Creativity: Artist Scrapbook 11

Another week, another brown Kraft paper page – Imagine Freedom!as33

There’s a bit of a Patriarchy/misogyny theme on this page, balanced with a side serve of FREEDOM. The horoscope is talking about the shall I go or shall I stay dilemma which everyone faces every now and then over something! The “Too Late” stamp came from the old Moyston Post Office – love it!as34

The photo on the left is of actress Leah Purcell – I kept it because it’s a great photo, although you’d never know who it is if I didn’t tell you. There’s a list of attributes I wish to cultivate – repeated several times through out the book – and a bit of a photo of me – just my Kurt shirt. That shirt was a 40th birthday present from my eldest son, and I wore it into shreds…There is also a quote from Montague Ullman-

“Confronting the truth about oneself and accepting it without being defensive about it or frightened by it is the essence of psychological healing.”

Wise words!as35

On this page, there’s a receipt for the Breeder’s “Pod” and the Meatpuppets’ “Huevos”. A good day at the record store, thirteen years ago. More quotes, too.

“To understand and to be understood is to be free.” – Daniel Johnston

“Genius begins where rules end.” – William Blake

Plus a label from a Koala  tea bag, a label from “Nirvana ” incense, and a snippet about Screaming Trees playing at the opening of the Seattle Experience Music Project.as38

And another of those tiny juice bottle poems…as36

P.S. That’s a scrap of the t-shirt stapled in next to the photo. I should mention that the holes in the pages are made with a two-hole punch, readily available where stationery supplies are sold. And who doesn’t love those places?!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Monument

Photo Challenge of the week – Monument - and a monumental decision to make… what monument? I’m not big on photographing official monuments, because I don’t think they’re very interesting, as a rule. And you can generally buy the postcard with the obvious/ideal POV anyway. So. There is a sort of monument in our rural hamlet, but it’s a monument to AFL*, and I’d rather not…

If you are a regular visitor, you’ll know we went to Washington State and Oregon in 2011, and now basically want to go and live there…This is more a memorial than a monument, in Aberdeen, Washington…KC dedication

The (micro) park had opened only a few months before – this is the guitar statue and it’s plaque.KC monument

Then there is the art-ful surround on the rubbish bin/trash can. Aberdeen has made a feature of tree guards  made in similar style – there’s a  Kurt Cobain one outside the music store in Wishkah Street.

KC bin

Underneath the bridge, fans have created another memorial of their own. Besides the masses of graffiti layered all over the underside of the bridge, Kurt’s name has been carved into the mud of the bank. Poetic!

KC carving


For the record, here is the tree guard, and Kurt’s star in the pavement. There are dozen’s of them around downtown for Aberdeen’s various famous citizens. You’d be surprised…

* Australian Rules Football, as mysterious to Americans as American Football is to Australians, but still some sort of sport, and therefore of no interest to me…(I know I’m “unAustralian”, and I’m OK with it)…

Friday Poem: Back To You

A poem from the back-catalogue today, but fresh-minted pictures from my playtime last night! I put a cheap optic-fibre lamp on the floor in the dark, and messed about with it, had fun and made some interesting light

Everything comes back to you
The thoughts I had
And didn’t write
And now forget
Were all for you
All back to you
The lives of sinners
And of saints
All point to you
In some particular
Or other
Point back to you
All my dreams
And household chores
The words of songs
The calls of birds
The shapes of clouds
The slant of sun
The beat of rain
The breath of wind
The break of day
Whatever comes
Comes back to you
You are in everything I do
I dedicate
My self to you
For I myself
Come back to You.

At first. I aimed to keep the camera still during the longish exposure, but then I thought “What If?” and moved it in different patterns. Finally, I kept the camera still, but moved the fibres (with my feet…). Fun! Dedicated to you, dear reader.

