Monday’s Musings…

Isn’t funny how things that are planned can change in the blink of an eye, don’t panic nothing bad, just…….annoying.

All week I had been looking forward to my two shoots on Saturday and then my Workshop on Sunday. Last week was a bit of a stressful one and I was so looking forward to a bit of fun. The call came from Mel and Jess that Saturday afternoon needed to be postponed, that’s OK it meant we get a full day to play instead of just 1/2 a day…..so stay tuned on that one.

Then my shoot for a new model just never happened. I was all set up and ready to go, double checked and clarified everything with her a few days before. Spent Friday night and Saturday morning setting up for it all……..and then nothing. 10:00 am came and went; no message, no call, no text. I tried to contact her several times, but nothing. I still have not heard anything……….very strange. I wonder if she is OK? That’s my second no show from this particular Facebook group, I’m beginning to wonder if I should continue to use them?

So I had Saturday to my self, I played around and did a few images.

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And spent the rest of the day setting up for my Dark and Moody Still Life Workshop # 1, phew what a name huh? What a blast, so much fun, these six students had been to my beginner workshop last year, so we did a bit more exotic and advanced stuff.

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We have also been having a bit of a Movie marathon; I have been wanting to see the latest Resident Evil movie (I know I normally don’t go in for that type of movie, blood, guts, violence and zombies…can’t explain it, I adore Alice) Moth has not seen any of them, so we went back to the start. Currently seen the first four and are slowly working our way through. Gotta love a good chic flick that gets the guys in too!

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I have stuff on this week, my new exhibit opens tomorrow night, unfortunately it was the cause of most of my stress last week, this exhibit is badly organised and lots of confusion and mixed messages, and no answers to inquiries about when where who etc. I just hope it is worth the time, money and effort. I have no heard whether any more of my Alice (In Wonderland not Resident Evil) have sold from my current BSG Exhibit which finishes this week, at least selling one was super exciting.

I have been awarded the Foto Art II (Facebook Group) banner of the day for my Kangaroo pic and also been told my another of my images will appear in July issue of Fine Eye Digital magazine, as well as a in June issue of Artists Downunder, which comes out in a few days.

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I might take a few days of downtime, it’s been a busy few days. Don’t worry I have a few posts already scheduled for this week 🙂 Tieve Tara Gardens, some images for my new exhibit and a few other bits and pieces, oh and of course I will pop by everyone’s blog.

Have a great week…happy snapping

~ Julz

 

Date Night…

Well sort of I guess……Moth and I had not been out to the movies in quite some time, sure I saw Beauty and the Beast a month or so ago with Desley, but not with my poor Hubby. We are usually exhausted from our adventures to venture out at night. So last week two new movies opened of which we had wanted to see. Two movies in one weekend, now that is making up for lost time.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

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Oh my, what a completely ridiculous and whimsical film…………and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE. Starting with the open sequence………oh the joy, I was singing and grooving in my seat. Sweet baby Groot, how you capture my heart. This was action packed, with a way out there story line, hilarious one liners and unexpected moments. Yes there is a moral, yes there is a love story (well kind of), there is some fabulous back story and a killer music line up. Without giving any of it away, if you enjoyed the first movie……….you’ll LOVE this one. Since when did the sequel beat the original?

The action, the comedy, the script, the characters, the music, the CGI, the explosions….all fabulous, maybe I enjoy cheap thrills? lol. Honestly such a fabulous fun movie, probably not for little kids, but for big kids like me and Moth………….UNREAL we gave it 5 Stars *****

Alien, Covenant

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Those who know me, know I am not big on horror movies, but I don’t mind a good scary movie, but it needs a good story to keep my interest (and my dinner). I first saw Alien (Has a release date 1979, but it must have been released here in 1980) as a teenager, I enjoyed it, but apart from the chest bursting scene, it was not as graphic as the sequels and you only saw people get snatched and trails of blood, the scene with the cat was memorable and I think I first developed the ability to launch completely out of my seat during that movie 😛 .

