Art. Photography. Gratitude. Life.



Saturday, 17 August 2013

Heart of my land.....

It is an unpredictable land in which we live.
In primary school we had to learn a poem off-by-heart,
I chose "My Country" by Dorothy MacKellar.
the words of that poem rang so true to me as a 12 year old,
and even truer now, to me, as a woman.
True not just on the pages from which they are read,
but TRUE to the heart and core of living in this land.

We have blistering heat,
long hot days where the sun sears
turning green to brown,
drying up the last of the muddy puddles in the billabongs,
forcing all living creatures to seek shade,
leaving the earth cracking open, bone dry,
and one wondering......
while looking to the sky, burnt a pale blue by the sun,
if it shall ever rain again.

Just when you are hand feeding the cattle,
and giving up on a summer crop,
down she comes.
Ahhh blessed rain.....
As you give thanks,
the words of gratitude barely leave your lips
and the words of that poem haunt the corridors of your mind:
"A land of droughts and flooding rains".
And so comes the rain,
and so comes the flooding waters.
All in their fierce path all is washed away.
Loved Ones.
In the still of the moonless night,
 as the flood waters rise.
There isn't the sound of a single living creature.
No night time serenade of crickets and cicadas
No chorus of frogs and toads
Just the bone-chilling roar of swift water.
Our small creek that is dry most of the year
and meanders lazily through the farming flats of our valley
becomes a ferocious beast
roaring across the landscape
scouring with its claws
gnashing with its teeth
taking all in its path
like an angry beast on a wild chase
hungry to reach the ocean.

Our little creek travels miles and miles before it joins a river.
As it makes it's way
it is joined in its ruthless march by unrecognisable rivulets, streams and gullies.
Each new recruit swelling its ranks...
swelling its capacity,
swelling its volume,
swelling its banks,
swelling its force.
One is left speechless...
Strangely, ironically,
with such savagery also comes strange beauty,

We choose to live in this land.
We choose to live on the land.
We choose to make our living from this land.
We choose to be part of this of this land.
We choose for this land to part of us.
This ancient land of great contrasts.
This land that seeps into your bones
and takes you from breathtaking to breathless
all in one day.

Friday, 28 June 2013

What Am I to Thee?

Am I a tree?
Am I a woman?
Am I a she-tree?
Am I a Goddess?
Am I a Spirit?
Am I a Goddess-Spirit-Tree?
What am I to Thee?

Am I the knowing eyes, seeing all hidden from sight?
Am I the deep listening, hearing secrets long buried deep?
Am I the one who sees and hears soul's whispers?
What am I to Thee?


Am I the soft rustle of leaves on a balmy eve?
Am I the soft flutter of newly hatched wings?
Am I the soft velvet of rose petals?
Am I the fanciest of costumes, turning heads?
What am I to Thee?

Am I the wildness of wind-swept hair?
Am I the steadfast-ness of aged trunk?
Am I the flighty-ness of startled wing?
Am I the fragility of  new blossom?
What am I to Thee?

Am I a mother's tender kiss?
Am I the first tentative stretch of wings?
Am I a new seedling pushing through earth?
Am I the first twirl on the dance-floor?
Am I the first rays of the morning sun?
What am I to Thee?
Am I the drum of rain on tin?
Am I the crackle of campfire?
Am I the call of song-bird?
Am I the sweet silence of old-growth forest?
Am I the bathing light of pinks as the sun says good-night?
Am I the soft glow of full moon?
Am I the dance of moonlight on still waters?
What am I to Thee?
Am I Love's first tender touch?
Am I that breath-taking moment?
Am I Grace about to take flight?
What am I to Thee?
Am I the mystery of glimpses on a darkened night?
Am I the promise of a Lover's first kiss?
Am I the beat of new heart in the womb?
Am I a thousand life-times growing as one?
Am I all of this, yet much more?
What am I, if I am not Thee?

