Paintings | Worry Is A Misuse Of The Imagination

I did some little abstract paintings recently to go on a wall in the back nook of my favourite local cafe, Sweetbrew. I also did a little chalk mural in their front room.

I used wooden boards, did two coats of black gesso and then painted freehand with tiny paintbrushes and gouache. Each board probably took somewhere between 10 - 15 hours each. 

I was a very anxious child and up until recently I couldn't remember a time when I wasn't very anxious. Doodling is a bit of a cathartic practice for me. I do it when I'm anxious and when I finish doing it, I feel a lot better. So this suite of paintings is called 'Worry Is A Misuse of the Imagination'. Use your imagination to make art instead.

They'll be hanging in the cafe for a few months. They're $85 each.


I thought I'd share some very lo-fi shots of the little chalk mural that I did in the front room at Sweetbrew too. I did it over about 4 hours on a Sunday afternoon after close, standing on some trestles. I sketched the basic idea first, scanned it, printed it out and then had it blown up and printed at A0 size so that I could scribble chalk all over the back of the print, tape it to the chalkboard wall and then trace over the line work with a pencil to transfer the basic layout and shapes. Then I used chalk and chalk markers to refine the lines. I printed the coffee paraphernalia sketches onto A3 sized paper and used the same method to transfer them. I'd love to work on something like this again!  

Ps. Sweetbrew have the best coffee in town - if you're in Launceston, you have to go there. Or, if you're not big on coffee, their Prana Chai and banana bread are my favourite.

100 Ideas | Write A Letter To Someone You Admire

One of the ideas on Keri Smith's 100 Ideas list is to write a letter to someone you admire. So this week I did that and painted this makeshift postcard using the back of an old children's book and sent it to Pip Lincolne. I painted it with gouache and a tiny paintbrush and sealed it with some fancy new gouache varnish I found at my local art shop (I had to video chat with my brother as soon as I got home after finding the varnish because I knew he's the only other person who would be as excited about it as me and he was!). 

Recently Pip wrote a really delightful book. I knew for a while that she had a new book coming out, but I didn't know what it was about and when I picked it up at my local bookshop I expected to see lots of cute crafty projects, but instead, it was full of really excellent advice about being a creative person (with some crafty projects interspersed for good measure of course). 

"You Make Me Happy" is a really sweet song by Clare Bowditch who wrote the foreword in Pip's book.

It is full of lots of practical solutions to issues that crop up in the life of a creative person and it gives great advice about having nice times ("I like great times, ace times, rad times, but nice times are generally what I'm aiming for"), waking up early and having a daily morning ritual, making movement/exercise part of your daily routine, writing your own mission statement and life rules, how to spark ideas and ways to look for inspiration, ways of doing new stuff, the importance of connecting with others and about being authentic and being yourself. It has some greats lists in it too including ideas for morning rituals and routines, things to do to spark ideas, inspiring people, project ideas, tips for doing good work, nice moments to be made and goal ideas. 

I loved reading about Pip's daily routines and simple things she has implemented to make life more enjoyable. At the back of the book are a bunch of great crafty projects like Pip's pompom rug, safety pin bracelets and cute knitted blankets. There are also some fabulous recipes. 

It is the best book I've read in a long time in terms of what I got out of it personally - it was like a breath of fresh air and I've found myself revisiting it several times over the past few weeks when I am lacking clarity or need a bit of a pick me up. I've been carrying it around with me so much that my copy is a looking a bit battered and grubby. Five glittery stars from me. I now want to buy a dozen copies and give them to all my friends.

If you're in Australia you can get a copy here

Mail | Sent

Here are a few pictures of some mail I've sent out recently. I don't get a chance to send out much mail for fun these days. The image above was a commissioned piece for a little girl's room that I finished up a couple of weeks ago. Would you like to know how long the illustration took to paint? I'm going to estimate 20 hours, but I really think it could have been longer. My eyes will never be the same! 

I decided that it was time to send my friend Pip a little parcel of goodies. She lives on a tiny island at the bottom of New Zealand and I sent her some chocolate, my favourite tea, a bracelet, a tea towel, some Body Shop moisturiser and a little letter.

My friend Mary is doing a fun puzzle piece art project at the moment which she asked me to be involved in. She sent me a large blank puzzle piece and I decorated it and sent it back. Unfortunately I lost the SD card for my camera for a short while, so these photos were all taken with my iPhone (which I desperately need to upgrade). 

I really love sending mail. I started my blog waaaaaay back in 2009 to document my life at the time, which mostly revolved around sending out a huge amount of mail. It is something I always enjoy revisiting.

Little Joys | July

+ Swapping baked goods with my friend Jaine.
+ Sipping mulled cider with whiskey while watching nice films on Sunday evenings.
+ A lovely impromptu dinner at my neighbour's house.
+ The little gap between Theo's front teeth.
+ Lady dates to look forward to with friends.
+ Cheese, biscuits and semi-dried tomatoes on the table in the team room at work before my shift. I ate so many.
+ My fun friend Mary's Kickstarter campaign for her book.
+ A pile of thrifted books (recently: The Virigin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Snow Falling On Cedars by David Guterson and Generation X by Douglas Coupland).
+ Scented candles that make my house smell delicious.
+ Walking up the hill to West Launceston with a friend and admiring the view of the city.
+ Bare limbed trees reaching for the sky.
+ Cardamon.
+ The Chat 10 Looks 3 podcast by Annabel Crabb & Leigh Sales.
+ The odd people I observe at work who make going to work feel more worthwhile.
+ French Earl Grey.
+ Buying a $4 radio alarm clock from the opshop and waking up to the radio (a strategy I'm trying to implement to deter myself from pressing snooze a dozen times).

100 Words of Now

Flannelette sheets. Late nights. Late mornings. Radio. Fire warmth. Text messages. Tinder. Polite hellos. Burgers. Smudged eyeliner. Milo out of the can. Op-shopping. Perfumed scarves. Toddler conversations. Migraines. Bus. Secondhand books. Gouache. Bad eyesight. Chapped lips. Scented candles. Bare trees. Friendship. Intuition. Deep breathing. Lack of routine. Lust. Wondering. Overindulgence. Restlessness. Muesli and yoghurt. Baths. Floordrobe. Typography. Freelance. Customers. Chit-chat. Toy trains. Microwave. Wood smoke. Overtired. Foggy breath. Films. Comfort food. Cold toes. Memory. Black paint. Tiny paintbrushes. Honesty. Too much iPhone. Colourful mess. Drawing dates. Alarm clock snooze. Uncertainty. New pens. A pile of vintage. French Earl Grey. Sleep.

Inspired by Susannah
What are your 100 Words of Now?