Monday, 1 December 2008

impressionism in london

while we were in america we were presented with the offer to make an unexpected and spontaneous visit to London. we excepted, and nothing has been better for my inspirational juices and creative thoughts. this city is rich with art and I have learnt a lot, been opened wide!

luke and i have visited many galleries and been continually blown away by so much history and story in one city. our favourite so far has to be the National Gallery, where we have spent hours and hours studying everything there, but especially all the pieces in about 4 small rooms...Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, Tolouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Seurat, Cezanne, Pissarro...all these amazing artists i have studied at school, coming truely alive for the first time. i have always loved the Impressionists the most i think, so to see them all together in one place is incredible, overwhelming, and very inspirational. nothing compares to seeing these works in real life. they suddenly have such depth and colour and intricate moments.

i realise their amazing textures, vibrant colours, fascinating techniques. i am very drawn to the technique of a painting. i love to stand up close and see just how the paint has been placed on the canvas, how the overall effect has been achieved. i love both the bold, strong techniques of many artists in this movement, as well as the gentle and clever perfection of others.

Cezanne, and his early development of cubism - where the surface of the painting is broken up into small areas of paint, just strokes of colour if you look at it closely, but so particulary placed that on the overall they form a brilliant portrait or landscape. this is 'Landscape with Poplars' (1885-7).

Van Gogh and his bold texture and use of bright chunks of colour - i love how it stands off the canvas. i was especially taken by this technique in his ‘Long Grass with Butterflies’ (1890). pictures obviously don’t do these pieces any justice...

Seurat’s technique, pointillism, also intrigues me. his painting ‘The Channel of Gravelines, Grand Fort Phillips’ (1890) is made up completely of tiny dots, painted on the canvas with such precision and perfect tone, that so much detail is present, even to the point of being able to see the faint pinky purple sunset forming in the blue sky.

i also love the soft gentleness of Monet, who also often used carefully placed pieces of colour to create intricate impressions of nature. when you look at it closely it is just solids of colour, but taking steps back it becomes a beautiful scene of intricate life. this is 'The Water-Lily Pond' (1899).

i also love this painting by Cezanne, ‘The Painter's Father, Louis-Auguste C├ęzanne’ (about 1865). he painted this directly onto a wall in his father’s house (it has since been lifted off and restored onto canvas). it is hard to see in the picture, but the texture on the face, in contrast to the body and then the background areas is so bold and chunky and well yeah, it’s a great effect and this is a great painting.

so, there is my small tour of the National Gallery for you...i have just so enjoyed discovering art again. i have loved relearning about these techniques and movements, and seeing this incredible talent right here in real life in front of me. i am inspired to try so many different things, to just give it a go, and get to expressing myself creatively.

i got given some material from a friend here, and i have been having such fun playing with it’s colours and textures. i have ideas for jewelry made using the lines of these artists and this material - i have been experimenting! stay tuned for more, and thanks for coming on my gallery journey with me ... xx

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

me in a new world

we've been back in australia for a month now. that's crazy. life flies by so very fast. i miss thailand. the fresh, friendly landscape, friends, family, community. life here is vastly different. it is hard to have my heatr in two places. i feel very torn between two rather different lives, and am trying to figure out how i can be 'me' in both cultures. i am trying to be gentle on myself. when we first got back i was very harsh on me. it always interests me that it is so difficult to be ones self. to live what is real and important to us. why is it so hard? i am not going to let myself fall into the daily grind, the expectations of the western world and the tiredness that it all brings. in so many ways, tiredness. i want the things i value and care about to become the bulk of what i spend my time on. this is what i'm learning. this is what i'm trying to be. and do.

i am craving to create again. our 'stuff' has been messy but is slowly getting sorted now. when i find the foot of my sewing machine, i have big dreams for some material, button, necklace delights. one thing about australia that does excite me is op shops, i have already found some great bargains, and spent my time looking at (and purchasing!) buttons. i am a sucker for buttons. i am excited to sew. and go through my stash of goodies, some which i haven't seen in a long time. i want to learn to nurture my creative spirit, that creating can be what i go to my heart it always is, but in my body it is easy to be distracted. it fascinates, confuses and frustrates me, how i distract myself from what i love the most. this is what i mean about learning to embrace give myself a chance to come alive, and not squash the things that mean something to me.

i met a super friendly sudanese guy, godfrey, at the bus stop today. he made my day brighter. he had a lovely smile.

Friday, 25 July 2008


welcome friends, to what i hope to be, some little musings, stories, lessons, that i discover on my journey through this big wide world of life. i am on a creative adventure and it is fun! right now we are preparing to leave thailand in just less than two weeks time. my mind and heart are full, with so many incredible things i have seen and experienced. new friends, special relationships that i will dearly miss. i feel so much richer for having lived here the past year and a bit. there have been many personal experiences that have made this year harder than i thought life could be, but i feel new, and more real. more inspired. so much more inspired and ready to be me.

i am so grateful for the chance i’ve had to experience this beautiful land. this culture and these people. the fresh, relaxed, sometimes frustratingly slow, but mostly wonderful nature of life here. there are scenes that make my senses come alive. lush green fields of rice, farmers working tirelessly in the hot hot sun, to plant their crop and cultivate the muddy soil. a hazy mist, hovering over the never ending, towering and breath-taking mountain range. old ladies weaving cloth, starting with a single coloured thread. a tiny cart being pulled by a thin young man on a bicycle. cows, walking along side my travelling car. the smell of the market on a hot balmy night, and the freshness as it pours with rain, and the sound of crashing thunder. the smile of the cow soi lady, so happy as she heaps my plate with food. the beautiful faces and bountiful laughter of children who've been given a second chance. the overflowing hearts of our dear friends at companion. the best coffee i’ve ever tasted in my life, made with love, passion, and a desire for friendship, more than business.

there are many amazing, refreshing things about life here that i will greatly miss. but i am excited too, for the next chapter. excited to share the me that i have discovered, and try to share my heart, beliefs and passions with people whom i meet. i am more convinced than ever, that life starts when we meet our heart and don't deny it. when we find what it cares about, what it loves and craves, and become unafraid to let that drive us. it sounds simple, but it's really not. i think many hearts have been lost in a world of consumerism and well, just lost, for many reasons. it is a fight to get them back, a good fight, but still a fight. i am on my way, and i know i always will be...but as i go, i hope to find ever more friends to join me, and the ones who already have...

God made the world colourful, creative and designed to be individually united. i have seen it here. in the nature, and the people. the culture and traditions. somehow it is easier to see here. i don’t want to forget it. and i know i’ll be back. but i want to share it. expand it. find colour in the places where it’s not always so easy to see