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. I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist.
Focussing mainly on Western Australia and Australia, I am seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday 27 August 2018

The wildflowers are starting to pop at Crooked Brook

Spring was in the air this past weekend and the sunny morning beckoned me to be out bush walking with my camera, so we went out to the Crooked Brook Forest, located on the edge of the beautiful Ferguson Valley region only about 25 kilometre's or 20 minutes from our home in suburbia in the south west of Western Australia.  I've blogged about Crooked Brook before here on my blog.

 It is a great place for a stroll to see the spring wildflowers with 4 walks ranging from an easy wheelchair accessible sealed circuit pathway, the easy 1.5 kilometre Jarrah circuit walk, the moderate 3 kilometre wildflower walk and the 10 kiometre moderate Marri walk. 

Located in State forest, the area is managed by the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife and has been developed and maintained by the local community. As well as the walks there is a nature playground, gas barbecues and picnic shelters. 

Scattered along the walks there are sitting spots where you can stop awhile to enjoy the beauty of the bush and information plaques to help you identify some of the plants. 
Not only visited for picnicking, bushwalking and wildflowers, it is also a great place for birdwatchers. 

The wildflowers were only just starting to erupt but there was enough to keep me and my camera happy.  The wildflower above I think is one of the Hakeas or it could be a Grevillea - but like many of our wildflower bushes, very prickly!  

Please excuse my identifications, I am not a botanist, so I can't absolutely identify many plants, as Western Australia has thousands of varieties, so often I can only give you the family name, not the specifics.  Western Australia's wildflower collection is the largest on Earth, with more than 12,000 species, over 60% of which are found nowhere else.  

Flowering in Western Australia extends from July in the northern Kimberley region through to November/December on the south coast.  

Here are a few more from Crooked Brook - top left and right and centre are three of the native pea varieties,  centre top I think is Cockies Tongues - Templetonia retusa. Centre row left is one of the Claw flower varieties, centre right is Pink Fairy orchid - Caladenia latifolia, bottom left is Yellow Flag - Patersonia umbrosa, bottom centre is I think, Bush Boronia - Boronia fastigiata, and bottom right one of the wattle varieties. 

 The wattle is Australia's floral emblem, and one of Australia's most prolific flowering shrubs. It seems to be the first of the spring flowers to appear.  Great swathes of it sweep through the forest's under-storey in a blaze of glorious yellow.

Below you can see, top row from left - one of the Myrtles, a cone flower before the flower opens, one of the Dawinia family, middle row, Greenhood orchid, a sun dew, bottom row, one of the Synapheas, Jug Orchid - Pterostylis recurva, and far right I think is one of the Hakea family.

And new growth erupting from what looked like a dead tree. 

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed looking at some of the early spring flowers to be found in the Crooked Brook Forest. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.  

 For more about exploring Western Australia's wildflowers - WA Wildflowers - Tourism Western Australia

You might also like:
Crooked Brook Forest - 2017
Hunting for wild orchids in Western Australia's mid west 
Photographing wildflowers

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

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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 -