Wednesday, 31 January 2007

What is Guerilla Art?

"Guerilla Art" or "Found Art" is a piece of art that gets left behind by the artist and found by someone else. Sometimes the artist will leave a website or an email address on it so that the finder can get in touch, thereby closing the circle.

Guerilla Art is a way to "make a statement, to share your ideas, to send out good karma or just for fun". The emphasis being on "the importance of making art with no attachment to the outcome, having nothing to do with money or listening to the ego"

The pieces of art are generally small so they could be left in a cafe on a table, for example, but could just as easily be in the form of a chalk drawing on the pavement or a mural on a wall. It would be an excellent way of letting go and just being able to enjoy making art for art's sake. I like the idea.

For some examples of Found Art visit;

Rosa Murillo's Journal
Kathy's Blog

I have some great ideas for my own Guerilla Art and will post the results when completed.

The still life above, I created using wax crayons, just like the one's you used in kindergarten. My approach was one of fun and spontaneity, choosing colours that appealed to me, and working very quickly.

Monday, 22 January 2007

Improv Wisdom

My sister has told me about a book called "Improv Wisdom" by Patricia Ryan Madson.

"A book that teaches the principles of improvisation as a guidance for a life of adventure and meaning"

In order to help people live more creatively the book suggests maxims such as: "don't prepare, just show up" and "be average", offering simple exercises to do, to help you to achieve this. I listened to a 20min Podcast with Patricia Ryan Madson which was quite interesting, so see what you think. Patricia, a retired Drama Professor, originally used her maxims while teaching drama courses, but soon realised that her wisdom could help other people too, especially in the business and IT sector. I look forward to reading the book. If you are interested have a look at the improv wisdom site or visit Patricia's Blog The Wisdom of Improv

The sketch is of my son and our cat Phoebe. He had just climbed out of bed and was still half asleep, which was good, because it meant he was prepared to keep still for me while I sketched.

Friday, 19 January 2007

What's Happening?

The remnants of Christmas chocolates sit forlorn in the refrigerator and we have moved on to discussions about what we want to do on Australia Day (26th Jan). Last year we packed a picnic and sat on the beach.

The school holiday break is almost over and we are talking about buying school shoes and books.

I've been sticking to my resolve to exercise every day, by walking Jess each morning and practicing Yoga in the afternoon. I really enjoy getting up early, you fit so much more into your day.

So after a restful holiday, the weeds are long in the front garden, the vine on the back deck is waving long, disobedient tendrils at me and it is time for me to get back to work.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007


"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree" Martin Luther

If you've been feeling downhearted about global warming, if you are anxious about growing older, have ever wondered about what lies beyond our cosmic horizon or wondered whether human intelligence can be increased, it may be time to visit World Question Center and hear what the Cosmologists, Biologists, Psychologists etc have to say.

The big question for 2007 is: "What are you optimistic about? Why?"
The World Question Center has been described by daily good as "a stimulating compilation of answers representing high-powered optimism from 160 thinkers and scientists, speaking on topics such as cancer, solar power, climate and culture"

I found it really stimulating too, and yes, the answers make you think more optimistically about our future on this planet. With 160 answers to get your head around, there is a lot to browse through, but it's worth it. It is good to know that there are people out there who are confident that we are actually evolving into a better world.

Monday, 15 January 2007


Due to the fact that I have been a bit despondent about my photo taking recently, I pulled out a couple of good ones that I have taken, just to remind myself that I can do it. This is our cat Phoebe, a Burmese/Persian cross. She has an abrasive personality and dislikes affection of any kind (except meal times!) Her saving grace is that she is quite a pretty cat, so we persevere with her. She had been rolling in the sandy soil and paused to allow me to take this pic.I always take this basket to the beach with me. It is made out of African elephant grass and is very strong and you can fit all the essentials in it, a bit like a Mary Poppins bag. Unfortunately my umbrella won't fit!

Friday, 12 January 2007

Swimming Between The Flags

Friday I took the boys (my son and his mates) to the beach for the afternoon. It was a perfect blue sky day. I sat under the umbrella reading my latest library book while the boys body surfed. We had a great afternoon. There was a rip off the beach and strong currents - very dangerous.

I took a lovely photo of the three boys, but two shut their eyes at the last moment. Does anyone else find it difficult taking photos outside in sunlight with a digital camera? I find the glare on the screen means I have no idea whether I have the subject in the frame or not, or whether or not anyone has shut their eyes. I am determined to become a better photographer, so this is all practice I suppose.

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Practicing Gratitude

While browsing today, I came across which tells us that;

"people who practice a daily gratitude intervention (self-guided exercises) had higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy, compared to the group who focused on hassles or thinking of how they were better off than others. Gratitude is good for you. Really good for you".

