Just a quick one today – something to take with you through your day, wherever you may be. Go well dear friends,
Just a quick one today – something to take with you through your day, wherever you may be. Go well dear friends,
Here’s a quote I read recently from writer Elizabeth Gilbert. It really resonated with me because I truly do believe we all have the power to choose how we think and react to others and the people in our communities. When it comes to nature V nurture, on this one I’m definitely siding with nurture…
You can also follow other quotes that float my boat here on pinterest:
Actually, I think I may have to use a few of these more often. I especially love this one… “Be the person your dog thinks you are”
Have you any favourite quotes? I’d love to hear!
I don’t know if it’s entirely valid that I even date these posts now! I seem to be crawling to the finish line of my 30 day challenge. I think it’s safe to say I’ve blown it though, but I’m not too concerned about that! I have just had two weeks of school holidays, and as a single mum with two gorgeous energetic peeps, one can’t hold oneself so tightly to such things! I mean, there were far more important things which took precedence, such as paper mache pig making (still not finished) visits to the pool, the museum, lots of friend play dates, painting for the up and coming kids’ exhibition ‘The Sky’s the Limit”, beach walks, scootering, baking, and and and …
*phew* I always seem to need a holiday to recover from the holidays
Anyhoo, for today though I thought I’d share with you one of my latest artist crushes (I have a few actually) which is Kirra Jamieson. I love that this chicky is an Aussie. Why? Probably because so much of what is hip and out there in the world often feels like its from the US or Europe, and it’s just really encouraging to see home-grown talent rockin’ it on a world stage. It makes the distances between seem shorter – you know we really are tucked away from the world down here!
You may or may not know that one of my favourite artists is Charlie Harper – here’s Kirra’s take on one of his great works…
I’ve used white to block out areas before, but never black. This has given me new inspiration…
Look at those sumptuous colours on that big purple canvas! I LOVE purple, lime green, teal, yellow and blue. Striking isn’t it?!
Well, I have my own works to attend to – something involving flamingos, little dogs and cute houses under blossoming jacaranda trees. There may be a hammock involved, but I’m not sure yet, and possibly a funky teapot as well. Stay tuned for that one!
Do you know what this is???
It’s a Puff Puff and is
a sweet treat from Nigeria. absolute heaven… I was introduced to these a couple weeks ago by my new dear friend Ms B who is from Nigeria. I truly must say it’s one of my top five favourite sweets. And why? This unassuming little Puff of goodness is fairly plain, but therein lies it’s secret. Like a doughnut hole. Fluffy, lightly sweet, warm and comfort food at it’s very holiest. Put this on your bucket list folks, you wont regret it
My latest artists crush is on Ali Mcnabney-Stevens and do you blame me?! I love it when I find new contemporary gorgeous Aussie creatives – love! This piece is titled Peonies and Green Vase. Check out more of her gorgeous abstracts here.
The latest exhibition that I’ve been part of at ACDC titled 1000m2 is on it’s last days. A few of us have volunteered some time to open the gallery on the weekend which is nice. The best cafe in town is next door, and so after grabbing a coffee and perhaps a tasty snack we settle down in the gallery to chat about art, what we’re creating, how to solve a problem or hurdle we’ve come up against. It’s here that we are starting to dream dreams for our creative community and envisage bigger things. I love that a coffee, a good friend and a lounge can be all one needs to smooth a raging sea and bring back excitement and energy into my art practice. I snapped this photo of my gorgeous boy. Usually boisterous and full of spring, this day he was completely absorbed in creating and I loved that it gave the space such a sense of life. Rather than the spartan oftentimes hospital feel of a gallery, it was nice to see the act of creating taking place in this space. It gave me a sense of such calm and grounded me so.
That’s all from me today
Hmm… Yes, I know what you’re thinking “what happened to thirty days of blogging in a row?” Well that’s OK because I’m asking myself the same question! What has happened? All my good intentions have flown out the window and took a sabbatical I’m afraid. Good news they’re arriving back to their coops as I type. But seriously, why can’t I just manage one simple task like posting 30 days in a row? It’s not that I didn’t want to. But I think I felt guilty. After missing one day, I was feeling a little defeated. gosh Donna, you couldn’t even manage that!… Then after two days… really, what are people going to say about you now? And then three days rolled around and I was ready to throw the towel in because what’s the point of doing something when it turns into a drudgery with all this ridiculous negative self talk?!
