Monday, 26 January 2009

an interview with BoHo

i interviewed passionate writer & mother, affectionately known as BoHo, from words from a bohemian mom recently.

take a look at BoHo's answers to my questions here.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Secret No. 3 - following your fascinations

i am participating in the next chapter blogging group, reading 12 secrets of highly creative women by gail mcmeekin.

at last my book has arrived! this chapter is about following your fascinations & risk taking. as mentioned before here, a fascination of mine is magical themes & writing children's stories.

my imagination went wild one day and i began painting stories of a small girl called lucy who lives at the top of a hill. she runs down the hill one evening to talk excitedly to the fish, whose heads poke out of the water to listen. she tells them that there are shooting stars trekking across the sky and that it is a special sign. the sleeping flowers awaken to listen to her story too. meanwhile the moon shines, the luminoscity lighting up everything below. there is magic happening here and the story continues on in my head...and i must write it down somewhere. i have made other 'lucy' paintings and this is not my best one, but i love it because i gave my imagination a free rein.

more fascination is with colour. no-one ever taught me how to mix colour or schooled me on what goes with what. i do know the hues that tone and contrast nicely, but the risk-taker in me likes to experiment. people are often surprised by my colour choices, but you never know unless you go there, do you?

so the idea is to pull all these fascinations together, take some risks & create an artwork.

this mixed media collage (decorative paper, shells, acrylic) i made recently. it's called 'crying for the moon'. the story - a goldfish has grown too big for her fishbowl. she wants to escape to explore the outside world. will she grow wings and fly right out the window before our very eyes? or is she destined to remain in that fishbowl, crying for the moon...?

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Secret No 2: honouring your inspiration

i am participating in the next chapter , reading 12 secrets of highly creative women

artistic inspiration is everywhere: so i take time to absorb what is around me, to really take notice of every little thing - what do i see, what do i hear, what do i feel, what can i touch, what can i smell, what do i dream ...... i don't think about it too much, just allow it all to percolate. art supplies ever ready, my hands take care of the rest.

a leafy garden pierced with sunlight

parrots chattering in the treetops

a patchwork quilt

potent dreams

a single word

a man with red hair walking by


a surfboard & towel at the beach

a smooth grey stone

moody music

a piece of sparkly jewellery

a messy red crayon

delicate, floaty, oval leaves on the robinia tree

ripe fruit piled high in the fruit shop, fresh and fragrant.

coloured glass on a kitchen windowsill

each other

a blank journal page

Sunday, 18 January 2009

interview by suki

('Lucy & The Diamond Sky' - acrylic on canvas)

These are answers to interview questions posed by Suki. If you would like to be interviewed by me, please read the instructions at the end.

Your art is often playful and colorful. Where does your inspiration come from? (person, place, particular era or style? etc.)
It is my nature to be playful and often feel as though I have a child’s perspective of the world. I can be adult and serious, but it doesn’t come naturally, I always feel like a fraud! I like to write small children’s verse and stories, especially with magical themes. Sometimes I paint these stories. Magical Realism is a book genre I love to read and the concept of the magical residing in the ordinary fascinates me and I look for it everywhere. Colour simply makes me feel good. It conveys emotion & energy and most people respond quite strongly to my art, which is gratifying. I use simple, strong line and design matched with detail. The patterning that Matisse uses has been an influence at times.

You post music for the soul videos on your blog. Who are your favorite musicians and why? Has your musical taste changed through the years?
I have eclectic musical tastes and listen to everything including Country & Opera, Classical guitar especially Spanish guitar. Anything acoustic always seems more real to me and some of my favourite recordings are ‘unplugged’. The Woodstock era I enjoy because the sixties was such an intensely creative era. The poet in me especially loves the lyrics of the sixties. Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez. I still have affection for seventies music, since I was in my teens then. While I love this music from the past I'm always open to new music that has these elements that I love. A recent discovery: Ani DiFranco

When you feel uninspired, what are three things you do to rev up your creative self?
I drag myself away from the mundane and find something new:
A shop I have not been in before, drive or walk down a street I have never been down. Buy a different flavour of icecream. Be adventurous.
Messing around in my art journal: It’s the equivalent of stream of consciousness writing. I draw, doodle, sketch – anything that comes to mind, in any medium. It never fails to get the creative juices flowing. I make some awful stuff here too but it reveals the occasional gold nugget.
Other artists: Either going to a gallery, browsing online, in a book or on a blog. Without fail, my fingers start twitching. I’m a do-er and can’t bear just watching others for too long. Also, participating in blogging groups such as The Next Chapter, this time reading'12 secrets of highly creative women' by Gail McMeekin, I am sure will stir up some inspiration.

