A response to a free-spirited friend's outcry about being soulful and honest and being judged and misunderstood as a result
We are strangers to this world, we are unique souls that want to live and love and care with free hearts, we can be extraordinarily sensitive to others, but also get our own delicate fibers damaged easily, and we are often misunderstood...but still, we are strong women, like wise trees in an enchanted forest...in our storm and our sunshine, havens and mutual encouragement for the few other brave spirits on this journey
I hand embossed the envelopes that came with little elephant cards that I bought in India on my first trip there in 2010. They still strongly smell of printing ink. Couldn't resist doing a white envelope too. Gotta love the frail lacyness of it!
The french theme just got started with the fleur-de-lis of the previous week, and of course I have always looked out for an Eiffel tower stamp when online or in a craft store. I just never seemed to find the right one. They were either too simple or too expensive, but as the laws of creativity often ironically wants it, I think the reason was only that I needed to figure out a new technique or two and make it myself instead of the easy way. With a little stroke of luck I learned a new skill with my cutting tools that allows very fine detail. Exactly what I've been needing! And so my Eiffel tower saw the light, as my most detailed stamp so far, and a inspiring kick-off for week 3. I have already used it in a few different ways and know it will be one of my mainstays in future.
As a non-practicing-blacksmith I will never have too many anvils. Heavy and cold steel as they are, to me they are objects of excellent beauty and grace. More than just a tool for the trade, the right lines on an anvil can drive me to poetry. I brought my two working anvils from South-Africa when we moved here, and kept watching the anvil scene to see if a well-priced third one presented itself. It took a while, but at last it did! It was a pretty small little thing, with beautiful lines, and it was Australian made. Perfect! I have been needing something smaller and portable for lighter studio work, but if I only use this charming one for display it would be enough. So while anvil fever swept through the house until the weekend when we could drive down to the coast and fetch it, I made anvil stamps and anvil prints.
In the meantime, I've been working on a commission that required some roses. In mixed media I'm always a little torn between using ready-made papers, patterns and images and producing my own. This was no exception. None of the roses I cut from photographs and magazines 'wanted' to be there, and a painted rose would be too serious. So I made a plan. I made a stamp, scaling it up from a delicate design on one of my scrapbooking papers. It worked well, and I made another bigger one to use in combination, producing the outlines of the roses, and filled the insides with tones of red paint.
Days 4-7 saw an umbrella stamp and three textures of simple leaves, very handy in anything needing the soft touch of foliage.
But even with 21 new stamps it was the end not, as new ideas for stamps kept popping up, and I made notes so I could get to all of them. But for now, week 3 is over and done and tomorrow's stamp still a mystery.
I wrote this in July 2012, but it is still true...
I'm starting to realise that success in art only comes with drawing, painting and producing as much as possible. You'll probably not make anything of value (whatever that means to who-ever!) by only drawing once in a blue moon. Like the legendary Gary Player said: 'The more I practice, the luckier I get'.
The more I draw the easier bigger things become, and suddenly I realise that large drawings I started and gave up on years ago, I now feel ready to tackle again and finish!
The joy and the secret is not in arriving at some mystic destination, but on the journey. There is no arriving as an artist, maybe some significant landmarks along the way, but we have to keep growing, learning, evolving...
There is so much joy and beauty all around…we just need to open ourselves up to it. But the real beauty is inside of each of us…in singing our heart song. Explore with me!
I am an artist, traveller, hopeless romantic and dreamer…a bit gypsy, a bit hippy…a wearer of hats and silly stockings. I find prose welling up at beautiful everyday experiences. I’m always looking for that perfect photograph. I have paintings in my heart that are excitedly queuing to be made. But I’m also a pretty normal girl, sometimes struggling with the joys and pain and questions of life, just like you. I want to share here bits and pieces of the beauty I find in so many places, and as I’m discovering truths on my journey, maybe there is someone out there who finds my writings inspirational to live more creatively, more authentically and more happily.
