more than one voice

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


she realised that it was never too late to have a happy childhood

When I was a child I remember how much I loved to play. I used to play really hard, no matter what I was playing with.  I was in love with playing. 

I remember digging in the big bank behind our house, carving roads and towns out of the sandstone.  I had little cars that travelled on my roads, I can remember it so well, I can almost feel the red sand making my hands all dirty, and see the veins in the stones as I carved out my cities.  I must have been about five or six when this game consumed my days. Long hot summers spent sitting in the dirt making my towns, picking flowers from my mom’s garden to decorate my houses.  When I got bored of this miniature world and of my own company, I made larger camps in the veld, with the other kids in the neighbourhood. In those days, it was safe to venture beyond the confirms of our garden.  We made camps and played on the ant hills; sometimes we were naughty and would break open the ant hills to see inside, the intricate tunnels fascinated us.

When I was about eleven I remember thinking that soon I would be too old to play, and I would have to pack all my toys away, and grow up.  I didn’t like this thought at all, I remember feeling like time was running out, that I had to get in as much playing as I could, I felt panic.  Looking back, it is quiet a strange thing for a child to think, but then again I was a serious ‘player’.

I wish I could have told that little girl that her days of playing were not fading away, that she might have to grow up but she could always play. I swopped my dolls and cars for paint and clay and fabric, and continued to play, to loose myself in imagination, and fantasy.  I think we all need this in our lives, just because we are all grown up doesn’t mean that we don’t still need to play.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

becoming a shape shifter

she had been sitting there all day - slowly she realised that nothing great was ever created suddenly

Part of my frustration with trying to be an artist is that I feel I am too tight, too rigid. I feel that I hold back when I should learn to let go.  My art is sometimes stiff and doesn’t flow as I would like it to.  I seem to put too many restrictions on myself.

I love the work of artists who seem to create effortless work, work that feels fluid, where the motion and energy is almost tangible.  I would like to explore what this means, to try and unpack this strange feeling, a feeling that I need to become more fluid.  It feels as if I need to escape the confines of my body, of my skin and bones, and somehow learn to be less of a fixed shape. Perhaps, I need to explore what it means to be a shape shifter.  I would like to explore the shape and form of things around me, learning how to take on the contour of things, fitting into new skin and then letting it go again. I would like to learn how to transform, how to be in a state of constant metamorphosis, reaching into new states.

I see water in my dreams and I try to understand the meaning of this symbol. A liquid takes the shape of whatever it encounters, yet it remains a separate entity. Perhaps this is part of developing an artist’s mind, to be in constant liquefied motion.  I would like to squeeze into different spaces and consider the possibility of the existence of magic, as I become that shape for awhile.

Learning to be less rigid, to understand transformation, to not hold to fixed ideas and positions but be more open to other possibilities.  I suppose, what I’m ultimately seeking is unrestricted freedom to throw myself into this wonderful creative life that I want to life.


Katie at her recent market day - selling door hangers
She had a really good day and almost sold out
Working hard making stock for market day - she really wanted to do well as her dad is her EMS teacher.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I care what people think

on mondays i'm not going to mind what i wear - she said with gleeful abandon

A few weeks ago, I took the wrong t-shirt to gym.  I only realised when all the fatty bits popped out, spilling over like white bread dough.  I sat on the exercise bike and laughed with my fellow gym ladies about the perils of wearing tight t-shirts. We came to the conclusion that although we wished we didn’t - we actual did care what people thought of us when we walk out into the world.

This bothered me for awhile, but I think I know what we meant that day.  We had arrived at an age or an understanding when we could be honest with ourselves. Part of that honesty was admitting in front of others, that yes we did care what people thought, that we didn’t want people to think we looked weird or funny.  I’m not sure I could have been that honest as a young girl.  I don’t think I could have admitted that I cared what others thought.   So, perhaps in that honesty there was a certain amount of freedom, a certain fitting into my skin a little better, I was able to be comfortable with this aspect of myself, to publicly acknowledge the inside insecurities, to let them all hang out.  Yes, it felt good to be honest – sometimes I do care what people think!


Friday, September 9, 2011

stories to tell

Works of art often tell stories, looking at an art work can be like reading a novel. The art has its own unique narrative to tell, powerful images create a story.  The artist paints their words in colour and texture, making marks and lines, creating depth and emotion with paint.  The composition of the art work subtly tells the tale. The unspoken story is revealed, to each viewer it is different, emotions are complex and unique, open to interpretation.

Some art seems to tell better stories, just like a well written book. Some authors are more experienced, better educated, can play with words and create prose that paints images.   When I look at my own art with a critical eye, I sometimes battle to see the story. I seem to be too caught up in getting the technique right, in learning how to paint and I forget to tell a story, I feel my lack of education. 

I was contemplating all this the other night while sitting in the bath, (don’t the greatest insights always occur in the bath).  Suddenly, I realised that the very process of creating an art work tells a tale, the fact that I chose to paint, that I want to learn to paint, that I endeavour to pursue this need to make art, tells a story.  The materials I chose to use, the colours I use, the sweet little faces I seem to need to paint, they all tell a story.  Some stories are dramas, and some are romantic comedies with sweet innocent characters.  What I realised is that there are so many stories to tell and so many stories to unravel and enjoy.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

spring cleaning

time for a spring cleaning

With the warmer weather, the new leaves on the trees and all the pretty buds I was inspired to 'fixed' my bedroom up a bit.  I repainted a little cupboard, and decorated it with some mixed media backgrounds, fixed up an old box that I use to store all the girls school reports and artworks in.

mixed media backgrounds - not just for paintings
wish I had a better camera - but you get the idea

I painted an old frame and put one of my favorite paintings inside it.  I was really happy with the results, and now have a very pretty bedroom to see in the long hot summer, that lies ahead.

now - the rest of the house awaits