Sometimes I have a bit of a break from painting - ideas and images are still twirling around in my mind, but still incubating. Years ago it used to bother me if I wasn’t working, but these days I know to just relax and know that it will not only come, it will come in a rush, like a faucet being opened. Then its obsessive painting till 4 in the morning, sleeping late and an anti-social lifestyle…
After I returned to Bali after my New Zealand trip in January I have been caught up with moving house, starting another online business and socializing . The art has been put on the back shelf for a while.
Creativity is still very important to my daily life however. Sometimes just driving around taking photos becomes my creative outlet but recently Ive got all small scale and detail orientated and started making fashion necklaces in order to placate my inner color Goddess…
May I share with you some of my work ..?? … Yes, its just an excuse for some shameless self promotion…. since I will add a link to my new Etsy shop where these delicious items can be bought…
If you like what you see, you can purchase these tassel necklaces at my shop – just click on the image…..
Can you imagine anywhere in the world where for 24 hours the entire population is required to stay home, be quiet and use no electric lights?
Here in Bali each year for one day, Nyepi, that is exactly what happens.
In complete contrast, on the evening before Nyepi giant Ogoh Ogoh are paraded on the streets with much noise, excitement and commotion. These effigies are so frightening and scarey that any evil spirits that might be lurking around are so spooked that they all flee Bali. the next day in silence and darkness the evils are unable to find their way back home again and thereby have to search for a new home leaving Bali evil free…. …
Sometimes weeks, even months can go by and its easy to get caught up in the hum drum of ‘life as normal’ forgetting that I live on the exotic and magical Island of Bali.
This morning, though, I woke to the sound of Gamelon and the reminder that Bali is a land where the connection to the Gods and spirits are part of daily life for Balinese people. Wandering onto the street in front of my house this morning I sat and witnessed about an hour of Bali culture as a huge procession passed by. Today is Melasti day of purification when offerings are taken to the ocean . Not a day for tourists to be taking a driving tour of Bali, streets all over Bali will be filled with thousands of families taking part in these processions and traffic will be at a stand still.
3 more important ceremonies will take place over the next few weeks, but the most unusual and dramatic of all happens next week.
On Monday night Ogoh Ogoh are paraded through the streets, with much noise and excitement. These huge scary effigies have taken months to make and are spectacular. Their job is to scare away any evil spirits.
The following day Bali is quiet and dark, the evil spirits are confused, they cant see or hear anything here so they leave, Bali is now safe – for another year…
On Nyepi, the silent day, everyone is required to stay at home, you may not go onto the street, work, make noise or use electricity, including lights. The airport is even closed as the lsland falls into silence and in the evening no lights are turned on so the island is also in total darkness. The chaos and madness that you normally associate with Bali are gone and peace decends on this island of the Gods… for one day of the year !
This year Nyepi falls on my Birthday, so I will not be celebrating this year, I will stay home and be quiet and sit in the dark like the Balinese. Perhaps as the evils leave Bali they will also leave me alone and I will have an evil free year, I can only hope !
Kiwi Green Smoothie
Pick 4 or 5 leaves of silverbeet (chard) from your organic garden – mine, thanks to Dad for growing this especially for the 2 months that I am back in New Zealand for every year !!
Select your fruit , this morning I have 1 apple, 3 locally grown Kiwifruit, 3 slices of Pineapple ( imported, not grown in NZ ! ) 5 or 6 strawberries also from the garden. Any fruit will do. Half a banana is always good… yesterday I had half a dozen plums but a wee bit bitter and a pain taking out the stones.
Add a tiny bit of liquid, orange juice, apple juice or water – chuck it all in the blender and wizz up until all the green is well and truly munched up.
Breakfast is served !! This should be the first thing consumed every morning – then follow up with wholemeal toast with NZ butter and Vegemite ( we will go back to Marmite when the Marmite factory in Christchurch is rebuilt after earthquake damage ! ) and a pot of Sumartra coffee ( which I brought home with me from Bali ) ahhhhhhh….
The Pohutukawa tree, we call it the New Zealand Christmas tree, and when it blossoms early,
like this year, It means we are in for a great summer.
Coming home to New Zealand every year is like a total refresh. The clean, green, natural beauty is equally as inspiring as my life in Bali and I enjoy the contrast. Not long now and I’ll be heading back to the Indonesian chaos – but for the moment I’ll be soaking up the peace and tranquility here in the Coromandel.
Photos 2 – 5 Taranaki, the first and last 3 photos from where I live in Pauanui.
Back home for Christmas and the New Zealand summer …
Every January I exhibit my new work at my NZ studio in Pauanui, a favorite summer holiday destination for Kiwis and visitors from overseas.. this is a great time for me and I get to sell direct to the art loving public before my new work goes into the commercial galleries and Art shops. My studio is open until the 20th of January. I will be returing to Bali on the 24th Jan !
We also hold a group New years exhibition at the shopping centre for 2 days with artists coming from all around the North Island, attracting lots of people and great sales again this year…