An afternoon in Fitzroy…

I recently spent a lovely afternoon in Fitzroy with Desley, we had lunch in a lovely little cafe and spent such a wonderful time catching up, good coffee and a fabulous lunch.

Fitzroy is an older part of Melbourne, in the inner city, and it is seeing a resurgence of artistic and creative types. There is street art (and tagging) everywhere, lots of hip bo-ho type, cool people wandering the streets and loads of cafes and clubs. There is the Rose Street Artists Market….such a wonderful place. Sorry no photos I was too busy looking and buying.

We wandered the streets shooting what ever took our fancy and we also shot out Regular Random segment here as well

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It really was such a lovely Autumn afternoon, which we topped off with another coffee and then hit the Movies for a fantastic few hours watching Beauty and the Beast! I can highly recommend it, if you have not already seen it……….‘Be our guest’

~ Julz

 

 

Monday’s Musings

Hi Everyone……..I’m back. Firstly, let me start by saying I am sorry I have missed everything that you wrote and every picture you posted. I started trying to read everything I missed while I was away……but it is just too hard. So just assume I loved everything, as I follow you for a reason 🙂 Same goes with Social Media……so many messages and comments I will try to get through them all, but most of the week was spent without any internet at all, so this week I will catch up where I can, and just let the rest fall by the wayside. If there is anything important, send me a new message.

So………we are back from our Outback Adventure; 2,490kms from Melbourne to Silverton and back. 16 Intredpid travellers, eight vehicles and one caravan. We picked up some part way through and lost others along the way……no one hurt or anything; just car problems or people just not continuing on. I have done these roads before as a child and tweenager, but most I can barely remember.

April is the perfect time to go, the rains from up North (currently QLD and Northern NSW are completely flooded) have not arrived, the days are much cooler (average 25C) and the nights not too cold (avg 12-15C). The roads are all open and they are in good condition. September is also a great time to visit the Outback, for similar reasons, although the rains have been and some roads may still be closed. In fact one year (many years ago) we did a similar trip, we were stuck in Broken Hill due to roads were all closed and flooded.

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Group shot taken in Broken Hill – 2 people missing

Apart from the caravan jack-knifing and damaging itself and the car, there were no other issues and the trip mostly went smoothly. The car and caravan met us and stayed in Broken Hill, they slowly limped back down to Mildura, however towing a caravan, this couple knew they could not keep up with the faster 4WD and cars in the rough terrain (some of the cars had to take things slowly as well), so this was always their plan. Some roads were great, but many were just dirt tracks

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We saw many sunrises and sunsets, most very fabulous, some were average. We had a crescent moon, to start the week, so not much good for Astro Photography. We did see, but not capture shooting stars in Silverton.

So these images are just a tiny sample of some of the spots we visited; Maldon, Mildura, Broken Hill, Silverton, Mungo, Swan Hill and more. The images have not even been processed and we have already started discussing our trip for 2018, as this was such a huge success.

We came home a day early, hoping to beat a big storm front hitting Melbourne, but only just made it in time. Spent yesterday emptying the car, food shopping, laundry and just getting stuff organised. Back to work today, before a break for Easter. Hopefully I can get through a few photos before then. I will break the posts down for this trip day by day.

Til then, I hope you all have a fantastic week…

~Julz

 

 

Fabulous Fridays…

Ahhh, Fridays……so much to offer, a wonderful weekend ahead and the signal of another working week over (well for me anyway). I had two more images published yesterday in the Living the Photo Artistic Life magazine

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So that is always exciting, honestly every month it just gets more and more amazing, grab a cuppa and skim the pages, I promise you it is worth it.

Also announcing here that I hope to start up a new project very soon working with survivors of Domestic Violence, which after a prompt from my Kaizen Project group, we are to each pick a charity to work with; mine is called Safe Steps…….but more on that later. The next two images are very special and were created with the a wonderful young woman, her self a survivor.

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Seeking Answers

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Silence from Within

Both of the images, along with others I hope convey hope that these women and children (and yes men as well) can now see after the horrible, ugly and anxious periods of their life. I hope to bring a little bit of hope, fun and beauty to their world again, or perhaps for the first time…..sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

I hope you all have an amazing weekend, I know I have so much planned, but more on that Monday…….

~ Julz

 

Share Your World – Feb 28th, 2017

Ever ran out of gas in your vehicle? I don’t think I have ever ran out of gas, had to push a car that broke down, but I can’t remember running out of gas. It may have happened and I just can’t remember it 🙂

Which are better: black or green olives? I don’t particularly like either to be honest, if I find olives on a pizza, I with usually pick them off.