I have dutifully seen every movie made since then (I think), including Alien Vs Predator Requiem. And I feel that each one was more ridiculous than the next. I felt as though they were just going through the motions to try to make more money. Grasping at storylines as if trying to keep a dying franchise alive……..I know, I KNow they all made copious amounts of money at the Box office, but seriously I thought quite a few were crap. Even AVPR, which was loaned to me and turned out to be a bad bootleg; with people standing up, yelling and cheering on the baddies in front of the guy illegally recording it in the movies, none of them in english either…honestly it made the movie much more exciting and funnier than it actually was!

Prometheus was a new start for the franchise and answered many questions, but alas left me with many more. I did enjoy the movie, and it was so beautifully made. The FX, the music, the CGI, were all wonderful. Covenant took off from where Prometheus left us, answering many more questions about the evolution of this Alien species, but alas, also left me with nagging doubts and I felt holes in the story line. Some things did not add up in my memory, but it has been awhile since I have seen any of the movies, so it may just be me? Also as technology and special FX have improved, so has the gore content and as much as I enjoy a good thriller and a scare every now and then, I’m not impressed by copious amounts of blood and guts.

I found myself looking at my watch, never a good indication of capturing my attention. Moth enjoyed it, and I guess I did too, just not as much as the first one. Or was perhaps a teenage me sneaking into an Adults only film made it so much more appealing? Don’t get me wrong, beautifully made, the CGI and artwork are impressive, the acting I felt was a little lack lustre from a few characters, but they don’t hang around long!

I gave it 3 Stars ***

~ Julz

Share your world – 23th May, 2017

What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? Apart from travel to various places (Egypt, Cambodia, Vietnam, Jordan, Istanbul………more, more, more), I don’t think there is anything I have left undone. I am the Just Do It girl, remember? If I want to do something I do it, I wanted to exhibit in galleries, done it (about to have my third this year), I wanted to be published in magazines, done it, now been in lots. Flew in a helicopter. I guess the only thing I have not been able to do is lose weight and get fitter.

How often do you get a haircut? Whenever it is annoying me, I have gone years without getting it cut, then get sick of it and cut it short, then get sick of cutting it and ignore for a year or two……..it’s a constant cycle.

In regards to puzzle what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search or numeric puzzles? Not a big puzzle person to be honest. I don’t mind a word search, but I get awfully frustrated with jigsaw puzzles and crosswords (unless they are ridiculously easy), occasionally I might play sudoku on an easy level. I like things to be straightforward and uncomplicated.

How many cities have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities. I’m a Melbourne girl, sure I have travelled a lot, but Melbourne has always been my home, and probably always will. I have not even really moved around much, since I left home, I have lived in 6 different houses, this current one for 16 years.

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Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Update from last week on Hayley, she is home and doing really well. I am sure she will be back modelling for me soon. Thank you for all your wishes.

I had a super fun weekend, went to the movies twice with my Hubby, caught up with a friend for coffee. We visited Tieve Tara Gardens and Hanging Rock up at Mount Macedon. I launched three Still Life Workshops and all are fully booked, with request for more. I have another two new models coming in for a shoot soon.

I have another new gallery exhibit starting next week, I have two fun photo shoots on Saturday, one with Jess and Mel (always so many laughs). I run my first Still Life workshop for the season on Sunday……..so a big weekend!

I hope you all have a terrific weekend, and I hope everyone stays safe and well, with horrible events happening in the world of late. I will spare a thought of goodwill to those involved, but I will not dwell on them, that is what THEY want. PEACE PEOPLE

~ Julz, xo

P.S. for more info, visit Cee’s page

Meet Grant Alexander McDougall

I normally don’t do street photography, I rarely strike up conversations with complete strangers on the street either, but a recent trip into Fitzroy had me cross paths with Grant, a very cool dude with whom I chatted with for a while, introduced myself, asked if I could take his photo, I gave him my business card and asked him to contact me. I probably should have gotten his details as well. I hope he does contact me…..I’d love to give him a copy of these images. As part of my year of Brave-R, I am pushing myself to expand and try things I normally would not do, challenge myself to overcome silly fears. I mean it is drummed into us as kids DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS……strangers, in some cases are just friends, you have not met yet. Others have random meaning, I may not ever meet this gentleman again, but he will have left a mark on me. I wonder if I left a mark on him?

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Isn’t it funny what Karma will throw at you if you open you heart and mind to possibilities? Have a fantastic week my friends…

~ Julz

Share Your World – 18th April, 2017

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen? I am not really phased by one of the other, if I am scribbling notes I’ll happily use a pencil, but if I am writing to someone, which I rarely do, I always use a pen. I handwrite my Christmas cards in pen, but I am sending less and less, preferring to send e-Cards.

