Monday, May 31, 2010

The 'Green Jack'...or maybe Nigel...or Barry........

So here he is now, with the left side darkened and text added, and some face paint/tattoo/tribal marking type stuff happening, just giving the vague hint of antlers...because for me the Green Man is also Herne the Hunter.  I THINK he's finished, but am just wondering now whether it could do with another line of text to balance better?  But no, I think that's just me never being satisfied.  Beloved Other Half says this is a little different for me, a looser style, and he likes it.  On the whole, I think the experiment went very well, and I'm looking forward to trying more of these pencil/acrylic on canvas combos...maybe something a little bigger next time (this one is only 20cm x 20cms) so that I can give that 'looser style' free reign.

And something to listen to while you're looking at the pic!
Just had a quick surf to find the lyrics, and here they are, along with a nice explanation of how the song came about and guitar tabs too (for when I've had a LOT more lessons!)

The Green Jack...

Other-Half asked this morning, "So why 'Jack'?  Why not...'Graham'?"

But I'm having a hard time imagining him with the same devilish magic if he was called the 'Green Graham'!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The 'Green Jack' green!

Just a quick post, as it's Sunday and I'm doing half a dozen things at once (washing to put out and more to do as it's sunny, dyeing a skirt in onion skins, and cleaning the bath...not to mention finishing this painting!)

Here's the Green Jack as he was last night after the acrylic colour was applied.

And here he is this morning after some refining around the eyes and extra shading, and details added to the oak leaves.

The initial idea was to add some text, but I've got to one of those annoying WIIFIUSs (the 'what if I **** it up stage') which makes me scared to take the next step in case I ruin it.  I was intending to make it darker down the left side and add some fine white handwriting in pen and ink, but I'm not sure.  I was also wondering about adding some tattoo like markings on his face.  Hmmm, decisions, decisions!

Thank you too for your comments about the poem, it's very encouraging.  And if anyone doesn't like it, or doesn't think it works, please remember I'm just as happy to have those comments as well, it's all about learning to be better, so constructive criticism is always appreciated as well...though it IS lovely to have lots of nice comments!  Must go...washing to be done!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A poem for Beauty and her beast...and the 'Green Jack"

The "Green Jack" so far.  Pencil straight onto canvas.  Acrylic washes to go over, more pics soon.

I wrote this poem about Beauty and the Beast for this competition at Enchanted Conversation.  Please read it first, and then the info, because I want to know if it makes any sense without a lengthy explanation (which kind of defeats the purpose a bit).


It is our season, Wolfskin
of frost and snow.
They would leave us alone.
The children snow-tumbled in their winter coats and
       did not yet know the word ‘accursed’.

My children.
My heart’s blood.
These long years without you my one respite from pain is this.
You did not live to see our sons
forsake their honest pelts
       for the bloodied skins of slaughtered kin.
The wild in their eyes has dulled and only watchful fear remains.

I dream I run beside you barefoot.
You taught me to run
       to laugh
       to howl the moon down.
To Live.
You taught me how to snarl and fight.
I have needed that these past years.
And to think they pitied me once.

Outside is the smell of snow falling
       your den brothers calling in the low hills.
I ache to fill my lungs
with bright cold air.
But the priests have barred the window,
filled the room with choking incense,
and I am too weak to fight them now.
Our whispering sons grey shadows in the cloying heat
       and I hear the word “repent”.

As if I would one day regret.
You gave me back my voice, my body, my rage, my self.
These things no woman owned.
Asked nothing but compassion in return.
But love is a wild thing
       it grows where it pleases
       not in neatly ploughed rows.
I loved a wild thing and found my own wild soul.

Let them mutter their prayers, Wildheart
I will not repent.
This charade of bell, book and candle will
be done soon enough.
The curtains drawn around my bed
       the candles snuffed.
As my sons stand, relief belies their down-bowed heads.
And the priests cross themselves at the smile on my mouth.

I will not be here.
I will be running
       barefoot in the low hills.
Your soft soundless feet padding beside me
       in the frozen dawn.

