busy bees


I went to Women of Letters on Sunday – my ears and heart are all full up. I haven’t been to one for a few years now – 2013! Here’s a sketch I did all the way back then:

At this event I had planned to sketch again but I forgot my sketch book ( !!!! ) and it was one of those weekends were I couldn’t get much right.. So I thought I shouldn’t push it.
Angie Hart was such an amazing host, and the letters were very funny to deeply personal. These events are just so special and I wish I could make it more often.

Lately I’ve been really stuck in the studio finishing off my latest piece ( Haunted ) so after finishing it I’ve been trying to leave the house and do a few other things here and there.. To feel human and reconnect. Husband and I recently went to a very special place for us and it was — good to do, I think.

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.

In the gully – new drawing

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In the gully – Waterloo state forest
By Lily Mae Martin
76 x 56cm
Ink on paper
2016

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.

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So thank you, friend 🙂

New drawing – Waterloo State Forest, view from the back

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

Waterloo State Forest, view from the back is an exploration of death and grief through the peripheral. Much of my work focuses on the intimate details of the human body, but watching a loved one die can complicate that work. Death is the process of the body shutting down, and documenting that isn’t always possible or right. Waterloo is the documentary of a life passing, and of the lives around it changing, as it is experienced through the landscape: a hushed forest, pitted with mineshafts; the perpetual shifting of light and shadow; the symbiosis of regrowth and decay.

Sketches, Clunes Bookstown

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This weekend I saw April out and May in at Clunes booktown. Clunes is a town I like to visit regularly because it is *so* beautiful, and book town is something I didn’t get to experience until last year and then only very briefly.

I went to many things. The launch of Goldfields and the Gothic – edited and compiled by David Waldron, Writing Goldfields History, Mad Poet’s Tea Party, Ordinary Places with Cate Kennedy chaired by Michael Williams, ( This was the absolute highlight of the whole festival, Michael and Cate were warm and generous ) The Mothers with Rod Jones chaired by Jo Case – ( I purchased the book after this and have read quite a lot of it already, what a truly touching talk and book ) and finally Infidelity, Open Marriage and Journeys Through Time and Place.
That’s incredible for $10 over two days.

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bclballaratcreswick_lily_mae_martin Blind continuous line drawing on the train from Ballarat to Creswick

pen_lily_mae_martin The Empty Chair“Since the 1980s PEN International has used the Empty Chair at events to symbolise a writer who could not be present because they were imprisoned, detained, disappeared, threatened or killed. The Empty Chair often represents a specific case, rather than all writers at risk, and regularly takes centre stage at such venues as the Melbourne Writers’ Festival.”

book_earrings_lily_mae_martin Book earrings!

home_lily_mae_martin I had a magical, meaningful weekend and I am so grateful for Clunes Booktown and the amazing people who made it happen. Thank you.

Sunday morning drive

I like exploring. I drag my poor little family about but we all had such a good time, so I think they forgive me.

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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.

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This was the best part of the day, how lovely to see bees doing their thing.

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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.

Church at Billy Billy Creek

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I first saw this church as a friend and I took a drive to Ararat to visit Aradale just over a year ago. It was one of those places that I tend to spot that is too close to the highway to stop, but interesting enough for me to think on and think on and wonder how I can get to it just to take a quick snap so I can go home to do some research and find out more about it.
This church is crooked and nestled in thick, golden dry grass. Which always seems amazing to me but especially when it is in contrast to a grey and heavy sky, as it was yesterday. It is paired with an out house and a hall. As I stood in front of it yesterday evening, I noticed the clouds covering the hills out the back, and cockatoos flocking to the tops of the trees with their hilarious and endearing squawk squawk squawking. It reminded me of a walk I took last week – after a group therapy session where I was privy to heart broken and broken people. I walked past an blue stone church which stood there old and ominous. Cockatoos were screeching, circling and landing on the spire, only to squawk some more at one another and take off to circle it again. A game.
They made me smile, they always make me smile.
Like when we take long drives down stretches of road that seem to glare and go on forever. Past silos and houses that look the same, cockatoos will glide past or overhead. They are so graceful in flight yet always seem to be screaming, maybe even swearing at one another. I love them for that.

Yesterday after I got my snap I lumbered back to the car, we took off again and I noticed a rib cage on the side of the road. I was pretty thrilled about it but we couldn’t stop because the western highway is not the road for that kind of thing. Gene remarked that I get more excited about these things than most people. I thought that that was odd. How can you not be excited about these sort of things? They are so interesting.

Road trip adventure!

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I love to explore. This weekend had both the Newstead short story and Clunes book fair on so we made our way to those parts. In-between book buying, reading, listening to stories and eating cake with friends we went driving and walking and photo taking. The weather was spectacular, the autumn sun was very generous. Kidlet and I did drawing in my new sketch book ( Which I will post later ) – she drew a naughty woman who cut the hill in half and had a fanny on her head.

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^ babe ^

walking

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We decided to stay the night in a motel, all sleeping in the same room. We haven’t done that in long time so it was really fun. It also meant we could go to the fire stories and stay for the whole event. I didn’t know how long we would last, but we managed to stay AND I managed to toast some marshmallows for us to enjoy.

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The stories and music were great, kidlet danced and danced. I especially enjoyed the reading by Kirsten Krauth and Joe Dolce’s music and stories.

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^ Photos by Gene! ^

The next morning we were greeted by a cup of tea in the warm sun, bird prints all over our car and chats with Lin while the horse next door trotted proudly about. We didn’t stick around, opting to take back roads from Newstead through Moolort to Clunes, so I could take some pictures.

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^ Kidlet took this! ^

We came across and old bridge and pulled over so I could take some snaps. I took the wrong lens but found it to be so beautiful I had to get the other two to join me.

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This is the McLennan Bridge – you can read about it here.

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It is so beautiful.

Eventually we made to to Clunes and ate bagels in the sun. It was quite busy by the time we had arrived. I’ve never seen Clunes like that! We looked at some books and popped into see a few things. We got to see Tai Snaith and Nicholas Jones in action. Which was pretty special as I was just reading Tai’s latest book to kidlet just recently.

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After that we though that maybe we should go home as we were running out of steam.
How awesome is Victoria!

First of the first

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First layer completed!
I’m wrecked now but in a really happy way. This is the first oil painting I have started in almost a year.

I had forgotten how wonderful it is to work in oil paint. Though both my drawing and painting tend to be figurative, I do find that they are both very different and to now have both back in my life is a huge relief.

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