Life Imitating Art

April 30th, 2018

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You’ve heard the saying ‘Life imitates art’, well strangely enough my life seems to be imitating not my art but my studies – kind of. Let me explain.

At the moment I am studying two history subjects. No, my life isn’t history… But one subject revolves around pop culture, how it shapes us, as we create it. The other subject is more involved, it covers the history of the universe from the Big Bang till now; complete with nuclear physics, biology, geology, archaeology, and any other ology you can think of really.

The pop culture subject has reinforced to me that our past actions and acquaintances have a lasting effect. Memories can lay dormant, pastimes that were once important can fall by the wayside only to become important again when someone new enters or something happens. It also reminded me that simple things that mean little to some, can mean the world to others, and can, in fact be life altering. In this vein I am working toward an assignment of which I get to create the question, I think my question exemplifies my last statement.

Boats to Belly-laughs: To what extent does pop culture – specifically comedic culture – influence society’s view on and acceptance of refugees and immigrants?

I mentioned in a previous blog thoughts on the future creating the past and the people who enter our lives turning up to give us lessons or reminders… well since writing that blog I have had someone enter – and leave – after they supplied an experience. Most of the experience was good, however, I could see patterns emerging very quickly that were less than positive. I learned two important lessons, one, that I am smart enough to read signs and decipher the plan/future, and two, I am strong enough to say NO and remove myself from an unwanted situation before it happens.

The Big Bang subject focuses on energy. I’ve found it to be mind boggling but also extremely interesting. I can relate this subject back to my life at present as well. Energy is expensive. Like our power bill and fuel for our cars we have a cost to keep ourselves energised via what we consume both as food and entertainment. We expend energy, studying, working, and playing. We have to use our energy wisely, the way we chose our friends. My friends feed my energy (and my tummy), they feed my creativity and encourage me to be actively pursuing my dreams… even if they think I’m not listening.

Thanks for feeding me.

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Dieting Tip #4

April 4th, 2018

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Need to lose weight? 

Make yourself sick on something delicious.

After eating all the pink marshmallows in a giant bag purchased for my kids, I burped marshmallow for 11 days. I have been unable to eat another one for over five years.

This method can work with a variety of food groups, I just suggest you don’t try them all at once.

It’s Time

February 19th, 2018

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Astrological Clock Prague – photo credit Steve Collis Melbourne

Time.

It’s multifaceted. Eternal, limited, and elusive, it can be made, traveled, studied, lost and wasted.

Time is relative.

Physicists have a quantum theory known as ‘retrocasuality’, this theory suggests that time (particles) could have actually moved backward if the Big Bang had been slightly different. What they claim, is that if it CAN’T be proven that time MUST run forward, it is possible then, quantum particles CAN travel backward through time and affect their partner particles. Part of me has come to believe that this or something similar actually happens…

It is as if time is also multidimensional. Like sliding doors things happen, often more than one thing at a time… people come into your life (or back into it) at precisely the ‘right’ time. It is as though the future shapes our past and visa versa. The things that happen which at the time may seem insignificant, or alternately be completely devastating, appear to be preparing us for what is yet to come – be it good or bad. Maybe it (time) works in a series of loops?

In a past blog I mentioned life being like a treacle covered ladder, and I guess I am saying the same thing. The good goes with the bad, life has a way to balance itself out.

Recently I have had a couple of people pass through my life, it turns out, individually, we were put together to be a support or lesson to the other. One day, when I was exhausted, I told the Universe I needed Alice from the Brady Bunch to come and look after me, a couple of months later a lady randomly contacted me, she was looking for somewhere to stay. I agreed to have her move in and she became ‘Crazy Alice’, her hobbies were cooking and cleaning, she was a great company to me too, I needed her and she appeared. She also put it into my mind that I should perhaps not be alone. Several months after she was gone I helped a friend (I didn’t know overly well and hadn’t seen in years) paint a house and be the ear he needed (I also told hard truths). I hope I helped him, I know he was the catalyst to my mindset changing in regards to being more social again and working on my fitness. It was as though my present knew what was to come in the future and therefore provided what I needed in what would become the past.

Almost a year later and due to stresses from the death of a close friend, a fire and ensuing court case, and a few other things, I had taken a break from Uni to rest, I ultimately became more social and now I have new friends coming into my life, one in particular is behind this blog, nag, nag, nag… I’m not sure what my future holds but I think, somehow, it is sending what and who I need to my present so that what becomes my past can shape the future that is yet to happen.