If you were a great explorer, what would you explore? I love exploring, anywhere and everywhere, I would adore to go to Jordan, Egypt, Marrakech……but instability and finances mean I may never get to go, but I still hope. This year I am travelling to Bali for a wedding and two weeks of exploring; so I hope that will be an adventure. I must admit, that even if my mind is willing to travel to far and exotic places, my body is struggling to keep up.

Quotes List: At least three of your favorite quotes? 

  1. “Be who you were created to be and you will set the world on fire” – St Catherine of Sienna
  2. “All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney
  3. “Fear is the dream killer” – I have no idea who said this
  4. “Find your Bliss” – Joseph Campbell (I know I snuck in four………..cheeky aren’t I?

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  Last week was horrible, I’ll admit it, but at the same time, totally amazing and overwhelming. I wont go into all the details, but it was a tough week, for various different reasons, all of which snuck up on me at once. So I threw a pity party! It did make me feel a little better; but it was the comments, emails and support I received from all my artists and blogger friends. WOW! I really felt blessed and uplifted……..for that I am truly grateful. But because of that particular shit sandwich for the week (actually the whole month was pretty crappy in some regards) I created loads and loads of images; I created a storm of self pity! Some very cool images too.

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Losing Myself

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Who is the Puppet Master?

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Fractured Selves

So this week……I was contacted by a new model yesterday who would like to come and work with me (this might sound conceited, but I love it when they come to me! I don’t have to go begging family and friends!), so we are trying to arrange a time this weekend and I am planning out some new concepts to try as well. I am still trying to finish off editing my last shoot with Mel and the Zoo and a recent astro shoot at the beach. I seem to have a very large to do list and not much time. So lots to look forward too!

Don’t forget to check out Cee’s post for the details and see what everyone else is writing.

I hope you all have a fantastic week, happy snapping…

~ Julz

 

Summer Outings – Exhibition Buildings

I feel like it’s been forever since we just went out with photography friends and shot, chatted and just hung out. I know it’s really only been a few weeks, but still it’s good to relax and have a few laughs. This is the old Royal Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne, not the new Exhibition Centre (aka Jeff’s Shed). It is a stately old building with a fountain at the front and beautiful gardens surrounding it all. At night the lights are turned on and it is all like a Summer wonderland. This is one of those things on my Smaller Bucket List, kept meaning to do it, but just never quite found the right time to go, until now.It’s not difficult to get to or to find, it was just a matter of timing.

We did some long exposures, but not enough cloud to make the skies really interesting, and no real sunset to speak of. Then once it was dark the lights came on and we shot for a few hours. It was a warm pleasant evening to shoot and chat amongst ourselves. There really isn’t much more to say, I’ll leave you with the gallery…

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You can read more about the buildings and grounds here, there is often exhibition on here and well worth a visit.

~ Julz

With thanks…

Last week I was feeling a little sorry for myself about my exhibition and and wrote a blog post and a bit of a rant, to kick myself in the butt and just get over myself.It was honest and open about the issues many artist have to deal with, it was also upbeat and positive and perhaps even a little uplifting and a relieve to write it.  I posted it here and posted a copy in my Awake Group…….both groups I felt ‘safe’. I know I am supported and I know people enjoy my art and I know I am not alone with the feelings that I had. But I must admit I was still overwhelmed by the response I got.

The feedback I got was awesome, so many people thanked me to being so raw and honest, and they could relate to everything I said and it inspired THEM. So many people said such lovely things about me and my art………which was a little self love I needed (I know it sounds egotistical, but then again I am an artist) and I truly thank everyone for that. My Awake Group were amazing and I still finding it surprising that so many people think they are alone (I know I did once too), and are shocked when someone they look up to or follow or whatever admits to self doubt and having off days. I know that some of the people I admired when I first joined the group and thought of a mini legends are just normal people, the more I meet and talk to them the more I realise they are just like me and the people coming through the ranks now are just like I was.

I used to see someone else’s great piece of art and get a little jealous (Silly and stupid) and think Man I wish I could create like that, then there are other pieces which, while I can appreciate the work that went into it, I just don’t really like. I have learned that I can be happy for other people, I can love their art, as THEIR art and still create my own. And there are people out there who can appreciate the work and skill in my images, but not like the images. I can honestly stop comparing myself to other artists, I can look at their art and be inspired by it, or simply just enjoy looking at it, sometimes I am triggered to create something that I would not of thought of without seeing theirs, this does not mean I am copying, just means my Muse was inspired. My art is MY ART, I can be nobody other than myself. I can explore and learn new things, but above all else I must remain true to myself.

