On Beauty (and death)

I drew this in 2007.
I posted it on deviantart and there it has lived for all the time from then to now.  I have typed the smaller text below so that you can read it. It makes the whole story more understandable.

This is a true story.
It happened long long time before I drew it.







For a really long time she was my ideal for what beautiful was.
I would lay really still in my bed with my hands on my chest and hope that I looked as beautiful as she was.

Postal loving

On my mum's side of the family there is a cluster of cousins who are all the same age. Like five of us within six months. One of those cousins was born exactly a week before me, the Boxing Day to my New Years day.

We neither of us like our birthdays so much.

That's not the point that I was trying to get at.

This cousin of mine, Tom, he married this amazing girl called Jess. I'm confident that he agrees with me when I say that it is probably one of the best things he's ever done. I think so for totally different reasons I'm sure, but I'm very glad that she's part of my family now. She has a blog called A Heart Full of Frost.

She's having a competition on her blog at the moment where you can win some of my art. Mailable art. In the form of a six month subscription (there are two up for grabs and every month they include work that you can't get anywhere else) so you should go and have a look and get into it. 

Yes. That envelope is addressed to YOU at YOUR HOUSE!

It all came about because of my affection for what I call the 'LOST ARTS'. That sounds really kind of witchy and magical, but it's far more mundane than that. I mean things like letter writing, conversation, and other old school things that are under-appreciated these days.  I mentioned this earlier ... several times in fact.
I enjoy digital mail too, don't get me wrong, but nothing really compares to a letter.
It represents thought and effort well beyond that of an email or facebook message, and lasts longer than a phone call.

I get wistful while watching Jane Austin films not only because of the restrained romance of the whole thing, but because conversation was an art form. An art form which has, in large part, been lost. People thought for longer before they spoke and the more well spoken they were the better it seemed to reflect onto them. Somehow this has flipped around and despite the often high levels of intelligence contained within people's skulls, only slang, cuss, and heavily abbreviated nonsense comes out of people's mouths.

"Oh em gee Eleanor, it's IRONIC"

Get. Out. 

My mourning over the laziness of the written word in communication is even more profound. For speed and ease we have sacrificed beautiful words for abbreviations, txt, and bastardised spelling.
 (I am a terrible speller so I have to call myself out on hypocrisy here... in fact I just spelled 'hypocrisy' wrong until I checked the suggested spelling. Thanks Right Click.)

I'm not a great writer, but I am a prolific reader and I love reading well put together phrases. Especially when they are put together just for me, then wrapped up in envelopes and delivered into my real life in-box.

That's why I started subscriptions. To motivate some postal loving.

So check out Jess's blog, and check out my etsy store.

Photo magic

Selling things online can be challenging because people don't get to wander through your shop touching things, trying things on, or testing for quality.
I sell art, so you don't really 'try it on' but everyone likes to know what things would look like on the walls of their house - in context.

My cousin Analiese is a talented photographer (she did my sister's wedding last year) and so I asked her if she would take some photos for me.

She's a magician. Seeing my work in her photos actually makes me feel like an actual artist, instead of the fraud I feel like most of the time.

I have them up on my website { http://www.theelmtree.com.au }

Here are some.

And you can see her blog post with more photos here. I totally recommend looking through the whole blog, there are some really lovely photos - and as Analiese travels to Queensland fairly regularly you don't have to live in Sydney to hire her. Check her out!

Tree Antlers and Blossom

The April edition of The ELM Tree subscription is out now, and included in it is this reduction lino print.

Strictly speaking, I don't actually use lino, I use rubber blocks because they are easier to cut (by a mile) and much easier to print. But it's still a reduction print.

Reduction prints are made with the one block of lino (rubber) and cutting away and printing the image in stages - as many as you want really.  I have never made one, so I tried to keep it simple.

This is black and white (as you can see) and so first I cut away what I wanted to be the colour of the paper - I planned for this image to be printed on coloured paper - and then printed a whole lot of them in white.

While they dried I cut away what I wanted to stay white, leaving only the small areas that I wanted to be black.
Then I reprinted them, being careful to align the papers with the prints already on the paper.


There are only 30 of these prints IN THE WHOLE WORLD, and they are only available as a subscription to The ELM Tree. Because I have set the system up as a way to help me to buy materials to keep making art, there will be exclusive art in each month of the subscription - just to say thank you to those who are supporting me make the art that I love to make.

Hairy business

While I may have mentioned previously that I try not to use the ineffective coping mechanisms I used as crutches as a teenager (and 20- something) to deal with my mood swings and bipolarity, I do have to admit one thing.

It's not scientific in the slightest, but I would swear by the magical qualities of hair changes.
Not awkward puberty hair changes, I mean more like hair cuts, and colours and that kind of thing.

I'm not taking to my head with the clippers - which I have done in the past (it looked awesome just so you know)  - but I still feel new when I have new hair.

Some proof of how well I photograph.

Living in Taiwan 2008 (it got shorter)

 I mention all this because this is what my hair looks like now.

photo by Analiese

I did it myself, just a few days before this photo was taken. I'd dyed it not long after the Samurai was born, but over summer with all the swimming in pools and such it had faded. My ear is actually a bit coloured hahaha.

I don't really know what my deal is with hair colouring and changing, but it is the easiest thing to change, and I don't mind just getting rid of it all.
Am I the only one who feels the magical abilities of hairdressers or just haircuts/colours in general?

Now it looks like my head is on fire.

Katniss Everdeen eat your heart out. 

We made this

Families take so many different shapes.
So I make trees of different shapes.

I can make a tree for you too. As unique and personal as your history is. 

Trees that reach up and down with ancestors and descendants, trees with lost items scattered amongst the leaves evocative of the colourful history of your family. Trees with tiny portraits of those you love. Trees of whatever shape or colour means the most to you.

This is the most recent of my trees.

As a totally related foot note, Analiese is a talented photographer and if you are looking to get some family photos done, or any kind of photos - go and check her out.

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