Bold Interview 16: Angela Treat Lyon

Today I’m grateful to share a Bold Interview with the fabulous Angela Treat Lyon, interspersed with some of her artwork. She and I ‘met’ through Cory Huff’s The Abundant Artist in the Facebook group, where Angela is a generous, knowledgable presence. Reading this is a journey. Allow a bit of time to read  – and maybe have a box of tissues handy (I had tears in my eyes when I read it through).

Header for Bold Interview with Angela Treat Lyon, behind the text is an abstract arrangements of colours and textures.

1 You make your art in a variety of forms – paintings, sculptures, mandalas, pastels and more … how do you make your time and focus work?

Many years ago, I decided to just have a set amount of time I spend every day creating.

It really doesn’t matter to me what I do, as long as I do SOMEthing – even making home-made sauerkraut or gardening. If I don’t move my energy, and fill that time with something creative, at the end of the day I feel incomplete somehow, restless, anxious, and don’t sleep well.

Here’s why. I spent years crying. Literally. Years. I was deeply depressed, and day after day after day there was always part of my mind complaining about the pain of life and secretly mulling how would I choose to end it.

I didn’t know at the time that depression is either an upset in the physical body’s chemical balance, a lack of vitamin B, and stuck energy (or all of that). In my work as a business success coach, I’ve found that every single one of the depressed people I’ve worked with had that Vitamin B lack, and a huge belief that “I can’t.” For me, that belief was so deep and so stuck it seemed 100 massive horses would never pull it out.

One day I was lying in bed, and was thinking about what it would be like to drive my van over a tall cliff I knew of near my house. I saw myself go tumbling down the cliff and crash at the bottom in a dramatic explosion.

Didn’t much like the idea because it would not only not be a painless death, but it would hurt my dog, because she never let me go anywhere without her. So it just wasn’t an option – especially the hurting-my-dog part. Not >ever<.

So I was just flinging that idea away when I heard this man’s voice in my head, laughing, and saying, “Angela, with an attitude like that, you’re already dead! Why don’t you just have some fun as you wait until the day your body dies?” The Land of Ammaze series was what came out of that.

I realized that if I spent even half the time I used up on all the complaining and crying and instead used it for creating, I’d have a huge body of work in no time at all. It didn’t stop me from feeling so depressed, but it sure gave me an enormous pile of work – and that helped me feel better – that “I can.” I eliminated the depression and suicidal thinking in 2001 when I found EFT/tapping.

So I just make things. Sometimes I carve, sometimes I paint, sometimes I draw. Sometimes I design book covers or design the insides of books or draw and create coloring books – I just like to create. Makes me feel good, like I have some kind of value and can contribute.

2 Are you saying similar things in different media, or does each material have a different story?

This is an interesting question, because it makes one really think about not just what that story or message might be, but why you are saying anything at all, much less what you are saying.

That incident with the voice really set me on a very different path than what I had been on. I now call it the Voice of Dreaming. It’s come back a few times since – always a man’s voice, not mine – and always with an amusing phrase or some wise crack – but always something that produces a big shift in attitude.

When I stopped using so much time lying in bed bawling my eyes out about poor-poor me, I started wondering what I wanted to convey.

As a child, learning how to draw and paint, I had determined never to paint misery.

There’s too much misery in the world anyway – why add to it? Why not convey the joy in living, the beauty of the planet, the breath-taking simplicity of the design of nature?

Each medium has a language. For me, pastels sing softly. I used to use oil paints, but became sensitive to the fumes. I loved oils – they meant smoothness and flow. Pastels and paints give me the language of intense of color that I don’t get when I carve stone. I even use glitter and silver and gold powders to increase the fun factor.

Carving gives me the language of form, line and texture. I like to make my carvings as simple in design as I can in order to allow the energy of the form to speak. Stone is a powerful medium. I like having that power running through my cravings.

I’d be a happy camper if I could get all my work, through the various languages I use, to convey, “Be bold! Be alive! Take delight! Be as outrageous and bodacious as you can be – this is LIFE! Enjoy it!”

3 The conversations on your podcast/radio show are delightful – so real and juicy. What do you love about podcasting and who/what is one of your favorite guests / stories.

Thank you – I’m glad you think so. A lot of time and effort goes into those shows. I love meeting and hanging out with forward-thinking, dynamic, creative people, and getting them to talk about their lives and what inspires them, and how they do their expertise.

I love hearing their stories, because the energy and inspiration they share makes holes in my listeners’ poor-poor me thinking, which allows them to rise a bit more towards filling their potential in this lifetime.

I loved the one with Nathalie Kelly, who is known as the TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) Coach. 

She went through 6 years of sheer hell after a boating accident – she couldn’t do anything. At all. All she could do was lie there, not moving a muscle – even her eyes – because her brain was so seriously traumatized that anything she did caused severe nausea and disorientation.

