Through the fog

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Sometimes, well often, it is hard to remember that how things are now are not always as they are going to be. For all of the speediness in which this life travels, it can sure seem to drag itself along. Day by day. A dead weight.

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Life is brutal. It’ll just keep on going no matter how much you try to control it, try and stay steady for the ride. None of us are steady, we just have those brilliant and short lived moments of reaching what seems to be the top and then when we settle in with our well earned smugness, something will come out of left field and bowl you and well – tough titties.

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I’m trying to be gracious, I am trying to be a good support. But truth be told I don’t think I am a very good person. I’m just a person. Somehow I just came to have these people in my life who think that I am. So – I try to be that.

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See how many pretty pictures I managed to pepper in? Yeah.

Drawing and crying

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What a whirl wind of a weekend. Driving down to Melbourne and seeing people and drinking truck stop coffee and going to the exhibition and then eating and then more driving.

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The exhibition was amazing – it was wonderful to see people and meet new people. The above photo is of my work next to Todd Hunter’s painting. ( I love his work so I feel pretty proud of this! )
I sold the piece that is leaning against the wall, I feel pretty chuffed :)

Then we drove home in the dark and the rain and there were lots of frogs on the road.

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Today SUCKED.
But we got to see the above visitors this morning.
But today really, really sucked. I have cried so much my face is puffy but I did do a huge – HUGE – amount of work today and so I will let myself off of the hook.. Just a little.

Please tomorrow be kind!

Night night
xx

Exhibition! Drawing! Sickness! Oh my!

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TWENTY FOURTEEN is on view from tomorrow the 23rd of August until the 26th of September. This exhibition is a showcase of all the artists represented by Scott Livesey Galleries – here is a link to a catalogue of the works that will be in this exhibition, which was also handed out at the Melbourne Art Fair last week. LINK. It is such a beautiful catalogue! I have my woman on bed drawing in this exhibition, with a wonderful quote from Rachel Power on my work in the catalogue.

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I am looking forward to seeing the exhibition – I hope to make it. I’ve been unwell over the last couple of days and have lost time in regards to work – I have two very important projects on, both with deadlines in September!! On top of that, I have a new body of work in progress and a painting studio still in need of setting up.

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The above image is of a larger drawing in progress that is part of the new body of work. I’ve decided to employ my ‘sketching’ technique with these larger drawings. See – my sketching is really drawing but a different kind of drawing style to the usual style I use for larger drawings. But I want to loosen up a bit and show off the drawing technique as well as focus on the subject.
Does that make sense? Probably not, my head is still foggy but hopefully the combination of images, writing and context – you get my drift.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

xx

The passage of life, identity, death and heritage

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I’ve been researching and collecting for the last few weeks – feeling that there’s new work I want to make but not quite sure what about. I’m an active thinker – I have to be out there taking photos, making sketches, looking at exhibitions, visiting places and then something will take shape. I’m not someone who can sit and articulate a concept before the work – the research – is done.

Last week while on a bush walk with my kidlet a moment happened – many moments happened – but I snapped up a few images that have triggered my work into a new direction. I’m anxious about the title already, even though the work is not yet completed. I’m always anxious about titles as they can really detract from artworks and their concepts.

Anyway – I am excited about this image, the rough sketch above I had to get out because I worry if I don’t catch it in time it’d slip away from me.

In this work I can explore all the things that have been happening over the last few months. I know that the fact that this is of my daughter is important to the piece – that it is in the Australian bush is important, that she is looking out and away from the viewer means something.

Both the landscape and the figure are important.

I’m thinking a lot about the passage of life, identity, death and heritage.

There’s so much more I want to write but it’s all a balancing act and I think I should do some colour studies and more preparation drawings before writing anymore.

x

Tondo and other arts

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I am at that point where I feel like exploding a little as I’ve nearly collected all of my reference material for a small series of colour ‘portraits’ and I am working on a small drawing series that is taking shape every so fast BUT I still have to stop and start – a jerking motion similar to that of when I drive a car – because work, lyfe, kid, driving, cooking – VACUUMING.

