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.


Sometimes baking with children can be infuriating. I have ideas about how things should be – especially things like how the cookie should be shaped, and Kidlet has her own ideas. We butt heads – she sometimes refuses to read things from the ingredients list or pretend she can’t find something because she can’t be bothered. I’m probably a bit yelling and militant in the kitchen.

We are forever arguing about tying her hair up because long, loose hair is a hazard.

But we make some bloody good cakes and cookies and pies together and I am sure she is getting something from all this, yes? Apart from Mummy can be yelly and won’t let me lick everything, all the time.


Reflections – a safe place


My studio is a tidy garage, painted mostly white with corrugated polycarbonate roofing. Not well insulted but it’s a mild day and the light in there is spectacular. Bright and clear. My model is a young artist and a mum, she’s come over from tassie to stay a few nights with a friend and to model for me. Daughter is three – she’s got short cropped hair, wears a striped top under denim overalls. She’s cute as hell.

My model is nude, I photograph her in a couple of simple poses, then she stands and faces me front on so I can paint from life. Daughter wants to be with us, why is mummy’s friend naked? We giggle in delight at the question. There’s a gentle knock at the door, we welcome her in.

I’m sitting on the ground, painting. Daughter crouches behind me, hand on my shoulder to steady herself. She watches me looking and painting, looking and painting. Oh I really like your painting mummy  – this is such a beautiful moment in my life, I come back to it over and over.

I never finish the painting, but I am still hopeful to make something of it oneday. 

A year on and I’m at my friends house, a few blocks from me. She’s pregnant with her third child and we had talked about my drawing her. She sits nude on a green chair in the living room, her two children play about us as I’m drawing their mother. They are a little confused but it’s soon pretty normal, kids adapt pretty fast;  their mother naked and my drawing. I’m still new to drawing people from life away from the university setup, I’m very new to doing it with the kids about but it works. It’s relaxing, and a little funny – I will keep coming back to this moment too.

I approach this painting different as well – relaxed and open. It goes on to be a finalist in a lucrative art prize. I don’t win, but I get an honorable mention and it’s published in the Guardian.

It hangs in the house that we own now,  in the good room.

Two years on – a young woman I was tutoring in Melbourne comes up for a lesson. It’s a beautiful autumn  day and I take advantage it and set up a still life lesson outside. I’m dabbling in plant growing and arrange some things for the student to draw.  After she leaves Daughter asks if she can have a painting lesson too. It’s gotten cold to we move it inside, to my half studio. I setup an easel for her, some watercolours. I arrange the plants and she does one of the most incredible paintings.

I am completely blown away.

In my current studio, the one that I have had for three years now – we’ve painted and drawn together through many mornings, days and nights. In our pajamas, when we should be eating breakfast, when we should probably be doing something else..

This is the safe place; the place that gives meaning, purpose, direction. When you no longer worry about if you’re drawing is good enough, what people will think, when you accept that you will probably do more bad drawings than good ones – then you really have made that safe place for yourself. When you see people’s real bodies, learn their stories. When you can be in each others space but making your own things. She can talk to me about the big and the little things, or we listen to podcasts about science and biology while she draws a unikitty and I draw another dead tree ( or another naked person.)  She’s cross at me at the moment because I won’t draw from my imagination. I say oh well, this is my thing.This is what I do and I do it how I do it. She’s not satisfied with that, but that’s ok because I’m her mum and she’s meant to disapprove.

I don’t know how to conclude this, I wrote this on the train ride home. It’s a long journey with patchy internet reception. This all came to me, probably because I was talking to someone today about how much motherhood in interwoven through my work, I’m generally too wrapt up int he art making and making new work and trying to get my work shown and sold to really refelct upon the larger body of work that I have created.

Thank you to those who model for me, thank you to little A for drawing with me. It is so very precious.


Sketches – strange garden, fearless girl and an Escher pie


I’ve still been slack updating but have been very happily making. Can you believe summer has ended ( but has it really ) and now we are plowing our way through March. Such a productive summer holidays, I like to keep activities – the schedule – open for some nice relaxed times together. Life is to be enjoyed, creating together the most heart filling things I have ever done with my time. Though, Daughter still gets cross at me because I don’t draw from my imagination ( and I don’t use colour and why does everyone have to be naked in your art all the time? )

Look, kids will always highlight the flaws, right?

Here’s some sketches mostly from drawing with my daughter but also one time with a drawing group here..

Daughter and I went to Melbourne to see the Escher exhibition.. I saw that the Fearless Girl by Kristen Visbal sculpture had been installed at Fed Square so I took her to see it and draw.

I made an Escher pie to celebrate!



This is a couple of the many sketches I made of the Brett Whiteley and George Baldessin exhibition a number of months back. I was approached by security and told off for using a pen and when I was polite he let me off of the hook but also said had of I not been so nice he would have thrown me out. Very odd. I left and went to the front desk to borrow a pencil because when I am at exhibitions alone, I want to be left alone.


