Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it. And in many ways it is my journal of everyday life. If you click on the Index you can see my posts under various topic headings.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
Most recently I have been enjoying exploring other art genres, including Eco-printing with Australian leaves onto cloth and paper.
I hope you enjoy scrolling through my blog. To visit other pages, please click on the tabs above, or go to my Blog Archive on the side bar. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of any of my posts. I value your messages and look forward to hearing from you.If you like my work, and would like to buy a print, or commission me for some work, please go to my "contact me" tab.
Thank you for visiting my blog and helping me "step into the light".

Welcome!

Welcome!
PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO GO TO MY RED BUBBLE STORE.

Monday, 20 August 2018

There's discoveries to be found in a book

I don't know if you are a reader, but I've been a reader as long as I can remember. I always have a book to read when I go to bed at night. Sometimes I am lucky to have time to read during the day...but sadly not often. 

I have found memories of borrowing books from the travelling library van that came to our house during the school holidays, and laying engrossed on the cool lino of the passage in the heat of summer reading the latest Milly-Molly-Mandy book, or Enid Blyton's Secret Seven or the Famous FIve series. And oh! the delicious smell of a new reading book!

I love to see my grandies reading when they come to my house. It is so much better to hold a real book in your hands rather than an e-reader don't you think?


The last couple of weeks I have been relieving in our local primary school library while the library officer is on leave, and I am very happy to be there for book week and to see the fabulous array of short listed and awarded books for the Childrens Book Council of Australia 2018 children's book awards.

There are so many wonderful books being created for children with amazing illustrations. In in this world of digital technology I think there is so important to introduce children early to the wonderful world of books. Visuals attract us, so a great cover and illustrations are very important.


2018 is the 72nd year of the Children’s Book Council of Australia book of the year awards and the theme for this year is "Find Your Treasure".
From the 444 entries and 36 shortlisted titles, the judges selected one winner and two honoured books for the five categories and one winner for the Crichton Award for New Illustrators.

“Professor Margot Hillel OAM, Chair of the CBCA National Board said, “This is our 72nd Book of the Year Awards and the high number of engaging, imaginative and inspiring stories that continue to be published for young Australians each year is very encouraging, particularly in an age where digital technologies compete for their time and attention.”

 I haven't personally had time to read the winning books as yet, but I intend to do so over the next week at school. 


The Book of the Year for younger readers is “How to Bee” by Bren MacDibble.
 Peony lives with her sister and grandfather on a fruit farm outside the city. In a world where real bees are extinct, the quickest, bravest kids climb the fruit trees and pollinate the flowers by hand. A story about family, loyalty, kindness and bravery, set against an all-too-possible future where climate change has forever changed the way we live.

Honoured in this section were “Henrietta and the Perfect Night” by Martine Murray and “Marsh and Me” by Martine Murray. 

The Early Childhood book of the year is “Rodney Loses It” by Michael Gerard Bauer and illustrated by Chrissie Krebs.

Rodney was a rabbit who loved nothing more than drawing. He never found it tiresome, tedious or boring. But then one day, disaster struck, the one thing Rodney feared, while working at his drawing desk his pen just… DISAPPEARED!  A truly hysterical search for a missing pen.

Honoured in the Early Childhood section was “The Very Noisy Baby” written and illustrated by Alison Lester and “Hark, It’s Me, Ruby Lee” by Lisa Shanahan and Illustrated by Binny.
Picture Book of the Year is “A Walk in the Bush” written and illustrated by Gwyn Perkins -

“A story about the wonders of nature, the funny side of life and spending time with the ones we love.”
Honoured books in the Picture Book section were “The Great Rabbit Chase” written and illustrated by Freya Blackwood and “Mopoke” written and illustrated by Phillip Bunting. 

The Eve Pownall Award for factual information was awarded to “Do Not Lick This Book” by Idan Ben-Barak and illustrated by Julian Frost.  Honestly what child could resist picking up a book with a name like that! 
A brilliantly simple, funny, interactive picture book that introduces children to the strange, unseen world of microbes all around them through the character of Min the microbe.

Honoured in this section were “Left and Right” by Lorna Hendry and Koala by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Julie Vivas.

The Crichton Award for New Illustrators went to “Tintinnabula” written by Margo Lanagan and illustrated by Rovina Cai. Rovina's illustrations are truly amazing. 

"In wild times and in wartime, in times of fear and illness, I go to Tintinnabula, where soft rains fall."  

Tintinnabula is a picture book that explores light and shade. Through a poetic narrative, the story looks at the different things that can confront us, while conveying the message that in times of trouble it is often within ourselves that we find comfort.


The Book of the Year for older readers was "Take Three Girls" by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood. This lively novel captures the good and the bad of female friendship"
Honours in this section were awarded to to Mallee Boys by Charlie Archbold and In the Dark Spaces by Cally Black. 

