Saturday, December 06, 2014

Saturday morning musings - meander though Belshaw's writer's diary 1

My writing output is well down at the moment, as is my reading of other people's blogs. I apologize, especially for the second!

I keep a writer's diary. Nothing profound, simply jotting down things that interest me that may or may not go into stories or some other aspect of my writing. This morning's musings trawls through that diary,

The painting is Judy Cassab's 1955 portrait of Judy Barraclough. I have always liked Judy Cassab. She is part of that rich intellectual flowering that came to Australia as a consequence of the Second World War and its aftermath.

I have been reading her diaries. This is my bed time reading, so I rarely get more than a few pages completed before I have to to put the book down and turn out the light. After all this time, most of the people she writes about are very familiar. In a way, it's very much an insider's book, for she became part of the establishment.

Unexpectedly, the book became part of my ever evolving history of New England. Judy's son, John, was drawn to the counter culture movement that flowered in Northern NSW following the Aquarius Festival. The exhibition Rainbow Dreaming celebrates forty years.

At Nimbin, John became involved in the establishment of Bodhi Farms. His son, Bodhi, carries the name. This photo, Two Women of Blue Springs, 1992, is connected with the farm. Judy's diaries have a fair bit on Bodhi Farms, so what was an exploration of another Australian painter has actually become part of my New England history.

Mind you, I do wonder about my capacity to complete this project. It seems to grow and grow, with ever increasing interconnections. Still, its not going to be your conventional state, regional or local history, and that's what I wanted.

Over at his place, Neil Whitfield has been exploring the last twelve months as seen through the eyes of his blog. Well, really his eyes as expressed through the blog. Looking at my writing as well as my notes, the interaction between Neil and myself has been important.  

Another Australian art related book that I have been reading was Drusilla Modjeska's Stravinsky's Lunch. This book, part of my Train Reading series, examines the lives of two very different Australian painters,
Stella Bowen and Grace Cossington Smith. The illustration is Grace Cossington Smith's 1916 "Study of a head: Self portrait". 

So far I have used one quote from the book plus discovered two artists (neither Stella or Grace) with New England connections!, but have yet to write up my thoughts. Presently I have just random jottings from the book or inspired by the book.

"The textures of people and connection. How to break free from the imposed isolation of the intellect?" 
"In telling the stories of these two extraordinary women, it asks how an artist finds a balance between her art, love and daily life."(Dust jacket)
"SL is a biography, really two biographies,but it is also a muse. This gives M freedom to insert herself into the story."
"The story of the two visits (p179) illustrates the way the world changes around us. It also illustrates....." 
 As you might expect, there is a fair bit on politics and economics, but not as much as you might expect since a lot bit of my writing here is instant. Much of the jotting is reference, especially to Financial Review stories.

For example, on 12 November I noted Egyptian militias, RET, iron ore prices - Mr Hockey, student numbers, rouble; Indian red tape. The following day murdoch mess, student cheating plus multiple infrastructure references. Then there are lines, circles and squiggles linking things together, along with comments and instructions to myself and links to commenters and fellow bloggers.

A lot of this never makes it into any form of writing, but its not a bad resource. Well, time to move on. I have a rather large check list for today.      

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