Art Auction

Tonight at 8pm my work will be part of an art auction for the 52 week illustration challenge which I have participated in this year. Its been a lot of fun and a great way to be inspired each week. Its allowed me to explore more than just oil painting. Over this year I have used the following mediums in works for the challenge:

Oil Paint
Water soluble graphite
Watercolour paint
Watercolour pencils
Coloured Pencils
Copic markers
Sharpie markers
Artline felt tip pen

One of my works which will be up for auction tonight. Week 12 Costume.

What a great way to stretch out of the usual and try new things! You can see all of my works so far on my facbook art page in this album: 52 week Illustration challenge 2015

Now the wonderful people who run the challenge have set up an auction for our work. You can preview the work until 8pm Sydney time tonight, 22nd November and then the auction will go live. Go here to see the work available in my album and read how it work:

Amanda Hunt, 52 week Illustration Challenge auction.

I am very much hoping that I sell one or two paintings at least of of the 17 I have available as this will help a lot with contributing financially to my household right before Christmas. Please feel free to pass this along.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2015

This was our fourth visit to Sculpture by the sea at Bondi and probably our 7th or 8th visit overall (including the visits in Perth). Its become something we always try to get to see and each year does not disappoint. There are always favourites and sculptures which provoke thought. Some provoke head scratching but that’s all part of the fun! This time last year I took my friend Karen along to see the exhibition, this year it was my parents turn.

If I were to choose a favourite (which is hard to do) it could possibly be the horse or the bent over pole with security cameras on it. Hard to pick really, there are so many clever and skillful works.

Click on the gallery below to see a collection of photos I took on the day. There were many more works than shown but for once I think I got to see the majority of sculptures!

The Nest

A little while ago Yvonne found this nest in the local park (or perhaps it was your family who found it Yvonne?). She posted a photo of it on facebook to which I commented something like ‘ohhhh lovely’. The next time I saw Yvonne she had a little something for me, the little nest safely presented in a plastic zip loc bag to preserve it.


Not everyone likes this sort of find but for me, its treasure! My girls know that whenever we are outside anywhere I always look for treasures (feathers, interesting rocks, driftwood, sea glass but my favourite.. seed pods!) but at no time have we discovered a discarded nest to take home so this was a fantastic addition to my little treasure collection.


I am fascinated with what you can see the bird has used to make this nest. If you look closely you will see what looks like stuffing from a soft toy, thread, sticks and leaves and a few other little bits. Nests are amazing things, these small ones seem so flimsy and yet something so precious and breakable are put inside them for safe keeping.

I can’t help but be reminded of the following when looking at this nest:

He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.
Psalm 91:4 (HCSB)

I realise that for some this sounds like fluffy talk, but I can say that I have been in the middle of a frightening situation and he has been true to his word (one day I will tell the story of the time we caused a bit of a riot while visiting Burkina Faso).

Anyway, thank you Yvonne for the nest and the reminders that it brings, its taken pride of place amongst my collection of natural objects.

PS. I made sure that any bacteria were dealt with in the same way that I do with feathers. Popped this in the freezer for a day or so inside its plastic bag.

The Mystery Item

A few years ago I went to an Etsy meetup back in Perth. They had items laid out on the floor for people to help themselves to, mostly old sewing and crafting materials. I saw this object and thought it was interesting so picked it up and kept it. The other day I rediscovered it again among my sewing supplies and brought it out to show my family. Right away Mum said ‘its a sock darner’ to which Dad shook his head and insisted it was a gavel for auctioneers to use. The way to solve things like this is either to do some internet research or put it on social media to ask others whether they know what it is.

I did both these things and was amazed at the conversation it sparked on facebook. People were quite fascinated with it, some suggested Dad was right and many suggested that sock darners are mushroom shaped. The suggestion of a coffee tamper was given or even that it may have had a stamp attached to it. By the end of the conversation alongside some internet searching I ‘think’ we concluded that its a sort of darner but for what part of socks or other clothing we aren’t sure.

I love how a simple uploading of an image can spark a whole lot of conversation and brainstorming while none of the participants left their homes. I must admit, I do like social media and this aspect of it.

Do you know what this item may be? (more photos below)

A crazy thing I do every day

At the start of this year I was featured on Kelly’s blog Be a Fun Mum where she shared some of my sandwich drawings. At that stage of the year I had done maybe 20 sandwiches (times two for two kids) so the ideas were still fresh. This is today’s sandwich:


which went with yesterday’s sandwiches:

I am at number 112 and some days I have to really stop and think about what to put on there. However, I won’t leave it blank, its now a big part of each day. I love doing it and it makes an every day task much more challenging and interesting. Some days it takes a few more minutes than usual to do but for the most part it only adds a minute to the lunch making.

Here are a few from the last week or so. As you can see, sometimes the image is more detailed and other times I do something quick and easy if time is pressing:






I will keep doing this until my girls ask me to stop, for my eldest daughter this may be soon however I have a secret plan to continue with messages and verses instead of pictures once we get to that point.

For me, this is part of seeing the world differently, finding a way to make a boring task much more interesting. I put the images on my Instagram account every day (actually four days a week) if you wanted to check the rest out. The subjects vary greatly but the Disney/Pixar characters are usually the most fun to do. Creativity injected into boringness. I love it!

