Monday, December 27, 2010

White teapot

The cafe at the Art Gallery of NSW serves tea in little white teapots.
Watercolour captures the charm of such objects better than most mediums I think.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sydney style?

This newly rennovated Westfield shopping center sits amongst Sydney's charming old brick buildings. I suppose someone thought white glass with swirls was stylish? More probably, style was not a prerequisite but rather the abiity to get as many upmarket stores as possible into the dark rabbit warrens inside.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas


In Hamburg I saw a very amusing verson of Meistersinger and drew while I watched. The pics are on

Here is Johan Botha singing Stolzing in Meistersinger, 2008.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Modern Michelangelo

A modern Michelangelo at work in a small Italian-themed shopping area in Ettalong Beach.
The difference between this Michelangelo and the one that painted 600 years ago is the light box (the black box under the plank our Michelangelo is standing on) which he is using to shine the image onto the ceiling.
The image is probably a copy of one painted by the 1510 Michelangelo. The light box didn't work very well in the bright summer light.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Patonga sunrise

Early morning in Patonga on the Central Coast. I took this photo then went back to bed ...
A little while later, my wall turned into a mural....
So I got up and looked out the window.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Otago Harbour

This view was painted from a hill but Otago Harbour looked just like this from the air as I flew out.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

'My' Dunedin

Dunedin is one of my favorite places. The views are stunning. This is Dunedin from the Otago Penninsula.
Dunedin's building have integrity. Most have been little changed since they were built, whenever that may have been. This one is in the city center.
The Robbie Burns statue opposite the town hall is a perfect viewing platform for seagulls.
The teeth sculpture at the mouth of the Otago Penninsula is a new addition since I was here a year ago.
When the cloud lifts, this is the view. The teeth stand to the right.
The only blot on the landscape is the new stadium a building that divided the city when it was approved in a clock and dagger manner. Lets hope it succeeds now it is being built because the citizens have become so indebted that they are having to close library services and such like in order to support the stadium. It is being built on reclaimed land, so it might just disappear under the waves as the seas rise.
Goodbye Dunedin. I look forward to seeing you again before too long.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

What have they done to our chocolate?

In Germany I bought a (surprisingly cheap) block of Milka chocolate and I had to throw most of it away. It tasted like chemical mush. I forgot to look if it was made in China but it was so cheap I wouldn't be at all surprised.
There is a Cadbury's factory in Dunedin and when Cadbury was bought out by Kraft in 2009 the workers were afraid the factory would be closed. It stayed open, but they must have changed the chocolate recipe as it has become inedible. It tastes more like soap than chocolate.
Yuck, yuck.
Thank heavens for Lindt and Whittackers (in NZ).

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Time passes

New Zealand mourns

New Zealand mourns the lost miners but we all so admire Australian Peter Whittall, a man very different from some of his media colleagues from across the ditch. This is what the Otago Daily Times reported today:

A second Australian journalist, from Australia's Channel Seven, asked: "Can you imagine New York firefighters standing around the World Trade Centre waiting to be told they shouldn't go in if there were lives in the balance."
Pike River Coal chief executive Peter Whittall said that was an inappropriate question.
"I'm not going to comment guys are underground, I'm not going to answer a question like that." 
Newsmen like these give their country a very bad name.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Only at Modaks

Where else do you find the most beautiful peonies in a glass jar?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

SITE exhibition, Dunedin

Upstairs violinists, downstairs Dunedin Art School graduates celebrate with friends and relatives.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 19, 2010

Franz Liszt in Ceramic

This portrait of Franz Liszt is made of ceramic. He is part of a series of ceramic portraits I made when I was in Dunedin. I unpacked them the other day and thought how lovely they are. All of them apart from Liszt and Wagner are of people in Dunedin whom I admire. When I made them I intended to have a show called 'Heros and Saints' but I left Dunedin before I was able to exhibit them. Instead, two years later, I am exhibiting them online.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tasman's view

Tasman likes to sit on the top of the chair-back looking out at the view. Time passes and Tasman looks. More time passes and Tasman looks some more. Views are like that. So are cats.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

John Cage and the Musak Company

I read in the New Yorker (Oct 2010) that John Cage once tried to sell  a silent work to the Musak Company. Wouldn't it be wonderful if his piece 4'33" was loop played in all the places that play Musak Music?

Practise session

Trial, error, frustration and sore eyes. I have been back in the film room relearning long forgotten software.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dunedin Weather

The Met Service prediction:
Today: 26°C   Friday 17°C  Saturday 26°C    Sunday 16°C
Huge great drops have just started falling from an overburdened sky. 

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Coronet Peak Landscape

Coronet Peak Landscape in watercolour and ink.

Coronet Peak through the Clemetis

Central Otago is stunningly beautiful. Blue hills, yellow broom and gorse, tan hills and emerald green waterways.
In the evening the hills turn from tan to dark blue to purple as the sky darkens.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Making Coffee

View through a Bay Window.

This 'period charmer' I am house-sitting in Dunedin's North East Valley has a  bay window that looks out over the hills opposite.

Big trees and lots of flowers

The rhododendrons in Dunedin's botanic gardens are a mass of flowers.
Wander down the hill and you come across some huge trees, including this Pinus radiata.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Changing season

How confusing. Two weeks ago it was Hamburg and autumn and now it is Dunedin (NZ) and early spring. All the rhododendrons are in flower and I am being careful crossing the road as I no longer know which side of the road to expect traffic from.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Violin Vase

A week in Sydney. Time to get over jetlag (sort of) and photograph the ceramics that came through the kiln just before I left for Germany.
Violin Vase with Music.

Monday, October 25, 2010


If you can't sleep on long haul flights, you watch a movie. Then another one and then another one. Even if the ones you watch are all good (Boy, Sense and Sensibility, Vincent will Meer [Vincent wants to sea (sic)],) it doesn't make up for the jetlag Yeowwww.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Opera in Bremerhaven

Sketches from the opera Peter Grimes in Bremerhaven are online at

On a sunny day...

On a sunny day Hamburg is really lovely. The trees on the Alster Lake have just begun to turn colour.
The sun glistens on the waterway in front of the town hall
and cafe patrons have a mellow feel.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Painting Roses

I sit painting roses in momenti italiani in Rissen.

Next day I go back to paint some more.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

'Roses speak every language in the world'

said Ralph Waldo Emerson. A bit like music really.
I have been painting roses recently at momenti italiani, a new Cafe in Rissen that makes good coffee (yaaaaay, long overdue in Hamburg.)

Two boats in the Museum Harbour

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Pigs,church and coffee

BREMEN: Pigs in the main street  ...

... lead you to a church .... and coffee.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Bremerhaven is half an hour by fast train or an hour by S-Bahn from Bremen and the Gasthof an der Karlstadt is in a quiet little side street right in the center of town, about a twenty minute walk from the station .
The Gasthof an der Karlstadt has the steepest set of stairs you ever saw...
which begin right outside (well almost inside) room #2. It wouldn't be much good for sleep walkers.
Around the corner is the river where people walk ...
and sit in the afternoon sun.