Reflections: a finger in too many pies?

'No Pie' sign

Image above by Roger's Eye <(r)>

My reflections, 9 months on …

My friends and family naturally ask me how and what I am doing, now that I have the time and inclination to pursue my ‘passions’. Back in August I was telling everyone that I was doing bugger all. Which was sort of true and sort of not. I wasn’t spending a lot of time on any one thing, but I was spending time on lots of things.

Good friend Peter asks me about my ‘masterpieces’. He’s coming to visit soon. My family are due here for a special birthday event in a week or so. I will update them on my progress. This post is also an update on progress in the past few months, and a reflection on the interconnections between the many and different things that are fascinating me at the moment.

Diversification, that’s what it is.

Another blogger I read talked about too many fingers in too many pies. But he said it was good—it was ‘diversification’. I tend to agree, mainly because the more I do, the more I get ideas. And those ideas inform each other.

My website work brings me into contact with the imagery of others, which …
inspires collections of images, which …
resonates (thematically) with my painted images, and ideas for digital images.

My knitting inspires colour, textural and technical exploration, which …
helps me to understand the importance of technical mastery, which …
feeds the same desire with paint, pen, pencil and pixel.

Cooking speaks to my desire for a world that is aesthetic, wholesome and sustainable, which …
makes me rant even more about the ugly and unjust in the world, which …
will in time, motivate themes in my work.

Playing Sims 3 has had an astounding impact on my aspirations (not only within the game), which …
encourages me to paint, draw, knit, garden, cook and keep fit, which …
motivates the diversification of interests, and reveals the interconnections!

I will post some more details about these projects in other posts, but here is a summary update:

Dancing Capital

Dancing Capital website

My Dancing Capital website has undergone a complete rebuild with an update to Joomla 2.5 and a new template (Lifestyle from Joomlabamboo). I’ve also more than tripled the content and now have Violet’s blog up and running.

A couple more tweaks and it will go live again. I hope it was worth the wait!

Other blogs

Apple and walnut cake

My ‘food promise’ blog

Self-making blanket

My ‘Master crafting‘ blog

Scratch-built Ymir

Chris’s phlog STATIC CAPITAL

I have 3 other blogs going:

  • Master crafting will track my progress from beginner to master in craft-related pursuits (starting with knitting).
  • Static capital is Chris’s photo blog.
  • Food Promise is a documentation of how I feel about food. It chronicles how and what we eat—both day to day and on special occasions (not quite ready to go live yet).

Everybody knows that it takes time to develop content for a blog. With each of these blogs I have to make stuff (real or digital), document (e.g. photography), then organise into something that is instructive or interesting. I love it, but it takes time. There is also inspiration that comes from doing this. I have started a garden and am growing some edible plants to support my food blog. My knitting is also inspiring some of my art making.

Art making

My studio in early October

My studio: October 2012

Lots of explorations in the studio. I am working on quite a few things at once. Some are beginning to work to some sort of a resolution.

‘waste paint’

'Waste paint' orange weave first layer     'Waste paint' orange weave third layer

I have lots of ‘left-over’ paint. I experiment with the left-overs by smudging, scraping and scratching, then painting over. These are a bit of fun, but also helping me to understand colour, layer and texture and how to manipulate these.


'Water crest'

I am working on a series of ‘seals’ or ‘monograms’ which are visual puns or conundrums. The grab above is a work titled ‘Watercrest’. I’m layering paint, pen and pencil in these works. I want to explore transparent glazes. The spheres are the basis for these works.


'Lava' detail

I have a stock pile of canvases now so am working on a few a once. I’m still working on water, bubbles and fish (technical exercises). This grab is of a painting with working title ‘Lava’—which has resulted from the ‘waste paint’ explorations. Many more layers to come I think with this one.


No images to share quite yet, but suffice to say, these are works about fishing, and about knitting. I am very excited about these! I will share soon!

Sims 3

Fran's first house, unrenovated

Last, but not least, an update on playing Sims 3. Fran, my latest Sim, lives in Twinbrook and is an Architectural Designer. I am documenting her home renovation and some of her design projects for clients. You can see above that at the beginning she starts in one room on a swampy, misty lot. In this grab she has started to build some platforms out over the swamp which will form the foundations for her extension. Her lifetime wish is 100 top reviews from clients. By all accounts no Sim has ever achieved this, so I am persevering.

So, there’s the update. So much to do, so much to share, so little time!

‘Egoity’ and Gascoigne

‘Egoity’ and Gascoigne

I created this image of ‘Egoity’, or the ‘self-aware’ individual, to illustrate a paper I wrote about the uniqueness of art knowledge and its importance in education when I was studying for my Masters in 1991. The paper delved into the difference between arts knowledge and other knowledge domains and posed the notion of a ‘genetic aesthetic’ or a pre-determined potential in all individuals for the development of imagination, creativity, perception and critical understanding.

I am inspired by Rosalie Gascoigne’s story—particularly because she had her first exhibition at 57—but also because she talked simply about her own practice and why she needed to work as an artist. Some of her quotes below confirm the idea of a genetic aesthetic, as she discusses her world and her inspiration in an ABC interview with Stephen Feneley in 1997 (sourced 24 February 2012)

Well, I used to walk out of the house and down the hill and round the place and I came to the conclusion that well nature was a friend anyway and something I knew about. As Picasso said once, you’ve got to start with what belongs to you, and that belonged to me because I knew about that. Nobody was going to tell me.

your eye gets sharpened, you get an expanding universe which I think every artist is after, otherwise they dry up which is a bad word in artistic life.

[So you were very conscious of this idea of not being able to draw?]

Oh very very. I couldn’t do anything, that’s why I think you stand there, and there’s the empty space and whatever poor talents you’ve got, you put something in it. But you’ve got the need you see, you’ve got the need, you’re going to find a way.

[Did you become an artist or did it just take you a long time to realise you were one?]

I didn’t ever become one, I was one. I was that sort of animal, no credit to you. It’s just you’re that sort of animal and it takes you a long time to find out what you really are and if nothing else is really offering, that truth seeps in pretty rapidly.