Archive for January, 2008

Life Lines


me today with small painting – oil on canvas board

I had an unsettling call last night that put me into a tail spin.  It’s not long until the show, and wheels must be put into motion to advertise, and invite.


I’m still far too busy making the work, but it has been an interesting 24 hours, with 2 visits from angels and inspiration of sorts re a show title.

I have a work that I was very excited about, and proud of, it was working, it was looking great, it was looking horrible, I was losing it, then last night, I grabbed the palette knife and without really knowing what I was doing, a pair of angel wings appeared on the canvas – and you know what.  It worked.  Tiny bit more to do to it today, but I am so very happy.

It was getting close to 1am, and it was definately time to go to bed, but there was not much paint left on the palette,  so I grabbed a little canvas board and thought I’d have a play.  Another angel popped up.  I wasn’t expecting him either.  I like him.

Today I need a show title – it must be today.  Last night I was so stressed trying to think of one – I have been struggling with it since I agreed to do the show, and this morning it popped into my head.  Life Lines.  I hope it ties my people and stories together without being too soft, and references my penchant for scratching into the canvas.

3 little miracles.  Lucky me.  I just need another 20 and I’ll be set. 😉


Read Full Post »

Home is what WE make it


I am.  Hopelessly sentimental.


My much loved Grandmother has cleared out her home of the last 50ish years to move to a retirement village.  Somewhere smaller.  Somewhere safer to manoever as her body slows further down.

It’s all a bit of a wrench, and has me moody as well – knowing that the house where I visited, played and for short spells lived – will be passed on to others to inhabit fully with their own dreams and memories.  It is an enormously happy house.

In clearing such a big space, things are unearthed with memories for all of us.  We are a big family, and objects have been dispersed to children, grandchildren and friends.  Big things like fridges and furniture have gone or been sold.  Precious things like very old serving plates have moved on to other keepers in the knowledge that they will be passed down to future generations with the stories behind them growing all the while.  And then there is the rest.

And the rest have their own memories as well.  It was a shock to see the empty house last week, being cleaned, and a small pile of things in the middle of the lounge where christmasses were celebrated, and I watched cartoons in the arms of my long-gone grandfather smelling of peppermints.

These things were going to charity.

My grandma sat there, in her chair, asking if there was anything I would like before they went.  She gestured to the dinner setting I remembered eating off during my life.  The metal balancing scales I remembered playing with as a child, tablecloths with very vivid memories, some paintings (elaborately framed prints actually) that had hung on their walls.  The remains of my grandfather’s record collection (I share his taste in Jazz).

I brought so much home, and here, in my home, they are not at home.  WE ate dinner off one of her tablecloths, and it didn’t seem right at all.  These memories are my memories and not our memories.  They are in limbo, and have made me question what right I have to hold on to and bring them into the future.  They will stay – I am the keeper for now.

Some will have stories, some will just have a home, and I hope when they are passed on – have stories of their very own for the future.  New stories.

Read Full Post »

Where it starts and ends


Each one perfect.  Joyfully given and received.  Turned over gleefully.  Examined, treasured, tossed in the box.


Each one looked for, hunted, discovered, caressed, thrown in the air, rolled on the floor, put to a thousand uses.  Tossed in the box, where they become…..



Which is indescribable,  inpenetrable, ever growing.

From time to time I sort through – binning items which are broken, passing on those that are outgrown, and re-nestling those that will find new adventures in our own little space.

But I think,  that the containment has a life of its own – absorbing the preciousness of what lies within, and overpowering all who attempt to sift through.  The only way to make sense of it is to tip it all out, and then – there is no room to play.


If only they wern’t all so precious……

Read Full Post »



Maggie Alderson – in the Good Weekend (The Age).

I’ve been slavishly reading Maggie Alderson – for well over a decade – followed her in the magazines she has edited or written for, bought her books, and the Good Weekend – every weekend, just to have another little piece of insight.

I love her. Not just because she writes beautifully, is funny and insightful, and has superb style, but because she is so real.