How did you discover Yoga and how has it effected your life?
Immensely. When I was pregnant with my (now 15 yr old) son, I joined pre-natal yoga thinking the relaxation would be good for me and my baby. It was. Classes were taught in the evenings in an old weatherboard house on a hill, with a Frangipani tree growing outside the front door. The rooms were lined with honey-toned wood panelling and candles were always burning, giving the room a warm glow. I felt as though I were in a womb myself. The yoga was gentle & fun. At the end of each session we sang ‘om shanti, shanti, shanti, om, shanti, shanti, CHI!!’ and laughing, wiggled our fingers in the air to chase bad spirits away from our babies, as Indian women do. I loved it!

A few years later I began at an Iyengar Yoga School and was hooked at the very first lesson. This was strong & energetic Yoga and it made me feel alive. I had not anticipated the changes that would come. Flexibility, strength, relaxation and increased energy were instant. My diet changed quite naturally and I lost weight. I attended meditation classes where we sat for hour long sessions. It was very hard going then, but this discipline stays with me today and I meditate very easily. I consider this a very precious gift and know from experience that Yoga has a very profound effect on well-being. If you want to face your own truth & find equanimity, try Yoga. You just have to do it, preferably every day.

What is your favorite: cookbook, art book, yoga book.
Cook Book: I’ve never been a cook who follows a recipe much, so I mostly use cook books for things like baking, where you have to be exact. There is an Almond Macaroon recipe in 'The Food of Morocco' that our family just loves. I can't make enough of them! The recipe is simple & I know it by heart. I'll post it another time though.
Art Book: my sister Cate gave me a book last year called Studio, a collection of Australian artists photographed in their studios, accompanied by their view on the nature of creativity. It is a large, glossy, inspiring coffee table book and I love it!
Yoga Book: 'Light On Yoga' by B.K.S. Iyengar. The Yoga Bible. All you need to know.

Here's the instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me".
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

i am an artist!

i've joined the next chapter group hosted by Jamie Ridler, focusing on the book the 12 secrets of highly creative women, written by gail mcmeekin. the group began on the 9th january. my book has not arrived on the doorstep yet, however i have decided to begin.

the first delicious secret is: 'acknowledging your creative self'

me: 4 years old. i sit at the kitchen table with my mother, drawing loopy swirls all over the page. i then fill in the shapes i've made with gorgeous colour. i am captivated.

me: 10 years old. i win a prize in an art exhibition at my primary school. it is the first time i receive positive feedback and realise art is something i can do. i am an artist!

me: highschool. art dominates. in maths class i make elaborate doodles with black ink, in science i'm happy as long as i can draw diagrams, in geography i'm happy if can draw & decorate maps. colourful title pages for each subject are my thing. the art room is an aladdin's cave filled with paint, paper, brushes, clay & glazes - it is my favourite place in the whole world. my school uniform is pale grey/dull green, so i express my creative self by wearing too much bright blue eyeshadow.
me: twenties & thirties. i have children. time to get out the playdough, paint, glitter, glue and collage materials. it is an excuse to get down on the floor and do fingerpainting! it's all about the kids and not much time for me. i want my own play group!
me: forties. years pass by and i constantly create art, write poetry and stories. an art class here and there. but it isn't until recent times that i find the freedom to explore my creativity fully, through blogging, journalling and reading whatever i can get my hands on.

if 'the artist's way' opens my eyes, '12 secrets' is a refresher course. the artist child in me will not stop tugging on my sleeve, saying 'c'mon, let's play!'

