KEEPING IT SIMPLE. Words and images to document the ordinary, the detail and the minutiae of life.


For Bee

Who requested an image of a favourite book.

'There is a story that's told about Stravinsky...It isn't much of a story, simply that when Stravinsky was in mid-composition, he insisted that his family ate lunch in silence. The slightest sound, a murmer, even a whisper, could ruin his concentration and destroy an entire work'. Drusilla Modjeska

This book helped me understand how often women support male artists. Keeping children and visitors quiet. Putting their own creativity on the back burner, because at the end of the day, who has the energy to paint, pot, draw, write when you have to look after the children, ensure everyone is fed, washed and warm, the bills are paid?

I found out how to look at a painting.
 To see and understand
Light, shade, perspective, brushwork
 and social commentary.

Female artists.
 In particular, two Australians.
Stella Bowen
Grace Cossington Smith
(1892  1984).

Stella left Australia,
went to France and England.
Painted views of the french coast,
 friends, her daughter and finally RAF fighter pilots.
She fell in love with Ford Maddox Ford
(he later left her for Jean Rhys).

Grace stayed at home in Australia,
never married.
Painted pictures of family and friends,
local views, luminous interiors of her home.
Eucalyptus trees, a tea tray,
her sister knitting socks for soldiers.
The Sydney harbour bridge
as it was being built.

I 'll finish with Stella Bowen's words...

"Any artist knows that after a good bout of work one is both too tired and too excited to be of any use to anyone. To be obliged to tackle other people's problems, or merely cook their meals, the moment one lays down pen or brush, is intolerably hard. What one wants, on the contrary, is for other people to occupy themselves with one's own moods and requirements; to lie on a sofa and listen to music, and have things brought to one on a tray! That is why a man writer or painter always manages to get some woman to look after him and make his life easy,............ A professional woman, however, seldom gets this cushioning unless she can pay money for it."
Stella Bowen. (from her Memoir 'Drawn from Life').

Go here and here to view some of their works.