"She-Tree" was painted during a six week intensive on-line course called DEEP with Connie from Dirtyfootprints Studio. This was my third time delving DEEP-er into my intuitive practise with Connie. I've been fortunate enough to take DEEP twice, the second time, it extended into a double journey, this painting is the result of the second round of six weeks of that second class. Every time I paint with this hot chica I learn more about intuitive painting, my own art practise, learning to listen (and I mean really listen), connecting with Source and about myself then I bargain for.  I thank Connie DEEP-ly for allowing me this opportunity yet again and for the many gifts that journeying with her and a Tribe of amazing painting-sisters and all that the experience/s have afforded me.  I am blessed.

Friday, 25 January 2013


"Hell" not a very inviting title is it?
"Hell is not a place, but a state of mind"
are the words that came to me while painting today.
My Gremlin/Inner Critic doesn't want me to write this post.
He doesn't want me to share this story with you.
"What about the five others you have in draft?" he implores me.
Yes, why not complete one of them?
Why not play it safe?
Why risk baring your soul and art for ridicule?
 All very valid points, my dear inner guardian.
But I have had a few prompts from The Universe in the past few days....
It began with an innocent looking email.
My dear friend and mentor, Connie wrote a post Vulnerable Naked Bare.
where she bared her soul,
shared her raw emotions
and shared her "dark" paintings.

Reading her words, seeing her art, "feeling" her pain, her vulnerability,
it stirred things inside,
it opened up the wounds buried deep down inside,
in that dark hiding spot,
the one that no-one usually can find.

Connie's paintings.....her words......her recent journey.....
they moulded together to create a key,
and it flung open the door to my 'secret hiding spot'.
The flood gates opened,
the tears streamed,
my breath quickened,
my chest tightened,
and my gut churned.
I sat in front of my computer feeling like my heart had just got ripped violently from my chest.

     Underworld1 (detail)

Old wounds fester in the dark.
We pretend they aren't there.
We think if we can't see them, they will just disappear.
We think if we don't think about "it", "it" will just melt away,
dissolve into the tapestry of our past.

We put on that "brave face" that we are taught about as a child.
We make sure the world thinks "she copes so well".
Trust me, I've worn that:
"Can cope with anything life throws at me" badge
proudly on my chest for all to see.
It became a badge of honour.
"Yes world, look at me. I can cope."
When younger I had a boyfriend whose favourite saying was:
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger".
"Crikey, I'm so strong I can carry the whole world on my shoulders",
my EGO would boast.
Chin up.
Brave face.
Fall apart later.
Hold it all together.
I ended up so busy coping, that I turned it into an art form.
I've mentioned before
How I used avoidance as a coping mechanism.
Yes, avoid the pain.
Avoid tending to the wound.
Cover it in layers and layers of "busy-ness" and it will just go away all by itself.

Sailing along quite nicely, thank you very much.
someone I admire greatly, starts to walk a similar path,
her story starts to mirror my own.
And the tiny, almost invisible hair-line fractures start to form.
They travel like cracks in sheet ice,
moving swiftly but silently across the surface.
If I don't look too closely, I won't see them.
I can continue on blindly.
"No worries, mate."
Underworld2 (detail)
One extra straw gets added.
and I know.......
I know I can't put it off any longer.
I HAVE to face the un-face-able.
I HAVE to heal those wounds.
I HAVE to heal with a brush.
I HAVE to heal with paint.
I HAVE to stand in front of that blank page and face my demons.
I HAVE to venture into the Underworld.

"It's a privilege to journey the Underworld." my friend Connie over-heard Pixie say.
I feel like I'm eaves-dropping.
Eaves-dropping on a conversation my soul NEEDS to hear.....
Underworld3 (detail)
The Underworld beckons.
rather then entering fearfully.
I enter with reverence.
I enter with the open mind of knowing it will bring forth good.
It will bring healing.
It will bring closure.
It will bring in the light.
My gorgeous friend Shamsi wrote, only days ago, in our Painting Tribe
"playing it small serves no one..."
so I hush my Gremlin,
and I share my "dark paintings"
I bring them into the LIGHT.
For Art Heals.
LIGHT Heals.
Underworld4 (detail)