Then it hit me. It’s OK. I’m a single mum. My kids are on holidays. We’ve had friends over to play. We’ve been painting boxes and gardening. We’ve been watching family movies together like ‘Fly Away Home’ and ‘Doctor Do-little’ and we’ve been cooking too. So give me a break self! So I turned the tables on all that negative self talk and spoke a little truth to myself, and it sounded something like this…
This blog-affair is a lot like a relationship. It doesn’t always turn out like we expect, but that’s OK. A relationship takes two, and it has ups and downs. Sometimes we’re hot, and other times, luke-warm. It’s perfectly OK, natural and expected The main thing is that I post because it’s meaningful, not because I have made a silly rule that at all costs I must stick to. The main thing is to approach this space with my heart ready to share. The main thing is that my family take front seat, and that this time of reflection doesn’t drag me from my first love. This is meant to compliment my family and creative biz, not be a burden.. etc etc.
So, you see I’m dishing out a little self care and taking the expectation away that I must, at. all. costs. do this thing. I mean why do something if it brings shame and condemnation right?! I still want to stick to it if possible – finish what I started and all that. But if I happen to miss a day here or there, then that’s ok isn’t it?!
And in closing, something else I’ve been a little remiss in keeping to, is my weekly regular 4192. Here’s this weeks offering from across the Great Australian Bight…
I’m going to start using a weekly theme just to make it a bit more interesting. Today’s one is an easy one – Where I am Right Now. Miss Tess first, and me below…
She was in Spotlight, I was down the marina.
Until tomorrow my lovely friends, ciao!
Well today was actually meant to be day #12 but obviously, a few things have gotten in the way of that happening! But never mind – this isn’t meant to be a condemning practise, but a renewal and re-falling in love with my blog. I suppose, like all good solid relationships we go through ups and downs don’t we?! Hearing about the tragedy in Boston just made me shy away from all media. I was so shocked and horrified by what happened, but equally so with all the graphic imagery recounting every second that I just didn’t want to be seeing it and consumed by it. I felt at a loss to articulate clearly and with some sort of meaning and intention how I was feeling about the whole event and all the thoughts that then extend to life, living in the moment, loving our families wholeheartedly etc, and so just chose not to post at all.
I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing? It’s just a thing…So that’s why there’s been a bit of radio silence, but I’m back folks! Onwards I roll, carrying love and prayers in my heart as I go. Forging into the unknown and trying desperately – with an even greater determination to not let fear rob me of joy, and of loving my family with a wide open heart, and of appreciating the great many little miracles that occur each day.
I though today I’d share with you some snippets of a painting I finished today to add to the exhibition. Lucky me, I sold the four that were there, and as one family were traveling east and had to take theirs early, I was able to fill that wall space with another I didn’t manage a whole pic as it wasn’t exactly finished, but here’s some spaces I love…
I watched a lovely movie called ‘Big Miracle’ with my peeps last week, and so I think this was born from that. There’s something in it too about being happy living in your world, despite there being beauty in others’ worlds. The grass may be green on the other side, but it’s green on mine as well. it’s all about gratitude and living with a sense of and belief in abundance.
I majored in printing at high school in year 12 and so feel deeply satiated to be carving out my own small print blocks again…
For three years now these little shapes have adorned the edges of many a canvas. Many years ago i was teaching in a remote community in the Kimberley called Warlawurru outside the small town of Halls Creek. It was staffed by the Brown Joey nuns and I remember going on a road trip to Kununurra with the principal, Sr Nellie. It was four hour drive and as we were about 30 minutes out of town, we passed a large conglomeration of boulders which she announced as being her ‘Not-far-now rocks’ From then on, they were always known as that. Now I look at those little shapes around my canvas and, realise that they are always painted towards the completion of the image. They have become my very own ‘not-far-now’ rocks…
This painting titled ‘Big Miracle’ is 17″x17″ (44cm x44cm) and is acrylic paint and mixed media on wood board. It is for sale so if you’re interested, send me a message and I can answer any questions you may have. For those of you in the area, come on down to ACDC on Marine Tce and have a gander.
For the past nine months, a group of artists and members of the local community arts association ACDC has been meeting together to organise an exhibition of new fresh works from local artists. The theme was 1000m2. Artists were prompted to seek inspiration from within 1000m of their studio doors. The opening night was last friday night – I have photos to come, but here’s a short video made by our local ABC journalists which you might like to see. One of my paintings is in the background behind Anthea as she is being interviewed – it’s called ‘The Line Up’. I’m very happy to say, all four of my pieces have sold – yay!
