Pictures 57 and 58 in my 100 Pictures Project: a land-lettered quote and a cat lino print

Classics today on our 100 Pictures Project journey – an uplifting quote from a monk hand-lettered by me, and a lino print of a black cat with a twinkling eye …

Picture 57: David Steindl Rast quote, hand-lettered

The root of joy is gratefulness…
It is not joy that makes us grateful;
it is gratitude that makes us joyful.
~ David Steindl-Rast

This quotation reminds me that often I have things all arse-about. [“Back to front” if you’re reading this aloud to small kids.] Creating and decorating the lettering gave me a chance to percolate. Click this if you’d like me to custom illustrate a word just for you. #wordoftheyear #powerofwords

I’ve paired other visuals with this favourite quote before – here with my lino print, Joie de Vivre.

Picture 58: Mr Inky lino print

That little cutie! ‘My’ cat is so.so.so black. His fur is as black as I imagine the ink of a squid to be. And, he has about a hundred one-fur patches of white (ie. single white furs) only visible when viewed more closely.

This lino print features him with a background pattern of raining ink pens. And with a crocheted blanket I admired before I could actually crochet (that’s been a recent thing).

Below left: hand printed – on the left is the print on paper, on right the inked lino block. Below right: Hand colouring in progress. I like the inky blue in the background.

A mini listicle: More cool stuff

There have been many small things to consolidate our joy and gratitude and add to our learning, these past strange months.

  1. Gorgeous Vivienne McMaster is back from maternity leave and making ripples-of-goodness with her know-and-love-yourself-through-photographic-self-portraiture courses. She is sunshine… I’d recommend her offerings wholeheartedly.
  2. Stasia Savasuk taught her most recent session of Style School right through lock down. Supporting and encouraging women to show up for themselves even (or especially) through iso. She has a wonderful instagram. Her rants are So.Good.
  3. I’m loving watching the addresses from Prem Rawat each morning. Click this to check out the full series of his lockdown videos.
  4. I was astonished how accessible this conversation was between Osher Günsberg and Richard Denniss (an Australian economist and author, see below)… for me, it unlocked some mystery around political economic messaging. We don’t have to swallow our elected officials’ econobabble and let them accelerate us into climate destabilisation.
  5. Richard Denniss book, Curing Affluenza – The book of the ^^^ podcast, sorta. I’m reading it right now and it’s making so much sense to me. When politicians say “… we can’t because of economic growth and GDP,” it’s their way of sidestepping a blunter truth that they “don’t want to”. “The Economy” doesn’t care what we do, and we as citizens can tell our elected representatives we want more of this (ie. renewables as power sources) and less of that (new coal mines, for example!)
  6. On a different branch… If you’d like to (potentially) get tears in your eyes from a delicate, strong, beautiful song, click this link to Loren Kate’s I’ll Be.
  7. More Australian made creative beauty: Love in Lockdown brought to you by Gristmill (Librarians TV series, Upper Middle Bogan, and more) – a short, lovely complete story.
  8. And, Gut Feeling. Such a great premise – I love imagining my gut as a super intuitive character with funky style. Gosh I would love this as an ongoing series to see what plays out for everyone and their gut instincts!

 

How’s your section of the world going?

Virtual hugs, dear one,
Meg :)

 

PS Want some happy art cards to send to loved ones? Check out my art card page here … There are many dozens to choose from, all updated as of last week!

PS2 I have an editing whiz on the project with me to get our heart photos into a video. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Picture 56 in my 100 Pictures Project: Hafiz quote

“Your heart and my heart are
very, very old friends”
~ Hafiz

Does that quote just warm your heart right in the cosy centre? Me too…

This hand-lettered and decorated quote is number 56 my #100PicturesProject! Finished last year (when the world was another place), it’s been scanned, coloured and made into greeting cards! Woot!

Does this artwork resonate with you or remind you of a dear friend or family member? Click the picture ^^ to find them online in my Art Card shop.

Thinking about friends, family and all of humanity, maybe it’s a good time to reinstate some pen pal habits and send a ‘snail’ mail … always fun!

Talking about hearts and connection …

… have you sent in a Found Object Heart picture for my 2020 Collective Heart Project? I’d love to add yours to the collection. We already have more than a dozen, and a few are featured below!