Here’s the one from the drawing group – at the Eureka memorial gardens, it really was a lovely time. ( Gene scanned this one in, look at the wonderful job he did. Jeez he’s good 🙂 )


Here are some quick ones from a few art days at the Art Gallery of Ballarat with daughter. We both drew and crafted HEAPS. It was when Eliza Jane Gilchrist’s Strange Garden exhibition was on.

Then cafe snacks and tea time, of course, at Kittelty’s


I look forward to more drawing with my daughter days, but for now – school pick up calls..


Little drawings from lately.

I haven’t been able to write in a long time, so I’m just going to post my drawings. There’s a lot I haven’t shared, but at the moment, as long as I am making – that’s my priority.

I know stories with the drawings is lovely, details and describtions and full blog posts are ideal. I just cannot do it all. Marketing and networking, grant writing and researching ( reading, writing – why are you so hard ) There are only so many hours in the day, week, months and years. Lately I have been pretty proud of how prolific I am in my sketching, drawing and painting. And doing it with my kid too. Wow eight year olds are bloody fantastic!


Lake Wendouree, there are many birds to watch and visit and enjoy.

Ballarat, Victoria

Enviromental distruction from 100+ years ago.

Goldfields, Western Victoria

” This is our favourite tree” – Botanical Gardens, Ballarat


( Always ) Drawing unicorns – a gift for a special friend.


Sleeping through Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.




I keeping meaning to update and have not, apologies. Getting back into the new year routine has been harder than I thought. Ya know? Husband works in the unpredictable film industry and though it is interesting it’s definitely keeping me on my toes. Last minute changes are the new normal. There are other things too, but they are not my story so I’ll shuddup.

Life, hey?


Two things, I have a drawing shortlisted in the DOBELL DRAWING PRIZE

I am thrilled to be in it, this was the only prize I was applying for this year as prizes cost MONEY and heartache 😛 . This one really matters to me as it is one of the most important art prizes in drawing in this country. Many thanks to the judges Ben Quilty, Michelle Belgiorno and Simon Cooper.

The exhibition will be showing at the NAS Gallery in Darlinghurst, Sydney. 28th of March to the 25th of May. Let me know what you think if you visit the exhibition!


I have a solo exhibition this year!!!!!! All details yet to come but the key dates are:

Opening Saturday July the 27th at Scott Livesey Galleries in Armadale, Melbourne. Exhibition will run from July 27th to August 17th.

I have been working really hard on this one and am really, really excited about it.

Ok so I’ll leave you with the image that will be in the Dobell and next post I will show you some quick, smaller drawings I did through the summer holidays.

Inexorable, 105x75cm by Lily Mae Martin, ink on cotton paper- 2018
Drawing photographed by Gene Hammond-Lewis .


It’s amazing how powerful the story we tell ourselves is.

I’ve always thought myself to be limited in terms of juggling family and art, and in someways I am; the structure of  Australian arts is not family friendlly .. That’s a whole other post I could write, I don’t really want to today, I want to focus on the positive 🙂

Over this last month I have pushed myself to get up very early and begin work. 5/ 5:30AM. I go to my studio and am scratching away with the inks or pushing paint around a board until the sun comes up and the birds are awake. I have completed three of my large drawings in under one month and finished four small paintings. I’ve still had some great times with Kidlet and friends. The house is a little messier than usual but hey – that’s summer holidays and life with a kid who is endlessly creating.

I am really proud of a lot of the work I have created. It’s dark, a little wild, silly, technically challenging. I am really proud of myself.

So hopefully I’ll have some news soon.




Hello all!

It has been a while since I have written, it’s been a while since I have updated the gallery part of my website.. It’s been a while for a lot of things! Not for lack of inspiration or working making – just that work making takes up so much of my time I’ve let everything else go a bit. It’s impossible to make time for it all and I will always prioritize the actual art making over everything else.

Last year was a bit of a funny one. I think I let too many things matter – this art gig is a lonesome one and I must admit I felt excluded from things ( in this town ) and the slew of rejections ( residencies and prizes and the like ) over the last two years all caught up – just too much for the ole ego. I took it all a bit personally. It’s not so much the glory and the fame I am after ( har har )  I just want to work and be part of working and feel like I am going somewhere. Anyway, upon some reflection I thought this is a pretty bad business model, so I am stepping off that bandwagon and just readjusting to producing work, researching and exploring painting and drawing. Doing new ( not so new ) things. Far out it feels good.

I also let my Major Depression rule my life too much. When there is so much going on ( regular life ) I forgot that how I feel isn’t how I have to feel. How much effort it can take to just function, that avoiding social things to the point that I am literally hiding from people may not be the way I have to be. Anxiety hit a point where I had the shakes and just didn’t really want to be alive. But I really want to be alive, you know, because life is pretty great and I love love love my little family, animals, my garden, my friends, art!  So I got on top of that in the last bit of 2018 and I am already feeling some pretty positive effects. There was a lot of guilt around all of this too and guilt can get in the bin, quite honestly.

So here we are, summer holidays and I made two big drawings in two weeks! Just goes to show what I can do when I put emotions aside and do things.

Here’s to a productive 2019.

Talk soon.