Creativity: Escape V

Here’s a page of my altered book “Escape” that has been painted with house paint, rubbed over with pink pencil and embellished with little rings meant for reinforcing holes in paper. While they were on their original backing they were used for printing dots on fabric, leaving the rings nicely coloured and perfect for decoration.



The text isn’t exactly about creativity, not directly anyway…The bookmark is the packaging from chopsticks, and too nice to toss away.Escape 17

Between two ‘normal’ pages is a leaf of translucent parchment paper, with a little stamping on it. It is held in place with common-or-workshop duct tape, and excellent and versatile material popular with artists and home-handypersons!

Escape 18


More yellowish paint, and coloured pencil. You may notice that the two pages stuck together while the paint was wet (ooops) and tore off a layer – that’s where the rainbow pencil came in. Always go along with your mistakes – in art – maybe not so much in life….The stamp I used at the bottom is long and narrow, with an image of rough stitches – at least, I think that’s what is intended. However, the ends look a bit like stylised trees, and that is how I often use it. It also works well in the context of textiles, of course.

Rubber stamps are great for altered books and other mixed media creativity, so it’s good to have a broad collection (and to keep them fairly orderly). Look  for them in bargain shops! It is probably impossible to have too many…

Weekly Photography Challenge: Refraction

The theme of this weeks challenge (or inspiration!) is ‘Refraction’. Literally that means ‘splitting’, I think, but it generally refers to the splitting of white light into the colours of the spectrum, otherwise known as ‘the rainbow’. I have a lot of pictures in my files of the rainbow colours thrown around rooms by various prisms of ‘crystal’ hanging in sunny windows,

and my first thought was to search out some of them.refraction 1 However, I was having one of those cleaning and reorganising mornings, which led to having a bright, shiny cut-crystal sherry glass in my hand, and… refraction 3 refraction 2


I also had an iris ready to pose for me. Iris is the name of the Greek goddess of the rainbow, so its a good fit for ‘refraction’. The petals (and sepals!) glitter in sunlight with tiny specs of rainbow colour, which I hoped to capture better than I did…

Maybe next time!

Friday Poem: Solitude

nataraja 1

Late in the night
a single candle

Nataraja dances
in his circle of flame

Bright jewels

The silence rings

Outside, the empty stars
late moon
cold in the dark.

Inside the room
beautiful shadows

Beside the candle
Lord Shiva is dancing
by himself.nataraja 2

In Indian cosmology, it is Lord Shiva, in his Nataraja form, who dances the world into being. He is also the destroyer, acknowledging that creation and destruction are inextricably linked. Sometimes when I am in a melancholy mood, I like to light a candle and lie in the semi-darkness, contemplating life, death and the whole damn thing. Which is an excellent and pleasurable pursuit for an introvert like myself. It’s OK to be sad sometimes, and that’s where the poem came from. As my sister would have been fifty years old tomorrow, I’ve been trying to imagine her as a fifty year old woman, and I can’t do it. After almost twenty three years, I am accustomed to her not being here and I am rarely assailed by grief, but her birthday (which is also one of our brother’s – he was six when she was born) will always be a time to wonder – what if? Who would she have become if she hadn’t fallen ill and died so young?

nataraja 3

What I want to say is – enjoy life as it is. My mother -in-law is dying at 87 after a good and full life, my sister died at 27, after a full life that didn’t seem nearly long enough. And you never know how much time you or yours are going to have – so live it, and love while you can! Dance alone sometimes…

Peace Love Empathy – they make the world worth living in.

1 Day 1 World Project: 11am – 12pm

Lisa’s 1 Day 1 World Project has reached it’s final hour – it doesn’t really seem like 24 weeks, but I guess it must be!

I worked at the Ararat Regional Art Gallery again today, and arrived to find that Mark was still busy installing the new exhibition – Organic Intimacy, curated by Sara Lindsay. I was given the task of finishing installing the work of Ruth Hadlow, which entailed attaching many pieces of paper to the wall with tiny pins, which are tapped in place with a small hammer. My 11am to 12pm hour was divided between a restorative cup of coffee with Mark, and working on the installation.

The final touch was to hang threads loosely across the face of the grid, which required a lot of walking across the room and contemplating the effect before I was satisfied. Way more fun than stuffing envelopes or filing!

Creativity: Escape IV



“Escape” was an old novel, and now it’s an altered book with the theme of Creativity. On this page, I pasted a page from an old notebook, and added a few thoughts on “Rebranding”. I regularly go through my wardrobe and give away clothes that I don’t wear anymore, but I’m not nearly as good at clearing out my large collection of books! The ones I’ve altered have all been bought for the purpose from second-hand stores, and even those I feel a little guilty about cutting up and pasting over – books are sacrosanct!DSCF8947

The next page – painted over, scribbled on with coloured pencils, stamped, a stray sentence pasted at right-angles to the text, and a sticker from Kikki-K – plus a quote from photographer and film maker, Anton Corbjin. He was referring to his movie “Control”, about Ian Curtis and Joy Division. The quote reflects my own idea that things you like making will find a market…DSCF8948

On the left, another old notebook page covers most of the text. The rose is a rubber stamp image which I coloured in with watercolour – which made the ink run a little, giving it a well-worn, weathered look. When something like that happens, don’t panic – go with it and decide that’s what you intended all along. Works for me!

The Rick Amor drawing is on a page torn from an art magazine. I like the way the figure seems to be about to leap into something new. The rest of the page is painted, stamped on and doodled on with pink ink. Both these pages have a little room left for another quote, or a drawing to be added later. It’s still a work in progress.

More next week!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Dreamy

Dream a little dream, dream on, beautiful dreamer, this week the Photography Challenge theme is “Dreamy”.  This weekend, I had a day Home Alone, which is my favourite kind of day, and a dream come true…It was a beautiful warm spring day, kangaroos in the paddock and blossom on the quince tree. I made proper coffee and drank it in the shade of the plum tree, picked flowers to take inside and generally enjoyed myself. I’ve edited some of the photos I took to enhance their dreamy quality.

I also caught up on the ironing, did a couple of loads of washing and other hausfrau type activities – but that wasn’t so dreamy!

Friday Poem: Brink

“A masterpiece is not the result of sudden inspiration, but the product of a lifetime of thought.”

Virginia Woolf


Meditating or sleeping
I am hovering on the edge
Of something almost understood.
What is it?
I turn my head;
It disappears
Just beyond my grasp,
just beyond comprehension,
Just beyond realisation.
It is a light
I glimpse but cannot see;
A solidity that dissolves
Before my touch.

If I can make myself
Quiet and empty enough
Perhaps it will enter
By itself.window

Sometimes things just won’t come together, and it all seems like too much struggle. Sometimes there’s no time to do all the things I want to do, and the would-be masterpieces are nothing but vague ideas, bubbling away gently on the back-burner of my mind. That’s a really good time to let everything go, to just sit (or walk) and be mindful, to flow in the effortless way of a river. Eventually, things will become clear again by themselves.

I hope.

red moon 2

That’s the eclipse of the moon, a couple of nights ago. Eventually it came back, all by itself!