Hello! Lovely to see you! Here you will find random posts about living a creative life in country Australia. I am an illustrator. I create, take photos, faff, collect, teach. Watercolour, collage, colour, cheese, travel and dreaming are my faves. And Turkish delight. And cushions. And gardening. And op-shops...

Thursday, 18 December 2014

COLLAGE, HEART, MAP, LOVE

COLLAGE, HEART, MAP, LOVE
 Oh WOW! 


I have trouble with time management, but this is ridiculous!Almost a month late, I grant you, is tardiness in the extreme.

My only excuse...exhaustion, business, frenetic, hectic, insane, merry, super-duper mad, migraines, illness, work, family, markets, websites, exhibitions, sleep, exhaustion...and repeat.

I have 3 kids - 14, 11 and 7(8 tomorrow). I have a husband. I have 2 puppy dogs, 2 cats, a green tree frog. I teach 1-2 days per week. I collapse at the end of each day, pretty much 7 days a week.

There is a never ending list of things to do and attend to. My life is triage.I go from one task to another. I love my life, I love my home, my family, my art, my creative crazy, colourful world.But sometimes all that chaos and colour and just gets bigger..and bigger...and bigger...

And that's when I have to step back, take a walk in my garden(which so so so needs weeding and some TLC), put on some music, sit down in my studio, make something, paint something, ignore the other stuff...and lose myself in the process of brush, paste, water, dab, mix, take way, add, more colour, less colour, shade, do a line, cut, stick, add a bit, pull back...the quiet meditation of going to that place that soothes the soul.It does not always happen.Making.

And not making for the sake of making. Not painting to sell, or a commission.Not forcing it.Sometimes it is easy, sometimes the blank page makes me nervous.

Life has been particularly busy of late, and I have been struggling to keep all those balls in the air and still maintain a little space for me.Carving out some time.Because one of the reasons I put off doing this collage, was because I had a vision in my head from the get-go,a very very clear image of a heart. And a map.I knew I wanted to do something about a map to find a way to my heart.A heart map.It was firm in my mind...and that was it,so I was waiting till I had the things I needed to make it. Namely...TIME.

So... finally,finding the heart, finding the maps, finding the vessel,(bad pun) finding the scissors(!),and then the time...eventually, as I knew it would,really happened.

I cut, I pasted, I painted, I shaded, I restuck, I photographed, I downloaded,and now I write.Got there!

And the way to my heart? The map to my heart

Apart from cheese...and sleep, and perhaps a red mini-cooper with British flag detailing...or a trip to Europe, or New Zealand, some new artwork for my walls  a Lovestar vase,a David Trubridge light for my hallway,some classes at The School with friends,some magazine subscriptions, some Funkis clogs,meeting Pip Lincolne and my Blog Rainbow Pals,buying plants for my garden, brushing my daughter's hair, iced coffee frappe's,an Ouchflower creation,a Beci Orpin or Megan Morton book, a Kara Rosenlund photo,some new music, a Pacman arcade game and a real Swiss cuckoo clock...(okay..there is a lot that makes my heart happy...) well, the truth is,truth be told... I just love sitting alone, with my creating bits and bobs, in my house, in my studio, and time to make. True x Then again..if i was to get one of those, several of those...then, yes, it would certainly add to the happy factor!!!

Heartmap" collage,watercolour December 2014


Monday, 8 December 2014

PHOTOGRAPHY,COLLAGE,ILLUSTRATION AND ALPHABET ART a month of creativity for @fatmumslim #photoaday challenge

PHOTOGRAPHY,COLLAGE,ILLUSTRATION AND ALPHABET ART 
a month of creativity for @fatmumslim #photoaday challenge

To assist my creative juices,prevent them from stagnating and turning rancid,festering away...or perhaps because life is not busy enough(!)...or maybe just the connection with other creative people...or all three reasons, I partake in a photo challenge. It is extremely well known,famous even...the 

Everyday, throughout each month,there is a word prompt...and for October 2014 just to mix it up a bit,we had all the letters of the alphabet, then numbers 1-5.

On the first day of the prompt, I posted a picture of some apples, with a cork scrabble tile with A on it. I really did not think anymore of it. But then a few people wrote comments about a month of art and photography...and my mind raced...I got a bit excited, and thought..WHY NOT!

Truthfully,it was MADNESS. I was in the middle of prepping for an exhibition.I had lots of other commitments and commissions.Then I realised that I  already had lots of pictures that I could use.Of course,I would still have to style the shots with these,get props and spend time tweaking and then photographing them. And I would have to do some letters especially.So I wrote a list up of the alphabet and then played art match ups,saw the gaps,and where I would need to make something entirely new.I scribbled down ideas for possible artworks.

A little lightbulb went off...what a sweet marriage between my loves of photography art and making, and styling up shots.

And guess what? Rather than being a chore, it became a terrifically enjoyable, but still challenging task. I lay in bed coming up with ideas, and got all fizzy with possibilities.  

