Sometimes I think about what it would be like if I didn’t do what I do, didn’t care what I care about. I think that maybe I could just step off of this path and land onto another – throwing myself into something completely new and unknown. What would it be like if I didn’t worry about the things I worried about. What if I didn’t wear the clothes that I wear. Did my make up differently and just stopped talking to the people I talk to. What if I didn’t spend all of my money on art supplies, spend all my time drawing. What would life be like? Would it be easier? Would I be more financially stable? Would I be happier?
It’s only sometimes that I think of this, sometimes I entertain the idea but then I can’t help but be me. It’s a Sunday and it’s ok to think these because it’s just a day and tomorrow I’ll just get back to it all, I guess.
So I’ve been doing the work to make the work, or so I thought and then I started making work and realized there’s still work work to do.
Confused? That’s ok, as am I. Turns out half a banana and two coffees isn’t enough for breakfast so after school drop off I powered walked across town to pay someone to feed me. ( Avo on toast, timely )
I thought that scaling things down would be an interesting direction to go, and it sounds simple hey? But I’ve attempted a couple and it’s not cutting it for me. I think trying to squeeze all the detail into tiny pieces of paper isn’t working. It’s so frustrating trying to push myself out of my zone. But I think it needs to be done. Doesn’t matter if all the experiments fail and I just go back to doing what I was doing because all of it will inform something. I hope. I’m being positive – positive thinking is meant to bring out positive results, right?!?
There’s a whole bunch of links I want to share but I’m blogging from my phone so will do it later probably.
My gosh I feel so much pressure to get the experimental stuff out of the way and have some clear cut work for an exhibition but that is not how it works for me! Sorry.
I was watching an interview of Margaret Olley with Jennifer Brockie on ABC Arts ( from 1998 ) and sketched the above picture. I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries and listening to podcasts. I don’t have too much to update here at the moment; just been doing life and banana bread baking and soup making and reading of the books. I’ve had a few sessions with models and I’ve ventured out to exhibitions and artist talks. Slowly getting things back into focus. I’ve been doing a little commission job. Found some great costumes for kidlet and I for halloween.
My mind keeps thinking that the end of the year is already here because I’d set up all these things to do and have done nearly all of them and now I’m like ok it’s done, but 2016 still has a few good months left in it. I’ve been acting a little as if I am on holiday and I’ve not been setting myself any tasks other than the day to day stuff that’s too boring, too personal, to write about here. I am trying to grow my hair – a ponytail for Christmas please. I am trying to eliminate sugar from our diets – sugar is in everything, this seems freaking impossible. I’m trying to get back to work and make the work and be interested and interesting.
Part of me worries that I don’t keep up enough, I don’t make enough, I don’t go to this enough.. Well, I know I don’t go to things nearly enough but that cannot be helped at this life stage. So, the other part of me doesn’t worry about it and thinks that this is fine.
Anyway, the most important thing is that I’ve done the work before the work to make the work. Like, I got the subjects, I got the paper and the ink and now I’ve got to put them altogether and make more beautiful drawings. I keep thinking I should pick up a paint brush or too, but time is limited and with the limits I have to prioritize and drawing is the priority. I still do collect things for paintings, they just tae a whole lot longer to brew, I suppose. It’ll happen. Just in real time, in my time – not internet time. Fast, fast, fast.
So a new week begins, the rain still falls and people still complain.
You were in my dream last night, with me in my childhood home – I seemed to have stored you now in that forever unobtainable space, which still haunts me all these years later.
You’re still taking silly photos on your phone and I am confused because I didn’t think that dead people can be photographed. But there you are and so I shrug it off and ask how you are sleeping. There are many rooms and in each room there are several beds, the room I share is with my old best friend who once gave me a black eye. You show me your room, there’s four beds lined up, and you cross your arms over your chest and lay yourself underneath the second last bed. See I wait until everyone else has gone to sleep and then I sneak in and go to bed. You’re forever quietly creeping around, not to disturb the others. I don’t want you to have to sleep like that, so we wander into another room – my last room in my childhood home with the grey carpets and the white walls that I ruined. You say these old houses with their high ceilings, it’s so large and it’s too cold. I do not want you to be cold – I say you can have my bed. Just have my bed. We hug and we hug.
In the gully – Waterloo state forest
By Lily Mae Martin
76 x 56cm
Ink on paper
This is half the size of the other landscape I did, but I am pretty sure it took me just as long? There’s so much detail in this, the tiny bits of trees and shrubs.. So many times I felt I couldn’t do it. So many times I thought I should stop and move on but I pushed on through.
