Tuesday, 18 September 2012


Hello, hello, and happy Tuesday grumpy stars and pink galahs!

I have had a beautiful week with my latest Wallflower, 'Astrid'. I love the sound of this name; the soft hiss of the 'As', and the muted thud of the 'id'. I have a bit of a love-affair with the way certain names sound, I must confess; like a Robert Frost poem, there's something about the way that names are said that brings them to life and gives them three dimensions.


'S' sounds in particular give me little goosebumps. Just for a bit of fun, have a read of this poem. Then read it out loud (for best effect, try to maintain the iambic rhythm if you can!).

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

-Robert Frost, 1923
I think this is my favourite poem mostly because I feel like I've been somewhere else when I read it. It haunts me in a beautiful sort of way; long after I've finished reading I imagine echoes of snow falling and feel a sense of, I suppose, delicious loneliness. The little snowflakes around Astrid are a sort of tribute to this aural beauty, and in contrast to the daisies in her hair- because, this is a joyous and happy picture after all!
And, quite fittingly, her name means 'fair, beautiful goddess'- suits her very nicely, don't you think?
Speaking of all things divine, 'The Goddesses of Small Things' opens this Friday night at 6pm, DVAA, Woods Street, Darwin. This little flyer was designed by my fabulous and very clever friend Marita Albers, and you can come grab yourself one from my Mindil or Parap Market shops, or from Jacksons Art Supplies. This little gem of a show is all about miniatures: beautiful little things for you to love, and small enough to make your wallet smile too! Really looking forward to seeing you there.

Have a brilliant rest-of-the-week!

Mel x

Saturday, 8 September 2012

introducing eva

Well, hello hello, dots and poppets!

Romeo raised a interesting, semi-existential question I reckon, in his monologue about roses smelling just as pretty if they were called another name. Vis-à-vis, do you ever meet people, and they tell you their name, and all the while you're thinking: 'That is just not the name that fits you?'.

I suppose I can relate to this, since the various stages of my growing up were clearly delineated by the names that people have called me. My parents named me Melissa, because they didn't want anyone to shorten my name. Quite predictably, they were the first to shorten it to either Liss or Lissa, and the rest of my family followed suit. As a teenager, my friends called me just Mel, which I have kept as an adult. I like that it's short and sweet and a bit informal; it feels like my idea of me.

Now don't get me wrong, Melissa is a very pretty name, and I wouldn't say it doesn't suit me, but at best I feel it's probably a bit too elegant and grown-up for the way I see myself most of the time. It is historically also a clear indication that I am in deep shit with the parents, should I be called or referred to by my full name. And, for this reason, I have always felt somewhat squirmy and uncomfortable in the past when employers call me Melissa (worse, is when I have tried to introduce myself into a workplace as Mel, and people think they're being polite by calling me Melanie). 

Because of all of this, I see the names of my characters as the final flourish to my work. Sometimes I have to sit on a piece for a few days until I strike upon the name that they are meant to fit, the one that is quintessentially them. Sometimes I ask Dave for his thoughts. In fact, when he asked me what I planned on calling this particular character, and we both said the same name, we knew it was absolutely right for her.

And so, without further ado, I'd love to introduce you to the second character of my 'Wallflowers' series, 'Eva' (as in 'AY-vah', not 'EE-vah').
Eva is of course the Latinate variant of the English 'Eve', and inseparable from the idea of life. I have been working towards creating characters that are a little older, and perhaps a little more in touch with their sexuality, which is perfect for a character that is so vital and sure of herself, and, let's face it- a little bit booby!
I think hair also says a lot about female sexuality, and like all of my characters, Eva has piles of the stuff. Renoir knew the power of the plait: it is both a revealing of a girl's femininity and a binding of it; a bit of a tease, really. Look at his bathers: charming lady-bits and very sweet, unaffected mannerisms. Yes, they're almost totally naked, but somehow sexier, and unavailable because of their elaborate hairstyles: they're still retaining some mystery to unlock. It works just as well in real-life: the most attractive people are almost always largely unaware of how lovely they really are.

Have you got any stories to share about people and the names they have or should have? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Have a beautiful weekend,
Mel x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...