Thursday, November 30, 2006

Super Mum

I have painted eleven 30 x 30 cm paintings on board for the Doggett Street Gallery Christmas Exhibition Friday 15 th December. This painting is one of them. It is called Super Single Mum and yes it is me, but also every other single Mum out there! And actually every Mum. All Mothers are wonderful super women. I also wanted this Mum to look sexy. Well, I think she does.

This figure has multiple arms to represent the variety of jobs a Mother undertakes. A single Mother takes on many of the Father's roles so her list of talents/jobs is very extensive. Her long plait is my plait but it does look a bit like a whip! Well, what more can I say???

A little anecdote...Last weekend my middle daughter mowed the lawn. The guinea pig cage was moved to the carport and placed at the bottom of our front stairs. I asked the children to put the cage back on the grass when the mowing was complete. This did not happen for 2-3 days. When it finally was done a rather large pile of guinea pig poo and decaying seed was left at the bottom of the stairs [the cage has a perforated bottom]. I did not realise this for a whole day, during which we had 2-3 visitors to the house who I realised later had to walk over/through the poo! That evening when I went downstairs to take the car to get Indian take-away I was horrified to see this pile of unwelcoming poo. So ranting and raving I asked the youngest child [who belongs to the guinea pigs] to sweep the poo and seed away. No, she did not do this immediately. It happened the next day. Well, she did sweep it away...she swept it so it lay spread out all over the carport! No matter where you stepped there was a litel pellet of poo. And she brought the broom upstairs whithout shaking it and I had giunea pig poo all over the entry room. Guess, who ended up cleaning not only the entry room but also the carport? Moi! But, you know, I realised I did not give my youngest daughter clear instructions. I don't think she had ever used a broom before so had no idea how to sweep or that you need to shake the broom after use. I learnt just as much from this episode as the children did.

Super Single Mum Oil on baord 30 x 30 cm

Monday, November 27, 2006


This time last year I was preparing to head off the the United Arab Emirates with my eldest daughter for my solo exhibition at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation. We spent a month over there and had Christmas in Dubai. I have never seen such wonderful Christmas decorations than those in the hotels and shopping centres of both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. They were fantastic. The stuff dreams are made of.

The photos above were all taken in Abu Dhabi. The first on the left is me in front of the Emirates Palace Hotel. It is amazing and so opulent. Gold plating, Rolls Royces, large spaces, beyond beautiful furniture, marble, domes............ Well worth a visit. I dressed up too.

The bottom photo is me on the sand dunes during a rest stop on our desert safari. These desert safaris are absolutely terrific. I have now been on a couple. My daughter got such a surprise that boring old Mum would even suggest going on a safari. Once the high powered landcruiser driven by a very good looking and heavy footed Syrian man left the main road the car seemed to leap like a leopard. My daughter was astonished as she really did not expect the speed or the thrill of rolling over the dunes. I know she saw me in a different light! The sunset over the dunes was breath taking.

The photo on the top right is me partnering with the belly dancer at the camp destination. My daughter nearly died when I agreed to go up on the stage to dance with the beautiful belly dancer...this was far too embarrassing. But, I think she was secretly impressed. It was such fun, but I nearly lifted the poor girl off her feet when she tried to twirl me under her arm! She was very short and I am 180 cm tall.

I am reminiscing. My daughter and I had a great time.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Following the bride down the aisle ie: a rear view.

Weddings, marriage and relationships...what great inspiration!

Lots of conversations, gossip, reflection, happiness, sadness, joy, love, hate.

Rear View is about looking back. Reflecting. Distancing oneself from your own past. Learning the lessons.

I took my middle daughter and her two friends to a party tonight. They are just about to finish grade 8. They were so nervous....boys were going to be there. It is just so wonderful to watch and of course I tease ever so gently, because I remember wanting to be sick before going to parties with boys! I did finally get over this nervousness, but it took awhile.

