a happy wave...

despite the fact that my number 1 peep has been violently ill over most of the weekend, i am still feeling a very happy glow every time i stop to think about what an awesome opportunity it will be for me to have so much world-wide exposure, albeit one little painting!  so i'm really keen to give this little blog a facelift, and am scouting around now for a designer i think will meet my needs and help me create a space on the net that is uniquely me.  a place where i can showcase my work, and have a shopping facility as well.  so, if any of you reading this are either web designers, or can recommend a web designer to me, i would greatly appreciate it!

whilst riding my happy wave on friday night, i went to work with my muse and came up with these two little offerings...

the first one is a re-vamped canvas (do you remember the little houses all in a row?)  i really love the texture in this one, and the boab tree has been with me for a while now waiting to come out - i'm definitely going to explore these beautiful (upside down) trees further.  when you are in the kimberley, you cant help but dream, and my sleep is full of them at the moment!

and the next one reads "risky business"  because when we put our hearts out there for all to see, when we take the risk of being open and honest, or perhaps persuing a life-time dream that many think is silly or unachieveable, then we also leave ourselves wide open to  possible attack, criticism and hurt.  but, for the most part, the universe is kind, and (eventually i think hope) rewards those who take the risks with strengthened hearts and focused minds to stretch themselves to their (my) greatest potential... 

i know i'm not the worlds greatest artist, but i love making art.  and i'm so grateful that two wonderful opportunities have come my way so far this year.  Firstly, i have a 6-8 page article coming up in Australian Artists Palette magazine (i'll let you know the edition when i do - so stoked about this!) and now winning (along with 19 others)  the bookdepository bookmark competition.  so i'm learning the lesson, that putting my heart 'out there' is a good thing.  that sometimes we lose, but every now and then we have a win.  the key is, you've just got to leap forward and take those risks...



ok - no apologies from me about using caps in the heading today, because i can hardly contain myself with this FANTASTIC news!!!!!!!  check this out...  i am totally excited, amazed, grateful, did i say excited? pumped to the absolute max and i can hardly believe that one of my paintings is going to be delivered out to... hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of people!!!!!!!  yeeeehaaaaaaaaaa!!!!  wooooooohooooo!!!!

*breathe* (in, out, in, out) ok...

thebookdepository ran a competition last month, whereby you could submit a painting to be in the running to be used as one of the shops' bookmarks.  they ran a similar competition last year amongst illustrators which was a huge success, and so then opened it up to the public.  I thought about it early on in the piece, and then put it aside thinking no... and then, as fate would have it, i decided the night before the closing date to enter.  i submitted about 8 entries, sent a little prayer out into the universe and then left it at that.

then tonight, i get this in my inbox...

Dear Donna
Congratulations! We have chosen your bookmark design as one of those that we’re going to print up and send out with all our books.
Thank you for the fantastic effort you put into your design, we had a tough time choosing and had over 600 entries from all around the world. In fact there were so many good ones we chose 20 winners in the end rather than 10.
You can see all of the winners gathered together on www.BookDepository.co.uk/bookmarkwinners we’ll start to print these in the next few weeks, so your bookmark should be being sent out by the end of February. In the meantime Thames and Hudson will select your prize books and we’ll also get them sent to you during February.
Well done again,


so there you have it.  this is the image that will be made into bookmarks and sent 'out there' for thousands of people to see it, and i can hardly believe this is true :)

so, a very big, grateful heartfelt thankyou goes out from me to the bookdepository ( and did i mention how much i love this shop?  just ask my bank balance how much!)  for choosing my design.  i truly am so very thankful and completely over the moon.

ps - thebookdepository.com has free international shipping - you should try it!
pps - no, they did not ask me to say that ;)


on my bedside table...

not much to report on the creative front for this week.  i did have a go at using the hand painted fabric i made - turning it into a little row of houses, which was going ok, that was until i decided to go crazy with a tube of white paint over the top and then it all went awry... the white paint took on the colour of the paint underneath and now it looks rather tacky... soooo i think i'll write this one off as a test/play/learning piece...
i am also supposed to be working on my business plan, (CERT IV Business and management) and inputting data to MYOB as well, so the next few nights will consist purely of business i'm afraid.  but - to keep my creative ideas flowing, i have some new books.  here's a peek at my bedside table...

i'm nearly finished these two - and am loving the ideas in finding your visual voice.  it has given me olts of things to think about, and reminded me of so much that i learnt through art history many years ago at high school... connecting art to stitch has whetted my appetite to further explore the use of fabric in my art - yum!
this one just came today and i am very keen to sink my teeth into some of these ideas.  just look at that scrumptious colourful front page!  just awaiting my wood burning tool kit in the mail...

