Tuesday, June 29, 2010


These are a few pages from my new journal which I covered in daggy fabric and felt.

My efforts in making art for me in the last little while have been sporadic and very random at best. Luckily now I am on the home straight at work - reports are marked and school is winding up for the term. Today is a day of assembly and soccer world cup games that the kids will play in the school grounds.

I am in the process of throwing out old stuff, tidying drawers and classrooms, cleaning the mac computers and generally just wanting everything fresh and new for next term. I am exhausted. But, I get great holidays - I know that!

So my drawings are refective of those little half hour spaces I get at home where I eat dinner and watch TV. Just play.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


'Within the Glass Verdant'

I am currently at the 2010 VADEA conference at the Australian Catholic University listening to a speech by Sydney artist Janet Laurence. She is the artist who made 'Edge of Trees' with Fiona Foley (see my last post)

Her works are lovely - themes of the environment, alchemy, poetry, Australian history, apothecaries, science, regeneration, transformation, chemistry. A very prolific artist, and amazing crafts-person so check out her work.

'In the Shadow'

She is currently talking about how one of her site specific works (In the Shadow) has transformed the environment to such an extent that the plants are overgrown, blocking peoples' views, and the swamp hen population are out of control. It is hilarious that despite all these problems, because her work is an artwork it has to be protected! She says that she is sure people are tearing out the bullrushes! Isn't art fabulous?

On that note, I do have a love/hate relationship with technology. I am sitting in the lecture theatre and yesterday I couldn't connect to the internet, today I can instantaneously blog whilst watching a presentation. Oh well, keeps me on my toes!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Near the beach and Edge of trees.

Saturday morning.
I've done two classes at the gym with a friend. Sounds energetic but I am a bad exerciser and since I joined the gym I have been feeling a lot happier and have been able to deal with stress so much better. I know I keep saying it but I LOVE my job, but I also recognise that it is hard work. Last week I had 60 reports to write in 2 days and I didn't worry much - I just worked till they were done. I think the lack of worry is the extra exercise I have been doing.

After the gym,
A trip to my at the mo' favourite deli - a really unglam European deli where old dudes smoke out the front. I always order a proscuitto and Jarlesberg panini. My large skim coffee comes with a glass of water and a sweet biscuit. I read the weekend paper in the sun and try not to breath in the cigarette smoke from the old dudes.

Home for a shower.
I delay the shower because I get on the internet and plan my excursion with Year 7s for Monday. We are going to the Museum of Sydney and the Australian Museum to learn about Indigenous art and culture. I love the Museum of Sydney because it reminds me that the Circular Quay area is the site of the first settlement and a place of such significance - a real site of history and memory. I am putting together a little education exercise for the kids so they can learn about a favourite artwork of mine called 'Edge of Trees' by Indigenous artist Fiona Foley and non-Indigenous artist Janet Laurence. The work helps me to connect with the significance of the site.

The photo I have posted here does not do the work justice.

The work is a
'A 'forest' of 29 massive pillars – sandstone, wood and steel – cluster near the museum entrance. Wooden pillars from trees once grown in the area have been recycled from lost industrial buildings of Sydney. The names of 29 Aboriginal clans from around Sydney correspond to the 29 vertical poles. Walking between the pillars you hear a soundscape of Koori voices reciting the names of places in the Sydney region that have today been swallowed up by the metropolis. Organic materials such as human hair, shell, bone, feathers, ash and honey, are embedded in windows within the elements, evoking prior ways of life. Natural and cultural histories are evoked by the names of botanical species carved or burnt into wooden columns in both Latin and Aboriginal languages, along with the signatures of First Fleeters. Place names are engraved on the sandstone pillars in English and Aboriginal languages' (http://www.hht.net.au/discover/highlights/collection_items/edge_of_trees)

To my dear blog friend Mita - I will try to do some of my own work this weekend. It has been a couple of weeks but end of term kills me. I will let you know. Been painting a few pears but don't know how to finish the work. Little by little.

Now. Shower time and to the beach for coffee with friends.

Enjoy your weekend all!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday night

I am so so happy it is the long weekend. Thank GOD! Such a hard week, but my presentation went really well (despite me wearing converse amongst a group of suits) and my flu is gone!!!

I am cooking casserole. I have never cooked casserole before. Beef, potatos, carrots, brown onion, portobello mushrooms, tomato paste, French mustard, beef stock and dark beer. I used to think I was a great cook - my friends and family used to tell me I was pretty good after many dinner parties and Christmases. But alas, in the last year I have lost any magic touch I may have had. I find it quite funny really as very easy things have become difficult and I have many more misses than hits!!! Maybe it is being far too busy to feel the love for the food.