You really have to listen to her description to even get close to understanding what she’s suffered. Her very persistence has been an inspiration to me for years. I have no idea how she had the courage and stamina to keep going – I think I’d have asked someone to shoot me a month into an ordeal like hers. She just never gave up.

And now she helps other TBI sufferers. She’s amazing.

4 Your The Abundant Artist testimonial about improving your art business with Cory Huff’s guidance is inspiring to me … what resonated and helped you bring the threads together? Do you have a stand out penny drop moment? What was it?

The Abundant Artist course was great for me. Cory has refined the course over the years now, and it’s even better than it was when I took it.

I actually already knew pretty much all of what he was teaching, because I’m a business success coach, and help my own clients implement the same things. But did I do them for myself, in my art world? Nope. The course got me to take action, connect with great people, and make sales.

There’s a huge difference between knowing something and taking action on it. The most important thing for me was the consistent, organized steps he had us take. One by one. Little bit, little bit, daily and/or weekly. This one first, then that one…making all those things I knew I oughta do that seemed so overwhelming if I looked at them as a whole, into a simple daily do-this, then-that, system.

I still go back and review things and redo them – my website, my methods, the social media I use – it’s an ongoing process. 

The thing I love best about the course, though, now that I’ve been through it and continue to use the steps, is the Facebook group. It’s fantastic.

I’m in a lot of FB groups, and I can tell you, this one is hands-down the best group ever. A huge age-range – 30s to 80s. Everyone is sincerely supportive. People ask great, incisive questions, and give brilliant answers and solutions. It’s the only group I’ve been on every day for 3 years – I sure wouldn’t be if it had little value.

5 Is it important to your work and life that you are based in Hawaii? What do you love about living where you do?

I first stepped off the plane on Oahu in March of 1966 when I was 21. The first thing that hit me was the thought, “I’m Home.” My heart – my Heart-of-Hearts – felt like it had found its Proper Place.

The second was, “OMG, the air here is incredible!” It was so clean, and had such a lovely, elusive, un-nameable scent. And still does. The sky has a yellow-ish hue to it, so I underpaint all my paintings with a brilliant yellow layer that makes each one glow like the air here makes things look.

Every day I thank myself for choosing to live here. Sometimes I contemplate living elsewhere, especially because it costs 3 arms and 40 legs to live here – and each time I think of a place, I think, “Nope, too cold. Nope, too many people. Nope, too noisy….” or whatever reason comes to mind. My astrological chart says I’ll die far from home. I was born in Massachusetts – I think maybe the chart has it right. But at least I’ll be warm and full of beautiful tropical fruit! Hahaha!

A white-haired lady with her hand on her jaw looks at the camera with a smileMore about Angela

I am one of those people who just can’t keep her fingers out of more than one pie. People keep telling me to sink into one only – so I do it one at a time. Over time. That works for me. Otherwise, I get bored.

So, I’m a professional artist, specializing in painting, stone carving and illustration. I write, design and publish my own books, and design and publish books for others.

And, as if that’s not enough to make you nuts, I’m also a Business Success coach. I help independent creatives implement my powerful systems and strategies that allow them to make more money and feel fulfilled easier and faster than they ordinarily would.

Find Angela on line: Artwork | Books | Coloring Books | EFT books | EFT in every home | Daring Dreamers Radio | Blog

Meg: Thank you so much for your beautiful art and real answers, Angela! So delightful to have a conversation with a shining kindred spirit.

Hope you enjoyed this, dear reader!
Talk soon,
Meg x o

 

PS A big pic of another of Angela’s sculptures – I love the big gorgeous hands, do you, too?

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Oz Comic Con day out

I was lucky to be able to give away an Oz Comic-con weekend pass here. The time frame for that is now finished, and I’ve notified the winner (Steph from Melbourne).

Lucky me, for doing the promotion I got a ticket, too. I went along to Adelaide Oz Comic-con this past weekend and had a lovely time. Here are photos of some of the things I saw.

What a gorgeous blue sky day. At the Adelaide Showgrounds entrance, I was drawn to the complicated combination of the white writing + off-season ferris wheel + clouds.

A metal art deco gate arch reads "Kidman Entrance", through the gate looms the structure of an out-of-season ferris wheel. The gate and wheel are surrounded by treetops, and over-arched by a blue sky with white fluffy clouds.The first panel (talk) I was at was by the lovely Torri Higgenson, who I knew as Dr. Elizabeth Weir from Stargate Atlantis. I wish I’d taken a photo as I enjoyed her talk very much.

Do you know of Rory from Doctor Who? His real life (actor) name is Arthur Darvill. He had some good stories to tell, and has been in other shows that I’d like to check out. I liked his spotty socks.

Audience members facing away from the camera, towards a man with a microphone talking on stage. The man's backdrop is patterned with "Oz Comic Con" and "reed pop" logos.Next, we had a surprise: Jason Momoa introduced the new Justice League movie trailer. We couldn’t take photos. Or ask questions. Therefore: I can’t prove this happened! Gah! ‘Twas good to see the ” … little thing he put together”, ie. a trailer for a huge special-effects-laden-comic-action-adventure! Did you know, he used to live (for four years!) in South Australia?

