It's YOU! Hello! Nice to see you! Here you will find stuff about living a creative life in country Australia. I create with watercolour, pen, collage, mixed media and photos. I teach, hosts workshops, collect, dream. I love cheese, travel, my garden, faffing, colour and whimsy. I am crap at time management, and do way too many things, but it is all good. Oh yes, all pictures and photos on here by me too, just saying.

Sunday 18 September 2016



green pears in blue bowl, ink and watercolour

Next month I have an exhibition with a very talented and wonderfully gifted artist called Fiona Chandler. It is kinda interesting how it all happened actually.

Fiona used to have a ragingly successful homewares company - and I used to see the products in her range in home magazines, and actually CRAVE some of them. 

Fiona, unknown to me, was also an artist though.

I am not sure how, but I stumbled upon her name on Instagram, and recognised it because her Insta handle is the same as the homewares brand she used to have. I was intrigued if it was the same person, and it was then when I stalked her feed I realised she actually was an artist, who did watercolour. 

I began to watch her feed, and was intrigued by her use of colour, and loved her style. 

I ended up emailing her, asking if I could get in touch... especially when I saw that she was running watercolour workshops at one of my fave places in Sydney. She graciously agreed, and we eventually ended up talking on the phone. She was actually on speakerphone as she created about 3000 handmade flowers! She gave me great, sage advice, and was very kind.

Apart from being amazed at how gracious she was, I was also blown away because it turned out that Fiona had actually gone to the same Uni as me, and done the same courses me, just a year ahead. We knew all the same lecturers etc. Small world!

Then a few weeks after that, I was clearing out some stuff, and found my scrapbook of HOMES I LOVE, you know, olde style, paste and paper, pre-Pinterest! And blow me down, oh my giddy Aunt, there it was, one of the homes that I had always LOVED, was actually HER HOUSE ... because I saw her name and realised it was she!


Is it not strange, the way the universe works?

So now, fast forward, and we have this exhibition together. Totes fab.

Except that in typical Shani fashion, I am feeling as nervous and as anxious and as freaked out as can possibly be. Because she is AMAHhhhhZING. And suddenly I am terrified that next to her my work will look shithouse and pre-school amateur. Her work is refined, and resolved, and has a running cohesive theme. I LOVE it.x 

magnolia abstract, watercolour and inks

My stuff is all over the shop, and totally not cohesive. Believe me, I have tried, but I just cannot seem to keep painting similar stuff before I get bored shitless with myself and do something different. The thing that binds it together? all has flowery and nature themes? And colour? Is that enough? GAH! I have been trying to push through and paint loveliness I am happy with. But it has been a struggle. And a joy.

blushing blooms, watercolour and inks

In fact the whole producing art thing this month has found me doing the typical artist thing of getting excited about an idea, doing it, loving it, then absolutely HATING IT, questioning whether I am any good at all and why am I bothering, sadness and deflation, then putting it aside, and coming back to it again later... and thinking it is not as bad as I thought(maybe?). Truly, I am a walking cliche.

blue magnolia abstract, watercolour and inks

So now only a few weeks before it is due to open, I am in a quiet growing panic. That inner voice is persistent, and naggy. The fear is real. It is very real.  

growing blooms, gouache acrylics water-colour and inks

Putting things you have made out there for public consumption always feels risky, and a bit like exposing yourself...anxiety knots in my stomach,and curls around it... but the alternative of just doing nothing, and letting people down is even more horrendous. 

So I guess I have to do that thing - feel the fear and do it anyway. And stop comparing... and just be happy that I have this opportunity. And just pray that the goddess of red dots is kind. And that someone out there will like my work. A bit. I tell you, us creative people are a sensitive and complex bunch. So be kind!

little barrel cactus, black ink and watercolour

            Spikey cactus, black ink and watercolour

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