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15 of 365

A bit insular – behind tinted glasses (they’re those ones that go darker in the sun, but I won’t be buying them again – I think ordinary glasses plus sunglasses are better) and with my MP3 player blasting P!nk.

I was thinking about how most of my time is spent in the company of women … apart from Mr Beloved I have very few interactions with men.  Most of my doctors are female; most of the shop assistants I talk to when I shop – the only men (apart from Mr Beloved!) I talk to on a regular basis are my Dad (on Sundays, during the weekly phone call) and the Butchers at the shops.

It’s not that I’m anti-men, there are many good blokes around.  Just not that many around ME.

Most of the BOOKS I read are written by women. Most of the music I listen to is created by women. (Well, written/sung by , if not produced by.)

Ah, I’ve just thought of the exception: the radio.  I listen to ABC Radio National a lot, and on there I’d hear more men that women, every day.

As I was thinking about this, Ricë wrote a post about men & art.  I think I am stuck in a bit of an “all girl’s club”  – but to be honest, I’m grateful to find people who ‘get’ me at all, regardless of how they identify.

Thing is – I’m not very good at people right now.  Men OR Women.  I’m feeling pretty vulnerable, tired, fragile, uncertain.  Like if just one person comes along with a sharp pin that I might just explode – or maybe just sag away quietly, a soggy mess in the corner.

The visit to the gastroenterologist was… interesting.  Let’s say that she and I have very different values.  And because it was the first time we had dealt with each other, she didn’t really know (or take time to know) the back issues that got me here… ah well, I’ll take some of her advice, but I don’t think what she suggested is going to fix the problem.  At least she’s sent me off with a form for more blood work in January.

Meantime, I keep plodding along…

So I’m doing this online thing with Kelly Kilmer and it’s AWESOME, a painting prompt, collage prompt, and journalling prompt every day.  I think it’s really pushing me out of my comfort zone (layers of acrylic paint!) and yesterday I was happily painting the background when I saw this figure start to emerge.

(Be gentle, she’s not done yet, and I don’t normally paint  – ummmm – recognisable things! )


What do you think? I’m not quite sure where she’s going next, why there’s a bird on her head, or what she’s doing but we’ll work it out.

And now my confession: I LOVE ALL THINGS HALLOWEEN-Y!!

There, I’ve said it.

It’s not a holiday we celebrate down under (sadly!) so the very few bits and bobs of Halloween stuff we get in the shops tend to be of the very low end, cheap-nylon-witch-hat-with-attached-purple-wig variety.  (No disrespect intended to any cheap nylon witches.)

And alllll the arty blog girls are making AWESOME Halloween stuff – I mean, check out these bunnies who’ve decided that Bunnies aren’t just for Easter! And of course the SPOOKTACULAR stuff over at Cart Before the Horse (who BTW are having an awesome giveaway, go there now! Oh wait, DON’T, cos I want to win it! No, hang on, DO, because their stuff is WONDERFUL!).

Am I a lone Aussie in love with Halloween?

10 of 365

An action shot today!  Yep, despite the low level migraine that’s been bothering me since early last night, I actually got some journalling done today.  (Of course, if you wanna see JOURNALLING, you must go check out Teesha Moore’s most recent posts – I am in AWE, always, of her work.)

One of the things I do when I get into a period of slump and self doubt about my art (dare I even call it that?!) is re-read two fabulous books by Peter H. Reynolds: (Who now has a blog!)

the dot


Both are wonderful stories about overcoming your fear of creating – Vashti’s teacher gets her to just make a mark in art class… and her creativity leaps from there. And Ramon’s drawings are not to his satisfaction, but his sister treasures them and says it doesn’t matter what it was supposed to look like – it looks (x) ISH!

*sigh* Love that.

I’m off to make DOTS. (Speaking of which, you might also like to see Jude at Spirit Cloth’s exploration of dots – really beautiful textiles.)

and I didn’t know it!

But today I was in another scrapbooking store (souffle pens!) while Hill$ong crappy charismatic creepiness blasted from the store stereo.  That was ok, I could block it out by humming my favourite Lily Allen track (“Fuck you.. fuck you very very muu-uu-uuu-uch…”).

