Monday, January 16, 2017

Life book week 2 - cards and hummingbirds

Just a quick hello to show you my week 2 pieces for Lifebook. There were 2x bonus lessons this week, so they were relatively quick and easy to do with just one video to watch for each.

The first was affirmation cards - I have only made 4 so far, other people have made whole decks of 52 !! It's a great way to experiment with materials and then turn it into something, so I'm really hoping to get back to this and make more when I have time!

The second lesson was a hummingbird, the tail and wing feathers are collaged on and there are affirmations written on the back of the feathers (not visible).

This weeks lesson has just arrived so I'll be settling in to watch some videos this evening!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hello 2017, hello lifebook

2017 has got off to a creative start! The first Lifebook 2017 lessons arrived on the 1st - a beautiful guided meditation, a warm up lesson, and a full lesson. The pieces are about setting your intention for the year, the negative things you want to leave behind and positive things you want to carry forward with you.

The main lesson was 5x 40 minute videos, one of the big challenges for me will be to slow down and allow myself the time to watch and then do the artwork. This week I've been on holiday from work, so I  watched a video a day and worked on the piece each day, but I wonder how I'll sqeeze it all in once the kids are back at school and all the normal routines kick in....

There is a bit of me that feels - why do I need to do this? I've been artmaking for 25 or more years, I should beable to just get on with my stuff. But I've been very uninspired in 2016 to the point where art was one more chore I should do... So it's wonderful to feel inspired about art making, to be learning new techniques and approaches. I want to feel whole- hearted about doing the course and see where it takes me.

2017 is shaping up to be a year of change, there has been restructuring at work and I will be made redundant at the end of January. And my oldest son has been working and saving hard for a year now, and is planning to move down south in a couple of months time.

Lifebook may well be a lifeboat for me through these changes!!!

One of the blogs that inspired me to join Lifebook was Inky Dinky Doodle - do follow the link to see her post about her week one artworks.

Happy New Year šŸ˜Š

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Some journal pages

Hi, I've done a few journal pages from prompts I found called oxygen mask hopefully you can track them down at They are tiny little 3 minute videos, with an idea that you can do quickly with minimum materials. Thay have been good to play with this week inbetween the xmas stuff, office parties, shopping, digging out the tree and decorations.

A found poem

I hope you will find some little pockets of time for art over the next busy days.

Sitting on the verandah I can hear rosellas (parrots) next door going crazy over a tree that's in flower. Thunder rumbles in the distance, we just had a week of monsoon rain, and now a little break, I have sheets and towels on the line, and I'm keeping an eye out for that storm. The tv chatters away in side the house, my kids are watching documentaries on rock climbing of all things. A small bird perches on the pool fence and every so often flits down to skim the surface of the pool and then back to the fence. I'm not sure if it's washing or catching insects!

So Happy Christmas from the tropics!!  xx Kate xx

Monday, December 12, 2016

The build up garden

It's the build up... hot and humid with occasional thunderstorms, the monsoon doesn't usually arrive until after xmas - last year it didn't arrive properly at all... Inspite of the heat, and thanks to some decent downpours, some things in my garden are thriving.

Coleus thriving in the shade with amazing flower spikes.

I don't really have a garden plan, I like to grow some food and I've been learning by trial and error what can survive my not very green thumb! I grow a lot of things in pots because of the poor soil, and so that I  can move things in and out of the sun depending on how stressed they're getting.

Hard to make them out but here are basil, thai basil, 
mint, parsley, sweet leaf, lemon grass
pineapple and cherry tomatoes.

I grow a few flowers to attract bees and other pollinators, and so that I can paint them in still-lives!

I only tend about a quarter of the garden - the rest is established palms that fend for themselves (except for piling the palm fronds on the compost heap), and lawn, which my partner mows.

Some of the flowers at the front fence, and lots of
mulch, newspaper and palm fronds to try to
keep the weeds under control.

