In the gully – new drawing

In the gully – Waterloo state forest
By Lily Mae Martin
76 x 56cm
Ink on paper

This is half the size of the other landscape I did, but I am pretty sure it took me just as long? There’s so much detail in this, the tiny bits of trees and shrubs.. So many times I felt I couldn’t do it. So many times I thought I should stop and move on but I pushed on through.
Though the news last week made me think well, what’s the fucking point? And I just stopped when it was a mere two hours work from completion.

I’ve spent the last week trying to keep my cool. Not quit all my jobs and all of my life. I think I did well. I may have eaten too much toast and bread and a whole thing of brownies – but considering the destruction I used to be capable of – I’ve really made myself proud.

I had coffee with a friend on Friday and as we were saying our goodbyes I think I was mumbling something about my drawing going down the toilet and she said she could spot all the different species in the one I was working on, and how cool it was. And just like that, the light went on and I was really excited again.


So thank you, friend 🙂

Hey L

Hey L,

It’s been a good long while.

The last time I saw you I had arrived early. I don’t remember where I was living at the time, but I know that I had traveled some distance and that usually meannt I arrive far too early or far too late. You lived near the beach so I wandered down a street that ended at the sand. The sand then led to the ocean and I had a real moment there. It was like the sky and the ocean were mirroring each other and I felt as if I was being pushed and pulled in all sorts of directions. Disorientating, but calm. I just felt like there was no beginning and no end and everything meant something and then meant nothing. I remember this so clearly, similar feelings to when I watched 2001 as a small kid and my mind was being blown – except there was no terror. I think it was one of those moments were my brain tries to contemplate mortality and the universe and all that big stuff that I have no words for and thus no conclusions.

I’d come all this way because you were letting me capture you to make some art. You had said something online about how no one would ever want to draw you and I thought that that was such a terrifically unfair way to see yourself. So I offered that I would come and I would draw you.

When you answered the door I noticed that you and I had the same pyjamas. Only your smallest girl was home and your partner stayed with us to make sure that you were warm and that you were alright.

I drew you and you loved it. I felt pretty proud. And then I said I would send you the sketch and then I never did.

On facebook last night I learnt of your death. Someone who I didn’t know had written about it. I was stunned, I was not sure if it was the truth. I can see our last few conversations over messenger, I remember that so well and where I was and that I can’t step back into time – you will never reply again.

I’m sorry I didn’t listen more and that our paths did not cross again. I’m sorry I wasn’t a better friend. I’m sorry you were in so much pain. I’m sorry to your partner and to your girls. It’s just all so, so sad.

Rest in peace Lindsay C Walker. Many hearts are broken.

seameetsthesky The ocean near your house.

I want to ..

I want to board a plane and go somewhere I haven’t yet been. I want to write words on a page or smash them out on a keyboard – I ain’t fussy. I want to jump on the train to Melbourne and go find new paper. I want to draw a new series; tuck my words and thoughts and feelings safely under bits bark, in skin folds, tumbling hair. I want to forgive and forget and be a new person and be finally rid of the old one. I want to draw, draw, draw until I have to be peeled away to wash and be reminded to eat. I want to steam and flatten out meters of paper without tearing or marking it, I’d have a good six months out of a piece that size – then I’d have an anchor.
I want to know and I just want to very much understand – but failing that, I just want to draw.

drawme Draw me like one of your human models.

Pictures from Drawing, all the time exhibition

datt1 Poet Nathan Curnow

The exhibition opened last week at Ararat Regional Art Gallery, it was a pretty amazing turn out and I felt very overwhelmed and grateful and excited and terrified.. A great cocktail of emotions!

kidletcorner Kidlet’s corner

There’s a hilarious picture a friend took of kidlet standing behind me while I am trying to do an artist talk, she’s placing her purple pony toy on one of my shoulders and if it’s peering up from behind me or just trying to take a seat.



Open until the 30th of October.


Thank you to everyone who has seen the exhibition. Special thanks to Anthony Camm who has been very supportive and for giving me this opportunity and thank you to Gene for always, always believing in me and to Anja – my light, my monkey, my chicken, my possum.


Some recent media


My drawing I am blood, bones and a beating heart is the cover of the September issue of Trouble Magazine.

I was also interviewed by the Courier a couple of days ago. They called while I was strolling in the old cemetery, drinking coffee. I didn’t mention this to the journalist, but I am mentioning here! Here is a link

Back in June I was invited to speak on The Arts Show with Alex McCulloch. I’m on at 36:20, just after Hey Jude.

