Category Archives: Photography

Autumn, Fairy Shoes and Ticking off lists


I am entranced daily by delicious vistas of autumn light – and raindrops so big you could loose yourself in them.  The environment is exuding a wealth that beckons a generosity of spirit.  My world is alive with the magic of enticing colour, warm light & shorter days.

Within the art of  photography, there is a time of day, called ‘magic hour’ – without getting two technical the half hour after sunrise & before sunset    Light at this time is warm & soft & you can capture photos with good shadows & tonal transitions. Subjects look warm, saturated in color.  Autumn in our house has me dashing to our front verandah – camera in hand………the half hour before sunrise & after sunset the light is soft & rich & has the depth of velvet.   Shadows are deep, but the light is extremely saturated, which makes for amazing sunset shots – which we are ideally situated to capture.  Autumn is one of my great loves.

(if you’d like to read a little more about ‘magic hour’ you’ll find some good info here & here)

I have been creating a bit of art with a needle lately.  I am thrilled to say that our little princess’s quilt is finished (which you may remember was on my list at the beginning of the year)  She has just turned 2 & she is so full of exuberance & has just a mischievious little laugh.  She is a little magpie and her little nonsensical conversations and comments make you laugh out loud – such a joy!!  What’s the first thing you do when you are presented with an heirloom that has cost many hundreds of dollars & has taken 18 months to make – JUMP  FOR JOY OF COURSE!!!  LOL!!!  We love her to bits – AND OF COURSE – as her grandies – we ARE biased!!  Back to the quilt – it’s huge – it began life as a cot quilt, then transitioned (when DIL & I discussed how the precious cot quilts of the older two had become obsolete now that they were in ‘big beds’) into a single bed, then finally into a king single (when I realized that was the size they had bought for their eldest.  The final size was 66in wide x 77in long…..aka big & heavy to ‘man handle’…..but it’s done now & sick person that I am, despite it becoming a guilty obligation in the end – I am already looking to the next one!  It’s the euphoria of the finished quilt driving me – no doubt!  After the spectre of failure that makes me choke at every deadline is overshadowed by a success – I want to recreate it.

We have an event coming up at the end of May that I am creatively involved in & I have been painting, sewing & doing some watercolours, mixed media & digital work – all around the topic of feet & shoes.  I have had fun creating fairy shoes, sweet little booties, as well as creating artful invites & treasures to sell on the night.

I HAD intended to post up the patterns that I made for the shoes – but that didn’t happen, so it has to be next time!  Til then – take care………..xk


being an artist is not necessarily logical


I am always honoured to be included in Seth Apter’s blog.  Seth (who has recently published a collective of mixed media from around the world) is a hub of infomation of how artists tick – what they’re thinking, what materials they’re using – who is inspiring them – and so much more.  Being an artist is not necessarily logical.  Seth kinda gets a handle on this.  He brings together current exhibitions in his home town of New York, he ‘talks’ to artists across the globe, he IS an artist – check out his blog – you’ll be hooked!

Changing the subject, I have just gotten back from seeing the movie ‘The Vow’, where Rachel McAdams plays a young wife (who is a sculptor) who is involved in a car accident where she incurs a semi serious head wound.  As a result of the injury, she ‘looses’ a 5 year chunk of her memory – during which time she had left law school (her parents dream for her); breaks up her engagement to ‘the perfect’ guy; gone to art school……… become a sculptor (who has just secured a significant commission) & subsequently met, fallen in love with & married a gorgeous guy.  Through various toings & froings in an attempt to prompt her memory – she ends up back in her old life, living with her parents, in law school, and with the potential of hooking back up with the ‘ex’.  The thing I love about the film is that she never does regain that 5 years back – BUT her need to create is within her – & she sits in law school classes drawing studies of the human form, akin to the sculptures she was/had been making prior to the accident.  She has a ‘do-over’; yet her life (without the prior experiences) heads down a very similar path – with this art inside her needing to be birthed.  AND – amazingly – it’s actually a true story!  A bit gooey – but worth a look.

