Malini Parker laughing at herself

One Dozen Things I’m Really Bad At.

Malini Parker laughing at herself

Let me list for you the top twelve things that I really struggle with…

  1. Using new technology. Any kind. I needed 2 tutorials (with notes) to learn to use an electric drill.
  2. Finding my way without Google Maps. Shopping centres pose a unique challenge.
  3. Reading instructions. The words merge into one, and I nod off.
  4. Measuring things accurately. I try. Then I end up taking the average of three attempts 🙂
  5. Subtracting 7 from any number bigger than 10. This is an Alzheimer’s test… oh dear.
  6. Subtracting any numbers from anything. Hmm.
  7. Doing anything at all with numbers. This clearly explains why I was a mediocre scientist.
  8. Using public transport. Platforms. Tickets. Directions. Masses of people. I need a carer to take a train.
  9. Lifting heavy things. Puny arms.
  10. Climbing stairs. Puny legs.
  11. Doing ANYTHING AT ALL outside when the temperature is above 30 degrees. I melt. Seriously.
  12. Working on my new book anywhere other than in Albany, which is a whoppingly inconvenient 1000 km round trip from home!!

I hope that list made you feel better about all the wonderful things you are good at! I could go on and on…

However …

The temperature in Perth has been pavement-melting these past few days, well above 35 degrees Celsius (95+ if you’re non-metric). Yet, I’m so proud to say that I have not only been doing many things despite the heat (see #11 above), I’ve also been working on my book – in Perth! (I didn’t have to drive to Albany to do it!).

AND I’ve used new technology in the City of Perth library … plus I’ve been climbing multiple sets of stairs, many times a day!

Not only that, but there have also been other random new things in my life this week – like navigating an unfamiliar multi-level car-park in the city (and not getting trapped in there forever), using my left hand to clean my teeth and do other things cos my right hand’s been injured. Cleaning teeth with one’s left hand is the weirdest feeling. Let’s just say there’s a lot of wasted toothpaste.

Best new thing? Discovering the City of Perth library. It’s now my retreat-space for writing. This gorgeous building that I had NO idea existed, is absolutely stunning. It’s location, nestled among ancient and new buildings in the centre of the city, it’s shape, it’s interior… everything is so creatively architectured, it’s like stepping INSIDE a piece of art. And being able to work there on my book has saved me that 1000 km round trip to Albany!

I’m hoping all this new stuff will do its bit toward creating new circuitry in my brain. We could all do with some of those new circuits, don’t you think?! And talking of ‘creating new things’ I forgot the best – I’ve just finished 6 new paintings! (scroll down for a peek at one of them).

If you’d like to try something new, I highly recommend it. Making and doing new things is life-extending, brain-enhancing and best of all, it makes you feel like giving yourself a standing ovation! That’s how I feel when I climb the five flights of stairs to get to my favourite spot in the City of Perth library, even though my little legs are burning and I can’t breathe past the first ten steps 🙂

If you need more convincing that doing new things is a good idea, watch this TED Talk: “I Let Algorithms randomize my life for two years”. It’s funny and fascinating!

And if making art is your ‘new thing’ that you’d like to try, then I can help. Scroll down for the list of upcoming workshops in my gorgeous, light-filled Perth Hills studio, or just head to MALINI’S CLASSES.

To – strong legs, healthy brains, beautiful new things, and beautiful spaces to create them!

With love,

art classes perth

COMING UP in my STUDIO in 2021…

PAINTING WITH TEXTURE – A two-day workshop!
Malini Parker art classes PerthIf you love the thought of just making art for 2 whole days, and not thinking about ANYTHING else, hidden away in my bright, peaceful studio in a forest, this is for you! Here you will learn my techniques at a gentler pace than the Beginners One Day Intensive (see Painting for Beginners below), no matter what stage of your creative life you’re at – embryo, foetus, baby, toddler 🙂 … or perhaps you’re a grown-up artist and just need a boost! Come join us and start 2021 with some creative nurturing and a heap of FUN!

: Sat and Sun 17-18 April, 2021

FINDING YOUR WAY HOME – Another two-day workshop
Art Classes in PerthLife can knock us a little off kilter at times. We are faced with unexpected challenges that can shift our balance. Sometimes it’s downright difficult to find solid ground again. This workshop is for you if you’d love to use art and beauty to re-claim your centre and find your way – back to yourself. Although it is VERY suitable for complete beginners, this is not strictly a ‘how to paint’ workshop. It’s a ‘I want to LIVE my life fully and dive deep into my creativity’ workshop! With laughter and a light heart, we’ll take a journey into our lives and make delicious, personal, beautiful art: NINE panels that make a gorgeous tapestry of colour and life! Sound appealing? I hope so!

