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Archive for May, 2008

River Bed

New work in progress.

As we crossed the Daintree river by ferry I loooked upstream and considered how wonderful it would be to explore it – by boat – solo, slow and steady.  Stopping to take photos, daydream and snack when one felt like it.

Second though.  Boating down Daintree, solo, slow and steady being followed by crocodile, and wondering whether to turn back or keep going……

I still think it will be a happy painting when its finished. 🙂

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Found

This is the haircut I had through most of my childhood.

This is the haircut I had after I lost weight and rediscovered my skinny self (15 years ago).

This is the haircut that I had when I met my husband.

And a lots of stuff happened after that – mostly good, and including the blessing that is a husband who loves good food and doesn’t mind a wife with a bit of extra padding, and a curtailed social life.

Somewhere in all that I lost myself a bit and wasn’t actually really aware of it.  Life, marriage, working, children, house-maintenance, hobbies, general enjoyment and general distractions, too much TV…..

The past month (including the big 40) have had a profound effect on me, and I have had a returning to self of so many kinds I have lost count.  Embracing all the changes, and change itself has been a big one, and quietening the inner chatter that causes so many problems has been another.  The inner chatter is very destructive in my case, and peace and beauty has abounded in the quietness.

I have been shedding.  Weight (early days yet), clutter, memories, distractions, and trying to resist the temptation to restock the empty space with anything other than space.

And I got a haircut – my old haircut, my ‘me’ haircut, which happens to be frighteningly similar to one of my very best friends haircut that has been her trademark for the entire time I have known her (more than 20 years).  I love it, it suits me, and in my new found lack of self-consciousness I will try to not think when people see us together that they will be thinking we look odd.

I did it for me, and it feels good to be back.

Oh, and I did another painting – the second in a ‘knees and toes’ series.

Kicks – oil on linen

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Foxy

We love Charlie and Lola in our house. LOVE it.

And Zara has been asking for a Foxy like Lola has for a fair few months now.  So yesterday – the pair of us went shopping.  We bought the right colour fabric (according to Zara).  We figured out how big it should be…

I drew a rough pattern on the fabric and set to work.  Not mathematical. Each leg is slightly different in an organic funny way.

And we stuffed him together.  And we watched Charlie and Lola the whole time.

And Foxy is loved.

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a room of ones own

Homes come in all shapes and sizes

It’s not what I would have chosen, but the house we have sort of chose us, and we are (apart from disliking the way it looks – which is kind of important), very, very happy here.  The thing that I did get very excited about was the fact that it had an outside studio.  My head FILLED with plans, I had transformed it into a paradise of creativity and a palace of fun.  It was not to be.  We moved in – so did a lawnmower, suitcases, assorted implements, large toys that mysteriously appeared from nowhere, and boxes FULL of stuff that we had no room for (how one goes from living in a 2 bedroom apartment to a 4 bedroom house, and can’t successfully transport and find homes for everything I’ll never know – we still have stuff in storage).  The stido that was to be was not to be.  I felt thwarted.

And so it began.

A kind of creeping, unintentional and I suppose insidious takeover of the BIG front room.

I started small – if you want to know – tiny canvases – very, small.  LOTS of them it must be said – but they were small, and then they got bigger, and so did the dreams.  The alarmingly large ones arrived overnight and required paint – more of it.  The increasing amount of paint required housing.  The increasing amount of paintings, skill and sales required more practice, and stock and housing.  After a while all walls were employed in the pursuit of my passion, and many years later I (and I’m sure I wasn’t alone) was drowning.

So I made a big decision.

I recently claimed it (not out loud of course), and bought storage, and a filing cabinet, and reorganised, and made it all more organised.

And then I realised I have it.  A room of my own. How decadent.  I’ll share it of course, but only if they are nice to me….

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Cast Off

On the weekend, a marvellous, surprisingly fast, and happy project was completed.

A cropped, fitted and fluted cardigan of peacock hues that is light, and delicious and girly.

And the best bit – I actually like it, it fits, and want to wear it.

So many of my knitted projects for myself end up being too big, too small, or wrong in some way.  This one, was based on a knit (page 96) from this book, but instead of joining the body up and continuing in the round, I tapered off way short, cast on around all edges and knitted, and knitted and knitted.

If I was going to make it again, I’d probably make it a bit longer in the arms and continue the ribbing around the neckline a bit longer, but you know, I kind of like the way it ends a bit short.  It’s more flattering and girly in some way, and that’s kind of nice right now.

Today I’ll put it on Ravelry in more detail.  Still trying to find my way about on there, but quite excited to be along for the ride. 🙂

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Toe

I’m working on a new painting.

Today.

Based on a photo I took last week.

Of a stranger.

Does that sounds wierd?  Probably….

Last week we were at the Atherton Tablelands, visiting a waterfall and a minibus load of backpackers got out.  They stripped off to their bathers and all went for the waterfall experience – some swimming up to the fall to get their heads wet, some posing in front in the riverbed waist-high.

One girl got my attention – because she was well-rounded, lost in the moment, and having a lovely time.  She was beautiful, so I took her photograph and today she’ll be caught on canvas.  Hope she doesn’t mind wherever she is. 🙂

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This was my birthday present.  A moment of such delight and wonder that it sank in deep and stayed.

On the day of my birthday we went to the Daintree forest, took the ferry over the Daintree river, explored and frolicked, terrified ourselves with the prospect of coming face-to-face with a Cassowary (if only we could have been that lucky), and saw a tiny bit of Cape Tribulation.  On a deserted beach at Cape Tribulation were the most superb decorations – made I think by sand crabs.

This little pattern kept repeating for me while we were away – sprays of sand (as above) on beaches – including the one at Port Douglas, on an anthill on the way to the Tablelands, in Zara’s drawings (circles, and circles and circles, and even in the journeys we took from our apartment leading out, stopping, going back, stopping, going further, stopping.  In groupings of people at markets we visited, on a plate in a restaurant, and in a gathering of fish by our boat eagerly snatching up prawn shells on the way home from the Low Isles – to see a part of the Barrier Reef (yes, this is the boat we went on).

The spreading pattern has become a symbol of our very special time away for me, and it must be captured and explored.  Not sure how yet, and a painting would be appropriating aboriginal motifs in some way I feel – which is not to be done.

I look at that image and feel peace, and stillness, and mystery.  What was in that hole – what does the world look like to it.

I wonder…

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