I want to come to your drawing and painting lessons … but first, can I ask you something?

What do you want to ask, dear bold soul?

I’ve replied to a few questions privately, and here are some other questions answered by students, quoted with permission.

What if I can’t draw?

A student from Block 1 this year [all that time ago before COVID] wasn’t confident that she could draw. She decided she would “watch, listen and have a go (and was) surprised by the results”. Go you, H from the Fleurieu, giving it a go! She also said the lessons were “relaxing, enjoyable and (she got) great encouraging comments”. She’d recommend the lessons as being “fun, interesting and a (giving a) great sense of achievement.”

S from the Fleurieu, said my “layman’s language made it really accessible” and it was “so doable”. She felt “calm and capable of doing it”, that it would turn out in the end.

What if I’m not good enough?

“Relaxed approach. No demand or expectation of perfection”, said M from the Fleurieu, “These are great lessons for overcoming fear of drawing and painting”. Someone else said the lessons gave her “time out from the distractions of everyday life” and “freedom to play”.

Thank you so much

M from the Fleurieu said “(Meg): you really have a wonderful approach to helping people engage in art. And a beautiful, generous, kind presence”. Others commented that “Meg creates a supportive and very enjoyable space to freely create and enjoy art,” and “Meg is a natural teacher. She is clear and playful; accomplished and welcoming; and paces the classes perfectly”.

I’m not sure that I have time

When you’re scheduling your weeks and your trips, check here for the dates and see if they work for you. For Block 2 we went online. But now we’re ba-a-a-ack!

S from the Fleurieu says the classes are: “informative, relaxing, challenging, creative”, noting that  “everyone sees things differently – every picture is different”. Another benefit was “meeting people from different backgrounds. Would she recommend the classes to others? Yes, they were “fun, relaxing, (and) confidence building”.

D from the Fleurieu enjoyed the “new – bold and colourful – techniques”, the “nice afternoon with good company” and found the lessons “fun and not too daunting”.

Fortunate legacy

In the art world I grew up in, I was lucky to be taught and mentored by Ruth Tuck and her wonderful, mostly women, teachers. They modelled (and still do) being a working artist, how to see and appreciate and having a good work ethic. It’s a rich and important legacy for me, and I hope I can share a little of it.

Was this helpful?

I hope this was encouraging! If you still have questions, not covered here or on the Drawing and Painting lessons info page, contact me via the contact page

If it sounds like a fit for you, come join us!

Sound good? if yes, put on your Frida earrings and book yourself in for a lovely series of creative afternoons in 2020. Click this to book in and join us! There are 3 spots left in the August block and 4 spots left in the October block, as of this writing.

Speak soon!
Meg x o

 

PS If you’re in Adelaide, South Australia and want to visit >>> *Plenty 20*, my SALA Festival exhibition <<< click that link for more details! We’ll be in the on-line SALA program soon…

Let’s visit Mockingbird Lounge

Mockingbird Lounge is a second hand book shop and more!

Did you know? My SALA (South Australian Living Artists) Festival 2020 exhibition of still life paintings, *Plenty 20* is at a wonderful book shop and café in Glenelg South called Mockingbird Lounge?

Mockingbird Lounge is a cosy café, community space, secondhand book shop, art gallery and gift shop, where almost all walls are full of books (except for the exhibition area in the main hallway) and the rooms are full of book clubs. In the café they use actual china cups and saucers, just like you’re at home. Beautiful and planet friendly.

Want to read some others’ thoughts about Mockingbird Lounge? Here are articles from Australian Traveller and from Adelady.

SALA (South Australian Living Artists) Festival

Aren’t we fortunate (and it’s not just luck, folks put a lot of work in) in South Australia to have SALA – an actual Living Artist’s Festival, celebrating creativity as a month-long community practise?! The format is a little different this year, with some extra creativity coming in to play due to COVID pauses and practises. Usually there’s a small newspaper guide of hundreds of exhibitions and thousands of artists. This year the guide and some of the art itself is online.

Lucky for me, with a COVID plan, my exhibition is happening in the physical location that is Mockingbird Lounge. By the way, if you want first dibs on any of the 12 framed paintings, go to my exhibition page up to August 6th where you can pre-purchase the pictures. From August 7th to September 3, visit the exhibition in person!

Plenty 20

When I’m feeling ‘flat’, I tend not to paint … maybe I walk or write, to try to untangle thoughts and worries … When I’m painting, I’ve made it through the writing, wandering and pondering, and there’s a genuine buoyancy that’s embedded in the artwork. I named my exhibition Plenty 20 to remind myself and viewers about gratitude and sheer good fortune for our Australian abundance of fresh fruit and garden flowers, colours and patterns a record of every day plentitude. Basics perhaps, but like Tara Schuster says, “The basics are the luxury”.

I’m grateful to be alive and well. How are you doing?

Speak soon,
Meg xo

 

PS Sign up today if you’re thinking of taking some art lessons with me. We start again on August 6th (3 spots left as of this writing) for 5 weeks. The final block for the year starts on October 1 (4 spots left). We have a COVID plan in place and are returning to our first venue.

Picture 59 in my 100 Pictures Project: a hand-lettered quote of optimism

Greetings from early July, 2020! A significant part of Australia is back in lockdown, while other parts, mine included, are getting to stretch our wings a little again. Gotta keep up physical distancing and hand-washing though. (And then moisturising hands ‘cos sanitisers and everyone else’s soap doesn’t agree with my skin so much.)

I love this quote

This optimism-plus-effort quote is always relevant, and no more than now…

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful caring citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
~ Margaret Mead

Looking at our issues with that bit of perspective gives me hope. We don’t all have to do a lot, but a few banded together can make a real difference. This quote is big and clear on my Bold Art for Bold Causes page too … seems salient with our ongoing humanitarian contributions.

Did you hear this podcast with Eytan Lenko? His big plans could solve lots of big problems at the same time. I also loved this conversation with Rutger Bregman. #sharinggoodstories Cheers for the super timely interviews, Osher Günsberg!

A LOT is going on and needs addressing. And, nobody benefits by us not sharing our creations, our beauty, our joy. Here’s what I’ve been making…

Bright Still Life Paintings

My 2020 SALA art show is coming up, running August 7 – Sept 3, at Mockingbird Lounge, Glenelg South! ^^^ Click ^^^ link for details.
We’re doing a wine/coffee and cafe food (purchase what you prefer from the cafe area) launch evening on Friday August 7, 5-9pm and you’re invited! There are no speeches so roll up for a while any time between 5 and 9. Wear your flower crown if you like :)

Calendars and Cards (and price breaks for early birds)

Scroll down on my *Plenty 20* exhibition page to check out the exhibition-matching 12 card packs and calendar art – and preview the paintings!
The exhibition card packs are $54 $50 until Sunday July 12, 2020 (Australian Central Standard Time). No code required.
There’s an early bird price break if you order 3+ calendars by Sunday (sign up to my mailing list for the member’s code and sweet freebies.)

Willunga Artisans and Handmade Market is back

Are you able to get to Willunga, South Australia this Saturday? WAHM (Willunga Artisans and Handmade Market) has a COVID plan, and we’re back at the Old Show Hall this week! Looking forward to seeing everyone again, albeit with plenty of extra hand washing and physical distancing.

See you soon!
Love Meg x o

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? :)