5AM period pain and drawing

That title just about sums up my week so far. A lot of the unexpected keeps on happening and my body clock is all out of whack – daylight savings! Title of this post courtesy of waking up at 5AM in a lot of pain, with the cat jumping on my face and me finding off the drawing above.

I’m working on bigger drawings but needed a little break from them so decided to do a little series like some of Dürer’s hand studies. He is a favourite artist of mine, I thought of two things while researching him recently.

1.) In the past it was perfectly acceptable for an artist to draw, etch, paint, sculpt, woodwork etc while these days I feel the pressure to do ONE or the OTHER.

2.) MASTER artist is definitely a word reserved for male artists.

Yesterday I had a very big day in Melbourne looking at a lot of art. I really want to write about that but my thoughts are still formulating also I am running out of time as today is also a big day and then Friday I will DO NOTHING.


Weekend in drawings

Daughter wants to go to a birthdya party dressed up as a fridge.



Little puppy that we a minding for the week.


Went to see Aunty Marlene Gilson’s paintings at the Art Gallery of Ballarat and came across these two women who talked and looked for so long I thought I’d capture the moment with a quick drawing.


I’ve been having some struggles so gardening and quick drawing is bringing me back into focus and calming me down.


A tired, beautiful little face.


Not every drawing has to come out as you planned, not every drawing has to be ‘finished’. Art is such a unique window into the human experience – I have to remember that.

bird of paradise

Earlier in the year I ran an observing nature drawing work shop at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Each class I would bring in seeds, flower and leaf samples. In the end, as it was getting colder and my flowers were not flowering I was sourcing from florists.

Teaching drawing is pretty amazing, but it’s also a battle as I just really want to sit down and draw too. I took in two birds of paradise flowers to the final class and decided to also draw it – after the class, of course 😛

This was months ago but I forgot about it and just came across it in my sketch book last week. I think it is pretty good.

Inexorable – new drawing

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


I did various studies for this drawing, and then I took my time rendering and rendering and trying out a slightly different technique to the usual. Then my kid got sick, I got sick, kid got sick again and it seems like I had been working on this drawing for so long I couldn’t see it anymore. In fact Gene and my kid both told me that it was finished and I didn’t believe them for about a week.

Titling this work was hard too, I had read various poems and birth prayers to try and convey what this work is about in one or few words, what a job.

I loved these lines from Plath’s Three Women in regard to birth

I do not have to think, or even rehearse.
What happens in me will happen without attention.

And the line from the birth prayer by Louis Macneice

I am not yet born

Judith Wright’s Women to Child

You who were darkness warmed my flesh

But as with the work and the title I have to accept them for what they are – a piece of a larger conversation, all of my works. And to not put so much on one work, one title that I can’t move forward.

When I accepted this I was happy again, though I must say the difficulty also comes from a year of very little recognition, little positive feedback – or any feedback. It gets very easy to get lost. I don’t expect to be in everything but nothing is a little tricky to navigate. So this too – makes it very hard to see my work and to keep on going.

Anyway, here we are – I did it and I am digging extra deep to keep on keeping on.


Little drawings for sale!

Hello – I am putting together a post of all the little drawings that are available for purchase from Scott Livesey Galleries

Delicate, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 18x25cm 2018


Envisage, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 18x25cm 2018


Claw, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 18x25cm 2017


Tweak,  Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 19x14cm 2018


These hands, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 14x19cm 2017


This corner, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 15x19cm 2017

Stretch, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 18x25cm 2017

Remission, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 18x25cm 2017

Hands, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 15x19cm 2018

Feet, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 15x19cm 2018

Softer Softest, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 15x19cm 2018

Hand study, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 18x25cm 2018

Foot Study, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 18x25cm 2018

Bend, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 15x19cm 2017

Nipple, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 15x19cm 2018

Somewhere Near Linda Valley, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 14x19cm 2018

Werribee Gorge, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 14x19cm 2018

Dinorwic Slate Quarry – Wales, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 18x25cm 2018

Black Hill, Ink on cotton paper by Lily Mae Martin 18x25cm 2017

For interest contact the gallery on T: +61 3 9824 7770 or email at info@scottliveseygalleries.com

Thank you!

new sketchbook

Sunday sketch – a rainy day

On Saturday I gifted myself a new sketchbook.

