Archive for March, 2008

Easy Marx

I am blessed with a large and nutty family.




My Dad’s side is peculiar and wonderful in its own magnificent way, and the double-whammy is my Mum’s side, who gather once a year for a big themed reunion and daggy but splendid concert where we all roll around delighted by our collective sillyness and wit.

It is usually held here:

My much-beloved Aunt and Uncle’s house at San Remo – on the Bass Coast of Victoria.

The theme this year was “A night at the opera’, and as costumes are mandatory, and we all get into the word-play hilarity it was a beauty.

We had phantoms of the opera – one who threw off his cloak to reveal 3 x $10 notes pinned to his belt (the three tenners), Zsa Zsa Gabor made an appearance, ushers, stage crew J.R. Ewing (Soap Opera), Carmen (Carmen get it written on her back), A baby with a musical note on her back, Opera (Winfrey) accompanied by a Knight (a knight out with opera), and the Giacobello contingent went as the Marx Bros (who made a film called A night at the opera).


Which was funny because Signor Giacobello is an excellent Opera singer who was expected to sing and couldn’t because he was being Harpo (who only honks a horn).

He did sing.  It was marvellous.

We ate, we drank, we walked and rested and laughed and laughed and laughed.

We are family.  We are blessed.


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Missing you…


It starts off gently.  Just a little rising in the chest every so often.  A little wistfulness for dirty hands and freedom of fingers and mind.  A little panic that it has been so long now (two weeks) that I will have forgotten the movements and flicks that make things work.

It grows gradually – through lack of opportunity. Through growing confidence of children that today will contain marvels and discoveries about themselves and their world that are so far untapped.

I have bred curious monsters (of the nicest possible kind). And painting these last few weeks has been impossible. I miss it – I crave it, and I know that by next week if I don’t get some in somehow I will become a screaming, grumpy harpy that will have her way.  She’s not very nice.


After almost a full week of ‘can we do it today, can we do it tomorrow – is tomorrow today?’ we did it.  We made homemade pasta from scratch.

Spinach and Ricotta ravioli (remembered too late to take photos), and spaghetti.


It was good.  Very good.  But fiddly, and we could have done without the ravioli (good as it was).  The ravioli made mama a bit grumpy.  But Matteo loved every single second of the planning, the making and the eating.

We will definately do it again – but I might need to get some painting in beforehand…..

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soft and round


Every project to me has a dialogue – words exchanged between me and it – thoughts gathered in progression.

This is why hand-made things mean so much more to me.  There is energy, care, and  tenderness about them that goes beyond the physical.  I don’t think I could ever throw a hand-made card away, and I wish it was possible to exchange every single thing we have – though the joy would go I suppose if it became a necessary activity.

The jumper is progressing speedily (for me).  Larger needles is making a huge difference to the feel, speed and fit of the project (der…).  I even think that it might be finished in time for the cooler weather.  It is my cocoon jumper – a ‘wrap me up’ after my recent ‘life lines’ compression, and the circular -top down construction emphasises the cocooning of it.   I feel good knitting this thing as the cool weather approaches, and while I want it to be finished, I’m also enjoying the process so much, and the stolen moments tucked inside it that I will feel a little pull when it’s done…

In the meantime, the ‘doing’ is marvellous.

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Me – today

The Giacobellos are bunkered down in a lovely little holding pattern at the moment. Two weeks of school holidays is just long enough for us all to rest, frolic, bake, go to the library, watch less TV, get more sunshine, have more cuddles.

School holidays means having a holiday from artist mode and giving in to mother and entertainer mode. I do have to remind myself from time to time that that should be my primary state of being for the next few years – but the artist is a pushy and demanding beast who gets grumpy if denied too long. Bubble, bubble, boom!

Daytime sleeps are well gone for Miss Z now, and strangely we seem to cope better without them. Because we have a full day, there is not the frantic rush to get things done before and after (and during), so on the whole I am more rested and relaxed, and she sleeps better at night.

Post Easter, we have too much Chocolate in the house.


