Breaking down the fear and letting in a little magic.

I’ve realised in recent months that if I go to my grave never having learnt to play the guitar I’ll be ok with that. Same with jumping out of an aeroplane. Bungee jumping. Not a second thought for any of it.

But I’ve also realised in recent months that if I don’t set aside some time to paint, in 10 years time, that will be an enormous regret.

So I’ve been making some room – physically and mentally – to make it happen.

Getting up early. Stepping away late afternoons.

Doing the do.

River Flats II

Detail River Flats II

I’ve been a bit quiet here because work’s been full on but in amongst that I also committed to driving down to Sydney for 10 Saturday painting classes with John Bokor at the National Art School.

Sometimes I think you can come to the right teacher at exactly the right moment and I felt this with John. I went to Sydney not to paint still lifes, but to find confidence with oils, to understand how to set them up, use them and begin establishing my own process and take the first steps towards finding my own visual language.

And somewhere during those 10 weeks John flicked a switch on for me.

Secret Gully 2016

All of a sudden, I’m not frightened anymore.

I’m on my way.

So John, if you find your way here, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for all of it.

Study River Flats 1

The other thing that’s had an enormously liberating impact is reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. If you have dreams of leading a creative life or simply of bringing more creativity into your life, and you find yourself making excuses about why you can’t do the do, I swear it will make you see things in a whole new light.

A lighter, less burdensome light.

A light that says it’s ok to be playful, to find your joy in whatever form works for you.

But you’ve got to turn up. You’ve got to make it happen.

It’s had a ripple effect through us and a ripple effect through friends. So lovely to see.

River Flats 1

Detail River Flats I

As part of all of this, I made a commitment to myself to enter four pieces into Art Unlimited in Dunedoo in May.  These are they.

I read something in recent days and for the life of me I can’t track down the source. I think it might have come from south coast painter Meagan Jacobs, another lovely find in recent times. It went something like this… “Nothing is ever perfect, we just choose to stop in a good place.”


No regrets. No excuses.

Get out there and do your do.



The River Flats I  95cm x 85cm    $1150.00
The River Flats II 95cm x 85cm    $1150.00
Secret Gully 26.5 cm x 70cm  $520.00
River Flats Study  26.5 x 20cm  $190.00

John Bokor is represented by the King Street Gallery.

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    1. Posted 8 May 2016 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      Your paintings are simply gorgeous Marg 🙂
      And I love all that you say –
      Resistance – that obnoxious neighbour in your head telling you its not the right time can be mighty persuasive but as you say – turning up and doing the work reaps the wonderful reward of what you are now feeling –
      I love the Make Good Art speech by Neil Gaiman in which he says:
      ““The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked…that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.”
      Congratulations on baring all 🙂

      • Marg
        Posted 9 May 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        ahhaaha I love that quote Linda 🙂 I’m putting it up on the wall in the shed. It’s a cracker. It’s a beginning and that in itself feels good Linda. It’s been burbling away in the background for years. Not sure I’m baring all at this point but it’s good to strip off a layer or two 😉 Thanks for the feedback xx

    2. Posted 8 May 2016 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Oh Marg your paintings are marvelous! So happy to read you prioritized you. I just finished reading Big Magic too! First book in three years. I adored living inside her whacky perspective. It was so invigorating. Good Luck with your show.

      • Marg
        Posted 9 May 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        I’ve been on an Elizabeth Gilbert fest of late. Started with Big Magic. Then The Signature of All Things (really enjoyed it). And I’m a bit late to the party but I’m giving Eat, Pray, Love a go. I’m a bit the same. My reading has dropped off so these have been a nice way to ease back into it. Did you like her story about taking Creativity and Fear on a road trip? I loved that. “Well yeah Fear, you have to come along, but you’ve got to sit in the back, and you can’t fiddle with the dials and you definitely can’t drive haha. ” xx

        • Posted 9 May 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          Eat, Pray, Love had me inspired to create my own spirituality Marg. Big deal reading that one. I had to take back the Signature of All Things after loving first 15 pages because … baby. So reading Big Magic all the way through was such breakthrough stuff. I had read the fear in the van analogy prior to reading the book. And even quoted it I loved it so much. Respect her. She can come along for the ride but she can’t drive. You are painting such beautiful pieces Marg, please keep sharing them and your process. Please.