Preparing for some mixed media fun at our girls art group tonight with some pretty textured papers, old music scores, alphabet beads and more...can't wait to see what the girls come up with...
A few months ago I went to the ANU production of Cats with two girlfriends. The theatre has always fascinated me, and I dare say, it has always called me, pulled at the strings of my heart. I have been very blessed to have had parents, grandparents and friends who enjoyed a night at the opera, the ballet and classical performances of varied sorts, and thanks to this golden theatrical thread throughout my childhood and youth, I grew up with regular exposure to the performing arts. The elaborate costumes, make-up, decor and effects enchanted me to the degree that I dreamed of a career closer to this magic, and because I had always been studying music, this seemed to offer a natural way into this magical world. Now, many years later, the night at Cats stirred in me once again the well-known feelings of awe and rapture for the theatre, and I remembered fondly a little adventure.
In my late high school years we were a close group of friends, all music students, filled with the joy of life and music. With some huge Mozart festival celebrated in Durban, at a two hour road trip our nearest city, we convinced one of our parents to drive us there. The great attraction was The Playhouse, home of the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, and some of the best classical productions in the country. To be a flautist in one of the big philharmonic orchestras in South Africa was one of my first serious career dreams as a teenager. I have always been crazy about playing classical music, and to be part of such a collection of the most intricate and beautiful instruments under the sun, was then the ultimate dream. Everything about live classical performance fascinated me, from the elegantly laid-out marketing posters (for sale in the foyer shop post-performance), to the sudden hush when the lights dim; desperately trying to catch a good look at the black-clad musicians and buffed instruments in the ill-lit pit below the stage, and especially, especially, the hair-raising dissonance when the individual instruments warm up, and then gradually tune together to a unifying A, reinforcing the anticipation of the imminent Overture. Absolutely entrancing! That year the principal flautist in the Natal Philharmonic was a young woman named Maria Swart. I dreamed of being her, did research about the requirements, salary and work hours of professional orchestra members, and fantasized about arriving night after night at a black backstage door with my beautiful instrument ready to contribute toward a soaring world-class classical performance, with an auditorium full of high-society patrons in curved rows and decorated stalls in ecstatic standing ovation.
On the afternoon of the opening of the Mozart festival, the four of us were at the home of local friends, preparing for our night at the theatre, which in those days were still regarded as a formal event, with patrons dressing in their finest brocades and silks. I, accordingly, was wearing a classical and very French black velvet beret, a favourite which also went along to the impressive performance of Aida in Cape Town's iconic Nico Malan, now the Artscape, a year or two later. We were excitedly and expectantly preparing to descend on the Playhouse, ready for a good dose of the finest culture. But unpacking our things, my good old friend Alexander realised that he had failed to pack his dress pants for the night. Since him being a rather abundant fellow, there was no chance of borrowing any from the house owners, and there was no help for it but for him to wear the only thing he had- a pair of surf shorts...with his dress shirt, shiny black shoes and eye-catching bow-tie. Needless to say it did not only encouraged the bunch of us to hysteria all night, we also formed a sort of protective circle around him against observant and judgmental eyes, and tried pretending nothing was amiss.
During interval there was, inexplicably, an open double bass case in the side foyer where we did our best to look, despite the hilariously mortifying situation, dignified with our refreshments, and it seemed the perfect size and shape to hide him in. Up to today I can still swear he climbed into that case until everyone thankfully returned to their seats, but with all the crazy ideas we had that night, induced by this unfortunate lack of suitable equipment, I cannot be quite sure what we crazily fantasized about doing and what we actually did. I have to commend the patrons and staff of the Durban Playhouse on their tolerance and ability to deal very courteously with unsuitably-dressed, generous-sized Mozart lovers and their nervous friends.
And so Cats concluded in another country far from that crazy night, and with a sentimental tinge, I can happily say that many of my dreams did come true, I was indeed also a flautist of a city orchestra, and even though times have changed and dress codes are much more open to interpretation, I make sure I pack everything, and still wear my velvet beret to the opera now and again.