If you checked out the link, you'll know the theme was 'Beauty and the Beast, the 50th Wedding Anniversary:  How did the marriage turn out?"  My poem is a little melancholy, imagining Beauty lying on her deathbed surrounded not by friends, but people trying to get her to repent her years spent with the Beast.  I can imagine that her marriage to the Beast was not the unforgivable sin, but rather her love for him.  If she had remained the 'poor woman married to a monster', stayed the compliant wife, and martyr to 'good womanhood' who could be held up as a convenient example of how a woman should behave (ie. obedient to her husband no matter how awful he is), she would have been declared a saint.  But she fell in love with the Beast and learnt to be wild and willful.  Unacceptable to her society.  True to form, I had the idea floating around in my head for several days, but didn't get around to actually trying to write it until the last minute, and send it off rather rough and unpolished.  It didn't make the grade, but I still like the idea and think it's worth tinkering with a bit more.  What do you think?  Does it make sense without all the explanation?  Does it convey her love for the wild man she's lost and her disdain for the priests and her disappointing sons?

As for the "Green Jack", he's looking disturbingly like Colin Farrell which is a) annoying because I don't WANT him to, and b) weird because I didn't use Colin Farrell as a reference!  But I've put the acrylic washes/glazes on now (pics tomorrow) and he doesn't look quite so much like him as he did just in the pencil.  The experiment seems to be working ok, except you have to be careful with the pencil onto the canvas and use a really light hand, as it goes on quite dark and it's harder to get the subtlety in shading that you can get on paper.  After the pencil, I gave it a couple of very light coats of spray varnish just to stop the pencil from smudging.  Seemed to work quite well, and the acrylic colour went over the varnish fine, so I think the technique has promise.  Needs some more exploration I think.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sleeping just beneath the rain

Although the bedroom isn't finished yet, we have moved into the loft.  There's still fiddly bits to finish (trims, lights, and such) and then of course, the decorating, but I have to say, I LOVE sleeping up here.  It rained the other night, and there's just something wonderful about sleeping right up under the roof, all snuggled up under the quilt, listening to the rain on the tin roof just overhead.  Of course, we have a panelled ceiling now and a good layer of insulation, so it's not deafening when it rains, which might not be quite so pleasant.  I'm now wishing we'd thought of it years ago.  It certainly is the perfect solution to space issues in a small bedroom.  The room looks huge now, and we've got floor space!

Our beautiful new jarrah window.  Look, floorspace!  It's going to look gorgeous when we lift the MDF boards up and give the lovely jarrah floorboards a good polish.

Stairway to the stars.

It really is lovely up here.  It's like a cross between being on holiday and being a kid again!

There's a small barrier made of pine here now, just in case Beloved rolls over a bit too far!

We're thinking we might whitewash the pine, just to keep the paleness it has now being freshly sanded, as it will yellow over time otherwise (which is lovely too, but we're thinking pale is the way to go here).  I'm not sure about colours, but I'm leaning towards a soft green on the walls.  What do you think?

And here's a gratuitous shot of my morning latte and fresh Banana Cake, both made by my clever other half (he really is a treasure!)  This is our little courtyard, which is a nice little spot, and will be even nicer once we finish that too (my dodgy 'semi-permanent' paving to be replaced and the wall behind painted), but in at the moment you have to watch out for the bees, as the tree here flowers in Autumn and the bees go absolutely crazy!

I have been practicing the guitar like a good girl, and now have a small blister on my left index finger, as I haven't developed the lovely calluses that a seasoned guitarist has from years of pressing down on the strings.  I'm struggling a bit because I have small hands and it's a bit of a stretch reaching the right frets.  However my teacher says that's no excuse!  And did I mention that he asked me what kind of music I like, and I said just about everything EXCEPT Country and Western (well, that old-time, really even rhythm stuff)...and of course, he turned out to be a really big fan of Country music!  He had a chuckle and I figure, well, I can only go up from here!

I'm also doing some experimenting to see if I can work in pencil on canvas, depending on what kind of varnish might make the medium permanent and not so fragile.  Will post pictures when I progress a bit further.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Guitar lessons and my Better-Half.

Thank you so much for all your lovely thoughts and comments on my last post.  I am glad I wrote it now, if it might have helped someone out there know they're not alone.  But there was something missing from it, something, or rather someone who didn't get a mention simply because I would have been here all night writing and you would have all nodded off long before you got to the end of it.  The same someone who just brought me out a nice hot cup of tea, because it is COLD out here in the studio, winter is finally on its way.

