‘This old love’

I cram read in the Summer. 

Throughout the year, I’m often hanging on by a thread. There is kid stuff, kid notes, study for me and them, appointments, haircuts, shopping, cooking, washing, gardening – and still trying to find one on one time for each family member.

So, reading is the first thing to go. I can manage a few articles, a quick flick through a magazine. But the minute I see a spine, binding, and a reasonable strength cover on a publication, I’ve got no time. Not till Summer. Then I read 11 books. 

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‘Cosmic girl’

I had a little piece of Lino left over from another print I had made. It was long and thin, and looked like a bath. I snippedoff the edges, and in she hopped. I tossed up between bubbles vs no bubbles – and went with galaxy instead. I had bought some lovely indigo, which I thought might be a nice change from black.

Here she is, blowing a bubble. Cosmic girl in the bathtub.

‘Sweet thing’ {making}

It’s just one little moment that gets me moving. Once that moment hits, watch out – this is where I transform into a bull at a gate. The impulse is deep and profound. I immediately start fabricating this girl with glass and smalti from an image I’ve drawn years ago in one of my sketchbooks. Without noticing it before, I’ve ended up filling it with ladies. Life drawing was always my thing, but why always girls? Youthful ladies, faceless, with long limbs, engaged in nano snippets of life.

I imagine ‘young Emily’ in these moments and am drawn to recall how I felt at this age. I remember being these girls. I did these things. In my hometown I remember spending hours laying in the grass, with the sun warming my skin, eyes cast upwards to bluebird skies – and spending time just absorbing the shapes of the clouds – and the closest I’ll ever get to meditation.

 I would naturally empty my mind once the sun hits my face, close my eyes and quietly engage all senses. From time to time, past conversations and moments would seep in. I would shoo them away again. A constant tug of war between remaining present and overthinking things. 

I drew her. Me. Back then.

I moved away from the sun on my face, lying in the grass and a head full of empty thoughts and song, no more cloud absorbing and became a girl with a career. I moved to the big city where I was affectionately  labelled ‘country bumpkin’, ‘sweet’ and ‘naive’- because I was. My street smarts hadn’t kicked in yet. I believed people were good and kind, and ulterior motives didn’t exist. Had no idea about networking, instead just doing my own work.


This happened. I was at a ball in a big puffy skirt like this, but black tulle. I was on the fringe of turning my back on the big city, and moving away. After years of racing in traffic, working hard, and complicated weekends – I longed for simplicity and ease. A slower life again. The undercurrent at the ball was beyond me, and here I was again. ‘Naive’, gangly and ‘sweet’ – I no longer wanted to understand the language of the city, I didn’t want street smarts anymore.

So here – still a work in progress, she is. (She was nearly named ‘Something’s changed’ a nod to Miss Sharon Jones.) ‘Sweet thing’ won out,  her title inspired once again by Van the man (Van Morrison). Listening to this song – I instantly feel warm, comforted, any troubles are instantly put aside, and I remember, the days of lying in the grass.

The greatest view {making}

Here I am, getting back into it all again; inspiration to create images of the gloriously mundane is no challenge for me.

My latest offering –

  

‘The greatest view’ 2016, Emily J Hogan. 

Reclaimed marine ply, glass, beads, mirror & gouache.
I imagine I find the simplicity of these images satisfying due to my ease of moving in and out of a fairly meditative state, on a daily basis. I need white space, and if I am in a position of being in the midst of chaos, which is a realistic summary of my work days – the switch goes off. Emily is officially off the grid. 

  

Mosaic mural {making, treasure}

I did this four years ago, at my children’s old school.

It’s pretty big – I worked it all out on the floor of my studio at home, glueing sections at a time onto mesh.

Then I transported this sucker to the school where I reattached little bits and pieces that had fallen off in transit.

Mosaics (making)

I hid coins, and lady birds, snails, frogs, bits of broken crockery, a spoon, a key and other little bits of treasure within the glass tiles, (and of course I jazzed this baby up with mirror, this is a given – in any mosaic I make) with the hope of it being a place of constant discovery for adults and children.

It turns out, this has worked. I still receive comments of children being transfixed by the mural, and noticing details that us older folk may have overlooked. Children enjoy the textural feel of the mosaic, and run their hands along the mosaic as they walk through the corridor. I had considered the tactile nature of mosaic when making this, and had purposely included quite a few lines of unbroken white glass beading. I think this may be visible under the two large fish you see here. So anyone travelling with an obsessive disorder would be fully satisfied every time they pass this ‘sure thing’ in the hall way.

Of course time is a great teacher. I would have done things differently if I was given this time again. However, I don’t over think it, because my brain can be lazy at the best of times, to be overly critical. Also because of two things I do know;

1. Mosaic is hard to get off a wall, so even if  I wanted to change it –  good luck with that Emily!

And, 2. I know I’m the only one that notices the flaws in the mosaic –  it makes people happy.

So I’m happy.

This happened {making}

Easter time. This happened.

We decided to stay home for the weekend, instead of our usual stint visiting the coast.

4 whole days. Bliss.

What is a girl to do with 4 whole days?

I was hanging out some washing, always a good start to feeling organised and on top of things. I had hung the clothes out, the sun was warm, and for the first time this year all 3 children were in the sandpit. The dog too. Digging for treasure they buried for her. There were an assortment of exploding volcanoes, sand pies, and then things took a turn for the worse. T-shirts were stuffed with wet sand, laughter erupting around me. Then came the hose, spraying walls, dogs, kids. Then the sand throwing. Everywhere.

I was aware all of this was happening around me, and was happy in my bubble of bliss while the blood curdling shrieks of three small people were spirited and happy – and the sand wasn’t landing in my mouth, the world was fine. Bleeding eyeballs and tears were the only thing that could bring me out of my trance.

While all this was happening around me. I had found a stumpy purple pencil at my feet (I cannot stand purple, I adore violets – but the colour is always the last I would choose in a line-up of the rainbow.) I had picked up this pencil and started drawing on the wall of the house. Swirly lines, flowers, a vine of sorts in a deco style. I love my deco.

The noise around me still loud with laughter. A good sign. I grabbed my nippers. I started cutting little green pieces of glass for the stem. Bits of mirror too – because we all know I love sparkle. I glued over the purple line. Two hours had passed with no child related incident. In fact the smallest one had joined me and asked if he could stick the green bits, green is his very favourite colour.

Terrific, I had a personal assistant for my project!

photowallone

He stuck around for at least two hours. The vine was nearly done. Then we started on the flowers. He stuck on all of the flower stamen within reach. One. Two. Three.

Then the inner petals. Then he cut and run, he went for a bath.

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I carried on over the next few days with eager assistants, until the sun went down.

This didn’t feel arduous.

This was as relaxing as a bath, as relaxing as a weeding funk,

as relaxing as floating on my back down the river.

All in all this was a very organic process,

my planning skills are severely lacking as any friend will tell you.

Picking glue off my fingers has always a moment of pure zen for me.

Flying by the seat of my pants has always been my mode of transport.

I had sand, I had water, I had squealing around me – and look what happened.

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 {work in progress}