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Quick and easy recolorable shape. Brushstroke in the form of a circle. Ink sketch drawing created in handmade technique. V Ink spots set on white background. Which makes me wonder, WHY do socks disappear? We treat them as a pair, but when you come to think of it, only because they LOOK the same. Maybe below the surface they are quite different and crave individuality.
Or maybe they both prefer the same foot and one gets tired of sharing. Or maybe one finds a solemate in a sporty little anklet. Or runs off with a shoe. Which makes me wonder about knives and forks Stay tuned And soon for something completely different Time for a cuppa! The countryside was lovely, people friendly, and I had a nourishing few days painting with friends under trees overlooking golden paddocks on their property.
I mean, if I stop, what are the chances of a rock actually falling exactly where I am? It just seems a rather whimsical way of the roads and traffic authority to deal with boulders rolling onto the road Paddocks at the moment autumn are full of weeds and succulents and grasses that have devised all sorts of methods to pierce, cling to and travel along with you and your clothing.
Pretty amazing to think that they have evolved to include socks in their life cycle Gully gum Susie, now 14, my dog , I am convinced, is a bit touched with dementia. She is beginning to get excited about dinner earlier and earlier, in fact, almost directly after breakfast. Add to that the fact that today we went back onto eastern standard time so tea was that much later and you can understand why I was keen to take her up to the park to distract her for the extra hour until it was time for her dinner.
As it turns out, my dinner was also an hour later so I had to hurry her back from the park so I could eat. We have just had some lovely rain. Which is lucky. I installed a watering system comprising some of those hoses that leak water gently into the garden, and my ex fish pond pump lowered into the rainwater tank.
Luckily the tank is now full. I expect it will be full for some time. A friend took my very first batch of paintings away to go into an art show. They looked very exciting all tucked up in their bubble wrap, but I still feel a bit awful saying goodbye to them. I must get over that! The latest paintings include a storm brewing in Tasmania.
Happy Easter Bunny! I have had a chat with Chroma who make the juicy oil paint-like acrylics I paint with, and they were happy to supply paints for this first, experimental workshop. It went so well that there will be more - although we may need to find a bigger venue than my living room! A digital camera is great to capture a painting if you like it, so you can then keep going and make a mess of the whole thing!
I ended up with a forest as autumn approaches - I keep coming back to trees! Into the wild- or not The other day I went outside to tip some vegetable water on the garden and heard a huge racket above in the Queensland Firewheel tree. It was a group of rainbow lorikeets squabbling and rabble-rousing. The next time I went outside they were still at it, but there was a mighty rustling of leaves as well. I took a closer look and as I stood below, the leaf-rustling seemed to be descending through the tree towards me. A dark shape emerged, and I was eyeball-to-eyeball albeit two of them were upside down with a baby fruit bat!
It had a band on its thumb so was clearly one of the orphans from a colony in the bush below me who had been hand-reared and were newly released. I dashed for the camera and took a few snaps, then moved inside and watched from the kitchen so it could go about its business returning to the wild. You have to understand that my kitchen wall in all glass. So, having had my moments taking a good look at her, she flapped across to the palms outside the kitchen, moved as close to the window as she could get, and proceeded to take a good look at me.
We looked at each other for some moments in our various gravitational orientations, she slipping on the palm branches and me wanting to commune with her while knowing I should let her get on with her re-orienting to nature. However, she seemed to be more oriented to me. I guessed she was still bonded to her carer. In front of the house next door are some power lines where bats are often electrocuted as their wingtips span the gap between wires. I knew I should leave the baby alone but was afraid she might get zapped, so eventually ventured out with a stripey beach towel.
She happily climbed aboard and half clung to it and half to my shoulder as I maneuvered through gates and down steps to a small fig tree below the house. I unpicked her claws from towel and tee shirt fabrics and deposited her on a branch, then dashed back to the stairs. VERY exciting. But, I knew I should make myself scarce so did. Later she was asleep and clinging to a fig root on a cliff face below the house, so was comfortably out of the sun, and by the next morning she was gone.
Other nature recently - a little spider who catches its prey in a tiny net which it casts over them, and a china duck who sits out front where our elderly duck used to rest. Susie, my dog, lies out with it the way she used to lie with its live predecessor. As an experiment today I made a screencast while drawing a Click on the picture below and the magic of technology will let you experience exactly what I experience when cartooning!
It is currently hanging in my cupboard in Sydney NOW she tells us I think they expect to take 10 days! You can read about it and check their progress at www. The landscape was incredibly beautiful and silent as it glid past OK, glided. OK, yes, we were doing the gliding, but you know what I mean Sigh Difficult in boots. Winter photo sent to me by friend Nancy in Nova Scotia. Bones I sent off two entries for consideration for the Glover Tasmanian landscape painting prize but heard on Friday that my pieces were not selected as finalists. It means I can still look forward to the first time my paintings get recognition somewhere.
My main reason for entering was to have photos of my work in the hands of the three judges who selected the finalists; fun to think of people in the art world seeing them. One would be mean to hope they get a stitch. My paintings were based on a trip through the drought-stricken midlands of Tasmania in March The second was an attempt to simplify down to the essential elements.
I think that is what I aspire to in painting - something which is fundamental to my work as a cartoonist and illustrator. But the people in the Philippines were very nice. People in the Philippines are very nice. Probably why they got the job. While cartooning and illustrating and writing under the nom de plume Kerry Millard , I am painting under my non-nom de plume Kerry Thompson. I have a new online gallery at www. If so, take a look when you have a minute. If you have any questions, I can recommend the Philippines. This week I hear whether one of my paintings has been accepted for hanging in the Glover Prize exhibition in Tasmania in April.
Last week I spent time on a cattle property called Mullee Mullee near Bendemeer NSW painting on the top of a hill and then in the hay shed. I wanted to paint from life to see what would happen. Bumping up and down hills and around the place on the back of a quad bike and hopping off to open and close gates had me grinning from ear to ear reminding me of my own days living on a property. A country wedding at Manilla north of Tamworth complete with reception and bush dance in a working wool shed followed. My main encounters with nature included being stung by a wasp when visiting a beautiful nook amongst the hills spotted spotted deer close to the spot and being handed a pressure bandage in case of snake bite when being dropped at the top of the hill for the day with my 6 kilos of paints.
At one stage a long slim dark thing rose up out of the grass startling me enough to leap away rather quickly and off the other end of the stick. First one. And more advanced. I bumped into a friend as I left Le oops! Travel through and camping on and under bits of Western Australia with two of my offspring and painting with the six kilos of paints I flew across the country with made for a fascinating and beautiful Christmas.
Somebody is eating my vegetable garden as quickly as I grow it I had one red apple coming on and one green but whoever it is began to eat the red one as it began to colour, bit by bit. By the time it was red it was gone. Then the green one simply disappeared in one fell swoop. I discovered a huge thrill painting for a particular end; the work has to depict Tasmanian landscape and I LOVED taking up the challenge and making the paintings.
The first trip is coming up - to the Tamworth district. It will be hot! But I digress. Very loud, very confident, a bit pushy, kind of fake How awful. Of course, I WAS those people. Anyway, I digress again. Then with trolley full, there were two checkouts with a queue of customers waiting, and one checkout with one customer. Yes, the one customer was she. I paused and debated and debated and debated In my mind I started running over what might have happened had I stood in line behind her and had she noticed me and what she would have said and what I would have said How ARE you??
I feel really grounded, really strong, ready to take on the world Merry Christmas! Can I keep my brushes clean? Once the suitcase is full of paints and easel, will there be room for clothing? How long can one T-shirt last mid-summer? These and other questions will be answered. That way I can treat it as an experiment and adventure rather than trying to live up to a particular expectation. I was stocking up on dog food so my trusty house-sitter and Susie will be all set.
I look forward to chatting again next year - my trusty laptop is taking a break for the next two weeks so no blog for a little bit. Look, Dick, look. See the snake. Watch Sally run. Last week I looked up one evening to discover a little brown frog sitting at the door to the living room. A few days later I met a frog in the toilet first thing in the morning no photo available. The situation being slightly more urgent, I managed to catch it after it had slipped momentarily up under the rim Besides, it WAS in a toilet It was the most beautiful, exciting, graceful, exquisite slender green snake.
