Christmas is starting to happen … oh that was quick!

I started putting up my Christmas decorations a few weeks ago. I am a big fan of putting up decorations that look good during the daytime, not just at night.

This arrangement hangs at the front of our house.

Decorations shining in the sun, just before the rain pelted down.

These were, sadly, surpassed by neighbours of ours that had REALLY BIG balls on their verandah.

Big balls of Christmas!
Did I mention they also had an epic inflatable Santa too.

Then there are the annual Kambah Sheep photos. These were a bit premature as more tinsel has since been added. I’m not sure if I can get updated photos before the tinsel gets packed away for another year.

Then decorating the ‘tree’, or in this case branches from our gum tree. I had made the decorations from fabric that I had stencilled, part of one of a video I was making for YouTube. The original video was a washout for a number of reasons, but my decision to try and process the video, the week prior to Christmas, using unfamiliar editing software, was perhaps not my best one. (If you would like to check out what turned out to be a ‘bloopers’ video then follow this link).

Home made Christmas decorations on the tree.
Finally I did sit down with a nice cuppa and sketched my tree and decorations on Boxing Day. Please notice that I have also included ‘Mr Blobby’ our lava lamp in the sketch, along with our most recent Christmas decorations – a balloon dog and a box of sushi (and no, I have no idea what relationship these have to the Christmas story either).

So it has been another tempestuous year, I haven’t posted as much as I imagined I would, but I will continue, nonetheless. I hope your holidays go well and that 2022 is a generally better year than this one – fingers crossed. Roll on the New Year.


WARNING this post contains a nude portrait. (It’s OK, it’s not me).

It seems there is a trend amongst my artist friends to be doing self portraits. So I am jumping in, along with Carol Haywood and Rose Davies to share my recent versions.

I started drawing myself in March and then quickly fell by the wayside. I recently got re-inspired by Jennifer Higgie’s book the Mirror and the Palette, looking at the herstory of the self-portrait.

Highly recommended, fascinating and a darn good read.

The portraits of older women artists are often the most experimental. Perhaps the most visceral portrait I know is by Maria Lassnig, (1919- 2014), painted in her 80’s, it really sorts the women from the boys. I saw it in Amsterdam in 2019 and it certainly hit me in the gut.

Oder du ich (You or Me) Maria Lassnig, 2005, oil on canvas , private collection.

Alice Neel has also painted an unapologetic nude self-portrait in her 80’s, which is on display in a current retrospective of her work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. See here for a online veiwing of the exhibition.

You will probably be relieved to know that I don’t have the guts of Lassnig or Neel to do nude self-portraits. Maybe later. Maybe when I turn 80.

So here are the portraits I have made so far. Most, with the exception of the watercolour, have been sketched on paper roll from Ikea.

Self-portrait. Acrylic marker and brush pen.
Self-portrait with watching painting. Pencil.
Self-portrait Night repair. Collage and brush pen.
Double self-portrait. Gel pen.
Self-portrait with blue lips. Pen and ink, acrylic marker.

Kambah Sheep Christmas 2020

For many years now, at least 10 years, people have been anonymously decorating the sheep sculptures that celebrate this suburbs past history as a farm. Good taste never comes into it and apart from a father and small child I once saw adding a few pieces, I have never seen who does this.

I posted this on my ‘other’ blog (largely gardening and food), which was for many years the only blog I had, but I think this is something that my art friends will enjoy as well.