('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.