Social media head melt

Hello – it has been a while.
It’s almost mid August and I find that this month is always such a slog. It’s the last of winter and my little family’s routine is a little off kilter for us all, but we are getting through. Modern family – move further away from the big smoke, meaning longer commutes and everyone misses everyone.
I’ve been working on a bunch of drawings, they are taking their time to articulate and I find it has also become a skill; to let that articulation have it’s own place and take the time. What I mean is, with smart phones and social media I can become ( and I know I am not alone in this ) caught up in getting the right lighting and angles for a photo for instagram, rather then staying focused on creating. I am trying to redirect my focus. I feel like the largest part of my art ‘career’ ( and parenting journey ) has been hugely impacted by social media and I don’t want to bang on about all the negatives, there’s already plenty of that going on, but I am trying to reshape it to fit in better – rather than dominate and direct.

Gosh – is any of this making sense?!

Anyway, I am here and I am making and I am waiting on news and making plans. More art to come soon. Soon as within a few months, not internet soon as in a couple of days. How distorted has our sense of time become!?

Here is a drawing of Kidlet with ears on. Shes’ the best and I love her.

As yet untitled – new drawing

I had a title, but I have completely forgotten it. If I explained the month that I have had, it would make sense why. But the details are boring. Point is, I did the drawing and here it is. It’s part of a new little series that I am working on. I am pretty excited about the blending of my two loves into the work – body and land.

For now she is Fern Girl.
By Lily Mae Martin
56 x 75cm
Ink on paper
2017

I am due to have an exhibition at the beginning of next year. So I will be off working hard to produce new works. Really excited about it.

Winter Salon Exhibition 2017

Seated Nude ink on paper 75 x 105cm 2016

G’Day – couldn’t write about this last week as the website was down. Thank you for the lovely fellas who fixed this! WordPress Wizards.

From 22/07/2017 to 12/08/2017 The Winter Salon is on view at Scott Livesey Galleries. It is a mixed hang of all the artists represented by the gallery. Including works by Luke Scibberas, Joshua Yeldham, Bern Emmerich, Yukultji Napangati, myself ( above artwork is in the exhibit ) and many more.

Here is an online preview of some of the works: Clicky click

I’m working towards an exhibition at the beginning of 2018 – so I will probably be quite here but probably not. I’ll be working super hard regardless – because I am really excited and feel my drawing has gotten better.

Thanks for reading!

Winter school, Chine-collé, Kidlet’s drawings

I got the chance to do a short course in Melbourne recently, I did the hard and soft ground etching short course at the Australian Print Gallery with Simon White. I didn’t do a soft ground plate as it looked precarious and I was really just interested in hard ground. I’ve dabbled in etching before but this set up is unlike any I have ever seen – it is amazing! The attention to detail, this place is the dream. I did get a little frustrated because I am deeply ambitious, I don’t know how to be a learner and did get upset that I wasn’t a master printmaker by the end of the three days. ( Hilarios, I know – but this is how I work, so.. that’s the truth )

Julien’s Garden in sepia.
This was my first plate – I did re work it three times, I don’t feel it was successful but that’s OK as learning. I think that the right side of the plate works better than the left side. I could re work it some more.

Brunch at Lake Wendouree Chine-collé in sepia. Much happier with this print, it was reworked twice.

This is defo something I want to explore more – it is really a matter of access to the equipment though. It’s not easy thing to do. But the process is really calming. I think I could make some really good work.

Family Portrait, including Kitty.

Kidlet has been getting really creative over these holidays. I wake up to the sounds of her drawing, furiously. It fills my heart. I’ve gotten her some paint pens and though not cheap – they really are being made good use of.
She’s drawn many a pony, all of her classmates, many portraits of herself and one of Grandma knitting – including wool, needles and numbers of stitches and of course – her Beanie Boos.


Though she’s just yelled at me “YOU HATE MY BEANIE BOOS, DON’T YOU!?” So I think school going back may be good .. 😛

surgery

Is boring.
I mean, doing the surgery is probably very interesting. I imagine they have to train for many years and decide what they want to specialize in and then there’d be many fascinating cases and the human body is so interesting. But then, even then, I’d imagine that that would become a little humm drumm too.
But here I am, in bed, bored AF but healing nicely. Today is the first day I have woken up and not been aching or stinging. I know I got to take it slow and easy, but it’s time to get the hell out of bed and start moving. Thank goodness..

