Blurry but you can see we have hung a lot of my art up at home. Our house is small so I don’t have anywhere to store my work, especially the framed stuff. So we thought we’d just hang it! Nice and safe AND we can see them.
So this week is nearly over and it’s been up and down. We are in the planning stages of building a studio (SO EXCITED) and tonight I am teaching a group of girl guides! Tomorrow my husband is off to supervise burning on set of a film and then we will go to a local art opening – of which I will drive us too.
It’s the early afternoon and I am still not dressed. I’ve some work to do but I can’t seem to do it. There’s unpacking and sorting still to be done and I don’t think I’ll be doing it. I don’t know where to put anything.
But I bought a learning set for my daughter and she wrote out the alphabet this morning. We talked about letters and which ones are the start of some of her favourite words.
She’s dressed, she’s eaten her breakfast and lunch, I am still on my breakfast.
I’ve been reading non stop. We had errands to run into and past Melbourne yesterday, so I stopped off in Melbourne. I sat at the NGV and did some drawing exercises, then I read for hours and hours in the ‘smashed rainbow’ hall. I finished a novel, a comic and have nearly finished another memoir.
Which is amazing because I haven’t been able to read for most of this year. When things are hard I cannot read. It is my warning sign that things are not going great and I have to look out for myself.
But now that I am reading I can’t seem to do much else. I can look after the child but self care it at the low end, again. I have to finish this book and then start another and I have two comics to read also.
Then I think I should write but I can never do much more than a blog post so here we are.
I’ve spent the last two days mowing a large paddock. I thought I’ve listening to music as you have to were ear muffs anyway – but there’s something quite therapeutic about sitting atop the KUBOTA in the spring sunshine, driving back and forth and mowing the shit out of some grass. Even when the blasted wind picks up and blows the cut grass and sticks back at you, it goes down the back of your collar, gets all in you hair and behind your sunglasses – it gets inside your goddamn bra – it’s still magical.
The magpies are pissed at me because I keep interrupting their business. They’re so awesome, I love watching the birds.
The cut grass and sticks and stuff fly about and smell amazing. Amazing.
I cannot get over how damn good this place smells.
After I’ve finally mowed the whole paddock – and had many lessons in tractor maintenance, such as overhearing and switching between the turtle and the hare – I take myself up to our house to shower. The shower is not insulated and so I always check for spiders before going in, as they have many little places to get in. But I don’t this time, I’m distracted by my post mowing high. I’m in there and naked and wet and that’s when I see the wolf spider. It’s in the curtain, it’s moving towards me. And I look at it and go no, no – it’s moving away from the water, not towards me. It’s using it’s front legs to try and shield itself so I move the curtain, gently, to shield it. I continue to shower.
My life is so different to what it was just six months ago. I wish this came about in happier circumstance, but it is what it is. I think loss is something that you learn to live with and this is us learning.
For the most part of this year, I have had a job as an illustrator for Orygen Mental Health, illustrating their online therapy content. I worked mostly on one of four websites that have recently been launched – Meridian. How it came about it is a lovely story – I wrote on twitter one day “Someone give me a job, where I draw and you pay me to draw” or some such and writer Penni Russo responded with “I have a job for you”. I didn’t believe it at first, but we started talking over email and a couple of months later I had a job and was working closely with Penni and another writer Chris Miles.
Prior to this position I had not much experience with photoshop, so I learned on the job. I started drawing with an ink and nib but that soon became problematic. It’s pretty messy and when I scanned it in the ink tended to catch the light and I’d spend time correcting this. So I started drawing with fine liner pen onto flat bond paper and that worked a treat.
I learned how to make the back ground transparent and about different files types, how to clean images up and colour them in if required.
These are just some of the many, many images I drew over the past year. It was a lot of fun and I am really proud of this work and being part of something important. I also really enjoyed working with the people I got to work with.
I saw on instagram that there were a couple of places left in a self portrait painting class, taught by Yvette Coppersmith and booked it in right away.
I haven’t had time to unpack from the road trip and I knew I didn’t have the materials but it just felt like one of those things you just have to do. I went to Melbourne a day earlier so I could get the supplies for the class and just packed a separate bag.
Yvette’s work is exceptional. She’s recently been a finalist in a couple of prizes, including the Moran. Which is very much well deserved, she has a huge and fantastic body of work behind her. http://www.yvettecoppersmith.com
The class challenged, pushed and inspired me. I haven’t had the chance or the space to really paint in such a long time. It’s hard to believe I once had a studio where I produced a huge body of work which was mainly painting! It really proved to me that it is something you must keep up, no matter what. Even if you’re just painting for paintings sake – I shouldn’t have stopped.
So I held back the tears and really kept at it. Yvette painted with me and gave me tips and pointers and spoke with me. I think what I made was a mess but I know that this is the best thing I have done for myself and my practice in a good long while.
If you’re an artist and you’re reading this – go do a class with Yvette. I feel so lucky for the opportunity. I cannot recommend it enough!
I don’t really have a space set up to work yet, so I feel a bit frustrated. I mean, I know it’s also probably post – road trip blues and then also coming back to a house that isn’t set up for us at all and feeling a little overwhelmed as to what to do.
I also am running out of things or don’t have supplies and it’s going to take a trip to Melbourne to get the things I need so I then feel that too.
We are both also out of work at the same time, so I am also thinking money and future and argh.
I managed to paint a little yesterday. In watercolour. It’s a test for an oil but I am finding it hard to love anything I do at the moment.
We came home earlier from our trip than planned, no biggie as it was pretty open ended anyway. We were all so tired by the time we arrived at the Grampians yesterday afternoon, we thought it best to pack it in while it was still good.
So this post is image heavy, I am one typing finger down so I can’t write much!
We started off in Adelaide. Stayed in the heart of the city and ate so much good food. From there we went to the beach and to Hahndorf and strawberry picking.
We drove from Adelaide to Coorong national park – we then camped on the beach which was rough but oh so beautiful.
See an ocean picture:
And another one!
I’m not done yet:
The next night we decided to camp in the designated camp sites but the weather turned rough and we hardly had any sleep, so from there we went to Mount Gambier. We stayed in a magnificent B&B – none of us wanted to leave.
But we did and headed to the Grampians. Which was beautiful and really cold!
Then we drove to the Bunjil cave before coming home – it was such a beautiful place:
I’m writing from my phone, huddled in our 4WD while the rain and wind continues to howl. Like it has been all night.
We made last minute changes to our road trip, instead of working our way through Victoria to South Australia, we went straight to SA. It’s been warm and magical – Adelaide was fun to visit, Hahndorf was a little weird. We picked strawberries in the hills and kicked around at the beach. We’ve spent the last couple of days camping at Coorong National Park. Which has been phenomenal. The first night we were camped on the beach and got to marvel at the beauty which is the Southern Ocean. The next day we drove to an a lake inland and saw an eagle who’s wingspan was longer than the width of a road. Last night was rough but what’s camping without that kind of experience?!