Glow

Every phase of the moon is magical.  Each has a beauty all of it’s own.  Like the moon, each and every phase of your life is glorious.  Embrace change.  Love every phase you enter.  You are a miracle of the universe.  Allow yourself to glow……..Livonne

Glow

Glow

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Transformation

We must allow our yesterdays to die to ensure tomorrow’s transformation……Livonne

I’ve wanted to shoot a mermaid for a while now.  I have created a few mermaids but I haven’t shot them specifically to be a mermaid.  I have taken photos that I’ve eventually made into one, but haven’t specifically had the vision of one when shooting.  So I began to plan one.

I found a pink mermaid tail on Ebay a while ago and then a few weeks ago started looking for a mermaid.  A friend gave me the number of someone who might be interested and I was thrilled when she said yes.  I was very lucky that this particular lady also creates costumes so she set to work making a matching top while I worked on a head dress.

I knew I wanted her in water but how to do that when you live in a place that can turn very cold, very quickly.  Planning an outdoor shoot is always precarious, so I had to think outside the square.  I was walking through a department store when I saw a cheap blow up pool and grabbed it.  Trouble was, it was bigger than what I was planning but that didn’t cross my mind when I walked out with my purchase.

It was only when I got it home that I thought about the logistics.  Not just blowing it up but also finding where to put it.  I decided I wasn’t going to let small details get in the way of this, so I borrowed a electric pump and set it up in my lounge.  I placed a tarp and a thick blanket underneath and set it up near the back door, so if I needed to drag it out quickly in case it leaked, I could.

The lovely Kirsty from KLB Images came and helped me set it up, fill it and be my eyes and ears (assistant) for the shoot.  She notices details I don’t always see which is great.  I get so into the story that I miss things that matter, like hair across a face or a crooked headdress.  I worked on my beautiful model’s make up and hair while the pool was filling (courtesy of a hose from the hardware store, attached to the kitchen sink) and eventually we were ready to go.

My lovely mermaid Lenore was an absolute natural.  I could tell she’d done dance by her movements.  The way a person positions their hands can make or break a photo and she had the perfect hands.  She got in the pool (thankfully filled with warm water) and away we went.

With all the things happening in my life at the moment, I knew I wanted to portray the message that keeps appearing at the moment.  That is that if you really want a new life, you have to be prepared for the death of an old one, or at least parts of it.

My mermaid looks beautiful but tragic, caught in a fisherman’s net and seaweed, unable to save herself.  However if you look closely, she is beginning to transform into a human with her tail splitting open to reveal legs.  Just as the caterpillar appears to die before transforming into a butterfly, so the mermaid has to say goodbye to the ocean to become a beautiful young woman, walking upon the earth.

Of course, I watched The Little Mermaid as I was organising it all.  I love Ariel and while her story was a happily ever after, she had to give up a lot to gain the love and life she wanted..  It’s all about priorities and compromise.

Transformation

Transformation

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The set up

My Reality

I’m not crazy. My reality is just different from yours……..Chesire Cat

I just had another memory pop up on Facebook that tells me it is 2 years since I turned my friend Trish into the Mad Hatter.   While I’ve featured one of these images before, why not re-share for an anniversary.

I’m so busy at the moment with lots of different projects so all is a little quiet on here as the images I’m doing for an exhibition won’t be seen until they are hanging on the wall.  Even the models won’t see the ones I choose to exhibit until they’re in place.

Today though, I’m delving back into my fantasy bag of tricks and have a mermaid coming to visit this afternoon to have a photo taken.  I’m quite excited about this.  After all, Ariel, The Little Mermaid is my favourite Disney princess along with Cinderella.  Stay tuned for these images over the next week but for now, I hope you enjoy revisiting West of Wonderland.

