Sunday, 31 January 2016

29 Faces is here again!

February has come around again and so it's 29 Faces time. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can see what it's all about here

I last participated in Feb 2014, and I found the journal that I used then. There are enough pages left in it to do this year's round of creativity as well. It will be fun to see how I've progressed.

This face is done from a photo with chalky pastel pencils on sugar paper. I found that these pastels are not my favourite to use. They feel scratchy on the paper. Won't be using those again! Check out what everyone else is doing by using the link above or the button in the sidebar. Tune in tomorrow for face #2.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Making connections

My word for the year is continue, so I've been thinking about what this means. Following on from last year's word - flourish - continuing to flourish is a good thing.  As 'continue' can mean to keep going with something, I'm looking at things that I need to not give up doing.

One of those is making connections. The more I connect with people, the better I can understand them and therefore serve well. As an introvert, making connections with people is hard work, but worth continuing in.  Each connection with someone, learning their story, adds colour and depth to my own life as I learn from them about flourishing.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

When the world presses in

I was having fun with all sorts of circles on this page, sticking them on, painting with my fingers, stamping, doodling. When I stood back to look at the page, it felt like everything was being crowded to one side. It gave me a feeling of being encroached upon and herded.

But when I looked again, there was a space at the bottom of the page - a way to escape!

There are days when it feels like everything is crowding in and it's all too much. During those times I know it's important to carve out some me-time so I can find my way through.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Bad hair day

This is another non-dominant hand drawing. I like to do them when my brain tries to get in the way. It's copied from an advert in a magazine for an anti-frizz treatment for hair.

It set me thinking about bad hair days. It's only a bad hair day while you're looking in the mirror. Once you move away and focus on something or someone other than yourself, you forget about the bad hair. After all, it's just hair.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Yesterday morning I pulled out my Brinno TLC200 camera - a fabulous camera that does time-lapse photography without me having to do anything except switch it on, film, and download. No editing, and it doesn't take forever to load to the blog. You don't even have to plug it in as it runs on AA batteries. Mine's set up on a microphone stand that I can just move over my desk so that it looks straight down on what I'm working on. I should definitely use it more often.

In real time this small canvas took 20-25 minutes. It's very warm here at the moment, so layers dried incredibly quickly.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016


I discovered that if you only partially open the nozzle top of Golden's high-flow acrylics, you can draw with them directly from the bottle. I like the blotchy, imperfect line this gives, much like drawing with ink from a dropper - not complete control, but enough to draw something you can recognise.

The leaves were first gelli-printed on to greaseproof paper. I really liked the look once I had outlined them with the Golden high-flow. The imperfection was what made them interesting.

And that made me think about how perfection can be uniform and - let's be honest - boring. But we are all imperfect in different and unique ways. It is our imperfections that make us interesting and individual. And while we work to iron out our flaws, we will never be perfect this side of heaven. If you were already perfect, there would be nothing to work on and no growth to be had. Only dead things don't grow.

So embrace the imperfections.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Slow down

Once these flowers turned up on my page, I knew it was time to slow down and smell the flowers. 

Sometimes we need to be reminded.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

An accretion of small things

Boat hulls can gather barnacles if they are not kept clean. Boat owners clean the hulls regularly to make sure that the boat stays streamlined. How often are we felled by an accretion of small things? The proverbial last straw when we finally lose it.

Keeping short accounts is a good thing. Dealing with things as they arise rather than letting them build up is healthy. Don't let the barnacles accrete on your life.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016


At this time of year it is a good practice to look at the past 365 days and see what you have learned. Are there lessons to take on board? Are there things that just need to be let go of?

Winnowing is the practice of rubbing the ear of wheat in your hand; throwing the handful into the air, and then blowing through the resulting cloud. The chaff - the unwanted part - is lighter than the grain, and so blows away with the wind. What comes back down is the seed that you want.

Winnowing our experience concentrates the seed and gets rid of all the unwanted chaff of life, the stuff that isn't going to produce fruit if you plant it.

Sunday, 10 January 2016


At the moment I am working in an old cookery book that I picked up for a couple of dollars from the local library. Once I had done the background for this page, I noticed that there was a word left at the top: marinated.

When meat is marinated, it is immersed in a liquid intended to tenderise and flavour it. It made me think about what it is that I'm immersed in. How is it affecting me? Am I immersing myself in things that will make my heart softer?

And what about flavour? Does my life have a pleasant flavour that attracts others or one that repels them?

What is your marinade at the moment?

Thursday, 7 January 2016

When your head's all over the place

This page is a gelli-print - a one layer clean-off print. I stuck it into my journal and then didn't quite know what to do with it. My head was all over the place, so I just journalled. I didn't need to add any layers because I wanted to keep it simple. There was enough going on already, just as there was in my head.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

This heat!

This summer is shaping up to be a warm one. With floods in the north of the state filling up the usually dry lakes, and the hottest December on record in the south, it sure makes painting more difficult. When the weather is hotter than body temperature, you're body works so hard to just maintain itself that energy levels are low. Not only that, but the paint dries so darn quickly! 

Below is my beautifully coloured brayer after a few runs across the gelli-plate. It's going to need a jolly good scrub, because the usual baby-wipe just isn't cutting it. So I've abandoned that project for the moment and am seeing a lot more collage in my future. Still, it will use up some of my stash.

Linking up with Carolyn's Play challenge - use something that you would have thrown away. The starry tissue paper at the bottom of this page was some packaging that came with a pair of shoes.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

How much?

I was playing around with this face and really didn't like the placement of the second eye. So I cut it out and added hair to fill the space. The concealment of part of the face made me think about what is hidden when people look at me. How much of me do they really see? How much do I hold back?

Rather than making resolutions for this new year, I have picked a word, and let it inform my goals. One general direction I want to continue in is in giving more of myself.

When we give of ourselves, we give something unique.

When we give of ourselves, our gifting and experience comes together to bless someone.

When we give of ourselves, being fully present with the person/people we are with, we begin to truly hear and see them, and they feel that.

When we give of ourselves, we don't diminish, but in some mysterious way become even more our true selves.

So let's be brave. Come on, tuck that hair behind your ear, be fully present in each moment, and give more of yourself this year.