Woman and Ageing: Getting older. Getting invisible. Or not.

As I’m growing older, occasionally I get responded to as though I’m invisible. *It’s infrequent* I’m lucky to move in genuine, human-friendly circles – but it happens sometimes out and about. I know what ‘they’ are talking about now.

There are a few facets to this: Invisibility. Or not. Is it a workable super power? And where does anti-ageing cream fit in?

warm coloured watercolour background, overlaid with Tina Arena quote: "Honesty and Transparency always has a presence". This serves as an image for a Women and Ageing blog post.

Anti-ageing?

Why would advertising and even people-I-don’t-know offer that a certain face cream is “anti-ageing”? Because I’ve cracked 50 I guess.

The concept of anti-ageing might be intended to keep you healthy and well (or make some money) but it sounds like an anti-life message to my sensitive ears.

Life is fluid and rolls forward, always in motion. Why would I/we want to go backwards, erase my/our experience (that got us here today), deny years and crinkles and precious life?

Dying is the only way we wouldn’t age, right? While that’s inevitable, I wouldn’t wish it on somebody sooner than later!

Love this writing by Brenda Kinsel on the topic. She’s anti-anti-ageing!

What about this looming invisibility?

What about this invisibility piece? What if it is our superpower?

Let’s say it is our super power…

What if we could do a whole heap of good under the radar. The radar is catching awful stuff – and broadcasting it! If ‘the radar’ picks us up, then let viewers be surprised how much good we have quietly done! #reasonsIwantyoutoblog

Honesty and Transparency

Loved this interview with Tina Arena on Mia Freedman’s No Filter Podcast ‘specially as I’d really enjoyed Tina Arena’s book in previous weeks. When broaching getting older, particularly as a woman, Tina asserted wisely: “Honesty and transparency always has a presence”

I like that.

Not sure that I’ve come to any conclusion today, rather have put forward some ideas that sound like they couldn’t co-exist, but they seem to.

Have you thoughts? Share below or on my Facebook, dearheart, I’d love to hear what you think or have experienced, or, tell us about an amazing under-the-radar person :)

Go well this week my friend!
Love Meg x o

 

PS A few weeks ago, I shared this ^^^ graphic of Tina Arena’s words on my instagram feed. On my instagram, I’ve started doing a patchwork arrangement alternating quotes with images to see how it looks. I like it so far – and alternating pictures with text keeps me on my toes! Do you think there are enough people saying cool stuff to keep up the pattern for, say, a year? Follow me on instagram if you like, and let’s find out! :)  M x o

 

Work in Progress: Bottle with bottlebrush flower

Header image for blog post: "Work in Progress: Bottle with Bottlebrush" text is overlaid on a photo of a hand painting with a small paintbrush onto a leaf shape, which has a partially completed yellow background.A lovely neighbour gifted me a fresh, pink bottlebrush flower sprig and I found a tiny bottle to hold water for it. The light and colour captivated me and I was drawn to make a painting of the combination :)

Here’s a close up when I was painting green into a leaf, amongst a spotty pattern for the (imaginary) cloth. [By the way, tricky to do with a phone camera in my left hand and painting a small area with a fine brush with my right!] Loved that Autumn light streaming in my Northern-facing studio window! You can see it in the pic by the strong shadow and the wonderful, almost glowing paint colours, can’t you?Work in progress bottle brush painting being painted with fine brushGradually, native flowers (& chickens)(and we’ll see what else in my new locale!) are appearing in my repertoire of themes. With poor old Captain Whitepaws gone, we are a cat-dominated household in spirit only. I’m still doing double-takes, thinking I’ve seen him and it’s just some recycling waiting to go out or something.

