June 27, 2014

Mini Holiday

Went to Inverloch again for a few nights, and managed to get so much painting done! It was like a mini Art Jam holiday! The weather was terrible- cold & windy & raining. Which gave us all good excuse to stay inside and relax guilt free. Even though it is winter here it's still nice to go to the beach and have a bit of a break. We didn't get much beach time, but the girls loved it when we did. The weather was exceptionally miserable! At least rainbows come out when it rains.. :)

So we had many Art Jam sessions! I'd just gotten up from the table to take a photo of us creating here.

Thanks to my neglectful parenting and the use of the TV, I got a lot of painting done! I pretty much completed these two paintings. This top one is called "we all get by". The next is untitled. Just a bit of an image that was floating around in my head.

Then I felt the urge to return to my illustrative past.. sometimes I like to get away from it and be more painterly and 'arty', but it always draws me back in. I was getting inspired by looking at some of Emily Martin's work online, her dreamy story- telling images from that childhood wonderland I'm always trying to tap into. 

On the wall at the clubhouse (as it was called where we stayed) was an empty picture frame crying out for some attention. So, cheekily, I took it apart and added some characters then reassembled it. We had some good chuckles whilst doing this. Thanks to my family members' bizarre sense of humour we all collaborated on the ideas ;)

I will miss the quirky clubhouse with it's weird bathroom sink… look at the size of that thing!

Now I think I have the holiday bug! I am dreaming of a new adventure.. a place in a forest somewhere with no technology and lots of inspiration, trees, plants and thinking time. And of course, my sketch book, paints and new ideas.

June 22, 2014


I have been BUSY! I have so many projects on the go- personal and business-y, and I'm loving all of them and I am stealing every minute I can to sneak away into the studio and feeling blessed that my two cheeky chickens (my girls) play nicely with one another.. most of the time. 

I recently had my Homemaker picture framed and sent it off with a mixed media piece to The Red Fox Gallery Cafe in my neighbouring town Drouin. I hope they will bring lots of their customers some happiness and nice feelings. 

I finished off these two bohemian folksy mobiles for a custom order. I need some more of these in my Etsy shop but they sell as quick as I make them! I'm happy for people to order them from me at this stage whilst I'm still making them. They won't be a forever thing.. just drop me a line.

I listed an original in my Etsy Shop. I hope you like it!
I love painting pictures with making children happy in mind, and feeding into that wonderful imagination and wonder that they possess. I can't stand Barbies and Brats dolls and all the other dolls that slot into that category, and characters aimed at children donned with mobile phones and shopping bags looking cool; on the verge of being sexually promiscuous.. So you can rest assured any of my images will be plucked straight from the land of tradition, cuteness and all things sweet. After all, kids are kids for such a short time, and their natural innocence is something I feel I need to protect fiercely. For sure enough, they won't be kids long, and they have plenty of time to be grown up. So inject as much magic into their lives as you can during this precious & fleeting time!

I have more paintings and things to show and stuff going on… I have signed up to In.cube8r Gallery again (I was with them pre- kids), so am madly making a bunch of stuff to fill my allocated space there. 

I hope you've enjoyed my short 'n' sweet update.. until next time creative souls… :)

June 10, 2014

A Busy Weekend

Hope your weekend was good. We had an extra busy and creative long weekend at home. (Thanks to the Queen's Birthday holiday.) Jim worked on storage solutions for the garage, which has been a long time coming. And I worked on a few pieces of furniture for the house. 
First of all we had an old pine dining table sitting in the garage, not making itself very useful. So we cut the legs off that and sanded it back and now I am converting into a kids craft/ art table. Whoever thought kids tables should be the sizes they are normally are in the shops had rocks in their head. I don't know about your household; but if you have young kids and a teeny table, stuff ends up all over the floor. There's not enough room for their materials and space to draw. 
I whizzed down to the local hardware store to choose some paint. I usually get all confused and worried and nervous about choosing paint colours from paint chips (funny- for an artist?) But I decided just to go in and go with my gut and choose the first colours that jumped out at me. I chose garden picket, and emerald wave. In about 3 minutes, seriously!

So here's the table with two coats of paint..