Would you rather be an amazing dancer or an amazing singer? Singer! Although I do like to move to the rhythm as well. But I love to sing, I have said it before; in the shower, especially in the car……..shame I am not very good 🙂

If you were on a debate team, what subject would you relish debating? Why smacking your kids is a GOOD thing. Seriously don’t get me started on the half wits around now-a-days……no fear of chastisement, as they know there is nothing anyone can do. Back in my day (GOD I sound like my GrandMother!) a good smack would whip us into line and we had respect for the person handing out that smack, or in my case, belt. Honestly the world is going down a craphole and most of it could be solved if people punished their children. No I’m not talking about physical abuse, just a simple smack on the bum!

What are you a “natural” at doing? Being creative, photography took a bit to learn, and I am still learning, but it seems I am quite good at that…but it’s the art; the creative, imaginative art that sets my imagination and soul on fire. I have always had an active imagination, now I can play it out on the screen. I used to paint and I was OK, I could never seem to create what was in my minds’ eye when I painted, but digitally I can create almost anything. It’s wonderful, I wish I had discovered it years ago, but then digital art was not what it is today, is it?

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Sunrise of the Murray River, Mildura

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

So much in my life is wonderful right now, I just had a fantastic Outback Adventure, a lovely quiet Easter weekend with family and friends and now on Saturday Moth and I are off on another adventure……..this time we are hitting more of Victoria’s amazing coastline. We are picking up where we left off from the Great Ocean Road Trip and heading East; more Light houses and fabulous coastal vistas. Can’t wait, hopefully I can get some more amazing photography like last week.

On a more boring note, I have finally caught up with two years of taxation stuff and I think I have finally sorted out most of my Photography Catalogue in Lightroom……such a headache, but both of them now seem to be under control……..whew! Now THAT’s a relief.

I hope you are have a fantastic week…don’t forget to visit Cee’s SYW Page

~ Julz

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

big-magic-coverI’ve been reading a book, shocking really. For some reason I really do not read that often, well these days, anyway. I’d rather be creative with my own imagination rather than someone else’s, it seems. Also, I usually only read Fiction, mostly magic, fantasy or sci-fi, this for want of a better word is a self help book.

I am not going to insult you by saying this is the greatest book ever written (although I thought it was quite well written), I also won’t insult you by saying it changed my life…….but it did transform some of my thinking – to a degree.It most definitely made me smile, laugh and feel good.

So how is it I ended up reading it? Well I have had a few crappy weeks lately, things not going my way artistically. No one particularly to blame, it was just my shit sandwich (seriously read the book) for the month. Karma crossed my path with some videos from Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love fame), you know when you are watching something on YouTube and it links to something else, so you watch that and then it takes you somewhere else again? I ended up watching a reading by Ms Gilbert for Big Magic. Sure I have heard of her before, heard some quotes thrown around before before Kim Klassen, Sebastian Michaels and other wondrous teachers, but had never read her books. (I saw the movie Eat, Pray, Love many years ago, and I honestly can’t remember much apart from Julia Roberts was in it). Elizabeth is brutal in her honesty, slap you across the face and accept that to live a truly artistic and creative life……..you have to put up with a lot of crap, mostly from yourself!

In saying that, you do not need to spend your life beating yourself up, turning in a coke snorting, alcoholic, manic depressive who thinks the world owes him/her a better deal. In short, to lead a creative and artistic life, you need to love what you do and enjoy it. Do it because you WANT and NEED to; not because it might make you rich and famous.

I knew all that…honestly I did, but sometimes you push it down thinking that a few small victories here and there should have you rich and famous by now. I didn’t start photography to become a famous photographer, I didn’t become a graphic artist to sell thousands of paintings, and I didn’t start this blog to have millions of followers. I started all of it, because I wanted to; it caught my soul on fire.