On Sunday I saw Brent Spiner (“Data” from Star Trek Next Gen) who’s a wicked funny mimic (think of Patrick Stewart’s voice coming out of Data’s mouth).

An Oz Comic-con audience is watching a man gesturing on stage. The background is a cropped Star Trek uniform.I liked how all the speakers were very much ‘themselves’. Along with acting jobs, these folks must’ve given talks many times and worked on awareness of their own individuality. I’m reading Steal the Show by Michael Port so it was a great experience for me to see ‘knowing your voice’ in action.

Thank you to the nice lady who offered to take this photographic portrait of me. You must’ve seen me struggling at taking a selfie with my phone (and hands full). I made this shot-where-I-wasn’t-squinting into a double ‘exposure’ (or 17) on the train afterwards, by overlaying the photo with a bit of watery colour/texture. #happytimes #iwashere

Smiling woman at Comic Con. Colours are unrealistic, deep and sunsetty as has been overlaid with watercolour effect.Next time I go to Oz Comic-con I’d like to dress up in costume … hopefully life will have settled down a bit! Still percolating on what to make/do there. I’ll keep you posted.

Upcoming

Stay tuned: there are some wonderful bold interviews coming soon. In the meantime, check out the first 15 here. One of my interviewees has just recommended I do a shorty podcast. Really? Me? I’d like that! Course first. Then podcast.

Talk soon! Mwah!
Meg x o
PS If you like geekery in many forms, check out my Geekery pinterest board :)

PS2 I’m also reading The International Bank of Bob by Bob Harris, have you read it?

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Bold Interview 15: Tricia O’Donovan from Living Not Beige

You can tell by Tricia Donovan’s business name, Living Not Beige, that she is a kindred spirit, right? I hope you enjoy this conversation with Tricia about her path of eco development and life! Check out her work with the links at the end, and sign up for her newsletter if you’re interested in eco housing, particularly in South Australia.

light and textured background with pinks and blue, with overlaid type saying "Bold Interview", "Tricia O'Donovan"

At what point in your life did you decide to make eco housing developments – what was the trigger?

I’ve always been interested in where and how people live. As a young mum I felt isolated in suburbia and felt that there must be a better way to design our urban spaces – so I decided to go back to Uni to study town planning.

I joined Urban Ecology and was on the organising committee for the Ecocity 2 conference held in Adelaide in 1992. OMG I’m THAT old! Then life got in the way – I joined a housing co-operative and became the purchasing officer at a time when government was funding tenant managed housing co-ops.

Working alongside government, I spotted several development opportunities for the co-op. We bought and built in (Adelaide suburb/s)* Ascot Park, did an infill development at Plympton, redeveloped an old shop in Goodwood – it was great fun!

At the property where I lived, we pulled down all the fences and established a huge community garden within the boundaries of three of the co-ops properties. Being in a housing co-op taught me how much more housing can be, beyond … a roof over the head: with secure and affordable housing – people have the opportunity to thrive.

I stepped into housing roles at UniSA, Anglicare and more recently Renewal SA and Housing SA. With that experience under my belt, when land at Aldinga became available for sale I thought, ” … what a fantastic opportunity to do something that’s focused on sustainability and community”. I put adverts in magazines like Earthgarden and registered on intentional communities websites hoping to attract the interest of a co-housing group. But I had no luck.

My partner and I played around with different concepts and went to several architects to get some ideas. We eventually costed one scheme only to be disappointed by its outrageous cost. Then we watched Hughes Vilette-Torillec at an Aldinga Arts Ecovillage event. Hughes is an architect and change-maker.

We worked with Hughes to develop a concept and a sustainable housing development model. We brainstormed the name Living Not Beige and worked intensively for months, shaping what it was we were trying to achieve. Living in an ecovillage is of course another education in sustainability and community. Our developments are sustainable and have a community focus – I can’t imagine living any other way and want to facilitate more developments like these where people can thrive.

Trucks and machinery delivering a big concrete water tank

What combination of your background & skill set, personality & nature is a great fit for a project such an eco housing development? How do you stay aware of all the moving parts and people in such a big project (and also somehow remain so calm).

I just love it all so much – is subdividing land and developing eleven eco homes big? The best part has been sharing people’s journeys as they have got involved along the way.  And what a buzz to see it all taking shape now. I do have some tricks to stay across it all – but for me it’s a life project and delightfully easy to keep up.

How do I remain calm?  You ask the poor council planner about me being calm – sadly I had a jaw dropping, roof raising melt down in the middle of all the Aldinga project delays. Not always calm!

Curlicues and lettering made of metal in a pile

Can you tell us about how living in alignment with your values and priorities relates to living a deliberate and happy life?

It makes me happy to see people making the most of their lives and how, in a small way, I’ve supported them to do that.

a row of houses under construction under a very blue sky

How do you care for your creative self?

