Wednesday, December 10, 2014

'Always here for you'

My father has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. For a little while I lost my mojo...but once again I am finding that art is solace for the soul.

My love to you. May you find what brings you peace.

God bless,

Asta x

Saturday, February 1, 2014

My photo essay of the shark cull protest.

Peace and harmony everywhere 
 Around 6,000 people turned up at Cottesloe Beach, in support of a nationwide protest against the West Australian government's shark culling program. AND I was there!

My activism has always been within my comfort zone (not sure if speeches are within my comfort zone actually), and protests have not been a part of that. Today I discovered that I can do it my way. I had no placard. I didn't get into the crowd where the speeches were taking place.

 I sat on the grassy hill in the shade, overlooking it all - with the elderly, the young families, the animals and I felt completely at peace... joyful and energised. All around me was kindness. Strangers meeting strangers. Animals being gently loved. We were all brought together by a common concern. I made some lovely connections. Animals are a delight. Humanity is good!!!
I really hope I don't look like this, but I just had to share a photo of me (rainbow hat) with my new friend Beryl. We sat together through the two hours of the official protest. She was really easy company. 
There were kind souls giving out free watermelon

Shark dog

A very mad cow

From my vantage point in the shade (with the babies, elderly and animals).


This is what delight looks like.

Even Anonymous is cross

Milly ( a rescue) and her human.

Where did these ducklings come from?

A man and his family

We don't want the sharks culled!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Enlightenment on a spring

 Something crazy is happening to me. My eyes are 'seeing'. 

I have started to take a photo a day and to stick it into a gratitude journal (though the instant camera photos are dear and I think sometimes I will just draw what I have seen). I am taking with me, into 2014, these words: Gratitude, Extreme Generosity and Safe. I think there might be more to come. It is so exciting to see the power in these words. 

 Normally if I go to the big shopping centres I feel overwhelmed and saddened by commercialism, but yesterday was different. I took my good friend's daughter out. She needed a hair cut, and to exchange a Christmas gift that didn't fit. She needed distraction. She is 13, and it was the anniversary of her brother's death, though initially when we planned the outing I had forgotten this. How wonderful that it worked out this way. I was feeling really big hearted. Which may sound surprising when I was acutely aware of the pain in my little friend's heart. 

 I saw pregnant women and was so excited for them. (Why was I not afraid for them, on a day like this?) A man smiled at me, really kindly. He actually made a point of engaging my eyes as he walked past me.  I noticed this little girl's flashing thongs (flip flops). She had to do a little tap dance to get them to flash. Her mum was incredibly gracious allowing this mad woman to take photos of her tap dancing daughter in the Ladies, of all places! 

When Gem and I went to exchange the dress (and queued for ages) I took out my phone and snapped the image of the moustache kit/ Kombi van for my son Elliot, who is in Paris, and tagged him on Facebook. He loves to have fun, and moustaches are his thing. He and I both laugh at the same things. 

 Then I spotted this bobbing Jesus for your dashboard. Oh poor Gemma. I laughed and laughed. (She's lucky I didn't snort laugh! Almost.) He was sitting right next to the condoms (what are they doing in clothes store???) and perfume or aftershave called Reckless. Am I the only one who thinks that is funny? (Elliot where are you when I need you? Paris!) Life is dangerous... we hang in here by a thin thread, but there is so much living to be done while we are here. I think we should be searching for these moments that make you laugh so loud that you embarrass the teenager you are with! (Sorry Gemma!)  - Asta xxx

I am still laughing about the 'Enlightenment on a spring'.... hahahaaha

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My final painting in the 365 Paintings Challenge.

My last painting - painting 365!!! 
Just dropping in to share my last painting in the 365 Paintings Challenge. I did it. I remember posting my first painting... sharing my dream with you. It seems like yesterday - it seems like forever ago too.

Dream your dreams. Set forth with wild crazy ideas. Persevere. Do what you feel passionate about. May 2014 be a most wonderful adventure.

Asta xxx

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Reflection: Everything has a crack in it.

Dear Helen, on Christmas morning.

So we stuck with no gift giving outside of our immediate family. BUT We are not bound by rules... and so when our son in Europe found himself travelling alone, we shared the cost of a contiki tour. And when we heard that our niece, who lives overseas, is back in Australia with her sister - we bought a ticket for our daughter to fly over to see her cousins - so the girls can be together again, the first time in YEARS. And no we are not cashed up, but we don't buy the latest cars, or buy into the idea that we need the latest gadgets, and yes our house needs repairs. And our eldest son came home unexpectedly (and leaves today on Boxing Day) - so we put together a pamper pack of all the worst food possible (not for me! Urgh) to take back with him (he is working on the wheat bins during his uni holidays). 

Our greatest gift to our extended family was the wonderful, cruelty free lunch prepared by our teenage daughter. When we arrived at the garden at her grandparents apartment block, we found my father extremely stressed because the rest of the family wasn't there on time. He was worried about his blood pressure, and looked small and elderly (something I often forget) - and I wanted to say - this is not what Christmas is about. My father - who had been to church just a short time before, was upset about the trivial,on this remembrance day of the birth of his saviour... and so when the rest of the family arrived it felt strained. AND yet - the love my daughter had put into the food - vegan, mostly gluten free, and the grace with which she offered it to her family, calmed the atmosphere. This is what Christmas is about. 

Riva and I had sat together as our priest Helen had shared a story about how everything has a crack. And as she sent us off with a blessing she said, "And may the God of love bring messengers of light to shine love through the cracks in your life today." And so he did. 

And Helen gave me a gift... a holding cross carved by artisans from a single piece of wood pruned from the very olive wood trees that have scattered the landscape around Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. And a handmade card with a very meaningful and personal message. Dear Helen - a messenger of light shining love through the cracks in my life.  

Asta xxxx

Monday, December 2, 2013

How many paintings do you have to paint to create one good one?

Part of my 365 Challenge
600... that is how many photos one photographer took in order to come up with 7 absolutely brilliant ones!*

I have now painted 338 paintings. How many are good? Are any brilliant? Maybe only 2 or 3. I was hurt to see a comment on my FB art page today - 'Some real kindergarten stuff...'. I wrote a long reply justifying myself. Then I went back and deleted it. Instead I replied - "Yep, so true. Of course.'

Of course there will be more bad paintings than good paintings. Of course. But buried in amongst them will be some gems, worth celebrating. And I could talk about the journey and the showing up, the discipline. Or even about sickness, lack of resources, and squeezing painting around commitments. But instead, today, I will celebrate what I have painted well.

This painting is on its way to live in Ontario in the famous Tiny House there!

Peace be with you my friends,

Asta x

*Sean Gentry's article at petapixel.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The polar bear series and looking on the bright side.

From my 365 paintings challenge, and recent book 'Buoyancy'.

Hi everyone,

I try to look on the bright side of things. Seems I am doing okay in that area. I am stuck in bed with a nasty flu like cold. I just proudly told the kids that I have a temperature, to which they replied - So you are proud of that? Maybe. It is my first for the year, and after countless daily hot flushes, and night sweats, it is actually nice to be able to have a regular temperature. It reminds me of when I had my first regular headache. It's a family legend. I was so proud of it, after suffering from debilitating migraines from the age of nine.
So while I am in bed I am reading, playing with really simple paintings for my challenge, and researching... oh and I made a little book that is available at My book is called 'Buoyancy' and features my polar bear series (some followers at my fb paintings page gave me a kind push.) And I am loving prolonged cuddles with my cat and one of my greyhounds. Maybe I won't feel like this tomorrow, maybe I will. I hope I do.

Peace be with you my friends,

Asta x