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.
Although Open Studios is primarily about inviting people into your space to view your art and to see how you work, it’s always exciting when you sell a work.
It’s been really wonderful to have feedback on my art, to have conversations with art lovers and fellow artists, and to collaborate with the three local artists in my area to create the Marcus Mini Trail as part of Noosa Open Studios, 2021
A tree with the most extreme and precise trim to accommodate a power line that I have ever seen, caused me to pull over to take a photo.
It was part of an avenue along the Great Alpine Road in the Ovens Valley leading into the pretty town of Harrietville, a starting point for alpine hikes and the gateway to the ski fields of the Alpine National Park in North East Victoria.
Today, on the 20th anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers, I looked back at the photos I took at the 9/11 Memorial in September 2019.
The urban beauty of the skyscrapers reaching towards the blue sky surprised me. It was a sunny day with soft white clouds drifting across the sky, their reflections patterning the glass facades of the buildings. I consciously photographed reflections – reflections of the clouds, of the buildings and on the water.
Around the edge of the reflective ponds, the names of those who died and red carnations, remembrance and reflection so simply conveyed.
Here I started taking photos of red lights and signs. Red signifies danger and mayhem: fire engines, the red lights of ambulances and police cars flashing; exit signs – there was no escape; the fire of the underworld – some might say Hell. It did feel an underworld in the Ground Zero Museum.
I ask myself what have we learned, how have we reacted, how have we changed? They are big questions on the world stage. Sometimes I find comfort in small things, like the fact that each day someone puts a white rose next to the name of a person who died on 9/11 to commemorate their birth.
This breathtaking view along the boardwalk from Nelly Bay to Arcadia (above) transfixed my artist’s eye. What a joy, walking in the National Park observing the different habitats, from mangroves to literal rainforests. With 76% percent of the rocky island being National Park, there are 10 distinct regional ecosystems here. Nine have a biodiversity status “of concern” and one is “endangered”.
Look up when walking in the Eucalypt forests and you will almost certainly find a Koala. There are Rock Wallabies by the ocean at Bright Point in Nellie Bay. The Beach Stone Curlew, one of 17 rare or endangered birds, fossicks in bush nearby the shores.
There’s nothing quite like the ocean colour in Tropical North Queensland. It must be a combination of the bright sunlight and the shallow waters that lie within the Great Barrier Reef. Even as the sun sinks, the water still has the vestiges of that intense turquoise.
Many years ago when I lived in Melbourne, I decided to paint a seascape inspired by a trip to Brampton Island. None of the blues in my paint box came anywhere near the colour of the tropical water, and I failed dismally in trying to blend the right colour. It was then that I discovered Cobalt Turquoise, a blue green that is impossibly bright for the oceans and light of the southern Australia where I lived, but perfect for the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
I recalled this as the colours faded, and I sipped champagne on the Provendence V, looking over the ocean towards Airlie Beach. In true Slow OZ Travel style we chose the beautiful schooner, with its magnifiicant sails and fluid lines, over the noisy party boat for our Airlie Beach Sunset Cruise. This classic gaff-rigged schooner is a replica of the Grand Banks fishing boats that plied the waters around Newfoundland.
As we stood bare-footed on the deck watching the light change, the engine cut and the sails went up. Up until then I’d been taking photos. It was only later looking through my shots that I noticed something interesting about the rigging. Pareidolia, the tendency of the human brain to see patterns in random things, at play. Our brains seem programmed to see human faces and figures, even where they don’t exist.
It’s amazing what a difference exposure makes in photography. Playing around with different exposures gave the ship’s rigging an uncanny likeness to a person watching the sunset, more accidental than intentional. The top photo is 1/400th sec at f/10 and the bottom one is 1/250th sec at f/5. I’ve converted the top photo to black and white to further emphasise the silhouette effect.