Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Oh my gourd

Over the last few years, I have made a number of gourd birds for people's gardens. I start with the gourd (obviously) and add resin and polymer clay pieces for eyes, tails and beaks. At the end, I coat the whole thing in resin so they are pretty weather-proof and should last for quite a while. These are the latest ones I have made. If you would like a gourd, I will be selling them via my website starting at $50 for a single. I don't have any 'in stock' as yet, so if you'd like one or a pair, let me know.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Turf War.

Apparently, the fairy settlement is not going down well with the wildlife. I found the Queen's house removed from the tree it was located on. My guess is that a possum decided it was in the way of its nightly tree run and kicked it out of the way. I can't say I blame the possum really, it is just like the attempt currently being made by developers to replace local forest with high density housing in the Warner area. Anyway, I have relocated the fairy house to another location that will hopefully not interfere with the wildlife pathways and still work for the fairies. The fairies are keen to look after the wildlife, so I think that they will be fine with the relocation.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Fairies II

Looks like the fairy house construction is continuing. This new place is in the fork of a tree just near the washing line and faces the bird bath. Judging from the portico at the front, my guess is that it belongs to the Fairy Queen - she can stand on the balcony and address the rest of the fairies. There are probably more houses out in the forest that surrounds the property, but I haven't gone looking.

Friday, June 15, 2018


So, it looks like the fairies are moving in to the backyard. I think they have always been there and to be honest, I have been expecting to see their little homes pop up ever since we arrived here. They exist in the 'other' space and commune with the the little creatures when we are not looking. Judging by the clock and decoration, I think this first construction is some kind of public building. Clearly they are establishing the foundations of their settlement before they start moving in properly. I expect to see their creations popping up in other places, so stay tuned; I will keep you informed. Meanwhile, there are some other fairies that I managed to capture today when I was out and about.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Friday Chill and Colour

Last night was the inaugural 'Chill and Colour' workshop held as part of the reboot of ann.russell.art classes. Essentially the premise is that people get together, book the studio and do some arty things along with some drinks and nibblies as a Friday night wind down. The ladies seemed to enjoy themselves and produced some great work in a limited amount of time. If you are interested in organising a group yourself, contact me at ann@annrussellart.com.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Taking a moment

Last week I was taking the back roads to get to an appointment and was stopped in my tracks by this beauty. I had to stop to avoid running her over, and decided to stay until she had completely crossed the road safely, just in case someone came from the other direction. The weather is cooling and she was moving pretty slowly, so the road crossing took about 5 minutes. So nice to take 5 and be in the moment with this beautiful creature.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Real Men Don't Hate Cats

Recently, I heard a male television presenter - one I had hitherto respected - declare that he doesn't like cats. I experienced immediate disappointment and expressed to my family that on this basis, I didn't like him as much as I had.

My daughter immediately dismissed this as nonsense and a stupid way to determine a person's likability. Perhaps. But I maintain that the stating that 'I don't like cats' is indicative of some deeper issues - ones that smack of misogyny and a considerable distance to travel before becoming a socially and spiritually evolved individual.

Why? Well for starters, 'I don't like cats' (or worse, 'I hate cats') is a very different statement to 'I prefer dogs (or fish, or birds, or guinea pigs...or whatever)'. A lot of people I know prefer dogs, including lots of women. Totally fine by me. This statement indicates a general affinity for animals, but a preference for the characteristics of dogs (or whatever). 'I don't like cats' writes off the entire species, and makes no allowance for individual differences. Further, it indicates a dislike for the characteristics common to cats and for anything they might stand for.

And consciously or otherwise, they stand for the feminine. We've all heard the saying 'Cats were once worshiped as Gods and cats have never forgotten this'. In point of fact, Cats were primarily worshiped by the ancients (like the  ancient Egyptians) as Goddesses, female Gods. Goddesses such as Bastet, an Egyptian Goddess were associated with the moon, considered feminine due to the similarity of its cycles with the cycles of menses. The link with cats was due to the moon-like qualities of cat's reflective eyes.

Cats are enigmatic - as Sir Walter Scott says, 'a mysterious kind of folk'. They can't be nailed down, they are visceral and other worldly. They are often moody and are fiercely independent. These are characteristics often associated with women. We call difficult, contentious women 'catty' or 'bitches' (the derogative term synonymous with that which refers to female dogs). There is something overwhelmingly feminine about cats, and as such, they don't appeal to some men.

Men who 'don't like cats' often talk about how the only good cat is a dead cat, and apparently fantasise about ways to eliminate them in the cruelest and most undignified ways. I don't have the best experience with horses - suffice to say horse-riding lessons were a disaster. But I still respect horses as beautiful, even magnificent wild creatures. I would never do anything to hurt them. Non-cat people, though, are often highly amused by inventing ways of torturing and maiming cats. I have no well-researched evidence, but I am willing to bet that the majority of cat-hating men, tend towards the chauvinistic. How many male perpetrators of domestic violence have 'I hate cats' on their CV? By contrast, many learned and creative men are self confessed 'cat people' : Christopher Walken, Leonardo Da Vinci, Jules Verne, T. S. Elliot, Sigmund Freud and even Chris Hemsworth among them.

Yes, real men, the ones worth knowing at least, don't hate cats.