Big week

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We bought a house.

When husband and I were just starting out, we always used to make a build things together. It’s something that has really made us solid, I think. That we have projects and similar interests, or really we are just interested in stuff and one of the ‘what ifs’ has always been what if we bought a house and did what we want to it!

The place needs some work, it needs a wall out here and things installed there. But it is what we wanted. To make something our own. There will be messes and mistakes but how freaking exciting. The BEST part about it all is my studio. It’s huge and away from the house, which is a step I needed to take. I’ve been working within the home for many years now, but my work and I are at the point where we need the separation.
Of course there will be drawing tables and painting corners within the house, as art is so integrated into our family life.

I cannot wait to paint a huge sparkly unicorn on kidslet’s bedroom wall. We’ve be planning and scheming about this for months and months now. It’s going to be ridiculous and awesome.

There seems to be that there is the idea that an artists life must be chaotic, or the more frequently used term but implying the same thing ‘free spirited’ but I tell you that that does not work for me at all. Routine, discipline. Space.

I cannot wait.

Anyway I used the picture that I have today because I have had a beautiful week with my kidelt. A photographer came over this morning and talked to her about this camera and how it works. I’ve been following kids pace more this week than I have in a while and it has made me aware of how much I need to keep saying no to things, unless they fit in with childhood. Childhood is fleeting and I feel like there is all this pressure to ‘get back out there’ and ‘be part of things’ but it means I miss out. I don’t want to miss out on any more.

The mechanics of drawing

I’ve made a big huge mistake of letting things get in and affecting that way I feel about my work and more importantly, making my work. After a slew of rejections and failing to adequately manage my own personal self doubt – I have just stopped. I’ve stopped making, caring, thinking about making – sometimes I sit on my floor for ages and that’s all I can do.

At least I am sitting up..

Anyway, I tend to get a bit lost along the way. I loose direction and let all the other stuff in and take over and then I forget to shut it off for a bit so I can sort myself out. Just get back to being here and being present and drawing because I love it and I do love painting too.

I don’t think I get down because I feel I am owed a patronage or anything, indeed I am incredibly grateful when people are interested in my work/ my way of working. But I think it is more about feeling so disconnected. Sometimes social media is a great thing, but mostly it is tricky and somewhat negative. I feel like I am constantly looking at other artists making work and connections and having exhibitions and I have no connections, I’m slower with producing work and I rarely have exhibitions. In comparison, I mean.

But I guess this is when the objective boss part comes in and goes “oh hush, what is it you teach your kid? Don’t compare yourself. Well, f**king put it into practice!” And then I have to appreciate the context of myself and my life experience and I think I have come a pretty long way and it doesn’t matter if others don’t see it, or rather I think that they don’t see it. And stop wasting you’re freaking time with this self doubt rubbish because when your time is up THAT will be your biggest regret. Wasting time. Not if you made work that didn’t make it into that show or that prize and you didn’t win that thing that you’ll only enjoy for a second because you’ll be shifting the goal posts anyway – you’re really not very good at being happy or proud of yourself. (Lies, if I won a thing I’d be so super happy but you know, not the point. )

So, there’s my self motivational rant, posted on a blog = blog post.

Pick up your pen Lily and make the freaking work.

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Flowers and child

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The dress is the wrong green, this bothers me immensely. But hey, it’s only the second layer in parts and still the first in others. I think this painting will only need a little bit of work to either be finished or well on it’s way to finished.
I haven’t been able to paint much, or draw much – or do much of much. I am trying to balance things out and be a better mum and be a better person. So much has landed on us, I can’t even be bothered explaining myself to anyone.

My painting still feels rather amateurish to me – which frustrates the heck out of me. But I know I have had moments where I can see where it could go, which is why I still persist with it. There will be a break through. There will be.

I asked my daughter what she would like to do this afternoon – as we have some one on one time, and she said that she would like to paint together. I think I am more excited about this than her.

Photos from the past

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This photo is from World War two. I have no idea who took it or where, but the whole album creates a visual story of family before, during and after this war. I didn’t see this photo at first, as it is tiny. I was studying the portraits and trying to see who looked like who, then I noticed photos of people on boats and trains and a camp and then this one. I am not sure if these images are placed within a group of portraits for a particular purpose or not – but it is clear that they are of significance.
I am going to buy a new album to keep these pictures in and to keep them safe. I hope to one day maybe track down the family and give them back the photos of their family.

Fake eyelashes and a bush walk

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What a mad 24hours.

I went from learning how to apply fake eyelashes and life drawing at the Le Petit Salon in Melbourne town, to driving home in the dark and the rain to sleeping in and walking up a mountain.

Le Petit Salon – I was lucky enough to be invited to attend as The Artist. We – the model and myself – had a little room to ourselves that felt comfy and nice all throughout the evening. I got to see EZB do a poem about vaginas. EZB – POEM – VAGINAS. I got to see Lorelei Vashti read a piece she had composed on the night by talking to the guests and soaking up the vibe of the evening.. How clever is that! There were so many wonderful people there. Ah, my heart feels so warm.

