Friday, September 30, 2011

Okay, so I didn't have a fish in my room.....

However, I did rework some drawings I had done of the dear departed Finney (remember Finney?)and her friends and I am rather pleased with the result. A bit too fussy for a 'real etegami' but hey, I enjoyed doing it.

The quote is from a poem by Thomas Gray, better known for his Elegy On (in?) a Country Churchyard.
Given that this poem is about a cat who drowns while trying to catch goldfish (sorry Debbie, I know you are a cat lover) and taking into account his entire oeuvre I think poor old Thomas could have done with a dose of Prozac. Life was pretty grim in those times so I suppose looking on the dark side was normal.
PS it is 'glisters' not 'glitters',

Seems as if I'm now obsessed with bees!

After waffling on about smells and how I had a love-hate relationship with wisteria, I almost missed the flowering.
While I was in hospital a mighty wind arose and carried off all of the blossoms in one afternoon. Luckily himself was able to save me one to draw which I did before flinging it in the rubbish  bin. Even the scent of one blossom was too much for a small room.
I did a version with a poem by Basho obliquely referring to wisteria but I like this wordless one better, the bees are definitely buzzing so that will do.

Mary Poppins had the right idea.

The words on this etegami are a paraphrase of the song from Mary Poppins..".A little bit of sugar makes the medicine go down, in the most delightful way". If you have ever tried to eat an unsweetened cumquat (calamondin?) you will see the reason for the sugar.
I like to stew them in sugar until they are kind of glaced and put them in the refrigerator, it is then a simple matter to pop one in your mouth every time the door opens and the little light goes on!
Mary Poppins came to mind because the stage production is being revived here at the moment, just in time for the school holidays.

Brace yourselves!

Yes, some new etegami done while I was a lady of leisure. Subject matter was in rather short supply but the Prof came good with a few flowers from my garden to save the day.
I don't know if it is a universal expression but to be a 'wallflower' means that nobody wants to dance with you and you are stuck sitting near the wall partnerless. Not a good thing. However, the simple 'Wallflower'  I have painted is definitely not going to sit out this dance if the bees have anything to say about it. The stamps I carved from a new rubbery material and it carves like butter.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Art in unlikely places.

Regular readers of this blog (you know who you are) will perhaps remember that I tend to spend some time in hospital. This is such a time and I am languishing here in a nice room with nothing but time on my hands. Now the usual kinks are being ironed out, there is an opportunity to do a little work.

Unfortunately I don't have access to a scanner so visual proof of that will have to wait until I get home.
I am, however so happy to have my new wireless hotspot, so much easier to use than the dreaded 'dongle' and just as fast as the internet at home. Moreover I can connect up to 5 devices at one time! Pity I can't blog, play on the Ipad and read on the Kindle at the same time, having only the one brain cell.

I'm pleased to report that I am to have an exhibition of my etegami  in the hospital in the new year. I may have to ask my friends to contribute something to show some 'real' etegami alongside my own in order to explain the idea. A mail art call on New Year dragons might be nice.

 The other amazing bit of news is that the lady who organizes the 'Art in the Hospital' program is the wife of a friend I went to art school with many moons ago and whom I met last year not knowing who she was until today! Happy discovery as I was able to catch up with his life as even though I have followed him professionally, I had lost touch.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Honeyeater's heaven

The natural world is so surprising, not only is the flower of this Grevillea species quite odd looking, it is green. Grevillias make up a large part of the native flora of Australia and were among the first plants described by the botanist and explorer Sir Joseph Banks in the 18th century.  Grevillia Banksii being the most common form. Much work has been done on hybridizing these plants and there are now many varieties suitable for the home garden. Dry information I guess, but their chief delight for me is to see them covered in bees and honeyeating birds who come for the copious amounts of nectar.

In common with many of these nectar bearing plants, the indigenous people steeped the flowers of grevillia  in water to make a sweet drink and the flowers also provided the raw materials for the honey they gathered.
Heigh-ho, off to do the dishes! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nice things do happen to good people.