I shall endeavor not to get too soppy, but it must be said, I am blessed to be married to this bloke.  He grieved quietly and deeply for his little girl...and carried on working and meeting deadlines and dealing with clients and paying the bills, while I fell into a howling sea of confusion and pain and sorrow.  He didn't understand the way I was grieving, it scared him and he was afraid he'd lost the woman he loved.  I truly was a mess.  But he never stopped being there for me, he never gave up on me, never decided he couldn't do it anymore, never walked away.  We've been through a couple dark times since then too...and he is always my rock.  He is infinitely patient (he has to be to have put up with me for 24 years!), kind and gentle, makes me laugh all the time, and tells me he loves me many times every day.  He is a wonderful dad to his beautiful girls, and he is also incredibly clever and talented (the 'bedroom makeover' for example, which is nearly done!) though you won't hear that from him.  He considers himself a 'simple bloke', but if simple means honest, open, funny, optimistic, gentle and...well, you get the picture...I'll take 'simple' anytime.  And by the way, I DO mean honest...this is a man who is brave enough to tell me "you know, that skirt makes your bum look really big".  But that's ok, because I know that when he tells me "you look gorgeous tonight", he really means it.  He treats everyone in the same open, honest, friendly way, and hasn't allowed cynicism (or past sorrows) to dampen his enthusiasm for life...I love seeing him excited about some new project, he's like a big kid and it makes me feel excited and enthusiastic too.  He has a lopsided grin, the most beautiful eyes in the world, and did I mention that he's gorgeous?!  He's my Beloved, my Bigger-Half (well, he's 6'4" so not hard), and my Better-Half too.

But enough of all that soppy stuff!  In other news...the 'Vagabond King' didn't exactly get finished in time, but I did take it in to the exhibition.  It just went in as a one-sided wall-hanging rather than a piece of wearable art.  Have you ever worked on something that you KNOW is rubbish, but you keep working on it and telling yourself that it will be ok when it's finished?  My epiphany came at 12:30 am Saturday morning (11 and a half hours before it had to be delivered) when I realised that the other side (or the front of the coat thing) which I'd been working frantically on for 3 days, was rubbish.  It was bad.  It was so bad it made the back look bad too.  It was rushed.  It was a compromise because I didn't have time to finish it how I wanted to.  And my heart wasn't in it.  So I spent the next 2 hours undoing everything I'd done in the last 2 days, until I was left with just the big circle on the red background.  At 3am I was so tired I didn't know what to do next, so I went to bed resigned to the fact that I wasn't going to make the deadline.   In the morning, Beloved and I sat on the couch with our morning coffees, me looking and feeling decidedly worse for wear, and looked at it spread out on the floor.  He said "when's it got to be in?"  I said "3 hours."  He said "must be something you could do."  I said " suppose I could just hem it, make a casing at the top and stick something through."  So to cut a long story short, I found myself frantically hemming, by hand, all round the whole thing, while Beloved went and hack-sawed off the end of an old metal curtain rod and rooted around in the garage for some wire to hang it from.  Upshot is, I finished it at 11:35am, leapt into the car, got there at 12:05pm to drop it off, and thankfully they accepted it.  Then I went home and passed out on the couch for several hours!

The other exciting thing (for me, probably not for the rest of the family, or my neighbours) is that today I had my very first guitar lesson.  I've wanted to play for so long (my very talented brother plays beautifully), so I decided the only way I'd ever get around to doing it is if I booked a whole block of lessons.  So guess what Beloved bought me for my birthday?  I have no illusions about becoming a guitar maestro, but it would be nice to be able to sing and play along.  And apparently learning new skills is a good way to keep the brain healthy, so wish me luck.

Morgan's little sister, with her very proud and happy Dad, nine years ago this August.  It's ok, her nose doesn't look like that now!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Angel in our midst...

This is a post I wasn't sure I should write.  A very difficult one to write too.  But I was encouraged, by someone who has known hard times too, to share because there are people out there who might be going though this right now, or know someone who is.  And perhaps my story might help someone else see that, though the journey is hard, they will come through.

