Art Is A Journey

I know, that does sound cliché and I could probably use another word besides journey for my title but that is what art is….it’s a journey.

It has its ups and downs, it has its adventures, there are dry times and then there are the prolific times. That’s what creativity does, it takes you on a journey.

Lately this journey has taken me to some interesting places where I’ve been dong prophetic art for others. This has been such a fulfilling experience that I could not have imagined for myself, yet my own personal arty pursuit moments were making me feel a little frustrated. I even have been struggling to write words in my journal and have been annoyed at such inspirational lack.

So what did  do to fix this little conundrum?……besides looking at Pinterest! (which sometimes is not wise as it can make one even more frustrated by ones lack of action).

Well it all started with the Book Thief .

In one part of the story, Max the Jewish bloke who was hiding out in the book thief’s basement used the pages from Hitler’s Mein Kampf and then wrote his own story on the whitewashed pages. I know for a long time that artists have been working with old books to create wonderful pieces of work, however for me I’ve never gone there because I’ve had an issue with wreaking a book.

A couple of days ago I decided that it was time to get over my issue and just follow my inspiration.

I purchased two old books which came to $4 and I also purchased brown paper lunch bags because it’s all about following the inspiration. I then went and sat in a lovely space and commenced my “getting over my issue”.

I then went home and continued with my inspiration flight and did this

I’ve since added a few more pages and have constructed a book. Following this approach has been a huge relief and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. Lets just say my clogged up brain suddenly could see many open doors to more creativity and as a result of that awesome thought I drew this.

So what is my little takeaway message here? Go with what is nagging at your inspiration muscle, as you will feel so much better when you do and you never know where the journey will take you next.

So I went to a Book Launch – The King of Sunday Morning.

I was a bit excited yesterday as I went to a book launch of a local author called B J McCauley. I love hearing how an author writes and where they get their inspiration from as it reminds me of my own connection to writing.

He talked about how he has always been a writer and if you are a writer you just write. It’s so true and the same goes with being an artist. It’s something that is a part of who you are and to not do it would be a tragedy.

I certainly appreciated how he thought that 50 shades and all that teenage vampire genre stuff was all well, (he didn’t exactly say crap but he certainly doesn’t value it) not his cup of tea. When you write from who you are, then it will be unique, interesting and worth more than churned out recycled rubbish. (oh dear!! I’m so harsh).

Anyway I bought the book, got it signed, took a picture and I now look forward to reading it.

Memorable books part 3

Here is my third instalment of Tamar’s memorable books. Here are my first and second if you would like to read those too.

