Wednesday, 19 July 2017

My head is full!

Do you ever have that feeling where your head is full? This page was pretty much depicting how things were in my head - so many places I could focus that there was way too much input! I could have blanked out some of the pattern and continued with the page, but it showed my state of mind. Besides, it's an art journal, and I can just turn the page and start again.

Monday, 17 July 2017


As with most of my journal pages, I didn't have any idea where this was going. I just had fun with drips and colour, giving in to any whims that popped into my head about what to do next.

It sat for a little while before the plants arrived. The page felt like it needed something growing on it. Once the little plants were there, they looked a bit unstable, so I added tendrils like you find on climbers. There was no end result I was looking for, just the whim to draw them in.

Then I stood back. What was this page saying to me?

Things are a little up in the air for me at the moment as I look for a new direction. Home-schooling is done and I'm putting out feelers to see what might be next. Half a year has gone by and I'm still waiting. I'm just like those little plants - a few leaves have grown, but I'm a bit wobbly. I've been in similar places before and trust that I'll get through again, because the framework I'm holding on to is faith and trust that He sees and knows and has it all in hand.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Not all hearts and flowers

Reflections on the heart #4 - Love is not all hearts and flowers.

Romantic love is all very well, but it doesn't last on its own. It doesn't carry you through hard times. It may be how love starts, but it's not how it endures. Love that endures is not based on feelings but on deliberate and wilful choice to act in a loving way towards someone.

Love is not all hearts and flowers. It is also pain, mundane, and hard work.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Ties that bind

It's not always easy to live on the other side of the world from your family. Obviously, I have my husband and daughter here with me and that makes it home. But extended family and the majority of our friends are many time zones away. When people we love are going through hard things, waiting for test results, losing family members, it's really hard to be so far away. We can't turn up on the doorstep with a meal, a hug, an offer of help. We do what we can - we pray, we reach out by phone, text, email, send a card - to let them know that they are in our thoughts.

Just feeling a long way away today.

Monday, 10 July 2017

High-rise worries

It's been a little while since I pulled out my Brinno time-lapse camera. It's fun to watch your own process sometimes. One of the things I find challenging about doing these vids is that all the time-lapse work is done in-camera, so I have to do the page in one hit. This means that I can't wait for things to dry, wander off and take the washing out of the machine, or anything like that. I don't usually have a plan for a page unless there's something specific I want to get down, so I have to make decisions more quickly when I make a video. I don't have time to ponder or weigh things up over a couple of days as I would usually do. 

That said, a challenge is always an opportunity for growth. I learn things - like not trying to write over wet paint, not to put my hand down on a piece I have just applied wet media to, and to remember that colours will mix more when they're wet!

I had meant to do more of these little vids this year. Maybe I'll do better from now to December :) 


And some close-ups. In this first one you can see where I was trying to write and the paint was still wet. Never mind.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Love is patient

50 reflections on the heart #3 

Love is patient.

Love takes a breath.

Love pauses before speaking or acting.

Love is forbearing.

Monday, 3 July 2017


Whose opinion matters to you? Who do you want to make proud?

We all like to receive approbation, but its value differs depending on who is giving it. Words of encouragement from someone you respect or admire mean more than the same words from someone you don't hold in high esteem. As an artist, to be praised by another artist means more because they know what they're talking about; they have their own skills in the same area.

So whose opinion matters?

Friday, 30 June 2017

Reflections on the heart #2

In the second of my #50reflectionsontheheart I thought it would be fun to do love at first sight. The background for this was a piece of watercolour paper that I repurposed into this journal, so a lot of the background was already there. I added the face and a few marks.

I'm not sure there is 'love' at first sight. Attraction, maybe, but love? That's a whole lot more complex. We are all called to love our neighbour, but 'love at first sight' is about romantic love. That sort of love requires us to know someone. Love at first sight is more about attraction and a fantasy.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

New stuff in my Redbubble shop

New designs in my Redbubble shop today! Find them here. Get them on a mug, phone case, T-shirt, bag, journal - so many things to choose from. 

Monday, 26 June 2017

Faces progress

I don't often do faces in my journal, but I just love this one. I can see the progress I have made over the years, and I can see the difference in the faces I draw with a reference photo and those I just do on the fly. This one is the former.

Below are a couple of close-ups and then some of my earlier faces to show the progression. As I am in the process of sorting out which pages should be displayed in my upcoming SALA exhibition at Adelaide City Library, I am looking through a lot of old artwork and seeing improvement. In some ways it will be hard to display some of my earlier pages as I want to show my best work, but the idea is to show a journey.

This spread is from 2010, the earliest one that I will show. At that point I didn't have enough courage to draw in my journal. I used photos and magazine images instead. A lot of the writing is done using stamps as I was hesitant to use my own handwriting, as well.

Skip forward a bit, and this one is done using hand-carved stamps for the eyes. The features are basic, but at least I'm drawing at this point.

Another year goes by and now I can do this. This profile is actually done with my left hand. I found that by using my non-dominant hand I could silence the critic in my head. As I wasn't using my usual hand, there was no expectation of producing anything that looked recognisable. It was all a bonus :)

Skipping ahead again, now I'm confident enough to go straight in there with a brush. There is less control with a brush and no room to make 'mistakes' because once a line is there, there's no rubbing it out. There's still not much shading going on, but I'm bolder with my lines now.

And up to earlier this year. This is more than just a face - more progress. I'm also happier using my own handwriting now and rarely use stamps for lettering anymore. 

Looking at other pages, not just those with faces on them, I can see a complexity that has built up. There are definitely more layers. I'm finding my own style and gaining confidence. I just hope that the exhibition might encourage others to have a go, too.