The day after, when I was like oh hey I feel fine and thought I could just keep going and I was very wrong..

Kidlet held my hand, cuddled me, made me fruit salad and drew me this game to keep me entertained.

I felt pretty messed up and some friends took Kiddo for a bush walk and I like slept ALL DAY.. ( thank you dear, dear friends for everything .. )

She did some observational drawing – I love, love, love these little mushrooms.


And so, it is done. I did a bunch of preparation work before this so now I can slowly start getting back to it. It is hard to put things down when I am inspired, and it is hard to surrender to the body and it’s needing to heal. But I did, it is done. Thank you family and friends for being so loving and kind and helping me.

“You draw even when you’re upset”

Is something G said to me a few weeks back and it has been stuck in my mind. Especially over these last few weeks since being back, when so much life things have been happening and I have had to get very creative about getting myself time and space to draw. A lot of the time I worry that I can’t get and never get anything done.

I’ve been scratching away at this drawing for the last almost two weeks – in between looking after a very unwell child ( poor pickle ) and supervising the Kitty and The Chooks..
It’s about A5 in size, so it is very small for me. I’m not too happy about my last drawing – I mean it just feels like it is missing some magic. So I’m busy doing the ground work – the work before the work – right now.

Little one has been ill, and I drew this of her while she was napping.. Only half way through it her temperature spiked and I rushed her to see a doctor. What happened next was only stuff that I never even dreamed of – being a parent is so glamourous – but she came good and that is what really matters.

She drew and cut out mermaids – there are like twenty of them and I am meaning to work out a way to put them altogether to keep them safe. It can be maddening how much stuff gets everywhere with little people – but finding her drawings really, really is something special.

So, the chooks. We got these girls about a fortnight ago now, I can’t believe how lucky we are.. They are 4 and 5 years old and are not seen apart. I am home a lot so they get freerange of the yard. They even put themselves to bed – why can’t children be more like chickens!? I kid, I kid..
I’ve had a burst of new ideas for an artwork, but because of Life things I can’t get to it right away, so today I thought I’d draw the girls their portraits.

Meet Sooty & Maude

That’s all from me for now — it is time to shut down and get offline while I experiment and play with ideas.

Near Harris Reward, Tasmania – New Drawing

Well, that was hard!

Near Harris Reward
By Lily Mae Martin
112 x 75cm
Ink on Paper
2017

I did another whole different drawing while trying to do this one, this one was so so so hard. It’s the largest and most dense drawing I have done ( to date )..

THE FERNS!

I really want to get back to West Coast of Tasmania, I don’t feel like I explored as much as I could have.. I didn’t get to do as much as I could. I’m trying to move things about to make it happen – but money and time do not come when you want it…if only! The Secret failed me 😛

Still I am untangling the experience and still I am scratching a little lostly ( that is probably not a word, oh well ) at paper. Behind my eyes I am back there and going for those walks through shrubs and trees with things growing off of things and I don’t know what anything is called.

Little clueless speck.

These last weeks have been on and off – Kidlet with a tempreture of almost 40, we got chickens! Gardening and cooking and baking with my lovely cousin. Life life is good though winter is not my favourite time – it is just weather and here in Oz, the cold is quite mild.

I must get back to the scratching and the f**king ferns.

To Grow Things

It’s a cold morning and the rejection comes in on my phone – I had a feeling this was the answer.
I’m at the back of a friend’s house, sitting on their back porch waiting for help; I’ve put too many pellets in the chicken feeder and the thing has fallen apart. My hands are covered in chicken shit and I cannot work out how to put the few pieces together – the green bit, the white bit, a wing nut, a screw and a spring. It’s the last day of looking after these chickens, the last day of the long weekend that was in no way relaxing but a hell of a lot of fun. Especially the chickens. Oh, and the little boy who looked at my elephant ears plant and said “Wow, you are really good at growing plants.” ( I’m not, but I’ll take that complement little guy! )

