Thursday, January 31, 2013

We went to the wildlife park

Last week was the last of the school holidays, we had an outing to the wildlife park, about 40 mins drive outside of Darwin. One of the highlights is always the talk at the flight deck, where you get to see hand reared birds of prey (and more) at close quarters. It's always great to go in the wet season when there are not many tourists about!! At the flight deck there was only us and a couple from interstate. (with a fancy camera with a big zoom lens) I clicked away on my little basic model and did get some decent shots.

 Buzzard that cracks open emu eggs with a rock. In this photo bringing back pieces of shell to the keeper!

 Barn owl

It was a windy day which put the Jabiru off its game - it hid in the bushes for a while and then wandered around on the wrong side of the fence!!
This week it's back to work and back to school, settling back into old routines and getting used to some new ones!!
Best wishes to you...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Confessions of a blog reader...

It's 4 or 5 years since I discovered the world of art and craft blogs. Some of those early ones I looked at are still firm favourites - Cathy Cullis's blog (which was called November Moon back then), Tiny Happy and Mouse Notebook. I started my own blog in response these and many others, to be part of this huge conversation about art and craft that's being made on kitchen tables (and verandahs!) around the world.

Along the way my blog reading comes and goes depending on how busy life is (and how awful my internet connection has sometimes been). Often I don't visit for months and then catch up in a gluttonous binge. Sometimes I just keep up with what people are doing on flickr, and hop across to a blog from there. I rarely leave comments on blogs, much more often on flickr where it's quick and easy, and you don't have to decipher and enter code words to prove you're not a robot!

This christmas holidays the internet gods have been kind and life has been pretty slow and relaxing. So I've had time to venture beyond my usual blog haunts, I've added some new ones to my side-bar you might like to check out...and I've even left a few comments!!

I haven't been hugely productive artwise this holiday, but these are 2 small paintings I've managed to finish.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Random photos from my world

Usually I start the new year with a creative resolution - a project that I know will fizzle out by Easter, but at least it's a kick start to the year. This year the project has chosen itself! Too many times recently I've been out on a walk and thought I wish I'd brought my camera. So that's all, to carry my camera more often, and to use it more so that I become more comfortable with it.

I've already posted a few to my flickr photostream.

I love this stretch of rocky shore near the Nightcliff jetty. When I was a child I had a puffin book annual (1970 something). In it there were photos of authors in their favourite places - the only one I can remember now is Tove Jansson who wrote the moomintroll books, she was sitting on a big rock in an alien looking rocky landscape beside the bluest sea (I suppose it was a Norwegian fiord!). Every time I come down here it reminds me of that photo and is especially magical because of that association.

 Amazing mangrove plants!

 The monsoon has arrived at last, it looks like my wheelbarrow will be a frog pond for the next few months!
I hope all is well in your corner of the world!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Thankyou sketchbook challenge!!

Lucky me!! I won a prize/giveaway on the sketchbook challenge for December. Some lovely Faber markers for journalling supplied by Blue Twig Studio. I'll be hanging out by the mailbox!!

If you don't know about the sketchbook challenge it's a blog and a flickr group, it's been going for a couple of years now. Anyone can join in and post as many or few pieces of work as they like on flickr. Every month there is a theme which you can use to inspire you or ignore!!! Often there are monthly prizes, tho' there aren't any for January, but the real prize is to be drawing and getting feedback from others who are part of the challenge.

The theme for January is the 'artists date' the idea from The Artists Way by Julia Cameron - of taking yourself out once a week for a couple of hours somewhere new or different, out of your routine, to re-charge your artistic batteries.

By coincidence, my first sketchbook work of the year is from one of my favourite artist dates - the verandah of my friend Alison, where I often go for a cup of tea and a chat, and more often than not we'll do some art too - a bit of drawing or sewing, I'll chisel a lino while she assembles a sculpture... You can see Alison's fabulous work here, along with the amazing work she does with kids as a primary school art teacher.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Thoughts for the old year and the new

I have a great quote I scribbled from somewhere on my notebook
'There are years that ask questions and years that answer.' Zora Neale Hurston.

2011 was quite a tough year for me and the question it kept asking was - what am I going to do now the kids don't need me so much?
2012 came back with the most surprising answer - sing,

It was a spur of the moment decision to go to a 'come and try' rehearsal of the Darwin Chorale back in January - shyly and not knowing if I would be 'good enough'. They were so welcoming to all of us newbies, and it has turned out to be a huge source of JOY...

I had thought that making art should be enough, that I should avoid distractions. I had painted myself into a corner and singing was the window I climbed out of!!! I suppose what I want to say is - it's not too late to try something new, or take a detour, or embrace a distraction!

(Funny that back in Feb 2011 I was making these magnets with the message I needed.)

Today, for the first day of 2013 I've tried to do some of the things I want to do through the year - a bit of painting, a walk on the beach with my daughter, some sorting and throwing out (decluttering!!). I hope your day has been full of promise, and wish you all that's good for 2013.