When I was younger, I was far too concerned about what people would think. Now, I’m much less self-conscious, much to my boys’ embarrassment at times. Sometimes, they’ve even applied the label “weirdo” to me. Oh well.
I still wish though, that I could completely get lost in a moment, just revel in it like my Ruby does. Here she is, fresh green grass, spring sunshine. She just looks rapturous. I would have joined her if we weren’t at the Botanical gardens, with me in a dress, surrounded by people, one of whom was, my sixteen year old son….
We’ve gotten used to fairly mild winters in Melbourne over the last few years. So Antarctic winds, hail and even snow on the nearby ranges have come as a bit of a surprise. It’s perfect weather for snuggling in bed but sadly, for me, I had to get up early on a Saturday, to drive my son to cross country running. It was lovely though, to see in the soft morning light, the garden gilded with rain drops. The promise of spring to come, in the little nodding Jonquils….
The sun had almost set, when I dashed outside between heavy showers, to pick Parsley for dinner. I got completely distracted though by autumn leaves lying on the deck. Huge rain drops embellished the heart shaped leaves, like precious crystals. Such ephemeral beauty.
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.
Happy Australia Day to all! This year, take a leaf out of the Little Corella’s (Cacatua sanguinea) book; sit up and take notice of your surroundings. Hang around with friends, walk and drink in nature, chat and swap stories or simply enjoy your own space, eat well and give yourself time to dream.
Sit up and take notice
Hang around with friends
Walk and drink in nature and swap stories
Enjoy your own space, eat well and give yourself time to dream
It was our wedding anniversary on Monday, we celebrated with our family of five (two teenage boys and Ruby the naughty dog) by staying overnight in Daylesford. Daylesford is an old gold mining town, in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. Our accommodation was a dog friendly cottage called Maple. It was lovely, old wisteria vines covered the front verandah and it was high above the town. You might be interested to see the solar panels on its old tin roof.
My teenage son drove there, he’s learning to drive, which I find a little nerve wracking at times, so we started our stay with a strong coffee, in the main street to recover (don’t tell him I said that). Later in the afternoon we walked with Ruby, and found the mineral springs which Daylesford is famous for. You pump the gently fizzing water out of the ground, it was lovely. We walked along a dirt track, surrounded by towering gums and breathed in the clean bush air. At the end of the walk a beautiful fungus caught my eye, softly gleaming like polished gemstones.
I love the old buildings in Daylesford. There are grand buildings but I really like the tiny miners cottages. We came across the tiniest house I think I’ve ever seen. I wonder who built it and who lived there? It makes me think, that we really have made our lives over complicated in modern life.
Like many Australian children of my generation, I grew up on a diet of books handed down from my mother. Enid Blyton, Beatrix Potter and other whimsical Eurocentric books featuring a wonderland of talking rabbits, owls that carried messages, fairies and goblins. I knew more about rabbits, weasels and owls then my own native animals. There was however, a fabulous television series, “Skippy the Bush Kangaroo”, made in the late 1960’s. Skippy could understand humans, open doors, collect mail, untie ropes, foil villains and even operate the radio!
My paintings have started to become more nostalgic lately, and the creatures who inhabited my childhood books are a strong influence. “Jumping and running” is a mixed media piece on vintage sheet music which was then mounted on to a canvas board. You can still see the pencil marks that a teacher and child wrote on it. It also has tiny pieces of a book for clouds. I used acrylic paints and pencil and then varnished it with three layers of satin varnish.
Blanche the white rabbit sits in a field of yellow daisies. She watches children jumping and running and thinks to herself, they are just like little rabbits in the spring.