It was decided even before I could really think about it, to do another week of stamp-a-day...which turned into another, and yet another. Eventually I did FOUR weeks and as a happy result have 24 new stamps in my armoury!
This is how the second week went. With my love for all things french it was on my mental list to make a fleur-de-lis stamp that I could use for multiple applications, and that's just what happened. I'm still using some black pieces of flooring rubber that I bought from the hardware store for my art classes two years ago. I think I have mentioned this, but is a fantastic and cheap alternative to lino. It would take me another week to find out how to manage really fine detail, so up to now my rubber stamps have been quite chunky. With this design it didn't matter though, but I was quite happy how the finer 'droplet' details came out. The heraldic symbol produced some lovely gift tags- gold ink on black and brown card, and a classic repeat pattern sheet of gift wrap that my other half teasingly remarked look like old-fashioned wallpaper. I must admit it did cross my mind too, with backflashed childhood visits to then very fashionably 70's homes. Wallpaper or not, I love the pattern and it will be used much more. And for those who observe style laws, Retro is very in anyway!
The next few days produced some bread-and-buttter stamps, basic polkadots, another royalty design in the form of a simple repeated diamond check, and a basic heart. By this time it was weekend and we were away with friends in Sydney. Determined to not miss my self-imposed day's stamp obligation, a heart was cut with a steak knife from the Friday night champers cork. I left it with my friend to make I love you-stamps on her childrens' hands and drawings.
On Monday I had a lovely catch-up coffee date with a friend who had just returned from a visit to our home-country. She gave me a symbolic and very special african beads bracelet, and the commercial wrapping had a little quaint house on, the symbol of a charity this product supports. I love little houses, so that was the inspiration for stamp #12, a quirky casa not unlike the one we built and lived in back in Cape Town. After making the print, I hand-colour the heart window in red.
Also resonating from the visit, the African continent that is my birthplace hovered in my subconscious. It became what I thought was one of my best stamps yet, partly because of the clean print it made, but probably more because of the solid reality of that diverse continent, the mystery and the memories it holds for me.
Week 3 of Stamp-a-day will follow soon with some more french icons, heavy metal and decorative flora.
In the past week a parcel arrived by mail from my home country. It is a book. A beautiful cookbook written by my closest childhood friend.
She was my bosom buddy and confidante, we rode our bicycles in the streets and flushed garden moles from their borrows with a hose. Our mothers were best friends, and so were our younger siblings. Her older brother had a gift for restoring a frustratingly mixed-up Rubix cube to its former glory, and so earned the reverence that becomes your best friend's older brother. We were both in love with the most good-looking boy at school, dark-haired, blue-eyed and very charming, and were quite happy to share him, even if it was only in our daydreams. Oh the innocence of childhood!
She moved away when we were primary school girls with plaits, and for many years we exchanged stacks of hand-written letters before I got to visit her on the other side of the country. I remember well the wholesome home-made muesli at breakfast, the juicy, sun-ripe export grapes their Boland farm produced, and her dad cooking snoek over the coals, basting the delicate fish in the traditional butter, garlic and apricot jam sauce. We lost touch during our high school years, and somehow this did not change much after school when we both studied in the picturesque town of Stellenbosch. I suppose life just took us in different directions, or maybe we were just didn't think it would be the same, we were after all, almost different people by then.
But now, years later, with us living in a country where our mother tongue is not understood, and our customs and experiences of living in Africa unknown and often strange, it is natural to yearn toward the known and the familiar and regard it with even more sentiment than you did while living there. I have always been an old sentimental, a softie for good memories past, an incurable nostalgic. So it is no wonder that, when I opened the parcel during the week and found this long-awaited, most beautiful Afrikaans book with a luscious pomegranate on the cover, tied with a pretty red woven ribbon, I felt like drawing out the anticipation a bit more and leave opening it's pages for the weekend. And on this quiet, Australian Sunday afternoon, I did.
