cornCorn. Singer. Dancer. Nurse. Lover of music. Pursuing God (trying…). Secluded. Pianist. Wannabe gypsy. Silly.

Candid speculation on talent

After 3 years of tafe-work-tafe-work repeat 6-7 days per week, i finally have the time to delve back into some art projects. It’s been hard work which has helped to keep my head on the ground. When i started the tulip painting at an art workshop, i thought it was looking pretty good for my first painting, the rest of the class seemed impressed.
I felt like they had all been to this workshop before! They knew each other & the tutor.  Think middle aged ladies, with massive plastic buckets that fold out layer upon layer of pristine art supplies. Anyway, they gush: “Ohh! You’ve painted befooore haven’t you Courtney!”.
Well no i hadn’t but i felt too embarrassed to say so.
But I didn’t want to lie and say yes.
So i said nothing.
Which was really rude to just ignore people. Yeah…didn’t make friends easily. lol! But I felt proud & really thought i was good. Now i think it’s a mess and i struggle to create what i want in it, am i really cut out to do art.

It’s the same with singing, i get carried away with peoples gushing and i really think i’m amazing. Then i listen to myself on video, or see a professional singer and realise…wow in the sea of talent out there i’m not as good as i thought i was.

Same with salsa dancing, people treat me differently now they can see i’m actually getting better as a dancer, and then i see a video of classes in Melbourne and *heaps* of people are as easily good as me, have spot on rhythm, musicality and muscle memory. Back to earth.

Maybe being such a reserved unassuming person means that folks here are surprised when i show some real skillz. And what they’re actually feeling is, wow that’s unexpected…from you. But they might say, “Wow that’s amazing!”, so i think ok cool i’m like this good, out of ten. lol, a false sense of being really talented. Then slowly reality seeps in as i realise in the scheme of life outside of Tasmania, I’m not that much above ordinary.

Painting tulips

I work point 5…

“Oh yes where else do you work/study?”

I DON’T! Nothing!
I’m a bum!
Well. I actually do lots of things. But everyone (who i have to make small talk with) assumes that i must have another job or be studying. And i reiterate, no i do not want to try and pick up extra shifts.

With more days off than on, what do i do they ask incredulously. Well. A few hours a day I’ve been practicing up my long lost repertoire in the hope of playing at the Launceston Easter Community Festival. And now i’ve just been asked to play & sing at a local market this week! Wooo.

I’m also discovering that being an artist isn’t all like i’ve romanticised it up to be. This is a piece of half finished crap from two years ago that i actually felt proud of (past tense…). Now a church is seeking donations for a fundraising silent auction – perfect motivation to finish it!
However, after 4 hours of fiddling my painting went from this…


To this.


Pretty damn similar!

Although unfinished, I feel it screams ‘beginner’ so i will have to submit it as Anon. lol.
Inevitably will end up stalking the stall to see if the bidding goes above the cost of the bulk buy plastic brushes i used to paint it.

I’m learning everything the hard way. Why the heck did i not paint the background in first?!
Do i start with highlights or darker areas. Why is it so hard to blend smoothly.
Time to mix more paint. Impossible to create the same shade of purple!
Shade all the leaves only to stand back and find they’ve become ugly dominant masses of green. Lets just start again….but all that work, all those hours, wasted! Continue painting over and over, layers and layers.
Get carried away with detail then remember it’s meant to be more impressionistic not botanical…

Plus a hundred other things i’m not even aware of yet. One my teacher pointed out, the grey shading in the white tulips should be mixed up with a touch of green as the tulips will reflect the colours around them. He could actually see that i accidentally smushed some blue in there and just stirred it up into the grey. Thought it wouldn’t matter cuz grey is like..grey, right? Apparently not.

Thankfully for my ego I can legitimately blame some of my struggle on the tools – my mums 20 year old folk art paints. My art teacher politely tried to hide his horror upon picking up the cerulean blue, no amount of squeezing could force that clogged pigment out of the tube. I awkwardly try n hide behind my canvas while the rest of the class pretend not to notice and he hints that Philcam art supplies offer a discount to his students.

Doing this has given me a greater appreciation for the hard work of artists, and reminded me to think about what i’m setting out to create, what is the overall look, feel and message to be and how will i mix my colours and draw lines and shapes to express this. Because at the end of the day there must be a bazillion paintings of tulips in the world. So what is this particular one adding?