          • Marg
            Posted 9 May 2016 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

            Will do. Thanks Shalagh. x

    3. Stuart
      Posted 9 May 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Loving your work Marg!!

    4. Tracey Carpenter
      Posted 9 May 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Where is the River Flats 1 painted is it looking east from Mutton Falls??
      They are just brilliant and great to see the rainbow brush unleashed.

      • Marg
        Posted 9 May 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        No they’re down on the levee bank Tracey below Morrisett Street. There’s a bit of artistic licence at work 😉

    5. Leah Moulden
      Posted 9 May 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      As usual, these are gorgeous. What a skill!

      • Marg
        Posted 9 May 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Early days Leah but thank you x

    6. Steph
      Posted 10 May 2016 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      Marg I am so thrilled for you – what an inspiration! Can’t wait to see how all this talent explodes – adore your colour palettes already!

      • Marg
        Posted 10 May 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        The journey of a thousand miles … :))

    7. Posted 10 May 2016 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Well, well on your way. I had an art tutor once who said something like …”no-one else has ever done this, you’re in charge.” Sometimes you have to choose though – which voice is in charge and would the other one just shut up please. Are you thinking of entering/winning the Paddington Prize? It’s a given I would have thought.

      • Marg
        Posted 10 May 2016 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        I like that. “No-one has ever done this. You’re in charge.” So true Harley. Empowering. Hadn’t thought about the Paddington Prize but I’ve been sussing out others. Nice of you to lend your vote 😉 Smiling on this end xx

    8. Janet
      Posted 11 May 2016 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Your paintings are breathtaking Marg….always love to see what you’re up to. I’ve just returned from Istanbul, my first trip where I did it alone. There was lots of trepidation around my decision to go ahead with the trip given the latest DFAT warnings, and then my friend pulled out. It had been my dream for so long to go, so decided to push through the fear and do it. The best decision I made. I was surprised and delighted every day of my two weeks. What a photographers delight…. a great big eclectic beautiful decoratively shabby city! Can’t wait to see you this Friday. Love Janet xxx

      • Marg
        Posted 11 May 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Oh I wish I’d known Janet. We have really good Bathurst friends who are nearly half way through a two year stint teaching over there. It could well vie for my favourite city in the world contest. In so many ways – I know this will sound weird – it reminds me of Sydney. It’s the waterways mainly. You get out on the water and you have that same sense that you do on the harbour. I made a regrettable decision to stop following people on Facebook – made with the intention of not getting sidetracked and getting on with my own stuff – but I’m going to undo it all. I’m missing too much haha. Like this – all your photos – beautiful. See you Friday. xxx

    9. Posted 24 June 2016 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Hi Margaret,
      I’m following you for sometime now and I really like your writing, and the paintings, they’re beautiful! But first things first, what caught my attention was tales of travel.
      And I just read The Big Magic, there are a bunch of good chapters good for helping people like me… always wondering if what I do will be a fiasco and if I can live with that… In the end the important thing is to take the risk and pursue with what one believes in. So, just go ahead! Thank you

      • Marg
        Posted 30 June 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Hi Madelena,
        Thanks so much for your comment. I hear you – about the travel side of things – and the time will come to be on the road again but right now we’ve got this lovely window where our daughter is home for three months before she heads to the U.S. for two years. We’ve barely seen her over the past five years as she’s been working most weekends while she’s been at uni. Your comment really hit a chord with me and it’s lovely to know that you’ve found inspiration here. Hope you’ll stick with me till we get moving again. Marg xx PS Glad you enjoyed the book – it’s awesome isn’t it!

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