Monday, 31 December 2007

2008 - Humans Becoming

"We speak of ourselves as 'human beings' despite the image that the word 'being' conjures up - a fixed thing, a stable state. Yet we live in and are part of a universe that is endlessly fecund, inventive, ever changing, ever transforming itself. It would surely be better if we abandoned the term 'human being' and replaced it with 'human becoming'." - Darryl Reanney.

Max and I have spent the holidays doing what we always do. Reading. We always give each other books as gifts at Christmas and both love this peaceful summery time of year, sitting out on our leafy, sun and shade dappled deck under the umbrella, reading our books.

A couple of posts ago I wrote about six books on my bookshelf which seemed to track my spiritual journey through the cosmos. But I forgot to add one important book.

As with all things serendipitous, two days ago I was looking for another book, and this one literally fell in my path again. Approximately 12-14 years ago I read "The Death of Forever - A New Future For Human Consciousness" by Australian Molecular Biologist Darryl Reanney, and it was mind stretching to put it mildly. But I guess I wasn't ready for it all at the time and put it aside. My consciousness was incubating and evolving in spite of this and a couple of years later, Yoga came into my life. Looking back, this book probably marked the beginning of my spiritual journey. I have just finished reading it for the second time.

If you have read the "Power Of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, you may find that "The Death Of Forever" fills in many gaps for you. Darryl who sadly died from leukaemia in 1996, gives a a very spiritual conclusion to a book filled with scientific explanations, that seem to echo what we already "know".

He explores everything from "the biggie" - the fear of death, to the ego-self, psychology, choice, evolution, genetics and DNA, religion, time, quantum physics, 'the Big Bang' and black holes..... It is a book that wrangles with you and your beliefs and will contribute much towards your enlightenment.

He has also written a subsequent book called "After Death: A New Future for Human Consciousness" which I have yet to read.

Monday, 24 December 2007

A Peaceful Christmas

Best wishes to everyone for a safe and peaceful Christmas and a very happy start to 2008.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Christmas Angels

This sleepy angel was made by my son when he was in Primary School. In typical male fashion, he still feels uncomfortable about the fact that he actually made a doll, with pretty eyelashes, wearing a dress, with ribbons!! Clearly it was girl stuff! But secretly, I think he's pleased that his creation sits on top of the family Christmas tree.

We have named the angel "Nan" after my mother Doreen. Doreen has dementia and lives in a Nursing Home. She is very sleepy these days. The nursing staff gently dress her in her nightie and tuck her into bed after lunch every day. She has become a baby again. In the mornings she sits in her chair, head tilted forward like this angel, fast asleep.

It got me thinking about the angels we come across in our day to day lives, that quietly and efficiently, do something special and meaningful for you, then simply slip away into the ether. So here are my nominations for Christmas Angels 2007.

  • The staff at Doreen's Nursing Home; for their patience and care and most of all, for their sense of humour. It helps my feisty mother surrender, rather than resist her lot.

  • Our friend Deano; who has been bringing us bags of sweet, juicy oranges from his brothers orchard and who gave us not one, but two boxes of Christmas lights, when he heard our last years set was on the blink. He is such a generous soul.

  • My Chiropractor; who efficiently and intuitively, in only one month, healed me. He was only working a 'stint' in my area and has now gone back to Sydney. He has changed my life and given me back my Mojo!

  • Blogging Angels; All of you bloggers out there. Yes YOU! Twelve months of blogging has connected me with so many truly beautiful souls, who make my day so much happier, with comments on my own blog and posts on yours, that always inspire and allow me to get to know you better.

  • Friends; There have been so many true friends slipping in and out of my life this year, doing special things for me behind the scenes. Simply special.

Now I feel like I'm on a roll and could go on seeing angels in every corner. Who are your Angels for 2007? I bet there are more than you can handle!

Ooops! Speaking of corners, please try not to notice the Daddy Long Legs spider in the top corner of my loungeroom! I haven't got the heart to squish them.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Six Books From My Bookshelf

These six books I have referred to constantly since I bought them and they have helped me make sense of myself and the world.