Here’s the bottlebrush flower still life, almost finished. The quilt in the background is inspired by a quilt gifted from another friend! Lucky me :) #happycolours

Three quarters complete painting of bottle brush sprig in a red glass bottle with quilt as a background, and spotty leafy fabric on the surface. Here’s (a photo of) the glass jar. You can see from the marked shadow of it’s contents across the picture that when the painting was almost complete, so was the flower! I like that about art … precious or beautiful things can be captured and enjoyed for more than the short life of the original inspiration :D #artastimetravel

Sun shining in a window on almost complete bottle brush painting. Painting has yellow spotty cloth and quilt as background. The table surface is goldy swirly laminate table. The red bottle featured in the painting is seen on the table too.Here’s a close up. Check out the bee hive section of the quilt. #honeyyellows #upsidedownmrsquiggleClose up of colourful painting of bottlebrush with a quilt background.As of this writing, the original artwork is available for sale to a good home. Yours perhaps? Click any image above to view the Bottle with bottlebrush painting in my Gallery Shop and learn more.

Or, click the picture below to check out the 2018 Bold Art Calendar (Still Lifes) which features Bottle with bottlebrush as the February painting!

Cover and inner calendar pages of 2018 Tangerine Meg Bold Art Calendar, Still Lifes. Bottlebrush picture is the second one, featured in February.You may have guessed that the 2018 Bold Art Calendars are freshly back from the printers! How exciting! They’re lovely in hand and vibrant as can be :)

Thank you bold souls who placed early bird orders (and saved a bit of moolah!) – your calendars are winging their way to you as we speak (interstate/international) or happily waiting to be picked up at a market :)

I’d love to hear in the comments section if you’re a massive fan of Australian native flora, or if you’re just as happy with nasturtiums and daisies in your garden and artwork :)

Talk soon!
Love Meg x o

 

PS Join my mailing list for $25 off any painting in the Early Bird section (you can find Bottle with bottlebrush there for a little longer). And, you get 10% off bold art calendars (until midnight at the end of 2017). And, you get to access the Tangerine Treasury secret download library? So much happy art to love :D

PS2 From this years limited print run of just 250, 70 calendars are already spoken for … if you want one, place your order as soon as you can to get the theme you like the best!

work in progress bottlebrush painting header, in tall format for pinterest

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Work in Progress: Oh Captain my Captain

Two stages of a drawing a winged cat picture: the first is black and white drawing. the second has a colourful wing. Overlaid with text reading "Work in Progress: Oh Captain my captain" "Tangerine Meg"You may already know this if you follow me on social media or get my eLetters. For the record here on the blog, I have sad news to convey: We lost Captain Whitepaws.

Orange Cat left us last year, too. Such is the way when one has 2 old man orange cats. Their times come.

Two stages of a hand drawing a winged cat picture, the first is black and white drawing, in the second the painted colour is started.Owch!

All I could think to do to process my feelings was to paint my grief along. I don’t mean ‘away’, I do mean ‘along’.

Section of a bright watercolour painting of a flowey orange catI took my time to carefully draw Captain Whitepaws, including his boxer’s nose and uppy eye. Took my time to paint his rainbow cat angel wings.

artwork in progress of winged cat, some of the picture is brightly coloured, other areas still white paper with black pen drawing. Lots of detail in the wing feathers.I let the painting evolve, be finished slowly. In just the right time.

Almost completed painting of winged catHe’s buried in a good spot. It’s still strange not having him around.

Tangerine Man and I don’t know if we’ll get another cat. (Surely we will, right?) We’re taking a break from pet companion ‘having’ while we get our combined belongings under control! Maybe we’ll do pet fostering in a while. ‘Til then, we’re giving ourselves a break, and remembering the one(s) we have lost.

Hugs and love,
Meg x o
(in this window of time, no longer a cat ‘owner’)

 

PS Captain Whitepaws is the cat of the month for April on my 2018 cat Bold Art Calendars along with a short loving quote. Last day for pre-orders on Cat (and Bold Women and Still Life) Art Calendars is this coming Tuesday.

Happy Fifth Bold Art Calendar Birthday!