If I find myself complaining (and lets face it, sometimes it’s hard not too), I think back on some amazing people and videos I have watched…..this life does not owe me anything, no one ever promised things were going to easy, nobody ever promised me success. I don’t need more gear to make great art ( sure I want toys, toys are fun, I just don’t need them to make great art), what I have is sufficient. I don’t need to travel to exotic places for amazing photography (and again, sure I love to travel, but I don’t need too), there is amazing things in my own suburb and local towns & countryside.

Most of all, learn to take chances and not be scared of the unknown, fear can keep us safe, but it can also hold us back….but the unknown future holds so many exciting adventures and wonderful possibilities if we just take the chance.

So again I would like to tank everyone who commented and said how brave I was………possibly, but I was just being honest with myself – and yes sometimes that takes bravery.

Thank You xox

~ Julz

The sweet life – Cupcakes

I had been very enamoured of Desley Jane’s wonderful macaron macro shoot, I said we should do cupcakes! And of course she said yes, so we did; sometimes we’re just like that! Poor Desley, had a morning which did not quite go to plan so we had a late start………I was playing with some other stuff while waiting, so I was happy.  We then popped over to the nearest shopping centre and grabbed some lunch, a few bits and pieces (honestly we are hopeless, as much as push each other to big and better, we are sometimes enablers and hopelessly inept at staying out of trouble…not in a big way, just naughty little things, fun & messy, and probably a little unpredictable lol……….but I’m getting off topic here.

To say everything was a disaster is a little extreme but not far from the truth, the cupcakes were not packed properly and we were perhaps a little lax in their treatment as the end result was messy cupcakes all squished in together, not very pretty for photography, not at all. We managed to salvage some and played with those……I was having weird macro lens issues (something is rattling – not good, although the photos are fine), it became quite warm on the back deck in the sun, 26C turned into 30+C and it got quite hot, not good for cupcakes (or us), so we popped them in the fridge and played with some gorgeous pink gerberas and other bits and pieces……..I was looking for a mad hatter style tea party, not sure what I ended up with?

And the cupcakes? Well we saved a few, but they were all delicious!

As the cupcakes were mostly ruined we decided to really have some messy fun and do a cake smash………so we moved it in to the studio, where it was a touch cooler and it all went down hill from there, I might leave that for another post, oh it also involves flames, vodka and a baked Alaska……….but like I said that is for another post :-); I’m such a tease lol.

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~ Julz

Share Your World – Jan 30th 2017

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Joyful Flight

What is the most incredible natural venue that you’ve ever seen in person? Are you kidding? Oh My where to start, sun rises over Uluru and Kata Juta, sun rising over The Remarkables (NZ) with fresh snow, Milford Sound (NZ), helicopter flight over Kings Canyon (NT) New Zealand (take your pick too many spot to choose), 12 Apostles (great Ocean Road), Cape Tribulation, Church of the Good Shepherd. Stop me now…

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How many siblings do you have? What’s your birth order? [I refuse to admit, that I actually have an older brother] – Only child with a dead head/idiot in the family somewhere. You cannot pick and choose your family, Huh? What a crock, my friends are my family and I have a wonderful family.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why? Flip Flops (we call them thongs here in Australia)……I live in them Winter or Summer, so comfortable and reliable, but when they snap…………you KNOW it!

What is the strangest/weirdest thing you have ever eaten? I am a bit of a sook sometimes, if it wriggles I am not overly interested……however I have had witchetty grub soup……tastes a lot like peanut butter. I have also had snake, croc, emu, buffalo, and kangaroo.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  I am so grateful to all my friends (see above aka family) who came to say hello and support me at my gallery exhibit last Friday.

This selfi is just a few! I was also grateful for a four day weekend, I wish we had more of them! This week, I am an open book……….it feels really weird, last year just about every weekend was booked up with stuff, this year I am taking things a little slower, but I am working hard behind the scenes to get new projects started and other exciting things happening.

~ Julz

Monday Musings…

Not quite so manic this week, although it probably should be, this afternoon I drop my pieces off for my upcoming exhibit…it has certainly been an experience. Last week was running from here to there, organise prints, pick up prints, frame prints (find one frame damaged and had to take back to get changed over)…….stress, stress, stress…….no wonder I ended up hurting my back/neck again ! (Oh woe is me)…trip to the physio has me on the road to recovery.

I finished off Brooke Shaden’s 20 Day Portfolio challenge, wow that was an eye opener and a soul searching experience, still learnt a lot about myself, my art and some things I need to work through. Met some great creatives and hopefully we can all keep in touch.