Living Yoga by Georg Feuerstein, Stephan Bodian with the Staff of Yoga Journal. This was the book I bought when I first began Yoga. I knew that I liked everything about doing it, but realised I didn't know too much about it, generally speaking. This book is a "comprehensive guide for daily life" and was a great introduction. I knew I wanted more Yoga after devouring this dog-eared copy. I now get my Yoga fix on-line at Yoga Journal.

Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar. This is my Yoga 'bible'. I knew I was serious about Yoga when I bought this book! I refer to it when I am creating a new sequence of postures, or if I need a posture for a particular ailment. It has a great glossary, a whole section on pranayama and suggested asana courses, including hints and cautions.

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron This was given to me as a gift by my sister and I did the course by myself back in 2003. It was only when I began blogging that I discovered whole groups of recovering artists and revisited the book this year, with great results. It really got me thinking about creativity and where it comes from and how I could harness it fully. I know most of you reading this will have read this book already. I have not read Cameron's second book "Finding Water" yet, and due to not so wonderful reviews by the Finding Water group, I may not bother. Have you read it? What do you think?

The Western Guide to Feng Shui by Terah Kathryn Collins This is all about creating balance, harmony and prosperity in your environment. It gave me a simple de-cluttering technique to use and made me aware of the energy of my surroundings. I now see my world with "Feng Shui eyes".

The Celestine Vision by James Redfield This is a follow up book to "The Celestine Prophesy" which was written as fiction. The Celestine Vision is about the spiritual evolution of the world which sometimes seems a little fanciful, but it is a vision, so I guess it remains to be seen whether it all comes to pass. It did get me thinking though.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.. I loved the simple message of this book - don't dwell in the past, don't engage in thought about what might happen in the future - simply live in the now. It is about living consciously in the present moment. This practice has brought new meaning to my everyday life, and my Yoga practice and meditation is way more peaceful. I loved this book!

Winging its way to me in the post, is "The Yoga of Eating" by Charles Eisenstein, which has been glowingly referred by Olivia.

Also on the reading list is "A Course In Miracles". I know that this book was first published in 1976 - has anyone else out there read it? Is it still relevant?

Friday, 7 December 2007

Five Really Good Things

1. Starting a 'proper' hard-backed journal to embellish, decorate, write and play in, to keep forever. See first double page above and below.

2. So many people loving the feline artwork posted earlier. Thank you for the compliments!

3. My son practicing his guitar in the evenings (this years early christmas gift from us) I never get tired of listening to him play.

4. Donating three of my paintings to the Salvation Army to be sold for charity this Christmas.

5. Morning walks on the beach, nothing ever beats it!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Art Every Day - Feline

This is a feline rather than a cat, because the face is almost human. It was created from a very quick ink pen drawing I made of my cat Phoebe while she was cleaning herself, to which I added water colour pencil.

I'm into cats at the moment (who knows why?) and almost bought a 2008 calendar filled with cats today. I changed my mind at the last minute and chose a Buddha filled one instead. I'll show you next year, it's bad luck any sooner!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Art Every Day - Sand Castle

This was my piece of creativity this morning. Come join me on my morning walk....

It looked quite gloomy as we arrived.......

But as we walked, the clouds drifted away and the sun shone.......

I am truly lucky to be able to come here every morning .....

Some people get to live the dream.......

Time to go home and wash the sand off our feet and have morning coffee with apricot toast.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Art Every Day - Big Yellow Cat

Back in the creative groove again! The 'Big Yellow Cat' is a journal page. I will create a few more pages with cats as the subject, so that I can play with colours more and eventually a painting will emerge. I have been sneaking up on Phoebe, our black cat, with my camera, in the hope of getting some interesting poses to work with. Being a cat, she is not very co-operative and keeps turning her back on me!

Friday, 23 November 2007

Art Every Day - Wellness Mandalas

I have missed quite a few Art Every Day posts, mostly because my heart and my head have been focused on fitness, health and well being these past couple of weeks, instead of sitting down to make art. I think I should have signed up for Wellness Wednesday, not Art Every Day ! (lol) Ah well, there are a few days left of November.

Here are a couple of wellness mandalas, which I made as an experiment to see if I could spot any difference between the old me and the new me (post chiropractor) in them. Many of my earlier mandalas were off centre. The second one was made a week ago, the first one today. I can see a difference in them already.

