Friday, October 29, 2010

my art whakapapa

Whakapapa is geneology in Maori

Many Maori can stand in front of people and recite their geneology back to the waka (canoe) their Tipuna (ancestors) came to this country on.

I can barely get to my great grandparents. I was blessed to know my paternal great grandmother and to learn about the people and their characters from the stories my grandparents told. But that reciting of names....

It never seemed like something i was missing until i read the Maeve chronicles - Maeve, as a training druid needs to do the same chronicle of ancestory - with pride of course having been fathered, ostensibly by a God and mothered by 7 witches (and of course Esus, when he fronts up, can recite many, many, many generations)...

Ancestors are important.

We carry their cellular memory. We were all cells present (as ovum inside our foetal mother) in our Grandmother's bodies. We have swum in the soup of our ancestors.

We express their quirks unknowingly. We are living our lives. But we are partly living theirs too.

And knowing the interior of these people, understanding those quirks, recognising the cellular memory aids me in the knowing of my-self.

As i struggle to develop as an artist i begin to think about this ancestory in relation to art.

Artists who have walked the path of connecting with creative spirit, unleashing their heart onto the canvas and into the world. Negotiating their own doubts and fears. Walking the lifelong path of learning.

I think about how they have cleared a path through the scrubby undergrowth of these very human responses to a path less travelled ... and this is a path i aim to walk...

the path where i am taking my tentative steps.

So understanding these art ancestors helps me to walk the path through the bush knowingly - helps me avoid the potholes, helps me see the signposts....

This week my assignment on Fearless painting was to go to a local art museum...

i saw the painters above, who gathered in a little cottage and FEARLESSLY painted in a style that was not popular with the community, that connected them with change and vibrancy and vigor. A style that started in the hearts of visionary people and that broke the mold of so many artistic styles.

Looking at their little works (that were so rooted in Silverstream where they were painting) i felt a connection to the spirit of change.

And the paint box of one of the artists was there - it seemed to call to me

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

fearless painting in Oakura

Well hullo lovelies...
i know i haven't been around since my panic about the reunion - and i am here to assure you that that brush with the epilator hasn't scarred me for life ...

i have been away and trying to paint FEARLESSLY... i am part of the fearless tribe with Connie Hozvicka ... our assignment was to produce a video of painting outside....

It was a challenge for me - painting where i could be seen meant i had to claim myself as a painter... it was like i was saying i am good enough to show the world... but i figured out it could mean something else... and although i wished that people had said "i love it i want to buy it" i think it added some pleasure to their day to see someone painting...

and i videoed like peter jackson baby (no stinky striking actors to deal with - kiwi injoke there)

and then my video and my computer decided to stop speaking to each other so i cobbled this together from my stills...

it is my first time so be gentle with me xxx

ps sorry mollie i will post photos on the forum ok??

Sunday, October 17, 2010

the school reunion

see this face

it looks smiley enough right?

nice coloured scarf...

look again.

see the grey hair?

see the wrinkles - especially those ugly and mean looking ones between the eyes - blame all those sun kissed summers on the beach if you want but there they are....

and i look in the mirror (i only look some days because i don't like what i see but i have to check and see if that bloody chin hair is back) and i am shocked at the ugly sallow old thing i have become

that is my truth

i also think i have interesting hair and clothes and not a bad body but that face... i just don't likey

and next weekend i have a high school reunion

so what?

well at school i was pretty

and now i am not

i was also full of promise - i wrote well, i was friendly, i was destined for something or other (think exotic, think interesting)

and here i am: wrinkly, 45, living in my hometown, still fighting with my mother, a stay at home mother...

on paper i am pretty boring
in the flesh i am pretty wrinkly.

and all this is being provoked by the thought of rocking up to school, to the reunion to remeet people i used to be all shiny around and having to own up to this life i have made....

i left my travel dreams for a man.
i became a job that was pretty boring because i believed the careers advisor woman (and i bloody shouldn't have)

Oh yes, i know, my lovely friends, before you jump to my defend my honour... i am making up for lost time- my creative life is rich and fulfilling and developing in exciting and yummy ways.

i have successfully made a family and marriage which isn't perfect but who the hell is.

i am being kinder and more compassionate to myself than anyone in my family has ever been.

All of which are major victories.

But they aren't much to brag about at the school reunion are they?

i would love to invent something earth changing in the next 3 days but i don't hold out much hope for that...

maybe i will just say that i invented post-its.... (and yes that is a Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion joke)

Friday, October 15, 2010

it is unimaginable....

that at the same time as i wrote that post,
that i was so wowed by the wonderful world i live in,
the joy in the richness of life,
seeing the smallest things shining and reverberating in beauty...

it is unimaginable that on the other side of the world there would be a life coming to a close that seems too early

I live in the trust that persuing my bliss
sends waves of bliss around the world
where they lodge in the nooks and crannies of sad and lonely hearts

I hope that in her passing, FeirceJenn is now with love
that that spark of bliss that so filled my heart yesterday
is where she lives.