Maggie is human, and vulnerable, and endeavours to make the world a better place – not in a preachy way, but in concrete, achievable, personal ways. And perhaps it is just that she is a little older than me, so the things that concern her, and the fashion obsessions she shares I can relate to.

There are so many things that she writes of that I just go ‘snap’ with. Like her fascination with leopard print and the fact that one shouldn’t overdo it(snap). Like her taking out the contents of her drawers and studying the white to colour ratio with a multitude of stripes to ascertain why some stripes seem ‘classic’ no matter how old the garment is, and others are just stripes. Like the compacting experiment and her struggles with it.

The article in the Age yesterday hit home for me too. She writes of the preciousness of home, and how staying in the one place can be even more valuable considering the lifetimes poured into it. How trading up, can bring its own trade-offs.

Which made me think, and made me angry, and made me sad. Most people I know who havn’t bought into the property market yet, or who seek to upgrade are finding it difficult. And while, there is no question that for those that can afford it, being able to buy a renovated house with nothing to be done is a wonderful thing.  Those that can’t however, may never have a home of their own, and perhaps that is the fault of those in pursuit of a quick buck.

And that is a tragedy.

Maggie. I adore you.

Read Full Post »



The sisterhood – oil on linen

Just finished this work last night. I’m actually really enjoying this late-night marathon painting thing, and finding it liberating in a strange way. Zara isn’t sleeping during the day at the moment (there have been just too many distractions), and I suspect that it is the end of that bit of middle-of-the-day-bliss. She crashes into bed and falls asleep immediately at the end of a long day – happy to go, and happy to wake up at a not ungodly hour.

In the next month she will start 3 year old Kinder one day a week, have creche kinder one day a week, and I think it might suit us fine to have this as a rythmn. 2 nights off for me (if I paint all day) is probably a good balance at the moment.

I have to admit a little secret though. I have joined facebook. It’s is wierd and curiously addictive. I lie in bed turning over memories, and wondering if old friends are on there. The other day I found two friends from 20 years ago – quite thrilling to make contact and see what’s going on in their lives. If you are on there – look me up and say Hi. 🙂

Read Full Post »

what’s in a name…


Detail of work in progress – oil on linen

I do feel, finally, that I’m settling into a happy place with my style, and my approach to painting the things in my head.

One of the things we all struggle with as artists is finding out style.  We twist and shake, and look, and absorb, flicking through a multitude of possibilities.  Trying on our mothers shoes and hats in a metaphorical way to find out who we may be or should be if we work hard enough at it.

The great irony, is that through all this searching, it inevitably finds us – sneaking up when we least expect it and waving flags in our face.  I”M HERE it whispers – see that bit over there – that’s all you, and that bit up there, and the way you do that – that’s you.

You go on, ignoring the signs and trying to find yourself,  until, if you are very lucky people will start saying – gosh, that’s a distinctive style you have there.

And then amongst feelings of freedom and anxiety, you realise, perhaps you can stop looking and just explore.  Weird huh.  🙂

Read Full Post »


Self and Z in the mirrored triangle – Melbourne (children’s) Museum.

Time to paint.  Time – to paint, time to paint. So what do I do – cruise the internet.

It is one of those cruel ironies, that lack of practice makes a less practiced artist who is less able to go for it in the time allowed – causing a gradual slide in skill and motivation.

The last two nights I have stayed up past midnight – wrestling with the paint and my own procrastination, and I think I am getting back into the groove again, but it is a difficult thing, And when the only time available is when one would rather be kicking back watching a DVD it takes more than the thrill of a new compositional journey.  My usual musical kick in the pants isn’t working its usual magic.  And speaking of pants……..

Yesterday we made a trip into the museum to see the fantastic Bee circus.  The kids loved it, but the highlight for me was this:


How’s that!

I’m not sure where this fellow got  his pants from – and if he is your father or someone you love dearly, I apologise for having a giggle – but we thought it was hilarious – the way the back yolk (leather) made it look like his bottom was poking out of his jeans. Haute-plumbers -crack couture.

Thank you sir.  You made my day. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »