Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thinking about 2009 and beyond as the bushfires burn.....

Waking up this morning to yet another extreme day (temps will be over 35 again) and with the smell of a distant bushfire in the air, I can't help wondering how Copenhagen talks re Climate Change will work out. My thoughts also wander to my grandchildren and I wonder what the planet will be like for them.

Over recent years, my serious art has depicted climate change (scroll down page to see "Spirit of the Land) and the drying of the Australian landscape. Indeed, I thought it important enugh as a subject to take it to Florence and there I was awarded a prize. But I wonder if it was because the judges saw the artworks as being relevant to today or was it the techniques I use to dribble and layer and colour the paintings. Did anyone even notice that my painting was a statement on what is happening to our beloved 'earth'. I know Charlotte Lugt got the message and was very excited that an artist would paint about the climate.

Those paintings glow out from the walls at you eerily, they're hot and dry and parched......they warn you of impending heat and fire; not unlike waking today and smelling smoke from fires close by. The acrid eucalypt smell pervades my room and brings back memories of fires seen over my lifetime.

Australia is hotter now than I ever remember, certainly dryer now in this area than I have known it to be. And with summer only one week in, I wonder how we will cope. My mother used to say "like mad dogs and Englishmen, standing out in the hot day's sun!" and that is what we have become. I am personally thankful that I can arrange my day around the midday heat but when are we going to introduce a siesta for Australia to help people who work through the heat.

I attended a rural women's conference recently to hear of what changes need to be made on our farms to cope with the continuing upward climb of temperatures. Hotter and wetter summers for this area, dryer and frostier winters.....different grasses, new ways of growing crops. All food for thought. At least there is a dialogue going on. I am reminded of how adaptable humans are. I wonder if we are governed now by money and regulations to the point where we can't change though. While people are flexible and adaptable, banks and governments aren't.

Our Prime Minister is off trotting around the globe to his conferences. Today they talk about Climate Change in Copenhagen and how to offset carbons in the environment. One wonders if he wouldn't be better off at home planting a tree or two instead. Carbon credits are basically now another commodity for the big banks to trade and the rich to get richer on. On the ground, there is little being done......reafforestation, replanting back native pastures and scrub lands, rebuilding wetlands and protecting species are all off the agenda as 'they' talk about how to keep the money flowing and stay with coal trading etc. Surely we need to be talking about new energy sources such as wind power and solar power and how to get them replacing coal as quickly as possible.

I continue to paint away in my studio; I continue to read Peter Andrews and his book "Back from the Brink"; I continue to live my rather simple life and downsize where I can and I continue to be intrigued by a planet that will survive long after 'humans' are extinct and I wonder what the 'new' species will be like.......hmmmm maybe I'll paint them!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

End of year coming up fast and furious!

I cannot have ever imagined how fast this year would go by! With the economic downturn blah blah blah and all that stuff they force feed us with, the year loomed ahead last January like an empty cavern only to be filled with delights and wonderful events!

First there was my dear friend Nina of Chop Art Gallery fame, who found love and a new baby early this year......and James and Katrina Sweetapple of Cargo Road Wines fame with new baby Mackenzie! Such a delightful start.....people doing what people are meant to do!

Then my son, David and his beautiful fiance announced their wedding dates for September .... best birthday gift I could get!

Most of the year was spent with friends doing stuff! Some great holidays to the coast, one to see family up Newcastle way and then Julie at Woolgoolga.....so many beaches walked and pondered this year! Australian beaches are so very beautiful......so lots of photos and material for paintings.....and I missed most of the cold winter of Orange.....

My lovely grand-daughter, budding artist and great little friend came and stayed with me for holidays......exhausting but such a treat! She's such a sweet little girl and artistic to boot! She loves to paint just like I did all my youth....she's observant and wise.....a thinker!

Then there was the massive weight loss I undertook amongst it all.....36 kgs gone....for good!

No exhibitions this year, not for me anyway.....but have hung several out at Jayes Gallery for many others. There have been a raft of new and emerging artists bringing their works to the gallery which has kept me on my toes as I have inspected and thought about each work. Jayes Gallery has grown into quite a well respected place with a large audience. Sales have increased throughout the year steadily as the stable of artists expanded to include glass artists and jewellers.

Sculpture in the Gardens had to be organised and got underway and created quite a lot of interest in the region. For the first event, it hung together well and the gardens were a good foil for the works to be displayed against. Really, sculptures are a great addition to gardenscapes providing more interest to draw you in.

All of these events have created a busy and fulfilling year in so many rich and rewarding ways. The economic downturn with it's promises of doom and gloom have actually been so far in the background that many of us forgot about it. For me, it wasn't an affluent year but richer in so many other ways.

Now the Florence Biennale Australia group are all ready flying into Florence for the next biennale. Having set up the website and maintaining it over the past 18 or so months has had its own challenges and rewards and we are now planning to hold a show of all of our biennale artists next year somehwere in Melbourne. Go Jim van Geet! He's onto it so watch this space!

I might just take a big breath between now and Christmas as next year is shaping up to be busier than the last, with 2 solo shows and an overseas show already on my own calendar, let alone all the other things I seem to have a hand in.....whew! I get tired thinking about it!

So this is retirement! I have to say it's a bit of challenge......

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sculpture in the Gardens

Amazingly, we have all survived the last few weeks and managed to get "Sculpture in the Gardens" underway. This is our first event with what promises to be an annual show thanks to the enthusiasm of all involved, the gardens, the people, the sculptors!

So well done everyone! Why not take a quick look at what the Central West can offer!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Birthday Week!

Well, I went out and had a little walk again this morning....nothing fancy....tried another stumble / shuffle that I think is a run along the path...it's a beautiful spot, the sun is shining and look what I found.....

This little Aussie Pea Flower is called Hardenbergia and at this time of the year can be found in abundance throughout the bush.....just lovely! It'll make a nice Aussie card.....hmmm!

Then went out to the Orange Highland Gardens to measure up the first sculptures to arrive for "Sculptures in the Garden". This is our latest event to be organised and is a new event for the area. Over 14 sculptors will be exhibited with over 26 sculptures....we are really happy as this is the first time for this event!

It's a beautiful outlook from the gardens across the valley to old man Canobolas....love the way the chair reflects the shape and blue of the mount behind it.....nice balance.....I wonder if this was placed here on purpose?

I find one of Norman Organ's emus as I stroll about! They're terrific! Can't wait to see them this weekend in all sizes!

It's fun and warm hearted art isn't it? The work from Suvira McDonald from Byron Bay is very very good.....2 lovely pieces called Citadel that I could definitely live with....this is promising to be an excellent show....hope the weather holds!

And last but not least, this is a brush I bought myself for my birthday! Found it in Raw Canvas for only $14.95! So all you budding artists, get down and see Raw Canvas and buy one! They are great for watercolour paintings!

I have to say my birthday week has been a good one.....tiring in many ways, but happy and quiet as well.....plenty of time to start to catch up on things like my online diary!

Hope to hear from you all soon!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dubbo Arts Society Biennial Exhibition

Well, yours truly had a lovely time in Dubbo last weekend judging the Dubbo Arts Society Biennial Exhibition. What a truly lovely group of people.

There were some exceptional artworks among the display and some categories were quite hard to choose between. Over 3 days, we judged, we talked, we hung, we ate and drank many a cup of tea, great scones by the way.

Well done Dubbo. I look forward to seeing you all again one day soon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tao of Drawing

Hi everyone!

It was a lovely day at Katoomba yesterday. I really enjoyed the class and the good company. The afternoon was sunny but a bit chilly, but we still managed to get down to Wentworth Falls to have a look around. The lake was gorgeous, clear and bright!

I have put 76 photos of my stroll through the forest for you on Picasa web so just go and take a look at the pictures for added inspiration and to remind you of the day. Just click on the "Tao of Drawing" title above or click on picture at bottom of post for the album!

It was a Tai Chi exercise for the 'mind, body and soul' and many of you found the peace in just being in the moment by drawing a simple drawing of something you 'found' in the forest, an element of the nature around us!

Drawing is an excellent way to connect to Tao, so take some time out when you're stressed and just 'be' with an object of your choice, lose yourself in it by drawing it and you will find that inner peace once again.

For those of you in the class, you can use the photos as inspiration for your own paintings with my permission.

I found a small potaroo (Australian Marsupial) in the forest. He is different to the house rat or mouse, in that he has a long nose, a softer look to his face, and rounder, browner ears......he was just sitting on the path when I walked up. Lovely! If you find one of these in the bush, don't hurt them. They are an endangered species and need our respect and care.

See you all again one day!


Tao of Drawing Katoomba

Monday, April 27, 2009

And on a lighter note!

From my friends in Fuerteventura

Ida and Tito sent me this video this morning. Tito has organised and an event for the town! Wow! Well done Ida and Tito......I want to be there! Look at all the sunshine! Happy faces and good fun!

For all the biennale group, Tito painted the big bright paintings on the side ogf the building towards the end of the video! He was such a funny man and Ida made the funny video on the biennale (plus this one) that's on my other blog at


and for more of Ida's work, go to here.....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAODaefNC_M&feature=email

Have a great day...the sun is trying to peep thru here in Orange in Oz!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Winter Blows In! Food Week!