I’ve just finished a silk scarf depicting the lifecyle of silk worms for my grandsons childcare teacher along with a discovery box of all things silk that his friends can enjoy; I dance, I wrote a childrens book for my grandaughter and I’ve got a long list of projects from jam making to learning the ukulele that I must do when I ‘retire’. And of course doing sustainable property development is creative too, so I’ll do some more of that!

Yellow flags flying leftwards under a green leafy canopy

Do you feel as though you could live anywhere, or is it important to your work and life that you are based in South Australia? What do you like, that’s unique and special, about living where you do?

I live in Aldinga Ecovillage and that has spoiled me – I cant imagine living somewhere where you didn’t know the neighbours, where there weren’t opportunities every day to get involved in something and where there are people around who are ready and willing to share their skills and talents – or excess organic produce! I’ve done cheese making, silk flag painting, leaned how to prune fruit trees – I’ve built using straw bales and managed community events, done raku pottery and sculpture – it’s such a fun place to be.

Two adults and two children sitting together in front of a curtained window.About Tricia

Tricia has managed a diverse range of housing programs for social and educational institutions as well as provided housing policy and strategic advice to government.

Her passion for Living Not Beige gives her the energy to develop project concepts, broker development opportunities, support individual customers, community development, and sales. She is an urban planner, a geographer, a housing activist and a writer.

If you’re interested in Living Not Beige, please subscribe here for updates and details of projects. Or follow Living Not Beige on facebook.

 

Right up until quite recently I had a fantasy of being an eco developer. Through more contact with Tricia and amazement at her capacity, I’ve decided I don’t quite have what it takes, though I’ll happily support her however I can!
Talk soon,
Love Meg x o

 

*(bracketed / in italics from me)

PS Click this to check out Tricia’s Pinterest boards!

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Work in Progress: Early Figs in Blue and White Bowl

I should probably tell you up front: This one-of-a-kind watercolour still life painting I just finished, Early Figs in a Blue and White Bowl, is sold already. An eNews bold soul got the ‘first dibs’ email and snapped it right up for their happy home. Sign up for yourself to get early bird news next time.

Here, for the record, are some of the steps that led to the pictures completion, starting with a bowl of fresh juicy figs, the early ‘white’ (pale green) variety. I found my favourite drawing nib just in time, and began with a sheet of textured watercolour paper.

One of the lovely things about making still life art is the chance to appreciate produce in a way other than just eating the (in this case) figs! Despite my low FODMAPs food needs, the sweet scent of ripening figs was enjoyable in itself while translating their luscious abundance into line and colour. The complicated blue bowl kept me alert!

Two pictures of painting in progress, the left is incompletely coloured with detailed line work still showing; the right is a close up of a complete section, shown with tools alongside.My favourite time to paint produce is when it’s ripe and brightly coloured. In that surprisingly short window I was compelled to progress the picture daily because I wanted to capture the ripe colour in time. You can see in the photo below, the figs in the bowl are starting to go beyond their ‘best’!

Angled shot of "Early Figs in Blue and White Bowl" painting laid on a swrily yellow-ish table surface, with actual bowl and figs towards the back and to the left.Light and happiness flowed into the final picture. I hope you enjoyed seeing this process and finished painting :)

I don’t know how I’m keeping Oz Comic-Con – enter here for weekend family pass tickets! – in my head with all the fruit and patterns, but somehow it’s all just compatible with each other, and I’m looking forward to one while working on the other! Exciting!

Talk soon,
Love Meg x o

 

PS Follow me on facebook or Instagram to follow what I’m painting next (hint: it’s yellow produce)!

PS3 Half price for eNews subscribers on the last of the 2017 calendars – the Happy To Be Here theme has a strong collection of produce, flowers, bold women and cat art! If that’s of interest to you, sign up now – the 50% off coupon code goes out with the blog post round up tomorrow morning! (Haha, if you’re reading this in the emailed blog post round up – how meta! – scroll to the bottom of the email and the code is beside my ‘sign off’ picture.)

PS3 If you have a sparkle spare, send some love over for Captain Whitepaws.

PS4 Early Figs in Blue and White Bowl is available as digital fine art print.

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Oz Comic-Con 2017 Ticket Giveaway

Later: Thank you so much everyone who joined in. I wish I could make it so you would all win :(
By the time I’d read everyone’s comments and replied to them, I couldn’t have chosen objectively, so I used an online random number generator, and …. The Oz Comic-Con weekend pass has been won by commenter 2, Steph! I’ve emailed you, Steph, to get a couple more details so you can claim your tickets when they go on sale.

Would you like to win tickets to 2017 Oz Comic-Con*? Woot! Then read on…

photo of convention room, showing audience heads chatting while they wait for a talk; on stage is a screen with the 2014 Oz Comic-Con logo of 2014; overlaid is blog post header in hand-writing looking font stating: " Oz Comic-Con 2017 Family Ticket Giveaway - Tangerine Meg". There's a purple border at the bottom and orange borders at the sides.I have a a $150 family weekend pass to Oz Comic-Con in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane or Sydney to give away!

