Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Remains on the old working jetty

John and I walked over to Granite Island this morning and I stopped for a few moments and sketched some of the old pylons and wooden and rusted bolts that were on the edge of the rock wall of what is known as the old working jetty.
We had a lovely walk, we havent been over there for ages, mostly because in the summer it is full of tourists and we didnt walk the beaches this morning because they were full of school groups on camps.
We didnt have a lot of time as we both had busy days planned but needed to get the mail and the papers.
I dusted and mopped and tidied and put away and thank goodness John did the vacuuming, so although he is going to be here while I am in Victoria at least it will be clean until I get home.
Of course I still havent organised my stuff for my class or thought about clothes, and I wont be doing that tomorrow as I will go to town to see my mother while John attacks more paper work, poor man he seems to do nothing but see where what money we have is going, and who he can pay! At least the cows are now calving so more milk will be coming in, it certainly sounds like autumn with bellowing calves early in the morning.
The haiku tonight is by Shiki. I love it, it sounds so peaceful.
Beyond the temple
and the garden lanterns,
afloat and asleep.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Not a painting, a doodle

I havent been able to get back to painting lately, no inclination, although I am doing lots of other things so my odd and fanciful doodle will have to do. John thinks I am trying to send him crazy as looking at it seems to have an odd effect.
I walked a beach this morning, I put away magazines and tidied a bit, I found a quilt I had been looking for and I have made some knickers and a dress for the bunny who looks a bit like a cross dog. I will hand stitch tonight and finish it.
I am going to have a very busy few days and am not sure when I will get back to this blog, so look for me on the other one here.
We have just finalised holiday dates and with the Textile Forum in Ballarat in less than a week, I will be busy. In fact I wont be home for much of April, I will have some computer time I think but not a lot. I intend to work hard and party well at Ballarat and probably sleep and enjoy good company when we get to Queensland, we will call in to Melbourne for a couple of nights to see the grand children and go to the quilt show.
The dog is telling me he wants to be fed, the cat seems to think he should go out but it is too early for him to do that yet, there are still birds around. He is only out for about an hour at the most.
We had a lovely rain, not much but better than we thought and the soil is a bit damp and it is quite cool at the moment, although I believe it will warm up over Easter.
This sounds a bit short and scrappy but I am tired and have a bit of a headache, so I hope you will forgive this rather disjointed post.
Here is Buson's haiku.
When the autumn wind
scatters peonies,
a few
petals fall in pairs.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A wonderful gift

No sketch, just this wonderful gift from my blog friend Robyn Gordon.
That I should be so lucky.
A damp day so here is my Haiku by Basho.
The crescent lights
the misty ground
buckwheat flowers.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Yesterday and this morning

The sketch I did while waiting in the eye specialists rooms. I have to report that I was in and out quite quickly and that my eye had the laser treatment on it and I can now see without a murky film in the way. It was quick, painless and incredible.
I did have 'floaters' the size of blow flies occasionally and had problems getting home with the light so was pleased to get home and collapse in a heap.
I am so glad that it all seems to have been successful and thank you all to those who asked how it was.
Yesterday I also got something special from Robyn Gordon in South Africa, but I will do more on that tomorrow.
All I can say is that I am a very lucky person.
This morning before shopping we walked near Kent Reserve and the yacht was back at its moorings, it hasnt been there for a while so with the wonderful light of the morning sun behind it I had to take a photo.
Out again tonight, so I am taking things a little slowly at the moment.
It feels as if we should get a thunderstorm but perhaps it is wishful thinking and we certainly dont want the sort that Perth got a few days ago.
My Haiku today is by Joso.
In a wayside shrine,
a hungry owl
hoots and hides,
so bright is the moon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gelatin prints again

The first one shows what can go wrong, I didnt position one of my cirles correctly and was left with a white area on one of the pears which I then tried to paint in and it didnt work.
My gelatin has fallen in a bit of a heap and I am trying to see if re constituting it will help.
I was busy cutting out houses and pears and leaves and a bug.
It really is huge fun but I think next I will try with fabric paints and fabric.
I will be in Adelaide for tomorrow and Thursday so probably wont bog. Thursday is the eye specialist, I amn in a bit of fear and trepidation about what he will say but glad to be finally getting to him.
Here is a nice Haiku by Shiki
Lotus leaves in the pond
ride on water
rain in June.

