Mother’s Day and Stuff I Learnt from My Mum

This is my Mum. I love my mum.

So for this Mother’s Day I want to share my list of ….

“Why My Mum is Awesome and Things I Should Have Learnt from Her but Still Have a Ways to Go.”

1. Be Happy with Your Hair. My Mum has had the same hairstyle since she was 15 . She is now 74. That’s 59 years of being content with her hair. Not a bad record. And something that most women struggle with – ie “hair discontent.” I have not yet learnt this lesson.

2. Be Regal on the Inside. Because of her short vaguely curly hairstyle that she has had for 59 years, my mum sometimes looks a bit like The Queen- especially when the hairdresser over enthusiastically poofs her hair. Mum thinks this is amusing but yet, she happily depoofs her hair when she next has a shower. You see, my mum doesn’t need to look like a queen, because she is already regal on the inside and that, my friends, is more important. Not regal in a “I’m better than you “way, but regal in that she carries herself with dignity and deep kindness towards all other people.

3. Handwash your Woollens in “SoftlyWool Wash and DON’T HANG THEM ON THE WASHING LINE WITH PEGS!! Don’t , just don’t…( they will go all wobbly if you do.)

4. If you Get Parkinson’s Disease Don’t Whinge All The Time But Turn it Into Another Learning Experience Even if Your Body Freezes  A Lot and You Can’t Taste Anything You Eat and You Are in A Lot of Pain Pretty much Every Day.

5. Notice the Children who Can’t speak English or who Have Disability and Get Picked on by Other Kids and Other Teachers Who Should Know Better and Nurture Them even Though You already Way too Busy with Your own Stuff . In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, my mum was a school teacher. She was unique in her love for children of all backgrounds. I love that about her. I hope I have inherited a little bit of that from her.

6. Always Bake Scones using Cream and NOT BUTTER and DEFINITELY NO EGGS. Eggs and butter in scones are WRONG !WRONG!WRONG!But Mum’s scones are so RIGHT!RIGHT!RIGHT! without them and they taste so gooooood!!

7. Love God and read the Bible . A lot.

8. If it’s Cold – Wear a things close to your skin like a Singlet and a Spencer and TUCK THEM IN  TO YOUR UNDIES. It totally works. Big tick right there Mum.

9. Better Still- wear tights UNDER your slacks/jeans and OVER your undies and EVERYTHING into them as well. You will look like you’ve put on 10kgs, you will be WARM.

10. Love your Mum- Even if She isn’t Perfect. This is a portrait of my Mum’s Mum and Dad – Tom and Bertha Jean, – on their Wedding Day in the 1930s.

Nan Bertha Jean was tricky, but a product of a tricky childhood and as you can see, terrified on her wedding day, poor love.

So, this, my friends, is my list.

Mum, you are the queen of my heart.

Happy Mother’s Day.

And I hope others will learn from you like I still am.

Especially the undies bit.

Running to the finish line of a book illustration

I’m  on the countdown , nearing the finishing line and hurtling up the home straits – yep I’m finally getting closer to completing the illustrations for my FIRST EVER  book illustration commission – ‘Jessie and the Scaredy Cat Brain ” by the lovely  Dr Allison Waters .

“Jessie ” is a book about a girl with anxiety . It’s going to be used by Dr Waters in her research and therapy to help children with anxiety . Which is just beautiful .

 

 

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In fact , little anxious Jessie, her Scaredy Cat Brain and Happy Cat Brain  have become buddies of mine .

I have to say though , they’ve  gotten up my nose and , indeed caused me , their artist designer , to want to say very unkind inappropriate things to them when they have raised my levels of anxiety when the little darlings have refused to sit still long enough for me draw them in a different pose, or when they don’t seem to want stay around long enough for me to find a way of positioning them on the page  .. but they are pretty annoyingly cute and endearing at the same time . I love them . I do . Really .

