Katrine McCann

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I grew up in a working class family, situated smack bang in the middle of a working class suburb.
One that was so rich in whimsy and interesting things, it was impossible not to write about them.

I saw everyone in my world as larger then life and through child like eyes; I began a life long love affair with the written word and creating verse.

My grandma, on my mother’s side, was for all intents and purposes a passionate believer in fairies. As a child, her stories would completely capture me. I spent many an hour hiding quietly in her small but bountiful garden, waiting patiently for their appearance – pen and paper in hand, all ready to capture every moment as it happened.

My mother, her daughter, was a psychic, who worked on occasion with the Victorian police assisting them with unsolved crimes. I, the granddaughter and daughter of these two interesting women, secretly (of course) believe in both fairies and ghosts. Perhaps the saying ‘away with the fairies’ rings quite true with me.

When the unexplained and the deftly beautiful come together and collide, my creative side takes over. As a child, I spent many an hour creating delicious little scenarios in my mind and then writing about them. I have carried this love of writing and my grandmother’s fairies passion (seeing the world as anything but black and white) into adulthood.

And even though I have chosen not to follow in my mother’s footsteps and actively seek out the departed for conversation, they do on occasion seek me … which I believe absolute, right or wrong, call me crazy – ohhh yeah – can provide at times some fairly amazing inspiration.

One of the reasons I chose vintage as an art form – anything from 1900 to 1940 really interests me – hankers from my love of all things old and from my memories of growing up with such a diverse group of people. Their often told stories, though probably a little on the embellished side, were over the years to become a great inspiration.

I love to gather, collect and create with old photos. Anything original I can then copy and make something out of – a canvas, a greeting card, whatever is required. Someone may be having a sixtieth wedding anniversary and I’ll receive the original wedding photo, copy it and produce a personalised poem, then place them together on an item that suits.

I have, over time, created cards and poetry for many occasions – everything from birthdays, get wells, the joyous arrival of a newborn to comforting words for the family of someone departed.

I recently did a card in remembrance of a chap who had passed; he loved both eagles and light houses, so using vintage as a theme, I created a piece that used both images and also worked them into the poetry. I admit, it’s a strange thing being able to write from the heart and yet not really be able to identify just where the words are coming from. Creating verse in this way is often a really emotional thing to do.

In my mixed media art, I work mainly with paper. I create an array of product: book marks, notepads, greeting cards, magnets, pot-a-pori bags, each with a special poem written upon them. One of my fav things to create are my fairy books; each little flower fairy is accompanied by a poem. They are worked in a vintage style and are crafted on wood, making them sturdy and so old world.

I have just finished working on a ‘fairy school house’, made from a shoebox, complete with moss roof and little fairy students. I think it’s adorable, and I loved working on it. I will have it on display at the March artist / farmers’ market.

My materials are sourced mainly from overseas, though I do pay homage to the girls, Marnie and Danielle at the Scrapping Bee, in Port Macquarie, who carry an amazing range of great product.

As with most people who dabble in some kind of art or craft form, I have a studio space in my home. I spend hours in there and am never happier than when at my desk creating.

My work can be seen by appointment at my studio, or at the combined artist and farmers’ market.

The artist markets have been a haven to each and every marketer who holds a stall there each and every month. I guess the word ‘quality’ sums up the abundance of talent that place harvests. I have been part of this exciting and vibrant melting pot for about 14 months now. I share a stall space with Kylie Wood from ‘Touchwood Massage’, and we both adore being there.

The market is so deliciously social; it’s impossibly friendly, and in fact it’s a great place to just be! In our little corner of the market, if we throw in Oscar the local liquorice man, with his ‘I’m a trouble maker’ sense of humour and the sweetheart girls, Amy and her Gran, who make the best foodie temptations this side of Bourke, then I feel blessed to be part of such a great community.

There is no doubt the amazing Necia Sarks has worked long and hard to give us all the opportunity to show off our wares to the public. I feel if someone then goes on to purchase our product, then that’s gotta be a bonus, for it means they really like what we are doing.

The combining of the artist and farmers’ market is going to be a very interesting venture. The maritime museum had such a fantastic ambience, and though it will be sorely missed, it’s time to move onwards and upwards and welcome the change. Hopefully the people of the Hastings will embrace this new format and continue to attend and support it regularly.

The following is a poem I wrote for a young Port Macquarie boy who was made paraplegic after a car accident; his bravery to this day continues to be simply beyond words.

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