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.”