August 3, 2016

Long ago, when my sons went to school, they each in turn came home in Year 1 or 2 saying it wasn’t fair that they didn’t paint much anymore, or play games in class, like in Prep (the first transitional year of school).

Learning gradually became less about play and more about absorbing the knowledge of others.

Speaking with a friend today about joining a drawing class she said no I can’t draw. Oh but I did a watercolour workshop once, every day for a week, but failed miserably. I asked how so? In reply, one of those stories came out where the teacher’s rigid method and criticism left no room to move, and no desire or confidence to paint again.


Lately I’ve started to paint again, with watercolour also. Just playing really. To reacquaint myself with what watercolour is, what it does, what I can learn, what I can encourage it to do.




June 19, 2014

How little visual information do we need to recognise a person? From a surprisingly great distance all we need is the shape, the shapes a body makes as it moves in its own particular fashion.

Copy of image_5Skin, the outline of us, is stretched and molded by what lies beneath, a great metaphor. We protect ourselves with further coverings and yet the elemental shapes of a person can reveal so much.

Laying watercolor onto paper is like feeling the skin, as a liquid membrane. Steadfast in it’s role as protector, skin is what separates us physically from almost everything else. It contains the unique shape and form of each of us.


Spending time at Mayday

February 11, 2014

Spending time in a place, drawing painting looking listening touching, you’d think it would make you feel as though you’re getting to know it.


But knowing takes a long time.

In the meantime I’ll borrow the shapes and colours and lines of this place, an old asylum with a garden of trees that have seen everything unfold for one hundred and fifty years.


Nine months on

February 8, 2013

Well it’s been a while but it’s time to begin this story again. The stumbling block was a silly mistake of mine – I accidentally deleted most of the images off this blog, and realising the enormity of the task of reposting them, I ignored the whole thing for as long as I could. Over the next little while all or most will be restored.

In the meantime, here is a taste of things people to come. There are many babies arriving in my world, recently and soon. This mum is very keen to meet her babe sooner rather than later.


Conversation with Jordi

December 7, 2010

When my children were small and the bills were big, I never resented paying them, even if it had to be by installment. I was grateful for the modern conveniences – still am. I’m grateful to have the money to pay for them.

The telephone was my lifeline to the world – 2 voices across the distance.

Hot water on tap the greatest luxury every morning.

Warmth in the house and food in my belly have saved me from despair.


We’re spoiled for choice with ways to communicate really. So when the contact with someone diminishes it can be a surprise and sometimes it hurts. But we’re spoiled for choice in so many ways it’s a natural consequence that some connections will fall away. The beauty of it is, it’s easy to pick up the frayed end and repair any damage and cross that distance again.

Our dog Jordi is a social boy. He loves to have a chat in the morning. I’ve noticed that his vocabulary has increased heaps over time. Just like a child, he imitates my sounds and responds appropriately to inflections and body language and groups of words.

Sometimes my days are so full that our conversations are short and more or less one-sided before I dash off into the world. And then I remember what I miss. It takes time to renew that ease between us again.

Copy of jordi 2

I love having a car. It could be any car really, although I’ve loved a couple of them more than the others. I can still feel the thrill of that first drive alone. The potential to go anywhere I want, as far as I want, without relying on anyone but myself.

The yellow pop-top Kombi was my favorite. Pull out the back seat and it became a portable studio or art transporter or removal van. After a family trip I could just sweep it out. And in summer it was cool and airy.

We called it Kate and made up bedtime stories about her and her friends. But the engine died and I sold it to my neighbour. It sat in his back yard for a long time.
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I want a van again. You’ve got to be able to sleep in your car. Sedans just aren’t the same. I had a station wagon in between – an old Toyota Cressida. Pretty easy and comfy, until the suspension fell out and the seats fell in. She ended up in my mechanic’s back yard, and then at the wreckers. Poor old girl.

Mum is one of those lovely people who are funny without even meaning to be. She loves her car too. Soon after she bought a Suzuki Baleno someone asked her what type of car it is. She answered, after some thought, “I think it’s a Mitsubishi Baloni.”

Soft steady rain

April 6, 2010

In Dutch there are many words for rain. The cousin who told me that, didn’t tell me what they are, so I’m left to imagine. Rain, shower, sheet, drips, plips, drumming, rushing, drift, spots, curtain, wet, buckets. In English,  ‘rain’ is added to the end of a description – driving rain, pouring rain, heavy rain, soft rain, soaking rain.

My father’s birthday has just passed. It’s raining, as it did when he was buried. When I first began work in my current studio, he came to mind – my first creative ally. I made a series of small drawings in watercolour – quietly weaving patterns like the ones he wove on the loom that he made.

Copy of dot weave 2It was the seventies. Mum was a spinner and she knitted and crocheted. Still does. Dad loved the sheep, the wool, the shearing. Together they went searching for plants and bark to boil up dyes and then made things with the freshly spun and dyed wool.

Hands ought to be productive. And if beautiful things come from it, all the better for the world.