Rear View gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm

Saturday, November 18, 2006


This work on paper is one of a large series of paintings which focuses on the bride. The paintings ranged from fairly benign observations about relationships to quite direct and confronting observations. I have just been reading the weekend papers and there are a number of articles about relationships. In the Weekend Australian Magazine we have an article about golfer Stuart Appleby's new love and one about new Dad's over the age of 50. The Courier Mail's 'Lustcause' is another. I have not finished the papers but I am sure there are a number of other articles. Relationships are a great source of fodder for magazines and newspapers. But, that's fine. We are all human and it is our relationships which determine so many of our life choices. I think my series of paintings about the bride are some of my most interesting work. I loved it. Some were funny, some thought provoking and some painful to look at. Unfortunately the series did not get the attention I felt it deserved. I wondered why? Still wondering. Is it because I am in my 40s and not my 20s thus fitting in with the cult of youth???

The painting above was inspired by my youngest daughter's exclamation when she heard that her Father had remarried without telling us. We learnt by letter after the event. My daughter was 5 years old.

But Mummy I Wanted To Be A Bridesmaid Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm unframed

Monday, November 13, 2006


I used the term Woop Woop the other day in a conversation with my kids. They had no idea what I meant. So, I presume many others may not know what is meant by Woop Woop too. It means a place so far out there, at the back of beyond, past the black stump, isolated and harsh...that's Woop Woop. I lived in a small country town for a long time...that's Woop Woop as far as I am concerned!

It is a fascinating turn of phrase...Woop Woop. But, I cannot figure out how I can relate it to my painting above which is called Universal Connection, other than to say that even those who live out Woop Woop have connections. It is the six degrees of separation phenomena. AND in Queensland I think you could almost say it's two degrees of separation. Everyone seems to know someone who knows someone else, who knows someone you went to school with or had a baby in the same hospital or Mother went to the same school as your Mother or....your ex husband's new wife went to school with! Now I am confused.

Having said all this I have experienced strange connections all over the world. In London in 1986 I was stopped in the street walking back from the theatre by someone who went to kindergarten with me in 1963! In Dubai I have met people who know this and that person. In Paris I ran into a person who used to live in Goondiwindi where I lived for eighteen years...we were at the Notre Dame. In Abu Dhabi I did not run into anyone I went to kindy with, but I met people I felt connected too. It's the art you know! It worked its magic.

Universal Connection Oil on linen 60 x 100 cm

Friday, November 10, 2006


The exhibition in Dubai opened on Wednesday night. I have heard lots of people were there, but have not heard about anything else. It is now Friday and the weekend in Dubai, so I will have to wait until Sunday.

But, some good news. Today, I have had three people contact me by email interested in my work. A very good sign. I like multiple enquiries in the one day. Certainly puts a smile on my face.

I have been painting on board lately. It is certainly a different surface to canvas, but it affords some magical moments as the paint drips and spreads. I have been painting small 30 x 30 cm paintings for the Doggett Street Gallery Christmas exhibition 15th December. See my previous post at

I have bought some larger pieces of marine ply to paint some bigger pictures. I am looking forward to experimenting and seeing what happens. I remember painting on board many years ago and enjoying the transluscent look I could achieve. I am really keen on the concepts of sharing and possibility, looking for symbols which say more than they initially appear to say.

You know I really love painting. I would dearly like to just paint all the time...but I appear to be good at other things too: like organising functions, being practical and being a great Mother [At least I try-On some days my children would agree and on others they would vehemently not agree!].

Unlimited Knowing looks at the power of the collective ie: collective prayer, collective singing, dreams, meditations and so on. I don't think people need to be litterally and physically in the same place. Thought has a power which does not need physical proximity. In fact, it probably exists outside time.

Unlimited Knowing Oil on linen 60 x 100cm

Thursday, November 09, 2006


The Group Australian exhibition 'A Gift Of Colour' I am participating in opened last night in Dubai. I have not yet heard any feedback. They are six hours behind us. It is currently 11.25 am here, so in a few hours they will be up and about. The show continues until December 6 at Mondo Arte Gallery, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

I went to the race track in Brisbane on Melbourne Cup Day, yep the 'Emirates Melbourne Cup'.
I've never been to the track on the actual day. I was in a marquee with 1200 people. Oh my goodness! Of course, I did not see a race, but I did see a couple of horses. The favourite attire amongst 20-30 year old females was the short baby doll dress. Not something everyone should wear!