Sadly – Misty’s Open Studio has run it’s course.  It was fantastic & I feel a bit of a hole.   I have just downloaded Katie Kendrick’s  new book onto my iPad, encouraged by some other participants that this is a worthwhile purchase.  (I have to say, whilst I LOVE my iPad – I do miss ‘leafing’ through a book & the texture of pages!).  The piece above is much bigger than I usually work on – Misty encouraged us to ‘work big’ this is about 18in high x about 30in wide.  It is a combination of markers, crayons, watercolour, pens, acrylic & beeswax pencils.  It is loosely based on the work of Paul Klee – I love the way he uses colour & breaks up line & form……….but the evolution of the image itself & the form it took was inspired by Alan Alda’s quote:

‘ You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. ‘

I’m there.  My life has had so many twists & turns – some that I have chosen – some that have been life happenings………that I don’t any longer have a ‘city of comfort’  – but I must admit though – like all of us to some degree, I come carrying my own self protective wall!  So a little wilderness now and then is not entirely unwelcome! This piece of Klee’s is one of my favs – it appeals to me as a designer – a quilter – some one passionate about colour & an artist – it’s titled the highway – so it even has a tie in to this creation of mine.

I am attaching a new selection of free images for your own use & for use in your own published work, but not for sale or reproduction.  Despite significant effort – I CANNOT get them to behave – so they are appearing a bit higgldy piggldy…….they work just the same though! LOL!  ENJOY, and feel free to share the link to these with others, or on your blog. (cut & paste – )

More Lists and Free Images Too


I realized two things when I came to post this morning – firstly that I DIDN’T press ‘publish’ last week when I posted AND – my post read like something that is probably rambly introspective trash that people imagining themselves to be insightful (minus an editor) writes.  (also a hazard of posting infrequently – you don’t know where to begin to catch up your readers – if I have any of those any more!)

In several forums of my life at the moment, I am being encouraged to thankful and there really is LOTS…………one of the significant things that kept coming up on my lists were my ONLINE art friends & forums that I belong to…….you all have made such an impact on my artistic journey.  SO – my list is at the bottom of this post – but to start with a THANKYOU – I wanted to gift you some of my ‘altered’ images – to use in your own art work.  I retain the copyright, they are images I have taken myself & altered – however, I release them to you to use in your own work & your own work for publication (BUT NOT for redistribution or resale).

Unfortunately – they are not very big as I have used iphone apps to alter them, and it kept crashing the larger sized files.  They print up nicely at 6 x 4 & 5 x 7’s or even better sized as ATC backgrounds.  They will increase with a double click – then right click to save.

For those that don’t know – I am  participating in Misty Mawn’s Open Studio Workshop.  There are many adjectives that could be used to describe it (I COULD write a list!!!) but in short its the best I have ever been exposed to.  She has certainly sorted ‘the men from the boys’ as we say here in Oz and set the bar high for online courses. It is affordably priced, content rich, beautifully presented (name me one thing of Misty’s that isn’t!) – both challenging & achievable………..and YES – I am in love with her all over again!

The course covers both anticipated & unexpected inclusions like sculpture with paper clay, writing poetry, mark making with interesting mixes of materials, & other fun things.  You can certainly notice the difference between someone formally trained in art & and those that are not in the depth & intensity of material included.  If you have the chance to participate at some point – can I highly recommend it?

Having said that – and noting my post from a few months ago about ‘soooooo many faces’ – I am back to painting faces!  Of course I have returned to my first love (the start of my ‘learning to draw’ adventure began with faces in July 2008)  HONESTLY – they are 100% better than where I started……BUT I am not sure that I’ll ever get really good at this – even IF I paint them forever! LOL! (although, I must admit when ‘altered’ with my iPhone apps [as above] they look better) here is some of my work I have done throughout the 5 week course.