Then again, life is relentless, kids get sick, so do their parents, life is SUPER busy, and some days produced better work than others, some were weak in execution and I would do them differently now. But I am not telling which these were! But overall,it came together nicely. And I did it...for the first time, a photo every single day of the challenge.

So..here is the first batch of these,from A to G.Next batch,in next blog.Stay tuned!   

A IS FOR APPLES

B IS FOR BLOSSOMS, BEAUTIFUL

C IS FOR COLLAGED CACTUS

D IS FOR DREAMING

E IS FOR EGGS

F IS FOR FEATHERS FORAGED AND FOUND

G IS FOR GUMNUTS, GUMLEAVES AND GREEN










Thursday, 4 December 2014

CACTUS WATERCOLOUR COLLAGE LOVE LOVE-MR. PRICKLES YOU ARE JUST TOO DAMN CUTE...


 CACTUS WATERCOLOUR COLLAGE LOVE -
MR. PRICKLES YOU ARE JUST TOO DAMN CUTE...

Oooh...oooh.Ouch.Ouchie.There it goes,my heart being prickled.By a cactus.

They seem to be everywhere at the moment..on T-shirts for kids at Target,in catalogues for furniture brands like Freedom,and in glossy magazines in cool houses.They are the plants of choice at the moment,of the people in the know.

I am proud to say I have loved these dudes for a long time, before they began appearing on T-shirts.I have admired their form, their colour, their sheer tough guy attitude for ever...well since I was about 11. 

Around about that age, my parents took us on an American odyssey in a big RV for a few months, and one of the places we camped in was The Sonoran Desert,in Arizona.This was like a desert from a Wiley Coyote cartoon...the whole place was covered in textbook perfect cactus plants.It blew my little mind away.My sketchbooks were littered with little cactus shaped scribbles.




 

 Fast forward...quite a bit.A few decades in fact.Now  I am a grown up, living in the country in NSW.Where it is often dry,and hot, real damn hot.SO...cactus are a natural choice for  people like me who have a zillion passions pulling them in all directions, who love plants, have a family puppies who love to chew things and who live in a locale where lack of water and heat are part of the deal. 

Lucky for me,I found a guy at the local Farmer's markets,who sells succulent and cactus for a few dollars apiece.With my money from my own stall jangling in my pocket,and a feeling of joy I bought about a dozen.My Mr.Prickle family had begun!


Now I have a little collection sitting in old tins and pots,ceramics scored from Ikea and thrift shops,that I tend to and admire almost everyday. I have sketched them in pencil and charcoal,painted them in watercolour, ink and gouche,made collages of them, snapped photos of them,and just spent time staring at them.My sketchbooks are once again full of cactus scribbles.

And even though they may be trending, and I may be seen as following fashion...I do not care.I may be unoriginal.I may be seen as getting onto the bandwagon.But Mr.Prickles and I,we know the truth...xxx

(oh, and just to let you know, some of these pictures, paintings and collages are for sale  link here...rarepearstudio.big.cartel.com !

























Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Snow Gift


SNOW GIFT

This is a blogpost about death, and the end of one story, and the beginning of another.It is a post with images, and with memories. The images will possibly say more than I can possibly try to write. 

It is about my children's Great Grandfather,my husbands Grandfather,a gentleman,an English man of wisdom and grace,almost 100 years old.He lived through a war, rations,social upheaval,the swinging sixties and the Thatcher 80's.He and his wife emigrated to Australia, following their daughter and her family,when they were well into their Golden years, ready for a new life and adventure.He was kind and courteous,had impeccable manners, and called his wife "his Girl".We affectionately called him G-Pop, and we all loved him dearly.His story was rich and full of cheekiness,loyalty,love,hardship stoicism,and always with family at its centre.

My husband received a phone call one Thursday afternoon this winter...G-Pop had passed way.It was not totally unexpected, but still a shock.We quickly packed essentials, gathered the children from their schools, and drove the 100km or so to where we needed to be. 

It was cold day, and the night was no better, distinctly bitter.We awoke the next morning to some blue sky, and in the distance, the hills were dusted white.This is not something that happens too often.This is country NSW,not England.This is not the country of G-Pop's youth.This was not the England with its crisp white snow that he talked to us about, that he told his great grandchildren about.This was a land more used to dried gold paddocks and drought.

My husband and his mother needed to see to all the necessary arrangements, and off they went, silent and full of heavy heart.But for us left at home,the white stuff in the distance,the snow was a thing of wonder,and much discussion.My Miss 7 had never seen snow before.It seemed cruel to let her look and not touch...so..we piled in the car, the 2 girls and I, with scarves and jumpers and FROZEN playing on the stereo.

