so many photos

28 Nov

WEEK FORTY-SEVEN (november 21-27)

Finally the Mongolia photos have all been through a first round of processing and editing.
There was a BIG pile of deleting but there are also a very large amount of ‘bad’ photos kept because they either take me back to a certain place/time/event or they just might be useful artwise as reference photos.
These duds are part of the reason why I take so many photos…they are the ones that may catch a pattern, a line, a clash of colours, they may spark a thoughtline – not that I need any more of those.
Simply put, they are like a diary that is written in code and which only I can decipher.
Oh, and there is the little matter of insurance.
Take only one photo of an place/event and it will rarely catch what I am really seeing.
Take plenty and I have a chance.


So this weeks images are courtesy of the Altai Eagle festive in Bayan Olgii, Mongolia.
When I saw that Gabriella’s next tour was going there I had no hesitation in signing up.
For me it was one of those once in a lifetime experiences that was meant to be. The textile component was always second fiddle to this.
I have shoved TOO many photos in this post but these fellas, and the few girls that take part, seem to have become my friends lately….
Please note the obsession with feathers that matches my own….owl feathers tied to hats and eagles and car mirrors help to ward off evil – so I was told.


Despite being another big photo week I also finished another feather board – the green square one shown in various posts in preceeding months as a work in progress. It was united with its backing boardĀ at last.
It is numbered ‘feathering the nest #13′ but is as yet not photographed and is still unnamed. Still, wonderful to have it finished. Wonderful to be making…


After completing this weeks priority that FTN#13 was, I started my next big ticket item on the list – clearing out the back part of the upstairs studio.
I set this area up as ‘Black Swan Central’ very close to two years ago – when I started work on this blog.
Back then it was a fantastic space to sit away from the world enabling me to formulate plans and to spark ideas but it is not a stitching place or even a playing with fabric space. The lighting is way under par for a start.
As I very slowly make physical some of those initial ideas, it has slowly reverted to beingĀ  a storage area/holding pen for things piled up and moving in and out.altai-eagle-festival-2

It now needs to store my slowly increasing pile of artworks – those that aren’t hanging downstairs or elsewhere. It also needs to keep storing my reference materials and ‘hope to be projects one day’ boxes.
It needs to be a space that can cocoon my thoughts and spark ideas away from the computer that sucks my time.
It needs to be away from downstairs distractions of the many works already in line or those progressing.


I also want to try to sit and draw here – perhaps sitting under a perfect drawing lamp?
I drew happily in the quiet of my room in Mongolia but find it difficult to regain that corralled, focused mindset.
As I write I think I am seeking an isolated retreat there amongst the eventually well stored starting points and finished works?


I also happen to have an odd, small drawing? table that we found amongst the discards at our little house. It is small and ugly but it can tilt. I think this may be a help too? It certainly was part of the clear out impetus.


I know I am lucky to have the space to separate place parts of myself in – even though all spaces are shared by family and visitors and pieces from our past.
I suppose I chase perfect space to help me achieve my aims – a form of cocoon?
Just the next plan/hope in a continuing search?

SO….spare shelves that I had put aside for the Girls Shed down south have been called into play and BY CHRISTMAS – I have to do it if I write it – we will have the next phase of this totally multi use space.

altai-eagle-festival-6The Studio Class held here on Friday was the last for the year.
Five lovely bods worked on various projects, all making good progress, with a shared lunch and an extra lunch guest to keep the conversation flowing.
All going well I will continue next year with the same format of a one day class each month. This ‘work’ makes my noggin click over and my heart sing whilst it pushes and pulls the participants along.


On the weekend, we were off as usual to our little house where I picked blueberries and strawberries – miniscule amounts mind you – but it does mean the plants are surviving.

We netted the ‘old’ plum tree – which is tiny and lichen covered but is amazingly productive.
The enormous ‘new’ plum tree gives shade but small amounts of fruit – though the bloke is pruning it harshly every year to hopefully change production levels.
Me, I am not the plum lover in the family so shade suits me better:)


The bloke made headway with the Girls Shed. So much so that I will have to start painting the uninstalled windows and lining boards next visit…..I’m excited about the outcome but not by the slog work in the summer sun.


The week ended with candles – it was one of two Mullen birthday weeks – where we have three family birthdays within a week.
Sunday night was a girly night with three-year-old Esther, one-year-old Ellie and almost-quite-old ‘Annie’ on the very pleasant present receiving end.


The night was even more chaotic than usual…which is quite difficult to achieve.
The piles of presents tottered and the two youngsters took it in turns to receive.
George, who’s recent birthday set the precedent, was eager to help gather and pass each relevant parcel to his sister – the uninterested/oblivious Ellie.
Esther had to be held back. This taking turns gig is difficult.
The lessons three-year-olds have to learn…


My pressies were presented post-dinner.
My stack was very gratefully received. Ten books, mostly novels that can be crossed off a list.
Holiday reading plus…..


The best present though was given by the three lovely grown up girls in my life.
A night off deciding the menu, and shopping, and cooking the dinner.






Jan Mullen

B. Ed. Art/Craft (Textiles/Sculpture) Living in Perth, Western Australia Artist, Fabric Designer, Author, Teacher, Mentor.