Monday, March 22, 2010


On some one else's blog I saw a pear done with doodles and thought in a mindless moment I would love to give that luscious shape a go, so here it is and thank you to whoever put theirs up. Not much done today lots of dull things so I will leave the pear and go straight to a Haiku another of Basho's
Unknown to birds
and butterflies
a flower blooms
the autumn sky.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More Gelatin prints

I have been having a lot of fun with these, perhaps I could have an exhibition!! These are two layers, with a base coat and some subjects and then when dry another coat with things slightly differently aligned. It is great fun and has been such a simple thing to do.
I must draw up and explore some more shapes.
I do like my bird, I have terrible trouble drawing birds and he just flowed off my pencil.
We have had a pretty slack day today, well in terms of doing a lot, John has been working in the office and I have been playing with these and doing a bit of necessary washing.
Two late nights in a row are a bit much for us these days! Last night we went to the wrap up of our State election with our local member who won his seat back which is great as his opposition was looking to be a bit of a worry. All those who had helped in any way were invited back to his families house to see what the results would be, I spent a lot of time helping in the food area.
Our lot dont look as if they will get back in unfortunately but with any luck the big swing away from the others will make them just a bit less arrogant.
I have had hoses on all day, it is still so dry in parts, well most of the garden. Still no real rain in sight although I can hear the tree frogs and crickets carrying on, but I think that is where I have watered.
Thanks to those who have commented, especially about the Haiku, I think I found thirty ways to write about the frog in the old pond. Japanese is so complex that some things are only an idea and that is very hard to translate.
Here is another one of Basho's.
Bush clover in blossom
without spilling
a drop of dew.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gelatin prints

I have been exploring ways to make prints without the use of a press and although I have known about gelatin prints for a while I have never got around to making some. I know that technically these are not sketches, but I did have to sketch the bird and cut it out as with the moon but the other is a grass from the garden.
At 70 I find that there are all sorts of things that are taught now in schools in art that I have never heard of and these are another of my new found delights.
I am going to try some on cloth as well but today I just had fun playing and trying to work out what actually worked.
Such a simple process and with not a lot of messing around.
These were done with acrylic paint and then a wash of watercolour.
Today we were up bright and early, after last nights late (for us) night, it was a good dinner and John made a brilliant and witty speech, our dinner companions were nice to talk to and my worry about small talk didnt happen. The fact that I have known most of them all my married life helped!
So in this morning for John to do his duty at the polling booth and I went to the market and had a lovely time chatting to friends, did my voting and went for a walk back to get the papers, the newsagent doesnt seem to open before 9 on Saturday morning, so silly when the market starts at 8.
Finally collected John and we have done very little ever since, one of those days I feel guilty about but love when they happen.
In my search for haiku I find some of the translations a little strange at times. Here is another by Basho but somehow it doesnt do as much for me as some of the other translations.
Even leaves don't move,
is the summer grove

Friday, March 19, 2010


I did this print using a meat tray and a pencil as I was trying to get a fish skeleton. Not brilliant but it worked well enough and I should remember to use this more often. I have been researching various ways of printing without a press. I have some gelatine hardening in my frig at the moment so I will have a play with that tomorrow.
I am trying to print eventually on fabric but will have to get some more fabric medium before I go much further with this.
Dont ask me what I will eventually do with all of this, I think it is mostly so that I get some idea of how it all works.
A much cooler day and we have had a bit of rain, could do with more but what we got and the cooler weather will be a help. My sedums and garlic chives are still delighting me in the front garden.
John and I are going off to an old school dinner tonight (his) and he is again handing out how to vote cards for the election tomorrow. I will be so glad when this election is over and unfortunately I think the same boring faces will get back in.
My car has gone with the children as they are going over to Wirrina for a sporting games week end with ponies and children. I think I am glad it is not me.
John and I walked again this morning an ever changing collection of sights, sea weed and on this part by the Inman River mouth shells.
I have still been doing a bit of research on Haiku and found this one by Issa that I can relate to!
Don't worry, spiders,
I keep house

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Towards Granite Island and the causeway.

