Where to next…

  
This is where this piece is at. More items to draw. More to cut. Where is it headed? Not sure. The process for making something is like this sometimes. 

Sometimes, it leads nowhere. 

Sometimes it goes somewhere surprisingly resolved. Not as great art or anything like that, but resolved and the feeling of it being an interesting little trip. 

I guess for now, this is a bit too early to know where it is headed. So, it’s a process in progress. Keep going, I guess.

Backgrounds. What to do with those? (3)

 

Do you know Paul Klee’s ‘Magic fish’? I came across it only recently and loved how…well…magical it looked and with mysterious wonder. That piece inspired this background. Not quite sure that it works thoug. It does and it doesn’t. It looks a bit grungy, unnecessarily so. And trying to bring all the elements together was a bit tricky. But I guess learning to solve visual problems is part of the fun.

Backgrounds. What to do with those? (2)

  
While this piece was not inspired by Johannes Vermeer, his works did cross my mind as I struggled with what to do with the background. His interiors are wonderful for the way they are integrated with any people. They just belong there. Not plonked there. There is a story that can be created. Light streams from his windows. 

Here, Chloe is talking to a bird – one I bought from an art gallery bookshelf – and wanting to make sure it was comfortable. It had fallen off its perch and had been hanging upside down for some time, gathering dust. 

Catching children engrossed in an imaginary world is a real joy.

Backgrounds. What to do with those? (1)

  
I’m still enjoying using this lolly coloured watercolour set. Not sure what to say about this piece except that I wanted to work out how to break up a background. Not sure about you, but I often get stumped with the background. 

Often I leave it white; other times I make a mess. 

This background is a’collage’ of aspects of my loungeroom. And yes, there is quite a bit of yellow.

Pushing through

  
A thing I have learnt from swimming every morning for the last ten years or so, is pushing through that feeling of ‘I don’t feel like it.’ This happens especially on cold and windy days. The reverse is now the case. If I don’t go for a swim, my body ‘complains’ and says ‘see I told you so, you should have gone. You’d be feeling much more refreshed.’ 

Nothing more annoying than a wingeing inner voice. To avoid that, I swim.

Drawing can be like that some mornings. Some days when I feel rather uninspired with drawing, I do something like this. Grab a pen, book and draw something in front of me. More often than not, a focus takes over and very soon a drawing of sorts appears. I think it helps to just keep the excuses at bay by using whatever is on hand.

The wonky vessel on the right, by the way, is a light fitting I found in an op shop for $4. I suspected there was a missing ceiling attachment thing but thought in a worse case scenario, it will work as a ‘vase’. And it does. Well…it doesn’t leak.

Here and out there in Murwillumbah

 Have you ever visited Murwillumbah? No? It’s a small town in the far north of New South Wales – gorgeously lush and with the Tweed River flowing through it. 

When you stay with friends and they are busy in the morning doing this and that, it is a great time to sit and admire and remember the view with a sketch. This is from their back porch.

This is what I wanted to remember:

– The size of the magnolias remind me of the warmth and generosity of heart I felt through the conversations with various people I met over the weekend.

– The wire gate, fence, timber parts gathered from here and there reused creatively to make spaces for guinea pigs and chickens.

– And out there, in the wider landscape there are cane fields and mountain backdrops. 

Thank you Leah, Neroli, Ena, Reuben and all your delightful friends.

A Chinese garden

  

This cheongsam came to my mother from her mother-in-law, my paternal grandmother. I love the tree-like motifs, gourd and flower motifs – kind of like a Chinese garden. Makes sense to me. 

One of the motifs, a gourd, is an auspicous motif to mean fertility and prosperity. I am being very shorthand with that description but you will find a much more eloquent and elaborate explanation at Gourds in ancient China. I am guessing that one of the flower motifs includes the peony, as prosperity and wealth would be a must in Chinese culture.

This kind of embedded meaning in fabric can be an effective way of handing down bits of a culture from one generation to another or one culture to another.

Looking back

  
It is that time of the year again where I feel the need to sort and cull. Always the same mutterings – ‘too much stuff’. And yet, when travelling I am able to survive quite well on 7 kg of luggage for a 4 week trip. But the minute I stay put, stuff just seems to accumulate.

Anyway, what has that got to do with this watercolour? 

When it comes to sorting through books and photos the whole process slows right down. And in this case I stopped at a photo. Although not very good, it is enough to see a beautiful young Burmese dancer waiting her turn to go on stage. I ‘had to’ stop, to paint her to appreciate the quiet gracefulness. 

She was part of the 2015 Laotian New Year celebrations. Laos New Years day for 2016 is April 12.

Ok. Back to the sorting.

A scholar, an elephant and a succulent

Still lives – a scholar, probably Confucious, an elephant from India and a succulent from a suburban gardener originally from Iran – threads I cannot quite connect to create a story. Not yet, anyway.
So here it remains, a little picture put together from moving objects around on a garden table. A gentle start into a new year. 
I have been meaning to thank you – dear blogger – for the many little blog exchanges and the wonderful artwork shared through your posts. It makeas for a richer blogging experience. 
Thank you and I hope for you, much creativity and happiness throughout 2016.