I found this excerpt from the book "Peace is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hanh and my new wellness mantras are;

Breathe, you are alive!


Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Writers Island - The Dream

Inspiration for this piece came from Eileen, who is known affectionately as 'the Dream'. She posted here, in response to a meme, that she loved silverback gorillas and also, had once run up a hill in Ireland and touched a cloud . I made the comment that this was magical and would make a good story. So then I went away and wrote this. Later in the day, I visited Writer's Island , not having posted for a long while, and discovered that the prompt was 'The Dream'. I don't have to tell you that this is all too uncanny and freaky! So this post is for you Eileen :)

The Dream

The silverback gorilla steadily ate through stalks of bamboo that grew on the side of the mountain. He sat in the dusty, red earth with his mate and they groomed each other patiently in the sun. The day wore on and they nestled under the shade of an African Redwood tree and slept.

The silverback gorilla was compelled to climb up the mountainside beyond his safe territory, although he knew not why, until he came to a place where the air was thin and cool. Below he could see the dense green roof of the forest, where squarking birds circled dreamily in the humid air. Upwards he climbed, until all around him was pale with white mist. Hanging in the air beside him, he saw a cloud, heavy and green with moisture. The silverback gorilla cautiously reached out to touch the cloud and he gasped at the cold that met his black fingertips. Suddenly the cool wind swirled around the mountaintop in a flurry. The cloud darkened dropping rain in sheets that ran down the mountainside in torrents, gathering sticks, leaves and pebbles along the way.

As quickly as the dark cloud had burst, the sun broke through the thin mist that remained, heating the thick neck of the silverback gorilla. The mist slowly began to dissolve, revealing bright blue sky that hurt his eyes. He bellowed and roared, beating his chest as he danced on the mountaintop.

That night as he sat beneath the dark canopy of the African Redwood tree, water dripped from shiny leaves overhead. Puddles in the red earth reflected the stars and moon hanging in the clear sky above. The silverback gorilla quietly began to tell his mate of a dream, where he reached out to touch a cloud, making the silver rain fall across the thirsty forest.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Seven Random Things About Me

Both Kelly - 'Kikipotamus the Hobo' and Eileen - 'The Dream', have tagged me to reveal 'Seven Random Things About Me'. This is how it goes;

Link to the blog of the person who tagged you.
Post these rules on your blog.
List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
Tag seven people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

1. I am in love with my Gonstead Chiropractor! After years of headaches/fog and neck pain following two separate car accidents, which has impacted on every area of my life, I decided to seek alternative treatment. To finally be clear headed and free from pain is just amazing. Feeling so good has led to 2 and 3.

2. I have just given up alcohol and become a vegetarian again after a six year break.

3. I have begun walking 2-3 kilometres every morning on the beach, followed by a swim, with Jess the Border Collie. Between us we have six salt and sand encrusted sore legs, gallons of ozone in our lungs, healthier appetites, mild sunburn, a car full of sand and deep sleeps!

4. I frequently move the furniture around. I just love change and any time I begin to feel stagnant I change my enviroment, keeping Feng Shui in mind. I've been doing this all of my life and it works every time! This weekend our computer desk was moved under a window, so we can look out at my neighbour Bill's garden. This is excellent when you need to rest your eyes to avoid computer eye-strain.

5. My first car was a pale green Mini I bought second hand for $400, known as 'Irving'. The accelerator pedal was so small I could only fit my big toe on it! You could park it anywhere. We had many fine times together, one of which was holding up steamy summer midday traffic for many kilometres, when Irving got a vapour lock and refused to move. A burly and sweaty truck driver pushed us off the road while we waited for the NRMA.

6. I love to browse in Op Shops and one of my dreams is to own a Secondhand Furniture/Bric Brac shop. Old furniture and wares have so many interesting stories to tell and new lives to take on (often involving a paintbrush!). And it's recycling - saving the planet.

7. I have hand fed a giraffe. They have such gentle eyes!

Seriously, absolutely everyone I know has been tagged. So if you're reading this and you want to join in, consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Art Every Day - A Basket of Fruit

A basket full of mangoes, lemons, kiwi fruit, bananas and an apple, in watercolour pencils. I'm tossing up whether to add water to this or simply leave it as is. It is not my best effort, but I thought I would post it any way, if only to prove that I am actually creating every day! Mangoes are back in season again here in Australia. Yay! I love eating them and sucking the juice and flesh from the seed and skin. The smell of ripe mango is just the best thing ever.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Monday, 12 November 2007

Art Every Day

I have been playing with more banner hopefuls. My life has had it's ups and downs lately and I haven't been able to find my happy, creative place quite so easily, just when I've signed up for Art Every Day!