I had to go in for a blood test this morning and that means early unless you intend to sit and wait for ever. No breakfast either but I decided to go for a walk along the beach below Hayborough.
It was a funny sort of morning, very black to the west and broken cloud to the south east.
The foliage of the plants on the dunes was an incredible orangy colour and Granite Island just sat in the distance like some sort of huge whale.
I walked the beach and as I noted in my sketchbook I walk rather slowly just thankful that my knee allows me to walk at all. I was enjoying the sea and the sounds but was passed by walkers wearing set expressions and dog walkers trying to keep up with their dogs.
Suddenly on my way back out of the sand hills emerged a group of what I assume were bird watchers as they were festooned with binoculars and cameras with what looked like meter long lenses! I am afraid they were out of luck as I hadnt seen any of the little plovers and I usually can see them if they are around.
Further on were three school groups some with home made boats they were going to try out in the River Hindmarsh which has nearly but not quite broken out to the sea and another group seemed to be building sand castles.
A lovely morning for a wander along the beach but not so good when I got home, it has been terribly humid and hot and not the best for trying to think, which for some reason neither John or I seemed capable of today.
He is trying to see if we are eligible for the pension but had to find some sort of documentation that said he lived here in this house for over 20 years, most of our correspondence goes to our box number! He did finally find an old insurance document dated 1959, the year we were married for household contents, with his name and the farm address on it. So stupid as the post office wants all documents to have the box number and wont deliver anything with the farm address on it.
Talk about turning old files upside down.
I have been looking for a few Haiku's on the net, not really sure I like the ones I have found but this one I think will do it is by Buson
The old man
cutting barley -
bent like a sickle.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Old age and beauty

Having seen my mother today, and she was wandering off into the mists of forgetfulness and then back and that is not my mother there, not the one I remember with the beautiful house, wearing the smartest clothes and always with wonderful flowers in her house. This is a shell and even she cant remember this. Deep within there still is beauty but it is hard to find.
I wasnt going to post this doodle but some how it says I think what I want to say.
After that I had to put up the photo of the Bluff and Wright Island in Encounter Bay on a sunny still morning, a view I love and hope to be able to see long into the future.
We have these little plovers running on the shore and this Haiku is by Mukai Kyorai.

Rocks on the shore.
Lots of little plovers
run nimbly.

Monday, March 15, 2010

More floral play

John suggested that this could be wallpaper! the brain isnt functioning very well, it is hot and sticky and I thought we had finished with that, perhaps eventually autumn will come.
I feel good, the joints dont ache,but oh heck now an itch on my scalp, John suggested ringworm, I am off to see a doctor tomorrow, in a hurry!
We had a magnificent walk this morning, calm seas and reflections again, a brilliant dinner of fresh fish and fresh beans followed by cheese and a glass of white, probably shouldnt have the cheese (or the wine but one has to have a few pleasures), but slowly, oh so slowly the weight is going down.
The house is clean, some washing done, bread made and the pots are watered, the animals fed and watered and the new little red hen is settling in.
What more can one want? ( A new Haiku book!)
Here is one by Kyorai.
Chanting and humming
gongs immerse
the green valley
in cool waves of air.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Another floral fantasy

This has been sitting on my easel for a few days while I played with it. I felt like doing something simple and bright and fun and had a spare piece of paper sitting near by, so it is watercolour with some watercolour pencils used to add a bit of definition in places.
I am afraid my glass vase hasnt shown up very well in the scan.
John went fishing today and came home with lots of fish and a squid, yumm for tomorrow night, here Sunday night is always a vegetarian pasta. Using at this time of the year fresh tomatoes, basil and chillies. I have done well this year with three lots of basil in large pots, bought over a period of time they have kept us well supplied. The tomatoes havent been so good and the chillies took their time but there are now lovely hot long ones on the bush in one pot, short fiery ones in another pot and slower long ones in the third pot.
I have terrible trouble with rabbits and peacocks so a lot of the special veg are planted in pots very close to the back door where they get lots of sun, watered and fertilised and I can see if anything thinks they want to eat them.
I have half cleaned the house, the rest I will do tomorrow as I decided to go in and walk along the bicycle track and wait until the fellows came in with their fish, thank goodness for mobile phones as I could keep track of them.
This haiku is by Soseki and it was a bit warm and sticky today.
I might feel cooler
If I were the
Emperor of rocks
in the sea.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bright flower doodle

Something short and fast, done with pen and inktense pencils.
This morning we went over to Parsons Beach for a walk, only to discover that the beach which normally has perhaps a couple of surfers and a fisherman, if that, on it had a full blown surf carnival on. We still walked from one end to the other and it was quite fun watching the surfers.
I even zipped one boys wet suit up as he seemed to be having a lot of trouble. I am glad in our day of diving we zipped up in the front not the back.
This was to see how my knee held up, ok except I made an undignified entrance to the beach by slipping on a rock I didnt see, but again, helped up by a nice young man who had Living the Dream
tattooed on his back.
Off to an 18th birthday party tonight.
This Haiku is by Shiki.
How far the skylark soars
a cloud-mountain
breathing-in sun-mist!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Shells and rocks