Something I have never seen before. They glittered when the sun caught them. I thought maybe they are, but it looked shy, so I was then set with the age old problem- do I stand at this distance watching it for ages, or go outside and try to creep closer with the camera, but risk frightening it away. I chose the latter.
I managed to film it a bit, but it decided to slither down off the verandah and across to the pond. It was indescribably beautiful. What an exciting few moments! I Googled it. Yes, it was a green tree snake. But they do eat frogs. Using the pot as a landmark, it may have thought the pond had moved up here too. It will be interesting to see what feedback they inspire! Incidentally, we had a by-election yesterday. I vote at the local school which has a barbecue going to raise some funds. Democracy smells like sausages. In answer to a couple of questions posed last time: No, if a baby spinach is eaten off twice by something or somethings unknown, it does not grow back; yes, if the growing top of a bean gets nibbled off ditto, it grows back with two tips!
I feel mean but hope they die happy - the level of the beer goes down overnight enough to make me suspect that the beans may be helping themselves to a tipple as well. The first time we played together as a group was when we stepped on stage for the performance as people came from all over the country. It was quite surreal not even being able to hear my voice in my own head. The event was held at Darling Harbour - amazing city views. Here a bower bird sits at the edge of a billabong. I think milk producers here stopped using blue plastic lids for a time because birds were being choked in the rings and were redistributing them into the bush- but I could be making that all up.
I LOVE it! And what a gorgeous teacup! Mind you. Started as a bit of a novelty, but the women were actually crack players and ended up with a big following. War ended, they were disbanded. One of my kids was working in California recently and while riding around on a bike, came across a garage sale of items from the estate of a woman who had recently died.
Turns out she had been with the league and had helped to make the uniforms. My offspring bought and packaged up the most wonderful array of thimbles, unopened bias binding, packets of needles, zippers and more, including an enchanting wooden box full of spools of thread in wonderful colours. They were sent to a sibling who will give them a new life in Australia and turn them into items their original owner would never have dreamed of but would probably have been excited to know about I love that. A little thought as I drank my cup of tea in the front garden The third option which may or may not eventually occur to the kid is that it is the parent who has the problem.
Good things for mulling, cups of tea. Nibble nibble little mousie Last night a little bandit nibbled off some beans which had JUST popped their heads above ground. Having sprayed with garlic for bugs and copper something for slugs and snails, today I sprayed with mint for mice Any luck? I got Today I hung 10 paintings in the Gordon branch of Westpac Bank Take THAT! The other day I received an email from the new puppy chez a friend of mine. She has obviously grasped not only the language but also keyboards and basic electronic communication which I think is pretty fine.
The wedding dress alluded to is one which my friend has made for a person on a diet, therefore needing judicious refitting and discussing at regular intervals. It has been an interesting and ongoing topic of conversation I was recently sent a photo. I have checked with the puppy, Meg, and she is quite OK with me reproducing our correspondence here.
She did raise a few issues regarding copyright but had already done a search on the internet so they were easily negotiated. The internet, for all of its myriad faults, does have the odd advantage. I wonder if the young of today have any idea how much they are taking for granted I am faster than Emma and having two sets of stairs is really fun. Hi Meg, Thanks for the note. Wow, well done re the stairs. Have you tried hiding her shoes? That can be a fun game too. And nice to meet you. You have found yourself a wonderful home, so well done for that as well.
I guess you don't know much about wedding dresses yet but the one at your house is pretty fabulous. It can be your yardstick we actually use metres these days but the expression requires imperial measure I'm not sure how many paws that it Bye for now, Kerry. Last Wednesday morning we opened our eyes to a world completely transformed: eerie and spooky beyond words. Everything outside was orange, and distance had vanished. Rare conditions of dry inland after decades of drought plus low pressure system plus high pressure system had combined to whip up winds which would vacuum tonnes of silt-like topsoil from the red centre of Australia, fan it eastwards in a cloud almost two thousand kilometres long, then blow it onwards to New Zealand.
Inner city as the dust started to clear During the night I had begun to smell and feel the dust as wind began to buffet the house. A red fog of silt lit by the struggling sunrise created a Martian landscape. When light changes here, it usually means bushfires are about, and smoke is toying with the sun. Once the world turned green. That time a cyclone cut a swathe through the city snapping the top third off massive gum trees.
When the light changes, one starts to feel a bit edgy.
I was heading into the city that morning with a wheeled suitcase full of books. By 10 am when I was on the move, the dust had tamed to a sickly yellowish fog on a boisterous wind such that the Sydney Harbour Bridge spanned a solid nothingness in a very disconcerting manner. Dust is just that degree more committed than water when it comes to pea soupers. My mission was to do a double-act presentation with Duncan Ball at an event called Bookfeast where teachers bring kids from schools all over the city to sit with authors and chat over paper plates of lunch.
It was fun building up a drawing bit by bit while the tale unfolded. I must confess that by the third poem I wandered off topic a bit and drew Duncan in a tutu. Suited him, I thought. Possibly years. Just in case. I have been making postcards today - check them out On The Drawing Table. So I was driving along a little back road the other day - a little residential street with parking on one side but narrow enough that you have to pull over to let oncoming traffic through.
It winds a bit and there are those bumpy things in the middle to keep you on your side of the road. There are speed humps. It is an uphill climb to the highway. There are traffic lights at the highway and pedestrians. Suffice to say I was not speeding up to the lights at the top. I heard someone beeping.
I looked in the rear view mirror and saw right behind me a little car with two young fellas in it- presumably laughing and joking, otherwise they were fitting in synchrony. I guessed they had spotted a friend.
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They were right on my tail. Hey, could they have been beeping at ME???!!! I was still in a bit of doubt until red finally turned to green and they whisked around the corner behind me with a final auditory rude finger. How infuriating! How unjust! What about the narrow road, the speed limit, the hill, the curves, the speed humps, oncoming traffic, the pedestrians, the inevitable red light? I began to work out what I would have done if only I had realised sooner that they were honking at ME!
Can YOU? Food for thought and worth some hearty discussion I think! It was a success!!!!!!!! There are 41 works spread along the walls of the Gordon Library, and for me it is wonderful to see them all at once! It makes the library feel like my living room made gigantic - full of books and my familiar paintings. I then had a chance to chat about how deeply important it was to me that my mother had loaned me her oil paints when I was 8 and took my painting of a puppy to a gallery owner to see if he thought I should start lessons. Their respect for me as a painter made that part of my identity- but a part which I had forgotten.
And which I have now remembered with great excitement and productivity! People loved the paintings yay! All have gone to good homes. Bittersweet- seeing my babies going off into the world And in the middle of it all, a beautiful colourful bouquet arrived from my friend in the Yukon - colours matching those of the paintings! I decided to go into the city on Saturday and take advantage of the spring weather to walk along Circular Quay and visit the Museum of Contemporary Art. Fun people-watching.
Looked around for a short stint- very exciting. On the way home bought a book about pigments Like the history of spices. How crass are we???!!!! Apparently it was a purplish-brown colour. I ran across a few Aboriginal fellows on Circular Quay dancing and playing didgeridoo to a backing soundtrack, and selling paintings. I asked if I could take a few photos The Opera House has unexpected faces Sydney has unexpected jumbles of buildings Tomorrow I may visit a few real galleries to find out about how one sells through such venues. I expect to be thrown out on my ear, but you have to start with the questions.
Wish me luck!!!!! Paint everywhere! I can tell you which painting it was from by the colour. The filing cabinet was a mess for a few moments there And the exhibition is all set to go- I have my 40 paintings and a few extra in case I like them better than any I have already. It has been wonderful fun being able to invite lovely people to the opening- like having a funeral that you get to be at but nobody has to worry about gifts.
And for my next trick I must stop painting for a bit and get some other jobs done! Have you ever noticed that wet washing in a laundry basket sitting in limbo between the washing machine and the clothesline goes mouldy more quickly than it dries? How is it that the universe ended up that way? These are the BIG questions. They were just what I needed to complete the picture! This is based on a view from the escalator of the Pompidou Centre Then decided to finish it again How lucky is that???!!!
Other studios have more of an emphasis on meeting other artists and being involved with the artistic and wider community. I think. So here goes! Do dogs get dementia? I studied zoology and vet science but nobody mentioned memory loss in pets I mean, how can you tell if a dog goes into a room then forgets what she went in for? I ask because I suspect my dog, Susie, has it.
