I am writing to you in a rather tired state- a good tired. I’ve been away from home for over a week now, exploring and working and meeting new people.
I’ve watched birds down at the Murray, white knuckled it down a dirt road in the dark, that was full of kangaroos ( red & grey ) cows as big as the bus we were in, foxes and rabbits.
I saw a wedge tailed eagles nest and read notes in a book written by artists who I have long admired. It’s all been about nature, art, navigating heat and coffee and ink and drawing.
Also – I was on the ABC talking about periods and drawing and that this residency is the first ‘art thing’ I have done since my surgery.. Which was pointed out to me by the lovely journalist.
I have been both deeply relaxed and very productive.
Today is hit a wall day, so I am trying to do the things around actual drawing. I’ve done drawing too, but they are not very good, so no matter.
The things I’ve been doing are preparing for my art adventure tomorrow, eating chocolate and looking at my drawings wondering where I want to take things. These two weeks have been mapped out to just collect material and think with my hands. Which I have been doing but of course I wish I could get a solid idea on a new project and I haven’t so I am a little frustrated and I know, I know I expect too much of myself. But if I don’t, who will?
I wanted to post some sketches but can’t seem to upload them, so you’ll just have to look at the photo of me with melted hair after a very hot day at Mungo. I am bare foot and with a heart filled to the brim – that’s a sunset I’ll never forget.
I have been working a lot around and during life happenings, I have quite the collection of small drawings growing that I am very proud of.
Here are a few ~
19 x 14cm
Ink on paper
Lily Mae Martin
I’m in love with this one – the cropping of the image, the fluffiness of the hair and the texture and tones of the skin.
19 x 14cm
Ink on paper
Lily Mae Martin
19 x 14cm
Ink on paper
Lily Mae Martin
I’ll put together a post of all of the drawings in a couple of months. It has been very interesting cropping the images to make new images from them and working on a smaller, more intimate scale. I am really glad that someone had mentioned the idea of working smaller as I am not sure I would have come to on my own. It’s been really challenging to change things up a bit and it really didn’t work at first! But I kept going and changing things and I am pretty happy with this little series.
Adenomyosis is a word I didn’t even know a year ago, but I have known the symptoms for most of my life. In June I had surgery looking for endometriosis but that was not present, but adenomyosis is. ( I’m not even unsure if I am talking about it properly )
I’m the person that when people suggest menstrual cups I just laugh to myself – I would forever be at home washing up blood. And I know it’s deeply uncool to admit to taking the easier and not environmentally friendly way of managing life but I do just want to live a life. I just forever have periods.
We tried one way of managing it, back in June. But it didn’t really work so I was offered another route, one I didn’t even know was possible. The doctor asked me what my plan was for more children, and when I told her NO PLANS NO MORE she actually listened to me. After we booked in my second surgery for the year – I thanked her for actually listening to me when I told her I didn’t want more children.
Last week I had parts of my body removed, which blows my mind, and I’m still really, really sore but I hope once this part is over – I can get on with the things I want to do in this life.
I’ve spent a lot of my life wishing I wasn’t a woman. There is so much mess and unpleasantness that comes with having a female body. I know there’s women who do enjoy this and find pride in it – but I’ve never been one. I can’t even begin to unravel my feelings on preganncy and early motherhood. Perhaps that’s to do with this worlds very limited representations of woman? And that can be another post because for now I’m going to potter about and water the garden with my very excellent little person.
I have been retraining by looking for different papers and focsuing in on parts. Highlighting and abstracting, rendering and rubbing back. Next year I will be having an exhibition, but I wanted to present a variety of sizes in regards to my works on paper.
There are more but I wanted to save some of them for when you get into the gallery 🙂
grasp and squish
Ink on paper
Ink on paper
Ink on paper
Ink on paper
These hands I have drawn before and I will again. These hands have held babies and made international skype calls.
Yesterday I pushed myself to open up and be true and today I feel so much better for it. How precarious are feelings?
I like to take a lot of photographs so I thought I’d post a few favs from recent months.
Drawing at the kitchen table, banana bread and Kidlet’s toilet roll craft.
Kidlet’s jellyfish – this just makes me so joyful.
Little fingertip love heart things made from part of an egg carton for daddy.
Let me tell you about Sammy. A couple of months ago, morning before school, we heard a yowling from out the front. Thinking it was our Kitty in distress we ran to the front door to find this guy curled up around one of the pot plants. I checked him for a collar, there was none. I tried to encouarge him to leave and find his way home, but he was lost. So I took him to the local vet. He had no micro chip and he was then taken to the animal shelter as a stray. I put out some photos on social media and a few people went to see if it was their cat, but no one claimed him.
He was a friendly guy, just under one years old. So we took him in and our other cat hates us. Perhaps they will bond through winter time? We will see.
I’ve been learning to drive. It has been a long time coming. I look forward to being able to explore so much more once I am granted a license.
These are bricks we bought from a fella who has sourced them from all over Victoria. We are using them to secure garden beds as well as to build a pathway. There’s some very old ones in there. It’s pretty amazing to be making new things from old things.