I applied some time ago and had thought that perhaps our bloggy community of lovely souls may not be big enough for the organisers of this large event. Thank you, organisers, for disproving my theory. Love your work – thanks for including me us in the proceedings!

Costumes

Remember when I dressed up as Frida Kahlo for Oz Comic-Con in Adelaide a couple of years ago? Not Sci Fi, but iconic never the less. Click this to check out my blog post about making it to Frida-the-actual-artist’s-exhibition last year in Sydney.

A collage of 4 photos of Tangerine Meg dressed up as Frida Kahlo ready for Oz Comic-Con 2014.Sometimes I want and want to do things but this time I actually did it. These photos make me happy! How good is my Frida eye brow? :)

Some of my favourite Oz Comic-Con speakers

I ab.sol.ute.ly became a #fangirl of Nana Visitor (pic below) at her talk. She was so real; I enjoyed the way she spoke of having boy children, her guiding truths and creativity as well as her time on DS9. After her talk changed the colour of my day, I started to watch through the series of Star Trek DS9. I also enjoyed Ben Browder’s talk – he’d just done his role in Doctor Who and couldn’t talk about it! Corin Nemec is a good storyteller and an interesting person – did you know he does aerosol art?

Nana Visitor, Star Trek DS9 actress, on stage at Oz Comic-Con in 2014. A few audience heads are visible in the foregroundYou could take photos for a minute or two when the actor came on the stage, and then you had to not.

I’ve never had a picture taken with an actor, nor gotten an autograph at a Comic-Con (though I’ve gotten a couple of musician’s signatures).

Oz Comic-Con and OzCatCon

I’ve loved the vibe each time I’ve been to Oz Comic-Con. Besides the panels, talks and stalls, I’ve been amazed at the wonderful costumes people create and boldly wear in public. The amiably obsessed crowd even made me wonder if I could happily ‘do’ (ie. be a cat art stallholder) at OzCatCon later in the year. Stay tuned.

Even stone angels queue for chips.

How to enter this 2017 Oz Comic-Con Giveaway

To enter the draw to win a weekend family pass to 2017 Oz Comic-Con (Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane) leave a comment below telling us which Oz Comic-Con guest you’d most like to see, talk to or get a photo with and why. On March 21st, I’ll pick the most creative and interesting from all eligible entries (or use a random selection method if they’re all pretty equal) and contact the winner.

Click here for the 2017 Oz Comic-Con dates. Click on your city to see which guests will be there.

Full disclosure, by the way: I, too, get a family pass for running this giveaway! Seems like a win-win to me!  I’m excited already :)

See you in the comments section – good luck!
Love Meg x o

 

PS If you like Science Fiction or other nerdy things, check out my geeky things Pinterest board here. (I need a better name for it!)

PS2 The header image at the top of this post is actually a double ‘exposure’. I exposed for the screen in one shot, and for the audience in one shot, and got a surprisingly defined result from combining them!

PS3 Shall we all go as one of Carrie Fisher’s characters this year? #valecarrie

* “Con” = convention

Photo of audience members awaiting a talk by favourite actor, in the meantime a screen displays the 2014 Oz Comic-Con logo. Header overlays.

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Visiting Frida in Sydney

Lucky me, I got to ‘visit Frida’ last September. By which I mean: I went to see the touring Frida Kahlo and Diego Riviera exhibition in Sydney. It felt like a bit of a pilgrimage. Though comparatively close in global terms, the exhibition was interstate from where I live.

Header image for "Visiting Frida in Sydney" blog post featuring Tangerine Meg posing in front of a big photographic mural of Frida Kahlo in her studio.This is Michele (who is the brains and talent behind Mosaic Art Australia) and me at the mosaic floor at the grand entrance of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. I wish I’d had brighter or more interesting shoes on, but I had just this one pair of comfy walking shoes (Keens) for the trip! Happily Michele had red mary janes which were perfect. Feet standing on mosaic floor. The floor has small tiles making a curved repeated pattern and featuring an artist's palette surrounded by an olive branch design.This picture of me (taken by Karen I think) in front of the exhibition entry Frida studio photo mural makes me happy. Imagine being anywhere near Frida’s studio, even if symbolically. #ifihadatardis

Tangerine Meg posing smiling in blue shirt in front of black and white photo mural of Frida Kahlo in her studio.The first main picture on glowing orange wall. Good call, art gallery!

How wonderful to be in the same room as paintings which I’d seen for years in books and on the internet. It’s hard to describe the feeling. Amazed? Impressed? Delighted? Perhaps a combination of those… Am-press-light-ed?

Backs of people viewing Frida Kahlo painting on orange wall.What a classic. Self portrait. Monkeys. Red wall. So rich and lovely to see in person. So much to bathe in.