RIP Feircepeoples, Feircifer, Jenn.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


i went to...

feed the cat before sunrise (he was begging me, pleading...)
the inside of my friend's heart
the back end of a lamb (cleaning up for calf club day)
the changing rooms in several shops
the thought that i had an aging body
to the counter with a new bikini that looks like a pair of jeans
(in my mind)looking glamorous at a dinner event i am accompanying my husband to this summer
and back
the freezer at the 4 square to buy a chocolate dipped icecream
the school to see my daughter's steady hand game
plush offices to drop off a poster
painful poses in pilates
to join my tribe around the world and back again
to the gate to get my lovely off the bus

i have talked about breast buds, anger, farting goats, models who shouldn't, skin cancer, lambs bums, goaty whiff, pelvic floor muscles,miners and courage, painful mothering, my fears of being judged, architects pretensions, and many more things

i have seen tears, smiles,good dreads, frustration, shame, disappointment, determination and pride and deep deep kindness (see the messages at the end of the last post to know what i mean)

this life is so full so rich in beauty and deep deep in the marvellous mystery of the magnificence of being...

today i am grateful

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

One of those days

when the sky is grey

when there is too much housework

when the list you have requires vim and vigour and all you have is very very blah

when feelings always lead back to swallowed tears

when the sound of the phone ringing makes your stomach drop

when the call of the bath is very very loud

and when you want your Mummy - not the one you have but that one that is all nurturing and soft and loving and can hold you until you are ready to laugh again

Sunday, October 10, 2010

fu*king it up


when i am invested in a painting - like i am of the one with Maeve -

when i want to honour the subject

do justice to the feeling and the passion behind the work

then i get all tight.

i hear the shoulds and i listen to 'em.

and then i fu*k it up

i feel like running around in circles,screaming with my hands waving above my head


this is where i have to be truely fearless

and just step back up to the canvas...

when i paint what i am not invested in i always have a fall back position

"Oh, that is just for practise" "Oh, that is just an exercise" "Nah, i don't like that much"

it has no umbilical cord straight to my heart

but that is the kind of painting i am called to do

the kind with the umbilical cord straight to my heart

Not because i am a martyr (ok i am a recovering martyr)

but because in order for this work to mean something for me it has to be an expression of me.... it has to hold my soul in some form and reveal it to those who care to look...

and then their soul can be revealed too... and that revelation can be transmitted to another soul... and on it goes

this is the only way to heal the the world

and this is what i was born to do

Saturday, October 9, 2010


As you will know if you have read this blog for a bit, i think Brene Brown is a pretty juicy thing.

Her long-term committment to uncovering the gifts in shame, worthiness and perfectionism has made me feel less "other" and comforted in a deep and kind way.

At the moment Brene is celebrating the release of her book "The Gifts of Imperfection".

And part of that celebration is to encourage folk to protest the cult (the silent, viscious soul draining cult) of perfectionism.

Perfectionism feeds so slurpingly on the juice and passion of life that perfectionism grows with each step we try to take towards our life's calling ...

that is a sure way to die aching.

But by seeing perfectionism and naming it for the futile parasite that it is we can save the juice to feed the seed of all we were meant to be...

so as i wipe the rabid flecks of froth off my chin from that little rant i want to offer you a chance to read and join in...

Bloggers all over the world are posting pictures of their protest banners... here is the page Brene introduces this sparkly idea on...

Mine is from my journal - a page i made ages ago and now have the perfect (oops - see how incidious it is???) use for....

the page is lumpy, uneven, blemished

but to me it is good

and good is good enough

and so i encourage you to join the protest and save your juice for what counts...

for your soul.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Things that make my heart sing, my soul shine, that fill me with JOY and GRACE

So the prompt for this came from the fabulous CHOOKOOLOONKS on her post on own your beauty: Authenticity

the things that fill me with joy are...
my children
their laughter
the sunshine
the amazing place i live
the ocean
laughing til my stomach hurts
feeling naughty
watching something grow
watching something creative emerge from my hands
seeing a universal truth expressed in a creative work
good clothing
purring cats
good food
taking a photograph that holds the essence of what made me reach for the power to capture it
words written in a state of grace
my husband when he is proud of me
using something i have made
having my hair brushed
sark forum
making a connection with someone's truth and their heart
a comfy bed
people who genuinely love me

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

how did i get so damned blessed?

i truely live in a beautiful place

and everyday i count the blessings of the green around me and the coast and the feeling of being amoung the luckiest inhabitants of this planet - not only because of my health and my family and my abundance but because of where we live...

Te Tai Tokerau in Aotearoa New Zealand is a remarkable collection of beauty, soul and spirit.

The trees talk.

The rivers sing.

The ocean chants again and again.

And they are the sounds that resonate with my heartbeat.

Here is where i went yesterday... Matapouri Beach and Whale bay .. a walk through the coastal bush, over cliffs... past the scene of my first kiss, in sight of the place where my mother disowned me, in the presence of the place where i first felt seen.

This is my home.

Monday, October 4, 2010

On my holiday i went to

Napier - sunny blossomy glorious Napier where we ate at the Church restaurant and toasted marshmallows on the beach and rollerbladed down the Marine Parade

and Ruapehu - sacred mountain where we made snowmen and got snow down our undies (low rider jeans - such a fashion statement and a bumcrack disaster waiting to happen)

it was marvellous

and i missed you