Hello Summer goodbye procrastination … maybe

The best part about winter is the end of it. In Australia winter means finding that one jumper that you bought years ago and resurrecting your long pants from the bottom drawer. By the way, jumper = sweater and pants = trousers. It means wearing extra stuff, slow cooker meals, no BBQ’s and overcast days. It also means procrastination. 

And with the changing of the seasons comes the flow of creativity. Better weather means enthusiasm to paint.  One of my goals for 2017 was to force myself to enter more art exhibitions and competitions. Big call for an introvert like me but nevertheless I have persevered and I actually think it is one goal, the only one, that I might actually reach. (High five for me … yay).

Which brings me to now. There is a local art exhibition this coming weekend and I have put in an entry. Entries actually. Two paintings and some small “painted objects”.  The “objects” are serving bowl platters painted with faces.

Whenever I enter a competition I always think I’m going to win something or sell my painting. I don’t think that has ever happened but, in a way, that’s OK. What I have come to terms with is the reality that I don’t paint to sell my work. If I really, really, really, wanted to sell my works I would be a lot more vigorous in my marketing and self promotion. No, I just like to be creative, sell the odd piece here and there and move on. Being successful in the sense of selling a lot of paintings, takes a lot of time and effort, and I don’t know if I want to get on the time and effort train. I prefer boarding the “frig around and get distracted by Trumps videos” train at the moment.


You’ve got to be in it to win it

You know, sometimes i just wonder how I get myself into situations. 

At the risk of over analysing things I think I do this: 

First, I get myself into a situation that is difficult to get out of. Then I procrastinate about what I can do about my situation until it is literally too late to do anything about it which, of course, leaves me no choice, or time, but to confront my circumstances head on and deal with whatever is at hand.

And so that is how I have come to be an entrant in the 2017 Brisbane City Council Recycling Art completion. One late night in April I submitted an entry form to the competition and, low and behold, for some peculiar reason (apparently they liked my sample of work that I submitted with my entry form) I was shortlisted as one of about eight (8) Brisbane artists to compete in the 2017 Salvage Recycling Art Competition

Example of my work 
My mission, should I decide to accept, is to go to one of the local Tip Shops, purchase item/s, and then create art from those items.

I accepted and may God be with me.

The Shorncliffe Pier

Shorncliffe Pier

I got nostalgic over Christmas and decided to draw the Shorncliffe Pier. The pier has been closed for several years now because some of the support timbers have rotted away. Our local council decided that having the general public walk on the pier in the condition it was in, was just too much of a risk. The pier is one of the longest piers in Australia and stretches out into Bramble Bay by over a third of a kilometre. The barricades were put up in mid 2012 and it will be fully repaired by 2016. Yep, there are quite a few people feeling nostalgic for the pier.

Old stuff at New Norcia


Ok, here’s a little quiz for you. What’s about an hour’s drive north of Perth (Australia) and, if you didn’t know better, looks a lot like Spain. The answer is of course, New Norcia. In the middle of the 1900’s a Benedictine monk came to Australia and wandered into the bush, then decided to set up a school for aboriginal children.

There is a lot more to the story of how New Norcia was established but this blog is about art so I’d better stay focussed.

Anyhow, on the invitation of my brother Ed to “come on a “sketching break”, I travelled to New Norcia from Brisbane. Big deal? Not really, although I live in Brisbane (on the east coast of Australia) and so we needed to fly to Perth on the west coast of Australia first; then hire a car and drive north from Perth to New Norcia. After a five-hour plane flight and another hour in a car we finally arrived at “the Hotel” in New Norcia. There is only one hotel and that is the old boarding house that was built to accommodate families who came to visit their children who were being educated at the mission.

The hotel had no wi-fi, no tv in the rooms, no air-conditioning and before I forget, guest had to share the bathroom facilities. Yes share. That means that if you’re “busting” and all the cubicles are taken, then you wait. Nice.

But this isn’t about the accommodation either. It’s about the art and what a place to sketch. I started with the hotel as you can see. From there we sketched the church, the graveyards, the apiary etc.etc. In the afternoon it was too hot so we spent that time on the front upstairs verandah touching up our mornings work.

Signal Row

Signal Row

From our street, and literally 2 minutes away, is Bramble Bay. But we’re not in the best spot to enjoy views of the bay. If you want a really good view then you’ll need to live in Signal Row and of course, to live in this street you need to have a nice old house … or a nice new house that looks like a nice old house.

Most, no all, of the houses in Signal Row have been renovated and consequently the street profile is just waiting to be sketched.

The big house on the left is called “Eaglene” and used to be an old boarding house until it was purchased some years ago by a local businessman and restored to all its former glory. Since the restoration, the house has changed hands about 2-3 times but it still remains a great example of what an old “Queenslander” should look like.

Mike the Moe

Scan 1

Years ago I used to work in the public service. Nice job and really enjoyed the company of my colleagues.

When I retired I always planned to keep in touch with everyone but you never do. It’s been six years since I left work and the other day one of my friends was also “retiring” so I thought it only appropriate that I celebrate the event with a sketch of him at work. He has this enormous moustache and we all nicknamed him … Mike the Moe …

One of the things he will always be remembered by is the fact that he would say “no” to just about any suggestion about anything … hence the “no” words in red and several different languages on the paper.

We all met at one of the local pubs, had a few beers (and a few more) and then sent him on his way.

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In sickness and in health

Doin my block

Monday 23rd September 2013

I get this pain in my gut every so often and end up in hospital. It’s not a bad thing really, providing I’m not too sick. Anyhow, I use the opportunity of a hospital bed to hone my sketching skills. This time my “stay” allowed me time to do some preliminary work on a little watercolour project that I’m working on called “Doin My Block”. It’s a project requiring me to document/sketch all those houses around my neighbourhood. No simple task but it at least keeps me off the streets. Actually it keeps me on the streets ….

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The Facebook Cat

The Facebook Cat

He lives on the street in downtown Hong Kong. His bed is the top of a postal box and most days you will find him there sleeping. Oooh … and did I mention that he has a Facebook page. HongKong2cat.

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Gotta start somewhere


25 SEP 2013

The bassett hound is a lazy dog. He/she is quite content to lounge around all day and preferably ON your lounge. For this reason I need to walk our bassett (Zack) every day and, as I’m a morning person, that means getting out of bed at about 5.30am and taking the 2km walk along the beachfront near our place.

Zack and I sneak out the back gate of our house, down the lane so as not to disturb any of the neighbours. We usually get back after the walk an hour later.

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