Nice things and Sammy

Yesterday I pushed myself to open up and be true and today I feel so much better for it. How precarious are feelings?

I like to take a lot of photographs so I thought I’d post a few favs from recent months.

Drawing at the kitchen table, banana bread and Kidlet’s toilet roll craft.

Kidlet’s jellyfish – this just makes me so joyful.

Little fingertip love heart things made from part of an egg carton for daddy.

Let me tell you about Sammy. A couple of months ago, morning before school, we heard a yowling from out the front. Thinking it was our Kitty in distress we ran to the front door to find this guy curled up around one of the pot plants. I checked him for a collar, there was none. I tried to encouarge him to leave and find his way home, but he was lost. So I took him to the local vet. He had no micro chip and he was then taken to the animal shelter as a stray. I put out some photos on social media and a few people went to see if it was their cat, but no one claimed him.
He was a friendly guy, just under one years old. So we took him in and our other cat hates us. Perhaps they will bond through winter time? We will see.

I’ve been learning to drive. It has been a long time coming. I look forward to being able to explore so much more once I am granted a license.

These are bricks we bought from a fella who has sourced them from all over Victoria. We are using them to secure garden beds as well as to build a pathway. There’s some very old ones in there. It’s pretty amazing to be making new things from old things.

I went out bush with a pal for her science things. I’m not sure I was much help but it was very interesting and beautiful and exhausting.

I can’t remember why this photo was taken, it was some months back. I do make good work, I just need to keep on at it and just not worry so much about Art World.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for believeing.

I Am Lost

May as well be clear – I’ve had a read over my posts this year and I am doing a lot of alluding to but not being clear about. My daughter has been very up and down with her health all year, which resulted in a hospital stay about a month ago. It has been completely and utterly heart breaking. How do I best support her?
Navigating the medical system is a skill in itself. I feel like we have stepped into this whole new world and we are still trying to get used to it. At first I thought it was a matter of finding our way back, but I don’t think this is the case, I think we are meant to be heading in a different way.
She’s pretty amazing, my girl.

It has been building up for a while and also, running parallel this, my self confidence has taken a few big blows this year. So I don’t feel like making work or when I do, I don’t feel like sharing it because I am riddled with more doubt than bravery. When art making is so tied up in your identity, as it is with mine, it is very difficult to be objective about rejection and feelings of being left out of everything.

What do I do to make things move forward? How do I get into / involved in things? I thought it was just a case of make work and it’ll happen but I am making work and not much is happening and maybe I am just shit and this is all just shit. WHY doesn’t this come with a handbook? I am so stressed.

I am overthinking everything to a point where I can hardly interact with anything at all.

Is it because I don’t blur my personal professional lives together? Is it because I am a woman and I am thinking about femaleness and this country hates femaleness? Is it because I am similar to others maybe and that there can only be one? ( There’s room enough for us all, right? ) I don’t know. Art pathes are not linear. I went forward last year and this year I just blurred right out. Slipped through the cracks.

I am trying really hard to walk these paths and do so with some grace and keep making despite it all. But I am feeling lost, I am feeling rather disparaged. The people who have reached out to offer support mean so much and I hope my accumulating failures are not too humiliating to watch!

OK, back to drawing. I only have two more hours today.

A grunt, a whoosh

I am trying to read a book, by an Australian author who is quite well renowned. I have a few of her titles about the place. She writes shorts and novels and I think I have enjoyed a story or two in the past. But this small novel – novella – is hard to get into. The preface, not two pages long, has lost me in the details; sister who is an aunt who is the middle sister and then there is the wife, the youngest and then the eldest and then there’s Grandma and a woman, also a sister who’s lost her personality to marriage and the man she married to is the one that is speaking. Or something.

Reading seems to be harder and harder for me to do. I can’t find any time between all the roles that I play out each day. There’s my roles and then there’s the duties that come with them and then there’s also my feelings about these things and sometimes my feelings can be so overwhelming I can’t even dress myself and then there’s all the stuff you can never account for because life is life and it will do what it will. I try to control so much because I feel responsible when things do not go well. If things go well, no one notices and I have feelings about that also.
People say read a book to relax but what if the book is hard? What if it’s work and I am not sure I want to work for it because if it is shit my gosh I’ll take that personally. I have very little fucking time.

I spend so much time sorting – through memories and feelings about them, working out who I want to be and what I should work towards. The dried herbs and spices, the tupperware cupboard, the linen and the old paintings that I’ll keep and the ones that I pull off of the stretches and hurl into the bin. Countless shit drawings I have done in life drawing classes. The dresses I’ve had since my early twenties, my wedding shoes, the surface of my dresser. No matter how much time I invest in the act of sorting nothing seems sorted. Nothing seems any more clearer to me. In my mind I try compartmentalize and some days I still get lost in the clutter.