But today I felt it all coming back and managed to produce these, in between some blue sky day gardening.

Lots of sunshine after a week or so of rain and cooler temperatures has made it hard to stay inside. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon on the beach and walked from one end to the other, inhaling salt spray and sunshine. Due to an on-shore wind there were loads of blue bottles and jelly fish in the water and on the sand. Today I feel quite revived!

Eileen has been asking where my self-portrait is! It was promised many posts back and I apologise for not yet delivering. I would like to do some more sketching too, so maybe a self-portrait sketch soon.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Art Every Day - Banners

Many of you have asked what crayons I use. They are actually Micador (an Australian Brand) Oil Pastels. So maybe I've led you astray and they are'n't actually crayons as such (?) All I know is, the palette is varied and vibrant, that they are messy and creamy and I love em!

I've missed a couple of days posting, partly because my other half is on holidays and we share the computer, so my computer time is halved, and partly because I became side-tracked trying to work out how to make a new banner for my blog. It is clear to me now (I hope!) and as soon as I create something worthy of a banner I will make the changes.

I want to use something colourful and vibrant to represent the kind of art I create, so I am using Art Every Day - the whole of November, to play with banners. Fun and games! So here is a little of what I have been playing with. More ideas to come.........

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Art Every Day - Leaf Design

Today, a leaf design, still with crayons - I'm enjoying them too much at the moment. It is true they remind you of when you were a child. The smell, the colours, the mess you get in when using them. It is also good to have the colour right there and ready to go - no getting your paints and water and brushes together - just pick up a crayon and start creating something!

Monday, 5 November 2007

Art Every Day - Crayons!

Inspired by Tammy, I dug out my crayons and proceeded to make a mess in my journal. I love the way crayons blend and smoosh the colour all over the place. I had to stop smooshing though, when the black threatened to muddy the colour. You should see the state of my hands!

I heard the Jewel song "Hands" this morning on the radio "In the end, only kindness matters.." So true.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Art Every Day

God likes art.
That's the part
My parents would ignore.
God likes art,
And I make art.
That's what God likes me for.
Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way

I have decided to join Leah and many others in "Art Every Day", where you post something, anything, creative, every day for the month of November. I am a day late starting, but maybe the time difference will work in my favour here!

Also, I have cheated and posted a colour pencil sketch of some cheerful and gorgeous day lilies I did a while back. Today's artwork was attempted but not successful. Not a good start, I know, but as Scarlett said, tomorrow is another day!

By the way, my mother and father always supported and encouraged me totally in my creativity and I love them for it. I chose the poem because I loved the spirit of creating art, simply because you were meant to and because you love it.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Breathing In


Tree, gather up my thoughts
like the clouds in your branches.
Draw up my soul
like the waters in your root.
In the arteries of your trunk
bring me together.
Through your leaves
breathe out the sky.

by J. Daniel Beaudry

This is my Golden Robinia tree that I planted around ten years ago. I love the lime green, softly rounded leaves reminiscent of pendulous bunches of grapes, and the silvery-grey bark. When we have a rain storm and the skies are grey and heavy, this tree becomes luminous. Such magic.

One of the things I promised myself I would do, is to spend at least an hour in nature every day. So today amid the blue skies and sunshine I will weed, sweep and prune. I will spend some time just breathing in nature. And so it is.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Colour Garden

A journal page where I played with joyful colour.

Lizzi has asked me to post my desktop. Where I sit here at the computer is a very practical space, which I share with all of the family. There are no ornaments or flowers in vases, or pot plants. It is just a place to keep computer games, a basket full of spaghetti (camera cables, i-pod cables etc), a modum, a printer/scanner, paper to scribble on and a dictionary. That's about it! The good thing about where I sit is the view of the garden, for those moments when my attention disappears out the window. On this day I was also painting at the computer desk, hence the tubes of paint.

