I have been away from this little blog for a while but I have been busy living. I hope you have been well and happy and I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to.
Last year saw lots of changes in my life and I lost my creative spark. Well, it’s back. I have so much to show you and tell you. First, I was lucky enough to have a much needed holiday in Fiji. This is the painting I did after that holiday. When I look at it I can smell coconuts, frangipani and the warm sea breeze…
Presenting Budgie number 2. This is the colour of the wild Budgerigars in Australia that fly freely in flocks in dry and arid areas (of which we have much of). They like to nest in small cavities and hollow tree trunks, especially in Eucalyptus trees near dried up rivers and billabongs.
This year, I’ve been feeling a little down. It has really flattened my ability to dream and get in a state of flow through my art. So, to try and kick start the process, I purchased a beautiful pad of 100% Cotton Rag Water Colour paper and some artists’ inks which I have not used before. They sat in a paper bag for a few weeks. I peeked inside occasionally but didn’t take them out.
On Monday, in my art class for people with Intellectual Disabilities, my 80-year-old volunteer Judith, brought in a book of nursery rhymes from her childhood. It was beautiful. The rhymes were on the right side of the book, on the left were illustrations, all surrounded by lovely borders of tiny flowers and curlicues. I don’t know why, but into my head popped the idea of drawing Budgerigars or Budgies as we call them in Australia, bordered by a lovely edging.
I have decided to set myself a goal of creating 50 of these. The first one I abandoned half way through as I managed to smudge the pen and I wasn’t really happy with the oval shape. You can see my first completed effort below. I wish I was a speedy illustrator, this took me rather a long time. A feathery look was quite challenging for me, I really wanted to capture the softness of the little Budgie. What colour should I paint next?
One of the most exciting things that happened when I started selling my paintings, was getting a commission. A lovely woman had seen my paintings in a local café and asked if I would paint ten small canvases with different owls on them. They were for her school friends who were turning fifty that year. We met for coffee and she described each friend and we chose colours and expressions for them based on their personalities. Some had to have sparkly eyes, one a very gentle expression and, from memory, there was a grumpy one too.
Recently, I was asked by the same woman, to paint a family of three owls as a gift for a yet to be born, long awaited baby.
Last week I had a horrible art session with my group of disengaged teenagers. It’s too ghastly for me to look back on and give you the details, lets just say, they were very, very hard work, and, well yes, disengaged. I felt so grumpy afterwards that I couldn’t eat lunch, just chocolate and a strong coffee.
Usually, I turn to my painting when I want to escape and go to a happier place. I haven’t been able to paint lately and I’ve realised it’s because I’ve lost my alone time at home. At the moment I have my six-foot three-inch teenage son at home waiting to start university. He’s lovely, it’s just that I can’t seem to get in a state of flow with others around. There’s the sound of the television, a large lounging presence, constant pinging of text messages, music I would perhaps not choose, and frequent kitchen raids accompanied by sighs and comments that there is nothing to eat….
Next week though, he starts university and I will have my two days at home of peace. Hopefully, I will have something new to show you then. Until then, here is a little owl painting that I did last year.
As I write this there are currently 11 uncontrolled blazes in Victoria. For those of you who live in bush fire areas, I hope you are safe. As I live in the middle of Melbourne, our house was in no danger, the heat though, was incredible. I thought I’d show you a few snaps of the garden after the recent heat wave. I really think I’m just not meant to grow tomatoes. Last year, I had a grand harvest of one tomato, the rest being eaten by various creatures. This year, I carefully netted them up and had a promising crop growing, only to have them cooked on the bush.
It’s been too hot to use my usual acrylic paints, so I played around with nice cool watercolours. My feather paintings went into the recycling bin as I just couldn’t get them to go the way I saw them in my mind. The bird though, I was quite happy with, so it survived. Thankfully, it is much cooler today so we can all get a good nights sleep…