Today I’d like to hit pause on a few of my roles. I want to not worry about the time I’ll invest into a short book, if that time would be worth it or not.
I’d like this heaviness to lift. Like when he asks me a question I can look him in the eye, like a regular sort of person and answer in words rather than the sound of me forcing air up through my throat. A grunt, a whoosh.

So this is what happened during page 5; I opened my computer and I smashed out these words and only walked away twice. I’ll post it on the blog and I’ll make a cup of tea and I’ll pick up that book, again.

Painting on the floor

My studio, my house, my life is a little all over/ on top of the place at the moment. I have to sort through things and straighten things out but have no time. When I do get time I make work – I wasn’t prioritizing it at certain points this year and I can’t have that.

I’m an artist, no one will make that time happen but me.

I’ve been meaning to paint this year and it had not happened. I stopped making excuses last week – stopped worrying about if it would be good or not and went up to my studio and bloody painted and it was liberating.
I did it on the floor as all desk space is currently occupied – some with works on paper in developement but mostly just covered in books and paper and gosh knows what else.
Not ideal, as my bum and back ache and there’s a lot of cat hair up there – but it’ll do. I’ll paint and then when I have the time, I’ll tidy.

Priority. Paint.

I started this one in Tasmania, just as a study of texture and colour. I am quite a fan of this; the vibrancy, the slight abstratcion of colour and of form.

Just little study of mushrooms I came across on a walk to a waterfall.

I did this one in Tasmania, just trying to explore form and colour but have them emerging from a very dark ground.

I did this in my studio here, just really trying to push myselfin terms of application and colour.

This wee one is 4×6 – not finished yet but close to it. It’s one I have done most recently, I think it is pretty special. More to come.


I’ve been hiding.
All year.
I’ve been hiding from events, from art, from people, from me, from what I want in life. I’ve taken some risks and there’s been some spectacular failures. I’m using my health, my daughter’s health ( a chronic condition ) as something to hide behind. And I know me, I know this is what I’ve been doing and I said that’s OK, you can do that in winter. But it’s no longer winter, hell how the heck is it October already?! It’s OK to have some hiding time, it’s OK to step back, espeically in winter – hibernation and all that. But it’s not OK to deny myself some things in life because I’m scared or because I’ve messed up or because things are hard.
So I have to step back up, be brave, take risks. Get drawing, get making, get driving, get traveling, get out there and do life because that’s what I’m meant to do.

Pieces of me, you – all of us. Small drawings.

While pulling together a new body of work I am trying to find words for them also. Which I do accept I have not always been good at – I am terrible with titles but sometimes, I get it right. I try. What are the rules anyway? I don’t think anyone will tell me.

Here are some small drawings that have come into being in these last few weeks – more to come

01, ink on paper, 15x19cm

02, ink on paper, 18x25cm

03, ink on paper, 18x25cm

04, ink on paper, 18x25cm

05, ink on paper, 18x25cm

Happy drawing times –

Social media head melt

Hello – it has been a while.
It’s almost mid August and I find that this month is always such a slog. It’s the last of winter and my little family’s routine is a little off kilter for us all, but we are getting through. Modern family – move further away from the big smoke, meaning longer commutes and everyone misses everyone.
I’ve been working on a bunch of drawings, they are taking their time to articulate and I find it has also become a skill; to let that articulation have it’s own place and take the time. What I mean is, with smart phones and social media I can become ( and I know I am not alone in this ) caught up in getting the right lighting and angles for a photo for instagram, rather then staying focused on creating. I am trying to redirect my focus. I feel like the largest part of my art ‘career’ ( and parenting journey ) has been hugely impacted by social media and I don’t want to bang on about all the negatives, there’s already plenty of that going on, but I am trying to reshape it to fit in better – rather than dominate and direct.

Gosh – is any of this making sense?!

Anyway, I am here and I am making and I am waiting on news and making plans. More art to come soon. Soon as within a few months, not internet soon as in a couple of days. How distorted has our sense of time become!?

Here is a drawing of Kidlet with ears on. Shes’ the best and I love her.

As yet untitled – new drawing

I had a title, but I have completely forgotten it. If I explained the month that I have had, it would make sense why. But the details are boring. Point is, I did the drawing and here it is. It’s part of a new little series that I am working on. I am pretty excited about the blending of my two loves into the work – body and land.

For now she is Fern Girl.
By Lily Mae Martin
56 x 75cm
Ink on paper

I am due to have an exhibition at the beginning of next year. So I will be off working hard to produce new works. Really excited about it.