Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blue Duck

Blue Duck
Acrylic on Canvas
30 x 30 cm

The blue porcelain duck looks down at me from the shelf and smiles. Quack!

I make cards from some paintings to sell at my local coffee shop (below). Originally I made cards with paintings of local places as they seemed to fill a gap.

Then I discovered that birthday cards were really what was wanted, so I added them to the collection. Of course they can be bought online as well.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A patient duck at the bus stop

Duck waits at Woy Woy bus stop

This duck was waiting patiently at the bus stop in Woy Woy yesterday.  She seemed to know that although the buses may not always be on time but they do come eventually.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The old eggbeater

Acrylic on canvas
38 x 67 cm
My 'domestic items' painting spree continues, this time my mother's old eggbeater which I remember being used when I was a child.

Mother's passion was gardening, but she was also an excellent cook and her eggbeater got a lot of use, right to the day she died.I don't think she ever owned one of the more modern mixers.

I painted over an old picture of two life drawing models done at wonderful a Michael Taylor workshop held in Grafton nearly 10 years ago.

The eggbeater is an improvement on the original painting!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Hunter: cup and saucer (with books)

Blue and white cup and saucer
30 x 30cm, acrylic on canvas
This cup and saucer was bought from an op shop ages ago. It has been on my 'discard' list for some time but it seems to survive all purges. It is English china made by MYOTT, with a blue and white pattern called The Hunter.

You discover when you attempt to make a ceramic cup how important handles are. This cup has an elongated handle and although you can't get your finger through it, you can balance the cup between your second and third fingers using the bottom of elongated handle.It might sound complicated but our hands do it naturally. Try holding some of your own cups and see what I mean.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Twelve ducklings

A month in the northern hemisphere has thrown my seasons instinct out of whack. Yesterday I saw these ducklings and part of my head was saying to itself 'ducklings in autumn?' Of course, here it is spring, as this brood attests.

Ducks are my favorite bird, but they are notoriously bad mothers. This one and her twelve little ducklings were splashing delightedly in a puddle on the side of the road. Lets  hope at least some of them survive the traffic and the cats.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sketches of the Gypsy Devils

Silvia Šarköziová of the Gypsy Devils

The Gypsy Devils are a fantastic band who played with the Maribor Festival Orchestra at the Maribor Music Festival in Slovenia, September,2014. They played with verve and received an enthusiastic ovation. Sketches from the festival are online at the artsmitten gallery.
Štefan Banyák of the Gypsy Devils

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Orange cup 'n' saucer

old cup and saucer,
acrylic on canvas, 25 x 25 cm.
There is a lot of purple in the pattern on this old cup and saucer, but somehow I think of it as orange.

There is a chip on the saucer, but I love it anyway.  It was in my mother's cupboard and I think it once belonged to my grandmother who loved and collected old/antique ceramics; most of the pieces she collected were chipped or mended as she had a robust family of four.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Painting: still life

Cup and saucer, green with dots
Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 25 cm
When you travel in the company of someone who doesn't paint, you tend not to paint very much yourself.   I did very little painting in Europe and arrived home with a need to paint that has resulted in small pictures of favorite things.

Here is my green cup and saucer.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

A different green

When you travel from Australia to northern Europe the thing that impresses most is the greenness of your new environment. Green green green, rushing past the train windows, green when you look out your window, green everywhere ... apart from inner city Berlin where green becomes grey.

European green
Australian green

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Coffee in Australia

Favorite coffee in favorite coffee cup
Ah coffee! Yum, swoon!

One of the best things about being back in Australia is the coffee. We prefer a bitter brew here, real Italian coffee.  Germany prefers a smoother less bitter roast.

The cup and saucer in the picture are a favourite of mine. They were bought in Wanganui in about 2003 during a last trip there with my already very frail father.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Changi's jagged mirrrors

Changi airport has very swish women's rest-rooms. Even if you are jet-lagged they are worth a photo.
Restroom selfie at Changi

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Near the Lorelei

Weisel: with slate walls and a sun-shine tree. (View up Altpforter Stree)t
History marks people, even centuries later.

Our last stop in Europe was in Weisel, a small village 5 km from the Lorelei on the Rhine River. There is a slate pit in the gorge leading to the Rhine and many of the houses in Weisel have slate walls as well as roofs.  It is a neat and tidy place. The few shops hidden away in houses just have a small sign indicating that there is a bank, a hairdressing salon or a shop within. Last time I was here the bank was housed in a cow stall; now it has a more salubrious setting on the town square. All the houses are inhabited, but you would never know if you just walked through.

We were at the end of a history tour of Germany, a history of invasions and battles, often battles fought between invading armies on German soil. The old Germans fought the Romans here and the Swedes swept through as they fought Napolean, finally sending the Napoleonic army packing. My friend in Weisel tells me history that has marked the local community and that it is no wonder people barricade themselves in their homes and are wary of strangers.

If you are in the area Weisel is worth a visit - especially as there is a good restaurant hidden away here.  It is called Hannots and is housed in a quaint old building in Altpforter Street (picture) one of the main streets in the village. Hannots  is as welcoming as anyone could wish. The cook knows his trade and attracts people from surrounding areas. It makes a nice change from tourist restaurants on the Rhine. If you do visit, make sure you go upstairs to view the paintings of the Weisel and the Kauber Platte which hang on the upper floor.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Fill 'er up

Hamburg: electric cars plugged into 'filling stations'.

The way the 'bowsers' and plugs mimic petrol bowsers reminds me of the first cars which looked like horse drawn buggies. One day there will be small mounds in the pavement that a car automatically latches onto when parked. But perhaps by that time cars will just have been replaced by train-like modules that lock onto others once a destination has been chosen.