We drove up into a state forest, the light dusting getting a little heavier, excitement barely being contained, we got out and Miss 7 had her first touch of snow. We drove up higher,on a little dirt road winding through the trees. Tall pine trees,rose from both sides, and gave the eery impression of us being not in Austrlia at all, but somewhere in Europe, in a Northern Hemisphere

We found a spot to play in, to make a snowman, to make snow angels, to have snowball fights. We found a little old church and a graveyard amongst the trees. We found icy water and looked at snow crystals. We ate chocolate(Pop's favourite thing), and sang Frozen songs.We laughed, we marvelled at our cold pink fingers.We gorged ice in our mouths.We a made lots of memories.We made a new story

It was time to go home, cold but happy.We were just getting into the car when one of my daughter's said..."Mummy, this day feels like it was a present from G-Pop. It's like what he used to talk about.Do you think that he did this for us? It's like a last gift from him.A snow gift?" 

From the mouths of babes, so the cliche goes. She had said what I had been thinking the whole time. It was like G-Pop had given them one last beautiful memory of him to cherish.I held my daughter close, and kissed her forehead.I smelt her hair, felt her cold little cheeks.Tears squeezed out of my eyes.

She held me tight,and so did my    
other little daughter.

We stood there,in the snow,the three of us, surrounded by trees tall and silent,holding each other.There was nothing else to say.

 That day will always be G-Pop's snow gift, his last present to us. Thank you Charles William Puddy, we loved it...and we love you.




















Saturday, 8 November 2014

THE SUNDAY WEAVE with Chief and Kewpie


THE SUNDAY WEAVE
with Chief and Kewpie

This time last week, I was sitting in the delightfully colourful and heart happy shop JUMBLED,in the bustling little hub of Orange, Central West NSW. Orange is around about an hour and a half from my home, affectionately called Serendipity, (but a more truthful name would be "Chateau de Chaos"),in Cowra

The drive over is just beautiful,lots of hills, rock formations, vineyards, fields, scenic vistas... and it always takes me longer then it need to because of constantly pulling over to snap way at the countryside. 

This day though was a tad different...I had to drive to Bathurst, a whole other direction, (100km + with Miss 7 and 11, who were spending the day with their grandparents,and go from there to Orange (another 45km?).No time to snap away with the camera on this drive, there was a deadline. Weaving workshop in Orange started at 10.And even though we got up at sparrowfart,of course I was still a little late to the main event.Yep.Consistent.

BUT...seeing as the Sunday Weave was a day with the uber spunky and talented CHIEF AND KEWPIE,and it was at the invitation to join the adorable REDAGAPE, this Sunday dash was no problem at all. Bring it on!

SO, with coffee in hand, muffins and wool on the table, we lucky ladies opened our weaving showbags, a little giggly with excitement. Loom, brush, needle, ....ooh er!And straight into it, we were...wefting and warping, weaving and threading, snipping, pulling.

As a complete and absolute novice, an innocent newbie to the world of weave, it was time for my brain to process and grasp fine technical points. But it was easier and more fun than I dared to hope.Okay, I made mistakes,sure. But you know, that's how you learn. And Chief and Kewpie were so very friendly, patient, generous and sweet with their encouragement.And a little bit cheeky and naughty with their wit...that it was super easy to just to keep giving it a bash and not take it too seriously. I laughed so much. 

3 hours after we started,the beginnings of a weave, a bag of goodies,a bit of a retail purchase(cannot leave Jumbled without one),a new vocabulary in my head,and a face full of smiles,and it was time to go.

The next day,fired up and all enthusiastic,I got out my stash of thrifted, hoarded, inherited (from my late grandmother, who knitted things for premmie bugs and the red cross),and even bought(!)yarns,wool and string,embroidery threads,knitting needles, buttons and pom poms.I got out my weaving show bag.I put ABC on the telly.I sent the kids and hubby off to school,and settled in to finish the weave. 

I must confess,I am a bit of a rogue creative,likely to go off on tangents,trying new things,while projects almost completed,lay neglected and waiting to be completed.And seeing,as the house was looking a little 'festive' with the remnants of a big art commission and my exhibition now taking over not just my studio room,but our entire big table in our "good room"... I was determined to get this little project wound up(pardon the pun)and completed,so that my family would not have to endure weeks of wool and needles and tufts of fluff cloying up flat surfaces around the house.So it was purely for unselfish reasons I ignored the housework on this day, to finish off the weave.Obviously.

And finish it I did.By throwing pom poms (made previously for vignetting challenges), buttons and thread at it,finding some knitting needles as a handy way to hang it. By snipping and trimming like a mad hairdresser,and tying and finishing off bits.

TAH-DAH...and there it was..my crazy little weaving. So now it sits on a peacock blue wall, outside my bedroom, and reminds me of the fun Sunday weave... a little lonesome on its own for now.But not for long...
Woolly goodness
The beginnings of my weave
OOOOoh...which colours to choose?!
Kel of Chief and Kewpie showed us how
A great combo...muffins and making
The owner of Jumbled, Pip, joined us for the class. These are her hands weaving and making magic.

Getting a bit fancy
My finished weave...complete with knitting needles, pompoms, and buttons.