The painting is getting very exciting The latest two I LOVE making colours buzz and burn and sing together So far I went to the library a couple of weeks ago to find out about having an opening for the exhibition and discovered that the space had been double-booked! I was cancelled! Another lesson in how it is good to speak up. This one is called, for the moment, City Park. It started as the Botanical Gardens and Harbour Bridge with reflections in the water. Then yesterday I turned it on its side and began to paint interlacing branches which always fascinate and delight me and are everywhere at the moment now that winter is here.
It grew from there Art compels one to ask the big questions Also, how did the salesgirl in the art shop manage to charge me for my own empty tin of varnish which I took in to show her what sort I wanted and took out of my bag in front of her moaning that it had leaked??? The magnolia is blooming its heart out, a king parrot came to visit today with its absolutely brilliant plumage, and when I was out for a few hours on Saturday a cockatoo picked all of the lemons but one off my little tree and took a bite out then dropped them on the ground.
It would have been quite an acrobatic feat for such a large bird to navigate such a small tree, but the bites are definitely cockatoo! Ah nature; tooth, claw and more than a little sense of humour! A kookaburra came to tea A friend was wondering how to clean ivory piano keys; my mother and her mother both played piano, my grandmother having trained at the Conservatorium in Toronto and having gone to the piano factory to choose her instrument when the day came that she could afford one.
Their method for cleaning piano keys was a barely damp cloth with water for the black keys, and methylated spirits for the ivory keys using little cotton balls. I remember because cleaning them used to be my job. Actually, I guess toothpaste should work seeing as ivory is actually tooth enamel, but the rinsing and spitting would be hard. My grandmother was one of four girls. One time they were out in the back garden at the rain barrel washing their hair when their suitors arrived early at the front of the house. My brother is having difficulty working on a script with a gaggle of kids on summer holidays Canada screaming all day outside his window.
I remember Mum and me hearing that once and thinking that whoever wrote it is counting on being deaf in old age. I've been told I need to lower my cholesterol- turns out it's actually what used to be normal but they changed the official level for normal so now it's a bit elevated. Like when a few years back "they" decided to lower the levels of certain bacteria allowable in Sydney's water supply, and we all had to start boiling our water or use bottled water even though the levels were what they'd been for decades.
Then they changed the levels back again but the supermarket shelves had filled with bottled water and have stayed that way ever since. Just musings today The exhibition is disappointingly on hold for the moment as I wait to see if a fly in the ointment with a spanner in the works at the library can be sorted out - will write more detail once I know whether a bureaucratic mis-communication has put paid to our arrangement or not.
A little packet arrived today from my dear friend in the Yukon. She had been visiting Sitka and was interested in learning about the influence of the Russians who were there between and It had a beautiful design stamped into both front and back. Neatly folded so it fit perfectly on top of the box inside the outer wrapping was a brochure from Australian Customs saying they had opened the packet, and listing the items which may NOT be sent into Australia. So let me get this straight.
Also a photo of one of the most wonderful creatures I know, a gecko. It was under a piece of firewood. This one is elements of Nova Scotia- autumn trees, round bales in white plastic, harbour, lighthouse, little houses with eyebrows over the windows, ploughed and planted fields and winter coming. Exhibition coming! So I was in the local library and for the first time noticed that there were paintings for sale on the walls! Well, I suppose that seeing as I illustrate books and am a cartoonist they figured my stuff would be OK, but just to be on the safe side I took my laptop in and showed them photos of a few.
They loved them!!!! So now I have an excuse to paint flat out for the next month and a half, because the exhibition will be hung i. How exciting!!!!!!!!
- Cuentos para la educación infantil (Spanish Edition).
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- Talk:Battle of Copenhagen (1801).
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NOW the question is, can I keep experimenting and playing or will I suddenly start trying to paint the kind of paintings I somehow imagine people think are real paintings??? Here are the latest few. Goanna and two geckos This is what happened to the painting of a bird from the previous blog entry Blow the tidy house, I want to paint! I loaded the palette with all of my colours then just got stuck in with no plan in mind, just going where the painting took me.
The first one is a big canvas and ended up being Sydney. Too bad because it really helps the painting The next one was a bird Again, nothing was planned, I just let it evolve. The final canvas played further with birds and their world Then I had to tidy up If you are selling your home, chances are you will need to choose an agent to sell it for you.