For more information please go to the Childrens Book Council of Australia - www.cbca.org.au/
I hope you have enjoyed this short look at the 2018 Children's Books of the Year Awards in Australia. What was your favourite book as a child, what is your favourite book now? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments. 

It is hard for me to pin them down exactly to one book, but as a child some of mine were the "Milly-Molly-Mandy" books and just about anything written by Enid Blyton,  and currently Kate Morton's "The Forgotten Garden", but I also adored recently, "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Have you read them? I recommend them to you if you haven't.

 Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Art and Business

The question I am asking today is "do art and business go together?" And the answer is "absolutely", but how can we make it work for us, and have balance in our life too.

Diversity in my art practise - Homewares and greeting cards printed with my photography, leaf prints on scarves, prints and greeting cards, paper flower making.

If you are a working, professional artist you probably spend the majority of your time on your art, but you need to work on the business side of your art practise too. If we want to survive as an artist we need to make some money to pay the bills. Many artists juggle their time between doing their art and working a full or part time job in order to survive. 

You need to ask yourself what do you want from your art. Is it a passion that you have to do regardless of the returns, or are you trying to live off your earnings. It wasn't until I retired that I could spend more time on my art, and I still don't make a full time income from it. But it is something I enjoy, and it makes me enough that if I want to buy something for my photography, like a new lens or camera, I use the money I've earned from my business.

On the weekend I went to a workshop, 'Art and Business', conducted by artist Andrew Frazer, who is the founder and creative director of the Bunbury street art project Six Two Three Zero. I had been to a couple of Andrew's hand lettering workshops in the past and I knew he was a very enthusiastic presenter.  So I looked forward to meeting up with him again.

Here are a few points that came out of the workshop that, if you are an artist, you might want to consider. Of course there are the more practical aspects of insurance, record keeping, accounting, tax, business registration numbers, etc etc, which I am not going to go into here.

** There is always someone out there doing something better than you. Celebrate your individual craft and don't give up! Create something unique and take a risk.
Experimenting with leaf-prints on paper

** Balance your time. Don't forget those around you while you are pursuing your dreams. Your family are an important part of your life, and so spend quality time with them.

** Be focused when you are working on your craft. Being focused will lead to productivity. 

** Schedule regular breaks and give yourself time to breathe, reflect and refresh. Go for a walk!

** The customer is valuable, but they might not know how to connect with you. Take a risk and put yourself out there. (I entered one of my leaf-prints in an art competition in May, and unexpectedly won the "emerging artist award")

** Look everywhere for inspiration, not just within your field of art.

** Always carry a notebook or sketch book or camera to put down ideas and inspiration. 


** Your portfolio or website or blog is a visual representation of your work. Make it as professional and the best that you can. You might have diversity in your work, but you need a thread that binds it all together. Keep your CV on file, and update it regularly. Document your work.

** Which artists do you admire? What were they doing 5, 10, 20, 30 years ago? Just looking at their current work can be disheartening. At one time they were just starting out too, just like you.

** See the bigger picture. Seek out people who have a similar ethos to you. Develop partnerships and relationships.  Don't see these people as competition. Find opportunities to work with other artists. 


** If a project doesn't seem to be a good fit for you, it is ok to say no, and refer them to someone who you think might be able to do the job better. (I have done this a couple of times).

** What are galleries and agents offering? Is it worth the commission they will take from your sales? What is the evidence of the benefits of exhibiting with them?  An agent can generate/source work for you at a cost.

** Don't say yes to every 'work for free' offer in return for 'exposure' that comes your way. Only commit to those projects you are passionate about. Limit the number you do. You cannot pay your rent with 'exposure'.

** Get out and make connections with potential clients. Be on the look out for projects. Connect with businesses you like. Showing your work in context is valuable. 
I exhibited at an art trail early this year, and it was a very valuable day for me, both from sales and exposure. 
**  Be open to opportunities when they come along and spread your potential opportunities. Link into tenders.

** Expand your business and diversify - workshops, artist talks, posters, prints, greeting cards, TShirts, homewares. (I do this through Red Bubble). Diversifying will help make your business sustainable.




**  If a project is not working, walk away and come back later. Don't self-sabotage yourself. Just because you are having a bad day doesn't mean your whole life is going to be like this.

** Don't overshare and don't be a slave to social media.  Go in, look, comment, and then get out of there!Yes, you need to connect with your followers, but be careful of how much time you spend on social media, as it is sucking up productive time.
** Pricing is difficult, find a balance. Time is difficult to charge, but don't undercut yourself, and don't go cheap on materials you purchase. 

