Shared Discoveries

Always exploring : WHAT IS HOME?

our home within nature and our surroundings


(what attracts my attention, the patterns of where I live, the beauty and wonder of nature)



our home within ourselves


(what makes us unique, what are we attracted to, our shadow side, our wants and needs, discovering our strengths that fuel our lives)

our home within the context of the ever-expanding universe


(how we fit within the solar system, we are all connected, our place in the grand scheme of things)


the creative economy


(how creativity is essential to being human, we are all creative, how it links to other topics and subjects we care about, how it's inspired by curiosity)


THE BIG PICTURE : A visual representation of the creative economy

(work in progress - more to come)


To all my creative friends out there (wh

“I hope today is one of those days where you make the time to create something that is meaningful and true to you. Something not measured by its success or reception but by the heart and the purpose of why you do what you do.” - MHN

Artwork: "Big Magic Things", 14x18" Acrylic on watercolour paper

“The world is full of magic things, pati

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

~ W. B. Yeats

Artwork: "Magic Things", 5x7" Acrylic on watercolour paper

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“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
~ Carl Jung

This originally appeared on Instagram as a slow-motion video. You can see it in action here.

Challenge your Perspective
& Perception

In a world where attention is precious,

What attracts your attention?

In a world where attention is precious, and there’s a lot of noise that distracts, it’s worth thinking about the things that attract your attention and what you’re willing to give your time to.
This painting is of the waterlily pond at the Ginger Factory in Yandina. There’s something about the landscaping there that is so welcoming and beautiful. I take a million photos every time I go. Now that my youngest has just turned 4, I wonder how many more times I’ll have an excuse to visit.

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”
~ Pema Chödrön


Artwork: "Still Waters", 5x7" Acrylic on watercolour paper

What is attraction_⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀_.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀_

What is attraction?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Whether it’s places, objects or people, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll be naturally drawn to certain things (unless, of course, your heart has been replaced with a stone! And I’m sure we’ve all met people who fit that bill).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
What those things are, though, is very much personal preference. We may share some overlap of likes, but it’s unlikely there’s someone out there with a 100% “like” match as you (unless the same mad scientist who did the heart-stone transplant, also deals in cloning).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
When I make my sketches and paintings, I find it interesting how I come back to the same types of things I like (shapes, compositions, colours, topics). I imagine this is the same for everyone (whether you’re creating or appreciating), and probably goes a long way to making up your taste.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Where does this natural attraction come from? Why do some shapes appeal more than others? What is it about certain things that get right to your core? Why are they different for different people? And is it something amazing and special when this attraction also crosses paths with someone else⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Photograph: This photo is of St Mary’s church in Port Douglas. The colour, the shapes, the surroundings, the weatherboard, all speak to me. I have many photos of this place from all the times we’ve visited. I’m not a religious person, but if I were, I’d definitely like this to be my local church. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

How much can you tell about a house from

Appearances can be deceptive


How much can you tell about a house from its roof? Can you guess how it’s decorated inside? Who lives there? If you’d like to meet them?
How often do you think you do the same with people, based on a glimpse of what they look like? How right are you normally?
Artwork: “Beyond The Trees”, 30 x 24”, acrylic on canvas
This painting is of a Noosa house that we pass by when on the Noosa Ferry - we get a glimpse of its architecture but all the rest has to be filled in with imagination.

Where’s the line between having an idea

The tipping point

Where’s the line between having an idea and not having one? What defines the moment when you finally get the A-ha! effect of having solved something?

My psychology dissertation was about this problem solving moment, trying to see if there was a specific point when the solution to a logic game emerged or if it was the result of certain steps that needed to be done first. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I find it similar when I’m working out a new painting or sketch. Trying to pin down the ideas floating around before a yes! moment occurs. It seems elusive and yet also predictable.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Increasingly though, I’ve also noticed these moments in life. Things seem to blink in and out of existence with their own defined tipping point. Much like a full bucket of water can be either full or overflowing, there usually isn’t much to separate the two states.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
For instance: the point when a cloud is made, or clear skies stay (dew point). When a fire catches, or stays a charred mess (ignition point). Being friends, or indifferent. Being awake, or asleep. Self-aware, or oblivious. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
With creativity and generating ideas, it seems a lot is down to individual differences and tolerances.⠀


Sketch: Lily pads⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

It’s always nice to remind yourself that

It’s always nice to remind yourself that even if it’s currently raining, above the clouds the sun is still shining.

Developing a unique Artistic Style

I’ve been varnishing this big painting t

Embrace the uncertainty


I’ve been varnishing this big painting today, one of the final parts in the process (and oddly enough rather nerve-wracking!). The last thing you want is to screw it up after you think you’ve finished.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
There’s a lot of time, effort and thought that goes into transforming an idea from the dark depths of your mind, and ushering it out into the light for other people to see.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I never really know how it’ll turn out - as the idea gets refined and transformed on its journey. It’s part of the fun though, not really knowing where it will go or how it will end. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
But the thing that makes the journey worthwhile, is if the final result can leave a lasting (positive!) impression. And if it can act as a springboard for more ideas, more curiosity and more discovery.


