Art Studio and Life #22 featuring artworks and painting

yellow daffodils and pink azalea flowers against a green background

Hello lovely family and friends

Spring is coming to our garden down under! We have miniature daffodils and the azaleas are beginning to bloom. The bluebells are starting to peep out too… Very amazing after living in a desert for so long, plus they are such English flowers, which makes it even more staggering. The early immigrants here must have been determined to bring many of the things they loved from home, including birds and animals, but I think the rats brought themselves.

Imagine all those red-headed Scots getting their stuff onto the ship:

  “Have you got the heather and gorse, my bonnie lass?”

  “’Ay Lachlan, that I have. They’re in the wee pots next to the deer crate.”

And the English passengers:

   “My dear, is it really necessary to bring those?”

  “Well George, if you can bring pheasants, I can bring blackbirds. And little Oliver is so fond of his hedgehogs. They are in the picnic basket, and will be no trouble at all.”

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Nowadays people are more into native ecosystems, so they spend time and money trying to root out the horrid plant and animal immigrants, especially the rats and possums. There are rat and possum traps all over the place, it’s a thing. When (some) people see a possum on the road, they don’t swerve around it, they swerve towards it. People are also very excited about killing rats, and my one of friend’s children have had to ask her to stop posting pictures of pop-eyed, deceased rats in traps on their family WhatsApp group.

When we first arrived, we went to visit the amazing Te Papa Museum, and after being traumatized by the 3 times life size models created by Weta for the Gallipoli World War II section, we went to restore ourselves in the natural history section. At least, we thought it would restore us… We happily looked at the bird displays and then then watched a video on how to be an eco-warrior, which proceeded to show us film footage of small children removing deceased, electrocuted possums from traps…

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We are dismally failing in our eco-warrior duties, and what’s more have exacerbated our failure by adding a couple of (cute, fluffy) feline predators to our household…

Oh well, moving swiftly on…

This is for you fellow artists: there is a free Make Art Your Living course starting on the 7th September, if you are interested. I have attended it myself for the last three years. I’m very suspicious about ‘Free’ workshops, because often they give little value, but this one is really excellent. Of course, they do want you to sign up for paid courses later on, but the free course itself is definitely worth your time. After doing these workshops for several years, I eventually joined the United Artspace Hub in my quest to upgrade the business side of my painting, and have found it good value and very helpful, since I learnt about oxbow lakes and Shakespeare at school, not business skills.

So, fellow artists, if you want some help navigating your art journey, I highly recommend it.

It begins on 7th September, but free registration is open now:


I will be doing it again myself, always more to learn.

So this week, may you enjoy some flowers! May you be kind to possums!  And may you up your skills in your area of choice!

XX Barbie

P.S. For those who asked, I will finish my version of Cinderella one of these days…

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