 

On Gossamer Wings

Think of the happiest things.  It’s the same as having wings….Peter Pan

A while ago I went to a garage sale and saw the most gorgeous little gold dress.  I knew I had to have it.. It was a simple design but I knew it belonged on a faerie.  I didn’t see it as most people would…. I saw the gossamer wings that belonged on the back of it and the sparkles of faerie dust that would dance around it, making it sparkle in the sunlight.  It made me so happy to put it in my car and take it home.  I put it straight onto a mannequin so it could inspire me to create my faerie.

I met the lovely Annica and knew that this dress would be perfect on her.  So, along with Kirsty,  the best assistant in the world (and one hell of a sports photographer), we went to a little creek here in Katoomba and got our glitter on.  We climbed over rocks and sticks to get the right look and I have to say, when I’d finished I was thrilled with the result.  I changed the colour in one of the images and left it gold in the other.

It’s not always the big wins that make us the happiest.. Finding the perfect dress for a shoot may not be someone else’s idea of perfection but it is mine.  Sometimes it’s the smaller things that put the biggest smiles on our faces.  And thinking of the happiest things IS the same as having wings.  Yes indeed!!

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On Gossamer Wings

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Reflections

If These Walls Could Speak

If these walls could speak, the screams would echo through the ages….Livonne

I am so far behind the eightball with this website this year and I just realised I hadn’t posted about an exhibition I was involved with earlier this year.  I was chosen as one of the artists to present an exhibition at the historic Woodford Academy in the Blue Mountains.

It was aptly named If These Walls Could Speak, and if you’ve ever been to the Woodford Academy you’d know why.  It is one of the oldest buildings in the mountains and has a long, varied and sometimes tragic past.  Very important in Aboriginal history, the land became the site of a hotel and later in it’s life, a school.

This building is said to be haunted and I have to tell you, when I went there to scope out what I wanted to create for the exhibition, I felt the energy of past inhabitants.  There is an eerie feel about the place.  I ended up creating five images, all based on the spirits that I felt while I was there.  It wasn’t my imagination playing tricks on me, this place has some lingering spirits and they make their presence felt.

I walked upstairs to one of the bedrooms which is said to have been inhabited by Jessica McManamey who was the daughter of the original school master.  I went to the window and had an overwhelming feeling of wanting to jump.  I could then feel a frenetic energy swirling around in the room, from one place to another and to another.  There was a feeling of being trapped.  It was then I knew I had to create what I felt and Longing to Escape was the result.

Walking back down the stairs, I walked into what was the original bar room and on one wall is a beautiful Cartouche painted around the door frame.  I felt an overwhelming sadness surround me and our wonderful guide told us that it was probably painted by an itinerant artist in exchange for board and lodgings. He inspired me to make Creating the Cartouche.

Walking out into the courtyard, we walked into the kitchen.  It felt like a happy place.  Jennie, my friend who was with me started to smile and told me that there was a lovely lady in there with a huge wide smile and her name was Mabel.  While I didn’t see or feel her, I felt the contentment, so decided to create Mabel’s Morning.

Walking right out back into the garden felt a bit creepy to be honest but I put that down to having heard the story of Mary James who is said to haunt the place and is known as the Lady in White.  She was said to have killed herself though her husband was charged with her murder but eventually acquitted.  As she is the most well known of the lingering spirits, I knew she wanted her story to be told and so created Searching for the Truth.

At the front of the building is a plaque which commemorates the Transit of Venus in 1874 when early star gazers came to the property to get the best view of this event.  Out in the courtyard, I imagined their excitement when they saw the planets up close through the telescopes, in a time when they couldn’t look at the surface of a planet by Googling it as we have the privilege of doing so tried to convey this with the Transit of Venus.

I was pleased with what I created in these 5 images though they were very different to the kind of work I usually do.  I also created the Online Catalogue which is worth a look.  There were 9 artists and 4 poets in this exhibition, wonderfully curated by Susan Cochrane with the assistance of Saskia Everingham.  You can have a look at all the work that was included as well as read a few bits of history by clicking here.  If you are ever here in the mountains, try to go for a tour of the Academy or perhaps join one of the ghost tours presented there.

