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Archive for August, 2009

driving

Things have been so hectic around here lately that there has not been much opportunity for escape as a family.

drive8

When there’s snow about we go to Mt Donna Buang just for a day trip but as there was no snow there and rain was on the cards we decided to go a little further and head to Lake Mountain, where last year the snow was plentiful.

Only it’s a bit of a drive.

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It started raining.

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We drove through Healesville, and the black spur, marvelling at the regeneration of the forests so soon after the horrific bushfires of last summer and feeling a bit tense as we drew closer to Marysville.

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Marysville was shocking, and I was totally unprepared for the flood of emotion at the sight of fences without houses, letterboxes without homes, glass in shops heat-damaged and cracked – the sign inside ‘for lease’ all the more poignant.

A fence with photos of the lost pinned to it.

Lost. here. So awful.

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We have fond memories of Marysville.  It’s a beautiful town, the locals are friendly and there was a magnificent fudge shop where they made it themselves and the drive was worth it for that alone.  I’m pretty sure it’s gone, we couldn’t see it.  I wonder if those people were among the lost.  It’s not the kind of question you ask.

This is a town that needs help and healing.

We drove through and started the climb up the mountain.  As the rain continued, the fog rolled in.  It was about 2pm.

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And one of the scariest drives I have ever had  in my life.  Fog so thick visibility was about 1 metre and no opportunity to turn around and go back.

So beautiful to look at.  Impossible to enjoy.

drive2

We got to the top.  No snow.  Lots of rain (we need the rain).  Huddled in the wet-dog smelling public shelter we questioned charging an entry fee on a day like this – though to their credit they showed us a photo of what there was in the way of snow and suggested it might be wise to turn around. And I guess there are funds needed there too.

It was wet and freezing.  We headed back.

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To home and  hearth and happy.

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Still thinking of Marysville.

lost

and the lost, and how lucky we are to be here.

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Chiaroscuro – opening night

s13

I’m still on a bit of a high from the opening the other night.

So many people came, so many new faces and lovely people to chat to!  Red dots!

Such fun! Show is on until September 16 if you missed the opening and would like to come see.  Yay! 🙂

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the somnambulist

somnambulist

The somnambulist, 60cm sq, oil on linen

Today the exhibition was hung.  So good to see it up and looking pretty!  I’m really proud of this exhibition and just hope that the weather will ease off for the opening tomorrow night.  It’s been WILD this afternoon.

Tonight, I’m not painting.  I’ll be kicking back with a glass of wine and just relaxing,  First time for a while… Can’t wait!

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arrange and rearrange

she&her&song

she and her (left), future song (right)

I had a delicious time today.  Painting is done, wiring and preparation is done.  Tomorrow the works will be delivered to the gallery and then the bigger task of arranging, and rearranging, culling and sorting will  begin.

Today – as I lined up the works, sorted through, stepped back, looked at the myriad of possibilities and breathed a little more deeply it struck me again, how many different shows it could be.  These two paintings sitting side by side tell a story, but there are others that can pair up as well.  There are 7 small works that are almost interchangeable in pairs and that is kind of fabulous and very, very fun.  I hope someone chooses to play that game.  I almost wish I could have created one of those boards that you push the tiles around in as a display.  Too late.  Thank goodness.

It’s always disquieting, the night before delivery.  No matter how proud one is of the works individually, together they are a different animal and I’ll never forget the shock of seeing a whole room filled with me.  It was like being turned inside out and unable to find cover.  I have become much more accustomed and quite enjoy it now.  I am looking forward to the opening and the hanging and getting a good deep sleep sometime soon. 🙂

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seeking the doorway

Seeking-the-doorway

seeking the doorway, 102cm x 52cm oil on canvas

I’d stay and chat but I can’t seem to stop coughing.  so over this cold… 😦

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still

walledgarden

The walled garden, 30cm sq, oil on cradled wood panel.

This time next week the show will be hanging.  I’ll be assembling cupcakes and wondering what to wear.

Today, I find myself – at day 4 of aches and chills, coughing fits and low energy – not wanting to do much at all.  And hoping that tomorrow is much better.  In a sense it’s a blessing.

Usually at this point I’ll have paintings lined up and be stressing over holes that have just made themselves apparent in the body of work.  Works that should be done to tie themes together, painting the edges and fixing wires.  Maybe even still painting.    There is still painting going on.  Smaller works that are a fruitful distraction and will be a welcome addition to the show, but I am (for the most part) happy about how it is all fitting together, and not feeling nervous or sad about finishing these preparations.

It probably helps that I have something to go on to straight from here.  A small works show that will be on at 775 in 5 or so weeks.  There are work in various stages of completion for that – and a fair few boards that are still to be made.

When I can stop sneezing that is…

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creeping forward

dark-night

When I was a kid I wanted to be an artist (with no idea what that actually entailed on a practical level of course). I just knew that it would be marvellous and that this was the title I wanted to apply to myself.

As an adult I felt the craving an a regular basis but suspected that it might bring more heartache than joy and kept it repressed for a long, long time while I pursued money and a ‘proper’ job.

Now I am here, I question what it is to be an artist regularly.  I wonder at the folly this career is and at the lifetimes of artists who have gone before and how many doubts there must have been in the minds of even those who made it financially viable.

Do we do it for the joy?  Do we do it for the process? Do we do it because we need to do it, or Do we do it because it is the only thing we feel we truly shine at (and who is the judge of that).

So much of all this is subjective.  And can turn in the blink of an eye.

A favourable comment brings a moment’s joy.  No sales brings doubts for weeks or months.  Strange how the negative always feels more powerful than the positive isn’t it.  And this is where the danger  lies.  Especially in a society where money  talks so loudly and there is so much material distraction.

For myself it is an overriding need to be doing this.  A lemming-like rush into what lies ahead which refuses to rest and needs to be fed on a regular basis.  I could probably do it quietly in the confines of my home but that isn’t enough, I must exhibit, I must progress I must creep forward.  I am fully owning the title like it or not.

I have less than 2 weeks until my next solo exhibition opens, so I’ve been reflecting a lot on his body of work.  I lie awake at night arranging, re-arranging, culling, adding, analysing the progression.  I am excited by what it is, and how it will look.  I am hoping it will get a good reception.  I am aware, in this peculiar climate that sales may be hard to come by, but that’s OK because it has to be done in any case.

And so I creep forward, excited and happy, and working away and looking to the future with a happy heart.

And a few sleepless nights.

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