The Logistics of Bigness

23032010 001I have been in a state of continual poor, poor, pitiful me. No studio. No room. No paint.  Over the past few weeks I have been trying to organise my artself- what’s sold, what’s stored, what’s donated, given away, torn up and lost. It feels never-ending. I’m up to entry 72 and it is one huge drawing – 1.5 m x 2.950 m.  I loved doing this drawing – the setting up. I had a studio then, but it still meant getting an old door across a trestle, rolling out the paper to the length of the door surface. I can’t remember when I last saw it – it must be rolled up in the garage somewhere. It was part of the Roadside Series and looking back one I feel I can come back to.  Each time I drive I see something that could be translated by a piece of dusky charcoal and a fence-painting brush full of gouache.

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Reading sculptor Anne Truitt’s Daybook has resonated with me over the last week. She found herself in the same pitiful spiral of no room. A sculptor must feel this restriction of space so much more, however she decided rather than cry over space deprivation she would use what space she had- the kitchen table- to draw.  I think this is an admiral decision, and good advice to follow – I’ve been doing small kitchen-appropriate drawings and paintings but really they don’t cut the mustard for me.

Here’s a look at a few shots – process and finished works.

Studio Roadside


Give Some, Take Some and Two Bags Full

I swore no more books in the house until some leave. I rummaged the shelves for sacrifices for the next big book fair. I piled them into two huge bags, took some out, put a couple back in and lugged them to the boot.

20130324-134001.jpg I can’t believe the Lifeline Big Book Fair has rolled around again so soon and today is half price Sunday. I expected the visual arts section to be dessimated by the last two days of hungry art students but the pickings were great and I chowed down on a Guggenheim publication, an old botanical art book too big for the shelf as well as some lovely old 50’s mags.

Of course I ended up leaving …heaving the same two bags I had arrived with, more fresh old books. The smell of musty books and scouts cooking sausage sangers makes this Sunday in March delightful.


The Bungendore Bears

If you go to Bungendore today you’re in for a big surprise, for every bear that ever there was is hanging or nailed on a gum tree.  I can’t remember when I first saw these bears, maybe the early 80’s.  I knew instantly the macabre associations and bleached colours were something special. It would develop into some sort of series.  Each trip with other people I would point them out, I would “Google” them and take photos and sketches.  After clearing out the storage shed my bear sketches appeared like the old favourite toy, Woody in Toy Story.  I don’t know when the paintings will evolve or if they will. There is always so much to paint and never enough time.

So after being inspired by David Hockney and his IPhone paintings I have decided to embrace the use of technology and blog about the Bungendore Bears for now.  I decided to share some of the work in photos and sketches, in their own special place, nailed to the net as well as beneath the trees where nobody sees.  So gather there for certain because todays the day the Teddy Bears have their Blog.

Grey Green White Gum West of Ace

Pens,Pencils & Men with Moustaches

There is a secret society of Pens & Pencils, famous artists that meet at the SH Ervin Gallery. We can only hazard a guess at who they may be -the pencils are the younger members and the pens the elders of the group.  I recently read another wonderful article Palettes Loaded and Lines Drawn by Nick O’Malley regarding another meeting of creative minds, Book Club.  One of the members,  Noel McKenna has been a long time favourite artist of mine and I am a proud owner of a small sketch of his that was made in a swap at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney. I was drawn to this article due to my recent visit to the Ken Done Gallery in the Rocks. Ken Done, another member has long been poo-pooed by the art world but his recent  paintings screamed light and colour and looking at them made me happy.  That’s what it’s about. I’m all for angst and there is nothing better than a Kathe Kollowitz sketch but I’ve snorkeled at the Great Barrier Reef and to capture that is pure joy. There is nothing wrong with happiness in art.

Their meetings sound like pure joy as well. I wanted to share this article, my own little bit of show and tell.

Don’t Let Your Thumbnails Fall Off

Somewhere between then and now my thumbnails have fell off. Painting back at the river felt like I had come full circle – it was quite a while ago since we’d been. In between there was specatacular vistas of coastline, waterbirds and the discovery of fluro paint. There was only a few of us missing too. We talked about Barbies, Cy Twombly and Ildiko Kovacs over banana cake and home grown mandarins then got down to business.

I started with a small sketch eastward on the river toward the bridge and a man fishing at the boat ramp. Arthur Boyd’s territory. The last couple of paint trips I’ve gone back to using small thumbnails- my largest works always had this basis. I don’t remember them falling off but I know the finished work was definitely more complete, stronger.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Leaning Tower of Pisa has 296 steps to reach the top. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2010. If those were steps, it would have climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa 4 times


In 2010, there were 151 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 133 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 81mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was August 14th with 84 views. The most popular post that day was Muybridge 37 Still Lives Plates 1-41.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for david hockney dog days, david hockney dogs, hockney, frida kahlo paintings, and hockney sausage dog book.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Muybridge 37 Still Lives Plates 1-41 June 2010


Footprints and Sunprints September 2010


The WHO WHY HOW & WHEN of paintlater June 2010


Euan MacLeod & Icy Watters July 2010


Sticks and Stones September 2010