Frida Kahlo self portrait with monkeys, framed in gold and hanging on deep red wallIn this exhibition you were allowed to take photos but not use a flash. In the interests of perfection-in-imperfection, I’ve kept these pics of the art, photos, quotes etc as per the reality of my phone photography. Think of it as though you were beside me and I took wonky phone photos as we walked through! If you want ‘perfect’ flat, colour-corrected versions you can easily find them on line (see below).

As well and loving being in the same room as the originals that Frida Kahlo had painted, I liked learning more about the many photos that were taken of her. There were many different photographers, starting with her father (who tooks pictures as his professional). Here are some Frida pictures from when she was little.

This ^^ is the whole studio pic that the exhibition organisers blew up for the entrance mural. Thank goodness the term ‘decluttering’ hadn’t been coined yet, Kahlo’s space would’ve been way less interesting!

The organisers featured a bunch of quotes from Frida …

Photographs of frida kahlo quotes from 2016 exhibition at Art Gallery of NSW… and Diego (her husband) and others, including Bravo (one of the many photographers).

I found it fascinating that Frida was one of the first to craft an image – a look, a brand – and that she was aware of this. She hopefully would be pleased with the iconic nature of her images that are around these days.

There were translations of a few letters Frida had received and written, which revealed how loving a wife, sister and daughter she was. They were fun to read. I don’t have pictures of them.

Iconic and beautiful, right?

I keep being reminded how proud, smart and graceful Frida was. My heart breaks that she lived with so much pain and died quite young. Didn’t she work hard and leave an amazing legacy?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this personal account of a ‘visit to Frida’. One day, maybe we can go see her blue house museum in Mexico!

Have you seen the movie of Frida Kahlo’s life in which she’s is played by Selma Hayek? (Adults)

Here are me, Michele and Karen McSwan Silsby outside the Art Gallery. We’d all travelled from different states to meet up at the event. Most of us hadn’t met in person before, but it was very much a #kindredspirit situation. #oldfriendswhovejustmet

3 Smiling Women outside the Art Gallery of New South WalesBe of good cheer dearheart, for alonside the darkness and buffoonery beauty still exists and needs to be seen – and felt. Our good hearts need to keep being filled to keep our hope and strength up for the tasks to come.

Love Meg x o

PS  Like Frida images? Check out this Fantastique Frida Pinterest board that I sometimes contribute to.

PS2 Like reminders about being a Bold Woman? Click this to grab a 2017 bold art calendar – there are still a few left!

PS3 Remember when I dressed up as Frida, and did my own lino print of a health issue?

photo of Tangerine Meg smiling standing in front of big black and white photographic mural of Frida Kahlo in her art studio

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Work in Progress: First Fig

For this handcolored lino print, I’ve branched (!) out to illustrate a snippet of a friend’s story…

Header image for "Work in Progress: First Fig" featuring sketch and final lino print and chunky fontWhile travelling together, a dear young friend read out the Sylvia Plath excerpt below, commenting how very much they related…

Lino print of young adult reaching for high purple figs alongside a Sylvia Plath quote from The Bell Jar about just such a life stage

If you can’t read it on this image, scroll to the bottom where I’ve put it in in plain type too.

Wow! What a crossroads to be at, right? How to choose?

How difficult, but how necessary for forward motion. Action needed, yet caution in play in case of choosing the ‘wrong’ one.

The prose stands so clear and strong, I don’t want to write too much…

However, I knew I wanted to illustrate this as a lino print. Now I had choices to make: How to design the print to convey the story? Should the person be in the tree? Should there be a ladder involved, or a bag to put figs in?

Here are some of the layouts/compositions I played with. These tiny sketches in my note book were the journey that led to the final, simple looking layout.

Biro ketches on lined note paper showing different ideas for composition of "First Fig" lino printThe picture needed to be simple – to catch the ‘can’t reach’, the purple-ness of the figs and that blue sky of optimism :)

So, this is the final print:

Hand coloured lino print with rainbow border. Subject is young man with funky hair reaching for purple figs hanging from a fig tree. Blue background.The figs are almost within reach. You can imagine the rest of the story is the first fig gets plucked and enjoyed :)

I’d love to hear in the comments when you’ve been almost – but not completely – paralysed by juicy choices, and how you picked your first fig.

Talk soon,
Meg x o

 

PS Like this image? Get it for your home >> as art prints or as a card. (There are also other art cards in singles or serendipitous mixed packs of 10.) I also have original hand-coloured lino prints – contact me if you’re interested (not yet in online shop). Do you know somebody with such a quandry of choice? Let them know you see them, you get it…

PS 2 If you’d like to see more of my lino prints and others that inspire me, check out my lino print board on Pinterest!

PS3 Here’s the quote again as text instead of as an image…

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)

 

Image for "Work in Progress: First Fig" featuring sketch and final lino print and hand-written style font

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We have a new Secret Library of downloads!

Wondering where the happy bold art downloads are now?

