Art Studio and Life #54

Hello lovely family and friends

We have travelled to Havelock North to stay with a darling friend, combining Anzac Day with a day off to have a long weekend. We went to a moving service in the town square to remember all those who died in the World Wars. The trumpeter playing “The Last Post” makes me cry every time. Maybe if you are serving in the military, you become used to it, and it only makes you cry if it is playing when you haven’t made it into base on time.   

So here I am, sitting in darling V’s lounge writing this blog. Why do I even write this blog? Well, it was supposed to be all about my painting, email marketing and all that. But it turns out that I hate marketing, and most of you don’t want to buy anything anyway. You are either poor, like me, or you think what I make is weird/expensive/ugly; but we can all do with a laugh at a good meme. And it (mostly) cheers me up to write it. Whenever I have those “what a load of rubbish” times, some kind person has written to tell me that it cheers them up on a Friday, so I’ll keep going for the time being.

If, or when, it starts to feel burdensome, I’ll stop. And as for you, as Yoda would say, “Available to you is the unsubscribe button.”

Of course, it would help me if you read this on my website, but most of you hate doing that. Just like I hate reading other people’s websites, so I don’t blame you. It’s funny though, I visit all sorts of websites when I’m buying something, so I don’t know why I don’t like reading blogs on websites – glitch in logic happening right there.

I am not alone in my family in my hatred of self-marketing.  My youngest is looking for a part time job to pay for his fashion habit, and is needing to work on his CV and job applications, which is all about marketing oneself.

Form: Tell us why you want this job?

Him: Er, because I need to earn some money?

Nope. No job for you. We need to say thing like, “I’m so excited by McDonald’s thrilling brand and décor, and I think I can contribute to the dynamic environment with my high-power energy, deep brand commitment, and engaging and witty service manner, etc.”

It’s stressful (for some of us) to write that kind of stuff about ourselves, but come to think of it, perhaps most people just get AI to write it for them now? Perhaps, in the future, employers will hire the person whose CV has a couple of typos, and actually sounds modest, so that they know that they are hiring a real person. We live in hope.

I have also been writing some poetry. I have discovered that I am rubbish at describing why I paint what I paint with prose. It seems so awkward, stilted and clumsy. I’m passionate about what I paint, but I get all shy writing about it, like a sixteen-year-old asked to stand up and tell the class why they have a crush on someone.  But poetry, yes, poetry is the language of love and art. I recently discovered Mary Oliver (better late than never).

I plan paintings way before actually painting them, and I had dreamed of some seemingly strange and random paintings (right brain operation) and later found myself thinking ‘why on earth would I want to paint that?’ (left brain in operation). Then I read a couple of Mary Oliver poems that could have been written to describe what I wanted to paint. Right brain to Left brain – ‘You see, maybe I’m not so crazy after all.’ Any century now, I will put my poems on my website with the paintings. Perhaps.

So, this week, may you not have to market yourself! May you do some interpretive dance! And may you tickle a fluffy tummy!

XX Barbie

No cats were injured in the making of this photo. I always manage to get great pics of Hobbes slumbering, but very few of Davy. That is because Hobbes couldn’t care less, and doesn’t stir a whisker if you walk up to him, whereas Davy wakes up, and sits up as if to say ‘Yes? You rang?’ and so messes up the cute pic.


  1. Mark Bing

    Don’t stop writing these. When I have had a seething day, and want to bite off somebodies head (don’t use that for painting inspiration), I read them. I am glad you have placid cats, I have a senile Autistic one, that at 20 yrs old this year and is forgetting she has had food, forgets to use a litter box, and hisses back now when I swear at her!

    • Barbara Podmore

      Hmm, well that sounds delightful to live with. Owning a pet is supposed to be good for our blood pressure…

  2. Francis Podmore

    Hi Barbie, thnx once again for the. latest blog. (:-))

    I can google Mary Oliver, but fo tell how you found her?

    But please:: who is Yoda?

    • Barbara Podmore

      My pleasure! I can’t remember how I found Mary Oliver, perhaps just googling poets when I felt like reading some poetry?
      You don’t know who Yoda is?? In a galaxy far, far away…. Your turn to look him up

  3. Chris

    Still loving reading your blog (on the website no less!)… so I hope you continue to enjoy the production for a long time to come!
    I also love interpretive dance – but watching it rather than doing it. There was a hilarious British comedy program called Fast and Loose that used to have a very clever dancer … worth a search online if you feel like a giggle!

    • Barbara Podmore

      Thank you kindly Chris! I look it up – British comedy is great, so a suggestion on those lines is very welcome

  4. David Laithwaite

    Solution for Davy photos: pretend you are on safari, have a reasonably good telephoto lens, preferably camouflage clothing and you will be good to go. It isn’t fun if it is too easy (well sometimes the chase can be fun too).

    • Barbara Podmore

      Hi David! I like it… I need to get me one of them camouflage hides

  5. Brenda Adamson

    Here I am reading your blog on the website instead of in the email. Don’t stop, I love your blog and look forward to it each week and it makes me laugh. I also share it with a few friends who also love it. Thanks Barbie, you feel like an old friend.

    • Barbara Podmore

      Hi Brenda! Thank you very much, I’m very glad to hear about spreading some smiles. I feel like I know you too after doing some of your coursework at the Christian Counselling Centre.

  6. Daniel Button

    Now Barbie, I’m writing on your website… and with a bit of critique of this latest blog post. First, your paintings have never been weird/expensive/ugly. Well… maybe a couple are a little weird (like the floating soul-babies), but only for us left brainers. But that’s the nature of art. You wouldn’t be an artist if you drew like me. I LOVE your paintings – even the slightly weird ones.
    And okay, maybe a little bit expensive – but only in relation to cheap mass-produced bobbles that suck the heart out of creativity – because great art takes time and has value! Sure it’s expensive compared to a bad haircut or a McDonald’s hamburger, but c’mon – it lasts a lifetime and is life affirming and beautiful…
    But ugly?? Never!

    And another thing… I loved your blog posts about creating your paintings. I learned more from you than anyone, even Bob Ross. ‘Darkest darks and lightest lights’. See? I read all your blogs about producing art. But you can’t go on with that forever. Non-artists like me can only learn so much… without actually doing anything. I think I reached the pinnacle.
    And the memes are funny of course. But they’re just the bonus.

    Okay, my rant is over. Now keep writing your blog until you run of things to say or get tired of it.

    • Barbara Podmore

      Wow! Thank you so much for the rant Dan! I greatly appreciate your encouragement. I find that creativity of all kinds keeps me sane, so I have to keep going

  7. Flora

    Barb – your blog is a highlight of my Friday

    • Barbara Podmore

      Thank you Flora! That is very cheering. I better keep going then

  8. Jenny

    The “interpretive dance” meme is hilarious!! Am I allowed to be sitting here alone in my kitchen laughing out loud to myself! ( yes, why not!)

    • Barbara Podmore

      Laughing is not enough Jenny, you actually need to dance as well, even if no one is there to interpret it…