Creativity: Artist Scrapbook 10


Here I am , all on my lonesome, free to do whatever, and with a post to write, and I’m perusing Facebook and going completely blank on what to write about this half page…maybe I need another cup of tea or something…A little darshan to get my head in order. Darshan (Sanskrit) means to perceive the divine – literally “to see”.as31

A label from incense lists the effects of various scents – handy for future reference. My all-time favourite is sandalwood - for incense, candles and soap. The photo on this page is a macro  of a beaded brooch I made using lots of small red glass beads stitched onto a reinforced felt backing. A quote equating happiness with freedom is written in purple ink. An artist should have a collection of different coloured pens, as well as pencils, don’t you think? Also quotes promoting freedom… There’s another juice bottle poem, too -

dew from a long night
falls to the earth silently
lonely tree in time


The Sioux prayer goes with the photo of Johnny Depp from the movie “Dead Man”, in which the mortally wounded William Blake is placed in a canoe by his Native American friend, and launched on his journey to the west…as extra 2

I’m not convinced of the magical powers of gemstones/crystals, but I would like to believe a piece of fluorite could do all that for me, and I added the slip of paper to the book to remind myself of the value of cultivating  ‘greater concentration and meditation’. It doesn’t show up very well in a photo, but I made free use of a metallic gold pastel on this page – you can just see it on the photo on the bottom right. It was one of those impulsive purchases – the kind you get home and think, Cool! But what will I do with it? The answer being, scribble on something! And what’s it like if you use the side? etc etc.

Weekly Photography Challenge:Threshold

This weeks PhotographyChallenge  theme is “Threshold”, that liminal space where one thing ends and another begins. threshold 2


I’m doing a quick post today, because “New Tricks” is on soon, and I posted 16 pics on Saturday…This is the doorway in to our living room. I’m not sure of the name of the Indian doorway decoration, but I love it!threshold 1

And this is the threshold between kitchen and laundry, and from there, outdoors. Not very romantic, but I like how it looks with the sheer curtain.

I should add, for those who don’t know, “New Tricks” is a  British TV show about retired detectives solving cold cases – old dogs learning new tricks. One could argue that, on the threshold of retirement, they chose not to cross, and stepped sideways instead. It’s also a chance for fine old English actors to keep their hand in and teach the youngsters how it should be done!


Artist Book: How He Died

‘How He Died’ was an old hardback book of (very) indifferent colonial poetry when I found it on the $1 table of a local second hand store. The gold embossed cloth binding with it’s Art Nouveau design on the spine was an attraction, and the title had possibilities. I chose it as a repository  for  the clippings I had amassed concerning Kurt Cobain, as a man and as an icon. Initially I removed a lot of  pages, thinking I would not have enough material to fill such a fat book, but I was wrong. As it is twenty years today since he died, I am sharing a small selection from the book.

How He Died 1


All else aside, the book gave me a space in which to experiment with many mixed-media techniques.How He Died 2

It was also a means of trying to get my head around what happened, and why, and to express my own feelings and ideas on the subject.How He Died 3

Alongside my own poem, newspaper pieces layered with photos and a dictionary extract .How He Died 4

The quotes on the left hand page are of the photographer, Stephen Sweet, about his experience of photographing Kurt.How He Died 5

“The mere fact of dying..” was in the original text of the book. Despite the dire verse, I salvaged and used bits of the old text in places throughout my new version. Whatever else any one says about Kurt Cobain (which is a lot), he sure rocked a frock on occasion.How He Died 6

After my drastic pruning of pages at the start of the process, I added some back in, including these black ones, which are mainly dedicated to quotes about the  Buddhist concept of ‘nirvana’, but also another poem which refers to the band and the concept.

How He Died 7


Of course, my favourite quote found a place. I’ve put the last few pages that I photographed today into a gallery.

I was planning to write something deep and meaningful for today’s post, but there’s not much I could say that I haven’t thought before and included in this altered book. I might share some more of it sometime.CreativityEscape

This last image is from a different altered book – “Escape”, which is dedicated to the theme of creativity. It was a rather ghastly mid-century novel before I got to it…

Vale, Kurt

April 5 1994

Friday Poem: Shadows

Some years ago, I designed and stitched a piece of embroidery that included all the colours of the rainbow. (And a golden fish).shadows

It was to be made into a little shoulder bag when it was done. One evening, I was working on it and thinking about the sad and senseless end of Kurt Cobain, when it brought me this poem…

Embroidering in indigo on black
In gathering darkness
Suddenly and for a moment
I understood how you had felt
At the ending of your life;
How much your light had faded,
So that it was too dark to see
Clearly what you should do.
So you did what seemed best
While blinded by shadows.

This weekend marks twenty years since Kurt’s death. Much has been and will be said about it. More books, more magazine articles, examining and re-examining  what cannot be changed, only regretted.

autumn offering

Somehow, after writing the poem, I never ever finished that bag…I found the piece a day or two ago, which  reminded me of the poem and I decided that posting it this week was fated to be. Because, with hindsight, anything that has happened seems to have been inevitable…