Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Work

Towards the Final Shore
stained tissue paper, collage, acrylic paint on canvas

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

For the Love of Rusty Things

As I was reading Julie's blog one morning I discovered that I'm not the only one who loves rusty things. Thought I'd share my collection even if I'm committed afterwards hehehe. Anyway my family already know I'm mad.

the tools hang on a wall in my backyard. My Dad was a carpenter so I love old saws. The handles are always worn and smooth from years of use.

This looks like some sort of grubber which may have been use in someones vegie patch.

Just an ordinary kitchen knife with a lovely old wooden handle. The blade is really corroded and quite thin now.

This is my found pitch fork with a missing prong. I love how thin it has become and it reminds me of a delicate line drawing.

These tools don't even open and close anymore. Aren't the colours fabulous?

I love everyday objects and I think it adds another element when they are rusty and dented. This is a Salvital tin. You can just make out the printing under the rust. Too bad its not a Campbell"s soup can. Eat your heart out Andy Warhol!

Nuts, bolts, nails and washers. Some of the nails are hand made with lovely thin points.

This is a close up of the handmade burley holder I found in Second Valley. Copper wire was used for a handle and woven to hold the bottom on. Look at that lovely green of the copper. The lid which still opens is also copper. The weights used so it wouldn't float are still tied on tight on the inside.
The next few items are just bits and pieces I found with bolts still holding them together. Got no idea what they once belonged to or what their use was but I love the colours and textures.

I love doors and windows and use them a lot in my artwork so I was thrilled to bits when Bob brought home these lovely old door handles. Makes me think of Samantha's Aunt Clara who collected door knobs in Bewitched.

I just keep all the bits in an old bicycle basket which is also starting to go rusty where the white plastic coating is cracking and exposing the wire. That hangs on the fence in my courtyard in the wind and weather getting more corroded as time goes on.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

and more...

These are the final pictures of my holiday in Surfers Paradise.

The view from the front balcony of Surfers Paradise beach.

This is the amusement park as seen from my window.

I did enjoy living on the beach front for a week. Just being able to walk along it whenever I felt like it was a real novelty. Its really not safe for swimming so the people all crowd into the areas where lifeguards are on duty. Real good holiday vibes. I loved it.

This is Q1. Its the tallest residential tower in the world and the 20th tallest building in the world. It has 78 floors (really 77 because they never use number13). On the 77th floor is an observation deck with the most amazing views all round. It literally took my breath away when I stepped out of the elevator. The elevator only take 43 seconds to reach the top. Can hardly feel it either. Had trouble with my ears going down that fast though.

This is the view that greets you when you step from the elevator

I loved this Thai restaurant we went to. It had won a list of "best restaurant" awards and the food was to die for. I loved the decor. You could dine inside or outside and we decided to sit outside because they had these adorable little huts with grass roofs. Each hut was just big enough to house one wooden table and 2 benches. Some of the furniture was exotic chunky wooden pieces that were like sculptures in their own right. Some had beautiful carvings and my favourite chair still had all the branches from the tree as the back rest. The furniture had that waxy look like thousands of hands had touched it over the years. To top it all off the staff all wore traditional dress and were so polite that it made you feel very special indeed.

Here we are at the casino. I'm not a gambling chick (too boring) so my larger holiday stomach and I enjoyed a lovely frozen cocktail instead yummo. This one is called a fruit tingle and was very refreshing hic.

Anyway the frozen cocktails were so nice we tried a few more hehehe.

The day before we left we went headed for the hills to a place called Tamborine Mountain. It had that real rainforest feel with vines growing up trees and everything was moist and steamy. It was a real foggy day so we didn't get to see the advertised views of the Gold Coast but it was still a very beautiful place and worth the trip. Sitting in the car with the air conditioner on you forgot what the weather was like outside. It was foggy and raining so you naturally assume its chilly. But when you open the car door and step out into a hot steamy rainforest day it really plays with your mind.

These houses are what's called Queenslanders. They are constructed of timber and are on stilts which is a sensible response to the climate. Most of them have fabulous colour combinations and some are in bad repair with peeling paint and rusty lattice work ( a pleasure for the creative soul).

Heading to the airport we stopped and Burleigh Heads, another beach of the Gold Coast. Would love to go back and stay at Burleigh Heads. Its quieter than Surfers Paradise and there's a nice calm swimming area where the river goes into the sea. Anyway there in the distance we got our last glimpse of Surfers Paradise. Hehehe sounds like a corny romance novel. I'll go on; we turned and headed for the car filled with mixed feelings of sadness for leaving, for our adventure had come to an end and also happiness for going home and seeing our loved ones once again. LOL Mills and Boon eat your hearts out.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

more holiday pics

The highlight of the holiday would have to be the Andy Warhol exhibition. Brisbane was the only place in Australia that its showing. We drove from the Gold Coast to Brisbane which meant I got to see the sights along the way. By the time we got to the Gallery of Modern Art I was beside myself with excitement. No photographs allowed at this exhibition so all I got is the entrance.

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition and got rather emotional seeing Campbell soup cans, Marilyn and Elvis (huge fan) in "the flesh" so to speak. I loved Andy's use of strong colour and design elements. Loved his movies! He filmed people without a script and I was mesmerized by the ordinary dialogue of some quite disfunctional people.