Matteo and his two-layer hazlenut-chocolate cake – festooned with easter egg.  Model sporting his own requisite bowl-licking face decoration.

This cake represents an egg that was the size of your average football (we still have 3 of those left). It seemed like a good idea at the time, but on second thoughts I don’t think that adding butter cream, nuts and sugar to chocolate makes it any healthier or less fattening to eat….

Zara refused breakfast this morning (she isn’t big on eating first thing). I finally gave in and let her leave the table, only to find her 10 minutes later with her mouth so full of chocolate that she couldn’t even chew it. We will reach saturation point sometime soon…..

I’m inclined to throw it all in the bin, but that wouldn’t be very ‘green’ would it.;)


The view from my kitchen window last night.

Today I am feeling relaxed, domestically tied, unable to make any headway in organising the chaotic house, loved and happy.

Hope you are too. 🙂

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At the opening of Life Lines, someone asked me if it was difficult to let go of artworks when they are sold.

I said – ‘not at all’, and when the experience is a good one, that is the absolute truth.  You know they are going off to someone who loves them, and that they will continue to bring joy to them.  It’s a lovely experience to sell a work, and it makes me happy every single time.

As I packed up the car today though – to bring home the remainder of the works from Life Lines,  it was a warm and happy homecoming too.  Lovely to touch those works I spent so long over.  Lovely to see paintings that I felt so good about, and to meet them again with fresh eyes and see that they are good works – even though they didn’t meet a new home during this exhibition.

All things considered, I have come full circle again, and feel proud, and happy, and excited about the journey.  Yeehar!

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Monday morning


Sitting at the table with the remnants of poached eggs for breakfast and a pile of chocolate just out of view.

Still kind of shocked that we didn’t realise it was out 9 year anniversary the other day until mid-afternoon.

Happy that my disasterous too-small jumper is now going steadily along in 4th time lucky incarnation and seeming to be perfectly suitable.

Sorting ideas in my head into pipe-dreams and possibles.

Drawing for the fun of it.

Getting excited about an actual holiday away here.

Feeling like I would like to paint again even though I don’t need to…

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The glass


There is something so terribly uncool about standing on a box in the middle of a crowd and saying ‘I am confused today’. There is something uncool about admitting that one is not completely in control.  There is something uncool about questioning the path and the direction of ones own choosing.

There is something so totally, totally awesome about being brave enough to do it – and having hands and words reach out and touch in unexpected ways, that make the experience worthwhile, and do provide a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thanks so much to everyone who commented yesterday – I went to bed feeling much happier, and after hearing from an artist I respect and admire on a forum I visit that my rollercoaster experience is common I even feel kind of proud and hopeful that I am on the right path.


Thank you Daniel, Kirsten, Antikva, Catherine, and Alison for your support and ideas.

I promised myself when I started this blog, that I would document the process – emotional and otherwise, so that I could see how far I had come, and on the off-chance that anyone following and trying to balance it all was feeling the same way and know they were not alone.  That does mean a certain amount of unattractive spilling from time to time to keep it honest, and bizarrely being so vulnerable brings a certain amount of strength and clarity after the event.

I never considered throwing it away – I’ve put too much into this for that – and it would also be unfair to the many people who have bought paintings over my career to date.  I am so grateful for their support and trust.  And I want their investment to be worth so much more one day.

What I do need to come to grips with is the importance of having some kind of income that is not exhibited art-related, and that I dedicate a set amount of time to in a week.  I’m thinking Etsy, I’m thinking sewing, I’m thinking of tackling the knitting machine in a more professional manner to produce some unique things. I’m thinking cards, I’m thinking small paintings, I’m thinking of not selling out – but capitalising on the things I do anyway.  I’m hoping this may be the answer.

My tendency is towards beautiful, luxury fabrics, quirky detail and careful design and finishing.  I hope I can find like-minded people out there who feel like I do and want a piece of it.  Love for sale. 🙂

In the meantime, this makes me happy


ALL the faces she draws are smily ones.  All of them. And I love that…

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