Suddenly, I’ve been making bold art calendars for five years!

Header image backed by watercolour blues, with 3 vibrant art calendar covers and one open calendar. The covers read "Bold Women", "Still Life" and "Cats".Of course it’s not really sudden :)

It’s taken five years of art and design, persistance and discernment. But even before that, I intermittantly made calendars for friends and family from my young children’s art. #calendarobsession

Here are some inner pages from three family calendars that I’ve recently uncovered during a de-clutter / house move:

Three open calendars featuring children's artI love the left one’s title, “Mum with a funny had on” – very Frida Kahlo, isn’t it with the flowers (or swirls)? :D And perhaps a genetic – or indeed environmental – propensity to draw cats, on the right/blue one?

This is the cover of my first official, artist printed art calendar: It contained a mixture of my favourite themes: flowers, food, cats, and one Person Picture.

Evolution of the first bold art calendar cover

I’d intended to make a back cover info-graphic of some kind (while still undecided on what the front cover would look like) so souls could turn it over and see what pictures to expect inside, as one does. Counted the characters in “Calendar 2014” – twelve as it happens! – and experimented with my computer graphics skills to put the art inside the font, which was chunky enough to give a good glimpse. When done, I liked the graphic, colourful look and decided it would make a unique cover :)

This was a format I followed happily for the first four years.

Here’s one of the 2015 models. I printed Still Life and Cats for 2015 (curated and printed of course in 2014).

cover and inner layout of bold art calendar (food and flowers) from 20152015 for 2016

The next year, I stepped out of my comfort zone realising I unexpectedly had lots of People Pictures from my Birthday Bold Art Project. Unsure how to proceed with a title/ category I asked my instagram people, where the wonderful Bec Leigh suggested calling the collection Bold Women. I stepped out of another comfort zone and boldly went with it. [Did you know it was Bec Leigh who coined my tagline, Bold Art for Bold Souls? The woman is a genius.]

I seems we all have someone we think of when we hear the term ‘bold woman’. Perhaps even yourself?

These are the current, 2017, bold art calendars:

2016 for 2017

Last year, to commemorate my solo art exhibition I curated a Best Of calendar, called simply Happy to Be Here. And, experimented with a white cover instead of the now-becoming-familiar black ones.

I’d love to hear – below as a blog comment, or on facebook or instagram – how you’re going with your 2017 bold art calendar, or how one you’ve gifted has been received. Or have you received one as a gift? Which theme, and why do you think it was picked for you? And are you a bold woman, or do you know one? Please share :)

The current bold art calendar / collection is at the printers as we speak!

With this-years-for-2018 calendar cover design, I was nervous at first, changing the covers to just one image, though now I’m getting comradely with them. #practisingdiscernment #practisingboldness

You can see all the inner calendar page pictures if you look through the images in my online shop.

water colour background overlaid with bold art calendar covers in themes: cats, bold women and still lifesClick one of the pictures above  – except the kid calendar or the header ones – to whoosh through to my online shop and order yours for 2018.

I only do one print run per year now, after learning very quickly from the first year two-rounds-of-ordering debacle! #limitededition #longstory #toomuchwaste

Life hurtles along

<Specific, universally human, yet private life circumstances have been unfolding> What have we to hold on to but our experience of the present moment, to do the best we can with what we have on our own beautiful path, and Kindness? Kindess always. *Big deep sigh*

Loads of love and light from Meg, a human x o

 

tall image with a watercolored background overlaid with 3 bold art calendar covers for 2018 and header reading "Introducing Tangerine Meg 2018 Bold Art Calendars"

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Bold List 47: A few of my favourite things May 2017

Header text in handwritten looking font, overlaid on a panelled pale grey wall with prayer flags hanging across the top third.Things (well, ‘things’… haha, they’re mostly podcasts) that are making me happy and hopeful this week! This may or may not get a bit ranty. #howtogetpoliticalandreal in a listicle! Well worth a listen :)