The wonders of a book never cease to amaze me, and yet again, as with any good book, so many feelings contested for attention while I journeyed through it's pages. It is a book that the contains family favourites from all around our culturally diverse country, childhood memories captured in favourite recipes for happy home-cooked meals. There are dishes that I grew up with on the hot and humid North Coast of Natal, and dishes I got to know only later when the magnificent Western Cape was my home. Many of them contain tastes that I long for here where all fresh imports are strictly controlled. No snoek or nastergal jam any more, and so when I do go back to visit, there is a culinary list of favourites that I make time to enjoy, and appreciate all the more.
The pages have pictures and recipes and stories that triggered a flood of of my own memories and transported me back to well-loved places, faces and food experiences- as a child, the familiarity of my mom and gran's kitchens, and of many other beloved friends and family, of cooking and baking and fresh morning coffee, the comfort of pannekoek with cinnamon sugar on a rainy night, the yeasty smell of a warm beer bread when we are camping far from a commercial bread supply, the black syrup of mulberry jam soaked into my school sandwiches, the smell of potjiekos at the church basaar, the sunny aroma of freshly ground yellow maize in a rural Transkei general store, later eaten, hot and creamy, with farm butter and treacly raw sugar. Oh yes, and chewing the warm juice from a fibrous piece of sugar cane, the syrup running down our hands and chins...
Later some Cape images burned deeply into my soul- the toothless grin of a fish vendor on the Gordon's Bay harbour when the boats came in with the night's catch, the ceaseless wit of a rural youngster selling dawn fresh waterblommetjies at the Klapmuts intersection , the exotic smells of Cape-Malay cooking coming from old, crumbly family businesses in Woodstock when you go looking for the best roti in town, the spicy aroma of boegoe when we go hiking in the mountains, the fog horn on the West Coast in the muted coolness of a mist-blanketed day, a day when we would pick our quota of large black mussels and cook up a fresh seafood feast over an open fire...the list just keeps getting longer.
This book about food nostalgia is such a lovely connection between my precious past in South-Africa and my current life in Australia. Here we are now discovering the local traditions and produce, cherries, truffles, snapper and flathead, kangaroo, bush tomato and a profusion of wild mushrooms, but will always retain and treasure our connection with our past, with our people and our food. My children ask for pannekoek when it is rainy, vetkoek with curry mince is still a treat, and melktertWe will never abandon our deep African roots. is always an indulgence when dessert is in order.
It was an honour to find a personal message from my friend in the front cover, in her tidy, well-known but now mature handwriting. This book reminded me why we were such good friends after all, and although many things change, others, like friendship and good memories, always remain.
This book is a marvelous gift for South-Africans living abroad, for international visitors, or anyone that loves good, wholesome home cooking and the rich variety of South-Africa's fresh produce. It is easy to see why it was a winner of an international cookbook award in Paris.
Order 'Onthoukos' from firstname.lastname@example.org
...so this week the 'some-artform-a-day' medium was stamp making.
So much to do, so little time! Am I the only one with this problem? It seems like creatives around the world are producing artistic wonders 24/7, but that's of course an illusion created so easily on social media...and I comfort myself that we all have the same 24 hours at our disposal. Life in general just seems to short for all the things I still want to do. And the only solution: better get going!
I have a whole list of these daily mini-arts series I'd love to do, and love the bit of variety and energy it brings into the day. I saw a pic of someone who had a whole arsenal of stamps made from wine corks, and decided to give it a go, since the other half and I do enjoy the more-than-occasional bottle of vineyard wonder. And surprise surprise, it works much better than I anticipated. The natural graininess of the cork, which I thought would render it useless for carving and stamp making, actually lends quite well to the resulting print. Since the corks are relatively small, the designs need to be simple, which makes them very suitable for pattern making or simple images that can produce a lovely card, like my symbolically appropriate wine glass, Day 5.