My studio desktop is also, mostly practical. This is where I paint canvases. Frequently, journalling takes place on my lap in front of the tv or any place there is room for paints, brushes and a pot of water.

This is my chair, draped with a gorgeous shawl, given to me years ago by a friend who was a drama student and had collected lots of 'costume' pieces. Phoebe the cat thinks this is her chair and we fight over it regularly.

So now you know where I sit when I lose myself reading your lovely blogs and where I sit when I lose myself in my colourful, creative world.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Testing the Mind

An abstract vase of azalea blooms. This was one of the first paintings I ever attempted back in 2005 using acrylic gouche, before I had developed any kind of technique. I love the flourescence of the green leaves and pink blooms. It's cool when I appreciate my own art, it balances out the times when I am self-critical.

I have been having an interesting time doing various tests to measure Personality (INFJ - writer/artist type - no surprises here!), Intelligence (Scored 94% on the word vocabulary test which I was pleased about as it is quite challenging, but did miserably on the numerical one - no surprises here either!), Word Association (these are freakily spot on - there is no place to hide!), Left Brain/Right Brain (I am 50% left/50% right) However when I did this test I am clearly right brained. Maybe being 50/50 I swing between them both (?)

If you have an hour to spare take a look at these. They tell you a lot you already know about yourself and a few things you don't.

For anyone following "Star, of Esperanza 1" - next instalment coming soon.....

Technical Difficulties: If the above link to 'tests' is not working and you want to find out your personality type try

Friday, 19 October 2007

Star, of Esperanza 1 - Chapter 2

The continuation of the story "Star, of Esperanza 1" an un-edited first draft of my children's story.

Day One on the Planet Esperanza

The spacecraft hovered then landed in a clearing surrounded by trees, tossing their leafy branches in its wake. Britt was already up out of her seat and stood by the door, ready to disembark. Mapmaking software was loaded onto the mini-computers they had strapped to the arms of their spacesuits. Their mission would be to know the planet inside out. Where would be the most conducive place to set up the first colony of Esperanza?

Colourful birds glided in the sky above, feathers trailing, beaks curved and long. “Arrk, arrk” filled the air. Unidentifiable animals called out from the jungle that surrounded them, echoing, echoing.

“Come on, lets get going” Star called out to Britt. The team of six gathered up their equipment and began their trek into the unknown.

The sun was high in the sky when they found themselves on the banks of a river deep and brown and wide. They stopped to take a break from trekking. Britt checked in with the crew remaining on Esperanza 1. All was well.

One of the team cried out, pointing to the sandy banks of the river. A scaly creature crawled out on four legs from the water, snapping it’s jaws filled with scissor like teeth, growling like a dog. Purple fins stood out on its back and sides like Japanese fans.

Everyone stood back, weapons at the ready, but the creature turned and slid back into the water as quickly as it had emerged. Relieved but wary, the team prepared their meal and settled down to eat, hungry as they were from trekking across the jungle.

Next they discovered in their path a rocky outcrop, leading upwards. Insects with transparent wings hovered around Star’s head as she climbed, possessing segmented bodies unlike any she had ever seen on earth. Reptilian creatures glared suspiciously from rocky crevices, too fearful to come out and confront the team of astronauts from another world.

Britt paused at the top of the outcrop and shielded her eyes from the afternoon sun. She hesitated then pulled her binoculars from her hip pocket. Waving her free arm to get Star’s attention she stepped closer to the sight that spread out before her. Unexpectedly, there was a building.

“Star, come take a look!” she handed the binoculars over, a frown on her face.

Star took in the sight before her and was as amazed as Britt had been. The dome shaped building was made of what looked like mud brick and grasses, and the few windows it possessed appeared to be without any form of glass.

“What do we do now?” Britt asked Star.

“Let’s go see”, said Star.

They began their descent, curious, anxious and alert. They could not be sure of what or who they would find below.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Star of Esperanza 1 - First Excerpt

Here is the first excerpt from my children's story "Star, of Esperanza 1". I am in the middle of writing it and this is an un-edited first draft. I hope you enjoy it.