It’s the perfect size – the paper is not too thin, not too thick. I know it’s a good one because I’ve already filled in a number of its pages – there’s a lot of bad drawings; plants and one of the cat. But the ones I love the most are of Daughter human. There’s already a lot of her in there because she’s home at the moment.

Monday sketch – home early from school and making creatures 

I’m so thrilled to just be drawing for drawing with no real plan right now. I’ve finished a bunch of new little drawings, I’ll post about that when they are ready to be sold. Buy them!

Tuesday drawing – heidi hair

We’re all a little over the wind, the rain and the cold but I think that’s normal for the end of July on this side of the globe. To think that the place she was born in she was a summer baby!

Speaking of the place she was born – Wales-  a tree was planted there when she was born, and now there’s a fruit tree planted in Uganda. What’s a better gift in this world than children and trees! More on that in the coming months.

Stay warm and hydrated people!




Condolence. 28 drawings – Exhibition by Peter Wegner at Australian Galleries

I was pretty excited to see that Peter Wegner was exhibiting these drawings together at Australian Galleries. A few of these drawings won the Rick Amor drawing prize back in 2016. I really, really wanted to see them altogether. The collection is in a smaller exhibition space, which lends itself to being a place of calm and reflection. Which is what these tender and delicate drawings need.

Being there took me to a lot of places, I reflected on how the process of death is a privilege to be part of. How caring for the dying is much like caring for a newborn – mixed with extreme drama and the relentless monotony.

I think we are not privy to this process as much as we should be .Perhaps if we were we would keep ourselves a little more in check about what actutally matters in this life and what is the most precious – which is the time we have. Here. Together.

The drawings are delicate, intimate and fragile in subject and this is echoed with the rendering of each drawing with such a fine line. The folds of limbs and the partially opened mouth remind me of the later stages in the death process – where one can fall asleep halfway through a gesture, halfway through folding an arm or a leg. Like a beautiful little baby.

I thought about my own experience – my father in law sick and dying, being cared for in his home. I remembered things like the green paste applied to his lips and the teeth. His dry eyelids. His hands – still very much his hands while the rest of his body changed. How my daughter became scared and didn’t know what to do, didn’t know how to say goodbye. And after he died I was struck by how he still looked like him yet he looked like every other human being that has ever lived and died on this earth. I remember the body bag being zipped up over his mouth and nose and my very brief panic – oh he won’t be able to breathe, no he isn’t breathing anymore. Then I did the laundry. I washed the sheets that he passed in, the pillowcase he rested his head on. I didn’t want his partner or his son to have to deal with that, the fucking laundry.

See where art can take you?

This exhibition will stay with me for a very long time. It’s the reminder I needed about both life and about drawing. Creating things what remind me of being human, creating things with the love and respect we all need and deserve.


Lost. Feet.

I think I’ve rambled here a few times that I feel a little like I am in a transition with my work. I think I’ve been feeling this for a coulple of years too! Over the last few weeks I’ve identified ways in which I have been drawing don’t work for me anymore and then I’ve been trying to work out how to correct this.

foot, study 


This week I moved things about again in my studio and hung out a lot of old and very new works. I’m just looking at it all, being with it. See my studio is only really used when I can come up and be actively making things. But of late I’ve really been trying to re work my work habits. It’s great to be making, that’s my favourite part but I need to pull my head in to try and find some direction within the work, too.

I’ve had a pretty excellent time going over things. I have a hard time not being so emotionally attached to my works – my failings etc. I’m trying to allow myself to be critical and allow my practice to grow.

I’m so interested in many things, but there’s only so much time. I think I have to make some actual decisions.

In the meantime I’ll make some other studies and see where we will go from here/ there.