Today is the 20th of May.  It's my daughter's birthday.  My first daughter.  Who would be, should be, 10 years old today.  Her name, chosen years before she came into the world, was Morgan Grace.  Morgan for the Celtic goddess, Grace for my beloved grandmother.  She was born perfect, full-term...and still.  I won't go into the details of why and how, the things that perhaps should have been done that weren't, that I should have been told but wasn't.  I went into labour not knowing I carried Group B Streptococcus.  I had none of the 'risk factors' whatsoever, so no-one suspected it could be a problem.  But it proved fatal for my little girl.  I ended up having an emergency caesarean to no avail.  I can remember the exact moment as if it was yesterday, that my world tipped sideways and nothing could ever be the same again.  Lying on the operating table, wondering why I couldn't hear her crying, the Anaesthetist came up to me and said "I'm sorry, your little girl is very sick".  "Will she be OK?" I asked.  "No.  I'm so very sorry."

That moment began a journey that I'm still on.  I will probably be on it for the rest of my life.  That isn't to say I'm still grief stricken all the time, or that my life is grey and sad.  I'm not, and my life is mostly pretty good, and terribly normal.  And I have two beautiful little girls here with me to bring me all the joys and frustrations of being a mother!  But when you're a bereaved parent, there's always a gap, the awareness that your family isn't quite complete, the feeling of missing something important.  There are the days, like today, when you mourn again for all that you, and your child, have missed.

I have told people that I know what Hell is like, I spent 6 months there.  Everyone is different and grief is a very individual path.  For me, it took about 6 months before I started to feel human again, before the colour that seemed to have been bled from everything began to feel its way back in, and the flavours that had gone leaving all food tasting like cardboard began to return.  The pain subsided, I began to live rather than just exist.  But you don't forget.  You can't forget.  And I was quite simply not the same person anymore.

I discovered too, that grief affects others in vastly different ways.  And the death of a baby sometimes brings out peculiar notions in people.  The old idea (thankfully mostly forgotten these days) that you should 'try not to think about it' surfaced in an unlikely quarter, friends who seemed to have trouble understanding the depth and profound nature of my grief.  My simple need to talk about my baby, to acknowledge that I really was a mother, that she was real.  And kindnesses too from unlikely quarters.  The uni friend of my brother's whom I'd never met, who turned up on his bike to their class clutching a bunch of flowers, and pressed them into my brother's hand saying "For your little niece."

I have learnt so much in these years.  I understand profoundly that death is part of life, not something you can push aside or pretend doesn't exist, as we often seem to do in this modern world.  And it is not morbid, or perverse to acknowledge it and talk about it.  Or laugh about it sometimes too.  It will come to us all, and it is sad, and tragic too when it comes to the young.  But it is part of the cycle of life, and we must accept that.  If there is any advice I can give to someone going through this, or who knows someone who is, it is this.  Grief is a journey.  You must go through it (and we all will, at various times in our lives), you cannot block it out, or deny it, try to circumvent it or ignore it.  It is a long, hard journey, and something that no-one ever tells you, it is SOOO tiring.  You feel as if you cannot do one more day.  But you can, you have the strength, you will come through.  And, most importantly, it is YOUR journey.  There is no right way to grieve, don't let anyone tell you you're doing it wrong, or you should be 'over it by now' takes as long as it takes.  And if you are watching helplessly as someone you love is walking this road, remember that you CANNOT take their minds off it, you cannot make them forget, you cannot drag them away from the edge of the abyss, you cannot carry the burden for them.  But you can walk with them.  Stand on the edge of the abyss and hold their hand until they are ready to step back themselves.  Let them talk, cry, scream, laugh.  Be there.  And if your friend has lost a baby...please, speak their name.  There is no sound more beautiful in all the world to a grieving parent, than the sound of their child's name.

We will celebrate Morgan's birthday as a family, my girls know and understand they have a big sister, a guardian angel, in Heaven (or however you wish to think of it).  We will make her a cake and sing happy birthday, because she is part of this family and always will be.  And I will leave you with a portrait my mum drew of our beautiful girl, and a poem written by my friend Rita, who has herself known great loss and pain, and found that life goes on, and joy returns.

Tangi for Morgan

Small voyager, swim well.  The eternal 
ocean will, for you, surge and swell
gently, for the waves
only tumble 
and crash
on the shore of our memory.
You are safe.

Seabourne, seamaid, navigate straight for 
the horizon, let the tides carry you,
small seasprite
on your way.
We will sit awhile here on the shore.
You are warm

It's a little dark now, and cold here.
It will pass.  Days will come
when the breeze is your touch 
on our face
and your breath
in our hair.  We sing you on 
your way.