I always give thanks at the end of my Yoga practice, but I guess a daily journal entry, listing all we have to be grateful for would be a good thing. My sister summarised all she has to be grateful for in her life, at the start of the new year in her blog and I plan to begin by giving thanks for something every time I post. See my list on your right. Just watch me become more alert, enthusiastic, determined, attentive and energised. You should try it!

Wednesday, 10 January 2007


I have resolved my batteries issue by getting some rechargeable batteries. So I'm back to taking photos (driving everyone nuts!). I never used to be much of a keen photographer, only taking photos to record an occasion, so camera "stuff" is all new to me.

This photo is of my hydroponic pot plant. I have about a dozen mature "Nandina" plants forming a low hedge at the front of my property. One day I needed some flowers for the table and since there was nothing in flower in the garden at the time, I picked some branches of Nandina. I kept the water up to them as you would a vase of flowers, but I found that nine months later the greenery was still as healthy as when I first picked it. It had developed a fairly good root system, even though I was only giving water, no fertilizer and it didn't go all slimy like flowers do. There must be other plants that grow in this way too. I love it because it is instant greenery, costs you nothing and lasts forever. You just put the branches in a jar of water then put the jar into a nice pot and voila!

Yesterday, my son and I went to the movies to see "Eragorn" which is a story about a boy who becomes a Dragon Rider. It has been described as being a cross between Star Wars and Lord Of The Rings and we thought so too. The story was written by a sixteen year old boy, whose parents published it for him. My son is into all the fantasy and is a natural story teller himself, something I am encouraging in him. Who knows, he may be the next one to write a bestseller.

Friday, 5 January 2007

Technical Difficulties

We had a fantastic afternoon down at the beach, however I don't have any photo's to share, as the batteries in my camera ran out. This has been frustrating me as I have only been getting two days of camera use out of the batteries. Today I managed to find some that promise twice the power, so I'll give them a go. Instead I have included a small tryptych design I made.

The Power of Blogging
Blogger Kate Iredale has been giving insights into the power of blogging and how blogs allow you the space to reveal your true self. I guess I have always been a little outspoken, so perhaps I reveal a little too much of myself here? It's liberating being your own editor, I must admit.

I found a blogspot which invites bloggers to prepare a postcard for posting which reveals a secret. Some secrets are small and silly and make you laugh, others are just so sad, some shocking. Some I think they may have made up, but of course we will never know. Apparently at least one life has been spared a suicide, directly because of the release posting on this site gave them. They update every Sunday and it's worth taking a look.

Monday, 1 January 2007


Every December I buy a calendar for the new year. Last year I picked artist Ken Done's calendar and it has been the most enjoyable I've had yet. Ken Done is a superb colourist and was popular in Australia in the Eighties with everything from tea towels and t-shirts to shopping bags and beach towels bearing his designs. It sounds like he was really commercial and I guess he was at the time.

In June last year we went to a wedding in Sydney and the reception was at the
harbourside Rocks. We had some time to spare between the wedding and the reception and wandered down around the markets there. In the main street was the Ken Done Gallery - it was fabulous! His paintings are really vibrant and prints don't do them justice.

For this years calendar I have chosen "On The Porch" which is a collection of photographs of various porches (funnily enough) You have to just imagine that you are sitting there with your favourite beverage, gazing out at the view.

This one for February is my personal favourite.

"Mum, You're Such A Hippie!

As you have probably realised by now, I am "such a hippie", as my daughter keeps telling me. And a proud one!

Happy New Year, by the way. This time last year we were sweltering under 45 degree heat, bushfires everywhere. We thought we were going to spontaneously combust! But today is sunny and mild.

I found an article in the Sunday papers about a man called Paul Wilson who has 30 years of experience in meditation techniques. He has written "The Calm Technique" and you may have heard of "The Little Book Of Calm" He has now written a book called "The Quiet" (Macmillan) which is divided into two parts: the first looks at taming the restless mind and deepening spiritual practice and living in the present. The second part is for more experienced meditators and focuses on meditation as a way to enlightenment. I haven't looked at this book yet, but it sounds quite good.

In another article he writes for the Sunday Telegraph, he suggests that if you want to learn to meditate you could start by simply "doing nothing" for ten minutes a day. Begin by giving yourself space to just "be" and then make it a habit. When I first started meditating, we used to sit for an hour. I had so much trouble, all I could do was squirm and wriggle and find endless aches and pains. But now, years later, I slip into meditation really easily, most of the time. So don't give up, it just takes practice.
I collect buddhas. This one, (see above) I bought a couple of years ago from Eumundi Markets on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. He sits under my Golden Robinia tree in the backyard and I can see him from my kitchen window. Very peaceful.