All posts by tribalmysticstories

Artist, Writer, Curator, Climate Activist, Anti - Violence against Women, and Entrepreneur

Leaves – Watercolour


J.K.Leahy Watercolour 2017.

I’ve been working with the basics of watercolour again and seeing more colour than dirty water on paper. The “Leaves” study is an example of clean colour.

Rescuing good habits is a result of teaching art again and as my friend Terence said, it is good because teaching is learning.  I am teaching my students and learning again, all the good habits I had forgotten.

Above is a render of leaves from my garden. Some of you may know the blood-red foliage of Euphorbia cotinifolia (Caribbean Copper Plant, or Red Spurge) which I often photograph and post here. The sap is poisonous, but this hardy small tree is a favourite because of its gorgeous foliage. I caught on camera a few coloured leaves at the end of autumn when the leaves went from green to golds and orange before they all fell. Above is a negative painting (homework) for my students who are learning different watercolour techniques. If you are in Brisbane and want to join my classes, please email me for details on joycelinleahy@gmail.com. I hope you like this study of the leaves.

 

Lik Lik Rokrok – Little Green Frog


“Liklik rokrok” means little frog in Papua New Guinea pidgin. I once designed and will be bringing back a collection of children’s T-shirts called “Liklik Rokrok”.  Watch this blog for the re-launch later this year.

Frogs play a huge role in our environment and especially the condition of our environment. I have a special affection for this little frog. It was wonderful to find a short YouTube video posted by “Love Nature” about their life and how they have changed over time. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did. It is amazing to learn about how a tiny creature could evolve throughout revolution and protect itself from predators to this day.

Bird of Paradise – Watercolour


The Bird of Paradise – Papua New Guinea

Bird of Paradise watercolour by J.K.Leahy. 420mm x 297mm on 300gms paper.

Papua New Guinea has over 30 species of the Bird of Paradise. I am currently painting this study of the male Lesser Bird of Paradise.

Painting the white feathers is simply not painting the watercolour paper with any pigment. It is not easy to add backwash to enhance the white feathers without completely covering the white paper. I didn’t want to tape or mask it out to add extra challenge…

I think my next one would be better. What do you think?

Vanishing Point – Poem


A sleepless walker strides by dusk

The Brisbane River glassed

Beyond the vanishing point, houses blackened

A large orangey pink blanket covered the sky

It reflected on the river glass

Under the trees, an egret beamed

Its milky white feathers lit the roots

The walker disturbed the egret

The bird flew towards the orangey – pinkie sky

Looking to where the bird landed in the tree

The walker spots an odd couple – he tall and large

She is tiny and frail

They stand, side by side, arm’s length apart

Their arms are each folded; awkward

They stare into the river

Maybe they were speaking about the glassy river

Or the orange sky, the sleepless walker or the egret

There is a promise of love beyond the vanishing point

The walker smiles. Maybe sleep is coming tonight

Fatoumata Diawara


Fatoumata Diawara is a favourite from the World Music scene. Those of you that are new to my blog, I like to post some of the music I listen to from across the world. If you have guessed it, you are right, I don’t always understand what they are singing about, but musicians all over the world share one universal language which my heart understands. I’m sure you can too.

Born on Ivory Coast to Malian parents, Fatoumata Diawara moved to France to pursue her music. The guitarist became critically acclaimed not only for singing, but song-writing and performing in movies. I love her music, so I hope you will  enjoy it too.

Mother’s Creations – Poem


Handmade by Freda Kauc – acrylic and wool bag. (sold).

Mother

JK.Leahy  – Poem, Memoir

A wrinkled dusky pink sheet cradles a flowered meri blouse, a laplap and a bible – a word or two in the bible is for me, she echoes…

Room scented with sea, woods, coconut oil, eucalyptus and basil

A lotto ticket to set me up for life (her farewell and a surprise gift)

“If I won,” she always said, “I would let you decide what to do with the money”

We had laughed and discussed the possibilities

On the bed, an italic old-style farewell, handwritten in a very neat prose, mixing pidgin and dialect –

“Pawi – my child, I will miss being here…”

My mother was in a plane and gone

Twelve months threaded colourful bilums, gardens, and stories,

bringing me back to the first ten years of my life.

An assortment of brown hue – sculptured gum branches stacked for winter’s fires

Through the window, her many familiar artwork marked my surroundings, reminding me of her even bossy ways

-purple and green kaukau leaves sitting neatly on mounds

“You have sweet potatoes for winter”, her voice reminds me.

The large elephant leaves of pumpkin spreads and sprout golden flowers – a promise for more food.

But, I miss her telling me her stories.

Freda Kauc mobile phone bags.

See below some of my mother’s creations. All her bilums featured here were sold before she left Brisbane for Papua New Guinea. If anyone is interested to purchase my mother’s bags – please write to: joycelinleahy@gmail.com

Freda Kauc bilum – handbag.
Freda Kauc handbag and mobile phone bag.

 

Art Experiments: Natural Pigments Plus…


Art experiment in progress. My apologies for ignoring this blog, but I’ve been learning as well as teaching myself new things. I’ve been side-tracked from blog writing. It has been an interesting time of working out and documenting what works with natural pigments and what to avoid when I make art.

This test work of a Trobriand (PNG) grass skirt has been painted and (poured on) with tea, coffee, turmeric, David Smith watercolours, watercolour ground on watercolour canvas. I’ve not used watercolour canvas before; it is quite soft and drinks less water than paper. I hope you like it.

We started our Creative Writing Workshop three weeks ago and this week tutor Isabel D’ Avila Winter gave us a fun exercise. Basically it teaches the technique of how to write a story by making connections. Class members chose and exchanged two words, a noun and an abstract noun and in ten minutes we free wrote whatever story that came into our heads in connection with those two words. Try it with your friends or a pal sometimes. You just don’t know what you can come up with. I had the words “happiness” and “feather” – which has probably led me to painting a grass skirt. For those of you that understand Papua New Guinea culture, you’ll know what I’m talking about – singsing. You can find more on singsing and related subjects in my previous posts and once I clean up the copy from the two-noun exercise, I’ll post it here.