Star, of Esperanza I


Star’s rocket jettisoned past the glittery stars, with no time for sight seeing. Her mission was one of great importance and she knew she must stay focused on her goal, the planet Esperanza. Here was the new hope for mankind, a place where exotic jungles grew lush, where sparkling water could be found, where pure oxygen was there for the breathing and where the red earth was rich and soft and deep.

Earth was old and decaying, choking on evil blue fumes and brown smoke, the soil pale and dry, spoiled by man’s greed and ignorance. Earth was spent. Sadly, it was time to move on.

Excitement filled the cabin of the Esperanza I, named after the new planet they were headed for. Star averted her eyes from the splendid sun, which had supported the Earth for all of time. It burned brightly for Esperanza also, surrounding them with a fiery red, orange and yellow glow.

She lay her head on her arms and slept, knowing that tomorrow they would enter the atmosphere of Esperanza. She would need all of her wits about her. All of her energy.

Star was an astronaut, but she was also one of the special few. Many astronauts had lined up for the task of travelling to Esperanza, but few had measured up. The reason was simple. Star was a positive one. She had long ago shed the negative thoughts and the limiting beliefs that could prevent a person from succeeding.

So many people on Earth were depleted and depressed and despondent. Star had learned from her gifted parents to open up her heart and use the energy that pulsated, vibrated and shone out among the stars and planets and even in those dark places hidden out there in this universe and in the universe beyond that. That energy was there to be used. You just needed to know how to tune in, how to deflect dark, negative thoughts and flip them over till they flew out shining and positive.

Star had been the only one to believe that Esperanza was the true hope for people on Earth. Research had led her to develop plans for farming, shelter and transport and she had a natural ability for leadership. The AstroCouncil knew that Star would be the perfect, and in fact, the only choice for the people of Earth. And so it was that she found herself on this mission that was of great importance to all.

The alarm on Star’s wrist alerted her to a morning filled with the bright lights in the cabin of her spacecraft. The familiar glow of the screens and the flickering and beeping indicated that all was well with their journey. Britt, Star’s second-in-command greeted her warmly.

“Take a look”, she said, “Esperanza is in sight”.

Star hesitated briefly, knowing that this was a moment of huge importance. Britt was right. A glorious orb, vibrating with energy, surrounded by a huge aura, took up the entire screen before them. Star thought that Esperanza looked like Earth must have done at the dawn of time.

“So beautiful!” was all Star could think of to say. Their spacecraft continued to head towards this new and exciting planet. As they came closer, they could see that there were oceans blue and deep. There were vast land masses, interrupted by snow topped mountain ranges, rivers blue like the veins in your arm and smooth, glassy lakes. Vegetation hugged the land, rich and green and plentiful.

The planet turned imperceptibly, just like Earth. Britt and Star’s eyes met - no need for words this time. This was only the very beginning of their adventure. Soon, they would learn so much more about this intriguing place they would be calling home. Star knew both beauty and danger would await them on their arrival. They had planned for this for such a long time and were ready.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Don't Plan

This 'electric fish' is a journal page where I happily played with colour combinations. I have been looking at Aviva Gold's website, reading articles about "Painting From the Source" where you paint instinctively, without planning. I endeavour to do this in my journal pages, playing with paint and colour as a child would, not worrying about the outcome. This, I believe is the way to capture true energy in your artwork. When something good emerges on a journal page, I will then put paint to canvas. So maybe I do plan after all!?

Speaking of plans, I completed only one painting last week, as life did not pan out quite as I expected. Isn't that always the way - "the best laid plans....".

Sunday, 7 October 2007


"Fruit in a Purple Bowl"

If you have been checking out my paintings over the last six months or more, you may have noticed that I often paint an aura or energy field around the subject. I'm not sure why I do this. What is it that compels artists to attach to these kind of themes? I just know I like doing it and it feels right.

A couple more paintings are in the works, and I'm thinking it is time to do another self-portrait having done the last one in 2005. So there is a busy week ahead of me and I'm loving every minute of it!