Well Food Week went out with a bang! The usual damned cold blustery and rainy day for a grand finish! I climbed out of bed this morning grumpily facing the another winter's day! It's been four days since sun greeted me through my early morning window! I do love that sunlight to awaken to! As I grow older, I find the winter more and more depressing - cold seeps through the floorboards and into my old bones - ah yes, you say! I'm not old but I've packed a hell of a lot into this little ol' life of mine and I feel it! But Food Week, well that's for Sydneysiders visiting our fair place with their galoshes and brollies......not for me....in my world, soggy food, cold rain, mud and wine don't mix!

So here's a pic of the day!

See what I mean - no colour! Where's all my colour! What a day and then the phone rings....it's my good friend and confidante, Nina from the Chop Art Shop! She wants to give me a cheque and wants more paintings! Heavens you have to love that woman! She always sells well! I promise I'll come out straight away so I drag the weary bod into the car and head out!

Here's what I found on the way!

A rainbow but even it was finding it hard to be beautiful on this dreariest of days!

Had a lovely time at the Chop Art Shop even though a grim storm was promising to ruin our lives at any moment....the Gods really kbow how to wreck a Sunday....(Sun...day hmmm!) more like Stormday! If you're in Millthorpe don't forget to check out the Chop Art Shop - fun place filled with beautiful women and big smiles!

But on the way back got all inspired by this wonderful tree....had to stop and take a shot....

Hmm! Starting to think of e new theme to do......getting a bit inspired at last! Hope you're all good out there! and painting along well!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Breakdown.......or was that breakout?

Well I don't know about you, my friends, but Easter was just lurverly......I took myself to Sydney and looked after my 2 grand children.....what a hoot! but boy oh boy, am I paying for it now.....

The energy of the young is so fantastic! A continuous thread of high power, loud and bright noise that almost reaches the white point in your brain after just a few hours......still, for a gran, I think I did pretty well.

I did manage, amongst the melee, to grab a shot or two of that over the top and bright muralised room that Josie wanted......it took 3 long days over last Christmas to complete and will be due for renovating shortly......I think it would completely over power me but she seems to be happy with it.....so here's a shot for you to ponder.....

ah life is grand but today, I'm feeling a bit slow so here's hoping that you are all well and fine and painting along....selling as well....it's always good when someone else likes your work too.....

Time to focus on the good things in life....food....and off to the markets so I don't completly starve!

Monday, April 6, 2009


Good grief....it's damned Toosday and I haven't had a blog for a week!

What with all the goings and comings, it's been hard I tell you.

First there was the hanging of the art at Jayes.......two funny artists Greg Hyde and Eris Fleming, 44 works to be hung and catalogued, whew! then it was the opening that I didn't (couldn't make) too busy lying on my back watching Vincent and Rebus, too tired to hold the remote even......

Here's a little vignette I put together that I endearingly call 'the village life'......reminds me of Molong!

Nice saying to put nearby, "It always good to live in a village because if you wake up in the morning and don't know what you're doing, you can always ask around!"

But a great show....the long painting is by Eris Fleming and is "The Village".....and 2 of Eris' sculptures depicting humanity!

Then there was the art class (Autumn Art School) for the ill-advised........but thye came in droves, painted and conquered the empty canvases in front of them, ate fabuluous country fare, talked too much, and drove off into the sunset satiated and tired.........I was completely farked by then.......back to the remote.......

and today is Mad Monday.........phone hasn't stopped, the flat has been like Pitt Street in a mid morning clearance sale day rush, people coming and going, more of them.........ah the world's gorn completely nuts!

Decided today that there is no economic downturn, only a media furphy to keep the slaves in serfdom.......my decidely small budget hasn't changed.......and managed to sell a painting on weekend to a rash of tourists.......it pays to be on the lookout.......

Sorry I didn't take any snaps to give you a gander at the rabid goings on in the bush....so you'll just have to guess or go and look at my friend Phil's website (lookaround.com.au) He's usually got the happy snaps thing going!

The bat phone is still ringing and someone's due in for dinner sometime tonite ....good grief it could be midnight before they make a show......ah well back to the remote!

Life goes on in downtown bush........

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Josephine Jagger-Manners New Art!

Well last night was a blast! Really! It was a fantastic night with probably 200 people all up! They were spilling out of the Chop Art Shop and all over the pavement in every direction......

The Chop Art Shop Directors, Nina and Tonya, looked very pleased and so they should.....everyone had a fabulous time....the wine from Borrodell was great (as usual!) 17 artists work adorned the walls and plinths, contemporary and new bouncing off the Victorian interior with energy.....