Being in that position myself, I was surprised to discover that there are numerous varieties of Real Estate Agent. I made a study of them and have summarised my findings below. Some features I have noticed, and anecdotal data supports this, to be common to many varieties, while some features are specific to one or two and are indeed the defining characteristics of those particular cultivars.
Barry Kirwan's Blog, page 8
I have made a diagrammatic representation of one variety below. Other varieties include: The Young Double-Breasted WhipperSnapper : Male plumage includes shiny suit and wide subtley coloured tie, chunky gold ring, black leather loafers with those ridiculous long toes they have at the moment, and a white binder with laminated pages creating a manual power-point presentation.
YOU could be an agent, he says Common Agent features: dresses better than you, car is better than yours, phone is better than yours. He leaves you a quivering wreck after pointing out that numerous features which were passed by council at the time would never be passed by council today what are you supposed to do The Over-The-Gate -Friendly This agent is particularly tricky because there is nothing wrong with him.
He is friendly, genuine, has good references, is attentive, has time to chat, has good hearing and driving skills and is not hard sell. His main draw-back may be in suggesting you visit one of his open-for-inspections to see how a house should be presented. Your floors are spotted gum friendly maps of memories - dogs, chairs, tables, kids, shoes, dancing practice, clown bike disasters, juggling, rocking chair dents Defining feature: Really nice.
No flaws. Common Agent features: Dresses slightly better than you, car is better than yours, phone is better than yours. Common Agent features: Clothing humble and in subdued colours but still better than yours, car better than yours, phone better than yours. One question I would advise you to ask any prospective agent is how they intend to react if you tell them you have decided to go with somebody else.
This can become a very important factor if you have interviewed lots of agents. It can be a very disturbing evening on the phone and you may need a stiff drink. Or two. Once you have interviewed and classified your various agents it is then possible to make an educated decision which one you feel would best represent your home.
Each vendor is different, which is jolly lucky for agents as they all seem to get enough work to buy better clothing, cars and phones than you Or maybe your clothes, car and phone are just crap. This morning my little blue house was open for its first Open For Inspection. I spent Mothers Day up a ladder and under desks with paintbrush and hammer in hand At one stage I wondered how I was managing to get water in my rubber glove all the time.
Now I wait for the be-skirted dynamic agent to ring and give me some feedback. Having done so much physical work to get it ready is actually very satisfying. Maybe if I move that vase a tad to the left You have no idea how carefully I chose the nasturtiums. I felt a thump of depression on Thursday - the day the sign went up: For Sale. It made the whole thing real. But I have to leave to make room for the next chapter. It even has embossing on the cover! Now, how can I place it so everybody will see it but it looks unintentional??? The plot thickens I went with the last of five agents interviewed - a true whirlwind, jangling with jewellery, swirling in skirts, and as an economics graduate and former teacher, her papers quickly spread across the table and her explanations were scribbled on a battered pad of paper with arrows and triangles and important bits circled.
I worked for me. The brush turkey came back to see what all the fuss was about. It has actually been fun. Rather than feeling invaded I feel like I want to make people really welcome. I put in a wee vegetable and herb patch the other day I just gaze at it. Baby celery is so cute. Autumn is a lovely time in Sydney because plants pluck up enough courage to put out the odd flower without so much fear that they will end up cooked in the sun.
Then I was away for a bit and neglected everything so tied bits of pink surveyors tape here and there instead. I remember one time my grandmother admiring the spring tulips in my childhood garden in Ottawa and musing how unusual it was that they were out in the fall.
I told her they were plastic. Somehow surveyors tape feels more honest. My little electric lawnmower lurched over the hillocks created by the chooks scratching around each clump as if in some kind of 4 wheel drive rally. Which means if you pull it backwards the wheels fall off. Which means you have to keep going forward and the extension cord gets wound around the magnolia tree. Back from Lismore Middle daughter and I spent two days constructing a chook chicken tractor moveable pen out of plastic hose and wire.
We were both very proud and very exhausted by the end. We bought a rabbit hutch for the duck and oiled it with vegetable oil. Everybody of a feathered persuasion stayed in a tent until the cage was built and hutch was bought. It worked really well, although I found a cigarette butt on the first morning so I hate to think what they were getting up to in there. There has been rain in northern NSW and the countryside is green and very beautiful There are tropical trees and a jungle feel just around the house, and she suggested we put wire on the cage of a small enough gage to keep snakes out.
