Sunday, July 21, 2019


The Red Cardinal, about fifty years ago

Exactly fifty years ago, the world watched in wonder as a man from Earth walked on the Moon for the first time.
Like many of my vintage, I remember that day very well.
It was a bleak Winter's day in Brisbane, a working day, and there was a television at my office where we could watch progress.
At lunch time I walked to the shops down the street, and remember people watching televisions in the stores.

Of course, we have all seen the historic vision of Neil Armstrong as he stepped down that 'one small step for man', many times since.  But nothing equals that historic and awesome day.

We all imagined that by fifty years on, there might be people living there, or continued space voyages to further planets.  Perhaps we did not realise the fragility of that first and the few subsequent moon landings and the high possibility of tragedy.  Future trips to the moon, if they occur, will be vastly different.

This weekend we went to see 'Appollo 11' and enjoyed it immensely.  It really felt like re-living the day, but in brighter colour.  
And it was fun to see those 60s fashions again too...

A few weeks after the Moon Landing, I moved to a new office, in a different part of town.  In fact, I went to work in this building:

Margaret Olley [1923-2011] The Treasury Building (Brisbane) 1947
Mr Cardinal and I like to pretend we are the couple in the foreground.
Because this is where we met, working in a Government office, and a few years later we were married.  
Sadly, we think, the beautiful old Treasury Building has become a casino..

This picture is part of a current exhibition at GoMA, Brisbane:
 Margaret Olley: A Generous Life...

Catch it if you can.  It is very popular, with happy crowds every day.

Margaret Olley was a popular Queensland artist and personality, decreed a National Treasure before she passed away in 2011..

Here are a few of my personal favourites:

Margaret Olley 'Marigolds and Limes' c 1975
Margaret Olley Lemons and Oranges, 1964

Margaret Olley 'Cliveas' 1984 and 'Chianti Bottle and Pomegranates 1994-95

Margaret Olley 'Yellow Room' - her home in Paddington, Sydney.
Margaret Olley was not only a prolific painter, she was a popular muse with her fellow artists.  Her portrait was painted by many very well-known Australian artists, and twice she was the subject of the winning Archibald Prize, Australia's foremost prize for portraiture of well-known identities:

In 1948, as a young woman, she was painted by William Dobell:

William Dobell: 'Margaret Olley 1948'
This winning portrait caused a sensation in post-war Australia.
Olley wears a dress she made from parachute silk and a pair of sleeves from a wedding gown.  She covered her straw hat with everlasting daisies she had picked herself.

Ben Quilty 'Margaret Olley 2011' and the Red Cardinal
In the final year of her life, Olley was painted by young Australian artist Ben Quilty, who she had mentored and encouraged in his development as an artist.
She was 88 years old, and enjoyed the fuss and accolades of the Archibald Prize win.  Quilty says that when he finished the painting, he took a photo of it to show the now frail Olley at her home.  She took a look and said 'That's the old girl'!  
And that is this old girl... 

In a few short weeks we are off on our next adventure:  a trip to the south of France, via London, and on to Canada to see our daughter and her family.

Hello Canada Duck!

Be good