  1. Mia Freedman interviewed on the Osher Gunsberg podcast. I ‘specially loved Mia talking about the “lasts” when parenting (“firsts” seem to be very popular). So glad she gave words and a context to a lost-ness I’ve been feeling about this (even though my kids are in their twenties). Many more topics, parenting and otherwise, were visited too!
  2. Kristen Kalp’s podcast, “That’s what she said” – the Stop Self-Sabotage episode. It’s about even more than that sounds… including: keeping on doing your Good Work when politics is creating fear, division, unkindness – impacting lives and not for the better; how to keep yourself in good condition so you can quietly, consistantly keep going; keep buoyant, keep helping. If each of us did this – and I think a lot are – it would/will add up! I like Kristen’s voice!
  3. This Tom Ballard podcast interview with Paul Oosting gives me hope that there are leaders who clearly see how things can be and not succumb to the BS/fearmongering that’s mass broadcast. My favourite bit is when the interviewee, Paul Oosting, Director of GetUp (regarding standing up against a proposed ridiculously destructive coal mine right near the Great Barrier Reef) says we “… just have to win this one”. That’s how I feel too. We have to see it going right. There are many more people than corporations. These challenges to our environment must be fought.
  4. I’m enjoying Tom Ballard’s podast lately (see also: #3 and #5), and his mission to listen to people from all around the political spectrum and why they hold the views they do. It’s the only way forwards, don’tcha think, attempting to understand each other and finding commonalities?
  5. Tom Ballard’s podcast also revealed to me my favourite newly found common-sense/feminist icon: Eva Cox. Here she is on his podcast, “Like I’m a 6-year old“. I’ve many favourite points to think about. One is: “We live in a society not an economy” – Huh, food for throught that the measurable/financial GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is not the only metric. If you want to learn more, Eva has written heaps of articles for The Conversation news service. Here’s an Art for Art’s sake article, on quality of life.
  6. Our most recent bold interviewee, Angela Trea Lyon, has written “Lead with Love. Always” for Inspire me Today. Her article joins writing by Sir Richard Branson, Seth Godin, Dee Wallace and hundreds more. Go, Angela!
  7. I enjoyed the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol.2. Have you seen it? Now I want to re-watch the first one, then go back and see Vol.2 a second time. I can confirm there’s violence in it (!) but apparently there was plenty of/enough story, character, cool amazing things and humour so I could cope, and even enjoy!
  8. Let’s end with a poem. Rumi telling it from centuries ago on Elephant Journal.

 

Keep having the conversations. It seems hard doesn’t it, yet I find once the subject has been broached, others-whose-point-of-view-you-didn’t-previously-know are often equally unhappy with policies and the status quo. We can’t afford to be gouging effing big holes in our support system (aka. Mother Earth), demonising/dehumanising “other” people, when we are all human and need to breathe! #oopsigotranty

What are you watching, looking at, listening to? Has anything you’ve read or watched or heard made a point you didn’t expect that really made you think? I’m just glad there are life-affirming, thoughtful people putting out their content and ideas, so I don’t feel alone amongst the dangerous tomfoolery of corporate media and government.

There are truly some wonderful people in the world!

I’m doing lots of painting ready for the next round of Bold Art Calendars…  there are a few #workinprogress blog posts coming up and if you want the 2018 members’ discount coupon for your calendar/s, join my Tangerine Tribe here.

Talk soon,
Meg x o

 

 

 

PS Get up by Peter Tosh. If the video doesn’t work, click this to watch/listen.

PS 2 In case you didn’t click through for the Rumi poem, here it is along with the introduction from the article writer:

(The writer, Elyane Youssef,) first read it in The Essential Rumi, a compilation of Rumi’s poems translated by Coleman Barks. The poem is called “A Great Wagon,” and the middle verse—(her) favorite—is below:

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”
doesn’t make any sense.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.”

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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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