Sketches from Scotland

Home is so lovely, being away for three weeks I forgot how beautiful ( parts ) of our house are. It is still very much a work in progress and it’s pretty special.

I unpacked the very next day after arriving back to Australia. Very keen to unwind, get the washing done, settle back in. It’s just over a week now and I am still waking up at 4am but no matter. I think it is harder to adjust when home because now it’s quite dark and the adventure is over. It’s school drop off, pick up, grocery shopping and vacumming. It’s avoiding my studio and worrying about the too many houseplants I have to keep alive.

The last month has been a transformative. I’m dropping a few habits and some decisions have been made for me so I’ve just got to go with it. But doesn’t travel do that for you? Give you a bit of perspevtive and a shove into another direction. I planned a lot of this trip which I’ve never done before and boy I got a lot of things wrong but I learned a lot.

We were in Edinburgh for less than 24hours, which was my first mistake. Edinburgh is an amazing city, and being the end of spring it was very green and exciting to be there. We were originally meant to stay a couple of nights however I had wanted us to go to Fair Isle, but accommodation was only available for two days after we landed. I switched up our plans to stay in Edinburgh and Inverness one night each and then head out to the Isle. I knew it was a lot but Fair Isle is remote and you’ve just got to go with it. I’d wanted to stay at the Bird Observatory as my reasons for visiting was to see the wild life. Sadly earlier this year it burnt to the ground. I am truly sorry for them and I hope they are able to rebuild. I re routed our adventure to visit Orkney Island, which was a little easier to get too and had more options of places to stay. I can’t even begin to describe our time there, Gene had found an Inn and it was a unique experience in the best kind of way. One that I am grateful to have had. I don’t think our stay on Orkney would have been quite as special had of we not stayed there. I will post some drawings about this place in future.

Edinburgh

 

Museum of childhood, Edinburgh

 

View of the Scott Monument, Victorian Gothic style. Dedicated to Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott.

Before we departed Edinburgh we visited an art store because that is important and behind it was the Greyfriars kirkyard. It was very pretty, filled with community herb gardens, birds, squirrels and full of dark history.

Perfect.

The Witches’ Well

Then things were a little less fun because there was miscommunication. We got lost so I won’t write about that day though we did end up having a comfortable sleep and that is important.

Orkney! I have so much more to say about this place but as I said above, I’ll write about that later as I have more little drawings to add. I will say though that I got to see some puffins! It was at the end of our second day, and I admit that I had been dragging the family about, combing the seacliffs looking, looking, looking. Bloody bugs in our faces, hot sun on the backs of our necks and wind that could steal your breath right out of your mouth. I was really enjoying the different kinds of seabirds and coming to accept hey, we weren’t going to see the puffins when, like a gift, a little pair landed on a rocky ridge right beneath me. First thing I thought was that they were so much smaller than I had expected, I couldn’t believe they were real. Then, as in most of my dreams, I reached for my camera and couldn’t get a good shot, but no matter. I whispered for my daughter to come quietly and oh the joy of pointing them out to her. Not long before this sighting I had been talking with her about patience; ” bird / animal/ nature watching requires a lot of patience and respect“. We then got Gene to come and see and I managed to take some OK photos. A razorbill also decided to join them, which is another magnificent sea bird.

What a goddamn gift.

Next stop was Ullapool, we were so tired and very lucky to be staying with a lovely little family so Kidlet got to spend most of the day playing in the trees with another little girl. There was a very special tree I have done a few sketches on, again, that’s another post for the future.

Ullapool is a beautiful town; red squirrels, purple flowers and bumble bees, beautiful loch views and the seafood shack. Again I wish we had stayed a couple of more nights!

We moved onto the Isle of Skye. Which was a place we were told to go but definitely didn’t expect it to be as beautiful as it is. How can you when you’ve not seen it before.

I drew this there. I didn’t walk up to this area. I should mention that I was still really sick with whatever this nasty virus is. I thought that that would be the death of me but then we did an accidental hike afterwards and that well and truly took the life out of me. We walked ( most of ) the Quiraing. Oh my goodness, words will fail me so I’ll post drawings.. again, another post.

I sketched this in the car from isle of Skye to Oban.

Last stop in Scotland was Oban. Such a great town, we had a good time looking around and went on a little boat trip and saw some seals. On Isle of Skye I had wanted to do a wildlife boat tour but as I read about them it talked about how they fed the wildlife. I’m unsure if that that is ok? So because I wasn’t sure I decided not to do it. This little trip we just observed the playful and very pregnant seals. That is more than enough.

Anyway, there’s more to come as we stopped in England for a couple of days and Wales for the best part of a week. Also there were more drawings but I didn’t include them as there’s just so many. I’ll break them up into different posts when I can as I very much want and need to Get Back To Work.

 

Speak soon and thanks for reading

Lily Mae x

 

 

Greetings

I have just returned from an amazing adventure in Scotland and Wales with my little family. I am still unpacking and sorted my head out. How awful are plane trips and all the security and single use plastic!  😛

Very happy to be home and itching to get my studio set up and back to drawing.

Sketches and the like soon ~

 

Thank you Ma for feeding the cat!

 

For The Joy

I have lots of different little drawings that I do that don’t go to the gallery in Melbourne. An important part of my practice is to be consistently drawing. Which means a lot of it falls outside of the more planned and thought out works for bigger exhibitions.

Of late I am being asked by more and more people what I plan to do with these drawings. They are different to the more well known works but they still have something. This sort of work I really begun back in Germany in 2011. So it’s had a few years to work itself out and I’ve incorporated it into my everyday life so there is almost always something in the making. Even if it is shit and I don’t share it. 😛

To be honest I am not sure what I can do, and also on this honesty ride if I think too much about it it makes me feel a bit deflated. Australia is hard yakka in regards to the arts, regional towns even moreso. ( Putting it mildly, my friends ) There’s so many things you’ve got to be decent at as a practicing artist and even if you’re good at a few of them – it’s never enough.

And

If

You

Have

Children

It

Is

Even

More

Shut

Off

To

You

.

So for now, I’ll make my drawings, and maybe we’ll see what we see in a few years to come. I’ve hundreds of little ones, safely in a box my husband made for me. A few in frames as Daughter has claimed a few of her favourites.

Mount Clear, after the fire Lily Mae Martin 18x25cm. Ink on cotton paper 2019

Botanical Gardens

Botanical gardens

 

It’s before dawn and I’m up doing admin stuff so when I get Kidelt off to her day of school I can just draw. There is always a lot to do, and it’s tricky trying to do many things well. I’ve really been trying to step out of my bubble and be part of things but I’m also aware that outside of family and art I have little to no time left. It won’t always be like this, but it is how it is at this point.

Recenely I recieved a phone call from an artist I connected with over instagram many years ago. It blew me away as I didn’t relaize how much I needed that chat. She sparked the fire in my belly – in regards to making art and you know having to do things a little differently because we are both mothers but hey, we can make it happen. She was full of ideas and sounded so enthusiastic – it caught on.

Thank you Jasmine, you are a true treasure!

I’ve been working in my studio on a project I can’t write about or share with you at the moment, but that’s ok. It’s nice to have focus and to do things a little differently. So you’ll just have to put up with the drawings I do of my daughter for now. There’s quite a collection. She’s turning nine this year. We’re about to head off on a family holiday so this space will be quite until mid June.

Thanks for reading and all of your support.

 

Inky Dinks

Again I have been overthinking social media and worrying about what I post and trying to only put up finished works etc. But that’s not true to an artists practice, for every decent drawing there’s a heck of a lot of sketches or smaller drawings that may not be as refined. Look it’s school holidays and that means I get to be playful with things rather than doing the same thing everyday.

Shadow Poppet 

 

Me: “Kiddo you can’t leave that there, please take it off..” Kiddo: “But it’s a kitty, and I made it” Me: “It’s slime and it’s on the coffee table. Clean it up. Now.” Kiddo : “OK then, but can you draw it?” Me:

 

 

Splotch Kitty 

 

Sir Boots

 

Ink Splotch Swans

 

Self

 

Daughter

 

Currawong / Magpie 

 

Weekend drawing that failed 

 

Monstera Deliciosa that was my father in laws.

 

So that’s a lot but not all. 🙂

More soon!

Self in paint

I’ve set myself the task of painting a self portrait each day of the week this week. It’s been an interesting, boring and infuritaing task but I’m sure it’ll do me good. Most are done during my post gym time – before I have to do everything else.


 

 

My day in red was a painful one. I somehow managed to make myself do this. Powered by panadol and coffee – but it is a good reminder of how far I have come on my period journey, what my surgery has and has not achieved. Some days, you just gotta rest.

 

This one feels a little pompous. Could it be the pose? Could it be the hair? Could I just be really good at putting yself down? Probably all of those things.

 

And then I have to rush this morning, so I did a quick one in ink.

Not sure I love any of these, but that’s ok.