Sunday, July 26, 2015


After last week's wintry weather, it has been unseasonably warm today...
but be warned:  the cold winds will return later in the week..

Now you all know I love a bird, and enjoy the lorikeets who visit every day..

so you can imagine how captivated I was to find this fascinating installation in GoMA this week:

Madeleine Kelly, Spectra of birds' 2014-15

The artist, Madeleine Kelly, has recreated a series of Australian birds using Tetra Pak drink containers.  The whimsical creations are easily identified, and it is a fun piece, with an underlying message of ecological awareness.
The artist recycles used containers, coating them with encaustic (heated wax with coloured pigment added).  
The work is accompanied by a list of endangered birds which she would like to see in her area, and recreate as art.

The good old Aussie Galah..

Blue fairy wrens (we have these at our place)

These are part of the exhibition GomaQ, featuring local Queensland artists..

and speaking of birds, you might remember I started a couple of succulent gardens.

Well, the other day when we were out, we were visited by a flock of these naughty guys:

I returned to find my plants broken to pieces, all over the floor of the deck!
They don't eat them, they just do it for entertainment!!

I have salvaged what I can, and popped bits back in the tray to start over.

I don't know if these odd petals will shoot, but it's worth a try.

And it's a good thing I like birds, or I'd be out there with a slingshot....

Went to the Queensland Opera the other night:
'Candide' by Leonard Bernstein - (remember West Side Story?)
The Overture of Candide is often played and I love it - but had no idea of the story.  It is a fun version of Voltaire's philosophies and the Enlightenment,

as Candide looks for the Best of all Possible Worlds..
Here's another version from YouTube:

I hope your week is also the Best of all Possibilities..


Sunday, July 19, 2015


Yes, dear Reader, it did indeed SNOW ... in Queensland....this week!
A once in thirty years event, a decent dumping of snow came to Stanthorpe and surrounding areas, about three hours South West of us.

Further South in New South Wales, large areas became a Winter Wonderland, so much fun for many children who had never seen snow before.

To see great on-the-spot photos, pop over to see Val at Learning to Focus - a Photo Blog.  Val was driving back to Sydney when the snow began to fall.  

Lawren Harris 'Winter in the Northern Woods'
Lots of artists have painted snowy scenes.
I think this one is particularly attractive.
Lawren Harris was one of the Group of Seven, Canadian Modernist artists.

Claude Monet 'The Road to Giverny in Winter"
Monet painted snow, many times..

Vincent Van Gogh, 'Two Peasant Women digging in Field with Snow'

So did Van Gogh...

Peter Bruegel the Elder 'Hunters in the Snow'
and way back in the 1500s, Dutch Painter Peter Bruegel the Elder made this fascinating work, full of rich detail of people enjoying snowy winter action.

Meanwhile, on a very cold day for Brisbane, 14 deg. maximum, I went with my girlfriends to see the new version of Thomas Hardy's "Far From the Madding Crowd"..

Sweet little Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba, faced with a choice of three suitors...

The sheep and wheat fields of Dorset look gorgeous too.
We loved it.  Five Stars*****

Afterwards we retreated to a Tea Shop.  
Seemed the right thing to do...

When the cold winds dropped, we went with Little Aussie to the local zoo:

Feeding kangaroos is mandatory, as is the Cuddle the Koala photo..

Here's mine from back in the Olden Days:

I guess I didn't like the claws scratching my arm...

The joy of blogging comes from the lovely and unexpected friendships forged with like-minded bloggers from around the world.
Today I had a lovely surprise, when the delightful Sheri, of Red Rose Alley, featured the Red Cardinal in her list of favourite blogs.
She has found a treasure trove of friends, and I am enjoying visiting them.
Perhaps you too would like to pop over and visit Sheri, at
Red Rose Alley

Keep Warm, and have a great week.

Over and Out..


Sunday, July 12, 2015


Hello there, this chilly Sunday in South-East Queensland, where the frost may well be on the ground tomorrow.  Snow fell today, about three hours south of here, over the border in Northern New South Wales.
Stanthorpe, in Southern Queensland, is hoping for snow tomorrow, and long lines of cars have been driving south to have a look at today's light and pretty dusting of the white stuff. 
The Westerley Winds have been blowing.
Goody - I like a change...

Undeterred, we took my 94.5 years old Dad up to the Mountain to look at the views and have his usual coffee and toasted ham sandwich.
He liked looking out to sea over the Gold Coast..

and westwards to more mountains..

We brought along our son, and my father was happy to know it was his grandson.  In fact, we had to tell him several times, but then he got to enjoy it, several times...