The freebies have moved to a new spot on my website … The bookmarks, framing info, bookplates and cat coloring page for adults are now in a delicious secret library of downloads: the Tangerine Treasury! You can see the Tangerine Treasury sign up tab in the menu above this blog post if you’re reading on my website (not in your inbox).

watercolour background, with the 4 secret library downloadables arranged on it, and hand-lettered looking font with header wordsYou can easily get the happy art treats:

To get the key to the secret download treasury, simply sign up to my mailing list. Your entry code will arrive immediately, in your first welcome email.

If you already get my [Tangerine Juice] Studio eLetters in your inBox, you automatically have access to the secret library – no need to subscribe again! Link to the secret Tangerine Treasury page and your entry key are in your emails.

What’s included?

The Tangerine Treasury secret library currently comprises:

  • Bookmarks! The bright magic cat, blooming flowers and #IAmEnough affirmation bookmarks give happy vibes to snuggle down to sleep with, while they loyally mind your place in your book
  • Bookplates! ‘Reading Girl’ bookplates to really ‘own’ the books you’re keeping an actual physical copy of :)
  • A cat art coloring page for adults – need I say more? – and
  • a new art collector’s guide to having artworks on paper framed: “How Do I Frame my Lino Print?”

Scroll down to sign up! Or click this :)

Along with access to the Tangerine Treasury secret library, you receive:

  • good-vibey, monthly-ish eLetters from the heart of my studio – with exhibition and art market updates, studio sneak peeks (often including studio cats!) and first looks at fresh art,
  • blog post round ups direct to your inbox,
  • 10% off art calendars, and
  • Happy Birthday emails (if you include your birthdate)

People who get my emails say:

“I absolutely love all of the color and joy in your emails. When I see a new one, I don’t know whether to open it first (Eat dessert first) or leave it for last (Save the best for last). Either way, it’s been a long time since I’ve so enjoyed venturing into a new area.” ~ Barb

The Treasury will grow

As I make new things, the happy secret library will be added to, just like any good collection.

Sign up below and I’ll see you in your inBox! Otherwise, meet back here in about a week?
Love Meg x o

 

PS Like my new patterned website background? Check out my Pattern Obsession pinterest board to see more colorful patterns that inspire me :)

PS2 Just a few 2017 Bold Art Calendars left – 3 Bold Women and 4 Happy To Be Here themed ones came back from stockists … if you’re signing up for the Tangerine Treasury secret library, you’ll get a discount code on the calendars you can use straight away.

Live Bold List 46: So Long 2016 and thanks for all the fish!

What a year it’s been! If I were a beloved-celebrity-who’s-influenced-many-lives-via-popular-culture, I think I’d go hide right now, to avoid the final hours of 2016’s careless onslaught. #valecarrie

Header image for "So Long 2016 and Thanks for all the fish" blog post featuring mint green fish pattern with a lightish blue back ground

Other than that intro, I’m not going to talk of the larger world. We both have other means to collect that information. What I’d like to do is a wrap up of the Tangerine pocket of the world … ‘cos creative and beautiful and happy things happened too!

Live Bold List 46: So Long 2016 and thanks for all the fish!

  1. My Happy To Be Here Exhibition – my first solo art show in over 20 years. This took over a year of work and planning and 4 weeks that flew by of actual exhibition!
  2. At the exhibition we screened the Happy To Be Here Project video. Thanks everyone who joined in! It was really fun collecting photos from bold souls around the world, seeing your feet and surroundings, etc. Would you like to be part of a new community project in 2017?
  3. Changed my part-time work situation from working for a friend at her office, to working for other friends from my home office, which freed up a bunch of commuting hours
  4. New Thing: Tangerine Treasury! Woot! I got advice from fabulous Sarah of Yes and Yes about smartening up my website and other online stuff, and have put the free downloads I offer into a lovely secret library. Join my mailing list for access << use this link or the little ‘form’ here:
  5. Seven new Bold Interviews – it’s been so fun to learn more about seven more people I admire. There are more interviews in the pipeline too! Stay tuned :)
  6. Collaboration with Cheryl at Wrappa Bees. These wax food wraps are such a great product, I’m thrilled to be involved! Our Tangerine Meg / artist line of reusable wax food wraps have been well received and the first two batches sold out! (Working on Batch 3 as we ‘speak’.) Thank you for joining in our funky eco efforts!
  7. Sorted out my wardrobe/clothes, one round each in Summer and Winter. Op (thrift) shops are the winner here! And spaciousness of closet :) It’s taken time and work, and has proven surprisingly freeing. It’s more fun mix and matching in the morning when things actually go together – and fit. Much inspiration for this from Brenda Kinsel.
  8. Four new calendars – woot! I made 2017 bold art calendars themed on Cats, Food+Flowers, and Bold Women along with the exhibition-commemorating Best Of, Happy To Be Here. While almost sold out, I have a few back from stockists of the latter 2 themes. Click this to snap one up.
  9. Survived a computer break down. Man, 2 weeks is a L-O-N-G time when you’re reliant on a computer! Let’s see how I go now, with a clothes washing machine break down over the holiday period :P
  10. New stockists and galleries. Woot! My art is now in The Strand Gallery, Waste Not Want Not Eco Store, Lightfoot Eco Store, Hahndorf Academy shop, Mockingbird Lounge bookstore / cafe / community hub, along with Murray Bridge Regional Gallery, Nadja’s Garden, Pepper Street Arts Centre, Gallery M, Urban Cow Studio Gallery.
  11. Did 18 Art Markets in person!
  12. Started circus training again. That makes me happy. And my left and right brain. I’m going to have to overcome a resistance to performance at some point, aren’t I?
  13. Started doing my summary of year much earlier and feeling more on top of it. in 2016 I didn’t have a word of the Year, but for 2017 it’s ‘dropped in’ already… “Discern.” This makes extra sense knowing I am an enneagram One.
  14. Last but not least: I made my way to Sydney for a Frida Kahlo exhibition pilgrimage. Blog post to follow, once I sort out which pictures I have.