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Then we came home because this is where I want to be.
I thought I’d wake before dawn so we could drive to a mountain to climb, the forecast said it would be foggy and I would love, love, love to walk through the low hanging clouds engulfing a mountain. But then I thought, so stupid – have a freaking sleep in!

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So we went up around lunch time and took our time about everything. Watching the birds and walking on slippery clay. I can’t get over how much amazingness we live so close too. I feel so blessed and then panicked because there will never be enough time to truly enjoy it all. But then I just feel blessed and my feet are slightly numb as they got very wet and even though the website told me to wear sensible shoes – I didn’t because there is nothing sensible about me :)

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^ Me in a crater, photo by husband who has a nice fancy camera. ^

Right about then I was like this is all well and good but I want coffee and I want warm. We went to a little town and got coffee and it was actually warm enough to sit outside.

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At home now and then evening sunlight is pouring though my studio windows and it actually feels like things are turning around. Well, the weather at least ;)

“I have bones and blood and a beating heart”

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I am low. Like, bad low. I am tired and burnt out and there is no joy in anything that I do. It’s been dragging on for months and this last week I have just plummeted. I don’t know how to talk to anyone, I am not sure there is anyone to talk to. Usually when I can’t deal with the world I draw or paint and these days I just sit in my studio and cry, because every time I pick up a pen or a brush I work and feel exhausted. I look at paintings and drawings that will just be made and then will sit in here and I don’t know why I do it.

And then I am in my room trying to make sense of how to get myself dressed because that is what adults do and I hear my daughter say “I have bones and blood and a beating heart” and I swear to god I have never heard anything more amazing in my life.

She’s going away this weekend, something I was very reluctant to agree to but just because I feel low and blue does not mean I get to be clingy and keep her all to myself, especially when I am in this gloom. I look at my workspace and am concerned that it is becoming a bit of a shrine to her but I promise ( her ) that it’s just because I haven’t done the other works that are meant to be part of this body of work. Which I guess is an ode to her in many ways, but an ode to childhood and children and the amazing things that they say and imagination and dark and light and beauty in all things.

I bought a canvas the other day that was meant to be a final for a study that I did that I was planning to enter into a prize, but I can’t bring myself to do it because prizes are brutal and I think I want a bit of time out from rejection letters. I’m also angry at the canvas because it cost me $50 and I feel guilty when I spend THAT much on something that will only be one thing. I could make my own but really I couldn’t because I do not have the space or the equipment or the means to do so.

This weekend I think I am going to drive out to some part of Victoria that I haven’t been to and just walk in the bush for hours and hours. I can just keep on walking until I am so tired and then maybe all the fresh air in my lungs and the vastness of the skies will make me get a bit more of a grip.

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Inside my studio

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I give myself a very hard time in regards to my output, knowing this I am trying to work on this.
I look at my drawing and I think wow, it’s come so far and I’m pretty proud. My painting is no where near what I want it to be – I want to work large and gestural but I don’t have the space, yet. But I am proud that I haven’t given up completely on painting. I still do it, I surprise myself, sometimes I can make truly beautiful things.

There’s so much life going on I get swept up and forget my little studio space.. there isn’t any room in there to just sit and reflect! Only little working spaces. So if I am not working, I just walk right past it. That is not to say I am not always thinking about creating. I’m just not always thinking in the way I would like too, like with my hands on canvas or paper.

I have a new space in mind – it’s got plenty of windows and it isn’t within the home. Which I think I will find hard at first.. As much as I feel cramped working in our domestic space, I also love and thrive off of that energy. But, it’ll be good to have the lead white out, for paint to be able to hit the walls and floor. It’ll be soothing to know large bits of paper are safe from such things. I can maybe build proper storage ( hahahaha, me build?!.. No, G will do that! )

My daughter is of the age where questions about my reproductive plans are coming in fast and loud. Commentary about my being clucky and look out ( to G, because apparently men don’t want kids, ever :P ) when and if and how and getting over things and getting onto it..
But my next baby is my art baby. Since having my girl I feel like I have had a second chance at life. I see things differently and I have had the chance to reinvent myself into someone I am almost proud of ( a work in progress ) but the biggest thing is that I have learnt to look after myself. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. I am protective of my time and my space. You have to love you if you’re going to love others, properly and fearlessly, I think.

And knowing that that I stumbling very quickly into having more time for my own self than I have for many, many, many years means I can start making plans and getting excited. Whilst I also enjoying the last few months of preschool, and whilst we juggle the sale of the farm and work and money and rent… All those boring adult things.

Speaking of which, that’s my blogging for 10 minutes up!

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Shark meat

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Having a five year old is amazing.. More amazing than I could have anticipated. I just wanted to write and share a few things she has said recently that has blown my mind.

During her birthday party, a friend played some songs to the kids. She played “If you’re happy and you know it..” and then asked the kids to contribute. My two favourite things kiddo said was:

“If you’re happy and you know it – BE SPECIFIC!”
“If you’re happy and you know it – BE A RAINBOW!”

Then today I get a text from the father of Anja’s little friend checking if it was ok if she could eat meat.. He said he had asked her and she had said “I only eat shark meat with the blood taken out.”

I have been laughing about that one all day.