The painting space has taken shape, but I still need the time to fill it up and get used to it.

So, for now, I will just have to keep juggling and keep sneaking in time to finish my small drawings and then begin the new series.

RAH.

Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

As opposed to Dear Diary, but I am not sure that you are so much a diary as you are a.. well, blog.
Anyway, to you – it seems that I am at another point in my life where you have become quite crucial to me and my life.
There was that time in 2009 when I had just moved overseas and was working out who I am. Then that dark time in Berlin and post natal depression-hell-whatever. Throughout all of those times you became the place that I drew comfort from. I have felt self conscious about this in the past, when people scoffed at blogs and bloggers. You know the whole “you’re not a real writer thing” – as if that was some kind of bad thing.
Then the second time when things were so raw and people reacted and I learnt so much more about you and me and all of them.
And now – it’s not the same as the last times, no time is ever the same. But I do feel there is no one to really talk to. There’s no one to really call or text, no one I can really explain this to and don’t get me wrong – I’m not unhappy, but I do like to express myself and be heard. Like anyone. But once again, I don’t have much of an opportunity to do this with people, and that’s OK – so here we are.

I spend most of my days with Kidlet – she has moments of sadness missing her friends and I feel so much for her. I comfort her and we do things we enjoy together to take her mind off of the missing. We found a skull the other day, on one of our walks. I picked it up to show her where the eyes would have been and the teeth. She asked if we could bring it home but I said we shouldn’t – as it was full of little creatures who had made the skull their home. It wouldn’t be right to turf them out, but we could come back and see it again.

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She’s pretty amazing – I can see she is a complex character with many layers. I hope I do right by her, sometimes I know I’m not the best parent – but I keep trying. She’s learning how to use the digital SLR I take with me on our walks. She’s pretty keen to learn how to do things.

Anyway blog – I think this is pretty awesome to have. It brings me much peace of mind and clarity. Almost as if I just had a conversation! But I best wrap this up for today – got a lot to do you see.

xx

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Hello, sun

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The sun is out today – dizzying and dazzling us. We kicked the ball about and kidlet collapsed with laughter more than once. It amazes me how things can be timeless, repeatedly bringing joy to each childhood – like kicking balls, blowing bubbles and the joy of cardboard boxes.

The birds were out and in the distance we could hear the sheep – the ones we frightened the other day.

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We read books and I played twinkle, twinkle on the ukelele while kidlet sung it. SO CUTE. The tips of my fingers are way sore but it was totally worth it.

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We took out gumboots off and walked about on the soft, damp grass then onto the warm, flat brick and wooowowow – it is one of those days where you feel so bloody happy to be alive.

I am now cooking split pea soup with winter veggies – turnip! I can’t wait to eat it but it won’t be ready for a few hours. So then I really have no excuse not to finish the new drawing that I am doing.

xx

Motivation

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Left to my own devices – I’d probably never get out of bed, I’d probably never leave the house. I don’t know how I got this way, as when I was a girl I remember my drive to explore, I loved nature.

But here I am – I get creative about ways to stay inside. My favourite past time is sitting in bed, watching documentaries, reading books in the bath or sleeping. I will eat a block of chocolate at night and/ or a packet of plastic sliced cheese. Sometimes, if I’ve been motivated enough to go to the shops – I’ll drink wine and eat a wheel of brie or camembert.

Not to say that there is anything wrong with these things – however when they become weekly and nightly habits, I think it has slowed me down.

I’m in my head a lot – I think about exercising and being healthier. I have a cupboard full of herbal teas and files saved on my computer healthy eating and living. So I think about these things and I tell myself – see, there they are, you’re on your way, you’re trying.