Next door was the Queensland Art Gallery so there were more treats in store. In the entrance foyer we were greeted by a pond of water. Floating on the water were hundreds of silver metal balls. A pump kept the water moving which in turn kept the balls moving. The best was that we were allowed to touch and gently push the balls into each other which made them clang together with the most amazing sound.

Due to the love of everyday objects (oo just like Andy Warhol), one of my favourite exhibits was the large pear sculptures.

Sorry can't remember the artist's name (very bad) and not sure what they were made of. It looked like copper. Hey what do you think of the work of art standing next to the pears ;) ??? hehehe
One of my favourite Australian artists is Frederick McCubbin (1855-1917).

His career spanned the transition from the narrative paintings of the early 1880s, through the impressionist era, to the freedom of his later works in the first part of the 20th century.
Another joy to see was this self portrait by Brett Whiteley (1939-1992)
Sadly in his later years he became increasingly dependant on alcohol and became addicted to heroin, leading to bouts of schizophrenia. He finally died of an overdose in 1992.
more later...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Holiday Pics

My week away in Surfers Paradise on The Gold Coast was fabulous. I haven't been to Queensland since 1974 so I considered myself a first time vistor. I came home with a great tan yay (I'm lucky I don't burn easily), but also bigger stomach, hips and thighs groan.
I was quite shocked to see "the drought" from the air. It gives you such a different outlook. I know its summer and things are usually dry but it is so incredibly brown and barren out there. My heart goes out to the farmers and their families. This is in direct contrast to Queensland. Northern Queensland has experienced flooding and so has northern NSW. Couldn't see this from the air though as there was dense cloud cover. It really brings home how diverse Australia is.
from the plane

I really enjoyed staying at the resort. It was right on the beach front so I could go for long early morning walks on the beach. We have gulf waters in Adelaide which makes the water a lot calmer and nice to swim in. The Gold Coast has strong rips and currents and really strong waves that push you over. This only allows you to "play" in the water and not swim which is only safely done between the flags while the life guards are on duty. Its best to keep the swimming for the pool which every resort seems to have. The place was alive with the buzz of holiday atmosphere.

early morning at Surfers Paradise

We visited Tropical Fruit World (cheesey name) where we were pulled around by a tractor to see exotic and tropical fruit growing. I even got up close and personal to an emu.

I was particularly taken with the avocado trees. They looked all ancient and mystical and conjured up images of old gardens from days gone by.

avocado trees

We got to sample tropical fruits some of which I have never had before yummo, had a little boat trip from which we got to see the tropicl/rainforest landscape and also got to ride on a little kiddy train which was fun and brought out the child in me.

tropical/rainforest landscape

There was a little shop there selling fruit of course and other touristy things. I bought Zoe some dried mango, passionfruit and dragon fruit which was flattened out and shaped like a rainbow. She loved it.

more later...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Back in a Week

Well I'm off tomorrow for a week's holiday in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. Going with my best friend Vanita and her mum Kathy. Kathy and I have dubbed ourselves Thelma and Louise as we have had a few trips together visiting Vanita in Naracoorte. We don't want to drive off a cliff though hehehe. I'm so excited to be going and also excited to be seeing the Andy Warhol exhibition. To actually see the Campbell Soup piece in real life will be overwhelming. I think the exhibition has about 300 works on display. I'll be soaking up the inspiration I can tell you. Hope to have lots of holiday pics to share when I get back.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Best Friend

I always love visits from my best friend Vanita. Best friend always sounds so "high school" doesn't it hehehe? She lives in the country and its about 3 - 4 hours drive from my place so I don't get to see her that often. As she's a high school art teacher I do however get to see her most school holidays. Today we are going in for our usual retail therapy but this time its to Ikea. Flying off to Surfers Paradise together next Wednesday. Can't wait.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


The funeral yesterday was a lovely tribute to a lovely man but its left me drained as emotional things always do. The quote in the paper got me weeping "An Irishman stole an English maiden's heart". They were married for 62 years and have never been apart ... until now. Today will be a day in the studio for me, to heal and refill my well.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cemetery Walk

Late in the afternoon the temperature dropped and there was the most refreshing breeze. I was suffering from cabin fever being inside behind closed windows and doors (due to the heat) for so many days. I just needed to go for a walk. The cemetery (where my dad rests) is only 5 minutes away and with its beautiful cool green gardens and water features and duck pond was the perfect place to be. The native birds use it as a sanctury so the whole place is filled with bird song. Its so peaceful and calming with many benches and quiet secret corners in which to rest.

There are little pathways meandering through cool green gardens.

Benches under big old trees to sit and listen to the bird song.

There are different types of garden "rooms" like the tropical one here or there's a herb garden and a Tuscan garden all with secrect places and benches on which to rest or little bridges over water features.

This is one of my favourite places, the duck pond. A little bridge leads over to an island on the middle of the pond. The structure on the island has an oriental look.

The wisteria arbour is one of my favourite walks when its in bloom. The flowers were nearly finished but there were enough to fill the air with that beautiful scent.

Big old gum tree home to many birds.

The sprinklers were on (watered by bore water) giving the gardens a much needed drink.

There are little treasures to find in the quiet secret spots, urns or sculptures or water features. I recently even found a wishing well complete with wooden bucket. It was a lovely walk. The sad thing is I'm going back today for the funeral of my ex father-in-law. Rest in peace Dad Mooney.