and lastly, for something a little different - reading lolita in tehran.  i've only read about the first 6 chapters, but it's shaping up to be a very interesting read.  mmmm, so much to do, and so little time.  I'd better go.  so - what are you reading at the moment?  please share any interesting titles, i'm always on the lookout for something new!
x donna


there's alot of love in this room...

who would have thought a little teeny metal object could steal my heart away?  well i think it has.  i went in to my local quilting shop the other day to purchase some thread and found out that if i wanted to experiment with/play/do free machine quilting then i needed to get my hands on this bad boy.  so off we trotted into town and found the Janome shop (i love my janome too by the way) where i got one of these little beauties!

you know, when i was the wee small age of but 12, i got my first job as a 'jounior waitress' at the ascot races in perth (aka kitchen hand and general dog's body-gopher) i used to earn $20 a day which was from about 8  till 5.  well i had dreams back then of being a designer and making my own clothes and being famous lol!  so i saved up all my pay and bought my first sewing machine.  from memory, it was a pretty good one back then at about $450-$500.  and it's the same one i sew on now.  it hasn't skipped a beat!  needless to say, i didn't go on to pursue a career in design, rationalising in those years that i didn't want something i enjoyed to become 'work' - oh how arse about is that?!  what i wouldn't give to have a career now doing something that is a love and a passion! 
it's funny the things that can spring to mind sometimes from the deep recesses of our memories.  i had dropped the dogs and set off tentatively circling, zig-zagging and basically going crazy with this thing and an old friend of mine from katherine school of the air just sprang to mind.  carolyn, if you're reading - i think this started all those years ago with your crazy, passionate and frenzied love of all things free-stitching!  i remember talking to her about it, and thinking that one day i'd like to give it a try.  well it's only taken about 8 years!  funny thing is - she gave me a little stash of lovely thread as a gift one day and i've carried them around the countryside with me all these years not knowing quite how or what to use them on -  here they are...
aren't they lovely?!

and these are the beautiful threads I bought locally to also have a play with - the colours of pindan and ridges in the fading light...

and here's a little bit of what i've been playing with.  i painted my own fabric with som esparkling H2o's and then cut and reassembled them onto a substrate to sew on - how much fun is this!  i didn't realise how much movement one could get out of a machine and needle - but it's so amazing!

and last but not least - i found this Kapoc seed tonight.  i thought i'd lost it, but again, after all these years it just decided to show me it's little face tonight.  funny how things happen isn't it?  i only just found my photos of kapocs a couple of days ago.  a beautiful piece of nature and just calling out to be used as inspiration don't you think?!



i've been having a dilema for the last however-many-months as to what i'm passionate about.  i'm always wondering why people paint the things they do - what is it that makes someone go head over heels with a still life, whilst others can go a lifetime only painting flowers, or scenery or horses...
there's many things i could paint if i wanted to - but it's not about that really, is it... 
so what do i want need to create? 
well you know the old saying about some things being as plain as the nose on your face?  well this has been one of those realisations for me... a bit of an ah-ha moment if you will.

i really want to explore more of the mixed media side of things, textures, prints, fabrics, metal bits and pieces, leafing, stamping and anything else i may discover, but as for the subject matter i have gone back to my heartland...
i spent many years working in the remote kimberley and northern territory.  i taught in small communities, travelled around as a visiting teacher to far and away places, lived in the lovely Broome for years and was also with the school of the air in katherine for a couple of years.  not to mention all the nooks and crannies i was priveledged to see and experience when i was in the army... 
and i have many, many  special memories of that amazing, awesome land.  once you've lived there, it really does take a hold on your spirit.  it has a magic all its own.
so i'm tripping back through memory lane, and some old photos as well and i'm feeling the inspiration mounting, the ideas are forming and things coming together for some new creations. 
wish me luck!


a penny for my thoughts please...

have been doing lots of soul-searching lately about what direction to go with my art.  am feeling as though my 'voice' isn't there, and have hit a bit of a conteplative cloud square on.  wondering why we paint what we do, make the choices we do, and the style we have.  probably feeling a little tender at the moment with a few anniversaries coming up and special days that were once special but now less so.  and in all of this, trying to remold and re-fashion these memories into something still beautiful and yet different, so i can keep them with me and smile at them rather than cry :)  

a little illusive i know, but the details aren't important.  just that we find ourselves in these times that make us stop and think deeply about where we are, and which direction we're going to take next.  and all of this collides with our creative selves to place new challenges in our paths.  

for me, my art is almost always a reflection of where i'm at in my life journey, and comes out in each and every piece...
so these moments are integral to me.  working out who i am now, and how i respond to these little hurdles, the decisions i make about how i will react to these memories/feelings etc are so important because it continually redefines more and more of who i am, and what i paint and why...


the quiet way...

