This blog will be both video and written, I am experimenting with short videos, for now they will be silent until I can figure out how I want to use music and how the copy-write side of it works. As I learn more about video editing I will start to make time lapses and longer videos WITH sound :D
Enjoy this little mess while I slowly but surly pull it together to create something wonderful.
For the last 5 to 6 years, I have been steadily chipping away at a body of work based around my mental, physical and spiritual healing journey. I plan for it to be bold, confronting, abstract and optimistic. It may take another 5 to 6 years to complete! but I have no timeframe in mind, only a plan.
It has felt weird not being able to share my works as I complete them like I usually do. Like I am not producing art, when in fact, I am producing quite a bit.
This body of work is covering topics including self-medication, mental health crisis, hallucination, healing, happiness, loss, depression, trauma, acceptance and forgiveness. All of it, key to my own better wellness.
I have about 8 or 9 pieces already, my goal being 20 completed works and assorted prints. The bulk of the work is traditional acrylic, but I am working in some digital art too. My Logo will be part of the exhibition, even if it's simply the opening picture.
It has been so healing to work on this project and I don’t plan to stop.
(I am Proud is the name of the book shown here)
About a year ago, I started illustrating children's books for a company called Library for All. After I had completed 2 books, I was offered an artist in residency and given the task of illustrating 10 books!
I can't tell you how much I have loved every minute of the work. Bringing life to the stories of Indigenous Australians and the writers at LFA, including one by my own sister, has bought me more joy than any artistic endeavour I have been a part of.
LFA have been amazing in their understanding of my chronic illness, they have accommodated me at every turn and I have worked my hardest to keep up the pace and get our stories complete.
The app is called 'Our Yarning' and it is free to use, available on android and apple. You can learn more about LFA and see all of the books I worked on here: https://libraryforall.org/our-yarning/
From LFA website: " Our goal is to reach 95,000 Aboriginal children over the next five years, and to engage 550 Aboriginal adults writing and illustrating the collection, through workshops across 50 communities. By empowering communities through education, the next generation can break the cycle of disadvantage."
When I originally drew this I had a certain level of skill, since then my ability to draw hands, human form, faces, bones and space designs has grown and so I decided it was time to revise the design.
This figure means a lot to me, the purple woman is a self portrait, an abstract projection of my inner existence and an obsession apparently. Sometimes when I draw her she comes unplanned and I step back to realise what I have been painting was her again.
If you know me well enough you will have heard me speak about my 'Human suit' how I feel like I have to put it on to exist in this world. I have always felt apart, different, alien from my peers and that feeling has followed me into adulthood.
I am in the process of learning to function without my human suit, it has served me well but it's time for me to free myself from the safety of the suit and start living as my truest self. There have been many realisations, bumps in the road and confusing moments in the last few years and I am so fascinated by it all, I am finding myself in every way that I can.
Who am I without the suit?
My partner and I own a tabletop games shop in Albany WA. We were discussing ways to create a point of interest in the entry to our store and I had a grand idea to create a mural with a sort of mascot for EG. Shouldn't take me long .... I told myself.
I invited my sister Keira and another artist, Kale, to join me in getting things started. The three of us began laying down the groundwork and we were off to a great start.
The Elandrial Games dragon protecting it's hoard of board games, card games, dice, treasure and the bones of a player who lost a game with the dragon for a laugh. I wanted to have a few points of interest around the dragon. A giant D20, the bones of the player, the hoard of games and loot and the dragon itself.
We met once a week, often at first but soon sickness and mental health took the usual toll on me and sometimes the others. Before we knew it we were struggling to meet regularly to get this project finished, mostly due to my inability through sickness and mental health struggles.
Keira dropped out about a quarter of the way through due to mental and physical health concerns. Kale stuck it out through my missed days and inability almost until the last session.
While this bumpy road slowed us down, we were still able to make good progress on the days we made it to a painting session. In fact we got so close to finishing it at one point that I thought we would be done every time we met to paint! haha. I have since learnt more about how long it actually takes to finalise a large scale design like this alongside mental health struggles.
At this point it was time to step back and see what changes needed to be made. We added more loot, hoard and details and I believe it was Keira who came up with the idea of adding a cornucopia to the far left side of the design because there was a bit of negative space to fill there. I had left a few places on purpose so that we could add them as we went, giving the three of us a little creative license to keep things interesting.
And then I was unwell for about 12 months...
On this fateful day, I finally finished the project. After a huge downward spiral with my mental and physical health I found my way back to the surface and was able to complete the task I had set myself back in 2020.
Kale had an idea about how to finish the cornucopia with a portal to space or a galaxy. At the end I had planned to finish up alone, I wasn't confident I could execute this idea and that stopped me from going ahead. I happened to have challenged myself by painting smoke on a separate project and it gave me the confidence to take what I learnt there and apply it here in an abstract way.
What I have learned from this project:
I work better in groups on large scale projects like these.
My mental and physical health will impact my projects no matter how hard I work and I cannot predict when it will take a turn.
I need to make smaller deadlines to work in a more compact time frame in order to accommodate for mental and physical barriers or hiccups.
Plan all details from the start because it will be easier to manage my health and the project as a whole.
My first video blog WITH sound! I hope to make more like this. Enjoy my awkward first attempt at a narration haha
This video features my cousin, Jessi Gidgup-Lovett and a painting he is working on.
Today I painted my demons. I have been dealing with a lot of anger over the last week and today I had to paint it out. These are representations of hallucinations I have had in the past that connect deeply with me. They represent all my repressed emotion, the words I can never let escape me and the pain I carry within me.
I painted furiously for about 5 hours today, my back hurts, I am tired but my rage is gone and I feel at peace once again.
I sat for my first session of miniature painting and I absolutely loved it! I think I have found a fun new art hobby. I didn't think I would be able to paint on this scale due to my shaky hands, but the team at Elandrial Games gave me some great tips for steadying my hands and using my skills to find my own style and way to paint mini's.
I have a little obsession with sharks, I couldn't pass up this little beauty when I saw him.