Wednesday, 31 October 2012


When it snows I want summer
When it's warm I want snow
It's the way that I've been
As long as I know.

After a big salty meal
I'll want something so sweet
If I've been in the forest
I'll crave a busy, bustling street.

On a train through the cane fields
Or in a ski lodge
There are things that I want 
That are always at odds.

If I've worn my black shoes
I'll wish I'd worn red
I'll regret choosing daisies
Instead of elegant orchids. 

If you ask where I'm happiest
I'll say, 'Oh, I don't know'
But the truth of the matter
Is that I'm happiest at home.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Little everyday tsunami

Hokusai lost everything. Starting over at a time when he should have been taking life at a slower pace, he kept making art. It was after this time that he achieved his greatest success. Strange to think that we know him best for his archetypal image ‘The Great Wave Off Kanagawa’, which he created as an old man, after he had worked all his life as an artist. An image which he created several times in different perspectives.

We all have our archetypes as artists. Our themes, the stuff we like to draw over and over. Sometimes we know why we repeat the images. Perhaps we like the form, or it reminds us of a happy moment, or we are confident creating it and we want to tap into that confidence. Other times, we may not know why we draw something repeatedly. The meaning might emerge at a later time, or it may not.

As kids we copy and repeat images to learn how to master our skills. That’s part of our development. At some stage we build our own repertoire of images we love to draw. For Hokusai, the wave is a cultural and historical representation of the time in which he lived. It’s a powerful reminder of nature’s effect on our human lives.

For me, the wave is a little bit of a tsunami in everyday life. Scattered down the supermarket aisle, looming on the meeting table at work or rising in your own bath at home, the wave can show up, unassuming and gentle or as a tremendous threat to the moment. Thankfully, everyday tsunamis eventually just become calm pools of water. Just like Hokusai, we keep going, doing what we love and making images about it.

(Hokusai (1760-1849) was a Japanese artist producing work in the Edo period)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Woodpecker

Sometimes it kinda feels like this, all day long. You know, peck, peck, peck peck, peck. My friend made the comparison over a cup of tea and I laughed when she said that she felt like a tree some days with three little woodpecker birds pecking at her. Yep, I know what she means.

Thankfully there are all the other times where our children amaze us with how absolutely exquisite they are and make us laugh at unexpected moments with the funny things they do. It makes the woodpecker days more bearable.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

What if?

What if it rained cats and dogs and your socks got all wet,
Would you keep one to love as your very own pet?
What ifs are everywhere, go on, look all around,
Then give your inside thoughts an outside sound!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Smiling and bobbing

Today is a quiet day. Boats are bobbing alongside ducks, buoyant, solid and cheerful. Sure, there are a lot of waves, just wave back.