Chinese New Year in the park

  

I really loved seeing all the preparations for the many short traditional Chinese performances. The day started off cloudy and with some rain. Fortunately the sun came out  and everything went ahead. So much to look at – the rich colours, varied  costumes and different types of music. Not a monkey in sight though!

I guess we should wish one another much health, happiness and wealth!

Book of little treasures

Came across a little concertina book tucked away in my bookshelf. From memory, I enjoyed doing these and especially where I get to the part of the drawing when the structure has been worked out and the tones just start to ‘pop out’ through darkening and also erasing.

It has been a while since I have done this kind of drawing – slow, intense looking and direct copying from nature.      

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.