But , even though this project is drawing to a close , some late nights of work in the art studio are still to be had .

 

 

 

Love to all

Sandy

Running to the finish line of a book illustration

I’m  on the countdown , nearing the finishing line and hurtling up the home straits – yep I’m finally getting closer to completing the illustrations for my FIRST EVER  book illustration commission – ‘Jessie and the Scaredy Cat Brain ” by the lovely  Dr Allison Waters .

“Jessie ” is a book about a girl with anxiety . It’s going to be used by Dr Waters in her research and therapy to help children with anxiety . Which is just beautiful .

 

 

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In fact , little anxious Jessie, her Scaredy Cat Brain and Happy Cat Brain  have become buddies of mine .

I have to say though , they’ve  at times gotten up my nose and , indeed caused me , their artist designer , to want to say very unkind inappropriate things to them when they have raised my levels of anxiety when the little darlings have refused to sit still long enough for me draw them in a different pose, or when they don’t seem to want stay around long enough for me to find a way of positioning them on the page  .. but they are pretty annoyingly cute and endearing at the same time . I love them . I do . Really .

But , even though this project is drawing to a close , some late nights of work in the art studio are still to be had .

Lets just hope I don’t have to foster out Jessie and her feline friends before I finish .

Orrrrr…..

 

 

Love to all

Sandy

Cows

Upon the dawning of a  bright and crisp winter’s Saturday morning this morning , my family and I had a pleasant venture out to the countryside , escaping the “big smoke ” of Brisbane , to imbibe the beauty of the Australian bush and most importantly , to watch our youngest play soccer and subsequently stuff ourselves with pastries at the local country bakery .

And for some reason , I have come back from this journey , not only 3 kgs heavier , but with a burning need to draw a cow .

So here is my portrayal of :

” A cow ”

No doubt some of you , my uber intelligent blog readers , will see similarities in my little sketch , to the works of the great 17th Century Dutch pastoral painter , Paulus Potter , who sadly and remarkably , died of the milk borne disease , tuberculosis. Perhaps he should have taken to painting chickens .

Enjoy my masterpiece

Love to all from beautiful Brisbane Australia

Sandy

xxoo

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And here is for the next picture going straight into my portfolio….IMG_1268 The follow up picture to this one  I shall post tomorrow .

And why is this feverish update occurring you say ??

BECAUSE  , I am going to my first ever ever EVER, Children and young adults (CYA) author and illustrators conference next Friday and Saturday  , here in sunny Brisbane Australia  and will be having interviews with 4 different children’s book publishers wherein my portfolio will be perused mercilessly and honestly by said editors .

EEEEEEEEEEK !!

Shall need to grow a thicker skin , just in case , by Friday .

Cheers from Brisvegas Queensland , Australia

Sandy

The feverish updating of an illustration portfolio

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I’m so excited !!!! I’m like a kid at Christmas time who still believes in Santa!!

This artwork is going in my portfolio for the Children and Young Adults author and illustrators conference . I’ve been burning the midnight candle/iPad working industriously and feverishly to get my portfolio ready for this BIG event .

More info to come later…

But watch this space as I share my portfolio entries with you all .

Miss Condobolin, 1978

Dawn Phyllis  McGinnis was born and bred in Condobolin, the delightful western New South Wales country town , alongside the family flock of Merino cross Poll Dorset sheep , to Scottish migrant father – Percy ( who prefers for obvious reasons to be called ” Jock”) and 4th generation sheep and pig farming mother , Peggy ( who prefers not to be called by her birth name -Bertha)  McGinnis .

The  Miss Condobolin winner of 1978 , has  now evolved ,  like a butterfly from its chrysalis ,  into a rare and unique Australian treasure .

After several sittings , which necessitated copious servings of tea with scones , lamingtons and Arnotts Tina Wafer biscuits , I managed to capture her portraiture.

Dawn Phyllis McGinnis – this is your time to shine …

Sandy

 

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