Day 3 was produced from a piece cut off a thick felt place mat I bought in South Africa on our visit last year, specifically for using as a stencil or a stamp. It worked really well, especially since the felt is porous and holds lots of ink. It's a little like printing with a stamp pad that has the design already cut out!
Birdcage on Day 4 is the product of a piece of flooring rubber, which I often substitute for lino. It carves easily and comes in at a fraction of the cost of art-shop lino.
The mushroom-trio on Day 6 springs of course from my fascination with wild fungi. These delicate wonders would be the fairy-bonnet Mycena species, that would appear like miniature little parasols on the lawn before dawn and reward the early riser, to literally dissolve in the first heat of the sun.
The curly ' Waterfall' stamp on Day 7 was needed for a mixed media commission I'm working on. Often the textures of the cut stamp are prettier to me than the print itself, and this is a good example.
I'm a bit sad to move on to something else next week, I love printmaking and there are so many ideas burning in my head for a chance to see the light. Maybe I should extend Stamp-a day with another week...and who said I couldn't?
In response to a challenge I saw on Instagram, I decided to give my own creative routine a boost by disciplining myself to a small daily creative effort. Although art is my bread and butter, one easily get very tied up with planning, admin, prep for classes and larger, more 'serious' work. It is true that every bit of creative work builds us up and boosts our day, and on a basic level, I need to get back to the simple joys of short, instinctive, free little sessions. The artist is a child and mine needs more play!
I also do this in the hope that I will get to do more of the things I love, like graphic pattern making (I hear it called 'doodling', but the word does not sit comfortably with me...yet) and printmaking, and plan to have a stamp-a-day week after this!
The first drawing-a-day was early morning while sitting on the front porch, still in my night gown, and with my first cup of rooibos tea. The Australian trees are so fascinating! Branches twist and turn and leaves form cauliflower clumps at their ends, while strips of rough bark peels off finely-textured 'skin' below. Cockatoos and magpie larks and doves were grooming, eating, flying...so off I went! Day 1 was tree and bird studies.
On day 2 I felt like giving my drawing hand more freedom, so I selected a mini measuring tape and small sewing scissors from my miniatures display and plunged into some blind contour drawings. Colour also made its entrance in the form of some line design-and-texta typography.
Day 3 saw some drawings of natural finds, in the form of a kangaroo vertebrae, such an exquisitely sculpted object!
Days 4-6 were a mix of pencil and pen drawings of an imaginary tree, some bell-like eucalyptus pods and a whimsical girl holding a heart in her hands.
Day 7 was an exercise from the inspirational book Drawing Lab, so I drew silly cats for about half hour non-stop. Not the most realistic cats ever, but it helps develop a bit of personal cat-drawing-style, and will make me look much closer to the details of a cat when I see one again!
You may notice that I don't post every drawing. Doing that will make me draw differently, less freely, if I knew I had to post it here! That would be contradicting the freedom that is core of this exercise. I have done many detailed drawings (see photographs elsewhere on this site), but this is not the time for 3-hour drawings of Paris streets, it is meant to be instinctive and flowing, five-minute sessions of play and discovery. So please adjust your expectations accordingly!
Maybe if you see how simple it can be, you'll join me and try your own creative-play-a-day challenge...it may be writing, sewing, crafting of anything that makes your creative heart beat faster. Be free and be sure to let me know about it!
It is a curious thing how deeply rooted we can get in a country. Not only on an emotional level, but also on many un-thought-of physical levels are we connected to our past, our heritage, our particular ways and cultures of doing things. It is incredible that after more than three years in Australia, we are still replacing wall sockets on appliances. Yes, the transition wasn't urgent in some cases, we probably didn't use some as often as others that were immediately chopped off and converted to Aussie plugs, but some just didn't ask for a facelift, like my grandmother's faithful 1950's Necchi sewing machine.