  • A visit from the good squad by Jennifer Egan. This was such an exciting and interesting read. I liked the way that each chapter jumps to a different character at different times in history. It reminded me of Tim Winton’s novel The turning. I liked how stories crossed over and characters met at different times. It had creative and different approaches to telling everyone’s story. It resonates strongly with me as I love to hear people’s stories and I love how in real life we know people and they come into our lives at different times.
  • The Shack  by William P. Young. Now here’s a book that I had to read because it seemed to pop up everywhere such as, a lady reading it in the waiting room at the doctors, heaps of people on Facebook and people in conversation talking about it!! When holidaying a couple of years ago I bought it and snapped it up overnight. It was Gripping!!!!!! It was challenging and wow, what an ending. It’s about a man who is grief-stricken by the disappearance of his daughter and one day he gets a mysterious invitation to the shack, near where his daughter was last seen.
  • Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian. This was such a heart wrenching story and I am glad that I seeked it out. I first heard about it when I read a chapter in The School Magazine (remember that!!). I thought about that excerpt for a long time and eventually decided it was time to read the book. It’s a story set in the wartime when children in London were billeted out to the country for their safety. It’s a story abuse, love, kindness, trauma mental illness, grief and gratefully a happy ending.
  • House Rules by Jodi Picoult. So, I’m a bit over Jody Picoult. It happened after my 4th novel of her’s but when this was given to me I was glad as I was informed by another (I’m so over Jody Picoult reader) that this was a brilliant read. She worked with kids with special needs, my son included. I have to say that I enjoyed the book and in many ways found myself relating to it a lot . Jode’s has done a great job with this one.
  • Gone by Chris Nyst. When on our travels a number of years ago I bought a book in the second-hand book shop in Bairnsdale VIC and I stumbled upon this captivating novel. It’s a fiction that echo’s one of the most infamous missing children’s story in Australia’s history, The beaumont children disappearance.  It makes your mind think of so many things and just makes you wonder. Why are we so gripped by mystery? That question is just as intriguing to me as the mystery itself. Anyway this book was one that was a page turner and I reread at a later date. Oh, and unlike the true story at least this fiction has a resolution.
  • Justice denied : An Investigation into the Death of Jaidyn Leskie by Robin Bowles. I know, another crime story! I must confess, I like to read about true crime, especially Australian. I remember when Little Jaidyn Leskie went missing then some time later his body was found in a dam. I, like a lot of Aussies looked at the mother and judged her harshly. After reading this book I immediately ceased to judge her. She made a lot of unwise choices and she has paid big-time for them. I have no doubt that she loved her little boy and as a result of this tragedy she now makes better choices. This book just makes you question everything about the case and all you want, is justice for Jaidyn Leskie.
  • The outsiders by S E Hinton. I had to read this book at school and it really took me in. I felt like the characters were real people and the author made you empathise and cry. I just wonder if I read it today would it have the same impact? What really interested me at the time too, was that the author was only 16 when she began to write it. This inspired me to start writing my own fiction novel, however mine didn’t really go anywhere (just one chapter :))
  • Anna Karienin by Leo Tolstoy. Wow!! What an epic tale, and let me just continue by saying how proud of my effort for getting through it. It took me three weeks, ohmygoodness was it ever going to end??? I only decided to read it as it was featured on The book club (formally known as The first Tuesday book club). Everybody seemed quite excited about it and I felt left out by having not read it. So first opportunity to get a hold of it and I gave it ago. It was full of drama, humour, sadness and tragedy and I was gripped. There was one scene that I thought was so gorgeous and it was when Kitty and Levin write on a table with chalk to communicate how they feel about each other. It kind of reminded me of all those Youtube videos you see where the man proposes through a music production. I know, not exact but the cuteness is there in both scenarios and when I was reading it I got so excited for them both. This is a book that I highly recommend but please note, its epic and you might need a month.

Tim Winton.

I got so excited yesterday when I discovered that Tim Winton’s novel “The Turning” is a movie!!!!! And that’s not all, there are two books about to be released and I’ve been doing the happy dance since I’ve found out.

I love the way he writes. I love how I get immersed in a Winton book. I love the characters. I love the stories. I love Tim Winton. Some people don’t get him but that’s okay because we all have our flaws lol. (sorry just being a bit cheeky).

Why is he my favourite author? What impresses me is, how when reading a Winton book I feel like the people he is describing are real and I know them personally. He has a way of connecting me to the characters and making me care about them. He paints a picture with words where the place is real and the landscape is poetic. I read, feel, experience and enjoy.

He writes in a very distinct way that is inviting and unique. I never experience cliché’s that make me roll my eyes. He is an artist and I can’t help but love his books. For some reason he harmonises with my imagination just as Bernard Fanning does when I hear him sing.

Anyway, did I tell you that I love Tim Winton???

Reading Novels again :)

I’m feeling quite refreshed right now as I have decided not to partake in Study period 4 and to just enjoy the Christmas break. Last year I nearly had a breakdown and I am determined that holiday’s should be a holiday.

One of the enjoyable things that I like to do is read novels and here is a tower that I got from the library the other day

Last night I finished the first book of the rank The Song House by Trezza Azzapordi.  An intriguing book that kept me going, but a bit disappointed at the conclusion.  I still recommend it as a good read though.