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Cupboard Paintings

"Without fail, three or four hideous paintings down the road, an absolutely wonderful painting appears. A painting that is a better painting than I know how to do. A painting that feels effortless." Eleanor Blair

The 'Moonlight Tree'. I painted this a few months ago and wasn't sure if I liked it or not. I do now. When I make a painting and it doesn't turn out quite right I am not always sure whether I am just having a negative day, or whether the painting really has bombed. So I do what writers do with their manuscripts and put it away in my cupboard for a while. These are what I call 'cupboard paintings'. After a few months spent 'incubating' in the cupboard I am able to look at the painting with fresh eyes. Some are hideous and head straight for the garbage bin :( Others like this one, need only a change of colour to become a success :)

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Fossil Magic

I haven't posted any art for quite some time, with the exception of mandalas. So here is some 'fossil magic'. Inspired by ammonites, fish and other nameless microscopic fossils.

We have been keeping busy with end of season soccer BBQ's and since it is school holidays here and glorious weather, spending afternoons at the beach.

Today is My son's 14th birthday. He is named after my father and it is strange, but it is always on this day that I think of my Dad, who died a number of years ago, more than any other. This verse is an excerpt from the ballad "Ye Wearie Wayfarer" by Australian poet Adam Lindsay Gordon. It was a favourite verse of my fathers and he would often quote it when we had troubles of our own. It has stuck with me all these years. I needed to remember it today.

“Question not, but live and labour
Till yon goal be won,
Helping every feeble neighbour,
Seeking help from none;
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.”

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

My Sacred Life - Inspiration

When I began blogging I had no expectations or ideas one way or the other, as to what it was all about. Who knew? To my delight, I discovered these amazingly inspirational and spiritual communities of artists, writers and poets, who have all provided a supportive and positive influence on my day to day life. I am so grateful for this, and since this is my 100th post, I thought I should let you all know just how thankful I am.

I have now finished up regular postings for My Sacred Life, but will continue to participate on Sacred Life Sunday. It has been such a beneficial focus to have.

Now, these are just great! lesson #1 and lesson #2 on art journalling by 'suziblu', found while visiting judy wise. Take a look, you'll be inspired and delighted!

The first mandala was made using straight lines and geometrical shapes, which means you have to concentrate and play by the rules. Very tough. The second mandala was made using only curved and wiggly lines. Which one looks more alive to you? I enjoyed this second one so much more (my mandala teacher Cheryl will not be surprised to hear :)) It was inspired by tropical water, coral, bubbles, seaweed, fish and sand. I think it means I need a holiday!

Friday, 21 September 2007

My Sacred Life - Centeredness

Mandalas are generally created with the design emanating from the centre and are very pleasing, satisfying and calming to look at for this reason. I feel the same way about healthy balance in my life. When I am off-centre it is because I have allowed other priorities or stresses to overshadow looking after myself.
If you look closely at this mandala and choose to read some meaning into it, I would say I was currently a little off-centre.

Participating in my sacred life has highlighted areas in my life where I had let slide a couple of the things that are important to my wellness.

So what do I have to do to stay centred?
  • daily hour of yoga (stretching, breathing, meditation)
  • daily walks with Jess the border collie (fresh air, sunshine and other sensory delights)
  • eating fresh, colourful food (predominantly vegetarian, but some meat to keep iron levels up).
  • drinking water
  • expressing myself with art, poetry and writing
  • singing out loud at every opportunity
  • plenty of sleep
  • music in the morning (no starting the day with TV)

I am very fortunate to have the time to practice this self care on most days. Most of these things come very easily, others take effort, but it's so worth it, to feel calm, centred and at peace.

Monday, 17 September 2007

My Sacred Life - Basking In the Glow

This weekend my son played in his soccer grand final match. He plays in a team full of enthusiastic and talented players. A tight game meant that at full time the score was nil all. So they played a further ten minutes each way, after which the score was still nil all. As happens in finals, the game was to be decided on a penalty shoot out (each team takes five direct shots at goal, the team with the most goals wins) Thanks to some sharp goal shooting and the efforts of a supremely talented goal keeper, they won the match!

Watching the joy and triumph on their 14 year old faces was just beautiful. We all want so much for our kids and when they achieve success, it is truly a warm and proud moment for parents.

Friday, 14 September 2007

My Sacred Life - A Sense of Self

I have been reading Gretchen Rubin's post @
the happiness project and one of the things she has devised in her pursuit of happiness is "my twelve commandments" (check out the side bar). The first one on the list is to "Be Gretchen".

