australia.

I do love to peruse videos of surfers trying to navigate this monstrous wave, and this is one seriously awesome flick! Also, it has a soundtrack by Nine Inch Nails which I still retain a post-teenage fondness for.

BTW: The real action doesn’t start until around 00.38… lest you think I was fibbing about the awesomeness of this!

South from Dave otto on Vimeo.

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Filed under Movie, Surfing

Saints, sinners and surfers

Painted old school tattoo surfboards on City Beach

On a magnificent Saturday morning, brother photographer and I hit City Beach with a couple of boards for my very first magazine interview photo shoot… Couldn’t have picked a better morning for it, no?

Surfart on City Beach in Perth, Western Australia

Amongst the photography festivities, I noticed there was a lady out frolicking amongst the waves, who I thought was pretty darn keen, since it’s the middle of winter here. When we finished and were walking back up the beach, we passed the swimming lady, who asked if she could have a photo taken with Saint Calamari, because she’s Catholic and absolutely loved the board.

Now. I have to confess that even though I use religious imagery in my work, I’m not a religious person myself and so I figured that Saint Calamari would likely be considered dire blasphemy or at least distasteful by any card-carrying “religious” person. Through my chance meeting with Marianne, I found out that religious people are just people, with senses of humor and sometimes excellent tastes in art. Marianne was at the beach with her friend, Elizabeth, who happened to be an Anglican priest and another instant fan of Saint C.

What I liked most about these two ladies was how strong-minded and open they were about their beliefs and how they expressed them. When I made a crack about surfing being close to godliness, Rev. Elizabeth told me seriously that surfing can most certainly be considered a godly activity, one that teaches you the meaning of not being in control. I can believe that; I find surfing is like a meditation that clears your mind as well as your sinuses, and if there was ever a time to feel gratitude for God’s creation, it’s when you’re stoked and surfing a perfect wave.

Saint Calamari Surfboard with priest

Rev. Elizabeth finished up by giving Saint Calamari a proper and righteous blessing in a very impressive pulpit manner, at the conclusion of which we all chanted: “In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen”. It was awesome, I wish I had filmed it but I didn’t because I was all caught up in the moment. Instead here is a picture:

Ordination of Saint Calamari

I’m never likely to ride this board since he has now become not only an artwork, but one with supernatural religious powers. Nevertheless, I can’t help thinking that  maybe if I did wax him up and take him out in the wild blue depths, I’d be able to look up to the heavens, give a little nod, and a nice little left hander would be sent my way.

Check out some more of my brother’s mad surf photography and stunning macro shots here. 

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Filed under Art, Photography