But what intrigued and frightened me was the group of women sitting around a table all with identical pieces of various papers while the teacher drill sergeant said things like “And now we are going to take our 8 cm square of green paper and stick it exactly one inch from the bottom left corner” and the women responding with worried tones: “Have I got this right? Is this ok?”

I would have told her exactly where she could stick her square of paper, I would.  This class was obviously for beginners, ok, but it was doing NOTHING towards raising these women’s confidence or belief in their own right to make decisions!  ARRRRGH!

Please note – I’m not (totally) anti-scrapbooking.  I love the toys in those shops, love the huge variety of coloured papers and printed papers and rub ons and stamps, and the PENS, OMG the pens, I loves me a good pen, who doesn’t? I am THRILLED that scrapbooking stores are around not least because there are such limited options for buying other art supplies locally.

But – WHERE’S THE CREATIVITY? WHERE’S the EMPOWERMENT that making something YOUR OWN brings?


In the last few posts I have shown you my visual journal – and you can see that I have been learning from other people’s styles.  I am so excited at the prospect of learning more, of getting the INPUT I crave.  But I don’t ever want to just make something exactly the same as anyone else (let alone as the other 6 women at the table  (“Now post your cropped photo of your schoolchild 5 inches from the right of the page…”)

Look, I know you’ve seen (heard?!) this rant before, and I’m sorry, you’ll probably hear it again… but if we are not here to be INDIVIDUALS and find meaning in our own lives – then why are we here at all?

(To see where the thoughtless copying mindset leads, have a squiz at “you thought we wouldn’t notice”, a blog highlighting laziness amongst “creatives” … and see also this post from the (hugely talented and inspiring) Marsha at Tumblefish Studio. )

up early

(apologies for the somewhat blurry text – getting to the end of this book and I really should have propped up the low side on the scanner!)


Mexican turquoise pic from a back issue of the Smithsonian (another wonderful subscription I had to let go…)


[you know how to see it bigger.]

One of my favourites from the old portfolio:

biology and manual training for blog

[click big, yada yada…]

We are about to have our internet access throttled (aaccck!) because SOMEONE was a bit naughty and looked at lots and lots of bandwidth munching art sites this month, didn’t they CAITY?!

(At least they just reduce the speed, they don’t let us keep going and then send a bill for excess use like some (coughb1gp0ndcough) providers.)

I am getting STUCK in my visual journal – too much same same, you know?  I really need to get into some online classes and LEARN STUFF!! (cheaper than books and you get feedback straight away – I ? technology!)


[bigger if you click]

Got the new printer hooked up today (yay!) but sadly, it has no drivers to make it run on Linux OSs.  Bummer!  Luckily we keep a Windows box around for just such things – my embroidery machine software and Electric Quilt programme also need the infernal Windows. (Don’t tell me to get a Mac, please – they are NOT for povs! $$$$!! And Linux is open source and FREE.)

Also dug out the little photo printer but discovered that leaving the ink cartridge in it for (la la la!) years doesn’t do it much good.  Still, when life hands you lemons, make margaritas:


Only half the nozzles on the inkjets worked – but I am going to pretend I MEANT that to happen so I could alter/add to these postcard size prints anyway.  Yep!  (I’m hoping that when the new cartridge goes in things will right themselves – if not, I’ll have to do some opening and tinkering – good thing it’s well out of warranty, eh?)

The weather has turned cooler this evening – supposed to only be 8 C (brrr!) overnight.  Yes, I know when I ived in Canberra, it was a good winter day when it got UP to 8 sometimes! But I’m spoilt living here.  The weekend is supposed to bring more heat again.

OK, that’s it for now… things might be slow with only limited access here til midnight on the 2nd!


[click for big]

Done at the same time as “Scared of Numbers” , watercolour, ink, and pearlescent ink on old history textbook page.

