New book

1 10 2014

Look at what arrived in my post recently.

A new jewellery book: “Place and Adornment: A History of Contemporary Jewellery in Australia and New Zealand” by Damian Skinner and Kevin Murray.

bit of reading!

bit of reading!

I’ll let you know what I think of it … there’s lots to read through!

Dante’s ‘Inferno’

4 09 2014

After many years of wanting to, I’ve started reading Dante’s ‘Comedia‘.
The first book being Inferno.
Some parts I’ve really enjoyed, others I’ve just waded through.

A few of my favourite parts from it:

  • At one point midway on our path in life,
    I came around and found myself searching
    through a dark wood, the right way blurred and lost
    [canto 1, 1-3]
  • In autumn, leaves are lifted, one by one,
    away until the branch looks down and sees
    its tatters all arrayed upon the ground.
    [canto 3, 112-114]
  • No fresh green leaves but dismal in colour,
    no boughs clean arc-ed but knotty and entwined,
    no apples were there but thorns, poison-pricked.
    [canto 13, 4-7]
  • barked in her lunacy like any cur,
    the pain of it so wretched her mind askew
    [canton 30, 20-21]

All from ‘The Divine Comedy I: Inferno‘ translated by Robin Kirkpatrick.


Labours of love

15 06 2014

I love the idea of a long-worked-for legacy.

A few that I admire are:

  • Celia Rosser‘s ‘The Banksias‘: “... in 1974 she was appointed [Monash] University Botanical Artist to paint every known species of Banksia. At that time there were thought to be 58 species but soon after, Alex George became involved in the project and he brought the number up to 72. Following the national survey for The Banksia Atlas in 1987 the final tally was 76. It took Celia 25 years to illustrate them all.” [source]; for more, see the publishers page on the three volumes.

    click on image for original source

    click on image for original source

  • Owen Gingerich‘s ‘The Book Nobody Read‘: a 35-year project to examine every surviving copy of the first two editions of ‘On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres’ by Nicolaus Copernicus (1543 and 1566); “Gingerich showed that nearly all the leading mathematicians and astronomers of the time owned and read the book; however, his analysis of the marginalia shows that they almost all ignored the cosmology at the beginning of the book and were only interested in Copernicus’ new equant-free models of planetary motion in the later chapters” [source]

    click on image for original source

    click on image for original source

  • Caroline Herschel’s revision of Flamsteed’s star catalogue ‘Catalogue of Stars‘ (1798): ‘contained an index of every observation of every star made by Flamsteed, a list of errata, and a list of more than 560 stars that had not been included‘; Caroline is also most amazingly incredible for her invaluable work supporting her more famous brother William as she ‘also learned to record, reduce, and organise her brother’s astronomical observations. She recognised that this work demanded speed, precision and accuracy‘ [source]

Sigh. What is left to do?

Thoughts on creativity #3

14 04 2012

Well, just one thought this time actually [more in this and this post].

I’m now reading another book by Julia Cameron: ‘Walking in This World‘.

This was in chapter 1 and it resonated with me today:
We have attached so much rigmarole to the notion of being an artist that we fail to ask the simplest and most obvious question: Do I want to make this? If the answer is yes, then begin. Fire the arrow.

I like it.

Colour stripes

7 04 2012

It’s my mum’s birthday soon.

I made her a bookmark, from all my lovely coloured papers.

book mark awesomeness

another shot ... yep, I like it THAT much for two photos

leftover coloured stripes

I like it. I hope she does too.

Thoughts on creativity

5 03 2012

One of the creativity books I often reach for is ‘The Artist’s Way‘ by Julia Cameron.

A few of my favourite quotes from its pages:

  • To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong” Joseph Chilton Pearce
  • Give yourself permission to be a beginner.
  • Stop looking for big blocks of time when you will be free. Find small bits of time instead
  • Since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of time, you are incomparable” Brenda Ueland
  • Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage” Anais Nin

A few of my favourite exercises from its pages (paraphrased):

  • imaginary lives: if you had 5 other lives to live, what would you do in each of them?
    pick one, and do a little something of that life this week
    (eg. if one was an astronomer, you could go to the observatory)
    then try 5 more … repeat at will
  • list 20 things you enjoy doing
    when was the last time you did them? do one this week
    then try more … repeat at will
  • list 10 tiny changes you’d like to make; significant or small
    “I would like to …..” ; pick a small one, or take a step towards a large one
    then try more … repeat at will
  • bake or cook
  • list 10 things to finish this sentence: “If I didn’t have to do it perfectly, I would try…”
    pick one … can you take a step towards it?
    then try more … repeat at will

I do recommend it, especially if you’re a little bit stuck in your practice or if the muse is evading you.

On my bookshelf

28 02 2012

All set to read … not in any particular order though …

my reading stack, 28th February 2012

I wonder what these books say about me?