Click this writing or the heart pics below to see the details of the project, and join in today. I’ll delay the project wrap up maybe an extra week because it’s taken me a while to get this blog post out!

Why am I doing this right now, when the world is a different place? Because I’m doing what I know how to do. << Thanks for putting that into words, Austin Kleon and Fiona Apple.

Want to add to the loveliness? Click one of the heart pics to go check out the details… there’s a short (the kids are swarming) version, and a longer version :D

I’ll share some more this week on my Facebook and Instagram. In a week I’ll collate into a something – maybe a slide-show style video? Like when we made this.

While we’re in lockdown thinking about stuff …

… let’s think about not returning to what we were doing before. Let’s not go back to (the same) “normal” because, as wise people are saying, “Normal was the problem”.

I listened to this fascinating podcast interview – Osher Günsberg with Margaret Klein Salamon from The Climate Mobilisation – recorded before the pandemic was at the forefront. She asserts that the eco folk have been lying to us too: in fact we can’t fix the climate emergency gently or moderately, because we’re already so far along the path. I’m shocked but I see what she means.
Ultimately, though, it’s an optimistic outlook: we can transform. (We just proved it.)

Wash your hands dear heart, we need you strong and true.
Love and light,
Meg x o

Bold Living 61: Time Lapse Drawing Video “… a time to refrain…”

Warm greetings to you, bold soul!

Here’s a 27-second time lapse video of me illustrating a lyric line, after hearing the song Turn! Turn! Turn! on the radio recently. These lyrics were written well before they were put to music in 1962 (click this to learn more) by the late Pete Seeger. Pretty sure I had a much-loved version on vinyl in the 70s, that had beautiful harmonies …

Are you familiar with the song?

 

What a time we are living in…

Take care of your self and your people!
Speak soon,
Meg :)

 

 

Link Love from Lockdown – April 2020

In an interruption to our irregularly scheduled programming, here’s a listicle for when we’re locked down at home … and “going viral” is no longer a desirable state! [Instead of more introductions to the #100PicturesProject today…]

Though apart, we’re all in it together, co-operating by staying home to curb the rampant spread of COVID-19. In this situation, the ideas, projects and resources in these links have been helping me make sense of things, be interactive in a positive way & uplifted, hopeful and active. Hope some may be of interest to you :)

  1. I’m enjoying these short, daily Lockdown chats from Prem Rawat. A great way to start the day, they keep my heart buoyant and my feet on the ground. Here’s a trailer to see if it’s your kind of thing...
  2. Bollywood dance classes – I like Fusion Beats… I’d been to in-real-life classes before the physical distancing came into play, and Francesca’s lovely teaching translates well to the screen. They offer both real-time classes and follow along sequences. I’m enjoying this physical fun at home, though have discovered I’ve another weakness: remembering & following a series of physical movements! Haha. Oh well :)
  3. I like this article by Tara Schultz, who asserts “Having higher welfare means people can afford to pay rent, stay healthy and get back on their feet, and into the workforce.” This pandemic and subsequent job losses means as a society we’re seeing on a bigger scale than ever that we need to take care of all of us. It was true before. It’s true still. Perhaps moving forwards we can even think about the option of an all-the-time Universal Basic Income! This site answers common questions about the UBI.
  4. While you’re at home, want to join my new art project, launched from lockdown? It’s pretty simple… Click this link >> Collective Heart Project 2020 << to check it out, and reach out a creative virtual hand to others :) I hope you join in!
  5. Austin Kleon on staying home and making stuff, in this article ‘zines’ (little magazines).
  6. EcoLateral keeping going amidst the changes… Go, Jamie! [I hope she has time soon for us to interview her :) ] On socials, she brought a new concept re toilet paper alternatives: these could be used for toilet paper for number ones so you could save your loo paper for twos! Great concept-splosion, there … for me, anyway!
  7. Other ways democracy could be done! Osher Günsberg talks to Iain Walker, executive director of the newDemocracy foundation. Fascinating. Full disclosure: As of this writing, I’m about half way through.
  8. How good and generous are permaculture people? Nadja from Nadja’s Garden has a free book download. David Holmgren has a RetroSuburbia book launch/offer coming up.
  9. These amazing women do mountain climbing in full skirts. Made my day.
  10. ABC News – you know my general policy is pretty much avoid the news (I shared a link to someone else with that viewpoint in this post) … At this time, I figure the National Broadcaster for say 10-15 minutes at day is a balanced personal policy!

