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March 2011

International Conference for Environment Centres 2011

International Conference for Environment Centres Sydney Australia 2011
I am soooooo honoured to be selected for this VERY VERY special event.
This conference is still calling for papers and  presentations too SO if that is something that interests you or you know someone, pass it on. 
Six Australian Artists will be exhibiting a room of art each. (Already selected sorry other art friends!). As well as a exhibiting, we will also be set up 'in studio' all week, creating. So YES you can come and watch us 'at work'....... AND  some of us (yes me!) will be doing workshops.
I will be showing most medias that I work in... sculpture, painting, printmaking and jewellery.
YES Tiddalick will be there with me.... my little (BIG!) star
Environment Centres are so important, and I know this will be such a brilliant event and opportunity for all.

This year has been very important as I've focused on this event.  I've had to say no (sorry!) to many events and commissions as my heart is with the Environment Centres and the tireless work THEY do for us. Art is the language I speak and this is my chance to shout, sing and perhaps get others to join in. :) never know... perhaps if we care a little more about our environment... the mermaids will come back.... shhhhhhhh ;)

The Light & Shadow Box

Barnes1 This was a wonderful commission!

Completed today....  As you know I adore creating with found objects but even more
so when I'm giBarnes5ven the honour of creating an artwork with precious treasures of great meaning.


Working with such energy really is a huge responsibility and one I never take lightly. 


Being trusted to create something aesthetic as well as sometimes healing, cleansed and focused  with new intent is one of the greatest joys I am privileged to enjoy.  


  This lovely had a collection of family treasures that they didn't want made into individual pieces, but rather one work of art.
They certainly felt they didn't want them sitting in drawers anymore.

Most of these pieces are from Ireland... one has Belfast Council inscribed on it, very old very precious.

 I've left all the pieces untouched by paint or mediums and they could be taken off in the future, easily cleaned up and reused.


The client loves shadowboxes and I had looked at the various ways I could create one....Then I thought... I want to make it look like a piece of art and these pieces are far too precious to hidden in the shadows... so I gilded an old frame and set it into a canvas... secret secret techniques followed (oh not really!) and here we have it!



That's a beautiful pair of cameo earrings I've set into the top of the frame and a bracelet along the bottom edge. The little boxes where way too gorgeous to not include.  Barnes3 
Don't you just adore the writing on the tiny white box? Treasure!
Everything you see in this artwork is created from recycled or re-purposed materials except the mediums and paints.
The frame was a gorgeous find at council clean up, all brown and dusty.... the canvas was one that sat sadly in a corner of charity shop with a big dent and a glittery collage on it.
The nook? Ahhhh shhhh secret! ;) I can't tell you EVERYTHING! But it's a common household thing.
The little stands that pop some of the treasures up are dice! AND the Gold Leaf was a FIND! Garage Sale :) See you NEVER EVER know....

The Flower Hunter

Let me introduce you, especially if you are not familiar, to an Australian artist who WAS a household name in her time but now is all but forgotten....
Ellis Rowan 1848 - 1922
otherwise known as "The Flower Hunter" ohhhhh don't you adore that name?
She is such a inspirational kin-spirit to me and if you love stories about art, women pushing boundaries, Australian stories, well you have to explore this amazing and inspirational woman's life and works.
Fast Fact... the largest single collection of ANY artist in the WORLD is the one held by the National Library in Canberra, Australia of Ellis Rowan's work! 970 pieces.
She adored flowers.... :) and would travel to the most remote locations imaginable, all over Australia and then overseas to find her beloved subjects.
But wait!... Ellis did all this mostly alone in her corsets, flowing dresses and parasol. To boot her most famous adventure was during the First World War when she set out to paint all 72 know Bird of Paradise flowers in New Guinea... amazing? Well yes... but astounding as she was 70 at the time.
She as described by writer Winifred Scott:
"....the painter was more wonderful than her work and that is saying a great deal. The first impression was of fiery, intense vitality in a seemingly most fragile personality.... She had a power of endurance which strong men might envy.... and worked as if upheld by some power greater than any inherent in human flesh and blood" 
Loving her yet? Well not everyone shared that at the time....
220px-Ellis_Rowan26 Ellis Rowan wrote  newspaper articles entitled "The Flower Hunter" about her adventures. It was wildly exciting and popular, something that would bring her under scrutiny. Her writings where embellished, as she would later admit, to maintain interest in what can at times be a monotonous process. She used the media of the time, understood it's power and had P05-eRowan a keen sense of what the public wanted to hear.
You have to remember at the time being an artist was not something encouraged in women. In fact Flower Painting WAS, but it was the pursuit of ladies in parlours with cut specimens from tended gardens. Ellis not only took to adventuring to seek out her subjects, she wrote newspaper articles, a book, won many Art Prizes and was a household name and so was bound to upset not only society but especially the male art establishment.
79F44BB3DAFE4A38A5690EC85DBDBB80Although she was her times 'Blogger', using the media of the time to promote her work and herself it was in fact a projection of herself, as she was a very private person and did not at all like people getting too close. It can be hard to unravelthe real Ellis, but her work and what we do know of her life stand as that of great artistic accomplishment, a life lived with passion and adventure.
I adore her paintings, although her work was mainly Botanical Art, she infused such passion and drama into her paintings that the line between Scientific art and Fine art overlapped divinely. Her connection with flowers is very much something I relate to. She also painted animals, birds!,  insects and landscapes.

