Sunday, December 28, 2008

What Happened to Today???

Ok what happened to today? Has anyone seen it? Has anyone taken it? Looks like I had a day off. I was intending to do some artwork but then I thought I would just watch a dvd that Bob got for Christmas and ended up watching the entire first season. I totally loved it when it was on tv but seemed to miss an episode here and there. Jekyll starring James Nesbitt is absolutely brilliant. Kept me glued to the edge of my seat. James Nesbitt is a favourite of mine anyway but he was absolutely outstanding in this. Oh and I must say I did enjoy his dark side. Worth having a day off for hehehe.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sunshine and Reading

I have been reading through You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. I will be reading the book more thoroughly with a group of on-line friends starting in January. Here's a paragraph I found particularly interesting
"Our breath is the most precious substance in our lives, and yet we totally take for granted when we exhale that our next breath will be there. If we did not take another breath, we would not last three minutes. Now if the Power that created us has given us enough breath to last as long as we shall live, can we not trust that everything else we need will also be supplied?"
Did a little art today. It felt so good to get back to it. I'm working on a series of three and I will work on all of them together. They are on square canvases 61cm x 61cm (24"x24"). I have formulated some ideas while getting ready for Christmas. You know those times when you are dying to do some artwork but Christmas chores come first. This time the inanimate objects are coffee cups or things related to the joys of drinking coffee. I'm trying something a little different and so have ruled up a 10cm (4") border and will do my usual layers on this section. The middle of the canvas I am planning to apply some stained tissue paper as the background and paint the inanimate objects over this. I stained some tissue paper today in various coffee shades and hopefully will start applying it to the canvas tomorrow.
The weather was glorious today. Not hot, just pleasantly sunny so I spent some time sitting in the garden reading. The birds were singing and Jack was happily munching on a bone. While waiting for some tissue paper to dry I had a cup of coffee in the courtyard and listened to the sound of the fountain in the fish pond. All seemed right in the world.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Its been a hectic few days of cleaning and weeding and generally getting things ready for Christmas. Some of the cleaning didn't need to be done now. However while I was at it anyway I thought I'd to do those things I neglect because its much nicer to spend the time at my easel. You know those things that make you feel guilty, the things that leave that nagging thought in the back of your mind. Well its done now YAY!!! You know what I find strange, the more you clean the more you find things that need cleaning. Maybe the clean bits make the dirty stand out more hehehe.
Tomorrow I will start preparing some of the food. Make some potato salad and some roasted pumpkin salad (the recipe I got from my friend Deb). I always ask her to make it whenever we go to her place for a barbecue. Its got roasted pumpkin (obviously) and rocket with a dressing of olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, walnuts and chives YUM!!! I might have to sample some. You know just as a taste test hehehe.
I am missing my art :(. I can't wait to get back to the easel. It seems so long since I've been there. My friend Laura has been in her studio (lucky lady). I don't know how she does it. I just don't find the time with Christmas preparation.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Christmas Rush

Things are starting to get really hectic now. Trying to keep up with my everyday stuff and also do all the extra things associated with the Christmas season. Little by little I'm getting through it. Would like to still fit in a little gardening as we have a garden party for Christmas and it needs some weeding and a little pruning.
Wednesday is Vanita's birthday. We are spending the afternoon together doing some mindless shopping and then we will go out to dinner to celebrate. I haven't seen her for so long. She will be coming for Christmas and so is my other good friend Kris. We basically have open house. Bring your own drinks and a plate of food to share and we all spend the afternoon and into the night out in the garden listening to cheesy Christmas music and eating way too much. We do this on Christmas Eve because that's the German tradition. Christmas day lunch we are going to Bob's daughter and son-in-law's place. So far the weather hasn't been too hot. Fingers crossed it stays like that.
No art was done today. I'm hoping I can still squeeze in a little art time before Christmas. I'm in such a creative flow at the moment its a shame to interrupt it. Time out with family and friends will do me good though. Have to refill the well sometimes.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