I picked these up yesterday morning and sketched them, a couple of rocks and some abolone shells but somehow I made a mess of posting them yesterday so it didnt happen.
I have had a few days that have been a bit messy and havent felt like doing very much. Maybe its the change in the weather.
My aches are back and my eye is worse than it was so seeing is not easy, enough to depress any one.
So I have been cooking, doing a bit of hand sewing and pulling a few weeds in the garden.
Walking by the sea at Encounter Bay has been lovely but you can only do so much.
Today we had to put down three old favorite mares so Sarah and I have been in a bit of a mess, they were 25, 27 and 28 but have been struggling and to put them through another winter just wasnt on.
They have a wealth of memories tied up in them as we got them all as youngsters.
I am not sure if I have a Haiku that sums it up but I think this one by Buson will do.
A red moon goes down
late in the west..
Shadows flow eastward
and vanish.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I am still trying to draw the perfect chook, this big burly rooster caught my eye and he looks quite interesting but the hen looks a bit odd.
It is cold and overcast and we have had a small amount of drizzle, not really enough to wet the ground.
Still we have had about 20 mm all up in the last few days which is better than nothing but I notice that John is not expecting any more as the large lump of wood that holds the gutter level has been taken away.
We are expecting some day soon that the new gutters will be put up, but one never holds ones breath about these things, all tradesmen like big jobs not little ones.
John has had to go back to Adelaide for a meeting, yesterday we had hair cuts and saw my mother and took my sister out for lunch so a busy time in Adelaide. I am having a much slower day although I did go over to see Tab and Millie and drop off some shoes, lots of earth works there trying to flatten an area to ride in, looks big enough for a house site but it isnt.
I bought a lovely book today an embroidery one by Effie Mitrofanis, I love what she does but not sure I can do it, but there are some lovely ideas in it and I love silk and organza so we will see, a small book might slowly be done.
I am following the blog of a friends son who is in Japan with his wife and he is on a pilgrimage around Shikoku visiting all the temples on his bike so this Haiku by Miura Chora is apt.
Mountain temple,
image of Buddha entering nirvana.
No one comes to pay homage.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Wet and windy

I walked up the to the top of the hill behind the house this morning, I havent been up there for ages as my knee hasnt felt stable enough but I put on my rubber boots and wet weather gear and walked.
I am a bit worried about my camera as it was saying I had a malfunction with the lens but it did finally close properly. The photos are on my other blog here.
John went off to Goolwa beach cockling and came back very wet and cold, I had thought I might have gone but am glad I didnt.
Instead I have got some washing done and sorted out a few bits of textile stuff to get on with. It seemed so funny not to have anything to stitch.
Today is a holiday, for of all things a wretched horse race, I feel sorry for all those girls who go in for the fashion on the field and hope they wore something warm.
Tomorrow is my elder sisters birthday so we are going to Adelaide and will see Mummy and have hair cuts and take my sister out for lunch. I am afraid we cant take our mother out, she just isnt up to it any more.
Basho has a lovely way with words.
How I would like
to wash the world's dust
with these dewdrops!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sand dune vegetation

We have had a bit of rain, some places have had a lot but we managed about 6 mm and there are still odd spots and rumbles of thunder around, we may get more tomorrow.
Yesterday we went out for lunch and as we left Pt Willunga the wind came in and the heavens opened, we managed to be in front of it for most of the drive home, and then it stopped!
A lovely lunch and an enjoyable day that began with a trip to the farmers market and then a walk along the beach.
Today we walked from Petrel's Cove along the cliff tops to the beach and although it threatened rain it was very pleasant.
This is a rather scribbly drawing of the plants on the sand dune at the base of the cliff. Knobby club rush and euphorbia with a few bits of marrum grass.
We came back feeling a bit cold, it has been a funny sort of day and had pancakes for lunch, a bit wicked for some one who is supposed to be on a diet and of course Sunday night is always pasta, especially as we have fresh tomatoes and basil. More walking tomorrow I think.
If you look on my other blog here you will see some photos of that walk, I was trying to get some texture in my photos as that is the next stage of our on line Holey Moley club.
Another rather enigmatic Haiku by Basho.
How art begins:
a rice planting song
in the deep interior.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Conwy Castle

