Archive for February, 2008




First stages of a skirt from this book.  Considering stitching the entire thing by hand (resting, meditating, creating in the quiet).

The pattern is wonderful, and seems to drape so nicely around the body.  I am deeply in love……



I bought this book for my conventional son – who is thrilled by extremes, but won’t go there himself.

I bought this book for my unconventional daughter, who laps up anything colourful and is madly eccentric in her own ways.

I bought this book for myself – remembering how much fun it was as a kid and because I am in love – still with Lauren Child’s amazing illustrations and her fantastic integration of clashing patterns.

Matteo and I are reading this together.  It’s special time between us.  He giggles, he is wrapt, and is thrilled and apalled.  He is fascinated with the huge lies she tells and her charm and eccentricity.  Having just started year 1 – he is very much into the swing of school and starting to be even more independant.  He is relating, he is enjoying he is appreciating.  I am happy.  Buy the book in hardcover and keep it forever.  It’s marvellous.


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What lies underneath


Detail of a wall in Carlton (Melbourne).

I do believe in messages from the universe, and I’ve had the same one twice this week from slightly different angles, and combined, makes a fantastically useful tool when looking for inspiration, so I thought I’d share what I have distilled out of it, and pass it on……


italian totmatoes at Medittaraneo wholesalers 

Collect everything that interests you – rip random pages from newspapers and magazines, take photos, save favourites on flickr.  Save, save, save.


Photo taken of the screen during Life on Mars – that face was just watching me I’m sure.  I’ll have to use her for something at some point……. 

Here’s an important bit.  Don’t steal. Stealing is bad.  Stealing will bring bad kharma for sure.  Stealing will  make you feel cheap and nasty and dishonest – and if it doesn’t it should.

Never use the whole of something, but springing off from a detail is fine.  If you like a picture, focus on the intangibles of what is appealing – dig deep – is it the fact that there are 30 shades of white?  Is it the tomato red next to the jade green that you would never have thought of on your own.  Is it the bend of a tree that mirrors the bend of an arm in the foreground?  Or perhaps zoom in much closer than is reasonable and look at detail that is so abstracted by size that is makes no sense as an object any more (that can be marvellous).


Button man (lying on his side) by Zara – beautiful and unexpected colour combinations, and abstracted shapes – tiny feet and big nostrils.  Kids art can help you to see things with fresh eyes again.

All these things can be used in a painting, decorating a room, designing a garment or setting up a photograph.

Be brave – don’t be boring.  Go first. Go on – I dare you. 🙂

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down the rabbit hole


Down the rabbit hole – oil on canvas

Which is how my life is feeling a bit at the moment.  Furtively looking for inspiration, painting my head off – dizzy with fumes.  Computer on a seemingly endless loop of children’s websites to occupy Z in the same room. Worrying about the fumes.

Worrying about the show.

Worrying about worrying so much.


This time next week I shall be mid cupcake bake for the opening.  Unless I manage to pull myself spectacularly together and just lie around doing nothing at all. If you are coming and you see no cupcakes – be sure to congratulate me on my evenness of temper and magnificent restraint.  If you see cupcakes, congratulate me on my enthusiasm.

See – I win either way.

Don’t I?  Or am I worrying too much. 😉

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Thinking of….


Thinking of her – oil on linen


Thinking of him – oil on linen

Two new works for Life Lines.

When I havn’t been painting, I’ve been knitting.  So I guess it was inevitable that knitted garments would start appearing in the paintings.  Knitting something that is getting longer – and yet is not long enough.  It’s sea-green.  I love it – but I want it to be perfect.  It grows.  It still grows.

Yesterday I won something from the lovely Jo!  Such a nice surprise. I am thrilled.  Thank you Jo. 🙂

And speaking of winning…. My friend Daniel has been hard at work, painting a picture of Santo Cilauro for the Archibald Prize .


The painting looks awesome, and made its way to Sydney last week.  So at this moment I guess people are looking at it amongst the other entrants and making some decisions.

Send him some love people. 🙂

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work in progress – or not – oil on linen

Just over a week to go until the show opens.

Invitations have been distributed, papers have been contacted and a photographer has just left my house.

In anticipation of said photographer I cleaned the kitchen, made beds, tidied the lounge, and in the end, the photo was taken 1 metre from my front door.  Hope it turns out alright.  It’s such a nerve-wracking experience……Fingers crossed it makes the papers. 🙂

I’m still painting, but a sense of calm has come over me now – I think I have enough work for the show, so anything else I do will mean the show only gets better.  I do feel very good about the work that is going in and the shape the show will be.  It’s all good, and the cold is easing off now – I can almost hear again.

Bring it on. 🙂

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Alison Willoughby makes an art form of the skirt form.  She’s been on my list of favourites for evah.

When a good mate of mine sent me an email to say look at this book, I hyperventilated.  There was gasping, there was speeding of pulse, there was an immediate order.




It arrived yesterday.

If I had tiny little hips I’d go completely crazy being inspired by loads of the things in this book.  It’s probably a good thing that I can’t because some of them are so over the top it would probably not be advisable to wear them in public.  In monotone a few of them may be very workable – which probably defeats the ideology…

It is packed full of wonderful ideas, and I can’t recommend it highly enough for a good swift kick in the (start sewing again) pants – um skirt.


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 Small work for Life Lines – oil on canvas panel 

It seems that when the house is quiet and full I am able to work my best.  All quiet, all sleeping, me madly working – until the clock nags me to retire or suffer the consequences the next day.

After a decent painting session on something larger, I’ve been working on small pieces to include with the show.  Just little ones, but works in their own right. I have ordered some wide, ornate frames of differing mouldings for them, and can’t wait to assemble the whole and see how they will hang as a group – a mini exhibition in their own right.

Not long to go now, and I am actually feeling quite excited about being finished, hanging it and having a drink on the night.  This is going to be fun!

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