 

I seem to have exclaimed “Woot!” rather a lot in this list! Woot! :D

How’s your 2016 re-cap and 2017 visioning going? I’d love to hear about your creative and beautiful and happy things happenings of 2016… Will you share in the comments? You can post a link if you have a blog post or suchlike on line we can read.

See you on the flip side! Woot!
Love Meg x o

PS If you like my Hello Sweetie Fish drawing featured in the header image, here’s a link to the Hello Sweetie Fish purple print. There’s also one in a minty green, at my Red Bubble print on demand page … here’s a link to the Bold Fish Birds & Butterflies section.

Header image for "So Long 2016 and Thanks for all the fish" blog post featuring mint green fish pattern with a lightish blue back ground

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Work in Progress: Cuss Like Sailors. Hug Like Angels

One of my favourite pieces of art I’ve made lately has: wings, a prosthetic foot, an eye patch, ‘swear’ words, best friends and fabulous hair. What’s not to love? :D

lino print artwork of 2 sailor/pirate friends with dark & lighter skin colours.It’s like a lino print take on a photographic friends self portrait – you know the ones, with cheeks alongside each other, faces beaming?

If you saw me do my artist’s talk at my exhibition, you would’ve seen me gesticulating wildly as I told the backstory of this hand-coloured lino print with a friendship theme. Here it is as a blog post – you’ll have to imagine my enthusiastic hand-waving.

marker drawing of hugging angels with spiral sketchbook binding on the leftInspiration

This design concept was inspired by Catherine Caine and Kyeli Smith’s discussion on this Mediocre Be Damned podcast about Femininity in Spirituality. The talk was on many aspects, including that there’s a whole spectrum of ways to be feminine – to be yourself, really. That it can’t all be pink / fairies / ‘daintiness’, nor all not that, and still be real and personal. Do you think so too? On that spectrum of femininity, we all fall where we fall (or choose to fall – and who else’s business is it anyway?)

Catherine and Kyeli concluded: “We both cuss like sailors and hug like angels”. Love. It.

I find myself giggling in delight at the wings, hair dos, great dress and the ‘swears’ – and relating so much to that spectrum bit – let’s just be ourselves! – at the same time. You too? #kindredspiritsarewe

Making

From the sketched idea, above, I drew onto the lino block.

Photo of lino block, half carved, with 2 lino tools alongside

Here’s the lino block partially carved. You can see I drew the women the same way around as in the original sketch, which why they’re the other way around in the final. Somewhere along the way we lost the word ‘bollocks’, included now in this blog post for good measure.

Individuals in Peace. Diversity. Respect. Friendship. These are some of the things I thought about while I made this art. As in my Friends: Luka, Pace and Joy lino print – work in progress post here, I’m now bringing a better an actual range of skin colours into my art. #conversationinprogress

2 panels of close up of lino blocks; both with backwards writint

Writing and thinking

I’ve again had fun making backwards writing – here’s a pic of 2 bits of writing on the block. A new challenge was the symbols to represent some of the ‘swears’, the #ampersand and the little skull and stars, etc :D

My design thought process went: if they’re sailors > they might be pirates > traditionally one might have a wooden leg > might they have a modern prosthetic? Apparently still an old school eye patch, though!

3 black ink prints on white paper of "cuss like sailors, hug like angels"Here are some of the original prints before colouring (above) and with the final color scheme (below).

Being Yourself. And Friendships with others being themselves. So important. Want to talk about that in the comments? Be my guest! Mwah! #rainbows #respect

Talk soon, friend,
Love Meg x o

 

PS Want your own Cuss Like Sailors. Hug Like Angels sailor/angel/feminism spectrum art/talisman to shine your awesomeness back at you? Digital prints and original lino prints are still available for your sweet wall!

PS 2 Click this if you’d like to check out my Bold Souls Pinterest board to see some more of the people who inspire me.

 

 

lino print artwork of 2 sailor/pirate friends with dark & lighter skin colours.

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