I went out bush with a pal for her science things. I’m not sure I was much help but it was very interesting and beautiful and exhausting.
I can’t remember why this photo was taken, it was some months back. I do make good work, I just need to keep on at it and just not worry so much about Art World.
May as well be clear – I’ve had a read over my posts this year and I am doing a lot of alluding to but not being clear about. My daughter has been very up and down with her health all year, which resulted in a hospital stay about a month ago. It has been completely and utterly heart breaking. How do I best support her?
Navigating the medical system is a skill in itself. I feel like we have stepped into this whole new world and we are still trying to get used to it. At first I thought it was a matter of finding our way back, but I don’t think this is the case, I think we are meant to be heading in a different way.
She’s pretty amazing, my girl.
It has been building up for a while and also, running parallel this, my self confidence has taken a few big blows this year. So I don’t feel like making work or when I do, I don’t feel like sharing it because I am riddled with more doubt than bravery. When art making is so tied up in your identity, as it is with mine, it is very difficult to be objective about rejection and feelings of being left out of everything.
What do I do to make things move forward? How do I get into / involved in things? I thought it was just a case of make work and it’ll happen but I am making work and not much is happening and maybe I am just shit and this is all just shit. WHY doesn’t this come with a handbook? I am so stressed.
I am overthinking everything to a point where I can hardly interact with anything at all.
Is it because I don’t blur my personal professional lives together? Is it because I am a woman and I am thinking about femaleness and this country hates femaleness? Is it because I am similar to others maybe and that there can only be one? ( There’s room enough for us all, right? ) I don’t know. Art pathes are not linear. I went forward last year and this year I just blurred right out. Slipped through the cracks.
I am trying really hard to walk these paths and do so with some grace and keep making despite it all. But I am feeling lost, I am feeling rather disparaged. The people who have reached out to offer support mean so much and I hope my accumulating failures are not too humiliating to watch!
OK, back to drawing. I only have two more hours today.
I am trying to read a book, by an Australian author who is quite well renowned. I have a few of her titles about the place. She writes shorts and novels and I think I have enjoyed a story or two in the past. But this small novel – novella – is hard to get into. The preface, not two pages long, has lost me in the details; sister who is an aunt who is the middle sister and then there is the wife, the youngest and then the eldest and then there’s Grandma and a woman, also a sister who’s lost her personality to marriage and the man she married to is the one that is speaking. Or something.
Reading seems to be harder and harder for me to do. I can’t find any time between all the roles that I play out each day. There’s my roles and then there’s the duties that come with them and then there’s also my feelings about these things and sometimes my feelings can be so overwhelming I can’t even dress myself and then there’s all the stuff you can never account for because life is life and it will do what it will. I try to control so much because I feel responsible when things do not go well. If things go well, no one notices and I have feelings about that also.
People say read a book to relax but what if the book is hard? What if it’s work and I am not sure I want to work for it because if it is shit my gosh I’ll take that personally. I have very little fucking time.
I spend so much time sorting – through memories and feelings about them, working out who I want to be and what I should work towards. The dried herbs and spices, the tupperware cupboard, the linen and the old paintings that I’ll keep and the ones that I pull off of the stretches and hurl into the bin. Countless shit drawings I have done in life drawing classes. The dresses I’ve had since my early twenties, my wedding shoes, the surface of my dresser. No matter how much time I invest in the act of sorting nothing seems sorted. Nothing seems any more clearer to me. In my mind I try compartmentalize and some days I still get lost in the clutter.
Today I’d like to hit pause on a few of my roles. I want to not worry about the time I’ll invest into a short book, if that time would be worth it or not.
I’d like this heaviness to lift. Like when he asks me a question I can look him in the eye, like a regular sort of person and answer in words rather than the sound of me forcing air up through my throat. A grunt, a whoosh.
So this is what happened during page 5; I opened my computer and I smashed out these words and only walked away twice. I’ll post it on the blog and I’ll make a cup of tea and I’ll pick up that book, again.
My studio, my house, my life is a little all over/ on top of the place at the moment. I have to sort through things and straighten things out but have no time. When I do get time I make work – I wasn’t prioritizing it at certain points this year and I can’t have that.
I’m an artist, no one will make that time happen but me.
I’ve been meaning to paint this year and it had not happened. I stopped making excuses last week – stopped worrying about if it would be good or not and went up to my studio and bloody painted and it was liberating.
I did it on the floor as all desk space is currently occupied – some with works on paper in developement but mostly just covered in books and paper and gosh knows what else.
Not ideal, as my bum and back ache and there’s a lot of cat hair up there – but it’ll do. I’ll paint and then when I have the time, I’ll tidy.
I started this one in Tasmania, just as a study of texture and colour. I am quite a fan of this; the vibrancy, the slight abstratcion of colour and of form.
Just little study of mushrooms I came across on a walk to a waterfall.
I did this one in Tasmania, just trying to explore form and colour but have them emerging from a very dark ground.
I did this in my studio here, just really trying to push myselfin terms of application and colour.
This wee one is 4×6 – not finished yet but close to it. It’s one I have done most recently, I think it is pretty special. More to come.