Go, small Morgan Grace,
wrapped safe, bright
within our love,
journey for the light.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Busy, busy, busy......

I haven't got any new pictures to show, so I've 'decorated' with a couple old ones.  This top pic is a pencil illustration I did years ago for the cover of a book of essays of speculative fiction published by Eidolon Press, titled "The Fantastic Self" (second book in list).  He he, that's lovely, I just looked it up to see if there was any kind of a link I could provide and found that wonderful, the reviewer thinks my cover 'is gorgeous'!  I have to agree with them about the rest of the book though, a mixed bag, a few good and very thought provoking, but too many that appeared to be rushed and from the school of 'let's state the bleeding obvious for 3 or so pages'.  Also, a 5 page synopsis of a novel does NOT in any way, shape or form a critical analysis make.  But enough of that.

I shouldn't really be writing, because the 'Vagabond King' needs to be finished in time to drop it off before noon on Saturday, and I haven't even finished the front yet!  I haven't even got time to take and upload any photos of where it's at now (soon, soon, I promise!).  But, it's been a while since I last wrote, so I thought a quick post might be in order.  It's a gorgeous day, a bright sunny, and gloriously cool Autumn day.  It's supposed to be raining of course, and we certainly need it, but I do love these crisp bright days.  It's the kind of day that makes me feel happy and content, and reminds me of all the wonderful things in my life, all the things I should be thankful for.  My very wise grandmother always used to tell us 'count your blessings' and I think it's very good advice...too often we let ourselves get annoyed and frustrated and upset over dumb things, things that don't really matter, when in reality our lives are lived in paradise compared to many people in the world.

This pic is a 'green woman', a small plaster mask I painted.  I have another big one hanging out in my garden.  I think I DO need more green on this blog.  I should take Hildegarde of Bingen's advice and put some 'veriditas' into my life...I so love her concept.  By combining the Latin words 'veritas' or truth, and  'viridis', or green...
12th century mystic, healer and philosopher, Hildegard von Bingen created the word veriditas to describe her vision of the greening power of Nature which was the divine force within all life. She described veriditas as the agent of God which was the animating life-force within all creation, giving it life, moisture and vitality. Regardless of whether it is divine or science, we are connected to and need the natural world around us.
I'll finish with another couple of short scribbles, before I go back to my spot on the couch with my sewing over my knee.  Here's a little Tanka I wrote years ago for a uni assignment.  I like the Tanka format, just that little bit longer than the Haiku, the final couplet makes it feel more complete to me than a Haiku.
Now, gasping for air
I burst through the still surface
And breathe, lungs aching.
Solitude beneath a sky
Eloquently speaking rain.
And finally (speaking of greening), 'The half closed door', written many years ago too.  The Grinning Jack has a name, but it's a secret and he won't let me tell because as we all know, real names are powerful magic and he's a wild thing and doesn't want to be tamed.  You could also call him the Green Jack, it would be just as apt.  I'll leave you to ponder that mystery yourselves ;-)
The Grinning Jack waits at the end of the path
He wears my fox mask and holds out his hand
From each footprint a memory grows
I have sown a garden of things forgotten.
Back to stitching!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A room with a view

Ooops!  I forgot to mention yesterday that a piccie of my humble abode appears on Terri Windling's blog feature this week!  She's asking for 'views from your window' to be sent by Friday, and it's wonderful seeing such amazing outlooks from windows all around the world.  Just go to her main blog here, and you can scroll down for a whirlwind tour of global views!  It's also interesting to see the views from the work spaces of so many artists and writers, and how those views might inspire or influence their work.

I have a small confession to make though...I did have to move Mount Washing-Tonne off the couch, and carefully avoid the coffee table in front of it (well, I THINK there's a coffee table under there somewhere).  I have so much housework to do, and the 'Vagabond King' needs to be finished Saturday week!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oh look, another book!