Luckily she had her new gum boots rubber boots on! Each house is given a chart showing their height relative the various flood levels. When the river rises 8 metres they get a warning, and when higher, advice to evacuate and a map of the roads they can use to get out. Not sure how you see the roads once it floods I have also been talking to various real estate agents re selling the house in Sydney. One more to talk with then a decision will have to be made which one to work with. Another said they want people to fall in love with the house.
Month: November 2011
Same thing in the end, but the two approaches certainly feel different! The plot now is to sell before winter June then move with the dog Susie to Tasmania Tasmania and rent until I find my next house. The question is, can I get he house ready in time???? Meanwhile, remembering Tasmania Every time I saw him my first impression was that he was texting somebody. Back from Tassie - but not forever! After three and a bit weeks I am home from Tasmania.
The smallest State in Australia is very varied and absolutely lovely. I puttered around Launceston in the north, cut through the drought-stricken middle and then pottered about Hobart and district in the south. It felt good in Tasmania. It feels like a place you can put your arms around and hug.
Hobart is the second driest capital city in Australia after Adelaide, but just over the mountains is heavy rainfall and ancient rainforest. Blistering drought grips the centre, cliffs and beaches march around the coastline, forests are either protected from, wait for, endure, or are the result of logging while the log-laden trucks make drivers on winding roads stay alert.
Numerous species of whale, giant squid, penguins, dolphins, and kelp beds are some of the treasures in the surrounding ocean. The ferry across from Melbourne to Devonport on the North coast takes 9 - 11 hours overnight. Hobart reminds me of a cross between Sydney and Ottawa as I remember it from my childhood- a small and kind city.
Fishing boats dock in front of business-suit filled city buildings. I loved Hobart, and fell in love with the Huon Valley. In my quest to find a lovely house with a little back gate opening onto I found two, but one was owned by my friend, and the other not for sale. The plot is thickening, but it looks like it will involve a move to Tasmania one way or another! GPS , squiggle down to the south, then have a week twiddling around Hobart before heading home again.
Tasmania is about the size of Ireland, is dry in the middle and very wet and rugged on the west coast. It has some very old houses from the more recent Australian perspective, having been an early penal colony. Other Things I know about Tasmania - yes, it is part of Australia. VERY exciting This week our thoughts have been filled with the bushfires in Victoria. So terrifying. So much sadness and loss. This week my house on the edge of the bush has been visited by several wonderful animals.
They are the very reason why so many of us love to live where we do amongst the trees. A pair of brown pigeons came to visit. I discovered a wee frog who sits on the back railing after dark A moth like a curled piece of leaf visited the kitchen And shadows paint their own pictures This summer we have had very hot days and humid which makes them unpleasant but reduces the risk of bushfire slightly. It is frightening to smell smoke on the wind day after day but this year in Sydney has been relatively quiet and at the moment we are having cool weather and rain.
I can hear frogs as I write - two types that sound like machine guns- one higher pitch than the other, and some that sound like wood tapping against wood or somebody playing tennis. I can hear the fruit bats in the valley and parrots. I can hear a black headed cuckoo shrike. Fingers crossed I would love to find a cosy house in a cooler climate with a little back gate leading Also on the list is a vege patch for planting some giant pumpkin seeds given to me by some lovely friends!
So the hunt is on for a house that goes with pumpkin seeds The next big challenge was to go out into the world to paint. It reminded me of my first foray out of the house with a new baby- I had seen mothers with those enormous bags they always seem to carry but had no idea what was supposed to go in them and was therefore really nervous whether I had the right things in mine.
Nobody made comment which may have spoken of accuracy in my packing, or such inaccuracy that to mention it would be too embarrassing for all concerned. I decided on a bigger bag on the principle that if I took absolutely everything, I would have to be at least partly right. Plan B: onwards to the local field which is used as a Pony Club.
blot and splodge and the sloping soldiers Manual
When painting at pony clubs, be warned that the upturned blue bucket which one cleverly intended to sit upon is flimsier than it looks. Also be warned that there exists in nature a long slim bug with an orange head and an orange bottom who exhibits a strong desire to wade through blobs of white paint. The evolutionary advantage escapes me.