Anyway this is me doing one of the things that I love and hope others will find the time to do likewise. It’s worth it for good mental health (for me anyway).

Sushi- I call it happy food!!

When ever I have sushi it makes me feel happy and that’s why I call it happy food. I don’t know if there is any scientific proof that backs my theory but it works for me.

I didn’t think that I was a person who would like sushi but since giving it a go I have to say it’s pretty awesome!

I have been quite depressed of late, which is strange for me as I am usually a happy little chappy but never mind we all get a crack at it sometime or another!! (a bout of depression that is)

Today I was kind to myself and went for a drive to my home town to replenish my tower of novels. I then went for a walk down the street and got me some sushi mmm mmmm.

A library visit, coffee, my happy pill, a walk in the sun, sushi and happiness 🙂


Memorable books part 2

I really love reading books and enjoy sharing the good one’s with others so here is part two of my memorable books!!!

  • At home by Bill Bryson, When I first heard about this book I immediately wanted to rush out and get it, however I didn’t but I booked it from the library and throughly enjoyed my choice to do so. It’s just a wonderful history of why we do certain things and where particular saying’s came from. It addresses why we have salt and pepper to accompany our dinner table, you know all those interesting things that don’t really matter but for some reason one must know about it!!!!!
  •  The turning by Tim Winton, This book ends and I want it to keep going. I even wrote more in the back of it as I felt like I knew these characters and had become a part of their lives. It may not suit every one but for me it was totally engrossing and I even had a laugh out loud moment when some of the characters visit a relative who mistakenly think they have the right back yard, have a jump in the pool then hilariously realise their error!!!…..anything by Winton!!!!!
  • The source by Robert Michener, This is an epic of a book but totally worth the endurance. It was a book full of interesting  history and thrilling stories that had me engrossed  for six weeks. It’s about a group of archaeologists  who dig through a mound of dirt. As that part is unfolding  you are taken on a journey about the history of the Jewish people throughout the times!!!!
  • Purge by Sofi Oksanen This book had an intriguing cover so I picked it up and it turned out to be one of the most absorbing books that I have read in a long time. Set in Estonia, it centres on two women from different generations and as the story unfolds connections are made. I found it to be a haunting read and one that I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
  • 1984 George Orwell, I read this a few summers ago and found it to be very disturbing yet completely fascinating. One of the most powerfully disturbing images was when the main character Winston Smith has been captured, starved and tortured. After a period of time, the torture stops and he views himself in the mirror and is horrified to see an emancipated man standing before him!! Not really the type of book for light reading but if you are a suspicious sort then this ones for you!!!!!
  • The lion the witch and the wardrobe by C. S. Lewis My second class teacher Miss McKell read this to us in class and it was one of the most fascinating stories that I had ever heard. Can I have a wardrobe that enters  into another land too??? As an adult I still found it a powerful tale and is one of my all time favourites!!! Another interesting story about this book is, a number of years ago My hubby and I went fruit picking. While we were at Bairnsdale VIC we got a job picking beans and on one of the days I was having a conversation with a man who in my opinion  was just a little bit creepy, we were having a discussion about books. When I mentioned my love for The lion the witch and the wardrobe he very sternly said “I don’t!! its way too obvious. I should know I used to teach it!!!” I then replied ” oh were you a teacher?” Where he then said ” forget I just said that, I don’t want to talk about it”  We then had a very had a very awkward moment where I broke the silence with ” What about the Lord of the Rings trilogy???”
  • The Broken Shore by Peter Temple This is a book that had me hooked with the first paragraph and was intriguing all the way through. I normally struggle reading Peter Temple novels but this is the exception. It is very symbolic as the title reflects where the main character is at while at the same time a murder is solved. A beautifully written piece of work!!
  • The little Match girl by Hans Christian Anderson This is a story that captured me a child and made me feel deeply sad for this poor girl. There is a part of me that would love to write stories like this, I just want to make everyone cry!!!