A few people are thinking ahead and reminding us that who we support now, is who we’re gonna have at the other end (undefinable as that end currently is). I dearly hope we learn enough and are too smart go back to Business As Usual!

Hope you got something out of my listicle, even a smile :)

See you soon, sunshine!
Meg x o

Pictures 54 and 55 in my 100 Pictures Project – Vase and Corella Feather on Sue’s Shawl, and a kitty drawing

I finished these pictures – numbers 54 and 55 – in the middle of 2019 [an eternity ago!] and am currently painting a commissioned Custom Cat kitty which is picture number 75.

Let’s use this in-betweeny, where-are-we-headed, and do-we-want-to-go-back-even time to catch up on some picture introducing… Catching up is needed!

This picture (close up shown at right of photo above, number 54 from my #100PicturesProject) contains very local ‘artefacts’…

  • In a part of the land that doesn’t do snow, large noisy swarms of white parrots – properly known as Small Corellas – drop a snow-like blanket of white feathers during the hot summers here in the Fleurieu Peninsula. That’s one of them in the pic.
  • What about “Sue’s Shawl” of the picture title? Sue previously had a shop nearby and has now moved it and herself to Queensland. I adore the cosy pinks and lively repetition of flames/leaves. [Side note: I’ve been favouring pink in paints, clothes, etc, since my father passed early in 2019 … Pink is soothing, isn’t it?]
  • This vase (just visible in the peek) is a favourite of mine given to me long ago. A gift from a friend with the same birthday, who was a neighbour at the time, and we’d gleefully wave and clearly mouth “Happy Birthday” when driving past each other. Haha, much as our non-contact-sport-greetings are in this time of history!

Here’s picture 55, the ‘viney’ cat of Appreciation, which started with a measured, patient black and white drawing. The fully coloured version is the May picture if you have one of my 2020 Cat calendars or the birthday one. [In fact, I’m close to ready to put together 2021 Calendars!  Stay tuned…]

By the way, I’ve been trialling Zoom (internet video connection) sessions and once we iron out initial wrinkles, I’m considering opening the limited-sized, in person, drawing and painting classes up to be larger sized (maybe simpler) classes [goodness willing and the creek don’t rise] … If you’re keen to do drawing lessons with me, message via either my Facebook page, or the Contact page of this very website, and I’ll let you know if and when…

I wish you so much well…
Love and hugs,
Meg in the time of Corona.
Bye, Corona.

Pictures 52 and 53 in my 100 Pictures Project – Pears and Precious Pears

Hey beauties! The world has changed since I drafted this post! Some things are the same, and some are different…

Some things are the same

Here ^^^ are the next pics to introduce in my #100PicturesProject… At left a snippet of number 52, Pair of Pears, and at right a close up of number 53, Precious Pears, the latter of which sold in the Flourishing Fleurieu exhibition my work was in last August.

I read someone opine that something wonderful was as good as ” … the last bite of pear”. I can relate. I like pears. Even before my current low food chemical [amines and salicylates for those playing along at home] dietary plan, I notice I often included them in my still life paintings.

I don’t know why but I never get sick of creating still lifes, and still lives with pears. I think I almost have enough (ie. 12) to make an entire calendar of Still Lifes with Pears! Wouldn’t that be fun?! :D

Drawing and Painting Lessons

We had a brilliant block of lessons beginning in February. Here is some lovely in-person bold souls’ feedback:

M said I had a “… Relaxed approach. (With) No demand or expectation of perfection. Definitely these are great classes for overcoming fear of drawing and painting…”

S said “M(eg) is a natural teacher. She is clear and playful; accomplished and welcoming; and paces the classes perfectly!” 

S2 said “… informative, relaxing, challenging, creative …”

Thank you, bold souls! Now, let’s talk about how…

 … some things are different!

