Thanks Gene Hammond-Lewis for the photos!
Toddlers say the best things. Their brains are going overtime and their hearts are so big – they’re communicating without being inhibited, without censor and it’s just the most amazing thing to be privy to.
They do get a bad wrap – the tantrums, the random bouts of violence, they can sometimes be really, really gross – all of these vary with each Toddler, of course. They are humans afterall ( I say this because it often seems to be forgotten.. ) But the sweetness, the kindness and the love and the joy and the wonder do balance it out. Sometimes even completely eclipse the hard stuff.
Babies are beautiful and captivating, but Toddlers break my heart and overwhelm me on a regular basis. Their personalities and depth of feelings and experience blow my mind and I feel like I am experiencing the wonders of life all over again through new, fresh eyes.
I try my hardest to make time for Toddlers – because that is what they need. They need you to engage and guide them and share experiences together. Giving them time to experience the world is the hardest because we live in a world that simply does not offer them that precious time and the necessary space. To press the train buttons, to give money over the counter and to receive the change, to watch the green man go to red and visa versa. To guide them through the emotions they are feeling and not equipped with how to deal with them. To read all the books and then to read them again. To have wild reactions to things other people do not notice..
I could go on and on.
I’ve been listening and watching and recording these moments. Especially with the two main Toddlers in my life – my girl and my best friends boy. These two examples are moments from both of them and I hope to expand and make a bigger collection when I have more time. Right now, it’s still mostly in research phase as we are all still exploring Toddlerdom together.
Thanks A & S for being the most amazing, strange and wonderful little humans that I have ever had the pleasure.
I haven’t had much sleep. In between coming up with how to make the comic I am working on perfect, Toddler waking up 4 to 5 times and my menstruating commencing at about 3AM this morning – there has been little oppertunity. Today is one of those days I would have cancelled – but I couldn’t.
So I didn’t, and here we are.
Yesterday, Gene and I went to Women of Letters. It was his first and my second. I’m not going to review the evening – words won’t work for me today and I think that WOL is the kind of event you should absolutely go to and experiece for yourself. But not now, not this year, because yesterday was the last one for 2013. And I feel so damn lucky that I got to be there!
Toddler is yelling at me to make her pasta, so I must go.
Maybe see you at WOL in 2014?
I guess I sketch and draw compulsively. It’s incorporated into my everyday doings as much as toilet habits, getting dressed and possibly a little moreso than my eating and sleeping habits.
I have many sketch books that are filled up and I keep meaning to sharte them, but there are so many and I try to keep each post themed and then I just get overwhelmed or there is something else I have to tend to – Toddler, deadline, laundry – don’t forget to be social Lily.
I draw during various states – stress, happiness, tiredness – take the above drawing for example; I drew this late one night when I couldn’t work on what I was working on anymore but still felt like I had to do something and then I fifnshed this drawing off in the second sitting, while trying to get Toddler to go to sleep and feeling very cross with her indeed.
It’s alllll love.
“Mumma, draw me, draw me mumma, MUMMA DRAW ME!”
( FYI she is now sitting in my lap and we are fighting for the desk space.. Talk about multi tasking future employer poeple! )
Now I am not so trapped in my own world – as I was a year, two years ago – I am interested in exploring other womens experiences of motherhood. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by women who are very open and sometimes letting me capture moments of their lives. This is the very beginnings of something much bigger. So I don ‘t want to delve into it too much with words because the unconscious part of creating work is still in it’s early stages.
Must go, Toddler and I have a full sunny day to ‘have lots of fun’ with.
I put a call out for people to sit for me – to draw and paint them from life. I had such a huge response, I still haven’t gotten back to everyone but I am incredibly excited about it.( I will get back to people soon! )
A friend put her hand up for me to draw/ paint her ( or I asked her, can’t remember! ) At the time she sat for me she was 33 weeks pregnant. It was possilby the most enjoyable and relaxing life drawing expeirence I have ever had. I came away from it feeling so happy. There was a little toddler tottering about and chatting away while we worked. My heart felt like it was going to explode – kids are just so awesome.
It takes a lot of confidence to sit with people and work from life. I have to direct as well as focus on the work – all the while being mindful that the sitter is comfortable. I also have to except that I may very well just make bad drawings. Because sometimes nerves do overide the focus – and that’s OK. I used to prefer not to show anyone what I had done, but when it clocks up to a few hours of their time, I feel obligated to share something.
I remind myself that I am my harshest critic – and that I will, eventually, make something great.
So after this session – I had to come home for a snooze because my very own kidlet got me up several times the night before. Which was hard to do as I was inspired and wanted to work right away! But I did and then I got up and started painting.
Recently I purchased what I refer to as ‘proper paints’ – they are extremly expensive and amazing. ( David Hockney uses them, I was told by the lovely man in the art store.) So this was a good oppertunity to try them out. I was in my painting shed for hours just blissing out on both of these amazing new experiences!
The white is a lead based paint, so I have to be extra careful. My painting shed is now a complete no kid zone. Which is strange because I like having my child about while I am working. But I’ve got to be responsible – there are things I just cannot share with her. Yet.
So this is the first layer – oil on board. It is extremly rough but I love to look at it. I am excited to be moving away from relaying so much on photography. Though it is a very big influence in my thinking, I don’t want to just replicate and image from an image anymore. I want new challenges and to make room for new things to come into my work. When people say ” that painting is just like a photograph” – I don’t consider that an achievemnt. Well, a compliment to skill sure, but I’m not a fan of photo-realism personally. I want paint to do it’s own thing – be it’s own experience of capturing and documenting something/ someone.
And now I must go, Toddler and I have a beading and friendship band making kit we found at the op shop. I am in high-demand today.
Still, I took kidlet and myself out today. We can’t see anyone until we get the results so may as well eat for comfort at cafes.
We started on Christmas cards and are now taking a break while the clumpy, acrylic paint dries. To add glitter and stickers and all sorts of things that no one else really enjoys but kids and tired people.
I want to write really interesting things about my drawings and sketches – but I am being screamed at by my toddler who refuses to rest and am feeling very much like words are just too hard to type/ spell correctly/ speak.
The top sketch is of Brunswick Bound – a bookshop I am fond of. I sat with my friend B – we went to VCA together – and it was nice just to drink tea, sketch and buy books. I then visited another friend – Nicholas Jones – in his studio and did a very rough sketch (above ). I’d like to go back and draw for longer.
I’ve been sketching people about town a lot lately. The above one is of an artist recreating an old work in chalk on Swanston Street. His friend watched me and then introduced himself when I had finished – he told me his name was Wayne and said that his name will probably change again soon. We talked very briefly about art and composition and then I made a mad dash to meet my better half for a delicious – though overly priced and slighly affectacious – dinner.
I was also at the Wheeler Centre, where I photographed the lovely Sam Twyford – Moore ( isn’t that an awesome name!) and I decided to do some more sketching out front of the State Library of Victoria. I had aimed to draw the building but found I wanted to do quick sketches of people sunbathing, reading and chatting on the lawn instead.
I’m thinking of doing a series of portraits of men – as my last two big drawings of Nicholas Jones and TUSK were very popular and I even sold them! So I asked my long time pal and fellow artist Mo Campobasso to pose for me as well. We chatted about Dürer’s self portraits. I tried to come up with a way to incorporate Mo’s hands into the portrait – as all of Dürer’s self portraits have his hands in them – but I don’t think I was successful in finding a pose that didn’t look to put on. Oh well, it’s just a reference and it’s not a self portrait so oh well. I’m pretty happy with the test drawing anyway and I can’t wait to get knuckled down into this series.
Better go see if the cards are dry – catch you later.