3 lino cuts (bud, blossoming, bloom) printed on vintage text. Pen & ink & watercolour drawings on page

inspired by summer beach trips to 90 Mile Beach, Victoria. Pen & ink w. watercolour

GHOST GUM - a linear abstract

myself - as a shape

i AM grateful…………………
for healthy children & grandchildren
for sky canvas set out before me daily (any one who has read my blog for any length of time will have seen one of our beautiful sunsets – for new readers – I have added one below as a treat!  Taken a week ago from our front verandah)
for freedom to worship
for my home
for the gift of creativity
for pristine beaches
for the clean environment we live in here
for dear friends
for the online art community
for accessible, affordable education
for the wonder that is creation
for the smell of newborn babies
for the joy of a toddler laughing
for the wonder of childhood discovery
for the pleasure of sharing a life
for the privilege of growing old with someone you love
for the freedom to choose

there are plenty of other things…………..but they will be for a list…..another day

The House of Dying


IMG_2975_resize Moving on from all of the 'metallness' I wus telling you about in the last post – now my house kinda looks like a Chinese laundry!!!!  I am doing a whole lot of dying, packaging up beautiful threads, embroideries & fabrics in preparation for a fabulous Creative Soul retreat.  My classes are with Stephanie Lee & DJ Pettitt, which I am JUST ACHING for – Bernie Berlin is also going to be there spreading her cleverness to everything she touches!  It's only three weeks away now, I booked in SUCH a long time ago, and finally it is here.  My hubbie is EXTREMELY easy going to put up with this – there is hardly a surface that doesn't have a bowl on it with dye in it, or things being laid out to cut up – or some other mess!  There are some benefits to having a messy husband – at the times when you are happy to have things messy – he's cool and it doesn't worry him.  I found out a long time ago, as long as it doesn't disrupt eating or sleeping – he doesn't care what I'm doing!  LOL!!!

Project 365 May 2008


Here are my daily photos from May for project 365.  This has been a VERY grevious month (apart from the highlight of the Art Retreat with Misty & Nina) as I have helplessly lost my grip on something really important to me and have watched a significant professional dream of mine fade & die.  I am arting a little bit,  but don’t feel like chatting.

While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates.  You must wait till it be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.  ~Samuel Johnson

Project 365 – APRIL


As I begin to write this post, I am thinking how this will sound as an archive, each month as I post my photos from 365 project I am saying the same thing!  WHERE DID THIS MONTH GO??????  Another month of my life just passed……..this month, I haven’t missed a day’s photograph for the first time.  I must say it has caused more than a little anxt with DH & my family, but so what………the pictures will still be here when I am not & they will tell tales of me!  Being a visual person, I find having photographs from each day a clear reminder of some of that day and working out what my ‘image of the day’ will be has made me much more aware of my surroundings……..I look in more detail……….I observe more thoroughly…….less satisfied with a casual glance……..My grandbabies are literally growing up before my eyes……..our little Princess is now speaking in 3 and 4 word sentances……..& our little man is running & hammering & helping with everything……he loves to be outside & his MOST fav. person in the world is his DAD! (our son)………..This month there are alot of studio & garden shots.  This is for two reasons, firstly my mobility has been limited by the injury to my knee, but secondly, I have been preparing for our Art Retreat with Misty Mawn & Nina Bagley.  I am having 4 VERY special new art friends staying with me & I have been making lots of preparations for that.  It is VERY thrilling, 18 months in the planning & finally we are down to the wire!  You would think I would be cleaning my house – but NO – DH has decided to do some plastering, so everything is in chaos & covered in a layer of plaster dust – YUK – I am locking myself in my studio with my ipod tonight & hope that the housework fairies come over night to dust everything!  LOL!!  What do you think of my chances?????  Any volunteers?????