And here it is after I'd attacked the legs with a wash of teal. I'm loving the effect that it produced. I just mixed a big squirt of my normal artists acrylic paints and thinned it down 50:50 with water. I then painted that on and wiped it over with a wet rag. I also scumbled the wet rag around a bit and used a dry brush to soften some of the lines & add a bit of texture. I plan on adding a wash to the top, probably in a earthy orange colour.

Detail of the "glaze":

I also had a couple of wooden Ikea chairs that I have been meaning to paint for, oh I don't know, almost 4 years! 

The kids were SO upset that they could not help me paint the table. (Miss Stevie is still trying to convince me to let her paint a teddy bear on the top), so I let them help me start the chairs. It was good to let them be involved in a part of the process, but bless their little souls, this is more of a Mamma job!

Here are the chairs with their base coats on.. (I was thinking 'vintage candy' colours when I chose the paint... & Miss Stevie was happy she got to help paint the "ice cream" colour.)

I'm looking forward to seeing the whole set come together with their glazes, and then a final varnish for protection with an oil based polyurethane. Then there will be the task of finding some funky baskets and storage for their supplies. Pinterest always comes up trumps in that area for inspiration! 

And as an afterthought, here are some shelves I also worked on a bit this weekend. These are meant to attach directly onto a wall in the kids room somewhere for them to display all of their creations. This is a project that had fallen by the wayside (along with my tree project) when I lost motivation to complete the kids room. This happens sometimes, doesn't it? Projects loose momentum, and you get feelings of guilt for not achieving. 

I have so many projects that I am working on... and in my head waiting in line to begin. And I feel like some of them wont be finished (or started) for a long time. Sometimes when you read crafty blogs you get this idea that other people have it all together, and that they are achieving so much. I'm sure most of them have to be human and have all the time constraints and issues we all have. Are you creative? Do you struggle with feelings of underachieving compared to others? You can be sure I have all those thoughts! Especially when my kids were younger and I'd see people blogging & achieving so much with young kids! I'd think- how do they do it!? 

Every time I get some free time I am thinking (as an example): Should I do more to the paper mache tree?...What about the bathroom, I do want to make some pom poms for the light shade... I really should go and pick up dog poo in the backyard... or what about sewing the curtain for the living area downstairs... or vacuuming, there's so much dust... I really should make something to eat... maybe I could work on my painting... or prepare that new print... I need more time... I'd love to do a cross stitch... I have to finish that card design... and so on and so forth. Does your brain also work like this!? And then when I'm working on something, the creative juices are flowing and I have more ideas for half a dozen new projects I'd like to start!

In the end when I feel overwhelmed I have realised I just need to start on something. I wander around and pick up a project that has been started, or I write a list of all my projects and prioritise them. Then priority number one is worked on. So, I'm going to do that now... but first, a cup of tea ;)

June 02, 2014

Hello Winter

The first day of winter happened on the weekend. I removed our Autumn display, and scrounged around the house for some wintery elements for our seasonal appreciation table. The girls gasped with delight when they saw it and straight away set to work creating their own things in the studio to add to the table. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do during the season. They collect things right through the seasons in their pockets or bags and save them for the display. It's so sweet. We got this Steiner type idea from one of Soule Mama's books. She's one inspiring lady & Mama. I own a couple of her books. They are a delight. We also rang in the new season with lighting a fire. Too bad the rain put it out! 

We also had a visit to the beach. Barwon Heads to be exact, to catch up with an old mate that I did my illustration diploma with. here are the girls searching for exciting treasures.

I'm working in the studio today tying up odds and ends, photographing, colour correcting, varnishing, thinking, filling a couple of orders & drinking tea. I am a tea addict. I feel like I'm having a little break when I'm drinking tea even if I'm still working. I have a couple of new things in the shop. Including this guy:

Hopefully the more mundane tasks will be finished soon and I can get the paints out again. Being an artist is not just all time spent at the easel; there's so much other work that goes on behind the scenes.. like taxes... blurgh! But one can also get satisfaction when all the other tasks are completed. If it's winter where you are I hope you have a snuggly warm one with lots of wool & soup x


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