Lately we have eaten a beautiful pineapple, and another one is ripening. Now and again I fry up some sweet leaf and parsley in an omlette, a treat for me as the kids are not that keen on my garden greens. I  would love to be growing more and cooking more from the garden, but at least it's a start!

Monday, November 14, 2016

It's all happening next weekend!

That little bit of sewing I showed you last month is for the Constellations theme members show, it opens this Friday at 5.30 at Tactile Arts. I made two little star theme pin cushions, and put in two of my recent flower paintings retitled - a constellation of begonias 1 and 2 - to fit the theme (a bit of a cheat).

Next weekend will be busy as it's the craft fair at the waterfront on Sunday 9am to 1pm. It will be bigger than ever, spread over more of the lawns, I'll be with Ingrid over at the wave pool side under a shady tree, I hope to see you there :)

I mentioned back in September that I'd started on an altered book. It's been progressing slowly, when I have my acrylics out I lay down a base coat, the next week I might add a bit of collage, another week do some painting.... so it can take a month for a page to be completed. Some pages I'm not happy with might need lots more layers!!! It's a really fun process and so different to the way I usually paint - on small canvases so that the painting can be completed in one sitting.

I have treated myself to an early xmas present and have signed up for Lifebook 2017. Now I'm so excited for Jan 1st to come, and a year full of art inspiration. You can find out more about it on

The weather is so hot and humid.... it makes me go even slower than usual ! I hope you're having a creative day, thanks for visiting.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Things that have been making me happy in October!!

1) Photos by Geoff Whalan on flickr. I haven't met Geoff but discovered his wonderful photos of Darwin on flickr. He takes photos of my haunts around Nightcliff and it's so wonderful to see my world through his eyes. He has a series called 'the nightcliff sunset ritual' - of the sunset over the sea and people watching the sunset!! I usually do my walks in the morning but he's inspired me to do a few evening walks, the colours of the sky and sea are so glorious and the sea breeze makes it more pleasant (bearable) than in the morning at this humid time of year.

Dogs at the beach high tide and full moon

2) Walking! My workplace has had a 10,000 steps a day challenge through October. It was interesting to clip on the pedometer and find out how many steps I do. I was very pleased to discover I do around 8,000 to 10,000 on a normal day, and really surprised that while my walk to work and back is around 4,000 steps altogether, the rest was made up of all that incidental walking - around the house with piles of washing, putting out the rubbish or watering the garden, even walking round the kitchen cooking a meal. A few times I have topped up my steps with a little walk in the evening (as above) and it's been a real treat!!

Walking by the park at dusk

3) Bon Iver. We have the car radio tuned to Triple J - my kid are teenagers, it's their choice. Now and again I hear something interesting - I check what time it's playing and leater search it up on the triple J website for another listen and to see if I like anything else they've recorded. Well I hit the jackpot with Bon Iver. I heard a sample from their new album, it sounded like a symphony, like choir music, like jazz with a saxophone like Keith Jarrett...I've listened to the whole album about 10 times now on youtube, and I keep coming back to it. It's pretty experimental, not pop songs! There's something 80's about the sound and if you journey on to the end you're rewarded, the last 3 or 4 pieces are gorgeous.

4) Embroidery. Happy to be doing some sewing :)

You're a star - pincushion
Thanks for visiting, and have a great week.

Monday, October 3, 2016

September paintings

I'm glad to say I seem to have got back into the routine of painting on Friday mornings. I felt that I'd come to a bit of a dead end with the work I had been doing - working from memory and the imagination had become stale, repeating the same motifs. So I have gone back to basics working from life, some of the pot plants from my garden. I don't think this is the end of my old way of working but hopefully I  will go back to it revitalised when I do.

These are all acrylics on canvas 5x7 inch except for the little square one which is 4x4 inch.

We have a big thunderstorm coming over so I'll post this now incase we lose power or internet !!