I tried to brown the meat tonight and managed to burn the bottom of my fancy French cast iron pot more than 'brown' the meat...just to let you know, this happened twice ;-)

But it is cooking now and it smells ok...

My prep took ages. Its getting late and it still needs another hour cooking...

My boyfriend had pizza at his soccer match, celebrating their win. He forgot to tell me so he will have a 'little' of my casserole rather than it being a special dinner...

I am watching foxtel, excited to have to tele to myself for a while. Being able to choose from Rick Stein and the English 'Come Dine with Me' (YAY!) I realised I have seen both episodes...

So, I am happy sitting in front of the tele, watching not much really, waiting for dinner with my tummy rumbling, my feet warming in front of my new $20 fan heater. Life is bliss!!!

I think I will make individual apple and blackberry crumbles for desert. With Greek yoghurt. Yum.


Thursday, June 10, 2010


I have just arrived at a conference. I am meant to present. It has to do with teaching and technology. I am not prepared. I am 'winging it'. The flu has made me too complacent but it is too late now. I know what I am going to show and I think I know what I am going to say. But despite the nerves I am blogging. I like to blog when I am nervous. I don't have any pictures to show. You wouldn't want to see pictures of a university cafe - it is far from interesting. Someone has walked in wearing a suit and I wonder if he too is attending the conference. I look down at my grubby converse and think I really should have put in a bit of effort and worn some nice shoes. But I just wear sneakers everyday, even to work, so I never really thought about it. I am wearing the boy's deoderant and it stinks. So, me and my converse will stand up in front of a group of professionals and hope to God that something will come out right. ;-)

Thank God there is a long weekend coming up...

Have a good day!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dandelions and bubbles

I have had chronic flu and it is driving me crazy - nose running, coughing, spluttering. I have still had to turn up to work as I am in the middle of exams, marking, presentations, etc. etc. I am lucky the rest of my department is sick so I don't have to worry about passing it to them. I went home at lunch because I could not stand it anymore.

It is winter now and it is starting to get pretty chilly. What has been really bad is that it has rained for a couple of weeks - and not just sprinkles but absolute downpours. Luckily my apartment did not flood this time.

This morning, as I left my house, the morning sun shining through the trees was yummy. The beautiful dandelion in my front yard just had to be captured on camera, and I thought of it as a sort of good luck charm for the day.

Once at work, bleary eyed and again almost putting my teaspoon of coffee granules into my cereal bowl instead of my mug, out of the corner of my eye I saw a tiny little bubble made from the dishwashing liquid. It was so pretty I thought 'YES! it MUST be a lucky day'.

Hours later, sniffing, coughing and dripping under my doona in front of the tele, after a day of marking, hard work, and dealing with overly sensitive adolescent students, I have decided that really, there was nothing lucky about today. Except that I was able to see the beauty in a dandelion and a bubble.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Little Molly leaves a trail of footprints in the snow on her favourite walk. Molly's fuscia scarf hangs so low to the ground that it too creates a little trail in the snow. Molly says 'hello' to all the wonderful creatures of the forest - 'Hello Mr Owl, Mr Fox, Mr and Mrs Rabbit, Hello Blackbirds and Ravens!'

Winter has begun here - although, being Sydney Australia, it won't snow. Its nice to dream though. This is my illustration for 'Illustration Friday'. Like I said in my last post, I was going to illustrate my favourite walk but turned it into a snow scene instead. It was difficult leaving so much of the paper white for the snow - as you can see from my art I am not much into white paper! Watercolours, watercolour pencil, watercolour paper, white gouache.

Hope you like it

Saturday, June 5, 2010

This is me

This is the first picture of me on this blog. I like this picture because it is of me doing one of my favourite things - riding my beautiful bike on one of my favourite walking trails. I never made a conscious decision to not place a pic of me on my blog. It just has never happened.

No walking or bike riding today though. I have a cold so I am still in my pj's in bed. I have promised a friend I will go to the gym with her this arvo. I will, I will!

I was so happy when this week's Illustration Friday topic was 'Trail'. I immediately thought I would illustrate this very special place. But, strangely enough, I have done a snow scene with a girl, a trail of footprints and a pink scarf dragging through the snow. This I am finding difficult because I hate leaving paper white! And a snow scene means, yes, fields of white. We are now in winter and as a kid I yearned for it to snow in Sydney - ah - not going to happen! I don't mind as much now because I drive 6 or so hours to the snow fields in winter. And I spend lots of money I don't have because the snow is so scarily expensive!

I will post my snow scene tomorrow morning when I can use the scanner at work. I think I will lie down again now. Happy chilliness if you are in my part of the world and happy Summer for those of you who are not!