So Anything Is Possible is one of the five paintings I have in the exhibition in Dubai. I like to think that anything is possible...good things! Let's see what the political reshuffle in the US brings...anything is possible! I heard someone say the ultimate in positive thinking... Be realistic, expect miracles. I just love this.

Anything Is Possible Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I picked up my eldest teenage daughter and a friend from yet another party last night. Fortunately this finished before Midnight and I was at home in bed by 11.45 pm. At 10.15 pm I bundled my nine year old into the car to make the long treck out to semi rural Brisbane where all the parties seem to be held! I had to do this because I cannot leave her home alone in bed and her older sister was at a sleepover. There is something heart wrenching about a young child awakened and slumped in the front seat of the car with a dazed look, thumb in mouth staring out at the night lights.

Last night I only needed to make one phone call to alert my daughter of my arrival at the party...often it takes a few attempts because she cannot hear her phone. You see, I am not allowed to get out of the car. That would be far too embarrassing! Apparently I am a 'Hippy'!!! I did get out at one party and ventured through the crowds of 15-18 year olds. Really, it just reminded me of parties I went to...but when I was at University.

When my eldest daughter was born I never imagined life as a single Mum. I am not going to go on and on about this life, but I will say that until it is experienced day in and day out , year after year no-one can imagine what it is like.

I painted the painting above Do You Know? Have We Met? when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I used to speak to her and imagine her. My grandmother died only a couple of months before the birth and I was sad because my child would have been her first great grandchild. I was also my grandmother's only grand-daughter. However, her death while pregnant with a new life reinforced my observations of the cycles and patterns of existence.

I think I am considered to be a 'hippy' because I am an artist, drive a bomb of a car, wear clothes which often have paint on them and sometimes even have paint on my face [which I am unaware of]. It is apparently really embarrassing when I arrive at the school with a large painting strapped to the roof racks because no other parents have strange objects on top of their cars. Did I mention the bull bar? This is a remnant of a married life in the country where kangaroos, feral pigs and wayward livestock could be huge problems on lonely roads particularly at dusk. A bull bar is beyond embarrassing...apparently. I tell the children that I must be so much more interesting than the other Mums! Problem is that teenagers don't want interesting parents, they want the kind that blend in. My time will come.

This painting is one of a series I did in 1991. They are all gouache, oil stick and pastel on paper.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I think there is a distinct possibility that an alternative Universe exists. Funny thing though...I think it exists right here and now on our wonderful planet. We've just got to harness it en mass. First we have to look and actually see....not just look.

I visited a truly amazing exhibition today created by Australian artist Katie Pye with other artists. The exhibition called Mantel of Beauty: Ceremony and the Divine was, "Inspired by the unifying nature of beauty, as it's expressed through religious ceremonies and traditions." The exhibition brings together Christian, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist ceremony and tradition through, "'Light' being used as a metaphor for God/Divinity contained in all religions", and that , "all diversity comes out of the same source." When I was inside this exhibition I felt I was experiencing what I imagine an alternative Universe to be like. A place where similarities are applauded and differences acknowledged as being gifts rather than reasons for conflict. The room is a total environment of sights, sounds and texture. Light is reflected off shining surfaces, truly beautiful fabrics and intricately patterned objects. Smaller spaces of wonder/worship are created within the swirls of fabric and sound. This exhibition is a must see. Tony Gould Gallery, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Sth Brisbane until 27 January.

I was so pleased to see another artist thinking in a similar way to me. My paintings are about the abundant possibilities of sharing, of noticing that at a fundamentl level all people are the same. We share the basic signs of life ie: heart beat and breath. We share the need for identity. We all share this planet. Our religions share many of the same seeds.

I believe artists can actually 'protest' more by focusing on those wonderful things we all share. This is not a denial of atrocity and stupidity, but why give these things attention? Surely this only assists in perpetuating the voices of atrocity and stupidity? A balance is needed and I am beginning to think artists of all kinds have a role to play in reminding people about the beauty we lose if war, oppression, global warming and all the other dreadful blights on our planet continue.

My painting above is Alternative Universe Gouache on paper, 30 x 42 cm unframed.