Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sydney ...

I love Sydney and as I sort through my Sydney paintings I find I have a lot of the Sydney Opera House, a building which has an aura about it not unlike that of Uluru.  Perhaps others like this building as much as I do, and for them I have a Christmas special this year
Sydney Opera House (2008)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Garage shelves

At last, 7 months after moving, I am screwing together my Ikea shelf. It is probably the tenth time this shelf has been dismantled then reassembled. One of the wood props is a little bent and it is a fiddle to assemble. The ants had been busy in the corner of the garage. The planks propped there were covered in ant eggs, so I took them outside and lay them on the grass while the ants scurried around rescuing their eggs.
After assembling the shelf I realised I had measured the garage corner incorrectly and the shelf doesn't fit. So I have stopped for a cuppa while I figure out whether to put it somewhere else or if I should bite the bullet, unscrew it and start again.

Later: I unscrewed my shelf then screwed it together again in the smaller configuration but it still didn't fit. But it fits sideways and that is perhaps better as I will be able to check it for ant activity. Ants are very active in Australia. When I first arrived here I put some boxed ceramics in the garage. A couple of weeks later when I unpacked them they were full of ants eggs. Luckily I had stored ceramics and not paintings in the boxes.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Jacarandas at Patonga

Last Tuesday I joined my local 'paint out' group despite cloudy skies as it was the first Tuesday since I moved here that I have had time to join them. The group painted at Jacaranda Avenue in Patonga (NSW).
Watercolour: Jacaranda tree in Patonga

The ground under the trees was carpeted in purple, so by next week this view will be green/green instead of purple/green. Jacarandas might be pretty, but they don't provide any food for local birds so I wont be planting them in my garden.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ducks in Woy Woy

Ducks are some of my favorite creatures. Their body construction makes it almost impossible for them to hurt anyone (try pecking with a duck-bill, or punching with a flipper) but  ...
their mothering skills leave a lot to be desired. Ducklings seem to survive more by luck than good management.
This mother duck took her eleven very little ducklings on sightseeing tour through the back streets of Woy Woy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wagner homage in the garden

In among the Agapanthas and palm trees sits my largest ceramic piece: Homage to the Music of Richard Wagner
What people have said about Wagner's music and what Wagner said about himself,  are inscribed along its belly.
Would Wagner be surprised that a ceramic piece called Homage to the Music of Richard Wagner sits in an Australian garden? Oh no, I don't think so. He would probably regard it is only fitting.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Garden dancers

A little bit of fun from the ceramics workshop.
These dancers ....
now dance on the old BBQ in the garden.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Our throw-away society

The knob on my coffee machine got so tight it now needs a spanner to turn it. The place I bought the machine has closed down so I rang the makers (Sunbeam) to ask where I could take it to get fixed. They gave me the address and told me to take the original receipt.
Coffee machine, spanner and small ceramic music bowl made at NAS last year.

"That's all okay, " said the man behind the counter after he had had a look at the receipt. "You can take it home again."
"But the knob doesn't work."
" Oh you'll get another sent to you within a week or so."

 Addendum: the new machine arrived today (14 Nov) - a newer and much flasher model. Ah, but will it make better coffee?

Sunbeam coffee machines : Old Model 1400C on the left and new model 4820 on the right (with functioning knob).

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Little fridge, big fridge

Is a barfridge big enough? My experiement started yesterday when I bought a bar fridge from Aldi. Everything that was in the old 1978 brummer fits in, but I am not sure the little fridge will be big enough when guests are in the house. Still, if I never try I'll never know.
Little bar-fridge with big old 1978 model (which has a painting by Sam Sharpe of  Dunedin propped on top).

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Engobe Pot

My experience is that it takes time to evaluate your own works of art. Some paintings I've liked on completion remain my favorites, others get turned to the wall. It can work the other way as well.
I didn't like this little pot, an experiment with engobes, when I took it out of the kiln in Dunedin but now I find it rather cute. It is easier to evaluate others work and my teacher Jim liked this pot from the start. (That touch of green engobe was his stain.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Love of the Nightingale

Richard Mill's (pic below) opera The Love of the Nightingale was well worth going to the opera to see. It re-told a Greek myth, was very violent but also thought provoking. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. What had I been expecting I wonder?