Bones of the past

High in the dunes beside the Southern Ocean I found some delicate bones – they are only a few centimetres long.  I processed the images with Snapseed to give them the look of old drawings.



Finding the Goddess – a visual journal

– These journal posts are rather introverted posts where I reflect on journals I have made over the past few years as a means of figuring out the next steps in my creative journey. writing

Finding the Goddess – a visual journal

This journal reflects thoughts and experiences I had while travelling in Ireland, Turkey and Jordan in 2011-12.  The pages have been created by collaging sketches, photographs, images clipped from magazines and postcards.   Paint, ink and decorative papers are then added.    The original pages were created soon after I returned my overseas but some pages took a long time to resolve and were completed much later.  

My journal pages are messy, my handwriting is often barely legible and the completed pages are often inconclusive – suggestions of ideas and records of thought processes rather than fully realised artworks.   

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2015-08-20 11.30.28  I have no idea where this work will go next.  Maybe it will forever remain half realised ideas messily collaged together in a visual journal or maybe some of the images, colour combinations and patternings will find their way into paintings.  Blogging about the journal somehow helps me free the images from the confines of a working journal that no one ever sees.   Maybe now the ideas and images can leap into new forms.

Unpacking the journals

Now that I have a studio space I can unpack work that’s been in storage.

This morning I rediscovered a basket full of hand made books and visual journals.20150820_111607 It’s been a while since I sorted through these so I was curious to see what they contained.   A lot of the smaller ones are simply notebooks I have constructed.  In them I write quotes I come across that mean something to me, information I’ve printed out from the internet and random thoughts. Some of the pages are decorated with doodles and scraps of old art work.   I’m a messy journal keeper so if you are hoping see exquisitely wrought art works do not look any further.

20150820_112534 Live with passion

I first began to make these books back in 2010 when I had chronic fatigue. One of the ways I dealt with this was to journal the process.

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A major part of my healing from CFS involved totally changing my life – this process has gone through many permutations and is, in many ways, reaching its culmination now.   In 2011 I spent some months in Ireland.   When I returned I made a journal that reflected some of the experiences I had there.

20150820_112807  I will make a separate post about this journal.

Back in Australia I lived in northern NSW near the magical mountain, Mt Warning for a few months.   There is something about this mountain for it effects many people on an energetic and soul level.   My journal from that time reflects this.


‘Art does not reproduce the visible, rather it makes visible” – Paul Klee                                                                   20150820_112403

More recent journals have taken the form of notebooks where I collect together poems I’ve written.


Revisiting these journals has been interesting.   Here they all are lined up on a shelf in my new studio.  Getting them out and displaying them like this seems to be part of the journey towards making new art.  (and yes – that is one of my paintings beside them.   I think I must have been in a very dotty mood when I made it – not sure I’ll ever revisit that head space).


A walk in the gardens

Just the other week I took a walk in the local Botanic Gardens.   It was a wintery afternoon down under and the ground was damp underfoot. Evening fast approached and the air was chill yet the light captivated me .


Reflections rippled on the surface of the pond in calligraphic swirls – DSCN9520

DSCN9522 ducks punctuated the flow


leaves floated upon the surface like escapees from impressionist paintings – DSCN9534 (2)

and doublings occurred. DSCN9531


 DSCN9545 My sense of reality wavered or, to be more precise – my sense of reality expanded for so often these days, things are not what they seem – boundaries become fluid and old, fixed ways of looking at things are being transformed as new, more open ended possibilities present themselves.

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linked to – Jo’s Monday Walk

Six Word Saturday

Surf is pumping, whales are leaping

I haven’t done one of these six word Saturday prompts before but it seems like a good way to get back into blogging after my moving house blogging break – well actually the moving house is still going on – the removalist arrives at 8.30 on Monday but I’m having a break from thinking about it.

What I’ve been thinking about instead is how easy it is to think about negative things and to forget the positive things.   Reflecting the week just gone I could easily say its been wild, crazy, full on, intense etc.   After all I did spend three hours in the Emergency Dept getting checked out for heart attack, stroke, brain tumour etc when all that was really happening was that I had an ‘atypical migraine’ that was severely affecting my vision.    Then there was that $50 note that disappeared into the ether between the bank ATM and the estate agents office where I’d planned to pay it and a whole lot of other 50s for my rent!   Then there was …..   etc. etc.   Actually when I think about it – the week has been wild, crazy, full on, intense etc. but as I wrote at the beginning of this – it is just so easy to think about these negative things and to forget the positive.

as well as the drama this week there were also some absolutely brilliant moments –

At lunch time on Tuesday I watched a juvenile Southern Right Whale leap then thrash its tail on the sea again and again just beyond the breaking waves.


To escape the mess of the half moved house and the mounting pile of boxes I took a walk to a wild beach late one afternoon.   The light on the sea and in the clouds was indescribable – even my camera couldn’t capture it properly.   I took photo after photo but none of them reflect the true magnificence of what I saw.  Suddenly I found I wanted to pick up my paint brushes, squeeze out the some oil paints and mix up glazes. 


Thinking about painting I took a half an hour break and visited a local art gallery.   There I  saw an exhibition which featured trees – ‘A Quiet Place: Kathryn Ryan’. Wandering around the show I was transfixed by the beauty of the artist’s vision.   Although her paintings have a static quality there is something about the way she paints the light that I found transformative.  As I moved from one painting to the next a feeling of tranquillity overwhelmed the busy, work-a-day mood I had carried into the gallery with me. My thoughts about missing $50 notes, deadlines and innumerable cardboard boxes were suspended – for a time I thought of nothing but light, peace and the way art can provide us with moments where the beauty of the world becomes more important that the negativity.

When I left the gallery I looked at the trees lining the roadway with fresh eyes.   It seemed to me at the time that maybe this is measure of really good art – it lifts us up out of our daily grind and creates a space where we can look upon the world with fresh eyes.

A Quiet Place: Kathryn Ryan


– somewhere in the midst of this wild and intense week I took a photo that works as a visual expression of my week.


linked to : Six word Saturday