I have a passion for photography, I enjoy portraits and newborns, I enjoy landscapes and the travel, I really enjoy the zen like meditation from my Still Life and I adore my conceptual portraits……..do I care if no-one understands them? Not really, hey don’t get me wrong it’s great when other people enjoy them; but the earth does not fall off it’s axis, babies don’t die and I am still breathing if someone doesn’t ‘get it’. In the end I created it for me and my Muse. My digital art, I throw myself on the mercy of my Muse and let her take me wherever she wishes to go, sometimes I have to work without her, but that is OK too. But if I keep working, a little bit every day; my Muse will show up……..it’s when I ignore her she goes off to sulk.

My passion and dedication doesn’t mean my art is the worlds greatest, but I should not live in fear of showing my art (I was at the start, but not now), I learned these lessons all by myself, and if I could pass this onto someone else, then I have done a good, no…..a great deed. Don’t hide yourself and your art away, if you are passionate and work at it, with persistence,  it will show. It may not make you rich and famous, but be honest; that’s not why we do it…is it? It does not matter whether you are a painter, a sculpture, a writer, a poet, photographer, a gardener, a whittler, a potter, a silver or blacksmith……….we do it because we love it….and THAT my friend is what is important.Besides no one really cares what you do (harsh but true) they are too busy with their own lives, occasionally someone will sit up, take notice and say hey that’s great, or hey that’s complete crap and then guess what? They go back to their own life.

Reading this book made me feel good about myself and my art, I can be happy in knowing that I enjoy doing it. I may never be rich or famous, I have my day job, so it doesn’t really matter. My passion costs little (well apart from the travel, but that’s my call, not my passion), I have friends and models who are happy to work with me for free (that still blows my mind, when people ask to model for me and not charge me!).If I am a good person, and my art hurts no-one then what does it matter? Maybe I am the only one who likes it? That is OK, it doesn’t matter if no-one else likes it, so it doesn’t matter if I put it out there and nothing happens; I won’t drop dead. No-one gets out of this life alive……so enjoy your time here, for however long or short it is; life is ultimately too short to be boring and unhappy. Being miserable and suffering for your ‘art’ won’t necessarily make you a better artist, but being happy and content in your work may – think about that.

Seriously if you do anything creative, or have ever wanted to, but were too scared, self conscious, too – whatever; pick up a copy of this book and read it, it will make your heart lighter and put a smile on your face, of that I am sure.

~ Julz

 

WPC – A Good Match

I missed last week, no excuse, just never quite got around to it…….so now it’s time for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge – A Good Match

They always talk about “birds and bees”, shouldn’t it be bees and flowers? Glorious little worker bees, they do such a good job, without them no flowers (or fruit) and no honey..now there is A GOOD MATCHdsc_7109

Another good match……….a rare pic of me and hubby, I love this photo, it is real, it is us, no pretense, no fake smiles and that long suffering look (and smirk) at my smart arse comments is probably on hubby face more often than he realises!jr_s-balding

I hope you all have an amazing weekend, I know I plan on it!

~ Julz

Another 52 Week Challenge – Week 28

This week’s theme from the Girl who dreams awake is Happy. To be honest, not something I am feeling just now; long story, but bad day I guess. So I guess my theme this week is Not Happy. Apologies; but to read further is turning into a rant.

I am an artist and sometimes we are a tad precious about our art, I’ll admit that, but we are often putting our hearts and emotions on the line when we create, so I think we are entitled to feel an emotional connection to our art. And while we get that not everyone will love what we do, some will…..constructive criticism can be helpful (still occasionally a bitter pill), but then there are the people who just say horrible things.

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Fractured Selves

I know in this day and age of internet trolls, there are people out there with nothing better to do than cut you down and make you feel small and insignificant, I mostly ignore them, they don’t know me and probably never will…….what really stings is when the horrible hurtful things come from your own flesh and blood; someone who should understand and be supportive, not jealous and vile and hurtful.

Honestly I should be used to it; my whole life I have had back handed compliments, but essentially told I an unworthy and any good fortune I do receive is the sheer dumb luck, not deserved through hard work. Never has my true art been completely understood “Why waste your time on that rubbish, your (flowers or insert whatever here) is quite nice, well it will be when you get good at it”. Occasionally I get a comment about how something is lovely or a heart on FB…..makes my heart sing – stupid really, because I know the next comment will be a slap in the face.

