Archive for September, 2008


I found this fascinating table via a forum that is absorbing me a bit lately (the forum that is – not the table).

I don’t know whether to be encouraged or frightened by it.

Artist’s incomes

It is astonishing to me that a ‘professional’ artist/crafter/actor/composer should have a reasonable expectation of making so little money.  Sure there must be many who make over $100k and many who make $500 in any given year and those figures are averaged out.  Sure the figures are 7 years old, but I imagine they must still be relevant.


Making art (of any kind), is a fairly solid pursuit.  Having your head tuned in, seeing, capturing, planning, skill-gathering, promoting all take time and head-space.  And yes, it is a selfish pursuit as well.  There are no guarantees of ever getting back any of the money that it cost you to physically produce a work (or show it) but it is an imperative activity for many of us.

I think, most people would rather buy work from a ‘full time professional artist’ than an accountant who creates on Sundays, yet, they will be unaware of the cost in lost earnings that commitment entails. Or the study. Or the failures swallowed.

And perhaps it is the fact that we tend to look at televisions, or have our own busy hands that makes owning a piece to hang on a wall and absorb over the years less important than it used to be.  Perhaps artists always earned so little.

It is frightening to see what the average ‘artist’ can reasonably expect to earn, and yet we do it and continue to do it over our lives.  With broad smiles and happy hearts and wistful glances at luxury items….


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Shadow dancers – work in progress.

Wave riders – work in progress.

A busy weekend.  More social, more laughing, more tidying, more watering of plants still deciding whether to stay or go (please stay).

Today I stole almost a whole day painting.  I didn’t mean it to happen, but husband promised to cook lunch, children were occupied, washing was in the machine, so I thought I’d just have a minute, an hour, and afternoon.  Lovely.

And this morning a session with my Dad who was over for the (let’s not talk about it) Grand final.  *sigh*.

Dad showed me around the Mitre Saw a bit better, and it’s so simple I can’t believe I couldn’t figure some things out by myself.  Anyway.  He made a frame, he went.  I made a frame on my own.  Whoo Hoo!


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In my studio

Shadow dancers – work in progress (underpainting)

Wave riders, work in progress (underpainting).

The end of week one of the school holidays, and something magic has been happening around here…


Quiet playing – together, my two.

I keep waiting for some explosive outbreak or discontent to arise, but you know (touch wood) there has been nothing too demanding and I have been able to quietly paint at times during the days and sketch, and bake, and make plans, be social, and go on outings.  Like an actual grown up.


It’s true, there is light at the end of the tunnel.. And even though I know I have to grasp these times when they are little with both hands and store memories for the future when I will have more time on my own, in the meantime, this quiet time – where all I have to do is listen to  murmurings in the background is like nectar.  I love it.

I’m painting….

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There is nothing quite like sitting 1 metre away from a very tall man and trying to fit his entire dramatic frame onto a very small piece of paper.

And this is nothing like it.

And this is nothing like it.

And there were several of these……

We sketched The Birdmann last night at Dr Sketchy, and though it was a near-impossible draw, man it was fun!

You can see some of his work here, and at the end of the sketching session he generously shared part of his act with us.  He juggled plastic bags, showed us smooth moves to use in our daily lives and threw in some Irish dancing and a hasty strip to his Y-fronts.  Hilarious and very, very entertaining.  He came straight from the plane from New York (where I think he was performing) and he is in Melbourne from Sept 26 – October 3 at the North Melbourne Town Hall.

Such fun. 🙂

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Drink me

Drink me.  50cm x 50cm. Oil on linen, 2008

New work from me.

I can’t ever quite seem to get Alice in Wonderland out of my head.  It is such a wonderful story on so many levels and draws parallels to life and our experiences as we move through it in so many ways.  I’m sure I am not alone in experiencing daily awe at the tiniest of things, and often feel confusion at the twists humans take and their self-abuse in terms of relationships and choices they make for themselves.

Here she is poised, pulled, and about to step into the next chapter.  What will it bring?  How does she feel?  I hope she retains her optimism and childish awe, it’s a valuable commodity these crazy days….

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Sky watching

Study for after the storm, by Jim Thalassoudis, oil on linen, 30 x 30 cm .

Isn’t that lovely.

Last week, mid gardening marathon I was lucky enough to sneak out and see Jim’s new exhibition open at Charles Nodrum Gallery.

Damn it was beautiful.

Jim is one of those painters who manage to capture the ephemeral so perfectly, and make it so frustratingly clear that you simply must have one of his paintings in the hope that is will somehow sink into your consciousness.

I have no words.  Just go and see the exhibition if you possibly can.  It’s marvellous, and you can see the work that will be making it into the Art Gallery of South Australia’s collection while you are there.

It was a buzz seeing them up close, and Jim is such a charming fellow in person.

Jim’s website is here. and Saturday coffee was here with these lovely people in attendance.

Lucky me, lucky you!  Go see! 🙂

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Excuse the absence.

I have been labouring in the garden – under the instruction of my green-thumbed mother and her hard-working spouse.  I have been weeding, and trimming and absorbing instructions.  I have been educated in plant choices and thrilled to see expanses of dirt emerge.  I have ripped out things that were struggling and piled up mountains of plant-matter that will no doubt take weeks to dispose of.

I have been busy.

I have been cooking, moving, feeding and watering (plants and people), placating bored children and ferrying and socialising and generally falling into bed at the end of long days with obvious results.

And even though those results are huge swathes of dirt with eager little plants in the middle, I am happy.

Today our labouring house-guests have left, and I can get back to being me – with hopefully a bit of green-thumb taking root, because, you know, we have too many tombstones that look like this:

Impatiens by name impatient by nature – it’s fitting.  Lets hope the new me can take pleasure in gentler pursuits… 😉

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