I had another two pieces of my Dapper Rabbit series published, also had a piece published on with the Gallery of Refined Art, as well as another nomination. So that is all exciting. Spent Saturday playing with some stuff in the studio, had a brilliant idea for a small series after a Spark on the Weekly Photo Challenge – Graceful

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I am learning that sometimes simple is best, not always, but I am appreciating making truly great art from minimal distractions.

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Pomegranate Still Life

And then Sunday went from simple to complicated, but oh so much ewy gooey fun! I was very enamoured of Desley Jane’s wonderful macaron macro shoot, I said we should do cupcakes! And of course she said yes, so we did, honestly it was one disaster after another, but as per usual lots of laughs….but more on THAT later.

So this week is a short week work wise, just as well plenty to do, we celebrate Australia Day on Thursday in a typically Australian way, by taking Friday off and having a long weekend! We were actually going to go away, but the exhibit sort of put all that on hold………I suppose we could still get away, and maybe a few day trips if it isn’t too hot. Well that’s it for now……..

~Julz

 

 

 

Share your World – Week 2, 2017

Each week Cee challenges us to share our thoughts, our dreams, our quirks with the world, last year I was a bit hit and miss, this year I am attempting to be more regular; 2 for 2, so far, so good 🙂

If you lost a bet and had to dye your hair a color of the rainbow for a week, what color would it be?  Lost a bet, who are you kidding, I have done it for fun!! I have had red and purple and pink. The only problem that frustrates me is that my hair wont hold colour very well and it fades so quickly…….so rather than spending a small (or is that large) fortune on hair dye I gave up and am sandy blonde/ mouse brown these days.

If you could choose one word to focus on for 2017, what would it be? Actually I was just discussing this with another blogger yesterday, I want BRAVER to be my word for this year. 2016 I was Brave……….I did so much, learnt so much, met so many wonderful people and I achieved some phenomenal goals. 2017 I want to be even Braver big emphasis on the ‘R’. It’s funny the things I did last year I was so scared of doing and now seem common place………I want to move my comfort zone again! You know what really scares us in life? Fear………that’s it FEAR of whatever. I hate heights; yet I pushed myself to fly in a helicopter – AMAZING – I am terrified of talking to strangers……some of those strangers are now my friends! I want more this year and I am going push myself to get it, be brave and step forth little grasshopper!

What was one thing you learned last year that you added to your life? See previous statement lol. Seriously, I am an artist, a damn good one. I am an artist that deserves to be published, printed and purchased. I am talented and imaginative, slightly crazy and erratic and I now embrace that. I am Middle aged, I am fat, I am unfit, I am no beauty queen…….but people love me for who I am on the inside, I mean really like me. For years I was shy and self conscious because I felt unworthy. Now I am slowly but steadily moving out of the shadows and into the bright light. It all sounds so silly, but it is amazing and life changing. WOW I went deep there huh?

If life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’… which fruit other than a cherry would you be..? Definitely something where you have to peel back layers; maybe a banana? I am sweet and a little bent? A dark sweet/sour cherry does seem to fit my personality. Maybe a lemon, looks nice and fresh and sunny, but can be very sour and bitter? lol Maybe not…….maybe I’ll stick with the banana, I like bananas.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Every week I just say I am grateful for life in general, but let’s try some specifics. I started the Brook Shaden’s 20 Day Portfolio challenge; WOW! as per usual Brooke hits the soft spots, I have met some amazing people and learnt a lot about my own art, how I see the world and how much of a mess my online portfolio is. I jump around with my art so much, but I have learned as much as I really like tinkering around with image manipulation and composites, my favourite pieces of art are actually my concept shoots; The Masks we were series, Dapper Rabbit Series, the Lady in Red Series and my new one you have not yet seen.So I think I will maybe concentrate on that a little more. Either in whole series or just more separate shots. I also need to up my game on my portfolio………but these things take time.

Buddy (the dog) goes back to the vet for his 5 week post op check tomorrow, hopefully they will give us the go ahead to start taking him for small walks…….he is feeling really good and wants to walk and run and god help us, jump on the furniture! He is suffering from cabin fever and so is our other dog, who has had many walks either. It will be so good to get them both back outside, even if only for a little while. I am hoping we will soon be able to let him roam freely on our own property outside as well, it’s not big, but there are steps and rocks to climb up and down.

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Hidden Costs

I have another Concept shoot tonight, which will prove interesting, using my youngest daughter as a model again. I have been wanting to do another shoot, she has the most amazing LONG, long hair and she said I had better shoot before tomorrow, as she is getting it all cut off and donating to wigs for cancer patients; what a wonderful thing to do! She has spent the last nine years growing and tomorrow it all comes off, so tonights shoot will be a sort of last hoorah!

Well that’s it, I hoped you enjoyed this week’s post…………til next week, happy snapping.

~ Julz