When we decided to move to the country, that was my new starting point. That’s when I’d learn about gardening and get outdoors more. I’ll stop sitting inside, I’d become a morning person.
A bit like when I told myself once I turned thirty I’d never smoke cigarettes and never drink alcohol again….

Having a child and this lazy-ass lifestyle is conflicting. I want her to be healthy and balanced and be interested in lots of things. I keep her screen time to a minimum because I see how amazing creative and independent play is for her. But when it comes to screen time I mix that up too. We’ve recently signed up to the local library and she is in charge of choosing movies and returning them. We’re going through classics and new films and discovering new and old characters and stories. So when we draw and paint together, or when she sings songs to me – they are becoming even more explorative and interesting.

I’m in no means completely lazy – I draw and I write and I cook and I read and I do these for hours and hours and hours until I get exhausted. But I can feel within my body that I don’t get enough fresh air, I don’t get enough sun. A recent trip to the doctors confirmed that I am very low in Vitamin d – which explains why I want to sleep all the time and why I feel so tired. But I don’t take my sunshine pills because I just can’t be bothered.

Anyway – I think I am just writing about it here because I am going to challenge myself to a month of – being outside more, eating better, no alcohol and no day time sleeps. I’m in a place for that too – I’m on twenty acres and I’ve got a forest at my doorstep. It’s also freaking cold here and the best way to keep warm, is to keep active.

The couple of times I have gotten my kid and I out for an adventure over this last week has seen new and exciting things. Such as our bush walk where we discovered all sorts of wonderful trees and shrubs. Then when we went for a walk on the dirt road we got stuck with sheep ( pictured above ). Which was funny, as I had NO IDEA what to do. I know sheep fright easily and I didn’t want to do that.

So, I can hear my kid and my man riding about on a quad bike and I am going to sign off and get off my ass.

x

Aradale

I like to explore and visit places – especially ones rich in history. I heard about Aradale through a pamphlet “Ghost tours – Lunatic asylum” – complete with salacious language and spooky font. But I wasn’t really interested in a sleep over with people I don’t know. Even the very thought of that makes me anxious, however I looked it up online and saw that there were day time tours too.

The website is here: Aradale Tour Information

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We learnt about people like self mutilator Garry Webb ( interesting write up about his case here: Garry Webb Discussion )
He had cut off his own penis three times – it was really interesting what the guide told us, but a bit disconcerting how many people from the tour group mumbled how it was “good” he killed himself and “he should have done it earlier” and when the guide told us his girlfriend killed herself not too long ago, the same reaction.

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The nurses quarters were interesting too – it was an opportunity for the local girls. However they had to live on the site for their three year training and had curfews.

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Isolation rooms, women’s hospital.

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Room, women’s hospital.

The women’s hospital was sad – isolation rooms for when they were ‘distressed’. The paint colour and details in the window shutters reminded me of quaint little towns I had visited in Germany.

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Chapel.

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Kitchen, butchers.

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Feeding chart.

TC1 – Training Client 1, were the people who had just arrived to the asylum. The guide told us that 15 ( ward 15 ) required soft food, as they had no teeth.

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Main Dining Hall.

I felt this space to be reminiscent of a set from a Tim Burton film. It was so odd, the rest of the place was like a rabbit warren with tiny rooms. Then you came out to here and it was just huge, a wide open space that overwhelmed and dazzled.

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Bell at main entrance.

At this point the guide was talking about women being committed who were suffering post natal depression. I wandered off to photograph other things and didn’t really listen as I still find that stuff very difficult to listen too. Apparently he had said that some of them never came out again.

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The men’s quarters was more run down, it had been vandalised. It was a little bit more eerie at this point.

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The morgue wasn’t as disturbing as some I had seen, a few people hopped up onto the tray. If you look online there’s a number of people posing on it – each to their own, I guess!

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I really enjoyed the two hour tour, the guides were informative and very funny. I’m still reading up on history about this place and I wasn’t as affected by the space as I thought I may have been.