Monday, June 29, 2015

It's official. The gallery is open.

So excited was I on Saturday night I could barely sleep. On Sunday the Artistic Vision Gallery was opening and I had three paintings on the walls.

Me and my art

I haven't been this nervous for years. My life has undergone some unplanned changes in the past seven years so two years ago to quell the panic I decided to pursue a dream I've had for a long time and learn to paint.

It's all leading to an art gallery by the sea, my escape from Canberra plan. I always ask people what their escape from Canberra plan is. Some look at me bewildered, others get it.

If I'm going to have a gallery I may as well have my paintings for sale and so I've been going to art class for a bit over two years. I'm always painting at home as well and what I paint at home is nothing like what we do in class, but that's the beauty of class. I've learned how to apply different paints to different surfaces and have also got the confidence to experiment.

If something doesn't work, it's only paint.

I had the pleasure of introducing our teacher Margaret Hadfield at the official opening yesterday. While just about everyone in the gallery knew her, I wanted them to know how much the opportunity to have paintings on a wall in a public gallery means to me, and to others.

So when you are next looking for art, please visit the Artistic Visions Gallery at 1/61 Colbee Court, Phillip, ACT.

You may like Artistic Vision Gallery on Facebook.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The future is art

I made a pact with myself a bit over two years ago. I would attend art classes for five years with the aim of being a full-time artist as my next career.

I've attended art classes with the wonderful Margaret Hadfield most weeks over the past two years. There's a group of us which meets on Saturday afternoons to paint everything from plants to dogs to landscapes.

Gum leaves, watercolour and pen

In that time I've also branched out on my own. Luckily some of my friends have been impressed with my work and bought a painting from me.

A few weeks ago Margaret announced she was establishing a gallery for her students, and others, to sell their works.

Just prior to learning that, I had got four of my works framed by the expert framer Mark Stewart. He has a really good eye for what will work with art and he and I were really pleased with the result.

Today, I showed Margaret three of my framed paintings. She accepted all of them to hang in the new gallery. I am beyond excitement.

There is an official opening at 3pm on Sunday 28 June so for any of you anywhere near Canberra please come along and support this wonderful initiative to get the work of unknown artists seen by many. Margaret is a great supporter of her students and I would love it if you would come along and support this new business.

There will be an ever-changing range of art, including some treasures being re-sold.

I'm already working on the next batch of paintings to be framed.

Artistic Vision Gallery, 1/61Colbee Court, Phillip, ACT

See you there.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The past is where is should be

Oh the turmoil and the life-changing events of the past few years. On Friday Miss B celebrated being 15. For some reason it feels like an important number for both of us. With Mr C now 18 my "gap year" in 2019 is gaining traction.

 Oils on Yupo paper, Lake Burley Griffin

When I left school last century I had six weeks off then went to work as a cadet journalist. I have not really stopped since. Sure, there have been variations to full-time paid employment, but I did a good job of keeping my career alive while I worked part-time and AT and I had two children.

Nearly seven years ago everything changed from journalism to politics for a whirlwind three-and-a-bit years.

My current job mixes all of the above plus lots of new skills, so I enjoy it. I've also been painting for two years, which I love, even on days like yesterday when I was so exhausted at class I wasn't paying attention all that well.

The French Suites

Today I did something I haven't done in ages...played the piano.  Miss B got a guitar for her birthday and I'm inspired to play music again as it so wonderful to hear her play.

There are so many pieces that I used to play and it was lovely to sit and hear the music, even though I was a bit hesitant after not practising/playing for ages. I must play more often and I've set myself the challenge of learning these French Suites by Bach. I love a challenge. There is so much music sitting on top of the piano, inherited from my mother. Better that it be played than merely ornamental.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Let's be happy about gay marriage

I've been reading lots of commentary about gay marriage and listening to its opponents. Why are they so fussed that people of the same sex want to get married?

Then I had a thought. Perhaps the social conservatives who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman are those who are married to someone they once thought appealing, perhaps they even loved, they've had a few children together and their property is part of the family unit.

Breaking up is hard to do. It's going to cost a lot to separate and divorce, it's hard work looking after yourself, particularly if one of the partnership has a job that involves extensive travel, and the "happy family" is a lovely prop in their lives.

As my close friends know I am upfront about asking a complete stranger details about their life, and one I have asked often, especially of married men, is how they feel about a fling outside the marriage.

Some would never stray while others are keen to pursue a physical relationship, with the only rule that they and the woman can remain in touch as business associates, but there will be no bunny boilers. And fair enough.

I have  female friends who are long married but tell me they could not stay if it were not for their special friend outside the marriage.

Not being interested in the whole online dating scene I'd prefer to stay home with a good glass of wine...

My long-term partner and I didn't get married but we lived together for many years and had two beautiful children and two mortgages. You couldn't have got a couple more committed to each other and the family unit, but then things changed. Would a marriage certificate have kept us together? No.

Who are the social conservatives kidding?

Maybe why they feel threatened by same sex marriage is that couples will truly get married for love. Not to raise children, as most of the conservatives like to champion as the reason to keep marriage "traditional" but because they actually love each other.

Good luck to any couple which loves each other enough to share in this legal arrangement.

It's 2015 and as my teenagers say what is the big deal?

Live and let live. If you want to marry the one you love, marry them. Go on, make each other's day. You're a long time dead.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Get a job

In the 1970s when hitchhikers were common on major highways one of my teenage brothers used to delight in yelling at them: "Get a job".

I was reminded of this today when the Treasurer Joe Hockey told anyone who wanted to buy a house in Sydney to get a good job that pays good money.

Then we had his colleagues out and about extolling the virtues of living in regional cities and the western suburbs of Sydney, which would offer a better lifestyle choice than seeking to live somewhere near your friends and family and perhaps within 20-30 minutes of work and entertainment and shopping and parks and where you belong.

No you peasants, go and live where you can afford it.

I'm all for buying the house you can afford and if that means a smaller house in a smarter suburb, do that. When AT and I bought our first house in Marrickville in 1993 for a modest sum we figured we could afford it on one wage.  It wasn't a particularly smart suburb at the time but it had potential. My mother had died and left me some money for the deposit. This, some friends told me, made me "lucky". Yes having a dead mother always beats having a live mother.

Anyway, I did my research, we bought well. We sold the house three years ago against all my better instincts, but it had to be done.

A roof over my head that I own (with the bank) is incredibly important, as I grew up living in Anglican rectories that were dumps. The various parish councils would never sanction upgrading as they did not believe a family with four children would respect the property. What a load of hogs*t.

To her dying day this upset my mother and it's those lessons learned in early years that stick.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Movie sandwich

My week was a movie sandwich. Last weekend I saw A Royal Night Out with Miss B. Yesterday I saw Mad Max Fury Road with Mr C.

The story of my life really. Some days are sparkly and fun with champagne and lovely people. Others are like belting along the highway of life, strapped in and taking the pot shots lobbed from those who would like to cut me down.

Even the world's nicest person has her enemies.

At least as I get older I can pick them and their behaviour sooner. I also have some lovely people in my life who help guide me through the maelstrom.

And in the end there is Karma. This is one of the finer arts and it requires patience to believe in it and I have learned patience. It may surprise some of you to know that the person who taught me patience is a politician. It's easy to score points along the way but you need a goal and the drive to get you there. You must keep your eye on the prize.

The assistance of the most amazing life coach has seen me focus on what really matters. Art, music, love, good friends, writing, fresh air, kind thoughts.

As the philosopher Harry Styles says: All The Love ❤️