Thursday, 29 September 2011

a bird in a cup? why not.

A little drawing from my journal sometime late last year. He is what I am hoping to do on canvas next. I feel a bit sorry for him and can't decide whether he actually wants to be in the tea cup or not! I think he feels quite safe in there :) At the time, I had scrawled 'I just feel a little out of sorts' underneath but may not include this in the final painting. I shall keep you posted on how I'm going with it. 

In the meantime, fancy a cuppa?

xx Jessie.

Fancy a cuppa?

Thursday faffing

 ' Today, mid way down in the girth of me I feel angry
and feel weird for not understanding why. 
All this new relationship learning and I feel so sloppy at it. 
What an emotional mess I feel like, wading through new water. 
There really is no protection from life. 
But why all the believing there is? 

Why all the acting careful 

       protective editing

and graceful sashaying
                            away for safety.

There is no clean shield from living and loving. '

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Dear Oly

Oly has an undeniable knack for making her home lovely and homely. It is full of enticing bits n pieces, gorgeous art, photos and I LOVE the dress above... just hangin' in the kitchen, of course!
Lion around ;) she has a stunning balcony garden
...Even her snacks looks amazing!!! I'd like to be doing this right now!
She makes incredibly gorgeous, dainty things that are absolutely on my 'love to have' list. She has just released a set of stickers on her online store which you can find here...  (link)
Oly has a desk to die to for and 2 cheeky cats... what more could a girl want?!
She has a whole section on her blog featuring her flea market finds. And yes, they are just as amazing as everything else she has on here! I love these little fellas.
...more flea market delights. This is definitely the kind of treasure I would pounce on. So unusual and so pretty, you sort of just have to give it a home!
In my hunt for beautiful things in the blogosphere, I stumbled across Dear Oly and immediately fell in love. I check in daily and am never disappointed! Oly writes posts that are sweeter than honey and her photographs are exquisite. She is so clever when it comes to making beautiful things and presenting them. Her floating, imaginative drawings are intricate and dream-like. Not only am I drawn to her art, but her house.... oh. my. It is stunning and exactly my cup of tea! She has knick knacks and gorgeous things absolutely everywhere and I can easily imagine myself getting lost for hours looking at them all. She has 2 very cheeky, very sweet little kittens that are deserving of their own special blogspot :) This girl can take photographs, that's for sure! She has a link to her Inspiration Blog and Shop which are definitely worth having a look at too. Please spare 5 minutes to wander through Oly's delightful online wonderland and I dare you not to come away smiling ;)

Happy Sunday evening to you all
xx Jessie 

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Strangelands & bookish delights

image from Strangeland: Margot loves coffee & has become quite the connoisseur, always trying different cafes with her Moleskin & man in tow!
image from Strangeland: Margot and Alex are keen cyclists and have all sorts of wonderful adventures on their bikes. This is one of my favourite photos that she has taken. It features her bike 'Lady'.

The pictures Margot has gathered on her book blog are insanely gorgeous. I would very much like to go to all of these places/read all of these books, thank you!

she found this one at:Vintage Camera & Books by ►CubaGallery on Flickr...

...and this one at: Read Me by StephanieSimos on Flickr.
When I was little, Mum took me to drama classes. A wise thing to do with any hyperactive, hair-brained and over imaginative 6 year old who forces family members to sit and watch them recite lines from 'Sleeping Beauty' and clap enthusiastically at the end (whether or not they were, in fact, witnessing such a self-indulgent display for the 8th time that morning). At these classes, I happened to meet another little girl of freakishly similar ilk and after a quick discussion, we decided to be best friends. Well, 20 years later, I can proudly say, we are still the very dearest of friends. We have remained close despite distance, different schools and friendship circles and we have always been kindred spirits. She went from helping me 'fly' off the front porch at the age of 10, to painting beside me for our year 12 art prac and now we support each other through the 'big stuff'... the loves, the moves, the heartbreaks and the struggle to be arty nerds in this funny old world. She is an extremely talented writer who is on the cusp of completing her PhD in Creative Writing (just quietly, I can't wait to call her DOCTOR!). I have had the privilege of reading some of her poems and articles and every time, she manages to give me goosebumps. She just has an incredible knack for putting words together and I am in awe of her dedication, drive and determination to continue in her chosen field. She is so focused, intelligent and organised. Three things I seemed to miss out on when skills and attributes were being handed out at birth!!! But despite any differences in our personalities, we have effortlessly maintained a much treasured and unique friendship. One I would be completely lost without. She is hugely encouraging of my art and she has urged me to keep going at times when I have lost all faith. I will be eternally grateful to her for that.

It gives me great joy to promote her 2 incredible blogs that I have been following religiously over the last few months. Her pictures and experiences are inspiring and exciting and despite having what I know has been a challenging year (to say the least!) she always manages to find delight in the every day. Strangeland  is a blog that explores her 'observations of place and displacement' and Fireflies in the Labyrinth is packed with images, quotes and her reviews of all things bookish. Do yourself a favour and have a look! You won't be disappointed.

Margot moved interstate with her lovely partner just a few weeks ago and I would be lying if I said I didn't feel lost in Adelaide without her. But we are all grown up now and there are things we have to do as mature, responsible adults trying to get by and do our best at it. I know we will never lose touch and with the internet and cheap flights, catching up is always at our fingertips. But the best thing is, I will never lose my memories of us playing stowaways together in the garden, satchels of feathers and flowers over our shoulders, and I draw enormous comfort from the fact that she is the one person who would play make-believe with me again in a heartbeat.