Our grandson, Little Aussie has been here all week (school holidays), and having a great time.
On the other hand, I have done very little of substance, but we have all enjoyed ourselves.  Aussie's singing voice has matured very well since he started school, and he has a considerable range and excellent pitch.
 I am thinking of giving him piano lessons - as soon as I buy a teaching book.

Sad news - the passing of Omar Sharif, star of one of my all-time favourite movies, Dr. Zhivago.

Here he is with Julie Christie...

and Geraldine Chaplin..

Loved him again in Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand..

and roaming the desert in Lawrence of Arabia..

Vale, Omar.

Bharti Kher, India, 'The Skin Speaks a Language Not Its Own' 2006.
A lifesize, fibre glass sculpture of an elephant, by Bharti Kher, currently on display at QAG, is covered in white bindi.
The bindi in India is traditionally a mark of pigment applied to the forehead, and is associated with the Hindu symbol of the 'third eye'.
This dying elephant is covered in white bindi.  
Elephants are revered across Asia as a symbol of dignity, intelligence and strength.  They were used to carry kings and princes, and thus are associated with royalty.  Elephants feature in processions and ceremonies.  
Kher uses the symbolism of a dying elephant to contemplate the potentially destructive effects of popular culture and consumerism on the culture of India.
This work is powerful and evocative, as you contemplate its beautiful form, slumped on the floor, a magnificent beast unable to rise again.
It always makes me sad.

I know, I am a week late with this, but I loved Kate's ivory outfit for the Christening of Princess Charlotte:

Same colour as last time - you don't mess with Perfection.
Ivory sets off that beautiful Christening gown wonderfully.

And doesn't Her Majesty look a treat in pretty pink?

Stay warm

And have a lovely week


Friday, July 3, 2015


Crisp and cold, 3 deg. this morning,
followed by brilliant sunshine around noon.
A perfect Winter day in Brisbane...

I haven't shown you any art for a while, so let's catch up:

Kulata Tjuta (Many Spears), 2014
'Kulata Tjuta' (Many Spears), is a collaborative painting by six Australian indigenous painters, all Pitjantjatjara people:
Hector Tjupuru Barton, Willy Kaika, Mick Wikilyiri, Brenton Ken, and Ray Ken.
The painting arose out of a program of cultural assertion when Tjala law leaders from Amata instigated a 'Spears Project' to support their young men, in the belief that engaging them in traditional spear-making would provide a potent weapon against cultural loss.  
The work is painted in synthetic polymer paint on linen, with the addition of six spears of wood, kangaroo gut and fixative.
The Amata community is located in north-western South Australia, in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands.  Tjala Arts is the hub of artistic activity, where men and women paint abstract imagery adapted from traditional symbols and concepts.  It is a leader in the contemporary Western Desert painting movement.  

Bagu (Firestick figures) and Jiman (Firesticks) 2009
Fire was vital to daily life for Aboriginal people in the rainforests of Far North Queensland, an area of total contrast to the deserts.
  A large collective of Girringun Aboriginal artists have made contemporary versions of the traditional wooden bagu (firestick figures), using fired clay with ochre patterning, guava wood and string.
Jiman were carried from site to site as people moved camp seasonally, and the designated keeper was under great pressure to maintain the flame, especially in wet weather, almost a constant in the northern rainforests.
Fire provided a focal point for social interaction as well as its use for cooking, warmth, making weapons, preserving food and in ceremonies.
These works are quite distinctive, only coming from that one area of North Queensland.

The above two works are currently on display in the exhibition 'Terrain: Indigenous Australian Objects and Representations' at GoMA, Brisbane.

Yayoi Kusama, Japan,  'Flowers that Bloom at Midnight', 2009.
A giant flower cum insect, by Yayoi Kusama, greets visitors at the entrance to 'We Can Make Another Future: Japanese Art after 1989', also at GoMA.
The polka dot petals, shiny surfaces, and great staring eyes recall animated alien flora of science fiction and fantasy.
Now in her 86th year, the internationally famous Kusama continues to intrigue and fascinate audiences.  

Our eldest grandson, Little Aussie, has been visiting during the school holidays.
He requested to make another of our crazy cakes, and worked carefully to make a pond of blue sugar surrounded by green coconut grass.  The finishing touch was a gathering of sugar dinosaurs.

His fascination with Star Wars continues...
Who would have thought, back in the late 1970s, when Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, R2D2 and their friends were unleashed upon the world, that their popularity would continue for the next 40 years?
Aussie now has a collection of Star Wars bath toys!

And plays an interactive video game, featuring lego figures of the Star Wars cast, still  battling the same old evil Darth Vader and Co...

I want to thank you all for your kind and lovely comments on my last post.
They were very much appreciated, and I treasure these online friendships.

Have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are..