Congratulations to my blog buddy Gay McKinnon of Silvergum Studio in Tasmania who has just won a  competition for children's book illustrators. I hope this will lead on to greater things for her and the chance to have more exposure to publishers. Her delightful drawing are deceptively simple and rely on wit and whimsy rather  than technology to produce a feeling of liveliness and fun. Gay is an established glass artist but is courageously following her dream to break into another field, you can see her work on her blog HERE.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A fishy tale

A sad day here at 'Casa Chaos', one of my very nicest goldfish has died, harried to death by the males in the pond trying to mate her. She was possibly egg bound and exhausted, life in the wild ain't pretty sometimes.
I did this etegami  to memorialize her. She will be missed but unfortunately because of similar shenanigans in the pond there are too many more to take her place, time to find new homes for about 100 of them I guess.

Finney, born 2007, length 20cm, bicolour, mother to many, she will be missed.

'Himself', the consummate critic says that I have anthropomorphized her, but what can I say, I really loved that fish.
In other doings I went on a tour of the artist's studios at our local community art centre today for their 'open day'.  Heavily subsidized, the studios are very sought after and the waiting list would probably get to me in the next millennium so I will just have to continue to be a 'pretend' artist without a studio.
In the main the work I saw was rather predictable,  people still doing stuff we did at art school all those years ago, I was dismayed by the number of wannabe Mark Rothkos!
Speaking of Mark Rothko, it was akin to a religious experience sitting in the room full of his paintings in the Tate Gallery in London, definitely so much more potent when seen as a suite of works in the right setting.
On a personal note, the thing I had removed from my back (was it a monkey?) turned out to be a harmless thingy, seems I am just flaking away, I could have told the doctor that!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Nothing to paint but radishes...

Apologies to Basho but at the moment there is a profusion of things to paint in my garden and these radishes stood out. Fresh, succulent and tasty, they reminded me of the tale of Peter Rabbit. Peter gorges on vegetables from Mr MacGregor's garden and winds up feeling a little ill. Happily I suffered no ill effects after I ate my models, I 'canna' resist a wee radish.
Pardon the lapse into Scottish brogue, but the book I am listening to as I paint is a mammoth 'bodice ripper', "Outlander" by Diane Gabaldon, descriptive, racey and with enough Scottish history thrown in to make it a not too guilty pleasure. I have never read this genre before but I can see the appeal, pure escapism and it amazes me that I have half fallen in love with a non-existent Scot voiced by a woman! Figure that one out!
Back to real life and radishes.......

Peter Rabbit to 'Bodice Rippers' how did we get from there to here?                                                  

Monday, September 5, 2011

And another thing....

Have you noticed how smells, odours,  perfumes can evoke powerful memories?  A case in point for me is the smell of wisteria which holds associations with the death of my great grandfather, a good whiff can make me nauseous. Thankfully I am able to tolerate it now that I have identified the reason, my conscious brain has taken over.
The perfume of flowers is a delight in spring  and a powerful stimulant to memory (see previous post) and the fragrance of the sweetpea is among the most delightful and evocative for me.
My friend Jan remember Jan?  (she bakes and plants her sweetpeas every St Patrick's Day). Not only does she grow a lovely simple form of the sweetpea, she cuts dozens of bunches to give away every year. Balancing on a ladder to get the topmost blooms, her dedication is awesome. The flowers are descendants of those grown by her father. I have been the lucky recipient of several bunches this year and I made this etegami to thank her.

PS any resemblance to a Georgia O'Keefe painting ( I wish) is purely accidental though they do look a little organic shall we say?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Scratch and sniff

No, not hay fever, just a wish that you could 'scratch and sniff' this etegami.
Freezia perfume is perhaps my favourite smell in the world, possibly ranking just behind the smell of a freshly washed newborn baby.
As I have mentioned before on this blog, the smell of a bunch of freezias  immediately transports me back to my 17th birthday and the rather gorgeous boyfriend who gave them to me. Alas, the boyfriend departed and he came to no good, he ended up being a lawyer (both my sons who are lawyers will appreciate this but they are exceptional!).  The scent is still my favourite. I have yet to find a perfume that lives up to it.

Speaking of perfume I have found a rather nice subtle one called 'Green Tea' by Elizabeth Arden. I haven't worn perfume for years but I really love this one and I am walking around in a cloud of it at the moment.
The small operation I had on Tuesday went well, awaiting the biopsy. The Dr. cut out a fair swathe of skin and tissue from my back, he seemed to be sewing me up for ages but I shan't know how many stitches until the bandages are changed tomorrow. The irritating thing is not to be able to shower but being restricted to 'bird baths'...perhaps the perfume is a good idea after all.