Monthly Archives: January 2014

An old favourite in a new colour to love…

Hydrangea purple

It’s no secret that hydrangeas are one of my favourite flowers. I spotted these gorgeous indigo ones at a recent visit to a wonderful local garden. I am usually drawn to the softer, more muted shades of the pinks, the palest blue and creams – especially as they start to fade, but these vivid hues of indigo and deep purple were so stunning that I just fell in love with them.

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Encountering the lights…

lights in park 1

The Festival of Lights has been occurring in our local park for 60 years today. Last night I took this photograph. It’s not a “typical” festival of lights image, but more like a wild abstract painting. As I have said before, one day I would love to see some of my wild and hugely abstract “light” images on display large scale in a gallery or strung down the side of a massive building, displayed on an enormous scale.

With this image particularly, I love the colour and shapes, but mostly I love the movement of the light that is captured…the way the light makes a cross symbol (or resembles an evening gown?) and the image looks to be fluid and moving, like a dancer.


A thought on personal and individual style.

symbols in home

What is individual style? I have been thinking about this and have come up with a few thoughts about it. To me personal style transcends your home, your studio, your art, your creative endeavours. They are all just manifestations of your style. Your style is you. It is what makes you a unique person on this planet. Style is a reflection of your genuine self, your expression of who you are. Style is understanding who you are and being extremely at ease with that.

Your personal style is partly what others see, it is your art and your creations, your thoughts expressed, your home, and your community. As I think about this I see images from my home, my art, my studio and my journals – all different but threads of the same things – old symbols (hearts, circles, crosses), text and use of letters and words, old patina’s and vintage finds. Trees, beaches, bridges, buildings, houses all feature in my style, as does finding old nests, collecting sea-glass, rocks and shells, quirky finds and birds, horses, growing food, and history all interest me. Writing musings, journalling and playing with mixed media, painting big abstract paintings and trying to do photography everyday are my style. Noticing things others might miss and finding beauty in everyday things are my style. My style is thinking in interconnected circles but writing in bullet points.

Your style is also how you live. Being a mum to four kids will always be my first priority. That’s my style too. Like many of us, I am juggling everyday – the divergent needs and demands of a large complicated and blended family, working to earn income, running, and try to find space in my day to create, fitting in all the other messy stuff in between, that’s my style too.

I am a mother to three boys rapidly moving into that strange place between being men and boys, and one 4 year old princess fairy. A writer and keen blogger. I am a runner. I am a photographer. I am an artist. I am creative. I dream of Italy and of visiting Europe one day. I dream of living closer to the land, but also (ironically) closer to the city centre and so I can smell and hear the sea. I dream of my three sons as babies and wonder at their journey into being young men. I love my pink, sparkly princess who has in a thousand different ways saved me from myself through this process with her enormous smiles, delicious cuddles and piles of charm, giggles and songs. All of this, is part of me.

What has running got to do with style? Running is very much apart of who I am now, after I put on my trainers one year ago exactly and ran to the first lamp post then walked the next two. I run to clear my mind, to think straight, to have my body hurt in a good way. I run so no one can see tears occasionally. I run to have a few precious moments when no-one needs me. Running gives me space to plan, dream and plot. It takes time but it also makes me more creative and more efficient. I also see things that I don’t see when driving or distracted by tasks and errands. They are all part of my style.

Is style is the only thing you have left when you strip everything back to its barest state. Or is style is an individual and original point of view delivered with confidence? Or, the culmination of all the parts of a life brought together? Or is style really just having curiosity, a sense of spirit and confidence in yourself?


A sea of the palest blues…

Gisborne

Stunning! No other word for it in my mind. This is the East Coast, Gisborne area. It is so vastly different from the brilliant greens, black sparkly sand and dark blue sea hues I see and know from the opposite coast that I call home. Here it is a colour palette made from the palest blues, white cliffs and light golden sands…I am in love.


Bridging the gap on the east side…

steel railway bridge

I have been travelling recently to the other side of my fair country. To a place I had only been to once many years ago, a place where the sand is pale and golden not black, a place I had only been to in a very different lifetime.

I saw many abandoned railway bridges on my journey. They are no longer used to carry people or cargo around the towns but they have an inherent beauty, individuality and structural elegance that remains to this day. Maybe they will be returned to their former glory  or possibly transformed into a highlight of scenic walking and cycling route…who knows? For now they sit slowly deteriorating in the landscape.

All I know is that I like them and think this one is very beautiful. I hope you do too.


January meanderings…

yellow flower

I saw these unusual flowers, like big bright yellow round blobs of sunshine on the end of bendy sticks waving in the grasses while out on a walk recently. Yellow is not my favourite colour but they were so unusual, having no leaves or petals and so brilliant yellow, that I had to stop and admire them in their coastal garden.

Yellow, to me means transformation. I don’t really know why, but when I see yellow, I think of change. Maybe its from the years I spent in Canada and the yellow of leaves representing the changing seasons? Whatever the reason, I have been thinking about change a lot.

I realised this week, that I can not really call myself an artist, having not painted in over a year. I have dabbled in creating some mixed media pieces, but really apart from my journals, photography and writing, I haven’t really created anything of note. Worse of all, my art room – my studio – has sat empty, neglected and abandoned for most of 2013. It had turned into a dumping ground for all sorts of unwanted stuff (and not in an eclectic, interesting, creatively inspiring kind of way, but more a “I don’t want to set foot in there” kind of space)…it was a sorry sight – curtains closed, cobwebs taking over, and boxed piled up…. That I had not used it in such a long time really shook me. So yesterday, in a fit of new year/new attitude, I emptied it, cleaned it, sorted it and only put back in those treasures that inspire me. I turned it into “my space” again…a space to create (although I have packed my paints away) and to write.

There is a story to be told, a thread that runs through my blogging – a story about change…about life turning out not quite how you expect, and about a dream and a search for a more creative/more inspired life and this is the year it happens. There may be less art in the way of painting this new year, but I think there will be plenty of photography, writing, running, and musings on life, love, inspiration in the everyday, raising kids and all the messy bits in between.


So here we are …

At the end of one year and the start of the next. It always seems appropriate to reflect a little on the past years trials and tribulations but also to reflect on the learnings, lessons and joys that occurred.

There were some disappointments and frustrations this year, along with some sadness. But mostly it went by in a blur of commitments, appointments and obligations. I realize now that the goals I set for myself around my art, photography and writing seemed to have been quite unachievable this year. I could dwell on all this, I guess, or I can just carry on and keep moving forward albeit more slowly toward my goals.

It’s just like when the running gets hard, you have to just keep moving forward until its easier to carry on than turn back. Sometimes that’s all you can do.

So my dear friends, don’t be too hard on yourself if you, too, didn’t quite achieve what you hoped this year. We are all on our own journey and for some of us, we seem to take the long winding road…let’s hope it makes all the difference. Happy New Year to you.


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