Monday, May 30, 2016

Ebb and flow of art

I think I've mentioned a couple of posts ago, that I haven't been feeling like making art for the last few months. I'm still doing little stuff, making cards and jotting things in sketchbooks, but have no enthusiasm to get paint on big ideas!!

I'm trying not to stress out about it too much. I have a great quote in my journal for times like these.
I've quit and started again and again and I now know that starting is not better than quitting - it's just different. It's a circular dance of quitting and starting over and over again. - by Sark from her book Making your creative dreams real.
That's in my journal from 2009, so I know I've been here before!

The downside of this is that I'm part of a group show next month - Memory Dream Myth at Tactile arts, I have a handful of little paintings that I made at the beginning of the year, and they will have to do. Luckily there are 9 of us in the exhibition and everyone else is madly creating, so more wall space for them! I'm sure it'll be a lovely exhibition.

Here are a couple of journal pages on the memory theme that never made it out of the sketchbook!

Romford Rd mid 1980s. The day I bought my first Doc Martens and walked until I had blisters!

Gotts Park rose garden, part of the park we visited often as kids, now apparently neglected and possibly to become a community veggie garden if things I've read on the internet are correct.

Now it's the dry season I'm really happy to get outside as much as possible, walking at the beach and pottering in the garden - there are a lot of wet season weeds to deal with! I'm also thinking about taking part in the ICAD challenge (an index card a day challenge) which should be small enough to be doable, and no pressure to make capital A art, just to get back in the habit of doing a little something everyday. You can find out more about ICAD on the daisy yellow blog. So with any luck I'll be back with more of that soon!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Lazy composting

I love the idea of composting - of something for nothing - turning what I'd throw away into something my garden desperately needs. But my compost heap doesn't work that well, the problem is too many palm fronds, I don't have the time or energy to cut them up small so they go on the pile in big chunks and take a long time to break down. I thought about setting up a worm farm for my kitchen scraps but even that seemed too much effort.

I saw article in Pip (australian permaculture magazine) at the library, about worm farms. Their simplest suggestion was to create one directly in the soil using a poly pipe with holes drilled into it so the worms could get in and out.

I've adapted this idea using old plant pots with extra holes cut into the bottom half. I didn't buy in any worms, I figure there are worms in the garden and they'll find the kitchen scraps I'm adding to the pot. I've set up 3 of these around my garden and top them up with kitchen scraps most weekends, when I have time to cut things up into small bits and pick out the onion skins and citrus that worms don't like. The rest of the week I throw everything on my big heap as normal. It seems to be working well and breaks down quickly into the soil. We'll see if there's any improvement to the pineapples this year, last year they were tiny (not much bigger than an orange) that was one of the things that prompted me to try to do something, anything to improve my soil!

I got these two gardening books out of the library last week and have really enjoyed 'My tiny veg plot' by Lia Leendertz. It's more of an inspiring book than a how to book, with lovely photos. I was excited to discover there's a thing called a keyhole garden, a round raised bed with a section cut in to access a compost basket in the middle of the bed. Which is the same kind of idea as my inground compost pots.

The weather has cooled down at last and I've planted some tomato seedlings and a parsley plant. I've also been re-potting the things that survived the wet season, lemon grass, thai basil, sweet leaf and mint.

Now to sit down with a cuppa tea and start reading the Stephanie Alexander gardening book!

tomatoes just in, very late this year

pineapple and herb pots in the front yard, inground compost bottom left!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Unexpected break in transmission

Hi everyone, sorry for the unexpected break in my blogging. I'm doing a bit of reassessment about my artmaking, not that happy with a lot of the things I'm producing. So instead of boring you with that, here are some lino prints my daughter made in art class at school. Kudos to her teacher who got a bunch of 13 year olds to do 3 plate prints. These are at the 2 plate stage, I love that she really played around with colour combinations, hopefully I will get to see the final stage, and will share some photos here.

The weather has cooled down a little bit, tho we are having unseasonably late rain. I'm glad for any rain after such a poor wet season, but it's sad that it disrupted the seabreeze festival on Saturday. Well, it's just a quick post to let you know I'm still alive, and probably out in the garden instead of in the studio!
I hope you're having a lovely May!!