Over the last week I have been back in my studio, I begun a drawing that I think will take me about three months to complete. It’s new and something I have wanted to explore for a while, yet wasn’t ready – until now. Also this week I pushed myself back into drawing from life. I have slacked off a bit with that. So I set myself one hour for each of these drawings, and pushed myself to get as much as I could on the page to a timer.
Elephant ears plant
Seriously – how phallic is it!
The last one is a drawing of a bird that I found this morning. I was walking past a hospital and saw something fall to the ground from my peripheral – it made a noise when it landed that made me turn. I thought it dead but when I looked closer I saw it’s tiny body breathing, little black eyes blinking at me. So I called wildlife rescue and while giving my location details, so a rescuer could come and collect the bird, it opened it’s beak up super wide and then it just stopped. Last breath. It blinked no more. So I told the lady on the other end and she asked that I could at least move it so people wouldn’t step on it, which I did. And then I drew it. What a strange thing to witness but at least I was there in it’s final moments so it didn’t get stepped on.
Monkey is unwell and home today. We had a very rough night and though we’ve not had much sleep – I’m still kind of happy!
It’s a sunny autumn day so I’ve done all the washing and made an attempt at the dishes that are never ending and gotten healthy food into us all.. A few years back I would have been a complete mess ( who’s to say I won’t be tomorrow ) but it reminds me time and time again about surrendering to life and taking it all in and being. I think when I started out on this parenting journey, I was not great at it but I kept trying and trying again and sometimes I think I am doing ok at it. I think that’s something that is hard to do, just trying. Try to be real, try to be present, try to do better, try to say sorry, try new things when all the other things are not working.
Anyway, I thought I was going somewhere with this train of thought but now that I am writing, I am not so sure. Ha.
Sketching and experimenting and feeling a little lost and scared.
Having a little more time to myself – than I have had in about six years – is giving me more time to think about what it is I want to do. When my daughter was younger I just took the little time I had and made work with a vengeance! Now I can take time to plot, to research, to be a little more discerning about what I put out there. I used to illustrate and sketch so much more than I do now. I used to document the process so much more than what I do now. Well, I still document it but I don’t share it online as much as I once did.
It’s lovely to look back, reflect and see what worked in 2009 was different to 2011 which is so very different to now. Now is new, and terrifying but once I pick myself up out of the fear and make myself try things it is so very joyful indeed. I can truly get stuck in the what if, what if, what if spiral and have the fear and uncertainty dictate what it is that I do, and don’t do.
When a body of work comes to an end I get very scared, having this work truly grounds me – in art making and in life. The one consistent, solid thing for me in my life has been my art. That can be very confronting when the rejection letters come in – slow but incredibly steady. When what it is I feel so strongly needs to be made does not quite cut any criteria. When I think that this could give me a sense of belonging in regard to other people, but the reality of making only isolates me further… No, I wasn’t invited to that exhibition, no I wasn’t invited to attend that event, no I wasn’t invited to speak at that thingo, no I can’t come – I got this drawing/ painting on the go and I need to work on it.
Anyway, I’m pushing through the doubt and getting on with the joy of making.
The Home is taking shape, above is just a snap off of my phone, it’s so fresh and so lovely. All these things mean things. There’s my father in law in the middle there, with his belt buckle and a rose he made for me a number of years back. The kitties are my Grandmother’s, my mother had bought them for her with the money she earned from Woolworth’s.
I didn’t get to the studio today, as I had intended. But I made a new folder with images and research that I have collected over the last few years. I feel like I am on the brink of something but I’ve come as far as I can with the thinking and collecting part, it’s time to think with my hands again.
School holidays and renovations are not friends.. much like skinny jeans and periods. Not saying they are enemies – but to take on both means a lot of effort, timing, coordination and cleaning.
I haven’t had much time to get back into the studio to explore and I’ve gone through the terror of what if I never make art ever again and just trying to trust myself but not really maybe I’ll just distract myself I’m walking a tightrope here and it’s somehow working how am I getting away with this I dunno but I am so just go with it ok *deep breath*
So I’ve filled up these holidays with cooking and learning more about food, exercising, reading so many things, and decorating my kidlet’s bedroom. The picture above is of the mural in it’s second day, we’ve been working on it together.. It’s almost finished, the image is from The Last Unicorn. Her room is looking so amazing. Our whole house is looking so different. It’s higgledy piggledy and I love it to bits.
I just had some friends over and we talked about our respective creative practices and it felt so good, in fact I feel inspired to just get back into my studio tomorrow and start experimenting. I don’t know what will come next and I’m done with being terrified of that and want to just see where it takes me.
I like exploring. I drag my poor little family about but we all had such a good time, so I think they forgive me.
Things must be timed, I feel like I have to push to make these things happen. And I do, because things have to happen! I want to see all the things and get ideas and discover.. the small child cries in the car but as soon as we arrive at a large bridge she’s off! “THIS IS THE BEST ADVENTURE EVER” she yells back at me.
This was the best part of the day, how lovely to see bees doing their thing.
Totally have wanderlust at the moment. But with house renovations and a bunch of other things on ( as well as needing to save ) I think it won’t be happening for a while. So, exploring the heck out of this place is what I plan to do.
I’ve been down. Which is frustrating because I think I’m on top of the blues and then somedays come along and show me that I might not be totally right about that.
After working so damn hard on this piece:
I felt exhausted. I made the last lines on a Saturday afternoon and the first thing I did was have a bath and get into my pyjamas. ( I don’t think I washed in the last week. Gross, I know.. )
I think it’s the best work I’ve ever done and then I freaked out that I’ll never do anything as good as it again. I had plans to begin work on some other things but this piece has led me to a different place with my art and now I don’t know what I should do. Should I follow my plans or follow my heart? I cannot do both. I can only give so much to the work. Some of it has to be left over for life 😉
So, doing life at the moment and taking a lot of photos and thinking with sketching ..
This week was topped off with two rejections, but then I got this dress:
I started this drawing last year, to be part of the last collection of drawings but it missed the cut off point due to the accident and holidays etc etc. Life, basically. But I think that it’s a beautiful drawing, because of the belly. Bellies 4 eva!
This Saturday the 26th of March, from 2PM to 4PM at the Art Gallery of Ballarat ( in the McCain annexe ) will be the launch of Bronwyn Blaiklock’s poetry collection, Etching My Initials. My drawing ( from my most recent collection of drawings ) graces the front cover. So if you’re in or around Ballarat town, make the journey to the gallery for some poetry good times.
Other than that, I am still recovering from my large piece that I finished last week…
It’s next level and I really have to lift my game in regards to my practice. I think it is ok to have a few days off to do admin and everything else and maybe rest?
I’ve also been doing a lot of walking and wandering and thinking and exercising and cooking and reading and cuddling my kitty.
So it is school holidays now, so I won’t be traveling and getting models to sit for me for a few weeks. But I’ll be straight back into it after the holidays. Ohh, and I am going to bake some healthy hot cross buns for us.. Because it is very depressing to find out how much crap goes into packet food. I’ve gotten some fancy pants rye and spelt flour. Happy holidays to you!