Experimenting with Print Making...

well tonight folks, I've gone back to my roots.  I bought a lino cutting tool today and have been playing.  The last time I did this was at high school in my TEE class which was twenty *coughcough* something years ago...  And it's been lots of fun I must say.  I found these small square rubber blocks which are so easy to carve into, and the great thing about them is that you can use both sides.  I plan on using the single image as a repeating pattern on a background to a painting soon, wait and see :)

Anyhoo, here's some pics of what I was playing with tonight.  Wondering what else I can do with these little guys?  Small gift cards, tags perhaps?  Well I have a few more of them and hope to get cutting this week.  I thoroughly recommend them, but just dont ask me what they;re called, as I've thrown out the packaging - oops!!!  I'm thinking of turning one into my logo, so I'll see how that goes... 

the image at the top of the page which I've aptly titled "flower head seed pod thingo" was the drawing I chose to carve into the rubber stamp pad - as seen below.  I actually prefer the leaves in the pencil drawing, but there wasn't the room on the block...
I quite like it - it's sort of like a garlic flower head crossed between a corn plant... 
Feel free to leave some words of wisdom - or just say hello for a chat - it's nice to meet people :)
x me


Precious Gifts of the Heart Variety

The other day I was chatting with a friend on facebook.  She's a very talented artist and I have gained such inspiration and strength from her over the years.  She's a truly authentic soul who walks to the beat of her own drum and I have always loved that about her - a free spirit she is.  Anyway, we decided to do a swap.  A painting for a piece of jewellery.  So I had a look at the items in her shop and then had an idea of her making something for me instead...  She's a 'yes' person and whole heartedly agreed.  The next minute I know, I get a text message saying this will be in the mail monday. 

How gorgeous is this!  So, if you haven't realised it yet - it's the heart from my logo.  And I absolutely love it.  You should check out her other beautiful bits and pieces here.  And she also does comissions.  Go on, have a look!

In other news, my website is almost complete and I now have a launch date of June 8.  I'm so looking forward to it.  Hope you'll pop over and have a look!
X Me


Revamping Blue Lady

and here she is - the finished painting (except  I have yet to do the resin pour, but i wanted a photo before that stage in case the shine got in the way of the photo)
I like her - I think the flowers giver her such a lift and place her in a space that I would love to be in...  She looks to me now as if she is about to break out into a big sunny smile :)
Thanks for stopping by,
x me


Reworking an oldie...

Hi folks!  I've just made this short video of me re-working an old painting that i've had in the studio for a while.  I wanted to see if I could manage windows movie maker.  It's not fancy - but here 'tis!  Oh - and it's not finished yet either - so I'll post a completed image soon!  Thanks for stopping by!
x me

ps: the music is by Bob Evans and it's called
Dont You Think it's Time
from the album
Suburban Songbook


I'm Getting Published!!!

If you get the latest edition of Artist's Palette magazine (issue No86) and turn to the inside back cover, then this is what you'll see...
Oh my lordy!!!  As we say in our house - how 'citing!!!
It is the first time I've been published and I can hardly believe it! 
(happy dance here!!!!)

Have a great week everyone
x me



From this.....

To this!!!

I've still got some gold leafing and another pour of resin, but justthought I'd show you ho wit's progressing.  I so love the glassy glossy gorgeous finish. 
It makes the painting POP!

AUCTION anyone???

Hi all!  Just thought i'd post a few photos of some works in-progress...  I'd say each of these are about half to three quarters finished...  I've had a whole day in teh studio - so whilst they're all having som edrying time, I thought I'd take some shots and post them for yout o have a look-see...  I'm also going to attempt to do a resin pour on a few of these, so wish me luck as it's the first time and I hope I don't botch it all up!!!  As for the girl - well, I just felt she needed a face-lift so watch out for her - i have a good feeling it's going to look awesome (if I do say so myself!) 
 One of these will also be up for auction to help raise funds for my brother.  You can read more about his efforts here... he is part of a team of Aussie firefighters who will be running from the west coast to the east coast of America later inteh year to raise awareness of the amazing work that emergency services perform, honour their fallen mates from Sep 11 and also raise money for burns units in aussie hospitals - so all round an awesome cause and a great reason to put a bid in to the auction.  Stay tuned as I'll post more specific details in about a week... 