Dinner after at Tonic was good.....the company was better.....Aida is very funny....haha.... and her friend Robyn was a delight. The conversation hilarious as is usual for our lot. Libby and Hugh are always good value. A wandering young girl flashing her rather flat chest at us late in the evening through the window also helped to bring the table to a roaring finish! Noisiest table in the room and not for the faint of heart!

But today.....today we head off out to Molong for Josephine Jagger-Manners new works. This is her first show and is being held at ther home. Her interiors are very intricate and elicate and remind me a little of Grace Cossington-Smith. I think she will do very well with these. It should be another grand gathering and most of us are looking forward to Michael's art in catering....!

So if you're around this way, this is where you'll need to be today in Orange!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Ah! Today's the day that Nina opens her new venture at Millthorpe, arty little village near where I live......it'll be a grand opening I am sure and we are looking forward to heading on out in our best pink and purple hair to commune with other arts bores over a vino etc So.....if you care to join us, please do at 6.30 at 25 Victoria St.

Some smart names, Alan Sisley to open the show, always entertaining - all the right ingredients for a good feast!

later we'll head off to Tonic - that very smart restaurant up the road for fine wining and dining of the very best kind.......and arts talk!

Have updated my little online shop of prints etc this morning , added a few more images etc etc.....but my right hand is giving me grief! It has a little tendonitis at the moment....from too much work....yeah yeah I hear you say.....but it's true. Can't seem to pick anything up aaargh!

Maybe a new artform.....left handed paintings - been done before I know but new for me....anyway away! see you another day!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Welcome to my diary!

Found this fellow on a headland just ready to fly. He had a little chat with me about how peaceful it was floating above the earth and sea, like a bird! and WOW!

I dunno about you, but I have found the last few months exhausting......several of my dear artist friends from all over the world are also finding it hard this year! There seems to be so much bad news these days, that for many of us, it is dragging us down.

I love to paint....I am always happiest with a brush in my hand or a forest to sit in....or a beach to listen to.

This last week I have been lucky enough to head to the beach and finding the open air, the fresh sea breezes blowing, the sun shining and the endless call of the sea still there made me feel alive.

I have returned to see last night's TV, all gloom and doom, then a show of some sheila cutting up a body (oh yuckie!)....and it all tumbled in on me again....I think I'll just go on back and sit by the sea.... Now I don't want to beat on the press, but when are they going to realise that we're all so sick and tired of their endless moaning and groaning that we are turning off to them in droves....no wonder Facebook, Twitter etc are winning over the press....it's all a breath of fresh air and most important of all, it's 'real'......good stories about 'real' people! Gotto love the web.....

So a few photos to remind me of what the world is really like....for those who care to take matters into their own hands and head on out and about....

Sat and stared at this wonderful surf over good coffee at Birubi Beach! The dunes just went endlessly to the horizon and beyond, much like the desert that I love......gives you such an awesome feeling of being small in the world! Always good for a big bird like me!

So this morning, I though, I think I'll start an online diary....for anyone who's interested....Thought it might be a bit more fun than Facebook, a bit more personal, no ads etc....so if you care to join me here, feel free to speak easy and from your heart......


Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunset Roadkill & Hubcap

Well, you never know just what is around the corner and just the other day, I was invited to participate in a Landfill Arts Project in USA......

Being the serious artist that I am, I just couldn't resist to take a few moments rest from myself and put together a painted hubcap.

Scrambling around the junkyard was inspiring in itself....amazing array of stuff there.....sculptureal! Finding a great Thunderbird hubcap (must be a classic!) I eagerly paid my $5 and headed home to the studio.

I have to say i was fun...and now today, it is finished and I've made a little video of it in progress.....background music courtesy of Four Second Fuse (my son's band!).......semmed to fit....."gotta make it in time!"

Hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

An Amazing Afternoon! Where there's smoke, there's fire!

This afternoon, my neighbour nearly burnt our block of units down! Yes! Really!

It has brought home to me the importance of insurance....you know, as artists, we're all a bit laid back, but if the fire in No 2 had escaped, if I hadn't responded to my neighbours telling me his flat had smoke pouring out of it, if I hadn't seen him working at the pub lat last night and realised that he was still sound asleep in his bedroom etc etc....then all my artworks could have been gone, finished, done with now.......

A survey of 25 years of work waiting for the next exhibition at the Orange Regional Gallery sometime in the next 12 months......

How would I have replaced them......I wouldn't of course as they are singular items, not reproducable ... my techniques aren't replicable nor my inspired moments......so hmmm.....might rethink that insurance thingey......

My afternoon spent sorting out all that stuff we artists make art out of........isn't it interesting how inspired one becomes when sorting paints, liquids, picklers, applicators etc.......there's some great little colours there that are just begging me to get going with the brush again......

next time....what I'm up to at the moment! It's pretty cool!