She Collected Teacups

Bob's mum collected teacups. The pretty old English bone china type and she kept them in her china cabinet. When she died no-one in the family wanted them and they ended up in a cardboard box that Bob rescued and brought home. I adore them and I treasure them. They remind me of her. She always had a table cloth on her kitchen table and whenever we dropped by we would sit in the kitchen at the table. The table was in front of the window and you could see her plants that grew down the side of the house. There was a particular shrub there that had the most glorious lemon scented leaves. I still have some of those leaves, dried in some potpourri. Anyway I'm getting away from the story. We would sit at the table and she would make a cup of tea. Bob would drink his tea and then go and do some odd job. It was then that she would tell me some interesting story. My favourite story was her re-count of the end of World War 2. She told me how there was dancing in the street and people everywhere filled with joy. She described everything, the sounds, the feelings, the sights and it was as if I was there. I always felt like she knew everything. If I wanted to know something I would ring her and ask and she always knew the answer. I miss her dearly and I miss our chats at the kitchen table. The teacups I have painted aren't exactly old English bone china but I did use them as the model.
She Collected Teacups
collage, acrylic paint and conte on canvas
60.9x50.8cm (24"x20")
p.s. I have all her table clothes and now use them on my own kitchen table.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Happy Joy Joy

I woke up early this morning and got my chores out of the way. I knew if I did that I could spend the whole day on my artwork. What joy, what bliss **insert big happy smile here**. I got the background done on a new piece and have drawn on the image ready to paint. Yes, another of my inanimate object series. This time a stack of teacups that belongs to Bob's mum, but I'll tell you that story when the piece is finished :p.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Its Raining

Its summer and its rained all day. Its been lovely! However when you are in a drought you cringe at all the water pouring down the gutters and not being caught. We haven't had any real heat yet. I'm not complaining. The weather has been glorious. Warm but not hot. Our gutters need cleaning. The water is overflowing so I've got all my buckets out catching the water. I keep getting soaked but its worth it. Water restrictions mean you can't always water your garden when it gets parched in the hot summer sun so I collect every drop I can hehehe.

Tonight is the largest and brightest full moon for the year but I'm not going to be able to bathe in the moonlight as it spills through my bedroom window because the sky is overcast and the moon beams won't get through. Never mind, overcast sky means rain and that's a good thing.

I've posted a pic of my latest work. Not sure how good the image is as its been a bit gloomy for photos. Its another of my inanimate objects that I love so dearly. My work of late tells the story of human life. The everyday objects that turn a house into a home. I suppose its showcasing everyday objects and raising their level of importance. This painting/collage also displays my German-ness by using the word Kaffee (coffee in German). Mum and I go shopping every week. We love to shop at the market as readers of my blog already know. We like nothing better than to sit down in our favourite coffee shop, our trolleys laden with the week's fresh fruit and vegetables awaiting our cappuccino. We sip the hot brew and discuss bargains we have gathered and which are now safely tucked in our said trolleys. Occasionally I might have an orange and poppy seed muffin and Mum will indulge in some fancy cream filled sponge. She's told me that as a child she would see women dressed in their finery, sitting in a coffee shop and drinking coffee and how she thought it was something special. Well I consider it something special too. I love sitting in a coffee shop with Mum, talking about women things and creating wonderful memories.
Eine Tasse Kaffee bitte
collage, acrylic paint and conte on canvas
60.9x50.8cm (24"x20")

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A New Canvas is Waiting for Me

Yay I finished another artwork. Haven't taken a good pic of it yet so can't share it till I do. Its nearly time to cook dinner but I've got another canvas waiting for me on my easel. I think I will start it tonight once dinner is over and done with. Well I say that now. Usually once I eat dinner I just sit and watch tv till I get sleepy.

My daughter Julia has started a blog called My Pisces Heart. I've put it in my blog list on the side bar for anyone interested in taking a peek.

Off to cook some lamb chops and whip up a nice summer salad for dinner. Bob will be home soon.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Busy Busy

No time for a long post. I'm keeping those dust bunnies at bay, going to gym and doing my artwork. Will have a new piece to share soon I hope.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Grandma Heaven

We were babysitting Evan yesterday and we asked Zoe if she would like to come too.

Will this joke ever die hehehe hahaha

Evan invented the screaming game

Whenever I screamed back louder Evan would laugh and laugh.
Zoe didn't like this game and I got told off for being too loud :(

Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth ha!

Story time! Evan loved it when Zoe read to him.

Time for a walk.

Zoe teaching Evan how this toy works.

