Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Belated Christmas Wishes

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!!
We spent the day with family and had a very pleasant time of it.
I handmade some little Christmas chocolate boxes to give out at a friend's lunch a few days before the big day. I featured our native Christmas tree, nuytsia floribunda, which flowers at this time of year and can be spotted from miles away with its fluorescent orange blossoms. I have been meaning to take a snap of one in local bushland but have yet to get around to it. So this is the best I had on hand to give some idea of what it looks like in the bush. I took this photo from the car window while travelling to Cervantes last year so it's a bit blurry.
I managed to keep my trips to the shops during the Christmas madness to a minimum, but when I did make an appearance at this local shopping centre it looked very festive and wasn't too hectic.
Speaking of festive, my friend Corinne always does things with flair. Her homemade fruit mince pies looked very fetching on this vintage plate but they didn't last long! 
 One of her lovely roses in full bloom below, and above, a colourful display hanging from her balcony rafters.
The beach has been very distracting of late with summer upon us.
 Above is a picture of me at the beach yesterday, covered up and energised after a swim. The maximum temperature got to 41.6C (107F approx.)

Divine conditions! As is ever the way, a camera cannot compete with reality for capturing exactly how gorgeous everything is. To make things worse, my phone's camera was doing strange things and I couldn't get nice crisp shots. 

Below are some photos taken from other recent beach visits.

 The seaweed and shells are so pretty
I was asked to do a mug design for the Wildflower Society's 30 year anniversary recently and here is the printed product.

Below is my friend Katie reading my book at the iconic bathing boxes on Brighton Beach in Melbourne.
My book is also now available at the Bodhi Tree Book Café in Mt Hawthorn.
I am planning to participate in Leslie Saeta's famous 30 day painting challenge starting on the 1st January. This will be my third time so I'm not quite as terrified as I was the first time, but I'm not far from it! 
Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Flowering Cactus

Acrylic on board 15cm x 15cm (6" x 6")
It was great to hit the paintbrushes again!
Each time I attend something interesting I mean to blog about it in detail, but I've fallen very behind with my blogging lately. So I hope you don't get too bored while I catch up all at once by posting photos of some of my recent outings. 
There have been so many festivals to attend and things of interest to do with the advent of the warmer weather. I enjoyed the Groat St Festival in late October - an event that promotes sustainable community living.

The lovely Eco-Faerie Sarah of Handmade Wonderland.

 I visited the Western Australian Herbarium mid November with the Wildflower Society and was absolutely boggled to find myself face to face with an actual specimen that the great Sir Joseph Banks himself had collected on Cook's first voyage of discovery in 1770. It was right there! I could have touched it! But I didn't.

 The Herbarium gathers and documents Western Australia's botanical species diversity. We saw many interesting specimens which even included lichen and seaweed.

 All kept safely in temperature controlled filing systems.

I was so pleased to see that one of the vaults had been named after my heroine Georgiana Molloy.
Sally kindly brought along some of her stunning home-grown verticordia flowers to grace their front reception.

On the drive home my friend Corinne and I oohed and aahed over the gorgeous Jacaranda trees in full bloom that line many of the streets in the older suburbs.

We also drove off course to investigate what was left of an old market garden area that had long been marooned amongst suburbia. Inevitably it too has now succumbed to "progress".
This little pioneer homestead now sits alone in a sea of new blocks that are ready to be built upon.
A few weeks back I went with friends to the Artist Open House Fremantle event. We walked through the streets of South Fremantle from house to house where many artists were exhibiting. So much great art and architecture. The murals below made me think of Sami who blogs about Perth and features murals on Mondays - you can check out her great blog here 

Last week I accompanied my mum to the HBF pioneer's garden party in the grounds of Government House.
Government House was built in 1863 and sits quietly in it's lovely 3.2 hectare surrounds while the city centre grows ever bigger and bustle-ier around it.

I was thrilled when American art blogging buddy Michael Perchard sent through a photo his nephew took of him reading my book in Boston on Thanksgiving! You can check out Michael's great blog by clicking here

I hope everyone's having a great week and I hope to visit all my favourite blogs very soon!

Friday, 6 November 2015

My Early Writing and Art Career

There are times when I bewail the fact that I have a tendency to hoard things, and there are other times when I'm quite pleased about it. When I happened upon some of my old primary school exercise books today, I was quite pleased about it.
The most battered, and the most treasured, amongst them is my grade two story book - circa early 70s. I wrote the stories below at the age of six and they are the earliest records of my writing. There are certainly no signs here that I would aspire to writing when I grew up. However, I like to think that my passion for art was already in evidence.  I can still remember drawing some of these pictures and the fun I had while doing them.   

Leap ahead two years and my writing was still very lack lustre. I have the dreaded "improving" stamp on this page. I remember the teacher coming around to stamp our work and I always hoped to receive the coveted "very good" or "excellent". I thought the word "improving" meant "terrible" because it seemed to be reserved for the worst work.
In year four, every week we had to write a bit about what we'd been up to in our own lives and then we had to write about something we'd read in the newspaper. I suspect I may have read about a timber worker having an accident going by the picture and the rather brief interpretation of the article I'd read. 
I'd love to hear if other people still have their old primary school books in their possession.
 I'm afraid I have made a rod for my girls' backs. I have whole folios full of their artwork from baby scribbles through to their high school days. Each piece with their name and date of execution all carefully inscribed on the back.
Below is my art blogging buddy Sally Chupick reading my book while relaxing on a short painting and hiking holiday with friends in Vermont. Sally is a wonderful artist and has recently been invited to show her work in the Kingston General Hospital in Canada. check out her very inspiring blog by clicking here
And below is my neighbour Elyse reading my book while visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia. She and her husband Graham had a fascinating holiday in Cambodia and Vietnam recently.
I hope you all have a great weekend!