Today I went for my jog under a grey sky then home for soup from the cool coffee man and then off to a wonderful yoga session and coffee with some lovely local ladies who told me more about the village. Its a really interesting community with lots of artists. At home I worked in the studio on the woodducks cosy by the potbelly as the rain came down and not wanting to leave but knowing the pub beckoned…. so I donned my computer and raincoat over (my dryzabone is still airing after 14 years in a caravan full of shrouds!) and my son Zeph’s ex blundstones (a little big) to trudge through the puddles and I met more locals! a lady called Jo who has been in Hill End since 98 and is working in inks atm and Helen originally from the Hunter valley and Maxine the barlady… all awesome ladies. I feel surrounded by strong women! (although there are plenty of interesting looking men too of course!)
And finally some images of works in progress….
I had settled into the lounge room by the fire painting the mural when I suddenly realised ants were bursting out of the mantle above the fireplace! I let them do their thing knowing they would go home later. They were slow moving and looked nice….Another creature keeping me company…and may feature in my work yet….
After such a warm day yesterday the sun refused to come out today. It was freezing but after my morning jog I went back out along the jogging path to take some shots. Part way along the camera ran out of batteries! I stoked the potbelly up in the studio and painted all day as the ran eventually came down. My trip to the pub delayed till tomorrow. I am working on the woodducks shroud and its bringing back all those memories of dad taking a baby woodduck from its mum and dad when I was a girl just because I wanted one! And I raised it like a mum and it followed me around like its mum. The work is becoming very cathartic as I miss dad (he would love being here with me in Hill End drawing all these lovely leafless trees!) and miss being a mum (my own fault of course). I think about how I am getting old, but also how this means the loss of dearly beloved family and friends (something I didn’t really have to deal with in my youth aside from my Hungarian grandfather). Creating works for me always seems to be about sadness but at least my mural (which I worked on in the evening by the loungeroom fire) is bright and happy (although I can hear dad’s voice giving me feedback!) His spirit is with me I am sure of that. I have been crying alot…
Today was Sunday, my first day alone and although the sun was warm and I ended up painting the mural all day in the sunshine, it didn’t begin so well! I went for my morning jog to split rock and when I returned the key would not open the door! The lock was jammed! I could feel my anger build but saw the screens could be taken off the windows if only I had a Phillips head screwdriver (how ironic for the first day in Hill End without Darren Phillips!). First I went to the toilet (luckily it was outside!) and discovered it was that time of month as well!!!!) After using alot of toilet paper I headed off to the pub and cafe (both shut of course!) then off to Murrays cottage hoping for another artist! Deserted of course! Then in desperation I headed to the police! In the lovely old court house building luckily a live in job (I could hear kids playing and saw a gaggle of geese in the yard!) Feeling like I was in an episode of Midsomer Murders I rang the bell and was greeted by a friendly policeman in his dressing gown! I felt so embarrassed asking for the screwdriver… He gave me a flat head too and said he was having a lazy Sunday! Once I had gotten in and had my coffee and brekky I felt better, got changed out of my daggy old holey clothes I jog in (got rid of the toilet paper!), washed my face and returned the screwdriver…
Today there were beautiful King Parrots among lots of other birds in the garden and I did some painting in the visitors book using ochre I collected in Hill End. More painting in the studio and less adventuring (aside from my morning jog to kissing point (split rock) startling the kangaroos and goats). Even when it is cold outside the studio is warm with its little potbelly.
Darren and I explored a lot today. First the museum, then the cemetery and then onto Sofala (which is a very winding drive) and the area is beautiful due to the magic silky oak lined waterways and some rolling countryside and rocky outcrops. When we made our daily walk to the pub we noticed a sick mother kangaroo and her baby. A local man stopped to chat saying he was keeping an eye on them but they were sure to die due to dehydration. There were so many kangaroos in the village that they were crowding themselves to starvation. They are also competing with herds of wild goats.The mum and child were later euthanized by rangers.