"Being Patti" has become more and more important to me as I get older. When I was young it was all about joining in with friends and searching, but not always knowing who I really was. Later it was all about raising children and caring for an elderly mother, putting their needs first. In a yoga class years ago while meditating, we were told to ask ourselves the question "Who am I?" I remember not knowing the answer even then and it really bothered me. I was 38 years old.

Since then, I have spent the years decluttering and rearranging my life, I am now finally left with who I am. I know what makes me happy, what nurtures me, what my talents, strengths, weaknesses and opinions are. I know my passions and I know what gives me peace. I also know that there is room for growth and change. This knowing is sacred.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

My Sacred Life - FUN!

Fun, sacred? Yes, yes and yes. I couldn't survive without it. Life gets so serious sometimes and it can be very easy for those frown lines to burrow deeper when we look at the world at large and consider our own real or imagined troubles.

So let's have some fun! :-)

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Aardvark who?
Aardvark a hundred miles for one of your smiles!

Q. Why don't skeletons fight each other?
A. They don't have the guts.

Q. What did the ground say to the earthquake?
A. You crack me up!

Q. What do you get when you cross a cow and a duck?
A. Milk and quackers!

I gotta million of them!

And even more fun - You'll see in the sidebar I have added my personal dna. It seems I am a "benevolent creator", which I kind of like the sound of. If you run the mouse over the bars of colour, it gives you an insight into who I am. The questions are compiled by a team of psychologists and it is free and easy to take. Maybe you'd like to have fun finding out your dna?

And another mandala cos they're fun too!

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Writers Island - An Imaginary Life

Poetry Thursday has folded and there is now a new place to express poetry and writing. Welcome to Writers Island
An Imaginary Life

On a tropical hill a white walled house with a red roof watches the ocean like an old sailor home on leave. A veranda wrapped around the outside is where I sit, fanning my glistening body in the purple shade, while transparent geckoes dart, snaring lazy mosquitos.

Sweet juice from fragrant market fruit plucked from a woven basket drips down my chin. A beaded curtain clicketty clacks as the breeze grows strong, then drops away to nothing. A pungent garden spills vibrant flowers onto the soft ground below. A distant shush and roar floods my ears as waves relentlessly wash back and forth.

Moist air weighs heavy on this island. Bare feet find a track worn to shabby patches of rich, red earth, leading to hot white sand. The reflection of glittering water pierces through the blue sky glare . Salty spray spritz's my hot face and a faded, striped hammock swings and beckons. It knows I never refuse.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

My Sacred Life - Growth

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure
nor this thing nor that but simply growth,
We are happy when we are growing.
William Butler Yeats

Universities are considered sacred places of learning for good reason.

However the learning and growth I am referring to can be as simple as finding the meaning of a new word in the dictionary, working out html so you can add that new element to your blog, experimenting with a new food combination to delight your senses, finding a quote that makes you think in a different way. Sacred little spurts of growth every day.

Reading all the different perspectives on sacredness and spirituality posted by the "My Sacred Life" participants has been a stimulating experience, giving me plenty of opportunity for growth.

Learning how to create and use mandalas has been my latest spurt of growth. I have discovered that they both clear your mind and stimulate creativity, as well as giving you an insight into your psyche, so here's a couple more.

P.S. Mandalas are often, but not necessarily, symmetrical and often, but not necessarily use a limited palette.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

My Sacred Life - Creativity

Being able to express myself creatively is one of life's essentials to me and even if I only had my finger and a patch of sand, I would feel the need to create something there.

If you are a "My Sacred Life" participant, you may have seen Cheryl's blog Art In Every Day where she has been posting some amazingly colourful and creative mandalas and listing some interesting links to mandala sites. As you can probably tell, mandalas have captured my imagination. Here are a few of mine.

About Mandalas;

"Mandala is a Sanskrit word, meaning circle. It represents wholeness and is described as a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies"

"A mandala is an integrated structure, organised around a unifying centre"

"Tibetan monks considered that mandalas should consist of five excellences:
the teacher; the message; the audience; the site; the time".

Mine shown here are pretty basic, but I am working on some more meaningful ones. Mandalas are incredibly satisfying to make as well as look at and they exude loads of energy. To see some gorgeous and intricate examples of mandalas from around the world, take a look at the Mandala Project, where you can join in and post your own creations.