But the great thing about it all, although it took a long time to get a group of people to discuss, explore ideas and agree – was the sense of community and coming together with a common gift – creativity. For some of the artists this was their first time exhibiting their works, for others, not so. Regardless, it is always a time when as an artist we choose to embrace vulnerability, be brave and bold. As our hearts are transformed into paint, they hang on the wall for the world to see, and that can be a scary thing. But as is usually the case when one steps out of fear and into courage, the payment is always freedom and joy and a renewed desire to push outward and upward and stretch further into places not yet explored…
On my bedside table at the moment are a couple of great books. both awesome, both challenging and both full of aha’s and tears. One is Vula Bevalile – Letters from a Young Doctor by Maithri Goonetilleke and the other, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Maithri’s book is a collection of letters written whilst volunteering his time as a doctor in Swaziland. Each chapter is a beautiful vignette, a graceful snippet, a peek into the heart of his day spent loving and healing people back to dignity. Here’s a snippet from Maithri’s book…
“How could she be so grateful?’ I asked myself. Josephine had lost everything; her husband, her children, her mobility, her vision. Why would she cry, ‘Thankyou,’ for a bar of soap, a portion of rice, and a dull, grey storm blanket? And yet, as she continued to talk to us about her life, I began to realise, that for Josephine, gratitude was more than a fleeting experience. Gratitude was a way”
I need to stop on that for a moment. Soak it in. Marinate in those words…
Gratitude is a way.
I hadn’t realised until this very moment how much these two books compliment each other. (another aha for me!) Brene talks on shame and vulnerability and how they can rob us of living a truly wholehearted life. Brene speaks of scarcity – the ‘never having enough’ epidemic that is rife through our society. She says “We can spend our entire lives in scarcity . . . just waiting for for the other shoe to drop and wondering when it will all fall apart. Or, we can lean into the uncertainty and be thankful for what we have in that precious moment. When I’m standing at the crossroads of fear and gratitude, I’ve learned that I must choose vulnerability and practice gratitude if want to know joy. I’m not sure that it will ever be easy for me, but I have learned to trust this practice. For that, I give thanks!”
And there it is – gratitude is a practise. It is a way. A direction. A choice we take to head our lives in a specific direction. It’s not a gene that some of us a born with and others aren’t. It’s a choice.
The nice little twist to this all is that I am now also remembering (yes, I mean this very moment as I write this post! )that my focus this year in our family is on Gratefulness – a happy coincidence? I think not. There’s a conspiracy going on here Yes, back in January, I decided to make a Grateful jar which now takes pride of place on my kitchen table. We try to regularly write down things we are grateful for on slips of paper and place them in the jar. It’s my hope that when times are tough, or we’ve had a particularly bad trot, we can read these out loud and remember, and then invite joy back into our days again…So it seems that God is gently leading me down this path of learning truly what it means to practise and hold on to Gratefulness in my life. Apparently I need to revisit this one
Gratefulness, I believe, is truly the basis for living a wholehearted life. A life where everything ‘is enough’. A life where my car is enough. My weight is enough. My job is enough. My income is enough. My home is enough. My clothes are enough. Where everything is as it should be, a blessing. And where I can press into this life and know that it is full and wonderful and ultimately perfectly ‘enough’.
I’m not yet through the second chapter of Brene’s book, so I’m sure I’ll have something else to report back on in the next few weeks (I’m a slow reader!) but I can highly recommend it. Or if you’re not a reader, check out her interview with Oprah – it really is good stuff… So full of ‘aha’ moments, you’ll need to watch it with a note pad and pen, and also the remote so you can press pause and rewind to listen again. It’s so full of truth.
And I am so grateful for fresh new revelations!
I think I can see a Gratitude poster coming together
I have a confession to make. My name is Donna and I’m an art-bookoholic. I have to really work hard at disciplining myself not to buy gorgeous art books, but every now and then I can’t help myself! Today, my latest splurge arrived – but it’s all for the business right! These two are absolutely amazing – truly I am in love and am planning a trip to Portugal and Turkey right. this. minute. Well, actually, I’m dreaming up a trip, but one day it will happen!
This Easter I bought those lovely Ukrainian egg sleeves from Ebay – aren’t they beautiful! When I look at those books and those eggs I feel as though there’s enough inspiration right there to keep me going for months! And now I’m starting to think about making some really cool tile designs! I particularly want to look more into Turkish designs now. The colours and shapes are just so delicious!
Well, I think the roast is calling, so until tomorrow, take care
Just a short one from me today. This photo was snapped last week down at the beach. My little man turned 6 and I gave him this kite. We had such fun sitting there in quiet watching it flap and flow in the wind. It was a lovely grounding experience and I was mesmerized by his little face, so full of a mixture of wonder, excitement and concentration as he felt the tug and pull of the wind on the string.
As I sat there in the soft warm sand, my eyes gently closed feeling the wind and warmth on my face, I was reminded of a quote by one of my favourite artists, Gauguin. It reminded me again that the best things we see and feel are not those we touch with our hands, but that which we see and feel with our hearts…