It probably isn't so strange that an old vintage lady like her preferred to maintain the status quo, as I understood unconsciously and without discussion, but today I decided that was that, I'm getting tired of going on a hunt for the one remaining South-African adaptor in the domestic circuit every time I need to make a few stitches. So the old lady had her wire ends stripped of more than 60 years worth of patina, and rewired in a grey Aussie plug to match her stately lead. Voilà!
The old girl has done some surprisingly good work over the many years I have very proudly inherited her. I sewed my first own garments as a teenager, made evening dresses for myself and clients, and even a wedding dress and tailored groom's outfit for a close friend. Almost like my granny was also there, my Necchi very loyally helped make concert costumes for my children, and watched with a smile, I imagine. She knows the frustration of tention problems and broken bobbin threads, and patiently stood by me when sewing projects coincided with emotional turmoil, Zululand humidity and late nights.
I'm hugely impressed by the longevity of the stately old girl, and how well she managed my many moves within South Africa, and then all the way to Australia. I can't help feeling that this new plug is a bit like a pacemaker, a hip replacement or a heart transplant to an aged person. New options, new energy, new zest for life. A toast to Italian engineering and old school quality, and to many more happy and creative hours of sewing!
This has been my creative space for three years. It is where I really started living one of my life-long dreams- to paint full-time. This is where I struggled with my fears and overcame them, this is where a lot of new work was born, sometimes hesitant and unsure and sometimes backed by tremendous energy, and where thousands of ideas compete for my attention to become something more. This is where I felt convinced that there is so much to share, so much to encourage others with, and so here my classes started two and a half years ago. This is where I have had just as much fun as the kids I am teaching, playing and studying and learning more every week, working with different paints and writing tools, cutting and sculpting and printing our way toward a freer expression of who we are.
This is where I found that more and more of my garments have paint on, and that I'm much more pleased than annoyed about it. This is where there are glass water jars coloured around the rims with old paint, and bunches of brushes in the kitchen, and where the laughter of kids will linger.
This is where my Lulu was born, as an expression of my deepest hopes and dreams, and as a voice that many women may have forgotten they had.
This is where I'm now packing my life into boxes to take it to a new place, a blank canvas full of promise and possibility. There will be new dreams, new ideas, new classes filled with the marvel of creating, of mastery and exploration.
What a time of exploration into the unknown whispers of my heart...scary and energizing at the same time, I am called on to be fearless in trying new things, in delving deep into buried dreams.
Slowly but surely new ideas are taking shape, unique concepts are born, and my wings are starting to appear!
This is the first of my paintings using natural Rooibos tea as a colour wash. This is a traditionally South African tea, part of my heritage and history, and it feels quite sentimental and symbolic to use it in my work here abroad.
Our teenage son Juan just loves watermelon and started experimenting with ways of making the most of this fabulous summer fruit. This is the delicious result, a light and refreshing watermelon and mint smoothie
I found these beautiful pieces of silver cutlery in an antiques shop over the weekend, and what unique bangles they made! My metalworking tools came in very handy, but I might have to make some smaller bending forks and maybe invest in a jewellers' anvil for this more delicate work. Lots more ideas buzzing in my head...watch this space!
I always feel a little sad when something has reached the end of it useful life.
A house, a car, a piece of clothing...al started out as a dream, a plan, and it was once brand new.
Maybe it is my Calvinistic roots, maybe it is an inherent capacity to look for creative opportunities.
But however, a down pillow has a nostalgy to me, a feeling of homely comfort and memories of the 'old' days.
I have an old one that was, without me having any idea of what else to do with it,
about to get binned when I decided to at least try to revive it.
Making another pillow with the stuffing would have been too messy, as the fluff was already coming out and going everywhere. So it had to stay intact. I did consider giving it to the boys to go have a real pillow fight in the park and destroy it properly, while having the added benefit of making a big mess, but that might be the last resort if this didn't work.
I traced the design on with a pencil and after painting two layers of acrylic paint, it
has evaded the dump and will now be allowed to offer some decoration to a teenager's
bedroom. The great thing about the acrylic is that it sealed the fabric quite well,
stopping the endless fluff from sticking through. I just found another old pillow that is about to expire, maybe it will become a Beetle partner in the Volkswagen family.