Artwork: "Castaways Rainbow", 30x40" Acrylic on canvas

I never used to keep a sketchbook. I kne

Writing ideas is the right idea

I never used to keep a sketchbook. I knew that artists always advised keeping a sketchbook on you at all times in case an idea would strike at an elusive time. .
My main reason for disobeying this rather sound advice was the expectation that ideas were meant to arrive fully formed. Which is not how they come at all. I also wrongly assumed they would arrive as pictures, beautifully illustrated and carefully executed. Which they did not either.
Instead, ideas arrive as snippets. A collection of thoughts on other matters, subjects. Quotes, facts, questions. My sketchbook that I currently keep is predominantly full of writing and not pictures. I find that trying to draw my idea in haste, before it has had time to form, ruins the idea and stifles the outcome. .
When I do draw in it, they are based on real images I have seen and photographed. Trying to work through what caught my eye in the first place, and get a feel for line and shape.
I capture photos of things I see in nature on my phone. I take screengrabs of articles I read and copy them into my Notes app. I use Pinterest extensively to sort art, sculpture, pottery, screenprinting, design, cars, horses, houses... things that speak to my soul.
So, no, I don’t carry around a sketchbook with me still. But I do use my phone as a way to capture these ideas and snippets of inspiration.

As Richard Branson said a couple of years ago:
“Have an idea? Write it down. Hear an interesting point from a friend? See or hear an interesting article, documentary, podcast, book or film? Write it down. Wake up in the middle of the night remembering a dream? Write it down. Anything at all happen? Write it down... However you do it, take note: if you don’t take notes, your ideas will get lost.”

Art and science are two sides of the same curiosity coin


Why does light travel faster than sound?
Have you ever wondered, when there’s a thunderstorm, why you see the lightning flash before you hear the thunder?
Of course, you say. Everyone knows that light travels faster than sound. But have you ever stopped to think why? What makes them different?
It turns out that lightning is electromagnetic radiation. It doesn’t need a medium (ie: particles in a gas or solid) through which to travel. It goes at a constant speed, unimpeded through air.
Thunder, on the other hand, is a result of the particles in the air moving quickly after being influenced by the lightning’s energy (transferred as heat and pressure). .
The particles bump into each other, transmitting an energy wave. We hear this movement as sound when it reaches our ears.
And for all you philosophers out there: Does thunder still make a sound if there is no one around to hear it? And did the tree falling in the forest fall because it was struck by lightning?


Photograph: The sunrise over our neighbour's house, near Noosa

Why do cumulus clouds have flat bottoms

Why do cumulus clouds have flat bottoms and fluffy tops? 
This may appear like a simple question with a simple answer, but is quite the opposite, as I found out this week when I looked into it further. .
It seems with all things in life, the more you learn about something (or someone, for that matter), the less you seem to know. The closer you look, the more intricacies seem to appear. Absolutes become questions, and simplicities become complex.
And so it was with clouds. It turns out, that the flat bottom of the cloud marks the point where water vapor in the air has reached the ‘dew point’ (maximum saturation of water vapour in the air). This is the point where condensation occurs, forming a cloud. Simple enough, but when you dig a bit deeper as to why this occurs, a million other questions crop up.
Temperature, air pressure, humidity, gravity, atmosphere, dust particles and a good dose of physics, all combine to create a cloud at this height. There seem to be many variables involved in this including the movement of thermals, temperature of the land and time of year.
I’ll probably revisit this idea again at some point, as I don’t feel I’ve got to grips with it entirely.
Who knew cloud formation could be so complicated?? Would love to know if you have any further insights on it.
Photograph: This photo was taken up in the hills on the Sunshine Coast, near Montville and Maleny.

Rainbows. Often disregarded as something

Rainbows aren't just for kids

Rainbows. Often disregarded as something for young girls who love pink things and ponies, or used as a symbol of sexuality. They have such strong connotations that it’s really hard to include them into paintings without seeming twee, unimaginative or making an emotional comment.
However, I want to remind people how amazing they are in their own right, and how much excitement they can produce when you are lucky enough to spot one. No matter how old you are!
So here are a few facts that you may or may not know about rainbows, that will give them a bit more scientific credence.
1) You’re most likely to spot a rainbow in the sky when the sun is behind you.
2) The angle of light is usually at 42 degrees (so it’s unlikely you’ll see one at midday).
3) Sunlight passes through raindrops and is refracted (separates & bends) into its different colours. .
4) Colours separate on a continuum - but Sir Isaac Newton suggested it should be described in relation to 7 separate colours.
5) Sir Isaac Newton included the colour indigo, but a lot of people think he was wrong to have this as a separate colour and this should just be part of blue.
6) Rainbows can sometimes be seen from planes as circles.
7) A double rainbow is when the light has been reflected twice through the raindrop.
And most importantly,
8) Every rainbow is unique to the viewer. Someone standing next to you will see a slightly different rainbow depending on their perspective.
Photograph: I was lucky enough to capture this rainbow on my way home in the car. I was one of a few people who stopped the car, got down to the beach to catch it in the few moments before it disappeared. Very special!

What is a Home?

Home means different things to all of us. Whether it's the house you live in, the surroundings you love, or even your body where your thoughts and self reside. I've been exploring the extent to what can be considered home, and how this can impact art, creation and emotion.