May you take a little moment to think of your best friend today and send them a little bit of love.
xx Jessie Lee.

Why I keep a journal

I think it is safe to say that for all of us in life, there are limited opportunities to be imperfect, to be unfinished to be quiet. When I sit down with my journal I am allowed to be messy, self-indulgent, raw, honest, REAL. I can draw something I don't like and just scribble over the top. I can write in a way that howls with pain and may sound nutty to anyone else. I can let loose. Exploring, experimenting, thinking straight onto the page. There is sticky tape, glue stains, pages almost completely distorted from wet paint, water, tea. I can practise and discover ideas that I would be too nervous to do straight onto canvas. Showing people is like letting them take a peek straight into my funny little heart, but I am not quite so afraid to do that anymore. Being unafraid is something I'd like to get better at. I have shown myself that I can be brave in big life things, so I want that to translate to the way I feel about sharing my art. It doesn't matter if people see something they don't like. It's not about that. If something I have done can touch at least one person in some way, shape or form, then it all feels completely worthwhile. To me, that's what art and creativity is all about. It's what motivates me to keep going.

When I have shared my big messy overflowing journals with my dear friends and family, I have been blown away by their reactions. Some just smile. Others have cried. Once, a person who I thought would find it completely stupid said that certain pages gave them goosebumps. These reactions make me feel very humbled. Sometimes I get asked 'what made you write that? Who's that about?' but I don't need to explain. People will bring their own meaning or justification to whatever they see, despite what the true meaning might be. So I am allowed to just smile and say nothing. It is the one place I don't have to explain myself and that is earth shatteringly refreshing. I tend to over apologise, over explain, I feel bad about things that I really actually shouldn't. My journal doesn't glance at me disapprovingly if I paint a whole page pink and write my fears and woes all over it! It doesn't lower it's glasses to peer, questioningly, into my face and say 'Oh really?' when I translate sadness into some hideous bird with half a head and ridiculous wings.

If i neglect my journal for a while, I feel unbalanced. I feel all curled up, my feelings tucked inside, begging to be let out. When I come back to it, when I sit back down at my desk, swipe the chaos of the week aside and pick up my pens and pencils, the world suddenly gets very quiet. And I can just lose myself in it. But the best thing about it, is that it never asks me where I've been or make sly comments under it's breath about how I don't see it often enough. There is no prerequisite or expectation. No pressure. 

Keeping a journal is also a reference to different stages of my life and how I may have felt at the time. I can look at a blue squiggly page from some time last year and remember how terribly lost I felt that day. Or a splash of yellow and re-experience the sheer elation I was feeling in that moment. We can so quickly forget seconds in time that may be seemingly insignificant but in reality help us build the intricate histories that lead us to where we are now. 

A lot of my favourite artists, who I will dedicate a deserving separate post to, bare their souls shamelessly in their work. They are completely unafraid to tell it like it is, draw from their hearts and write in a way that echoes their innnermost fears, sorrows and longings. That feeling of reading or seeing something that touches you or something that you recognise from your own private thoughts or experiences, is unique and wonderful and exhilarating. 

My journal is helping me map out the next stages of my art practise and that is really important. I will no longer feel guilty when I choose to stay home, caught up in artsying... it's my work, my passion, my balance, my stability, my hope, my direction, mine. 

Have a spectacular morning, 
xx Jessie Lee

some journal pages

my latest journal. Only half way through and she's already well & truly on the hefty side.. all that glue and paint. I love the feeling of fat pages!
I have boxes of pictures, papers, postcards and scraps that I can't part with. So many beautiful images to be inspired by. Most of them end up pasted into my journals, some will go onto canvases and cards. I love working them into the paint.

the picture on the left is from an old old Womans Weekly magazine that I found at The Boat Shed Markets. The colours are scrumptious! The leaves on the left were an excuse for me to play around with the clear varnish gloss I rediscovered during a recent clean out of the shed :) It gives a really lovely finish to the pages and will be nice to use over finished canvas pieces
'no more excuses'
Real Living magazine is an absolute goldmine for amazing interiors. I could quite literally sit & look at the way people set up their homes and studios all. day. long. I find it endlessly fascinating and completely inspiring.

'You're the one I want to see it all with'
A fish I did last month using a very sharp HB pencil. This is something I have hardly ever used, always opting for denser, softer pencils but I liked the change. It requires a lot more concentration and care, resulting in a lot finer detail. 
fishy detail
pages stained with tea 

one of my many awkward, misunderstood, lovable birds

'Lately I've Been Feeling Fragile'

words of wisdom.

'I Would've gone anywhere with you'

falling in love with my Derwent Watercolour pencils again

mustard filing cabinet.. delightful! A new rabbit sketch using one of my favourite colours, Burnt Carmine

texture paste is my new best friend. It is so great to draw and paint over. Keen to use it a lot more :)

more tea on paper

'It has been so hard to say what's hurting my heart'

Red and pink is my favourite combination

 'You Loved My Fuzzy Little Heart'

'Oh dear'
'For how long did I carry you?'

 Some birds from last years journal

'At least my Mum loves me'
'Um, I'll manage somehow'

'And with my funny little wings I'm going to fly'

'Sorrow Waited'

'I said I wouldn't wait anymore'