Digital Gran aka Margaret Roberts took the photo that I sketched this from.
A step back to last year's trip to the UK, seems a long way ago now, but in reality not so far.
I am not sure if we should have done that trip as we have lost our drought status and are going to be extremely broke for the next while, it takes at least 2 years to get back after a drought and we dont really know if we are out of this one. Governments have other things to spend their money on and as producers we are at the mercy of those who provide feed for our dairy cows and those who sell our milk. I sometimes wonder why any of us are still in the industry, no one is making money.
Yes of course we should have made that trip, it is something to hold onto, something to remember with great pleasure.
They are promising us rain, again, will it or wont it, we may know tomorrow, at the moment it is calm and cool and a few clouds but no wind.
We walked this morning, I again braved the horrors of Woolworths, John thank heaven was in control of the trolley when it nearly tipped over on a piece of very badly designed footpath, I am in no doubt we will have to cope with that for years to come.
The crickets are singing, yesterday I heard on the radio that they build a chamber especially to make the noise louder, cant remember what the bits of them are that make the noise, it sounded rude so in case I miss spell it I am not going to try. What ever they sound nice and comforting.
I knew that there had to be a Haiku about a cricket by Basho.
Under a helmet
Hung in a shrine,
a cricket
chirps his last command.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


I feel rather as though I would like to take flight with this bird.
Sketched rather hurriedly this afternoon after feeling that I was not going to get anything done.
I am having problems getting together the long metal legs for the second tall bird, it is pretty typical that the first one goes well and the second one doesnt.
It has got hotter, I cant water where I would like to as the springs are not running fast enough yet, they have promised rain again but I think it is slowly disappearing.
I think on the whole I really dont like this end of summer, it is so dry, so dusty so boring!
I have just finished reading Shadow Dawn by Chris Claremont and George Lucas, some how I missed this series, I picked this copy of the book up in Penneshaw for a couple of dollars, I dont think I need to read the first book but would like to get hold of the last one so am now on the look out for it.
I have been a bit slow with my reading lately as I have stayed up late watching the Olympics and hand stitching.
I have two books with Haiku in them, it is interesting how the ones in the later book called Haiku Inspirations are written with three lines and yet the older book, which I much prefer called haiku Harvest, Series 4 has them written with four lines. When I have a bit of extra cash I will try and buy a couple more of these, I have looked on Amazon to see what they have. Not expensive in themselves but the postage is a lot more sometimes than the book.
Basho wrote this one.
Summer grass:
that's all that remains
of warrior's dreams.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


After seeing my mother and taking her flowers, she is back in a wheel chair again, and chatting to her delightful podiatrist who came while I was there John took me up to the exhibition of baskets at Urrbrae House which when I last knew it about 50 years ago was the home of friends of my father Jim Melville and his wife who actually lived there, now it is part of the Waite campus and has various uses.
To day there was a lovely exhibition of baskets and other basketry things on and as I once made a few baskets and I would like to get back into making a couple it was great to go to. I bought a wonderful book too, which is on my other blog so I can remember what plants to use, the joy of this book is that they use local materials which I have easy access to.
We visited a couple more exhibitions, but I think maybe my idea of art is a bit too high these days and I was disappointed.
I have fed the chooks, cat and dog and watered the pots, quite warm again today and now all I have to do is feed us, something simple as I feel so tired.
My haiku tonight is again by Basho.
After bells had rung
and were silent...
Flowers chimed
a peal of fragrance.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Leaf play

I quite obviously lead a very dull life when all I can manage to put up is this.
Actually I quite like it but I did not spend hours doing it.
Today I spent hours trying to find a hole punch, didnt find it.
An address, still cant find it.
Numbering and pricing stuff to sell at the Show in April and trying to get all numbers etc on what I had for sale.
I still have a few things to finish off but have nearly 50 things for sale so that is good, I am not pricing high which probably isnt so good, but if I sell it will all be a help.
The dogs are fed
The cat is fed and trying to go outside, but he is not allowed to.
I must go and organise our dinner, at least John doesnt have an early meeting tonight so we are not in a hurry for that.
With autumn being here officially, although here in southern Australia it really doesnt happen until much later, this Haiku by Issho reminds me of autumn in Japan.

Eyes, you have seen all...
Come back now,
come back to the white

Monday, March 01, 2010

Gum blossom

These gum trees were flowering on our walk yesterday, I know what the pink one is, the large flowered pink gum but I think the other may be a Western Australian as it had quite different bud caps.
They are quite lovely.
It is late and I am heading for bed, just had to share these.