The corona virus COVID-19 changes things for all of us. All. All of us on earth. We are all in this together.

Good news and bad news – some links…

I started collecting these links a few weeks ago. And again: everything has changed. And nothing has: we always were in this together, we just forgot for a while. We still need art and each other and our planet. And kindness. We still need kindness.

Here’s a 45 minute comprehensive read: Why you should quit the news, from Mark Manson…  Couldn’t agree more about keeping clear of info-tainment, the story cycle that ignites fear and division and a need to watch more and more breaking, updating, but never resolving tales. [Later: Times have shifted and we need to be in the basic loop right now. Maybe just check in once a day to be up to date. Please get your news and guidance from a reputable source.]

I love a Good News list! If you’re gonna be on-line, don’t quit the good news!  Thank you, Sister M for the link to this list of 99 Good News Stories from 2019 you Might Not Have Heard.

Here’s an interesting [familiar?] allegory/story for those of us who tend to take on everybody else’s stuff and not have any jolly boundaries or let anyone figure things out or do things for themselves: Girl in the Velcro Dress. And this follow on post fills out the story: The Girl in the Painted Dress. I’m so glad Heather Plett shares her insight!

A clear challenge/counter to the instruction/expectation to “Make eye contact” from bold soul Yenn Purkis, autism advocate and author. I can see how this is a thing. Eye contact is so much sometimes. I find my ability fluctuates with my anxiety levels.

If above here ^^^ is an instagram logo or a big blank box, click on it and it should take you to my instagram, where there’s a 24 second video of me painting petals :)

Stay Home and Make Art

If there’s something I try to prioritise generally, it’s Stay Home and Make Art! To do so feels productive and positive, and keeps me physically away from others. Turns out that Stay Home and Make Art is a perfect idea for these times!

The risk and challenge of holding Drawing and Painting lessons in-person is too high right now. So we’re postponing until things resolve. Which is nudging me to consider offering lessons online, sooner rather than later. Would you be interested in that?

By the way, when keeping your distance from others, instead of thinking of it as Social Isolation, you can think of it as Social Solidarity + Physical Isolation. Feels much better!

We’re all in this together. Wash your hands, dear heart! And have a great week!
Speak soon,
Meg :)

 

 

Picture 51 in my 100 Pictures Project – Gracious (Rose of Sharon)

Creating this picture, “Gracious”, was a race against time, like when I did Rapidly Ripening Figs and Nectarines, the first picture in this project.

My neighbour gifted me this short-lived flower, a type of hibiscus(?) called a Rose of Sharon. It grows on a small-to-medium nicely shaped tree and the blossoms last for 24 sweet hours!

To capture one of the flowers, I needed to allow enough time to continuously create – rather than with pauses as I often do – drawing and painting while the blossom lasted, for the sakes of both shape and colour. As you can see in the first of the photo group above, the petal colour starts a white with very delicate pink. Then it slowly gains more and more and more pink… It deeepened and changed as I worked. Meanwhile, the shape goes from gracious, to cautious, to collapsed … Mother Nature, you racer!

Once the flower and leaf were drawn and painted, I could of course finalise the vase, table and background at my own pace.

Looking forward to doing an exhibition of purely still lifes later this year… details soon!

How’s merry life in your neck of the woods? Have you got some persistent something flowering? Here are a few quick snaps of marigolds. Loving.The.Yellows.today!

Click this to see some with a light breeze!

The yellow is so kind and happy, and the generosity of nature is again apparent. There must be dozens of seeds in every flower, hundreds of seeds from every plant…

It’s not nature that is mean or greedy. It’s us. In fact a very, very few of us. I think we need to be inspired by Greta [Have you read this? I’ve ordered the book from my local library] to speak up about our beliefs. A very, very few are fouling this beautiful ship/planet for all of us, and if we go much further on this trajectory there’ll be no way back. [Too much? Too much for me too, today. I need to stay inside and paint yellow things for the sake of my mental health.]

Happily there are yellow marigolds with seeds.