A little dancing is always fun.
There was so much fun, running, playing and dancing that everyone was very tired by dinner time and we all had an early night.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


The movie Australia is absolutely fabulous. Aboriginal spirituality was seen in a wonderful light and told with such sensitivity. The controversy of the stolen generation was also addressed hip hip hurray! I thoroughly enjoyed the whole movie! Its set in 1939 and shows the rugged beauty of the Australian outback up north. The cinematography is breathtakingly amazing. It has romance, it has war, it has villains, history, spirituality and the injustice of prejudice. Will definitely wait for that one to be out on dvd. It must be seen on the big screen to really appreciate the cinematography to its fullest though!

We are looking after Evan today and I have asked Zoe if she would like to come too. Both grandchildren for the whole day is grandma heaven :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lots to Look Forward to

Today I'm taking Mum to visit my sister and we're all going to an art market at the port and then off to the movies. We're seeing "Australia" and the reports on that movie have been good. Beautiful scenery from up north and a love story. What more could you ask for? I'll let you know what its like.

Been a bit slack in the art department this week. Too much socialising. Went out to lunch on Thursday with the girls from my aquarobics class. Had a lovely time and we chatted as only a group of women can. It was nearly 4pm before I got home.

Also caught up with my friend Vanita on the phone last night. Its nearly end of school so I'll get to spend some time with her. We planned going out to dinner for her birthday on the 17th so I'm looking forward to that. I would personally hate having my birthday that close to Christmas hehehe. She did such a lovely job opening my exhibition in Naracoorte this year that Julia, Zoe and I have asked to open our exhibition in May. I think its good having someone talk about your work and art practices that knows you and your work so well. Lots of things to look forward to.

Christmas is coming up fast. Am I ready? HA! At least our home is tidy and clean. I've been keeping up with the chores really well. No dust bunnies in sight. As for the rest of it I'm sure it will all fall into place. It always does.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Way of Working

This is for Deborah because she asked.

Obviously I start with an idea that's been swimming around my head. Its usually something from around my home; something in my everyday life. I then set up a still life and start taking lots of photos. I like to use lighting to see what interesting shadows I can achieve. I keep moving the objects around and keep taking photos. Once I've loosened up I start getting interesting compositions. I play with those compositions by changing where the light comes from, how much shadow is revealed or by adding new objects etc. I choose the pic that stands out to me as being the most interesting and I print it out. I then crop it so its in scale with the canvas I will be working on. I like to work from photos because it means I don't have to keep the still life set up and I don't need to worry about any changing conditions such as light etc.
Next I start working on the canvas to create a background. I do have a fear of the blank canvas so I need to cover it to ensure I don't freeze hehehe. I start with old book pages or other interesting paper. I use gel medium as the glue and once its set off a bit but not completely dry I tear back some of the paper. It leaves a lovely texture and creates interesting results once paint is added. In some instances it leaves the text from the other side of the paper revealed which means the text is reversed. Once the whole canvas is covered I check for ugly gaps and fill these in with either patterned paper or some hand writing or more book pages. I allow the canvas to dry or use the heat gun to hurry things along. Next I put washes of acrylic paint on and some rubber stamp patterns. That's basically the background done. I then draw the image on and "colour it in" using acrylic paint that I've watered down slightly. This allows the background to show through. I don't worry about detail at this stage. Its just to get blocks of colour down.
Final stage is drawing on top with conte crayons. I use conte to do the shading and add the finer details. A quick spray with some fixative (to set the conte) and then some matt varnish is applied as a protective layer.
I hope that answers your questions Deborah. :) I have pics of the stages in some of my past blog entries.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lots of Art Activity

Zoe has been working hard towards our exhibition. Here is a new piece she did of her dad and his guitar. She's been working with a different medium and she says she likes it a lot because it does instant shading hehehe.
I have also been working hard and have finished another piece. All it needs is a coat of protective varnish and its done. Next I will do a series of three square canvases. They will incorporate coffee cups from different views. I usually start by taking photos. Moving the objects around and taking loads of pics until I get a pleasing arrangement. I like playing around with light from different angles to see what interesting shadows it creates. So that will be on the agenda for tomorrow, photos, lots of photos.

He Loves Tomatoes on Toast
collage, acrylic paint and conte on canvas
50.8x60.9cm (20"x24")