Sewing dresses

I entered a Spring sewing competition! Didn’t win. Eve won.
But i was, “One of 4 people who could’ve won” and, “Oh we had such a hard time deciding!”. So one of four could be anything, i like to say i came second :D
Fabric: The most beautiful thing i’ve seen. “Blue Edera” an Italian designer silk chiffon $59 per metre, there’s only 5 metres left in the whole WORLD and it’s right here in Launnies Ruche fabric store..
Spring dress




















Finally got a chance to wear my Cinderella dress out of the house, at a local Recycled Fashion show.
I altered a charmingly puffy sleeved 80’s wedding gown pattern and gave fabric from the op shop a new life.
Practicing my curtsey in the kitchen.
On stage after i blow a kiss, the MC: “Maybe her prince charming is out there tonight”





















The Jane Austen Festival Australia – yes there is such a thing!
I went because i love costume, dancing, sewing and reading.
Everybody else went because they were crazy (adj. mentally strange, nutty as fruitcake, out of ones tree) about Austen.
Thus i felt a fraud – just quietly I had to push myself to read Mansfield Park seeing as it was the theme for 2014, and silently confess some relief when it was due back at the LINC at only 6 chapters in.
Everyone else was reciting quotes like normal conversation so i tried to laugh along at the appropriate moments while hiding my abysmal hand sewing. “What stitch are you doin there dear?” Oh..a fusion of traditional and uhhh improvising.
My favourite part was the Symposium where learned scholars made analogies with Jane Eyre one of my favourite books.

I came away with a great sense of how precious clothing must have been, seeing as it took me an hour to handsew a 5cm line. I wish we had some of that same value for clothing now.

Which bed  belongs to me?


“Great DIY Gift ideas”

Title like that i could write for Better homes and gardens!
Note DIY don’t mean cheap, for me it meant messy and experimental.

Body scrub: Dried orange peel and rose petals ground up. Sugar, *not* raw… Coconut butter. Essential oil.











Vanilla Essence: Slice some vanilla bean pods and add vodka. Best steeped for a month before using. Also now it’s no longer a skanky povvo habit to get happy from your vanilla essence when the wine cupboard is bare as it doubles as vanilla vodka.















Face washer made into a soap pocket


Decorate with multitudes of brown string!

Oh parents text.

Do your parents ever send you those typically typo-ed texts that make you belly laugh slash cringe!? I spent a weekend at the caravan in Ulvie and emailed these photos i took to mum n dad. Dad replies with ever enthusiatic buoyant text: Hiya Sweet Great pikkies if Ulvie you took- you should send them to the ABC tv in Hibart- they feature shits that viewers send in every night on the weather- give it a go i bet they will use yours!!


18may (2) 18may (3) 18may (15) 18may (16)

I should be proud to have my shit featured on the nightly news.

Summer dress

DSC09551 DSC09552My last dress for the year at tafe. It’s meant to be a day dress you might wear to work or out to a luncheon, based on spring/summer 2014 fashions.

The gathered fabric is chiffon which being polyester doesn’t sit as beautifully as i imagined. Maybe one day i’ll make myself one from the silk it’s meant to be made of.


Apart from being ridiculously overinterested in my love life (or lack thereof) my mum is a good egg. Honestly, it is as though it’s impossible to simply be friends with a guy, as soon as i breathe a word of anyone in my life who is remotely male, i get a

“Oooo! *eyes light up* and cue about a thousand needless questions. But why mum why are you even asking that?!
Well! Oh i dont know! Just looking for any information!

On a more serious note my relationship with my mum has taught me about closeness and pain.
When she was ill for about a year it involved a lot of lying down, not doing/saying much.
There was a lot of sitting together in silence.
Illness is such an isolating thing. But just being there with her, holding her hand, letting her cry, so she didn’t have to bear it alone and somehow we stumbled into solace.
The mother-daughter thing had been turned upside down and i became the nurturer.
Allowing herself to be vulnerable and to share her pain brought our relationship to a deeper level.
I realised the value of pain in life, that closeness can be found in letting others know your suffering.
It has renewed the place of pain in my thinking. Pain can bring beauty, wisdom, strength, depth to this life. Of course it’s everywhere, childbirth, saying sorry, what Jesus did on the cross…

“Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?”
―    John Keats,    Letters of John Keats



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