Try One More Time

When the world says “give up”, hope whispers “try one more time”…… Author Unknown

I had a memory pop up on Facebook this morning.. I hardly ever look at or share these pop up memories as I figure I’ve lived that day…..onward and upward, don’t look back.  You know the drill.    However this morning, I was a bit taken aback to see this particular one.  You see, it was two years ago that I posted an image that I’d just made of a mermaid.

It wasn’t a new photo that I’d worked on.  I had taken this photo of the lovely Hannah much earlier while I was still at TAFE.  I had already edited it and loved the slightly cartoon effect I had put on it.  I had already stepped out of my comfort zone when I edited it first time and it was one of my favourites from my time at TAFE.  Obviously two years ago, I wanted to try something a bit different again.

I had known for a long time that I wanted to make art from photography but really didn’t have the nerve to step out of my comfort zone and try it.  Then late one night, I gave it a go and Hannah turned into Hope, my mermaid.  I have to be honest, when I’d finished it, I was quite overwhelmed.  I felt like I had finally proved to myself that I could create what my mind imagined.

In all honesty, it was a fairly simple fantasy image but it will always be one of my favourites as it was a turning point for me and my belief in myself.  I named her Hope to match the quote which suited me so well.  Hope has become my muse.  She whispers words of encouragement in my ear when I doubt myself and tells me to keep going when I sometimes want to give up.  She is more than an image.  I could probably rework the image with all I’ve since learned but I won’t, as to me she’s perfect as she is.

It amazes me that it’s really only been two  years since I started to  create what I was imagining, but then it was only in 2013 when I started studying photography, having never picked up an SLR or DSLR in my life.  All of my photos up until that point had been taken with point and shoot cameras.  It certainly has been an eventful 4.5 years but they are years that have brought me much joy.

So now, it’s onward and upward again.  I am already working on a new mermaid shoot which I’d planned before I realised this was two years ago.  Now it’s time to create lots more art as my mind imagines new worlds and scenarios.  Time to take my work up a notch again as the learning process never really ends.  But right now, I’m having a glass of wine and drinking a toast to my muse, Hope….

Hope Whispers

 

Clowning Around

My brain is the creative equivalent of a car full of clowns.  It’s so crammed full of ideas that they sometimes struggle to find their way out unscathed……..Livonne

 

I realised today that I’ve been badly neglecting this site.  I’ve been putting stuff onto instagram and to facebook but haven’t been putting anything on here.  It’s been a busy few months with the birth of my first grandchild (a gorgeous little girl to make my heart sing) and a trip overseas but I’m now back to earth again and ready to throw myself into being the best creative I can be.  I’m busy   working on a movie poster for an upcoming film at the moment, so over the next few weeks, I’ll start to add some of the images I have created over the last few months.

2018 is going to be even busier than 2017 turned out to be and I can’t believe we’re only 4 months away from it.  I have an exhibition planned for the end of this year and 2 for next year so it’s a very exciting time of my life.  It’s amazing what can happen in your life when you start to believe in yourself.

In my life, I’ve had a bit of a love hate relationship with clowns.  As a child and teenager I loved them.  I even had a clown persona for fetes etc.  Her name was Marshmallow.  I loved clowning and to see excitement on children’s faces and smiles from adults.  I adored the wistful nature of Pierrot clowns and was drawn to the eyes of sad clowns.  Over the years I built up quite a collection of them.  Then I saw Steven King’s IT and the love affair ended.  I wish I’d never seen it.  I hate horror movies.  But I did and it affected my    relationship with clowns.

Recently, I decided to finally put Pennywise the evil clown behind me and get back to the joy that clowns can bring.  So, what better way than to create my own circus of them.  I asked the gorgeous Josie and Kirsty to be my models and the rest, as they say, is history.  I love the whimsy these beautiful girls brought to the photoshoot.  I hope you do too.  So, I’m sending in the clowns..