Darling Mills Studio

Studio Space

TOAF Takeover on Instagram

Darling Mills Studio, Studio Space, The Other Art FairRachel MoodieComment

A few weeks ago I was asked to 'Takeover' The Other Art Fair Australia's Instagram account. Below is the story I shared. You can find the real deal on Instagram at @theotherartfairaus :)


Hi! I’m Rachel Moodie and I am happy to be today’s TOAF takeover artist! This is a digital collage called ‘Headland Reverie’ and it is both self portrait and the re-imagined memories from old photo albums.

I use the name Darling Mills Studio as our little cottage / tree house in the Western suburbs of Sydney backs onto Darling Mills Creek. This is the view out over the creek which constantly amazes me. The momentary changes in light, the shifts in the sky, drifting clouds and the calls of the birds are pretty inspiring.

My latest body of work is called the Reverie Collection. It came about when I was given a pile of old photo albums that belonged to my Great, Great Aunts… They travelled the world by sea between 1937 and 1938 prior to the outbreak of World War II. I knew I had to do something with them; reinvent them and pay homage to their memories.

This piece is called ‘Oceanarium’. This woman was in an old photo from Italy circa 1937. There was just something about her stance that I liked. Besides the old photos from my last post I also work with grainy old gardening books. I scan the images and blow them out to get the turquoise texture you see in the foreground. At The Other Art Fair Sydney this year a handful of people said they thought this piece was very Irish and this surprised me as I lived there for a while in my early 20’s!


At the fair I was commissioned to make another work that went with ‘Oceanarium’ and to print it on a tile. This piece is called ‘The Sisters’. It reminds me of my sister and I, and it nods to the two sisters who travelled the sea and whose photo albums I inherited. All my collages are limited edition Giclee prints on archival paper or prints on matt ceramic tiles.

This is an earlier work from a roadtrip taken across Australia in 2008. A few months after the trip I attended a design conference where a speaker explained how she used Photoshop as a tool to collage and sketch ideas. I liked this concept and began collaging my trip photos as a ‘sketch’ for future paintings. They became my Australiana Collection and are the dream like compositings of my travel memories.


To get off the computer and back to a more analogue form of collage I have taken my digital collages, painted them with encaustic beeswax and recollaged them with fabric, stitch, paint, crayon and old watch parts. This one is a called ‘One Cloud’ and was inspired by a recent trip to Manning Point.

Thanks for having me The Other Art Fair. If you like my work you can find more @darling_mills_studio or take a look at my website. Have a great week!

Creating in Small Moments

Darling Mills Studio, Studio Space, Creative MusingsRachel MoodieComment
My studio is a constant work in progress ~ Here it is with my latest mood wall.

I am pondering where I will be in 10 years if I create in the small moments and let go of hesitation.

A little creativity every day, (or even every other day) will add up to a lot down the track. First start small and see what comes. See what the small triggers.

Watching my daughter create, without hesitation, in small moments is quite inspiring. A 20 second scribble with a biro or texta, a 2 minute page assault with crayon or pencil, 10 minutes at a whiteboard with coloured pens are the small moments she grabs as tightly as she clings to me when I drop her at daycare. In one year (she started drawing at 1 year old) she has books and books of scribbles and my phone is full of photos of her work and they are so, so beautiful. 

I read somewhere recently that you don't learn creativity you are born with it and the majority of people unlearn it as they get older. I feel this to be true and I can see that it takes considerable effort to get that child like spontaneity back, especially after a period of creative block. 

So I am currently practicing these things to crack my right brain wide open and back into a flow:

  • Scribbling on paper like a two year old after drinking coffee and or wine.
  • Drawing one thing every day even if it's shit.
  • Writing as often as possible; stream of conscious writing, lists, memos, insta notes, blog posts.
  • Throwing things out of my creative space to make room for the new.
  • Setting up a new mood wall with lots of awesome inspiring things as creativity prompts.
  • Making use of small moments to make small progress on my bigger ideas.


  • When all else fails having a 'tanty'. From the ground there is a different perspective on things. x