Jacque

Mental As…

February 28th, 2015

Not everyone is mental enough to finish illustrating and publish a picture book, run a 30 day Kickstarter campaign, begin a four year full time university course, tutor university level fine arts students every second week, coordinate a writers group, apply for an artist in residence position, maintain a property in the wet tropics, and raise a family, all while navigating a divorce.

I am.

Did you notice I didn’t say I was trying to do these things? I am, (surprisingly) actually achieving. Everything is OK.

Could you draw a breath somewhere in that very long, very exhausting, first sentence? NO? Good, I can’t, so neither should you. *Side note* About an hour ago I was sniffing new plastic while blowing up a pool toy, simultaneously spinning on my new office chair. The head spin I received reminded me of my daily routine.

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My last post was about how life is like a ladder covered in treacle.

The things above, the things I am focused on at the moment, show my treacle covered ladder perfectly. Some are positive, while others, not so much. Occasionally some tasks have to give a little, like the vacuum gets a somewhat lonely at times, and yes, ‘burnt’ is a new way of cooking.

I must confess to spending WAY too much time visiting my Kickstarter project page to check on the progress. My desire to see the goal achieved within the allocated time frame outweighs my desire to do the laundry, or clean the bathroom, although I have discovered I can do all three things at the same time.

It would help me greatly if I didn’t feel it necessary to continuously visit my Kickstarter campaign. I would get so much more accomplished. For me to feel confident I can visit the site less, the project MUST reach the goal amount VERY soon.

In order for that to happen I need YOU to share word of my project and dig deep by choosing a reward for yourself. There are some great rewards, including having a portrait painted of your beloved pet.

Here is the link of the project for you to share.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1185686662/anzac-the-story-of-a-little-goat

Let me tell you a little about the project.

It is a picture book. About a little goat named Anzac, he was given this name because he came to live with a family one ANZAC Day. He wanted to be loved by the family and live in the house. He tried everything to win them over. Nothing worked. One day an unexpected visitor arrives and his life changes. The text of the story is about the goat but the illustrations give clues to how Australians and New Zealanders commemorate ANZAC Day. (More information on ANZAC Day)

I’m not very good at asking for help, I don’t like to do it… I am getting better at though.

Help … Please.

Treacle Covered Ladder

January 11th, 2015

I was thinking this morning, yes I know, I’m always thinking, though sometimes it isn’t obvious…

I was thinking that LIFE is like a ladder with treacle covered rungs. You know, one of those old fashioned timber ladders with dowel for rungs – the kind that hurt your feet. The kind used by decorators now.

Imagine this covered in treacle.

Imagine this covered in treacle.

Like a treacle covered ladder, life can be sweet. It can also be sticky, slippery, fraught with dangers, and difficult to get to the top.

My life is like that. I have two fantastic kids, great family, and wonderful friends. I live in a beautiful part of the world and have found success with my art. Sometimes though, things don’t go to plan, those rungs are slippery. Mother Nature has had a habit of knocking me down a couple of rungs, loss of babies, cyclone destroyed house etc. But the sun always shines and those times make the good times better. Sometimes, it is the people you trust most that let you down (several rungs, and not so gently). This past year has been one of those times, and try as I might, climbing back up that slippery ladder has been a feat in itself. Even my creative Muse ran off.

 

But I am doing it.

With the support of my family and friends – I didn’t realise I had so many.

 

This is a new beginning.

I have set challenges for myself.

University here I come (well, on-line).

I have found my Muse and am about to put her to work again.

I have picture books to finish, I have artwork calling me, I have writer groups to lead (can you see my flag flying yet?)

I have a tiara to wear.

I have a pencil and intend to use it.

 

And from now on, that treacle will be licked from my fingers!

(I have also invested in a harness) :-)

 

Jacque

 

Are Your Words Worth $2000?

June 8th, 2014

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Do you have a story to tell?

The State Library of Queensland runs an annual Young Writers Award competition which I thought you  might be interested in.

The short story competition is open to Queensland residents aged 18-25 with a cash prize of $2,000.

WOW

What a great opportunity.
You can find out more info at www.slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on/awards/ywa.

Quick it closes soon… GET WRITING… hurry up (If you win I could do with a loan… or a box of chocolates)

Tell your friends, Facebook it, Tweet it or actually sit down over a burger and talk about it  😉

 

Catch you soon

Jacque

12 Sleeps to go

March 19th, 2014

Bears

How many bears does it take to change a light bulb?

10

Yes 10. That is how many bears I have made to give away for the launch of my new picture book The Bear Said Please published by Wombat Books.

Release date April 1st 2014

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To win your very own bear visit the shop on this website and pre-order your book before March 31st.

Good Luck!

(The bears to be won are the bigger bear in the image – the little one is my prototype)

Start the Year Off Write

January 6th, 2014

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Wow, it is 2014 already. Was your 2013 successful? Mine was.