I began my own art journey as a 'Flower' painter when I lived in Avalon in Sydney and over the years have revisited them as subjects when I've been in the painting mood. I'm currently reworking what I USED to do with what I do now and have been drawn to Ellis for inspiration.
Flowers have never left me... I wear them in my hair because I love them and because I strongly believe in the benefits of colour therapy. Can't resist a floral dress or in fact anything covered with Gaia's gift of love. 
Few more Ellis snippets....
*Her portrait (1929) by Longstaff was the first National Portrait of a Woman! (paid for by the people)
*She held the largest solo exhibition ever seen at the time in Sydney in 1920 featuring 1000 works!
*Ellis spent 10 years in the UK, held successful exhibitions, and attracted many admirers including royality, even Queen Victoria herself acquired three paintings.
*She travelled the USA painting wildflowers for seven years on her quest. Ellis wrote three books on the subject in collaboration with Alice Lounsberry.
Time for you to go exploring.....
excellent website created for the 2003 exhibition held by the National Library

and I adore this book "The Flower Hunter" by Christine and Michael Morton-Evans
Flower_hunter  Happy Flower Hunting!

A few of my VERY VERY ancient paintings....




Tiny Works Art Prize!

Lethbridge Art Prize for small works! Deadline 23rd April.
Loved stumbling upon this.... I always let deadlines slip by, me and my 'time traveller' brain.
Plenty of time to get into this one though no matter how busy you are :)
Well even if I don't make it... hope some of you give it a go. They are looking for "detailed creative works" here. 

The Lethbridge 10000, a new Australian Art Prize  is asking  for small-scale artworks! Entrants may submit paintings, drawings and 2D artworks up to 60cm in any direction (not including frame).
Based in Paddington QLD, The Lethbridge Gallery has established a strong reputation for exhibiting works demonstrating exceptional detail and creativity.

The judging criteria will be based on three equally evaluated criteria of creativity, originality and skill. $10 000 will be awarded to the winner.

For full details and to enter visit

Dragon Heart

Had a wonderful coffee that almost turned into dinner with Trish from Mermaids Garden yesterday! Love her essences and her bath salts are really magickal!! But more importantly I adore her as a friend and someone who shares my passion for the earth. Such a beautiful person.
We talked about her journeys, possibilities and good old fashioned mermaidy giggles... well you know mermaid to dragon stuff :) AND on that look what I found!!!! Well Trish found and passed over to me... My Dragons' Heart! What timing, the right day and all. Such a powerful treasure to work with. I dedicated and blessed him last night, slept with him under my pillow, dreamt of the most wonderous things and then awoke with renewed passion and strengths this morning. He may become a pendant (sorry for Me!) but I will leave him as be for now. PS... It's Fire Agate!



Frog2 "Tiddalick" the Australian water holding frog is home with his new family now BUT you can see him at my exhibition at the International  Environmental  Conference in Sydney later this year! He is my star! :) He is an outdoor sculpture and about 4 feet long. Created from a shattered Irish vase that is very precious to this family... commissioned to me with the brief to create a garden piece of healing energy. So happy that the Barnes family is loaning him back for the exhibition. I am one of six Australian artists selected to present a room of artwork each at the Conference.

This Week...17th March 2011

WOW what a week!
I have had a few commissions on the boil and they all seem to be needed YESTERDAY!
Seriously, this Friday! That's opening night at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum too! :0
Hope that whoever can make it, makes it!.... I'll be there at 6pm. Details
My Punki has to review an exhibition for Sydney Uni... guess which one she picked!!?

