Look Before You Leap

Last year was all about renovating our gorgeous old house. It took every ounce of our time, attention and energy to stamp our mark on this 108 year old beauty. Getting rid of an 80's kitchen, lifting roof heights, rebuilding a pergola that was about to fly away in the next gusty sea breeze. Changing daggy lighting over to something a little more stylish. Painting, painting and more painting. And not the type of painting that I like to do! We started in January. I spent 2 weeks of sleepless nights with a measuring tape, masking tape and graph paper working on the layout of the new kitchen. Thank goodness Dudie and Miss (then) 14 were in Scotland for the two weeks I fretted over the kitchen design. By the time they got back, I'd worked it out. 8 months later we had a new kitchen and a NEW house...well, that's what it felt like. One of the last things to be designed and built was my studio. My room, my space. Basically, a freestanding, glorified shed in the back garden. It is pure joy after 14 years of working wherever I could place a desk when I was illustrating and an easel in the last few years. Art is a messy business, even messier when you are not a naturally tidy person and especially when the girls were little and wanted to be painting just like Mummy. It was for this reason I could never work in oils when I only had space in the house. Oils and children just do NOT mix. Danger big time. I remember when my big girl was about 4, finding her madly colouring in one of my illustrations...lucky for the two of us it was a photocopy! So now I have my studio. It smells of linseed oil, has paint splodges on the floor, canvas' stacked in corners. I see the garden, I hear the birds. I can paint in complete silence or music lifting the rafters. In 8 months of having this space, I have completed 7 paintings. Which astounds even me! My time per painting pre studio? 3 months if I was lucky!! And I didn't paint anything in the 8 months we renovated. "Look before you Leap", 3 weeks from start to completion. It's my entry into the Mosman Park Art Awards 2012. Time to start my next award entry... Hope you like it! x Mia
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