To Grow Things

It’s a cold morning and the rejection comes in on my phone – I had a feeling this was the answer.
I’m at the back of a friend’s house, sitting on their back porch waiting for help; I’ve put too many pellets in the chicken feeder and the thing has fallen apart. My hands are covered in chicken shit and I cannot work out how to put the few pieces together – the green bit, the white bit, a wing nut, a screw and a spring. It’s the last day of looking after these chickens, the last day of the long weekend that was in no way relaxing but a hell of a lot of fun. Especially the chickens. Oh, and the little boy who looked at my elephant ears plant and said “Wow, you are really good at growing plants.” ( I’m not, but I’ll take that complement little guy! )

I’ve spilt pellets everywhere and I am truly questioning if I should be commiting myself to chicken care and then I look up at the chooks and the sparrows fluttering about and help comes and my doubt is distracted.
It’s so bloody easy to fix, I should feel embarressed, but I don’t. He’s better at this stuff than I, and that’s OK. I say I didn’t get in ( to the prize ) and he hugs me and says that he is sorry and I shrug and say that I’ll do better next time. If I were to say I am upset, it would be a lie, this time. Sure, it’d be nice to be in it and I so want to be in these things. But I also think that it isn’t my time just yet. Just yet. But soon. Like, really soon.

I cast it out of my mind and clean what I can. Feel proud that I got the chickens through the weekend and even managed some yummy food scraps for them. I’ve been reading about types of chickens and plants and growing things and feel I am past most of that crippling doubt that usually sends me to bed when I am starting something new. I am so not good at new things, but you know I just got to get better at it – we are forever learning.

Sometimes I look back on my earlier days and feel sad I didn’t allow myself to get into gardening earlier in my life. I used renting as an excuse – but I could’ve joined a community garden. I know that they were a huge thing in Berlin. I think I just didn’t want things to get in the way of my sads. Because that is what gardening has done for me – taken me out of me. There is something about putting your hands into the earth and caring for tiny seeds, sprouts, harvesting, digging and turning and starting it all over again. Accidently killing things and learning from that. Seeing what actually is a hardy plant, what can take on full sun, transplanting other plants when the small parsely bunch grew into a big bush ( har har ) and I can’t eat enough of the stuff to keep it under control!

Part of me hates winter a lot, but now that I am growing things it’s really given me the chance to learn more and plan more for what I want to do for the garden. I mean, cold is still not my favourite thing but hell I’d rather be contrucitve with my time than complain all the time. I hope I get better at this, and can grow my own vegetables and fruits – or at least more than I do now. It’s humbling, it’s yummier, it’s a little good I can do for the world and teach my little one as I go. Hopefully set her up with skills to learn how to feed herself!

Artworks for sale

Hello there – I have a number of artworks that are framed and avalible for sale at Scott Livesey Galleries in Melbourne. I thought I’d put together a post with their details and if you are interested please contact the gallery on T: +61 3 9824 7770 or email at INFO@SCOTTLIVESEYGALLERIES.COM

First up, the landscapes
Haunted – 56 x 76cm, ink on paper, 2017

Waterloo State Forest, View From Back – 105 x 75cm, ink on paper, 2016

In The Gully, 56 x 76cm, ink on paper, 2016

Then – the nudes – these vary in sizes

As yet untitled, 56 x 76cm, ink on paper, 2017

As yet untitled, 56x76cm, ink on paper, 2017

Rebirth, 75 x 105cm, ink on paper, 2017

Ride, 30 x 30cm, ink on paper, 2016

Dancer, 30 x 30cm, ink on paper, 2016

There are more, if you follow this link: Lily Mae Martin at Scott Livesey Galleries

Pens down, feet on the ground


I was fumbling about in the studio so I put things down and have been out and about. Autumn has been beautiful and I’ve been walking; looking at the birds and enjoying the colour of the leaves changing, watching the clouds and taking in the smoke from all of the burn offs – ’tis the season.


I’ve been reading about colour and thinking about the different was I could utilize them in artworks – all stuff I must have studied once upon a time however it has been a long time! So these thoughts have been informing the way I have been looking at the landscapes I have been trudging around in. It’s pretty amazing.


When I can’t adventure I’ve been weeding in my garden and making plans for what new friends we can grow/ get for our yard.

My Poppet is unwell this evening and I use these moments as a time to do a quick sketch!

Two new drawings

I am SO PLEASED with these two – I still don’t have titles yet, I’ll come up with something soon.
They are 56 x 76cm, ink on paper.

I was working on other drawings in the same style but different subjects, however I am not too sure about them, so will sit on them for a little while longer. Working on two images at once is ideal, I think three and four pushed it a little too far for me and I got a little stressed out on the way.
Always learning!

Paint sketches, pen sketches

Hiiiiiiii there.
I have been excited to post here as it’s been quite the week AND THEN I got a nice big fat rejection. Well, I tried! After a week of a brief but powerful existential crisis, then a break through with my work which felt like it was teetering on the edge of madness, then onto a day of a depression that felt like it was consuming me from inside out and now well I feel deeply exhausted. But human. That’s good, yeah? No. Yes. Maybe. Who can tell.