Japan & Dreams
It's been a very sad week too. Japan is a place very close to my heart. As much as I bubble on,  I can't really lift my spirits. Heart is heavy, very heavy. I know we are feeling the same.
I've had a strong reoccuring dream about a tornado since the last dark moon and though it came again last night, I do hope that was that. It was so vivid and ominous. I was lying on the floor holding a table leg, the wind so strong through the broken windows. I could see this tornado that was kilometers wide. Dark darkest grey.
My 'guy' was there again. The one who seems to always be in these dreams and visions but this time he was in modern dress. Jeans!! He was laying next to me trying to say something in my ear, shouting, but I couldn't hear him. Then I wake.
I'll be looking at ways to help with the efforts in Japan and I'm sure you all will too.  If anyone hears of any organization needing artworks or jewellery to raise funds, send me the details.

Whappiness-378x530 Nichos
So happy with the response to the first Nicho I've made for a while.
Thank you again everyone! The support has really made me feel wonderful. The Admiral tells me these where always his favourite. He surprises me. :)
Oh yes... a few requests for tshirts based on my new artworks ... that's a YES! Soon. I had computer   now have FOUND Photoshop discs for laptop so back in business, give me a few days. Thanks again to those who keep buying the old ones. VERY exciting.

2157881421_da9ea50a49 Tiddalick Commission
So this week, the BIG REVEAL.... A commission of Tiddalick the Frog for a very wonderful patron of the arts, Jane Barnes! (google this fun and timely Indigenous Dreamtime story and also "Australian Water Holding Frog") He will star center stage at the upcoming International Environmental Conference in Sydney later this year, for which Jane has generously allowed me to loan him back.
 PS... that's a photo of the REAL thing... will post lots of photos of my sculpture here on weekend.

Gods_and_titans__05573_zoom And then
Looking forward to Stacey Demarco's new deck arriving... "Gods and Titians" .... need to get in touch with those blokes a bit more myself... they are AMAZING cards. Wish mine where here YESTERDAY!!  Can't wait :)
have a look

OK BIG PLUG for my new hairdresser!! After a search for the past TEN YEARS for someone to do my hair. Remembering that I am not a fussy person, just have very unusual hair... have found not only people who listen, who are upbeat, fun and NICE but do an AMAZING job too... LUXE at Chatswood Chase in Sydney... add REASONABLE price. 

So this week after Opening Night it's a Saturday of reading Tarot & a little dash of Palmistry.... then next week... MERMAIDS... you asked... I'm about to deliver. :)
Happiest Blessings


Djarruga Totem Meditation

I was lucky in childhood as I was brought up partly in the Sydney melting pot of Balmain and partly
on a property in the Australian Bush. I never really settled into either, always somewhere between. But the constant was my connection with earth. I talked to birds, plants, animals. I found treasures and created things. Though I don't consider myself a writer at all, I made up stories that comforted me and gave me understandings. Now I use these stories, old and new as meditations in the creation of my artworks and now I'm feeling brave enough to start sharing them....
6a00e54f9bc06488340147e31df320970b-320wi Djarruga Totem Meditation
Standing on top of a large well covered hill.

The scent of gum trees and bush grasses fill the air as the warm sun envelops you in comfort.
 You look for a place you will call home in the gully.
 It may have been your home once before, it will always call you back.
There are many clearings in the gully along the twisting river.
People, families move with happy purpose and you look on with a warm heart.
You start to walk down the steep hill, through the guardian trees of this gully, they part as you
make your way and you see a path.
The path gently curves back and forth on it’s way down the long hill.

You walk deeper through the trees. Light grows heavy. Grasses grow thicker.
The sounds of the sun filled hill you left behind fade.
It is quite dim and your bush path is harder to make out. You edge slower, feeling tree trunks,
paper barks, fronds, crunching the thicker carpet of the dark scrub underfoot.

In a flurry of illuminating splendour, a magnificent  Cockatoo swoops your shoulder and comes to heavy rest on a branch in front of you.
He watches you.
Head angled.
You stop and take in the sight of this magnificent bird.
White pure plumage, tinged with the rays of the midday sun light up all that surrounds you.
Black glistening eyes, touched with his humor but ever so knowing.
Missing nothing and ready to share his illumination with those he befriends.
He asks you why you are here.
You answer.

Cockatoo dances on his branch as he welcomes you to his gully as ‘friend’.
He fans his wing of wondrously brilliant feathers before you and pushes back the dark
of the bush and before you both is the illuminated path.
Cockatoo wishes you well on your journey as friend.

The path is sun filled once again.
The plants sparkle with his energy, Cockatoo’s good humor lifts your spirit high and you continue.
You now think on why you are here and what you told Cocktoo.