** Everyone is busy, so do follow up on quotes you have given. Don't overspend on marketing, schedule your time, support local and build relationships.  

And in the meantime, keep the pot of inspiration brewing.

Thank you so much for stopping by. If you are an artist, I hope you have found something valuable in these little hints. Is there something you do that has worked well for your art business? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments. 

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
   
Eco-prints on paper
All Seasons
Mosaic Monday 
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

If you are a blogger you can link up to Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global right here -

Monday, 6 August 2018

A walk in the bush with my 50mm lens

On the weekend I had the opportunity to go bushwalking. It really is wonderful to get away from suburbia and be immersed in the clean crisp air and the quietness of the bush. And best of all to take my camera with me. For me this is a great way to forget about, for a time at least, whatever else is going on in the world out there. 


I took with me my 50mm lens for my camera. By taking only this one lens with its fixed focal length I was forced to look at things differently. I couldn't zoom in, and I couldn't take macro photos but there was still plenty I could do. 

Being still winter, the wildflowers haven't opened yet, but the buds are forming and getting ready to burst into flower. The plant below is called water bush - bossiaea aquifolium. It has yellow flowers and the leaves cup any falling rain and shower it on you if you brush past. There was a little caterpillar on one of the leaves.
Below is the Prickly Hakea - Hakea amplexicaulis. Can you see the bud in the middle of the last leaf? The flowers form in the centre of each of those leaves coming up the stem. These will still be a couple of months before they flower.



Below is one of the Banksias. I took this photo from below the tree looking up. Near this tree I spied a new banksia pushing up through the leaf litter.



 More leaves

Don't discount the browns


And looking up. It had clouded over when I took this photo, but I rather like the affect.




 And catching the light



And playing with some creative blur
And photographing into the light.



Do you have a 50mm lens? If you "google" there are lots of places on the net where you can find out more information about using your 50mm lens. Here are a couple I found.

Digital Photography School - 5 Creative Uses for the Super Versatile 50mm lens
 Audreyannphoto - Tips for using a 50mm lens

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.  

You might also like -
Enjoying the Australian bush 
Down in the woods today 
Celebration of the Australian Banksia

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

If you are a blogger you can link up to Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global right here!



Monday, 30 July 2018

The Swing

Winter in Western Australia can bring some beautiful clear sunny blue sky days, and so it was on Sunday afternoon when we took our grandsons down to the playground along Koombana Bay in Bunbury. This playground opened in early 2018 and since then has been very popular with families and a great place for picnics along the sheltered shores of this family friendly safe beach. 


While we were there a girl was swinging on one of the swings, and it brought to mind a song I used to sing as a child when I was swinging on our back yard swing. My Dad had built us the swing attached to the side of his shed. And I used to try and swing so high that my feet would be level with the roof of the shed. A bit like what this girl in the photo below appeared to be doing. Watching her took me back to those years.


How do you like to go up in a swing,
   Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
   Ever a child can do! 


Up in the air and over the wall,
   Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
   Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
   Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
   Up in the air and down!

The swing tree
 
After I came home I searched on the net for the words to the poem (though I knew it as a song) and discovered that the poem was written by Robert Louis Stevenson. I only knew of his works Treasure Island (which we had studied as a novel in first year high-school), and Kidnapped. I don't know if I really enjoyed reading about the adventures of Jim with the pirate Long John SIlver, but study it I did, and I still have my copy of this book. 
I didn't know until yesterday that Robert Louis Stevenson had also written children's verse. First editions can still be purchased.


" First published in 1885, the first printing of A Child's Garden of Verses ran 1000 copies by Longhaus, Green and Co in London. This book was not illustrated until the 1896 edition, published 2 years after Stevenson's death. The collection contains about 65 poems, and many of the poems, including “The Land of Counterpane,” take a positive perspective on Stevenson's own childhood which was plagued by sickness. He dedicated the work to his nurse Alison Cunningham. 

Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, musician and travel writer. (13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) Although he died at just forty four years old and suffered from ill health the majority of his life he managed to travel and write extensively in that short period. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Kidnapped, and A Child's Garden of Verses."
 biblio.com.au

Since then the book has been illustrated many times. One of the earliest illustrated editions was in 1905, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith, it had a coloured illustrated title page and 12 full page colour plates, plus line drawings throughout.

How glorious are these illustrations!  I cannot confirm if the line drawing below is by Jessie Willcox Smith, but the colour illustration are.

Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith


Clicking on the link will take you to a selection of the poems.  A Child's Garden of Verse

And to finish a quote from the man himself - 


Thank you so much for stopping by. Did you know that Robert Louis Stevenson wrote poetry? Did you enjoy swinging as a child? Do you still swing? I think I need to ask my son to erect a granny style swing under the trees at his new place - no swinging my legs up high for me now though!

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.