Scribbly gums are beautiful trees with coarse blackened often bark at the base from which extend long creamy limbs. A small insect begins life just under the surface of the bark and leaves a scar as it wanders back and forth, changing its mind and getting bigger. The scribbles are enchanting, although naturally I speak for myself; the view of the tree may be otherwise. I chose to paint one such tree. With board and paper on my lap, I was frustrated by how limiting it was working so close to the paper using fine motor skills and how deliberate the whole painting became.
It dissolved into patterns as I tried to look away from the tree and play with colour. Everything too deliberate. Too contrived. To shake myself out of the controlled nature of that style, I next used a fat brush and just put colour onto a canvas where it felt good. Their painting is from the gut and the heart. This was the pony club through a whole different set of eyes - painted quickly and loosely on an easel.
It just felt right to be put there. Then back to painting the tree but more as a remembered character. This third painting was such a joy to create, and the final small details a leaf, the scribble, the bug which a young child would not have added, creates what is to me a deeply satisfying harmony. I would like to do more work in this style We have to find our own ways back, whatever our medium or style, and our own voice. I was inspired by a painting begun by my daughter. The ultramarine sky and red earth colours were wonderful and I was excited to start a painting the same way. I learned something invaluable: I was excited to see what she would do next.
Not to see a finished painting of such-and-such, but to see what marks my daughter would create on that surface next. It was exciting to get stuck into my own new painting - nothing was deliberate so much as flowing onto the canvas much like improvised dance. I love putting colours together that buzz and zing against each other. Then I was busting, although terrified, to go on to a huge canvas which has been hiding behind my drawing table.
Onto it flew memories of the desert in northwestern New South Wales where I spent several weeks in Sturt Desert It was exhilarating to re-create cracked clay pan, red earth, scrubby bush, the feel of distance, and a bone which we found embedded in the hard sand. The freedom and looseness and colours were wonderful, but could I apply that to non-desert scenes?
It is fantastic to have a base of red and orange and yellow against which to play greens and mauves and blues, but could it be done the other way around? My back verandah So far OK I was trying to achieve the feel rather than physical accuracy- so I got to draw the chairs as they feel - like creatures sitting out there, rather than getting them structurally correct.
What a blast! And yes, I could start with the blues and greens then add touches of reds and oranges and pinks. One more huge blank canvas sat in the study. I wanted to paint a beautiful bit of countryside in France, on the lowland below Saint-Flour. The trick was to allow myself to play with colours and go where I wanted with them, and to do suggestive bits and pieces rather than trying to achieve reality. At one stage the top half looked realistic and the bottom half playful, but after I put the photo away and began to work with and enjoy colour and shape as separate entities from the scene itself, it took off.
Below Saint-Flour, France A baby brush turkey has been scratching around the garden - body about the size of a grapefruit - cute as anything! I am planning to move this year. The other evening while savouring the evening sky I wondered how I could possibly leave such beauty. Followed by the thought that, hang on, there is sky everywhere. And sunsets. As I sit in Sydney in the summer, Tasmania which is cooler and wetter holds definite appeal and will probably be my next target for exploration.
If you have a choice of where to live, how do you find that place? What do you look for? How do you decide which elements are most important? Follow your interests? Look for the landscape that feels like home? Look for community? How do you get to know community before you live there? Look for the house that appeals? Is it the landscape of childhood that one is seeking and which can never be found?
Map of where my thinking is now Back to cartooning again after a break and my brain has been sluggish. It has taken two days to come up with a cartoon relating to a story about Chinese police who arrested a driver who was using his feet to control his 4WD, having lost both arms some years ago in an accident.
Part of the difficulty has been discovering how to draw a delightfully humorous recognisably Chinese figure rather than a shallow stereotype or a face too close to reality to be joyfully silly. And as soon as I draw a race other than the neutral sort of characters represented in cartoons in our culture, it becomes difficult to keep audiences from assuming that race is part of the joke. To draw the chap without arms and avoid him appearing to be a joke was just about impossible. Finally, after pots of tea, bowls of popcorn, naps, changes of chairs and a night of tossing and turning as I tried to think up a cartoon in my sleep, it appeared.