Though the news last week made me think well, what’s the fucking point? And I just stopped when it was a mere two hours work from completion.
I’ve spent the last week trying to keep my cool. Not quit all my jobs and all of my life. I think I did well. I may have eaten too much toast and bread and a whole thing of brownies – but considering the destruction I used to be capable of – I’ve really made myself proud.
I had coffee with a friend on Friday and as we were saying our goodbyes I think I was mumbling something about my drawing going down the toilet and she said she could spot all the different species in the one I was working on, and how cool it was. And just like that, the light went on and I was really excited again.
So thank you, friend
It’s been a good long while.
The last time I saw you I had arrived early. I don’t remember where I was living at the time, but I know that I had traveled some distance and that usually meannt I arrive far too early or far too late. You lived near the beach so I wandered down a street that ended at the sand. The sand then led to the ocean and I had a real moment there. It was like the sky and the ocean were mirroring each other and I felt as if I was being pushed and pulled in all sorts of directions. Disorientating, but calm. I just felt like there was no beginning and no end and everything meant something and then meant nothing. I remember this so clearly, similar feelings to when I watched 2001 as a small kid and my mind was being blown – except there was no terror. I think it was one of those moments were my brain tries to contemplate mortality and the universe and all that big stuff that I have no words for and thus no conclusions.
I’d come all this way because you were letting me capture you to make some art. You had said something online about how no one would ever want to draw you and I thought that that was such a terrifically unfair way to see yourself. So I offered that I would come and I would draw you.
When you answered the door I noticed that you and I had the same pyjamas. Only your smallest girl was home and your partner stayed with us to make sure that you were warm and that you were alright.
I drew you and you loved it. I felt pretty proud. And then I said I would send you the sketch and then I never did.
On facebook last night I learnt of your death. Someone who I didn’t know had written about it. I was stunned, I was not sure if it was the truth. I can see our last few conversations over messenger, I remember that so well and where I was and that I can’t step back into time – you will never reply again.
I’m sorry I didn’t listen more and that our paths did not cross again. I’m sorry I wasn’t a better friend. I’m sorry you were in so much pain. I’m sorry to your partner and to your girls. It’s just all so, so sad.
Rest in peace Lindsay C Walker. Many hearts are broken.
The ocean near your house.
I want to board a plane and go somewhere I haven’t yet been. I want to write words on a page or smash them out on a keyboard – I ain’t fussy. I want to jump on the train to Melbourne and go find new paper. I want to draw a new series; tuck my words and thoughts and feelings safely under bits bark, in skin folds, tumbling hair. I want to forgive and forget and be a new person and be finally rid of the old one. I want to draw, draw, draw until I have to be peeled away to wash and be reminded to eat. I want to steam and flatten out meters of paper without tearing or marking it, I’d have a good six months out of a piece that size – then I’d have an anchor.
I want to know and I just want to very much understand – but failing that, I just want to draw.
Draw me like one of your human models.
Poet Nathan Curnow
The exhibition opened last week at Ararat Regional Art Gallery, it was a pretty amazing turn out and I felt very overwhelmed and grateful and excited and terrified.. A great cocktail of emotions!
There’s a hilarious picture a friend took of kidlet standing behind me while I am trying to do an artist talk, she’s placing her purple pony toy on one of my shoulders and if it’s peering up from behind me or just trying to take a seat.
Open until the 30th of October.
Thank you to everyone who has seen the exhibition. Special thanks to Anthony Camm who has been very supportive and for giving me this opportunity and thank you to Gene for always, always believing in me and to Anja – my light, my monkey, my chicken, my possum.
My drawing I am blood, bones and a beating heart is the cover of the September issue of Trouble Magazine.
I was also interviewed by the Courier a couple of days ago. They called while I was strolling in the old cemetery, drinking coffee. I didn’t mention this to the journalist, but I am mentioning here! Here is a link
Back in June I was invited to speak on The Arts Show with Alex McCulloch. I’m on at 36:20, just after Hey Jude.
My exhibition at Ararat Regional Art Gallery opened yesterday. There is an artist talk tomorrow at 1PM.
Today we delivered the rest of the artwork to Ararat Regional Art Gallery. We moved and shuffled things about until they made sense. I’m feeling pretty proud of it all and feel very lucky.
Drawing, all the time opens at Ararat Regional Art Gallery this Thursday the 15th of September and will be on view until the 30th of October.
The opening will be an artist talk at 1PM this Saturday the 17th of September.