As you know I participated in the 12 x 12 picture book challenge [I signed up for this year as well]. I managed to write my 12 picture books in the 12 months, I submitted each opportunity that arose [that is something I hadn’t really done much of] You know…. although doing those things were great and much needed the most wonderful thing I found with being part of 12 x 12 was the community. I made so many friends, and I don’t use the word friend lightly either. Because most of them are in the Americas or Europe and airfares from the Land of Oz can be both expensive and exhausting I realize I may never get to actually meet them and that makes me feel like I could be on the Moon…  they managed to make me feel as though I lived next door and we had been friends for a very long time.

Now…. to Starting the Year Off Write… Shannon Abercrombie has come up with a wonderful idea. 21 days of writing exercises. This is for Picture Book writers, writers of books for older children and writers of YA… so you’re covered. I registered to receive the blog and the private Facebook group and guess what I found… friends, lots of familiar faces welcoming me to the happy place of encouraging each other to write and write well. 😉

There will be prizes, It is easy. You are not accountable to anyone but yourself. 

Follow the link above or visit http://www.shannonabercrombie.com/start-the-year-off-write-2/the-challenge/ 

May the Force [and my friends] be with you.

 

Jacque

2014 Welcomes Us

January 3rd, 2014

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It’s three days into a new year and I am yet to make a resolution… is it too late? I had a few ideas but I kept procrastinating and missed the Midnight deadline – can I have an extension?

Two of my writing buddies have written posts about procrastination, Yvonne Mes  has the positive approach and Sylvia Liu  tells us the traps… they are both, as usual spot on AND entertaining. Also while you are supposed to be working on your next masterpiece reading these posts will assist you in your procrastination thinking.

As far as resolutions go, the ones I made last year were great. they were very do-able and kept me on track with my work. I managed to continue with my reading promise and I managed to write my 12 picture book drafts in 12 months, joining the 12 x 12 community had other benefits too, I submitted nearly a dozen manuscripts… submitting is something I normally fail miserably at.

 

I must confess, I disagree with one of Yvonne’s ‘non-productive’ procrastinations – vacuuming.  When I vacuum, because I dislike it so much, I swear constantly talk to myself. It is during these sucky conversations I have come up with some of my most awesome favorite story ideas.

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So, no new resolutions for 2014, I guess I like the ones I made last year and they are certainly re-do-able, I might just kick off with those.

 

Happy New Year and happy procrastinating.

 

Jacque

Success!

November 26th, 2013

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As an artist I visit many exhibitions and often am left wondering ‘Why? Why did I just subject myself to that?’

I know that good art is meant to make the viewer think and feel, but so many contempory exhibitions leave the viewer either shocked or depressed. I could be wrong but it seems to be fashionable to paint your deepest darkest feelings onto canvas and share that with the world. It is one thing to express thoughts on world problems but another to subject people to personal angst.

Don’t get me wrong… I am a believer in sharing, but why, if the artist is miserable should the rest of the world feel bad too.

If you walk down the street and someone smiles at you, you cannot help but smile back no matter how you are feeling at the time.

I want my artwork to be that smile.

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I still want the viewer to think and feel, but I want those thoughts and feelings to be a pleasant experience, most importantly I want the viewer to discover and explore. I want to help make the viewer feel better about life.

As a person I too have experienced some horrific things. I had been told to use my art and writing to expel that hurt, fear and anger. If I had done that, the world would be a darker place.

I prefer to smile at strangers – I hope you enjoy my smiles.

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Following is the didactic panel from my recent exhibition at the Perc tucker Gallery in Townsville.

For the Love of (Im) Possibilities

 Daring to Defy Urban Experience.

The urban landscape so familiar to us all is also something individual and different for each of us. This exhibition is an exciting and somewhat romantic environment that engages the senses. An environment which the audience members can get lost and hear their own music.  As individuals we bring our own experience and narrative thus giving each artwork an original and extremely personal story.

The semi abstract depiction and manipulation of the landscape encourages you to look more closely into the layering where you could discover hidden elements and finally find that special element that makes the work a unique experience for you. One person may believe the particular landscape to be an outback Queensland town while another sees it as Sydney or New York.

The colour and movement that has escaped my bush threatens to escape from the confines of the canvas it is my expression and adds to the texture and rich narrative woven throughout each piece.

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The exhibition was a screaming success, about 60 people came to the opening morning. Four pieces sold at the opening, and a birthday party of little girls came along and made my day.

The exhibition will now travel to Tasmania and has been invited to travel later in the new year to the UK.

 

BIG smiles.

 

Jacque