Sat and Sun 29-30 May, 2021

And lastly, the ever popular…

PAINTING FOR BEGINNERS – One Day Intensive Workshop!
Art Classes in PerthThis workshop has helped over 1600 people all over Australia, from Perth to Melbourne, re-discover their creativity, in just one special day. It’s the workshop you choose if you are time poor and really want to learn fast. If you would love the freedom to enjoy and create abstract, layered, textured art, quickly. If you have never ever picked up a paint-brush in your life but you are keen to un-cover your creativity –  creativity which was sometimes buried beneath years of toil and ‘more important things’! Our Creativity has magical powers, transforming, expanding and saving lives. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see what happens when you ‘open the door’?! 

Workshops on Feb 27, March 14, March 28 are now sold out and waiting list only:


And here’s one of my latest pieces… ‘LIMITLESS’ soon to be exhibited at the Perth College Exhibition in March.

Art by Malini Parker


Comments 7

  1. Thanks Mal, nice to know what you struggle with. If I listed all mine i’d run out of space. However, I like being reminded that we’re just one step away from trying new things. Today I made kimchi for the first time & actually followed a recipe ( I tend to struggle with following recipes & think I can make it up as I go along, not usually a success). As usual, I loved this blog. Thanks Mal

  2. Post

    OOOH I can’t wait to eat your kimchi … I can’t believe you followed a recipe! Well done, well done!
    You’re pretty funny … “If I listed all mine I’d run out of space” !! I think you’re good at all the things I’m crap at!
    (and thank you for your kind words 🙂 xx

  3. Hi Mal,
    I’m too old to list the all the things I’m crap at, but to start with would be cooking!! (hate it with almost a passion and thank goodness for a marvellous magical hubby who does what needs to be done when it is required)
    My latest ‘new’ thing is watching my poor damaged car being driven away on a tow-truck this morning and picking up my new automatic (first ever!) car this afternoon. Weirdest was test driving new car on Tuesday morning and hearing from Insurance company Tuesday afternoon that the old car was classified as a write-off, yet we could drive it (just couldn’t let passengers in on left-hand side – haha!)
    Thanks for challenging yourself as stairs are my big problem but have 23 to climb each week and struggle. With you climbing many more at the City library, I’ll do as hubby says and try to climb them a few more times. (Think he may pay for it as may need a new body part or 2 soon – haha!)
    Thank you for your inspirational chats with us. Much love :))

  4. Life is one big circle.. I did not know you when I lived in Perth, yet I now follow your journey from a little village in the Far North of NZ.
    I worked for the COP.. I was involved in the design of the children’s/young Person’s floor at the City of Perth Library, however I emigrated before I had a chance to enjoy the building..
    And now I am finally learning confidence in applying paint to paper and enjoying negative painting..

  5. This cracks me up. I’m pretty handy with technology and having lived alone for most of my adult life had to become pretty handy with a power tool. I’m ok with directions but Me, Fred and Google Maps on a road trip is a lethal combination and some screaming usually insues . . . “do you want my help or Siri’s???”! Also not the best with numbers and whilst it may make us “mediocre” scientifically, clearly the other sides of our brains function exceptionally well lol. Public Transport gives me palpitations, in fact I think I may be allergic! I wish I had puny arms and legs – at least they serve an aesthetic function! Imagine having tree trunks and fadooboodahs/bingo wings and STILL not be able to lift things (dodgy heart surgery chest) or climb stairs (dodgy arthritis knees) . . . .some of us don’t have to imagine!
    Spare a thought for us desert dwellers and the 40+ days. I used to always complain about heat on the coast and people thought I was bonkers for moving to the desert. The surprise was that I always thought I preferred cool weather . . . .had absolutely no idea what that was until I cried my way through my first -5 degree Alice Springs July night!!
    I LOVE libraries too. New York City Library is positively weep worthy. I wish I was someone who was an insatiable reader however . . . . . refer to your point 3. Can’t wait to hear more about your book though.

    Tash x

  6. Hmmmm, while I love your post, I must admit I am a tiny bit jealous that you now love the architecturally designed, innovative, award winning Perth library over the lovely, welcoming Albany library only 404km from Perth, one way. I guess I will have to accept and celebrate that you have found a beautiful place to continue writing your amazing story…I can’t wait for your book to be published…so I will focus on THAT.

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