Three times this week I have had horrible comments, or just plain stupid ones, my Hubby tells me to just ignore it (I have deleted the comments from FB), but it still bites deep. I seriously am so mad, I cannot even talk to this person who quite frankly is already acting like a petulant child, I am so fed up with the crap I just want to walk away, but that little voice in my head tells me I shouldn’t they are family; a parent.

I read on WP and FB and other Social media how their Moms are their best friend, who support and understand them, I feel a pang of jealousy, but happy for them too and I know I have a supportive Mother figure in my Aunt, who I can turn to in times of crisis, but not the same.

Don’t get me wrong I didn’t have a horrible childhood or anything, just not very well supported. Funny my brother, the lying, cheating, fraudulent criminal in the family is the one they are so proud of……….WTF? Seriously? “Oh he has come such a long way since they let him out of jail, he has really turned his life around, you should give him another chance, you owe him that much” I don’t owe that lying cheating son of a bitch (funny coz he actually is) a damn thing. I have never done anything illegal or hurt innocent people, I have worked hard for everything I have got……..but apparently it was all dumb luck.

So if you have a loving supportive parent; hug them, be joyous, enjoy the bath in their warm glow of love and admiration for a job well done or a life well lived and think of us poor people who will never know how good that feels.

Apologies – rant over, if you made it to the end, thank you for listening.

~ Julz

Furbaby Friday…

Well it has been awhile and I thought I would give an update. All Fur Babies are good, buddyBuddy is several months post op from his ruptured ACL and he is doing really well, the surgeon is super pleased and so are we. It was an ordeal to go through (for all of us) but now that we are on the other side we are so glad he had the surgery. He has a small limp, which may resolve in time, but he is pain free and such a happy boy again. Now to just keep him off the furniture, as he is not allowed to climb or jump on and off things anymore (I don’t think he got the memo!) He can now walk up to 30 minutes at a time before he tires out; we still need to build up the muscle mass he lost from not being allowed to walk for 5 weeks.

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Chloe has finally figure out she is no longer a pup, and she is slowly started to slow down. Her eyes are still bothering her at times and she startles easily and then gets snappy, but they said there is nothing that can be done; it’s not like cataracts or anything. Eventually she may or may not go blind and we will deal with that when it happens. While she is still happy and healthy, we just deal with her ‘grumpy’ moods and warn people not to grab at her.

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Zorro has been banned from playing in the backyard as he finally discovered a way to escape and we have a 24 hour cat curfew, besides I am terrified he will get on the road……don’t like to think about that!But he is still trim and healthy, but not very happy; no food and no outside makes for a very grumpy black cat. I need to get Hubby to fix that part of the fence to stop him roaming and then both cats can enjoy the outside again……hopefully before Winter.

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Teddy has his good days and bad days, he has never enjoyed the good health that the other three had, a rescue cat with health issues; is going to need special care, we knew it and love him anyway. He has a huge heart and a huge attitude; but sometimes we just have to leave him be when he is having a bad day. He often struggles to keep food down, and the arthritis in his spine, hips and tail make getting around difficult some days, but not others. We have looked at getting his tail amputated but after Buddy’s surgery it’s not a path I am going to undertake lightly and only has a last resort. When his bad days start overtaking his good days we may need to make a difficult decision, but for now he is mostly happy.

All my babies are over 10 years old and while they all have lot of good life ahead of them, I see them starting to slow down and worry that their best years are behind them. As much as I love having animals, this will be the hardest bunch to deal with yet and having all of them the same age will probably make it even harder.

The turtles on the other hand will outlive both of us! Sheldon is huge (nearly 20cm from nose to tail) and needs both hands to hold him now and he is only 2! Crush, while he was stressed and being eaten and bullied by Sheldon was so small and often sick and we were in danger of losing him……..now he is in his own tank is rapidly gaining weight and has doubled his size (approx 15cm) over the last few months, still a little way to catch Sheldon, but he is getting there. He is also not as timid and is becoming more curious again. We got them new feeding tanks a little while again, so no more escapes, well at least for the moment. Sheldon sulks that he has no one to bully apart from his fish, which he chases occasionally but never seems to catch. When we consider they were barely 3cm when we got them 2 years ago. Read about when we first got them and see photos here

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Sheldon (the orange blur is a fish)

That’s it, we still have all the fish inside and out, as well as the varied wildlife that call our gardens home, and while I love to watch them, I am not so attached.

~ Julz