Discovery is a wonderful thing!!!

This morning I found out after many years of wondering, what the word protagonist meant!!! I’m in shock as its a word that I really should have known by now, as I’m a avid reader and love watching shows about books where the word PROTAGONIST is frequently used!!!!

It just goes to show that not all information is received and understood immediently, some times it can take years. The key to my gaining the knowledge in this instance was, that I finally asked the question “What does protagonist mean?” I posted the question on Facebook and Googled it and the same answer came back……….”The main character of the story!!!

It reminded me of the time I packed capsicums in Bowen. For many years I thought they were called capsiCUNs, when I noticed how all the Filipino workers were calling them capscIUMs. I then observed on the boxes that indeed the fruit that we were all packing were called capsicums and not capsicuns as I thought all these years!!!

I find it a fascinating that one could be incorrect for many years or simply not be aware of an obvious word. I love it when the correction comes and it kind of just blows you away in amazement!! Amazement of, how could I have not known this after all these years????

Let me just  finish by saying, discovery is a wouderful thing!!!

Memorable books

Whenever I am caught in a book discussion, these are just some of the books that come to mind. I suggest to myself that I must do a follow-up blog, as when I post this so many other book will fall into my brain and I’ll want to write about them too!!!!

  • Pompeii by Robert Harris I’ve read this book twice and would love to have another go at it. It’s quite a simple book to engage and reads like an exciting historical thriller. I love how it is told from the point of view of the city engineer and trust me this book actually gets me rather interested in plumbing!!!! Just writing about this makes me want to get it now and read it!!
  • The slap by Christos Tsiolkas I really enjoyed this book as it captured Australian suburbia with and excellent woven tale of eight people who attended a BBQ where a young child gets a slap in the face by and adult who was not the parent. From that incident the lives of these people are effected and you can’t help but be drawn into the story of their lives. I can imagine myself reading this one again.
  • The girl with the dragon tattoo  by Stieg Larsson. So many people had warned me about this book that it takes about page 180 before it gets exciting. Perhaps that was a good thing as my expectations for the beginning of the book was quite low and different from what I was informed of. It was a little muddy at first but I think it was due to it being a Swedish book with Swedish humor and unfamiliar names. I found that once I got into it and found my rhythm it was okay and I didn’t mind it at all. However!!! there is a moment in this book where suddenly you are sitting bolt right up and you can not put this book down!!!
  • The Visitation by Frank Peretti  I found this to be a thrilling read that made me stay up late not wanting to put it down. What I especially loved about this book was the wonderful observations and parody’s  of the charismatic christian sub culture which I have been a part of for some years. I found myself laughing, cringing, and relating  well to the characters as well as being thrilled by the mystery
  • A fraction of the whole by Steve Toltz Be prepared if you decide to read this one although I loved it, it was a mammoth crazy experience but one that had me laughing and writing down quotes from the book. It’s full of entertaining monologues and completely far-fetched moment’s but truly a memorable book totally deserving being on this list!!!
  • Breath by Tim Winton Anything by Tim Winton please!!! I love the way he writes and conjures images in my mind about Australia. Some things are just so poetic and layered. With Breath it is like he is following a theme as an artist and exploring all avenues of the word breath. I find when discussing Tim Winton that people either love him or hate him I certainly love him what’s your take?
  • The curious incident of the dog in the night time by Mark Haddon. Wow!! what a great idea for a book, telling a story from the point of view of someone who is on the Autistic spectrum. I found it empathetic, funny, sad, moving and clever. I enjoyed how the story unfolded and delivered something emotionally satisfying to me a definite for my recommendation list!!
  • Animal farm by George Orwell If you want a lesson on the Russian Revolution then this is a great way to get a brief over view. What I particularly loved about this book is the way it made me do further research and compelled me to know more. I know some people have studied this at school but because I was in lower classes I never got the change to even hear of it. In my adult life I’m so pleased that I have discovered George Orwell!!