Anyway I am trying to not get too far ahead of myself and overthink things and think that I understand anything because I don’t. I don’t get it, I don’t think anyone gets it and that’s cool. There’s crumpets and there’s pen and paper and some paint, it’s all good.

I feel motivated to draw and paint and I made some things this week that really felt exciting. I made some shit things too, but that’s par for the course. Though, I am not posting the shit things here 😉

I did some small studies in oil, I have more on the way. I want to keep my painting loose, I always assumed I’d be a photo realist painter – I do not know why. Something to do with the story that we tell ourselves? Anyway I am still deeply, deeply moved by the impressionist paintings. Which I never thought much of until they came to the National Gallery of Victoria when I was working there and the paint just took me to another place. Paintings are not the same in a book or on the screen. But as much as I love paint as a medium I am so so so very bad at being ‘looser’ with it. I always find I over work my paintings, and not in a good way at all. The one time I smashed it I had done many studies – in paint and in drawing so I am going to go back to that.

These are my favourite ones that I made this week, they are all one layer with added highlights on canvas paper.

I also made some blind contour line drawings as well – these are a few of my favs

Some of these ideas I haven been sitting on for a while, I knew I wanted to paint them but haven’t felt like I could paint in a while. Now I am like hey stop thinking thinking thinking and start doing and making and working it all out with your hands. Don’t know where it’ll all go which is absolutely and utterly terrifying but that’s got to be a good thing also, yes? If they don’t work out I can just go back to what I know works, yes? Or burn it all down. Ha.

I am pretty proud of them, hope you like them also and I am onto doing some other studies that I think are lovely too.

So for this week and then next – Keep the faith, take risks, eat crumpets, pat a cat, high five a kidlet and be kind to you.

Haunted – Waterloo State Forest


Haunted
By Lily Mae Martin
Ink on paper
56 x 76cm
2017

These drawings – the landscapes – are challenging, but this one almost didn’t happen. It is on the last sheet of cold pressed paper, which I bought way back in 2013. ( 2013 Lily made a number of poor choices. ) The paper is beautiful, but rough as and my pens just get ruined on it far to quickly. But I don’t want to waste things and this one is meant to match up with the gully one ( in size, at least )
The foreground was the easiest, it is quite illustrative ( dare I say ) and was easy to get my head and pen around. However when it came to creating a sense of depth in the image with the middle and backgrounds – I did loose it all at one point. I had the horrible week of trying to fix it, and thinking I may as well have to abandon it after many, many, many weeks of work. Which was really upsetting.
I kept on at it though, got some advice from my Gene and really hammed up the contrast in this image. it is meant to be dark. Dealing with the after affects of death and grief.
I’m working on a brief for these.


In the gully
By Lily Mae Martin
Ink on paper
56 x 76cm
2016

So they can sit either side of the largest one:


Waterloo State Forest, view from the back
Lily Mae Martin
105 x 75cm
Ink on Paper
2016

My proposed idea is:

However there are more coming so this may change for sure. I thought I’d just do these three, but noooo. There’s many more to come and a statement too.

All the art – gearing up

Well, the beginning of the year I saw a clean slate and I was both excited and deeply depressed about this. 2016 was a very successful year in terms of exhibitions and building up momentum.

I’ve moved things about so I work full time hours, with bits taken out for school drop off and pick up and cuddles and gardening and cooking. The I work into the evenings Monday to Friday. I’m finding that since I broke my laptop – and have this hear clunky desk top – online stuff isn’t taking over my life as much. And I feel like I have more time, or maybe that’s just the mental clear out – either way, I feel so much better.

My drawing board situation is that there are four pieces coming together, there are more that are in my mind.. I’m doing the landscape for a specific idea which I will talk about later and the nudes – I’m working on some smaller ones for a possible exhibition in future.

Just make the work.

On Saturday I went to Melbourne for the continuation of the Summer Salon exhibition at Scott Livesey Galleries ( LINK ) It’s up for the duration of February so get down and check it out, I have four pieces on display – a landscape, two small nudes and one large nude ( pictured)

In the morning I got to the James Makin Gallery to see Godwin Bradbeer’s Episodes Then & Now exhibition –LINK. It’s on until February 25th and you should totally go see it.

There’s a large retrospective of his work coming up in March – Stigma and Enigma so I hope to make that – it is indeed a different experience to see work IRL than just online.. I think people forget that.
I also wanted to get down to see LAURA curated by my friend Sophia Hewson – but I ran out of time!!!! *cries* So if you’re in Melbourne make sure you go and see it – LINK

Now, that is a very full and lush post and I better get back to it.

AND my tomato plants have flourished and I’ve been eating them, which is the best.

Summer Salon exhibition

Summer Salon exhibition continues throughout February at Scott Livesey Galleries in Armadale, Melbourne.
I have the above large drawing, one of my Waterloo landscapes and two smaller drawings in this exhibition.
There’s drinks happening today at the gallery with many of the artists present including myself. Hope to see you there!