Monday, 23 October 2017

Planning and being present

Planning ahead while still being present - that's one of the hardest things to do when you know you're moving on.

But it must be done.

We have another four months here. We can't just disengage because we have future plans. There are certain things that need to be done for those future plans to fall into place, but in the meantime we are living here and that's where our heads need to be.

We have to be present because that's how we honour one another.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Fun with shaving foam

When you know you're going to have to move your entire house contents halfway round the world it makes you pull out those things that you aren't going to be able to take with you or that you don't want to haul all that way. Going through one of my boxes of stuff I found half a can of shaving foam. In a drawer in the filing cabinet were some half used up bottles of acrylic inks. In the dim recesses of my mind was a memory of printing with both of those things.

If you haven't tried this, it's fun. Make sure you have something to put the used foam in. I used an old plate to pile it all on so that I could dispose of it all at the end. 

So here's a quick photo tutorial:

1. Squirt some shaving foam on to a hard surface. I used an old placemat this time. In the past I've used a plastic tray. 

2. Drip some inks randomly on the foam.

3. Swirl a palette knife or something similar through the ink blots until the colour is spread out.

4. Place a sheet of paper on the foam and pat down so there are no air bubbles.

5. Pull the paper up off the foam.

6. The paper will be covered in foam. Lay the paper flat on a firm surface.

7. Use a scraper to remove the rest of the foam. I have one that is wide enough to remove the foam in one swipe, but you can use a credit card/hotel card or similar.

8. Lay the sheet aside to dry.

You can continue adding paint several times or until the foam is too thin to pull a print from. Below are the other prints I took from the same lot of foam:

You can also pull a print without adding more paint or swirling it around, as below:

And a close-up:

I first found this technique in Texture Effects for Rubber Stamping by Nancy Curry.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Be glad

You can't miss something you've never experienced. Be thankful to have experienced that thing you're missing.

As we go through our last four months here is South Australia, we are savouring those things that we are going to miss. There is a bittersweet feeling to moving back to the UK. It's home, but Australia has been our home for the last eight years.

Of course, there are people I'll miss, but we can keep in touch, just as we have done with our friends in the UK.

I'll miss the big sky and the quality of light and the space.

I'll miss being able to put the washing out in the summer and bring it in, bone dry, fifteen minutes later.

I'll miss the beaches and the birds and the wonderful animals.

But I must also be glad to have experienced them in order to miss them.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Sharing the news

So. Sharing the news.

If you have been visiting this blog over the last couple of months, you will have seen a lot of cryptic pages. There have been things I wasn't able to talk directly about but needed to journal. There have been lots of pages with black areas. I don't usually use a lot of black on my pages, but I like the drama it has given to recent pages. I know it turned up on the page because of the unknown parts of what was going on at the time. You will see that this page is back to bright colour with black accents.

Because now I can share the news.

We will be leaving Australia in February after  8½ years here and returning to the UK to be closer to family. The last 6 months or so have been a time of considering and searching and praying. Lots of praying.

There's a lot to be done in the next 4 months and a lot of things that are still unknown, but we have peace about the situation. There's a lot to look forward to and a lot to be sad about, but we wouldn't be feeling the sadness if we hadn't made the adventurous leap and come here in the first place. I expect many art journal pages in the next few months reflecting on what I have learned and what I will miss.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Leaves and flowers

Flowers are showy but the leaves do all the work of feeding the plant.

Flowers are necessary for there to be fruit, but there need to be a lot more leaves than flowers to provide the food for that fruit to grow.

Behind the scenes work, day after day slog, hard yakka as they say here is Australia - it's what gets things done. Leaves have to work hard for there to be growth and a harvest.

There are times when it feels that the leaf work is all that we're doing and there doesn't seem to be much to show for it. But the season for flowers and fruit comes along eventually. For some plants the flowering season only comes along every few years, not every summer.

So hang on in there.

The harvest will eventually come.

And I'm getting my act together enough to join in with Paint Party Friday this week. Hop on over there to see what people have been creating this week.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Obscured View

An obscured view is better than nothing.

This circle looked like a porthole to me, but you can't see a whole lot through it. The view is obscured, but that doesn't mean that you can't see anything at all.

Sometimes we have to go into situations that are like this 'porthole'. We don't always know everything, but there is usually something that is known.

And that has to be enough for us to take a risk, a leap.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Under her hat

There's a lot happening on this double page spread. What's it all about?

Well, for the moment, she's keeping it all under her hat.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Beautiful things in humble places

Blessed are those who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.
Camille Pissarro.

I finished the right hand side of this spread first, and that's the side with the quote, but when I finished the other page:

I realised it didn't need any words as it embodied the quote for me.

Let me explain.

This second page made me think of a beach (even though it has a flower on it!) Have you ever looked at sand under a microscope? It is a wonder, a thing of beauty. En masse it just looks like a lot of brown granules, but magnified, it is a heap of glittering jewels. Each grain looks like a precious gem, and there are many colours and shapes.

And flowers - have you ever looked closely? All those different shapes and colours and scents. Beautiful!

And don't get me started on beetles 😊 (For more on insects, see this Ted Talk and go to As a family we often stop when we're out walking to look at a caterpillar that is wandering across our path, or some particularly beautiful bark that we just have to touch.

The world is full of wondrous, beautiful things. What are you going to stop and look at today and be blessed by?