Creating Mixed media again...

just a quickie today :)  I've been creating, and it feels GOOOOOOD!  The time has gone waaay too quickly, and of course i didn't get as much done as i wanted too - but one can't rush these things!  It's good to be started again.  I want to keep the momentum going and finish these off soon.  Stay tuned!

In other news, my web site is almost ready - yay!  I'll let you all know when the launch date is set and there will just have to be some giveaway goodies involved in that of course!

Hope your day is filled with peace and flowers :)

x don


the War of Art

Wild brumbies, photo taken east of Wiluna, Western Australia

"Look in your own heart.  Unless I'm crazy, right now a still small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is yours and yours alone.  You know it.  No one has to tell you.  And unless I'm crazy, you're no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow.  You think resistance isn't real?  Resistance will bury you.
You know, Hitler wanted to be an artist.  At eighteen he took his inheritance, seven hundred kronen, and moved to Vienna to live and study.  He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts and later to the school of Architecture.  Ever see one of his paintings?  Neither have I.  Resistance beat him.  Call it overstatement but I'll say it anyway: it was easier for Hitler to start WWII than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas."

excerpt from the war of art by steven pressfield

Pretty confronting stuff eh?  But haven't you felt it too?  I have tuned in to the whisperings of my heart, the still small voice that prompted me to take up my brush boldly and look fear in the face and start painting.  I have stepped through some fairly flaming hoops when it comes to acting on my dreams (starting my own business 5 months ago, launching my brand...).  But regardless, I am still faced with resistance every day, every time I so much as think about my next project or creation.    Most of the time it is a constant battle. There is this split between wanting to use my time for mothering, and also for creating and building my buiseness - (but that is for another blog post to come!) Occassionally the planets align, my muse is firing, the ideas are clear, the kids are... (I have children?!)  and there is a space in time that exists for me which is longer than a stolen minute here and a thieved minute there.  Time that stretches out quietly and empty waiting for me to be in it.  Long amounts of time bulging with possibility.  Occassionally... 

But most of the time it is a balancing act (or war?) between motherhood, excitement of a new idea birthed, fear of not being 'good enough' and resistance to begin the thing I desperately desire to do!   So I do acknowledge that resistance is a true enemy, but!  (and here's the saving grace) persistance is an ally that can stare resistance down and make it cringe and crawl back to the  dark place where it belongs.  Persistence is something I am trying to befriend and walk daily with.  Persistance is a very dear friend.  She is strong and wont take abuse from resistance at all.  She muscles her way in to the creative space and plonks herself in front of the blank square canvas.  Squares up to it and says "let me at it - I love a new beginning!"

So even though I'm at war with resistance, I am desperately trying to sow into my relationship with persistance.  I have always loved this poem and have recalled it to mind many times whilst studying, or in the middle of a course, or in disciplining my children for the tenth consecutive time in the same day over the same issue...  So I will leave you with the very wise words of Calvin Coolidge, he sums it all up so perfectly and profoundly...

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education alone will not; the word is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent


Paying it Forward...

A heartfelt thankyou goes out to the lovely Oonagh from CeltoiCroi who nominated me for this blog award.  There's my blue again!)  Go and check out her blog - she has the most beautiful, intricately burnt designs onto wood.   I would so love to have one of them in my house, especially the tree of life! 

And so now it is my turn to pay it forward to three lovely bloggers, so here goes...

Tracey of  'i close my eyes in order to see' is an absolute powerhouse.  If she's not sewing then she's scrapping, or teaching, or helpin gout down at the kids' school or fundraising or something.  The girl is a super-mum!  So check out her lovely things for sale here - especially those wrist bags, love 'em!

