Monday, October 31, 2011

Forbes Town - what a hoot!

Well, this last week saw some of my works shown at Forbes Town Hall some 150 kms west of Orange where I live. It's always interesting to take your work into another town, especially the smaller towns and see what the exercise brings! I'm not sure about anyone else, but I had a fabulous time..... the people of our Ozzie country towns are really the 'salt of the earth', super friendly and welcoming!

One very special lady I met called Lee wrote a poem about me and she has given me permission to put it here for you also to laugh at enjoy! Lee also liked my hand painted shoes (grand-daughter's art) so much that she was inspired to paint her own..... now that's my sort of person!

"Limericks de Joy"
To Forbes came this artist extraordinaire,
Environmental from her feet to her hair.
She was surely inspirational,
Her paintings quite sensational,
Yes, Joy, your a lady with flair.

Came this talented artist from Orange,
(which doesn't rhyme with anything)
For her spectacular paintings to bring
All that nature does impart
Painted right from the heart
Glorious colours that make your soul sing.

I have to say, I was wined and dined in style, Pam and Tony made me very very welcome and the last night party! well, what can I say except that 2 days later I am still recovering! Yes Forbes, you are going to be hard to beat!

I had to add a photo of one of the many floral arrangements that the Forbes ladies put around the show....... the colours of our bush flowers are really beautiful aren't they? We all just love those blue gum tips and bright red bottle brushes. I thought this would make a nice painting..... hmmm....

The Town Hall is really quite stunning inside with a colonial architecture that reflects our rather British heritage so the show looked quite good in the space provided. One hopes that the Forbes Council learns to encourage the arts further and support the hard work of their local people. Maybe an Arts Prize or an Aquisition from the regular shows that the people of Forbes voluntarily put on.It would be good to see these country councils participate more fully and engage their arts communities by building local collections of Australian art.

So this week, I'm off to Coffs Harbour, a trek of some 800-900 kms north and to the beach! Yay! My paintings will once again go on display only this time at Opal Cove Resort - so let's see if Coffs can come up to Forbes standard! It'll be a challenge!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Can't think of a thing to paint? Overcoming the blank mind!

This year has been the most amazing year for me with so many things happening, things to see, journeys to do that I often feel quite saturated and not sure where to start. You all know the feeling: there's either too much going on in your imagination or not quite enough! It's hard sometimes to find that cruisey neutral gear that allows you to roll through the next painting with ease!

Added to the grief of having a mental block, or an avalanche, there's the continual interruptions to one's day / week from a variety of competing concerns / jobs. And so life goes on... so how does one get into the right mindset to just start?

Some of my tricks are: 

To just do it! Get in that darned studio and pick up the brushes! 

Look at those shoes your grand-daughter made for you, put them on, dance, jump and run around, get free again! Remember the joy of painting when you were young and unencumbered!

Sometimes the best results come out of sheer frustration and trying something completely new. I like to run with a few new techniques and just throw paint around- see what comes! Here's one I did with a business card instead of a brush - just for fun!

That's all well and good if it's a sunny day and warm outside but what if there's a chill wind blowing....? 

I like to promise myself a great cup of coffee from Moshi Moshi with 2 of the nicest young creative people around, Lotti and Dan! After seeing their cheery faces and getting one of Dan's neck rubs, topped up with Toby's (great coffee) I head off cheerfully into the chill wind...

Another is to flick through my photo album and print out a couple of inspirational landscapes- you know the ones that turn you on!

But recently I came across a marvellous creative soul who gives away so much information to us arty farty folks on how to be businesslike and break bad habits. Mark McGuiness of Lateral Action is one of us so he really knows the problems we wild children can have trying to do the adult stuff! His FREE book is available online at and well worth the time to read! Co-author is Marelisa Fabrega.

The Year of the Rabbit has hopped around wildly for me but the lessons I have learned along the way have all helped me to maintain focus, overcome 'painter's block' and keep on that journey towards my 'self'- the 'real me' at the core of my being! I reckon it's been a great year with so much still to do! A wonderful end to the year is looming steadily and I'm sorry, I have to get back to my painting! What about you?