Winter

June 10, 2015

This winter is already long and we’re less than 2 weeks in.

Looking for ways to enjoy it anyway, and to prevent a sliding decline into a dark hole, I’m making evening drawings – some indoors and some out.

Cave2_detail_smallCharcoal, (the wood fire burns warm) is the easiest thing. Smudge and erase and push back into the paper and leave a mark, on this cold night. Black velvet ink might show off the moonlight.

NightGardenStanley1_small

Yesterday soon after Margaret Olley left this world a baby girl named Beatrix was born to friends of mine. I heard Margaret talk about the wheel of life, about giving and receiving and giving, and now I’m thinking about the wheel of life and death and life.

Her house was one big still life, the inspiration for her many paintings. Every now and then I paint a still life. It makes me still. Once I heard Donald Friend say that the best thing about a still life is that you can eat the subject when you’ve finished!
still life with caserole
This morning I watched a doco about James Castle, an American artist who drew every day of his life from 6 years of age. He drew with soot, spit and a stick onto found papers and card. An amazing collection of hundreds of drawings and objects made by a man who couldn’t hear and so was not distracted by the miriad noises that fill the world. His will is what made him great. His choice to make art, without the clutter of doubt. (He also had a family who supported him, but don’t let that stop the rest of us!)

Perhaps Margaret had that clarity too. Just make the work. A ribbon around 60 years worth of artworks and a new babe in the world.

aiden july 10

Time and distance

April 13, 2010

I’m off to visit Mum tomorrow. When I stay for a few days we settle into an easy companionship, having slipped through the time and distance that hardens like wax between us.

Copy of wax vases 1I’ll draw some more objects from her life. And maybe some quiet moments from her face, hands, movements – as I’ve done before. And record stories as she tells them.

mumwatchinginsprex1(Is there a recording somewhere out there of Dad singing?) It’s good to have these stories from Mum – the sound of her contralto voice and girlish laugh while she remembers.