Coalseam National Park Wildflowers September 09

i just read this poem from a post by Christine Mason Miller (aka Swirly) and it sums up completely how i feel about the transition from 2009 to 2010.  it is beautiful.  have a read...

At the End of the Year

The particular mind of the ocean
Filling the coastline's longing
With such brief harvest
Of elegant, vanishing waves
Is like the mind of time
Opening us shapes of days.

As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.

The days when the veil lifted
And the soul could see delight;
When a quiver caressed the heart
In the sheer exuberance of being here.

Surprises that came awake
In forgotten corners of old fields
Where expectation seemed to have quenched.

The slow, brooding times
When all was awkward
And the wave in the mind
Pierced every sore with salt.

The darkened days that stopped
The confidence of the dawn.

Days when beloved faces shone brighter
With light from beyond themselves;
And from the granite of some secret sorrow
A stream of buried tears loosened.

We bless this year for all we learned,
For all we loved and lost
And for the quiet way it brought us
Nearer to our invisible destination.

~ John O'Donohue ~
Taken from the book To Bless The Space Between Us (in the U.S.)and  Benedictus (in the U.K.)
 © John O’Donohue. All rights reserved.


love tenderley, now...

well, here 'tis!  the before and after photos.   i experimented yesterday with some spray paint and some groovy stencils that i've had in my scrapbook stash not knowing what to do with and that was it, i was hooked!  if it's not nailed to the floor then you can be sure it will get spray painted!  i've attacked all the paintings that are unfinished with spray paint as well, it really is addictive!  so blog friends, what do you think?  does it look better?

x me


love tenderly...

i worked on this painting until late last night, completing the gold leaf work on the heart rubble under the birdie's feet.  and although i had planned that it would be finished at this point, i cant help but wonder if it still needs a little something in the space/area around the lower third of the paiting around birdies legs?  i'd love to hear your opinion...  what do you think - does it need a little something more - or leave it as is...
i look forward to hearing what you think blog friend...
x me


notice the sparkle and embrace your inner stork...

i've had this painting sitting around in my studio for a while, it had reached 'the ugly phase' and i just didn't have the head space to work on it or know what direction to take with it.  but yesterday i just decided to make a go of it, so i dipped my fingers in a pot of paint and had a play!  i'm really feeling very in touch with how precious all the little moments are, especially now that i have these 10 days all to myself.  i know i probably wont get another chance like this all year, and so i am relishing every tiny tasty sparkly morsel...

and on a bit of a different note...
here's another birdie painting.  i'm just inspired by bright and bold lately.  loving these colours...
this is the largest painting i've done to date.  i wasn't planning on working on this panel in landscape, but i accidentally told the framer to put the hanging wire on it that way, so it got me thinking in a new direction.  a happy accident i'd say!
the words read 'embrace your inner stork'  i wont explain, it may kill the humour!

have a happy day wont you!
x me



last night a dear friend Miss M and i got together for some collaborative art - or collaborart (this word keeps popping up in my head !)  inspired by mati rose and kelly rae's 2009 expermentation in colaborating on a canvas together, Miss M and i joined forces for a wonderful evening and came up these to show for it.  punctuated by drinking many cups of tea and stopping for a mango break (required snack right?!) we had an awesome time.  we had purposely not arrived with any preconcieved notions or ideas about what we wanted - and just gave each other the freedom to do whatever we wanted - no mistakes right! 

as it turned out we took turns on each others' canvas, stopping when we felt we'd worked on a section/notion/idea enough, and then handing over to the other person.  and i think the results are awesome.  they're so bright and full of childlike sparkle!

it was such a freeing way to work, thinking only about the next one small part, and not being able to respond until each other had finished.  so there was not too much planning, and just lots of being in the moment and enjoying the process.  it really was awesome fun. 

we plan to do more of it too - with other friends and have even more collaborart ideas brimming, but you'll have to watch this space for those.  2010 is definitely gonna be a hot year!


and here's my finished piece! (we each took home one piece to hang on our wall)  miss M chose the word 'wonderland' for it which i totally love.  my wonderland is my studio, it's my creative space both literally and figuratively - love it!
stay tuned for more collabrart soon, x me


enjoy now with all your heart

here's the latest from my studio titled 'enjoy now with all your heart'
if there's one thing i learnt from life last year, from all the ups and downs it's this.  this life is not a dress rehearsal.  this life is short.  s.h.o.r.t  and we cannot waste time being bitter or angry or dwelling on things that may not have turned out how we would have liked.  there is always joy to be had, each and every day and i for one am trying to live by these words.  this year, i'm going to find life in the small and seemingly unimportant things.  i'm going to enjoy each and every now with all my heart.  and i hope you'll join me...
x me