A New Perspective

I have been trying for a while to think about the angle of my blog. What do I want to write about? What are my strengths, passions, gifts? It would be easy to focus on the subjects of art, being a Mum or family life but I really wanted to zone in on something that combines everything. In chatting with Michael (my hubby) he pointed out that one of the things I do, as an artist is see things differently.
Every day I see beauty in things that those around me miss. This is not because I’m amazing or special but because my eye is tuned in, as a creative to observe. These quotes say it best:

‘I walk in the garden, I look at the flowers and shrubs and trees and discover in them an exquisiteness of contour, a vitality of edge, or a vigour of spring, as well as an infinite variety of colour that no artefact I have seen in the last sixty years can rival…each day, as I look, I wonder where my eyes were yesterday.’

— Bernhard Berenson

‘When you look at a wall spotted with stains…you may discover a resemblance to various landscapes, beautiful with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees. Or again, you may see battles and figures in action, or strange faces and costumes, and an endless variety of objects which you could reduce to complete and well-drawn figures.’

— Leonardo Da Vinci

‘There is nothing insignificant in the world. It all depends on how one looks at it.’

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There is so much truth in these statements. Every day I see the smallest patch of colour, shade of light, shadow, form, texture, shape or object that resembles something interesting. I am hoping to bring this aspect into my blog as I freshen it up with a new perspective.

You may have noticed the blog name change. For many years, maybe ten or twelve my blog has been ‘Amanda’s Musings’ but I felt the need for change. This verse has also been carefully considered and is what has inspired the name choice:

Be still, and know that I am God Ps46

As a Christian I am firm believer in God having created the earth and this is what inspires me as I observe. I have had some struggles in the past which has influenced my thoughts but at no point did I not see God at work. I am still seeing him in my life, in our family life, in the difficulties and in the every day. When I observe these creative angles around me my thoughts turn to him.

I’m looking forward to sharing more of my observations and how creativity and art can be part of the every day.


Oh dear. Its been 6 months since I last blogged. How did that happen? Business? Lack of ideas? Loss of interest? Possibly a dash of all three. I think I have forgotten how to blog its been so long! These days I just don’t know what to blog about. The older I get the more introverted I get and the less willing I am to share personal information. In many ways I shrink back too, afraid of speaking openly for the fear of being shot down. Having said all of that, I don’t want to close off my blog entirely so I will have to work out what to write about.
I’m fairly indecisive at times, feeling like I want to say something or settle on an idea but not knowing quite what I want or how to get there. Frustrating really. This applies here too. I suppose I’m not completely sure as to what I want out of my blog these days. In the past the momentum came from keeping record, receiving comments, being brave and saying what I want to say. Now days these things are not so important to me. I think, like most people I am trying to keep up with every day life and consider these things not too interesting to talk about.
I will have to work on it if I’m to keep this blog.
Any ideas (if you are reading).
Ranty, brainstormy post finished. :)

52 Lists. List 6 My Favourite Colours

This is a bit of a fun list. As an artists I’ve always said that I couldn’t choose which is my favourite colour because an artist can’t play favourites but really, there are some that I love more than others. I tend to use a lot of Paynes Grey in my paintings but the others I only use when needed. Here’s the list! What are your favourites?

List 5. List of Pets I’ve Owned

As I continue on with my attempt at 52 lists, I realise that I’m very behind, we are a fair way into the year and I’m only up to list 5! Still, this one is a bit nostalgic and it was fun to think back over the pets I’ve had in the past. I’ve included our current pets too including the first cat I’ve ever had, George.
I’ve loved all our pets but the one that was with me the longest was Shana. She was our mini dachshund and was loved by a lot of people. There were a few times when friends looked after her for long stretches of time and each time those friends wanted to keep her! She was naughty though, the list of things she destroyed or ate included:
gum boots
a rose bush
many dog beds including a cane one
the garden hose
a friends ivy vine (chewed the vine off at the bottom!)
all the linoleum in our kitchen (which was old and she pulled it up)
many many newspapers
her own soft toys

She also knew many words, at one stage I counted 50 words that she responded to. I still miss her, she was with us fro 16 years. She loved Christmas morning (yes, she really did rush down and sit in front of the tree, swimming at the beach (using her tail as a rudder) and being up high (short legs will do that to you). She was a total Houdini despite her stature. She could climb up on anything and find a way to escape. This is Shana:

Here is the list

and of course, this is George, our current and first cat (Shana would have not approved of us owning a cat!):

52 Lists. List 4. Favourite US Artists

52 Lists. List 4. Favourite US Artists

It was only recently that I realised that I do in fact have quite a few American artists on my favourites list. I think it was after visiting two recent exhibitions here in Sydney, one at the Art Gallery of USA called ‘America’ and the other being the Chuck Close Exhibition at the MCA. I have always loved Norman Rockwell, I don’t really care if he is seen as an illustrator, in my mind he is still an artist. I have always loved the beautiful work of Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent, their portraiture draws me in every time. I have several artists on the list who are not painters. Man Ray and Dorothea Lange were photographers, Joseph Cornell was an assemblage artist. I am drawn to each of them for different reasons. Here’s the list!


iphone Oct to Dec 14 847
Me at the Chuck Close exhibition last year (on my 40th!)