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. ūüėõ

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. ūüôā

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.

Baker

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

G’Day!

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 ūüôā )

 

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..

BYE