I didn’t get to watch the V8 races after all – I had a migraine that saw me cowering in the dark bedroom for most of the day.  Bugger! Off to take more aspro to try and keep it down to a dull roar (I can’t take other anti- migraine medicine becuase of other drugs I have to take.  Sucks, eh?)

So I was reading Michelle Ward’s blog earlier and she had an image of these AWESOME stamps from Stampotique, by an artist new to me.  Daniel Torrente’s style really spoke to me – possibly because of the sunken eyes and scratchy lines being exactly how I’m feeling right now. (grrrrrr.)

So as I was listening to the race (vroooooooom….) I started making little scratchy sketches.


[usual deal  – click images to see bigger]

And then some more characters came out of the pen.  (I drew a self portrait of myself as an anorexic, too, but that was just so disturbing on so many levels I shouldn’t have even mentioned it….)


Now that I look at those stamps again I’m pleased that they AREN’T really copies of his style.  (For a start, mine are nowhere near as detailed or as good!) but they have definitely come from the Danny Elfman/Tim Burton/Tracy Moore zettiology/ Scott Radke’s awesome puppets/ freaky goth kinda headspace… I really want to work on more of these.

(Technical details, as if anyone is interested: Lamy fountain pen with EF nib; Noodler’s walnut ink, on al cheapo A5 visual diary paper.)

(also – note to self – get the green paint splodge off the scanner screen, sheesh!)

What do you think?

Saint Robota Icon

[clicky to see biggy]

This is “The Icon of Saint Robota”.

Ink, watercolours, acrylic inks on an old spelling list page.

(I inherited a LOT of school textbooks from my grandfather.  I like painting on pages that are not blank. I think my artist’s statement at the time I had to present this in a portfolio was more eloquent, but that’s what it boiled down to.)

We have wooden floorboards in our house, and our house needs restumping (bloody termites!) so the floors tend to MOVE when we walk around.  Normally that’s not an issue – but over time, things perched precariously on top of other things (ahem!) tend to get closer and closer to the edge until….



Poor Mr Beloved was ATTACKED by a falling clump of THINGS this afternoon. NOT a good thing for my poor PTSD sweetie…

Anyway, the fallen objects included an A3 cardboard portfolio, which turned out to contain some art works I had made in… ummm… 2005 or 2006, I don’t have a date on any of them.

And I was pleasantly surprised!  OMG, I LIKE THESE! I drew these AND I REALLY REALLY LIKE THEM!! I’m not as hopeless at this as I thought! And I had completely forgotten they even existed.

So, if you’d like to see them, I’ll post a few.  Here’s the first one out of the envelope:

Scared of numbers

[click to see image larger]

Watercolour, ink, on old text book page.

Ugh. Have pretty much lost my voice. Hurts to cough – the pain goes right down my sternum and also right down my back. Off to Doctor’s tomorrow arvo. Not my usual (wonderful!) doc, but another in the same primary health care centre, so that’s ok.

It started with a sore throat on Friday, got to hurting on Saturday night, and yesterday and today I’ve mostly spent trying not to cough and swearing when I do, and sleeping. Very boring to do and even more boring to read about. Even more boring for the puir wee poodle, who sees it as her DUTY to stay by my bed.  She won’t even eat until I’m up.

Tonight I’ve been catching up with a lot of blogs that I’d stopped reading – I’d kept them on my bloglines rss feeds, but just hadn’t had the energy to follow them. Very interesting to see the development of many of the Artful Quilters BlogRing. Some people who were just starting their adventures way back have become successful artists, some published authors.. and many have found other interests as well.
And I’ve been well looked after by Mr Beloved, Bringer of Cups Of Tea (also known as The Teabot 5000™) – ahhhh, so loved!

Another good activity when confined to bed is flicking through back issues of Cloth Paper Scissors and Quilting Arts magazines … gotta do something with my time after admitting that I needed to suspend my gym membership for the fortnight, since even if I’m not infectious I’m not about to go and hurl myself about!  I’m getting inspired, starting to draw, and seriously considering some inchies as a way to get back to art quilting… and drawing and painting and collage too.  Anyone wanna swap some inchies with me sometime?