As well as being a professional Artist, l am also a trained Nursery Nurse (N.N.E.B). I have worked with children for over 50 years, as childminder, foster carer, a Doula, worked in schools and Nurseries, all over the world and much more. My last adventure was my Art School for Babies and children and a few adults, called " artyfizz". So l am for ever being asked why l have never written a book or done some sort of blog for mum's, dads, grandparents, carers etc .... the answer .... didn't think l had a lot to say! BUT l am beginning to realise l do know a lot, that perhaps new mums of babies and toddlers don't know! So l have decided this blog is going to sort of change. I want to still show some of my Art, my life living all over the world and give hints about childcare and Art with babies and children. Um ... how l do that, without it becoming a complete mess, l am not quite sure yet. So stay tuned, and l will see where it goes. I am also going to share my days with Felix, my grandson, when l go to Sydney, for three months, on Saturday!!!!
Last year l spent some time in Auckland, New Zealand. While wandering around l discovered this "street art" . It was basically about the damage plastic bags do to our sea life. There was also some amazing Art on the walls, as well as an abundance of information. Unfortunately l couldn't find out who had created it. In this day and age, l thought it unusual to find an art piece all in black and white. Stunning.
Still in Auckland ... l found this " Fabric bombing" at several bus stops.
Papua New Guinea
I have been spending some time (not enough ) trying to sort out ALL my photo's into albums. These are the photo's that were taken before digital came in. God l sound old! :) Anyway today's two are from our 3 years in Papua New Guinea. Every so many years the tribes from all over the country, get together to sing and dance and show off their tribal dress. This gathering is called a Singsing. Normally there is a big fence between the people participating and the viewing hordes. BUT l decided l wanted to get closer, so l posed as a photographer for the British High Commission and just followed the High Commission's party in! Fantastic experience!! Ha! There are over 720 language groups in the country and this occasion brings together people of very different appearance from the Highlands, the Coastal regions, the Lowland and so one. When l have scanned more images, l will show you the amazing Mud men!
Breastfeeding ...PNG style
One of the MANY, funny and weird experiences l had in PNG, was one concerning Breast Feeding. I was volunteering in the hospital in Port Moresby, the capital, and was asked to go and bring in a child for observation from an outlying village. So off we went ... the driver, 2 security guards ( not a safe place for women!), a nurse and me! We got to the village after driving for about an hour. We found the shack, the family concerned and was about to put her into the ambulance, when l was asked a question. My pidgin in those early days was not good, so the nurse translated it for me. Apparently the father wanted some advice about Breast Feeding. l was shown into their home and there was his wife, baby at breast, sucking quite happily! But, there on the other breast was a day old piglet, trying to suck but having trouble. That was the patient. Trying not to laugh ... l managed to get the piglet to suck, much smiling and we got on our way home again. Wish l could have taken an image!!! :) Tomorrow l will explain why pigs are SO important in PNG.
Children and painting ... but ... not too messy for the adult!
I met a mum today, while having coffee, as you do! Once she discovered l own artyfizz .. the questions came fast and furious. One was ... She was concerned, that although she wanted her child to create, it was always SO messy. So l gave her some tips. These are some ideas from the time they can sit up, unaided:
1. If you do not have enough free space to let children paint on the floor ( on paper of course! :) )... put a non-slip mat in the bath and let them paint in there! They can get as messy as they like and then you can wash them off afterwards. You can use poster paint, yogurt for young ones or washable felt-tip pens even. They love it and mine even carried on doing this till they were about 6!!! :)
2. Don't want to let them use paint ... do you have an outside wall? a piece of concrete? or paving slabs in the garden? Then fill up water bottles or washing-up bottles, with water and let them paint, with that. This is not literally painting ... it is mark-making but l am not that pedantic !
3. Cover your kitchen table with paper, put a few children's plastic mats down under the table. Or, if money is tight ... Put plastic table cloths on floor ( £1 from Poundsaver ) and newspaper on table and let them paint the newspaper. When my children were small and money was tight, l used their "Newspaper Art" as Christmas Wrapping paper. The grandparents loved it.
Some pieces of my Art
I have started to work in a concertina drawing book, drawing on both sides. I don't usually work with coloured pencils but decided that was the medium, l would like to try. I have really enjoyed it and also found it very relaxing. Often did it in front of the TV, in the evenings. One of the tips l will give you is, start off with a thin layer of colour and build it up and also use good quality pencils.