Sunday, May 28, 2006


Just a couple of pics this time.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Mari, Rosa and I spent the whole day home today. Usually we try to get out of the house every day, even if it's just for a coffee and hot chocolate at a local caf'. But today was a crafty fun day. We painted, playdoughed, made a string picture, knitted, made a pop-up card, took photos, made mini pizzas together, blew up balloons, sang songs, read books, and (ta da!) transformed Mari into "Leo the Lion, King of the Jungle!"

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Film Buffs

What sophisticated taste Mari is developing! She spent the morning watching the Jacques Tati film, Mon Oncle. It's top of my list of favourite films (just ousting Gentleman Prefer Blondes) and just the most perfectly constructed film in so many ways. Lighting, colour, composition, exquisite humour, biting social satire; just brilliant. Anyway, she watched the whole thing and announced "I like that film". A girl after my own heart. Next weekend we might try her with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Loved in this house for the spectacle, the diamonds, Marilyn of course, racy innuendoes, the near naked (hilarious!) olympic team in the gym number, and best of all, the bondage girls in the famous "Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend song and dance number". Priceless and wonderful.

Of course we do like a good book too.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Child's Play

I bought a book recently; 350+ Free Activities for Preschoolers. If you have a child under 6, you must buy it. Consider this a free and unsolicited advertisement. It's going to rescue us on many a rainy day this winter. We've already had several hours of fun inspired by these pages. Including the jelly shapes pictured. It also has a lot of recipes for playdough, paint, glue... and food of course. Our favourite has been the "Fantastic fudge brownies", and they are. Fantastic that is. If not entirely pre-schooler friendly. Well, they go down a treat; it's the resulting sugar high that you have to watch out for. The author lives in the US but this edition seems to have been rejigged a bit to suit the aussie market; mentions of playschool, Mem Fox, et al.

Also mentioned in the book, but also an obvious, often utilised (in this house anyway) art idea is the tracing portrait. You know, lie the little person down on a piece of paper, draw around them and they fill in the details. This is Mari's latest. Quite a good likeness I think. Pay special attention to the butterfly with which she's deep in conversation, the flowers she's holding and the caterpillar crawling up her arm. Nice touches all of them, I think. Also in view are my lovely Mother's Day flowers.

How to recognise a monster...

Mari dreamt about monsters last night. Friendly monsters. They had their hands and their toes in the dirt and they looked like dogs or cats. And they were wearing soap jackets. (Keep in mind I was in the shower while Mari was telling me this.) And jackets with taps on them. So there you go. Consider yourself up to date on the nature and fashion of monsters.

I'm loving having a real talking person to hang out with. Mari showed me two toy birds she was playing with a few days ago.
Mari: "Look mum, a daddy penguin and a mummy penguin."
Lorena: "Ooh yes, lovely... but I think they're parrots darling."
Mari: (in world weary tones) "Mummy, I'm just CALLING them penguins."
Well, yes. Fair enough. There's just no reply to that.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


I've had a few people ask me lately about Art. Not in a general "what do you think of the state of the art world today?" way. Although I was interested to see Sebastion Smee proclaiming the death of Photography in the Australian last weekend. (When is someone not announcing photography's impending demise?) The idea is that photography is so much ingrained in popular culture that it's fading out of Artistic (with a capital A) culture. With such an overload of images, apparently we can no longer appreciate the artistic value of photographs, and photographers as artists have either fallen into banality or the need to shock or use tricks, which just doesn't work anymore anyway. Apparently "Photography has finally become just another way of making images". Well, yes. Wasn't is always, along with painting, printmaking, drawing, etc? They're all 'just ways of making images'. That's. Not. The. Point! Then this week was the death of Abstract. Oh, bollocks. Anyway. Art. Generally the question runs along the lines of when are YOU going to do some art? Well, I have been, a bit. Here are a few images are from a portrait project I've been working on. I place the subject in the same position in the frame, against different backgrounds; Either different angles in the same surrounding, or in different scene altogether. While it would be easier to photograph backgrounds separately, I want to get the person to be connected of each of backgrounds in the image. This ties them into their environments, and also allows ghosting/multiple poses of their own person. I think this especially works in the shot of Mari. I do keep the faces sharp though. I'm exploring the idea of the environmental portrait, and using multiple, merging backgrounds in hopefully a physical and psychological way. These are three of my favourites so far, and I'm on the look out for more subjects. So look out.

(Edited: I've just replaced the portrait of Sarah. The previous one was a draft.)

Oh yes, it's been eons in blog years. But we're still here. Recovered from colds, enjoying the cool weather. Rosa's got her first two teeth through. Happy days. Mari's had an active week after an encounter or two with sports drink (not for kids under 15 or pregnant women) cleverly disguised as juice. And who wouldn't check a sentence written in point 6 type, in the middle of a block of 6 point text, on a bottle otherwise labelled as, you know, juice! Ah well, it could have been on display in the basement of the Solikamskin planning office, in the bottom of a used filing cabinet, with a sign saying 'beware of the leopard!". Am I bitter? Not really, just finally appreciating the funny side after a long week. :-)