Celebrating Venus

Perhaps I’m naive, but when I painted this woman feasting on cherries I wanted to celebrate the luscious gifts of summer, the joy of being alive and pleasure of being in one’s own skin. I often paint nudes and they may be self-portraits even when they don’t resemble me at all. Because it’s not the shape of my body or the colour of my hair that I want to portray. I try to capture my joie de vie in a particular moment or my despair, my solitude or a deep connection or understanding in the next. It’s all about a feeling.

I was shocked when this image was censored by an Australian newspaper. Was the colour too bright? The medium too oily? The proportions too exaggerated? Did they think that the sweet fruits represented a mouth-watering vagina? Was the tiny glimpse of pubic hair too confronting? Whatever the reason this portrait remained out of print, I think it was a mistake. Let’s celebrate the female form and the decadence of the harvest.

Les cerises

Les Cerises, oil on canvas, 90×90 cm, copyright Jeni McMillan

The Silence of the Heart

Bear with me, I’m still on the heart theme, that fragile place in the centre of our being where the beat repeats the mantra ‘I am still alive’.

A space that opens to love and contracts in pain. Fullness. Emptiness. Sense of self and sense of other. Connection. Deconnection. Opening up. Letting go. Loss. Grief. Acceptance.

My aunty died this morning. It was a passing of time. The waiting ritual no longer called upon. Inevitabilty says the beating heart. Pain says the breaking heart. Peace whispers the silent heart.

She had become a writer in her later years, called to create by time ticking relentlessly. We shared the passion, the delight in manifesting ideas and shaping them into tangible form. I will miss her laughter and her honesty about what it is like to live with cancer for more than twenty years.

Snapz Pro XScreenSnapz004      Snapz Pro XScreenSnapz006

Cyberdating delerium

OMG, I really got sucked into the dating site today. Just when i was ready to axe the lot, I discovered there are interesting men out there. A few anyway. On the site, I mean. I freely accept that there are as many amazing males as fabulous women in the world but cyberspace seems to attract the desperate and uni-dimensional. There are more gorgeous people on the blog than the restless and dateless seeking Woman for Relationship. But you know, i noticed a couple who tipped me into the curiosity zone.

Then perhaps I have missed the whole point of blogging? Maybe this satirical piece will poke me in the ribs and laugh out loud if I accidentally trip over someone with a cute font and a show and tell masterpiece. Even though I’m not actually looking. Only through my fingers with the lights out.

Seriously, I know that i am in escapism mode at the moment, but for a short moment this obsession gripped me tighter than Facecrack. Oops gotta go, there’s a new message from Likeyou101. Only joking, I’m off to make dinner. Bon apetit!


The portraits have consumed me. The rawness. The visual narrative. Words seem superfluous. Yet I can’t leave it alone. There must be a few eloquent words that an author can add. Even if she is being a photographer today. Rest says the jet tearing through the late afternoon sky. Sleep on it say the birds plucking off the last plums. Trust in the process says the paint on my walls. You know you can do it says every bone in my body. I am exploding with ideas but too tired to follow through. Tomorrow I sigh. A demain. Manana.