I'd just about forgotten about this, and it took me a while to hunt down the photos in our highly efficient (ha ha ha) photo filing system, but here it is, another book I made with my own fair hands.  In 2007 I started painting 'professionally' (ie. I did more of it and actually got myself an ABN...Australian Business Number) and among the first pieces I did were a set of 4 paintings of Goddesses based on the 4 elements.  I began with Fire because I'd attended a workshop on the elements and decided I didn't have enough 'fire' energy in my life, not enough action.  A lot of thinking and daydreaming, but not much actual making things happen, and I thought it was high time I did something about it.  To go with the paintings, I created this book to explain my ideas, inspirations and meditations on each element.  The idea was that if (miracle of miracles) someone actually bought the whole set (and they were quite large), they would also receive the book, and if the paintings sold one at a time, I would keep it myself as a memento.  And lo and behold...someone did indeed eventually (the following year) buy the whole set.  It was a heady start to my career as an artist, and in many ways, a validation that I was truly doing what I was supposed to be doing in this world.

In the book, I kept to the original painting sequence, beginning with Fire, rather than ordering the elements as they traditionally are...Air, Fire, Water, Earth.  I felt it was important to tell the story of how each one was created.





Back page

Closed.  I also made a slipcase for it, but unfortunately didn't take a photo.

So it seems I do make books, even if I'm not a writer!  I think there will be more.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hello, my name is Christina and I'm a frustrated writer... there a support group out there for me?!

Oddly, when I was a kid, about the only vague idea I had about 'what I wanted to be when I grew up' was a writer.  Well, a writer and an artist, but art was something I just did anyway, and presumed that I would carry on just doing.  A writer seemed to be more of a 'proper job'.  I was a terrible bookworm as a kid, I really did read 'with a flashlight under covers' as Robin Williamson says in his glorious "Five Denials on Merlin's Grave".  So I wrote...lots.  Stories and poems mostly, believing that one day I would write a real proper book, just like all my favourite authors.  Herein lies my problem.  All my favourite authors were...British.  Raised on a diet of C.S. Lewis, Susan Cooper, Alan Garner, Rosemary Sutcliffe, Penelope Lively, Alison Uttley, Enid Blyton (I still love 'lashings of ginger beer') and Tolkien, I wanted to write books like they wrote.  And I did...once.  When I was 15, for an English assignment.  I think (but this is 29 years ago so I can't be sure) that the brief was to simply write a children's story.  Me being me, I decided to make a real book, with 'pictures and everything'.  It was called 'The Magic Sword' and I have to admit, HEAVILY influenced by 'The Hobbit'.  There's even a wise old owl called 'Gandaf' (hmm, remove the 'l' and no-one will know my influences, ha HA!)

Here's the opening page.
So by the second line, there's already a problem.  We simply don't have villages in Australia.  We have little country towns, but not villages.  I had no idea what a heath was either.  And I was 22 before I clapped eyes on a real live oak tree, and a young one at that, so not twisted at all as I had imagined them to be.

Somehow, to be a real writer, I had to write about that kind of stuff and unfortunately, I had no experience of it.  All of my favourite writers, no matter where they're from, seem to bring a very strong sense of place to their work, a real appreciation and eye for the details of nature, and I wanted to do the same, but didn't know how to fit the magic and myth of my ancestors into the landscape around me.  And I think somehow that it stopped me from trying.  So this remains my one and only finished book.  But I read it again today, and actually, it's not bad (for a 15 year old).  I might read it to my girls and get an expert opinion.  And who knows, maybe I've still got a book of some sort in me!

Apologies for the dearth of posts this last week...I've had a horrible dose of the flu AND a thumper of a headache on the weekend, so not the best Mother's Day ever.  I do look forward to the time my girls are big enough to put the kettle on and make me a cup of tea in bed though!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The "Green Heart" in detail!

Just for Danielle, who wanted to see this up close!  A higher resolution pic, if you click on it, it should be big enough to read the text!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Perpetual Motion.....

This is how this big piece (1m x 1m) looks now...well, 3 pictures of it (and some details) because it's so hard to photograph.  It's dark and has a high gloss varnish on it, so any light reflects off it, and the camera insists on using the flash!  So it's somewhere between the three...ironically the truest is the one with the throw rug blocking one corner!  I thought I'd finished it around 12:30am this morning (yawn!) but when I got up I decided it needed the four directions added.  Then quick photographs, and varnishing.  Then nervously waiting for the varnish to dry, while clock watching, as it had to be dropped off before 11am.  Phew!

I went to the opening of the Canning Art Award (my local shire) on Friday, and won a Highly Commended Award for this little piece.  This is the second 'heart' piece I've done, I rather like them, so there will no doubt be more to follow.
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