Gothic Arch – Transition


Img_9292_resize We are in a glorious transition between Summer & Autumn – although the days are shortening, & day light savings has ended, we are having some wonderful sunny days. The sunset this evening was simply spectacular, this is the view off our front verandah……it lit the sky on fire…..I never tire of the beauty found in the colours in the sky.  Moving on from there though, I have decided I CAN be a bit obsessive!  Last week rubber, the week before catching up on skinny book (which I haven’t touched since) and THIS week, it is gothic arches.  I just didn’t realize that I had missed these little beauties!!  I am SUPPOSED to be creating something else, but I am TOTALLY stuck with it, so I am arching away – catching up on all of the topics that I have missed between a trip to NZ & a torn ligament in my knee!  OH how I HATE being so debilitated, EVERYTHING is an issue & it is 14 steps up to our front door, so especially going out of the house is an issue!  Transition_web This topic was called ‘Transitions’ & I think that many of the  artists were concerntrating on the turning of the seasons we are currently experiencing.  That is fascinating me as well, Autumn is one of my favourite seasons because of all of the stunning colours everywhere you look.  I have already done an Autumn arch last year, so I wanted to do something different.  I have created art around the transition a car makes from a new shiny ‘city slicker’ to a rusty old wreck in a bush paddock.  (AND what a discovery they are for those interested in photography when you come across one – MORE about that later!)  I painted the arches with black gesso, then on the front, made stripes of oil pastel that I blended together.  Then with a stylus, I scraped a city silhouette in to the soft pastel.  The car is one of my favs…….the new beefy looking Chrysler………….I have ‘doctored’ the pic on the back using Golden paints to accentuate the rust & ‘forlorn’ look of the scene.

I am not sure where in the world you are viewing this from, so I just wanted to explain a ‘paddock’….a paddock is a vacant block of land that is relatively unworked,  these are some of the things I have found in paddocks on my travels.  All of these shots were taken in Australia.

Project 365 – march 2008


WOW – where did March go????  Well, as scary as it sounds, I can look at each one of these pictures & almost remember the whole month……I am not really sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but there it is, a month of my life gone by……thinking about when & where I took the photo & how it came about & what I was doing when I took it makes the time past seem less transient & vapour like………..

Project 365 February


here is my first Project 365 post – My photo a day for the remainder of February – on St. Valentine’s day – the 14th I seemed to have missed filing 15th & 20th & I can’t remember what I took pics of…….so they may be filled later……  I have decided just to post them here once a month as a slide show…….Obviously having been on holidays in New Zealand, it wasn’t hard to be photographing every day & have some interesting topics to choose from, we will see how that goes now that I am back home…………so far, so good ……. if you double click inside one of the pics it will open it at & it’s bigger if you would like to see it in more detail…….oh & I have about 15 more houses to post if you are not tired of them………more tomorrow or the next day……actually I have to go to the dentist tomorrow which is the most challenging experience I face as an adult due to childhood dental trauma………so I may not be up to sitting at the computer tomorrow evening……..we’ll see how I feel………

Spring is unfurling


Helliborous_4 Blossom_in_the_rain_2Rose_in_the_rain


I have never been able to decide what is my favourite season: Autumn OR Spring.  I have the same reason for adoring them both………the colour that is constantly before my face in nature, in the garden, lining the streets.  Autumn has all of it’s gorgeous colours from my fav. palette of rich gold, muted greens, russets running into wine & port ……..then there’s (ah…..) Spring…..with it’s luscious fresh greens, crisp whites & delicate blossom Budding_tree_2colours……and volulptous fat raindrops on everything…..constantly reminding me of New Birth & Creation.  Of course the onset of spring brings with it my birthday, & my special art friend Rose_bud_2Jenene’s birthday……….(AND for her….a precious first grandbaby…… how special!!!) AND for us THIS year………our youngest daughter’s 21st……. she was born on the first day of spring so is our spring blessing!  I had a really busy weekend, however I felt compelled to stop & capture the season on several occasions, where ever I was all weekend I saw big fat droplets of Spring rain……..(so desparately needed here) precious buds, Grape_hyacyth_bulbsbulbs pushing up through the earth, blossoms & leaves unfurling……..  THIS year for my birthday……..DH has bought me new stamps from Character Constructions (the artwork of Catherine Moore) so that WILL be a fun parcel arriving in a few weeks (hopefully in time for the appropriate date)……I can’t wait to use them.  Catherine has such a whimsical look about her work and I think this will be the beginning of some fun pieces….. OH….AND…….I finally have found a local supplier of drill bits for my Dremel………SO LOOK out……..there will be NO stopping me now…….Anything that is standing still will have holes in it & hanging bits attached to it!!!  LOL!!!

PS I am SORRY the formatting of Themadteapartywebthis post is all over the shop………I just DON’T have anymore time (GRRRRRRR……..[what a WASTE of time!!!]) to play with it this morning……The Colourguru IS NOT The Blog Guru!!!  VERY frustrating process!