While thinking and walking your illuminated path you notice so many more Bottlebrushes.
They are the finest you have ever seen.
Thick large healthy strong bushes surround you on either side.
Flowers fire red, passion, power, strength.  Though with such gentle softness.
Flowers orange, energy, vitality. Though again with the softness of butterfly wings.
You touch the flowers closest to you and through a part in the scrub a bird like you never seen proudly walks out.
She looks at you in expectation.
Are you the one she has been waiting for.

Her feathers are rusett brown, orange tinged. A white rimmed eye watches you.
Scrub Hen, you know her from somewhere.
She speaks.
“I am Djarruga. I am the Mother, the one who makes home and family.
Are you lost?”
You do not think you are ‘lost’ though you want to find the place you saw from your hill.
You tell Djarruga about the gully places and what you hope to find there.

The beautiful hen walks around the path before you. Her warmth, strength,
and knowing energy envelope you.
You speak, Djarruga, the Mother Hen listens to you with love.

Djarruga reaches out her orange wing, and takes your hand.
Together you pass back through the Bottlebrushes and you are amazed to find you are on the gully floor.
Amongst the people you saw from so far away when you began your journey on the distant hill.
All smile and welcome you.
Djarruga releases your hand.
You are home.

More information on this sculpture can be found in this post DJARRUGA

DJARRUGA Scrub Hen Totem Nicho

Dj1W"Djarruga"  my lastest Totem Nicho enbodies the spirit and blessings of the Australian Orange-Footed Scrub Hen. 
I've created and exhibited Nichos for a long time... they are based on the Mexican Nichos, a little shrine used to display saints. I fell in love with them after living on the border. The Mexican people make them out of what ever they can find and you will mostly see them in missions and Churches but I've experienced amazing creations protecting homes and businesses.
These are my first spirit totem nichos, created in the magick workshop through meditation, ritual and lots of love.
Blessed and Empowered.
I had wanted to create an owl when I started this one BUT the image of a Scrub Hen would not leave me...


30 x 18 x 6cms

enpowered & blessed sculpture
original graphite drawing, drill bit c1960s, can, glass bottle, shearers combs c1950s, razor box c1960s, wire, nails, bottling lid c1970s, paint

Female Strength, Family, Motherhood, Family Love, Home, Child Bearing.
Tarot: Strength, 3 of Cups
Flower: Bottlebrush
Colours: White, Red, Orange, Brown
Animal: Orange-Footed Scrub Fowl
Crystals/Stones: moonstone, pearl
Essential Oil: Lavender, Sweet Orange
Plants: Patchouli, She Oak
Additional Dieties: Ometeotl, Ariarhod

She comes gift boxed, ready to hang. Included is her  Meditation Journey and information leaflet.
$80 + postage via paypal or bank deposit (I post anywhere) Contact [email protected]Commissions undertaken entwining your ideas, wishes and dreams.Wall1


Dh3 Dh2

Manly Art Gallery Opening

Morningsdetail1 I have a piece in the "Frameworks" exhibition at Manly Art Gallery opening next Friday evening 18th March. I'm exhibiting with 7 other AMAZING Northern Beaches artists who I adore.
No sculpture this time! It's one of my drawing/collages.
Frameworks consists of 8 framed works displayed outside the Gallery and in Market Place, Manly. The idea is to make art more accessible and part of the environment.
So excited with this one as the brief touched on Joseph Cornell (I'm a BIG fan)... I am totally at the edge of my seat waiting to see how the others interpreted the theme!!!!

SO after jumping up and down and doing the happy dance *ohhhh Joseph Cornell, yeah yeah yeah*
I created THIS.....
"The Intersection of Mornings"
My piece, looks at the compartmentalisation our words bring about. How we twist words, how we label people, things, ideas. I drew a huge shell to symbolize something organic and with it's lines spiraling through the words I sought to illustrate fluid natural ideas. Each pattern represents the patterns of the environment around us and the feeling that we are also connected but have our own unique patterns.
The technical stuff!... The pages are originals from a library edition dictionary printed in 1950. It was nearly destroyed and I've saved some of the pages to use in my works. I have used ink, pastel, pen and collaged found objects from Manly in it's creation. Look closely at each page, there is a little connecting secret.

The 100% sized print is featured in Frameworks, the original is available.
If you can make it to Opening Night at the Manly Art Gallery... that would be wonderful!
Look forward to seeing you.

Manly Art Gallery & Museum presents

Friday 18th March 2011 6 - 8pm
Manly Art Gallery & Museum
18th March - 21st August 2011
ARTISTS' TALK SUNDAY 3rd April 2011, 3pm