Love and peace.
Speak soon,
Meg x o

 

PS Want to join Winter Drawing and Painting classes? We all need a break from the distractions and chaos sometimes, don’t we? And doesn’t it feel great to make things in good company? :)

Picture 50 in my 100 Pictures Project – Past and Future Poppies

When are nature and art time machines? Oh, always…

Here’s a pic of a little of the magnificent blossomage of nature, this past Spring…

After the flowering season passed, I converted the then dry stems and leaves into mulch, and dropped the poppy seed pods into a spare jar.

Unlikely sounding (for me) though it is, I loved the look of the poppy pods in the jar – the softy colours and textures, the shadows and 3-dimensionality, and the great shapes! Stars, ridged roundness … and then all the tiny tiny seeds like punctuation full-stops (‘periods’, US bold friends). These dots >> …… <<

Click this to watch a minute of me dotting poppy seeds in.

My (almost print-like) ikea studio curtains bring bold lines to balance/play off the black poppy seed mass mostly at the bottom of the jar.

Mother Nature is so abundantly generous. Her past poppies make future poppies – thousands of seeds (future plants) from maybe dozens of flowers.

What’s going on for you?

How’s your start-of-the-year been? Mine transitioned smoothly from a two week tune up with Stasia into teaching art to a wonderful bunch of adults. Have you been following their achievements on social media? Here’s a catch up of the 2 weeks so far …

In the world, yes, there is shite happening. And, beauty is here too. To care for our nervous systems, practise noticing the beauty, dear bold babes. Talk soon.

Sending love, light and virtual hugs,
Meg x o

 

 

PS Bookings are no longer open for the Summer block of art classes, and the Autumn block is just about full. There are spots in the Winter, late Winter and Spring blocks. Want to join us? Click the art lesson picture or type in the link, or, click the Art Lessons link above in my website menu :)

Picture 49 in my 100 Pictures Project

Dear bold soul,
Much is amiss in the world and parts of Australia are on fire. I’m fortunate enough not to have been yet in a fire-affected area. There are however, neighbouring areas that need assistance, as a neighbour does from time to time.

After scrolling and scrolling on Facebook, thinking I was getting Informed-with-a-capital-I, I had to step away from the feed. Me feeling angry, horrified or hopeless doesn’t help me or anybody else. And thankfully, I’ve come through my initial disbelief and overwhelm at the situation, and pockets of where I can sustainably contribute are coming to light.

People are wonderful

I’m seeing after the first flurry of what’s-going-on-and-how-did-this-even-happen that a lot of capable caring people are providing resources and kindness for animals both human and otherwise. Many generous and resourced people are throwing money at the problem. And other practical and forward-looking people are talking and planning how we can do better, if when other big changes happen and action is needed. Folk are being blazing and quiet kinds of heroes.

Amongst all this – and right on the heels of the holiday season! – I open up my blogging window to create some goodness in a way that I’m able, by simply posting my next blog post. It’s this one, the next picture in my 100 Pictures Project. So, I was cross checking on my blog and back with my computer records to see where I’m up to and the next picture to introduce is number 49…

Lo and behold: I’d lettered/decorated Thich Nact Hahn’s words:

“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness”.

What synchronicity…

Our separation/differentness really is surface-level, isn’t it? Whatever you think of what someone says or how they behave and why don’t they do things more like me, there’s a power in a big life-threatening event to quickly have us prioritise life, humanity, the environment and kindness. We are essentially the same. Seems like. [And can we try to be at this point without a big life-threatening event?]

Hand lettered quote

In the pic above: I re-drew the cutie pie lower case ‘a’ (shown bigger) because I made a spelling error initially when doing the lettering / drawing! Oops, ‘seperateness’ I first thought. You can see the first ‘a’ in separateness is where I photoshopped in the new ‘a’ with the little fan shells and flowers!

Did you know, you can purchase selected pieces of my art as colouring pages? See below – click the View Product button then use the drop down menu to choose your favourites. For the rest of January I’ll match my own ongoing 10% donation to humanitarian aid via TPRF by sending another 10% of art sales to either Red Cross Australia (bushfire relief and recovery) or Container of Dreams (building tiny homes for bushfire victims).

On the topic of the Arts Contributing to [Society in General] and the Alleviation of Damage and Suffering, on January 11th, at Willunga Artisans and Handmade Market we had a penny tin at the door and collected $160.75 towards the Kangaroo Island Mayoral Relief and Recovery Bushfire Fund.

