Seasons Greetings from Lady Elf

I am thinking of family and dear friends in other places, and pausing to appreciate how lucky I am.

Friday Photo Fatally Flawed

I’ve done the maths. My earnest endeavours to reduce the photo files via Friday Photo are completely unrealistic! In 5.3 years, on current performance I might have reduced the number to about 13,000. That’s assuming I don’t add any more photos. I’ll be totally bored and over it well before then.

Fortunately I can lighten up and chuckle at my own naivety. Time to rethink. Step one an app to remove duplicate files. I’m looking at Duplicate File Finder at the moment, (the free version) It will still be a slow process. Is it worth buying the paid version. Any recommendation from the Blogosphere on good Apps or approaches?

I nod have some really interesting images and I will start to post them over time. Think I need to get rid of a whole lot of stuff first.

Any help from others who have tackled this problem successfully would be a real boost.

Market in Magway Myanmar

Wrens Nest: the joys of the bush

The rewards for water monitoring

Imagine me, draped along the elegantly leaning tree pictured in the background of this photo. Balancing somewhat precariously, I did manage to find in the shrinking waterhole, a spot with sufficiently deep water to immerse the water monitoring  probe.

Somewhat stagnant now, the puddle-like waterhole will soon become a much cleaner source of water for the birds, insects wallabies, and other animals that live in the coastal reserve along Noosa’s eastern beaches. When the rainy season comes, the rains flush it out, and the intermittent coastal creek flows again. 

 Then, while perching with the Horiba, across the water I spotted this exquisite wren’s nest. I carefully brought the Horiba onto terra firma, and packed the expensive piece of kit in its backpack before photographing the nest. What a beautiful reward for keeping an eye on the health of the creek. 

Clever little wren: a room with a view, a home over the water that no cat would dare try to invade, and a ready source of food as insects hover over the water.

Children’s Artwork makes you smile

We are hitting the road for ten days on a spur of the moment road trip north. It’s my birthday tomorrow, and George came over early this morning with his Dad and little brother to wish us a good trip.

George had been busy on a birthday card drawing for me.

It’s a sophisticated piece for a five-year-old. My name is phonetically spelt on the top left, with Jimmy the poodle next to it. That’s me on the right. I’m six metres high and Jimmy is four metres long.

On the bottom left is a table with lots of birthday cards and a cake of course. Then there are kisses and hearts. George said he folded the corners of his ‘card’ so they wouldn’t be pointy.

This beautiful work did make me feel six metres tall. It’s occupying pride of place on the fridge gallery.

Glimpse of a life: the unexpected joy from a gifted collection

There is something special about being gifted a collection of art books – or a collection of anything.

Rosemary’s mother was an academic, who, when she retired, took up painting. Amongst her bookshelf-lined walls were three rows of art books. Would I like them, Rosemary asked? My bookshelves are full to brimming, but how could I resist more art books? I will take them over time I said, and go through them at my leisure. So I piled about a third of the collection into the car boot.

Before I leave, Rosemary shows me a selection of her mother’s work, stacked in a wardrobe that is now devoid of clothing. It is an eclectic collection, the work of a hobby painter: still life studies; busy people populating the outdoors; landscapes; and stylised figures.

Collections speak of the person who created them. This collection tells me that Rosemary’s mother had a wide and varied interest in art. She must have read voraciously. There are books on Australian painters such as Robert Bunny and Tom Roberts. Scholarly works like Australian Surrealist painter James Gleeson’s book Australian Painters  sit alongside art books for the general reader.

Books on: Brueghel, Cezanne, Munch, Kandinsky, The Impressionists, Goya, La Belle Epoque, Life and Times of Durer, Graphic Works of the American 30’s, couple of weighty tomes on how to paint and much more.

At home, after making space in my bookshelves I begin to unpack the treasures, finding unexpected snippets of information.

In a book by Alistair Duncan entitled Fin de Siecle: Masterpieces from the Silverman Collection, there is a tiny clue to Rosemary’s mother’s creative process. A small piece of paper with the handwritten question “possible?” bookmarks a page of beautifully photographed Tiffany Lava Favrile vases. They are stunning vases, and I recognise the shape as similar to some of the vessels in the still life paintings.

Did Rosemary’s mother draw her creative inspiration and ideas directly from her collection of art books? Perhaps the figures from the detail of Bruegel’s The Corn Harvest inspired her outdoor scenes with busy figures.

Then a piece of scrap paper with a pencil sketch on the back drapes out of a book.. What inspired drawing and what do the figures represent – Matisse’s dancers, a piece of painted pottery or is it a narrative of some sort?

I am left with questions that will never be answered, and further thoughts about collections: of art, of memorabilia, in galleries, in museums, in libraries, grand and small collections, serious or quirky, public and private.

What makes a collection? Why do we humans seem to have a propensity to collect? As a child I collected stamps for a while because my Dad collected stamps. I still have my little collection – in a blue stamp book. Every stamp has one thing in common; it speaks of my love of horses.

Enjoying Noosa Open Studios

A mini gallery springs to life. These pretty flowers are in a jardiniere from my mother’s collection – a memory from my childhood. The encircling cards, miniatures of a painting series are, in my mind, fallen petals. Visitors to Noosa Open Studios like the space I’ve created too, which makes me happy.

Right now I’m thinking about how I can convert this room back into a work space that is less cluttered and more streamlined than its previous state; an organised work area to supersede what my neighbour’s children call the “Messy Room”.

It was the best room in the house for Hide and Seek. Still, under the iron bed comes a close second as a hiding spot, so if the “Messy Room” stays tidy, the boys will still have some good Hide and Seek places.

A little gallery

I’ve converted my messy art room into a mini gallery that opens for business from tomorrow  for the next two weekends (Friday to Sunday) and next Tuesday (Oct 5) Hours: 10.00 am to 4.00pm.

After seeing the workspace in the garage, visitors will be able to see what the paintings look like on the wall, and gain some insight into how they evolved.

I’m not prolific but I work with passion and give art my all. The hard work of getting everything ready behind me, I can now relax and enjoy the next couple fo weeks of art making and meeting other art lovers/artists who enjoy a having glimpse into the world of  artists at work.