Thursday, May 31, 2012


I've been doing some clearing up in my studio.  Autumn cleaning rather than spring cleaning - but at least I'm getting it done!  Its actually been a really lovely experience going through old art work.  The pieces bring back so many memories, and they also remind me of ideas that have never been realised.  
I've been really inspired too.  I found some lovely old monoprints based on photographs that I bought at an antique store.  You can read a bit more about them here

Some of the other pieces I found were some delicate pencil drawings and a few etchings of landscapes.  They are spotted and stained, but they are really precious too me - they capture something in embryonic form that I have not yet fully explored.  These were done 20 years ago, when I used to go camping every easter.  It's amazing how the seeds were planted all the way back then, for the ideas I am now working towards in my landscapes.

 I was so inspired that I got out the ink and roller, and did some monoprints on the spot!  I'm particularly interested in using this medium as a way of loosening myself up with landscape.  So, I'm now waiting for the ink to dry on my monoprints, wondering why I did them in oil-based ink, and itching to get in and colour them up.  Who knows where they'll take me.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Instagram Addict

I have become an instagram addict!  Its a fantastic social media for non-verbal communicators!! I get a quick high from making a visual image that pleases me, and putting it out there for people to see immediately.  With my life being as busy as it is at the moment, it is sometimes my only creative outlet in a day.  When a friend introduced me to it in Melbourne almost a year ago, I thought it was just a cute way to edit photos.  But its so much more!  Its a global instagram community complete with its own set of "values" and ways of interrelating.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, its worth a look. There is a tab at the top of the page that will take you to an online version of my instagram account.  There is also an official instagram blog that features some of the millions of daily photos. There are some absolutely amazing images of peoples lives and worlds out there.  I find it fascinating.  
One of the activities people get involved in is tagging, a bit like a school yard game of chasey.  You are tagged by someone to show a particular photo, and you do that and then tag someone else to keep the game going.  I was recently tagged to come up with my favourite 9 photos of where I live - #mycountry9.
This is what I came up with.   

Friday, May 18, 2012

Autumn on the Farm

One of the things I love about living in Tasmania is the marked variation in the seasons.  Its an age-old marking of time into distinct phases that each have a purpose and an activity that corresponds to its purpose.  There is a rhythm that the seasons impart to life that I really love. 
Autumn in Tasmania is a beautiful time.  Living rurally, I see the impact of the season on the landscape around me.  The colours, textures and mood of autumn are currently inspiring me.  Here are some of my photos that I've taken to capture the moments.

The past few weeks have been very busy with the baby, but every now and then I get a chance to sit at my studio desk and imagine that I'm creating something!  One of the problems with getting very little time to yourself is that you tend to want to make the small moments count, and this can lead to being a bit uptight!  Not conducive to creativity!  So I have taken to forcing myself to play with things and this week, autumn has been the inspiration for the play.  I've been making patterns with the cutoffs left on my desk from my cardmaking (see my etsy shop), and have teamed them up with some doodley watercolour leaves in autumny colours.  I think they might go somewhere, but if not, they are at least helping to keep me moving.  I do love watercolour - I'm thinking of playing with some watercolour and landscape drawing - although a lack of ideas is never my problem - always a lack of time.  Must remember not to get too frustrated and PLAY.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

This time last year, I was living at Ronald McDonald House in Parkville in Melbourne, separated from 4 of my kids, and visiting the youngest in the ICU at Royal Childrens Hospital.  It was during the most difficult few months of my life.  I missed my family terribly.  It was like being in a tunnel - not looking to the left or the right, not enjoying the scenery, but just getting through it one day at a time.  All the days meld into one in my memory, except for those where something remarkable happened.  I have to say that at that time, something remarkable usually meant bad news! 
But I do remember Mother's Day last year.  I arrived at the hospital and A was in room 5 of the old ICU (apparently the new building is very plush - not sure I want to check it out for a while though!).  When I arrived there was a big bag of donated Mother's Day goodies, and a card which the nurses on night shift had made.  The card was so special - it had A's footprint stamped onto it! I treasure it.  It was such a normal baby thing to do - something I had done with all my other babies, and not with A.  Sometimes, the smallest things can mean so much to someone.  During those months, the valleys were very low, but for the valleys to be low, the peaks must be high!  Or maybe they just seem high!  Maybe I just appreciate the  little things far more.  I hope so.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Inaugural Post

Well, I've been wanting to start a blog for about 4 years now, and here I am, typing my first post!  It takes a while but it gets done eventually.  The story of my life!  Here on my blog, I will be rambling about my life and my art work.  The two are intertwined and messy, and not very well packaged, hence the rambling!

So a bit about me - I am a wife and mother of 5 children.  I live on a flower farm in south-eastern Tasmania.  It's a magical, magnificent place.  I am blessed.  I have been making and exhibiting artwork for over 20 years and have had lots of exhibitions, in many places across Australia, but thanks to my gradually expanding family duties, I haven't had what you'd call a well planned career!

In fact, very little about my life is well planned.  Any pretence I may have conjured to that effect was definitely exposed when my number 5 child was diagnosed before she was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.  If you've never heard of it, don't worry.  Neither had we.  Google it  and you'll soon discover its not a small problem.  We had to fly to Melbourne for her to be born, and she spent more than 3 months in intensive care at the Royal Children's Hospital there.  After 5 trips to theatre for open heart surgery, she was stable enough to come home, and its been an adventure (!!!) learning to care for her and help her to enjoy life.  It's an ongoing journey.

When faced with such difficult circumstances, I like many before me, was forced to examine my life and my priorities, and this has lead to a more motivated and intentional life.  I am hoping that this blog will help me to maintain that, and also to keep track of this season of life as a type of journaling.

Today, as I sit at my computer typing my inaugural blog, I am sleep deprived, overloaded with housework, but happy.  My baby is alive, and sleeping in her cot.  My shift working husband is sleeping too, and a quiet moment has been snatched to achieve a dream 4 years in the making!  Autumn is definitely here.  The days are shorter, the light is beautiful, and the landscape is quieting down after the activity of summer.  I wonder what the months ahead will bring.  What I hope to achieve over winter is to bring to a conclusion a series of paintings I've been working on for about 3 years, and to proceed onto some new work that has been incubating.

If you're interested in our flower farm, click on the Swallows Nest Farm tab at the top of the page.  If you want to see the series of paintings, click on the website tab.