Can’t wait to show you my next Custom Cat… I’m working on a sweetie at the moment :)

Sending sparkles and kindness.
Meg :)

 

 

PS2 The world is sometimes chaotic, and we need down time to soothe and nourish our souls … If you want to do Drawing and Painting with me, sign up soon. The Summer sessions are half full – and the price goes up on the 31st – and the Autumn sessions are gently getting booked up too!

PS2 Want to help make something else wonderful happen? Support Loren Kate’s new album, funding is nearly there!

PS3 Can I support you with a hand-lettered, decorated Word of the Year? Click this to book in :)

 

Life. Death. Creativity. Remembering.

I’d like to talk about art, and creativity and missing people when they’ve died, and how their makings – and our makings – make it different …

 

David Bowie

This musing has been triggered by strong sad-yet-appreciative feelings swelling up recently when I randomly hear David Bowie songs playing. Or “Faith” by George Michael… that transports me back to a very specific time and a new dress. So grateful Bowie made music. Does particular music take you back, too?

Ursula K Le Guin

I’m so grateful she lived and thought about stuff and wrote … I found Ms Le Guin’s books by way of some quotes floating around when she died early in 2018. I’ve started to read her Earthsea books and have just finished and loved the first one. I ‘specially enjoyed the behind the scenes notes from the author (in the form of the books forward and afterward), including the deliberate choosing not to write about military style solutions and  ‘goodies’ versus ‘baddies’. Most intriguing. I’ll work through the books one by one … can’t wait to see what she writes after the 20-year gap! Have you read Ursula Le Guin?

Carrie Fisher

[Warning: if you click her name above you might get a few tears from the 1 minute and 18 seconds of clips! I did.] I watched episode 8 of Star Wars last week, the last one Carrie Fisher was in, though who knows what will happen next with such great computer generated work being done now. And that sad-yet-happiness welled up in me again! So sad she died quite young (60). So so grateful she made all the things she did, said what she said. She had a bunch of sexism in her industry to deal with, and had (thankfully) addressed and commented upon it. Here’s a written ‘remembering’ article. [Damn, I’ve made myself cry.]

Margaret Olley

Legendary Australian still life painter, Margaret Olley, made and made and made. She modelled “art before housework”, which you can see in the recreations of her studio at the Tweed River Gallery. She was painting right up until she died. So much appreciation for someone who “… held over 90 solo exhibitions during her life time”! That’s a lot! Here’s a briefer life summary.

Do you think the happy + grief thing is heightened partly because they were alive and making in our times?

Transformative

Read this article by artist Jessica Swift to hear how painting transformed her grief after her husband’s sudden passing … from bleak grief into an experience that had rich positive aspects too … so  fascinating to read how art transformed. [Perhaps I’ve said the word ‘transform’ enough now.]

Whenever I feel like things are pointless I do a bit of drawing and readily feel more centred and purposeful.

Getting older

Remember I wrote this post about The Old People Lesson on Kind Over Matter? [If you click through, something’s happened to the pictures – don’t worry it’s not you!]
I feel lucky that ageing-as-it’s-portrayed-now has had the sting taken out of it’s tail by the observations and comments that were gifted me as a child.

Why do we even say “ageing”? It’s just living. Do you think marketers decided to popularise that term to sell us stuff? It wouldn’t surprise me!

Letting her hair go grey was just the first step as Louise Pendry writes in the article that this quote is pulled from:

“Going grey was, for me, the conduit to a more spirited enjoyment of life after 50. I have grown bolder in word and deed, less afraid to stray outside my comfort zone. I’ve taken on new projects that challenge the notion that older women become invisible or matter less…”
~ Louise Pendry

Where are you at?

Who are you glad created things? Has their life and legacy helped you? What do you create? Experiments? Outfits? Poems? A kind culture in your home? Do you have thoughts about creativity and missing people? Getting older? I’d love to hear below in the comments or on my Facebook page.

Feed the good wolf today, you beautiful, quirkalicious marvel :)
Love Meg x o

 

 

 

PS Here are a few ways to join the (good) tangerine Tribe: