Almost the new year

Hello. It’s nearly the end of December which means it’s going to be 2020 super soon.

Doesn’t that blow your mind?

I’m already tired of seeing all the round ups of 2019, especially the best ofs for the past decade which are all bias towards the last few years of this decade and see I am going to start ranting about it again ūüėõ

No lists here, not really a round up either but I guess I can’t help but being reflective at this time of year. More things shifted this year and that’s part of growing up, which we’re always doing – we have no choice.

I did a project where I started with reading and research, followed by site visits and being gifted with time and knowledge from some local historians. Which is very different from my usual approach to artmaking. I’ve been focusing solely on production for many years now. ( A response to certain events, which I have more of a handle on ) and while I was helping offload many large, unsold artworks from the back of a truck last week I thought I don’t need to do this anymore.¬†

I take a lot of pride in being told that I am productive and prolific. You have no idea how much of a kick I get out of being acknowledged for those things. Part of me thinks phew! I’m not a loser. Well, phew – they can see me. I still plan on being those things, I can’t not not be making in someway. I just think it is time for me to do more reading, more research. And while I’ve been exploring black and white and tonal values for like 15 years now – it’s time to complicate things with colours. Maybe. I’m not sure yet as I am still exploring and doing less of the sharing for now.

Drawing, large scale drawing and foreshortening are things I enjoy but I think I’m needing an extra challenge. You know I feel with having an art practice there is so little room to experiment these days. I think social media influences that – there’s so much about marketing¬†that comes into play with a social media presence and that¬†experimentation becomes too risky. I’ve bought into that in a big way that now I feel there is something lacking in my practice. I’m addressing this.

So. That’s me, for now. There’s two exhibitions coming up for 2020, one solo in Ballarat, Victoria and another group in Melbourne. I’m still undecided if I’ll enter prizes and the like, I didn’t in 2019 and you know what it was pretty great. I see the value in them, but¬†definitely not for every year. Don’t let what you see online fool you – those things cost a lot of money for artists to enter and participate in. It isn’t a sign of success as an artist but a sign of privilege. This is not a dig at fellow artists who do the prizes, not at all – you do what you think is best.

Here are a couple of photos that Gene Hammond-Lewis took in my studio last week, with the Kidlet as well.


Thank you for reading, thank you especially to everyone who has encouraged my art practice this year. Especially to Gene and my little – not so little – daughter child, A.

Stay hydrated and safe this new year – talk soon.

LMM xx

birthday party

Hello there neglected blog and website,

What a time it has been. Things have been challenging and it’s easy to get negative about it and give up, but I don’t want to do that.

So instead of getting lost in all that I just wanted to share a little watercolour I did, I’m going to paint a whole lot of things in colour for my lounge room. Gene built beautiful book shelves in there this year and as I went to hang things in there I stopped myself and though no, no we need colour!¬†

I really want to work in oils, but not yet. I will get there. I just want to work in the home at the moment. Watching nailed it with kiddo or when waiting for things to cook/ wash/ dry/ etc.

It’s important to hold onto the little and beautiful moments in life, of which there are many if you just look.


Little drawings – update soon


I’ve been working very hard and yes my website needs to be updated with more recent works. I want you to know that that is happening, it’s just I’ve a deadline looming and I need to get a tremendous amount done before I can do things like fiddle around with websites etc. But it will happen and then I will be able to show you the work I’ve been making over this past year.

In the meantime I thought I’d share a few drawings I’ve done but aren’t part of my coming show. Oh and sketches too because I like them.

Be well!

Salmon Rocks, West Cape Gippsland.

More to come about this very special part of the world.


Alice, a gift for a dear friend.


Dear hearts – school holidays

From the sketchbook – sketching J sketching


V/Line sketches – man sleeping


V/Line sketches – train!


A gift for another dear friend.

More soon!


Drop By Drawing NGV

Hello Blog, it has been a while and I have been meaning to write – how are you?

I have been very busy with art making – it has been absolutely fantastic. I am getting this time management thing down, mostly. I mean, I don’t blog anywhere near as much as I used to and social life – what social life. But listening to Phillip Adams on Conversations¬†has inspired me to keep on at it.

I have a few things coming up:

Monday the 16th of September I will be speaking at the Zart Nurturing Creativity Conference. I’m on after Michelle Hamer in the afternoon. LINK¬†¬†

Sunday the 22nd of September I will be hosting Drop By Drawing at the National Gallery of Victoria. It’ll be on from 2PM to 4PM, in the 18th century gallery, Level 2 NGVI. It is free and will be fun so please come for some or all of it! LINK

I also wanted to write and thank everyone for coming to my exhibition:

Thank you to Clementine Ford for writing about my work, thank you to Scott, Sophie and Amanda at Scott Livesey Galleries for everything. Thank you to Vault Magazine for the write up. Thank you to my Gene for everything you do for me and my art. Thank you to all who came, promoted, talked about, and bought the art!

Lastly while I prepare for my public speaking engagements, here is a drawing I did of Fudge the 8 month old wombat I met last week:




Elucidate exhibition opening

Thank you so much to everyone who came down to celebrate and look at art on Saturday. I didn’t stop talking for the whole time! I’m really thankful to everyone, I know a lot traveled some distance and juggling things like work, family, babies – toddlers!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thank you to Scott, Sophie and Amanda for everything!

Thank you Gene for the photos and the apple crumble and – everything!

Eluciate runs until Saturday the 17th of August. I will be in each Saturday as well as some other days during the week if I can manage it.

Scott Livesey Galleries – 909A High Street, Armadale, Melbourne.

Here is an online preview of the work ELUCIDATE 







Online preview of Elucidate exhibition


It’s been a busy week of installing and getting exhibition ready – Elucidate¬†opens tomorrow 27th of July 1PM to 3PM

Here is the link – click here –¬† to an online preview of the works, for any questions and sales please email the gallery or call them:

T: +61 3 9824 7770

The exhibition will be on display until Saturday the 17th of August, I will be coming in to visit when I can during this time.

Hope you get to see it!

Lily Mae

Words will always get you into trouble, just draw

A lot to process, thankfully I have picked up the pen again. For drawing, not for writing. Look I say it like it has been a long time, it’s been two weeks. It has been school holidays and I’ve put things down to do stuff with my kid. I’ve really enjoyed it, I think she has too.

Words are too obvious anyway, they kick start quick reactions rather than creating space to look and think, absorb. Search for meaning rather than having it spelt out, or something like that.

That has been my experience anyway and like so many things yes I will disclaim – I mean in my own experience.

Kindness doesn’t seem to be the human default, does it. We’re very good at searching for the flaws/ weakness in another person, use that as information.¬†It doesn’t cost to be kind, but perhaps it won’t get a couple of cheap laughs like we so need at a dinner party.

Anyway, I feel a huge urge to write but I will go to my studio to draw it all out instead.


Elucidate exhibition, July 27th – Aug 17th 2019. With words by Clementine Ford.

Above is the beautifully designed invitation to my upcoming exhibition – Elucidate.

It opens Saturday July the 27th at 1 to 3PM and the exhibition runs until August 17th. At Scott Livesey Galleries – 909A High St, Armadale, VIC.

I was also very lucky to have Clementine Ford write a piece about the works – it was really ace of her to give me the time and words. Thanks CF.

Elucidate by Clementine Ford

The first time I saw Lily Mae Martin’s work, I was overcome by a range of different feelings. Terror. Pain. Anxiety. Sadness. And amidst all of this, the overwhelming sense of recognition. Martin speaks to an unspoken aspect of womanhood and motherhood in particular that is so often ignored. Her work is confronting and brave, unshackled from the fear of niceties that women so often feel we need to conform to.

The sense of being bound and restricted is common in Martin’s pieces, and Elucidate brings this to the forefront. Her representations of women shielded by their hair and tethered in ropes call to my mind the image of Medusa. Mythologized as a monster and enemy to men, Medusa’s story has been used for centuries as a warning to women who exist outside of the margins of social acceptability. Martin explores the idea of the monstrous feminine, using sparseness, shadow and the imagery of shackles to conversely represent women in our most untethered forms. The blooming bellies of pregnancy speak to a power that has terrified patriarchy throughout history. Faces sheathed in veils of hair speak to our inscrutability, while ropes binding our arms across breasts remind us of the ways this power has been brutalised and tamed. 

It’s impossible to view Martin’s work without a sense of anger. Not at the artist herself, but at what she is seeking to uncover and give voice to. Like Medusa, Martin’s figures are mythical in nature. In the age of #MeToo and riding the crest of a new tidal wave of women’s power and liberation, Elucidate makes clear what history has tried for so long to bury Рthat women are so much more than we have been taught we are allowed to be. We are complicated, horrifying, rageful, connected and powerful. What is considered monstrous in us is our blazing humanity and life. Our bodies have been abused and tormented, but we alone are the ones who own them and control the direction of our stories. 

Martin’s ability to depict so clearly what strikes fear into the heart of man is astonishing. Elucidate is a condemnation of history and patriarchy, but it is also a shattering call to arms to reconnect with our true nature. I am grateful to have been exposed to Martin’s work, and cannot wait for others to experience the revelation of self that each and every one of her pieces calls to.


Watercolour study

I’ve been very busy making, but I’m not allowed to show anything though..

There’s things coming up and taking shape and I’ll share them here when it is time.

I like this way of making, I think I’ll keep it up.



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.



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.


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