Sometimes my journal pages are obviously about a particular thing, other times I’m not sure where the words have come from – maybe a song, a conversation I overheard, part of a dream. I am not sure where this came from; possibly a conversation I had tonight with my best friend of forever (ok, 50 mumble years) in which my late Dad was mentioned.

Large Dylusions journal. Sprays: Squeezed orange, Crushed grape, Tangerine dream, Bubblegum pink. Paint: White linen, Funky fuchsia. Stencils: Diamonds in the rough (lg & small), Shutters. Stamps: Dy’s alphabet. Other. Stamps: Tim Holtz – Tall text, Visible Image – Dare to be different, Tim Holtz – Entomology. Pitt Big Brush pen, Archival ink, Distress collage medium, white gel pen.

looking for signs 20190811

cjs18 day 12 Jessica Sporn

Today’s artist is Jessica Sporn. I have followed her work for years, have some of her wonderful stencils, and admire both her art and process. So, I was very excited to see her working with flag imagery as I’d worked on flags when I did my art qualification at The Learning Connexion, and love the work of Jasper Johns (among others).

As with all cjs18 classes I won’t talk about the process but in this instance I do want to tell a little of the story behind this piece. The story scratched into the gesso underneath is about a recurring dream I have involving my best friend Sandra and I searching for someone in hospital grounds. I can draw the buildings, see the land, follow the roads, and have a map of where people are at the final building we need to get to – so a lot of detail. I had the dream again last night and phoned Sandra to discuss it.
She thought for a bit and said in the last couple of years she’d gone out to Tokanui Psychiatric Hospital, where a relative had once spent some time.

I used Google images to search Tokanui and the third photo was *it* – the place in my dream. I tried some other abandoned hospitals etc but no, none of them were right. Tokanui it is. Why I dream about Sandra and I being there, I don’t know yet.

The rest of the imagery is about learning a waiata (Maori song/chant) for Monday when we have a powhiri to welcome our new CE at work, my constant struggle to learn more Te Reo, and the flag is the Tino Rangitiratanga flag (actually black, white & red). This all ties in together, but not in ways I can articulate in words – hence it’s in my artwork.

day 12 jessica sporn 

Like a Golden Anniversary

This week is the in-between point – Sandra Robinson and I are the same age for two weeks each year, then suddenly she’s older than me again 😉 This year the birthdays mark something more important than her seniority.

Sandra turning 50-mumble means we have been best friends for 50 years; this is a life-long friendship forged at kindergarten! If this was a marriage we’d be getting Golden Anniversary cards. A friendship this long *is* like a marriage – we’ve dealt with school, university, jobs, deaths, births, marriages, divorces, illness…

I could say our friendship is documented with a million photos over the decades. It isn’t. I have reality few photos of Sandra, becasue she is always there – in my mind, and in my heart. I don’t need photos…but this one speaks volumes to me for all kinds of reasons.


This ANZAC Day

This ANZAC day I spoke at the Waverley RSA service, which was a privilege.  As always, I remember with love my Dad, Mansel Barker, and Dad 2 Jack Robinson (my best friend Sandra Robinson’s Dad). I also acknowledge the loss of so many ANZACs overseas, and am grateful our Dads came home. 

Able Seaman M Barker, June 1945

Able Seaman M Barker, June 1945

Chooks and roosters

Chooks and roosters are a recurring theme, more so in my photographs than in my paintings – but they do appear here and there on a semi-regular basis. This morning I have been playing with some photos sent to me by best friend, photographer Sandra Robinson, as well as some old photos of roosters I took a few years ago now. I’m playing with combining images and text, in preparation for 20 mixed media works I need to completed in the next few weeks. The works will include photos, collage, text, stenciling, and wet & dry media. I’m looking forward to getting started on them.