My exhibition at Ararat Regional Art Gallery opened yesterday. There is an artist talk tomorrow at 1PM.

Install Day today!


Today we delivered the rest of the artwork to Ararat Regional Art Gallery. We moved and shuffled things about until they made sense. I’m feeling pretty proud of it all and feel very lucky.

Drawing, all the time opens at Ararat Regional Art Gallery this Thursday the 15th of September and will be on view until the 30th of October.
The opening will be an artist talk at 1PM this Saturday the 17th of September.


Time, the most precious thing of things

For personal reasons I haven’t really worked in two weeks. I’ve managed an hour or two here and there but really, I that’s not work!

It amazes me that two weeks feels like a life time on the internet, or in other people’s perception, through the filter of the internet. – You haven’t been making work! It’s true that social media has been a great tool for inspiration and motivation, but jebus what a distortion when it comes to the value of time.

Look, I’ve had a bloody great year in terms of my art. Shortlisted for four prizes! TWO solo exhibitions – but this isn’t the norm. It’s really not! This probably won’t happen all the time, it might not even happen again – who knows, and I’m not being self deprecating, I just know that this is how the game is played.. Or, rather, I don’t know it and I know I don’t know… But anyway, a year like this also requires a huge amount of work that’s not the work work – to get things packed up and shipped, to travel to the openings. There’s so much going on that people do not see and this alllll takes time. I’m totally not complaining by the way, I just don’t think people get that there is work that surrounds making the work and it’s invisible. I think it’s important that the invisible is made a little more visible so people can appreciate the work that people do.

Over the years I have stumbled through the many different ways I could get creative. Writing, fiction, articles, blog posts. Illustration, digital, cover art, illustrations for stories and for anatomy. Art, oil painting, drawing.. It’s through these explorations that I have come to really single out and focus in on what it is I want to do – which is drawing. This took time, this took many mistakes. Some of which still make me cringe – oh, the bad writing, the things I opened up with which left me so very vulnerable and I deeply regret that – for what it did to me. Oh, the bad illustrations. Oh, the painting.. Noooooo. All that wasted time! But no, not really wasted, because I say no more to things that get in the way of what I really want to do.

I’ve had to take a huge leap back in terms of my social media use and interaction. I just feel like it has infiltrated my life and my practice in ways that aren’t good at all. I’m so sick of everything in that space having meaning – when ultimately it has no meaning. It frightens me to think of the hours that I have spent on facebook rather then looking at the sky, or the ground, or the flowers – my kid. Or tending to those scary but necessary moments of not knowing what the fuck I am going to make next.

I feel so much pressure to have new works and have new things to say/ announce, but my art – as a lot of art and craft – needs time. And not internet time – real time. It needs the time where I am not actually making work too!

Maybe I’m stuck with the blessing/ curse of remembering what life was like before social media infiltrated it in ways we never could have imagined?

Making artwork, getting it photographed, writing about it, organising exhibitions, wrapping and boxing artwork for shipment, promoting exhibitions, having the exhibitions, deinstalling exhibitions, researching new ideas for new work and then making that new work – this stuff takes years and years. A life time even. I feel so exhausted by the expectations. Being an artist – like being a parent – takes more than just one person doing it all on their own. So the best I can do is remove myself from it as much as possible and focus on real time. Keep doing what I know to work and what I know to be realistic.

crate My shortlisted piece for the JADA 2016 in a crate that my man built for it.


Hello –

This is me and my face at the opening of the Paul Guest Drawing Prize last week at the Bendigo Art Gallery..


By Lily Mae Martin
Ink on paper
105 x 75cm

The opening was fantastic, I was sad kidlet couldn’t make it because she was spewing but it’s OK because
I have been am very proud to say that I am a finalist in the Grafton Regional Gallery’s 2016 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA) !!!!!!
And she can come to that one!

By Lily Mae Martin
77 x 57 cm
Ink on paper

I am really, really pleased and feel so lucky.

Weekend in lines







I saw Anne Summers speak last night – and I drew while I absorbed her words. Drawing helps with the absorption. There’s so much I have to think about and read about and keep reassessing. I am collecting books that I want around the house so if my daughter begins to question what I was questioning, there are things for her to read and explore in regard to feminism.

How much I wish I had these books when I was younger.





So my head is heavy with thoughts and my hands are busy with lines and kitty is laying on my, chewing on a pencil.