I’ve spilt pellets everywhere and I am truly questioning if I should be commiting myself to chicken care and then I look up at the chooks and the sparrows fluttering about and help comes and my doubt is distracted.
It’s so bloody easy to fix, I should feel embarressed, but I don’t. He’s better at this stuff than I, and that’s OK. I say I didn’t get in ( to the prize ) and he hugs me and says that he is sorry and I shrug and say that I’ll do better next time. If I were to say I am upset, it would be a lie, this time. Sure, it’d be nice to be in it and I so want to be in these things. But I also think that it isn’t my time just yet. Just yet. But soon. Like, really soon.

I cast it out of my mind and clean what I can. Feel proud that I got the chickens through the weekend and even managed some yummy food scraps for them. I’ve been reading about types of chickens and plants and growing things and feel I am past most of that crippling doubt that usually sends me to bed when I am starting something new. I am so not good at new things, but you know I just got to get better at it – we are forever learning.

Sometimes I look back on my earlier days and feel sad I didn’t allow myself to get into gardening earlier in my life. I used renting as an excuse – but I could’ve joined a community garden. I know that they were a huge thing in Berlin. I think I just didn’t want things to get in the way of my sads. Because that is what gardening has done for me – taken me out of me. There is something about putting your hands into the earth and caring for tiny seeds, sprouts, harvesting, digging and turning and starting it all over again. Accidently killing things and learning from that. Seeing what actually is a hardy plant, what can take on full sun, transplanting other plants when the small parsely bunch grew into a big bush ( har har ) and I can’t eat enough of the stuff to keep it under control!

Part of me hates winter a lot, but now that I am growing things it’s really given me the chance to learn more and plan more for what I want to do for the garden. I mean, cold is still not my favourite thing but hell I’d rather be contrucitve with my time than complain all the time. I hope I get better at this, and can grow my own vegetables and fruits – or at least more than I do now. It’s humbling, it’s yummier, it’s a little good I can do for the world and teach my little one as I go. Hopefully set her up with skills to learn how to feed herself!

Working From Home

Perspective is a great thing – when I came back I was sitting in my studio with my Kidlet laughing and drawing a poo and Kitty getting beneath the drawing board, clawing at me and I felt really, really happy. It’s a tad distracting, sure – but I’d rather this distraction. Maybe I can’t have true solitude to make work, ever. And I just got to suck it up and work ’round it, like I have done for years. I do crave travel and exploration, and maybe that’s a craving I just have to sit with. I am working on things to try and make things happen though, however I think it is wise to make things work the way they are rather than hang all my hopes on the nebulous. It is a great thing to be ambitious, but it is also a great thing to be practical.
I’ve also got to make some pretty solid decisions about my life – I feel a strong draw to go both ways with my career but I can’t do that. I can’t do all the things I want to do, this life is so flippin’ short.
Anyway, enough about my thoughts – it is Friday and I get a few hours to myself to tackle the rather large rainforest drawing that I almost abandoned due to heart ache. It’s nearly there, but boy is it challenging my technique.

Understory

Understory – Tasmania
By Lily Mae Martin
56 x 76cm
Ink on paper
2017

This isn’t the first drawing I have started that was inspired by my recent stay in Western Tasmania, but it is the first to be finished. It was very hard to finish. I’m trying to let the lines speak more – keep the mark making looser. Trying not to go over and over them – render, render, render..

There are parts I feel that I have achieved this more than others, and I am very happy with the results. This is such a depareture from the starkness – the nakedness – of the nudes. There’s so much going on and yet my eyes are lulled into the movement of light and dark. Having the same calming effect on me as listening to white noise. It feels, it is, a different world. And I keep dreaming about it too – behind my eyelids I am back there looking at everything growing out, on, of everything. A branch falls and the tip stabs itself back into the soft earth, and then things grow from it. Evidence that there was movement long ago but this place just readjusted, took it back into itself. A process that took many, many years but time is different there. Everything is different there. I am different there.

Now I am in my studio but part of me still feels like it is there. I must go back to Tasmania, but in what shape that’ll take will have to be seen. It’s just time to make the work now.