Jo Luscombe, of HOTSILVER is sooo HOT!  Yes, I am proud to say that this hottie is a friend of mine and an awesome silversmith artist to boot (amongst other talents as well - music, painting, house building, stained glass, murals... rennaisance woman i tell ya)  But if you'd like an original gift for a friend or a treat for yourself, go and have a look-see at her beautiful creations here on her site  

Last but certainly not least, I'd like to do a shout-out to the queen of clusters (the scrapbooking kind that is!) Poppysmum...  What can I say - every time i look at her scrapping, I just want to scraplift them all.  She has a great eye for design, colour and layout, and although she reckons it's all just pushin' paper around, she does it oh so very well!  Thanks Mel!  So go over to Blooming Poppy for a look and a scrap lift or two :)

Well folks, that's it for now.  I've just finished reading the War of Art by Steven Pressfield ( the Legend of Bagger Vance) and for any artists out there I thoroughly recommend it - absolutely!  As a matter of fact, I think I'll add a few more quotes to some up and coming posts.  I've said it before, but I have to say it again, he's really very kick-ass.  If you are resisting doing the very thing you want to do, the thing that your heart is aching to do but for some reason you are putting it off, then read his book.  It's for you !

On that note, I'll go and get stuck into my new book...  The Divided Heart by Rachel Power, which is already shapin gup to be a fabulous book.  More on that later too...

Good night all, x me


Hot on the heels of mother's day...

this looks interesting!  I am fascinated by mothering styles across our global village and different childrearing practices...  How beautiful is this!


Thoughts on Contributing in The Big Pond...

As some of you may know from this post, I was accepted a few weeks ago by the royal art collection to submit a piece for an exhibition in Dubai...  Having come through the process whereby I have been required to create a piece of work within a set theme and size dimensions, I now remember all too well why I made a decision at the start of the year not to do any commissions at all in 2010!

Something changes when I have parameters.  I think it has something to do with my sense of freedom, my 'painters self asteem' and the boundaries I place on myself to create something more awesome and new and wonderful than ever before.    Although I did have a theme and set size to work with, it was always my right to interpret that theme anyway I see fit, so technically I should have felt free to create away to my hearts content, but for some reason, I felt as though i was waaaay back at the beginning again.  All the old fears and worries raised their ugly heads.  The voice inside that says things like " who do you think you are being a part of this - have you seen the other entrants' work?"  "you've got to be kidding - who are you trying to fool"  and on and on, was very hard at work trying to distract me from my task at every turn. 

This is the very same voice that up until now I have dealt very harshly with and for the most part sent packing.  I recognise this 'voice' as part of my ego.  That part of me that actually wants to protect me from harm.  To protect me from failure and embarrassment and  critique.  And that's all well and good (thanks for looking out for me Ego) but I for one do not want to be kept captive to such limiting views.  I have always loved a good challenge.  Actually, in the past I think I have actually thrived on them ( which is why I accepted in the first place I suppose...).  So why is this work any different?  I'm not sure.  I think perhaps it's because a very personal and intimate part of ourselves is put 'out there' for all to see and critique and love or hate when we hang our art in an exhibition (and I've never exhibited before).  But my intuition, which has served me well thus far says to have a bit of faith in myself, that nothing is achieved by sitting back on my haunches.  That I have to get 'out there' where it's uncomfortable, in order to grow.  I do know I have a burning desire to 'sit' under another painter and be mentored and taught  I have SO much to learn, and I would just love to see how others apply paint and achieve their imaginings on canvas, so there's definitely a part of me that says "oh you're not ready for this - you're just so new, give it a while"  And so the battle goes!

 Yes, I still do feel like a very small fish in a very big pond when it comes to things like the Dubai Exhibition (I've seen the other artists - man are they good!) , but the practical side of me says that they didn't have to choose me if they didn't like my art.  "Yeah but they were probably short on artists and were just taking what they could get" (Mr Ego) Well, my answer to that?  Who cares!  For whatever reason, I was chosen, and that is a blessing and I'm thankful.  It's nice to have things swing my way once in a while ;)