The launch of my New Drawings and Darren McDonald’s Something Worth Fighting For at Scott Livesey Galleries last night was wonderful. Both exhibitions were opened by Scott Livesey and Dr Sarah Engledow, from the National Portrait Gallery. Sarah said that the three things women hate about their bodies are toes, bellies and body hair – which feature heavily in my works. She said she had never seen so many toes and that after looking at the works she began to look at her fellow humans with more sympathy. I was really touched by her words.
All photos are by Gene.
Thank you to everyone who came and spread the word about the exhibition. It is on until the 24th of February. All works are for sale.
Scott Livesey Galleries – 909A High Street, Armadale Melbourne
4:30AM, train ride, dawn rise, coffee and blueberry danish, another coffee, hair cut, smells nice, old friend, yum cha – dumplings, art shop, book shop, tram ride, yellow shoes, train home, kidlet cuddle, roast vegetables, vacuuming, mopping, bathing the child, sweeping, kitten cuddles, two loads of laundry, singing goodnight song, washing dishes, baking banana bread, decided not to make bunting for gathering, drew a self portrait.
At night, when I feel like the chores have reached a state I am less anxious about ( it never is finished ) and everyone is asleep – I draw little details of our house.
A few months back I bought a stack of khadi paper intending to draw country scenes from our South Australian drive/ camping trip and from our time living out near Beautfort, Victoria. But it seems that the domestic scenes are taking centre stage again for my drawing.
I’m working on the final stages of opening an exhibition and finishing a few ( large and detailed ) pieces for various things that I will talk about in time to come – but I also feel a huge need to do these little ( and not so little ) still life drawings. This house is changing with works and renovations beginning and it felt important to document the little details of how it is right now.
I’ve still got about 15 sheets to fill up, so more to come
( This one I posted a few days back is part of this series )
These summer holidays DID NOT go to plan and I feel bad about that, especially in regard to Husband and Kidlet. Husband because he has been hurt and miserable and now is working evenings and this weekend to make up for lost time on his work. Kidlet because I just haven’t had the time for her, and probably not the patience she deserves. We haven’t done all the stuff we said we’d do and now the holidays are almost over.
But honestly, I think kids also need to learn to be flexible, and this time has been a good lesson in that.
I’ve gotten a number drawings finished and a few very close, so I think all things considered – I should feel very proud. I also worked as a relief teacher for two days. Doesn’t sound like much to some but this is certainly huge for me, I have anxiety about teaching or any sort of public speaking – which I think is fairly common. But for the right price, and the right job – I’ll challenge that! And yes, I know how lucky I am that I can sometimes choose what work to take on. I can’t take it on if it doesn’t cover the cost of childcare.
I feel like a fake when it comes to teaching. But I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences that has made me see the true value of it. I taught life drawing last year which was amazing. I mainly focus on strengths of peoples work rather than the weaknesses. I think by a certain age we are very good at seeing the weaknesses.. So good, that it is all we can see. So I push the strengths and I’ve also gotten lip about that – but I don’t say anything unless I mean it. I’m not placating – I think this is an important distinction.
I also talk about the value of mistakes and recognising where we need to improve. To make good work you have to be prepared and accept that you will make lots of ‘bad’ work too.
If I can, I set a task for the whole group to do and then approach them one on one to see where they are at. I had this one student having a pretty bad time of it, so I tried to get them to talk and they didn’t really want to. Which is ok, I just gently encouraged them and then continued with the class. By the end of it they had it out with me – I can’t draw, they said – and we went through their work and I pointed out the strengths, of which there was many. We talked more about what other creative things they like to do, which turned out to be origami. They then went on to do a self portrait in which they were smiling
By the end of the class when the parents and carers arrived to collect the children – this one gave me a hug. It took me quite a lot to not cry, what a beautiful experience. I’m so glad they got something out of it and I hope they go on to make more work and take pride in what they do.
So it is lunch time now and it’s my job to make it and then I’m off to try and get these drawings across the finish line, or at least closer to it.
More news about exhibition and selling of sketches coming very soon.
Ink on Khadi handmade paper
By Lily Mae Martin
I thought I’d get this drawing done in a night – it’s A3in size and I am a very ambitious person. By 2am I decided it was ok to pack it in for the night. But I did get it done and there it is.
I originally bought a stack of this paper to draw some outdoor scenes – similar to the Australian Faraway Tree but as things in my life have become more about inside the home, that is what I am drawn to exploring in my work. The laundry. The mess. The toys. Gifts of flowers, fabric patterns, dishes that I do not want to do and things I do not yet have a place for. I think these scenes are beautiful.
Anyway this is the first of many. But I am onto another drawing now which is for a thing that I will hopefully be writing about in a few months to come.
Until then – I will be drawing away and hopefully share the details of my upcoming exhibition in Melbourne very soon.
Statement about the work:
When my daughter was born I began to draw mostly interiors as I was at home more. I didn’t think much about the act at the time, as when you have babies and small children you have to live in the moment – there is every little time for reflection! But now that years have past I have come to see that these small sketches and drawings the spaces and things around us was a way of documenting our lives, like a journal only in pictures. It captures the everyday objects that surrounds us and shapes our days, but is also a window into the emotions I was feeling at the time.
I draw with pen and paper as this is very accessible to me, and also my daughter can use them to. I am inspired by etching techniques and replicate this within my drawings.