When my daughter's new digital piano was unpacket a week ago, the lovely boxes just begged to become something new. So a few ideas came up as they tend to do, and for a week my art table and most of the living room was posessed by pieces of cardboard in different stages of being cut, folded, glued and painted.
I just love the way you learn about a material by manipulating it, the different ways the box folds when it is single or double layers thick, the little surprises that just 'happens' like the shingles on the roof of the one fairy tower or the grass in the alcove. I just love the feeling when a corrugated piece of cardboard folds after being scored, and how well wood glue works on paper! Small joys...
The globe was made from cereal boxes and reflects a bit of my yearning for a real, grown-up old style globe on a swivel stand. The world is such a vast place and the idea of reducing it to a cardboard miniature is rediculous I suppose, but making it became a study of the shapes and contours of faraway countries, islands and inland water bodies- an abstract form of travelling and discovery without spending a dollar!
A red London telephone booth was also born. What a pleasure to layer strips of cardboard to reconstruct the mouldings on the original, and I'm still thinking about what I will use to make the little windows. It was my hubbies's suggestion to model a little telephone handpiece for the enterior as well...great idea! Wow, this creative stuff is even rubbing off on my seriously right-brained math and IT boffin!
I'm a recovering artist. I'm learning to be increasingly more fearless and intuitive in my approach, and rediscovering the joy of the inherent and spontaneous childhood creativity that many of us have sadly left behind, often in our fragile teenage years.
This process is essential for the actualisation of our dreams because our inner artist can only come to its full potential when it feels safe enough to create without the inhibitions of external approval and expectation, like a young child. I'm blessed to have precious, supportive people around me, and deliberately spend time with other unblocked, or recovered artists, who create and share and encourage freely.
But now and again it happens that I cross company with a still blocked artist, with all their preconceived ideas, rules, limitations and judgments...and it is absolute poison to my process. The person may be quite acceptable as far as character goes, but their exclusive and single-pointed philosophy about art and life in general threatens to put me back in the box I worked so hard to get out of. I refuse to be put into boxes any more, my own or others'. I refuse to sacrifice my artist child on the altar of others' expectations. I turn and run from these, to protect the delicate, happy child that is stil, every new day, starting to discover the wonders of the world.
I'm learning to trust my intuition more, to follow my unique dreams although there is no map, and it often feels like I'm walking forward in the dark. There is no handbook on being me, for no-one has gone before. And although I have learned valuable lessons from precious mentors in different stages of my life, and will keep on learning from the sent ones put on my path, the road is essentially mine alone to travel. It becomes lonely at times, wading through the distresses of artistic toil and the fog of the unknown, but the reward of finding crystallized truth along the way, waiting there just for me, the joy of finding the way opening up to my process, is priceless.
I'm discovering the dream, starting bit by bit to understand the journey, and to understand that the destination really is the journey.
I found these beautiful Corinthian pillar tops for free on Gumtree this week. Not only is this a great find that will, with a sudden idea and a few licks of paint, become something useful in its new life, but I met a new friend with inspiring Aussie childhood farm stories and a shared love for God, fixing things and the simple pleasures in life.
I keep on being amazed at how generous the world becomes when we allow ourselves to start exploring the fast untapped creative capacity built into us!
Nothing happens by chance, there is beautifully unique design and purpose and potential in us and all around us, and it shows!
Take a small creative step today, pleasant surprises are sure to follow!
Pics will follow when the remake has been done **
Here is a first pic, more to follow...
Today's treasures...funky textures and colours on alley doors as I was hunting down a particular art material, time-travelling at a charming old cottage in Gold Creek just before a staff meeting, and a fresh young Amanita Muscaria mushroom in the city on the way to the orthodontist with my daughter.
Beauty is all around...if we're only willing to stop for a moment and observe. If life seems a little dull, it may be that we need to really look again.