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

laugh out loud

how do you ride a wave of stress when it comes? these five things i have found helpful at different times, but the last one trumps all!

the guest house rumi's words are so beautiful and comforting, i always feel peaceful after reading his poetry.

this mug should be in every household and brought out in times of need, maybe with camomile tea in it. it's good, sound advice that you can't argue with. there is a poster too, i believe.

rescue remedy is famous for providing instant calm when needed. keep it in a place that you can reach easily.

child's pose is very restful. helpful when you are over-tired and stressed. a good morning-after-a-late-night pose. stay there for as long as you like, breathing steadily, in through your nose and out through your nose.

laughter wins! i'm going to watch this every morning!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

no regrets

i know january is almost over, but if you are still pondering 2008 and wondering about 2009, my sister has posted a great way of saying goodbye to regrets/mistakes from 2008, finding the things to be grateful for from 2008 and moving forward with intention into 2009.

i have no regrets really for 2008, except for having to soldier on through months of bad health. but this regret was cancelled out by finding a solution in the last quarter of the year and climbing back up to good health again. phew, it was hard work! i have promised myself that i won't be referring to bad health again, it's behind me now.

ultimately my belief is that regrets keep you anchored in the overcrowded past. i want to dwell in the here and now, it's so much more spacious & generous here. i make mistakes every year, so there's no point worrying about them :) imagine a nightmarish kind of world where you aren't allowed to make mistakes! it doesn't bear thinking about.

i had so much to be grateful for in 2008; restored health of course, a home yoga studio & a home art studio - both inhabited constantly, losing 10 kilos then 'having to' re-stock my wardrobe with some wonderful new clothes (every girls dream!), attending to some overdue dental work - definitely something to smile about, happy times with friends.......... and so much more.

my intentions/goals; mmmm maybe try learning spanish again on the internet ('encantada di hiberte conicido' for any spanish readers - apologies for poor spelling!) to cook more creatively, keep up the yoga, create oodles of art, research spanish architecture/art just for fun and keep on keeping on.

... and just in case you were thinking of wasting time, there are only 11 months and 15 days till christmas!

Friday, 9 January 2009

mug shot

a few bloggers out there have been posting their favourite coffee mug.

i actually have a couple of mugs that are favourites - a good sized bone china mug for drinking green tea or vanilla chai and this one for drinking chai syrup. it's not too big, not too small, but just right. goldilocks would approve =)

once upon a time i drank one cup of coffee mid morning, but i gave it up recently and don't really miss it that much.

more mug shots here, here and here

Sunday, 4 January 2009

healthy, happy spirit

Suki shared this meme - 'five daily things that keep my spirit healthy & happy...' many more i could add, but here's my five.

femininity/self care - yoga & meditation, sleep, drinking water, eating well, taking my vitamins, moisturising, a squirt of perfume, pretty jewellery, pretty underwear, freshly washed hair, dressing with care. never fails to lift my spirits.

zero clutter - i drink up home design magazines and try to imitate thoughtful arrangement of furniture & ornaments. i like to allow 'space' to just 'be', while keeping the vibe warm, friendly & lived in at the same time (minimalism can be harsh in it's emptiness). i love creating the good energy.

making art - playing with colour and line, the smell of art supplies, expressing me & seeing what happens.

saying 'yes' - saying yes keeps you in the flow and leads you to unexpected places. spontaneity is uplifting and energising - this guy took saying yes to extremes - clearly it can change your life!

family - being with the people i love. this includes jess the border collie & phoebe the black & white cat (affectionately known as the 'black & white club'). unconditional love.

Thursday, 1 January 2009


'flying triangles' watercolour/ink.

if you've been following christine kane's blog, you'll know about choosing a one word sankalpa (intention) for 2009.

my word needed to be one that would steer me towards my true north. it’s not that I don’t have direction, i’m very clear on where I’m going and I have plenty of discipline, most of the time. it’s just that I have been allowing myself to get knocked off course. the fact is, I have been ignoring my intuition.

i hear that little voice, then dismiss what i’ve just heard, sometimes with dire consequences. afterwards, i always say to myself, patti, why didn’t you listen? my heart always knows better than my head. there is no point meditating & asking for guidance if i don’t listen.

there’s a song from the seventies (the stylistics - see youtube in my sidebar) that goes like this - ‘stop, look, listen to your heart, hear what it’s saying’. this song will be playing in my head a lot this year.

my intention for 2009 - LISTEN!
happy new year!