Another Art Quiz

Boonerah Gouache

This is one of my paintings, not a gelato accident.

My kid could that!  What a mess! Who gave the monkey a brush? I don’t know what it is but I like it!

All comments abstract artists hear. Here’s a quiz to test your art gut.

Is That Abstract Art, Or Did Someone Spill Food?

If you like this one, maybe you can try some of these art quizzes I made up. Or have a look under Art Quiz Category. No judgement- all attempts are anonymous. Good luck!


A Good Painting Works Anywhere

Detail: Ann Thomson

Detail: Ann Thomson

“Once or twice in my student days I was known to say, de Kooning, can you please leave my studio now!” Ann Thomson Monograph 2012.

I think at some point in art school we were discussing art made for living rooms. I had bought a small painting and it didn’t matter where it was hung, it worked. It was a good painting. The same applies for Ann Thomson. Her exhibition in the Drill Hall at ANU last year had the same affect on me as the one in the National Art School in Sydney. Her work is fabulous.  This exhibition was titled Ann Thomson & Contemporaries so it had even more bang for the buck. The exhibition was spread over two floors of the magnificent old National Art School.



The lower level comprising teachers and contemporaries gave a clue as to the vibe of art during her time as a student and teacher and provided an understanding of the strength in her work.  Moving upstairs, the old building provided a lofty open space large enough to take her slashes of paint and freedom of marks.







Juggling Jellyblubbers


One painting leads to another, and another, and another. Velasquez started it, John Olsen changed it, and I melded it into a slippery oozy painterly mess.  Somehow the egg and the jellyfish became a transluscent clue into my painting re-birth.  Jellyfish have emerged in my drawings of the past, they are at the end of the jetty, gliding just below the surface – transparent water, transparent flesh, ungrabbable.

An old sketch- they were there in the past.

An old sketch- they were there in the past.




Velasquez and I Cook Eggs

IMG_3214Inspiration comes in packages of all shapes, sizes and compositions.  Recently I was gobsmacked by Velasquez Old Woman Cooking Eggs. There was a dynamism in the figures and objects and how they related to each other both in colour and shape.  As a result a new series of small works in gouache provided impetus for bigger and better things.  The serendipity of reading John Olsen’s biography whilst working on the series, also laid another level.

The egg, a symbol of hope and regeneration that he saw in Velasquez, carried into his work and as a result into mine. I could see a jelly-fish-like symbol in the slithery par-cooked egg whites that could transfer into compositions for my boatshed works.


Velasquez: Old Woman Cooking Eggs.

Velasquez: Old Woman Cooking Eggs.

IMG_3201IMG_3213 IMG_3210

Country vs Western

SH Ervin: Country and Western

SH Ervin: Country and Western

With an exhibition titled Country and Western, I had expected more grit, more dust and more western instead I got colour and country.  The SH Ervin rarely disappoints when it comes to curation and quality of exhibitions and this collection of works were great. In this case the Country refers to the indigenous view of landscape, and Western the non-indigenous. The mix and meandering of cultural pull from a star-studded line-up is more than just names. The result is a thick blanket of landscape to wrap yourself in, sometimes prickly, sometimes light and comfortable, sometimes rich and heavy.

From Ronnie Tjampitjinpa Kintore NT to Gertie Huddleston in the Gulf to John Olsen at Lake Eyre

From Ronnie Tjampitjinpa Kintore NT to Gertie Huddleston in the Gulf to John Olsen at Lake Eyre

Gavin Wilson’s curation is insightful and delivers more than just a collection of landscape, it feels right, evenly weighted and nourishing.  He has impressed me before with his curation of fire-inspired art, Fireworks. At the moment I am reading John Olsen’s biography by Darleen Bungey so the Olsen work felt like a friend and his Lake Eyre work seemed to feel like a link between country and western somehow.


The artists are way too many to list but include Tracey Moffat, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, John Peart, Elisabeth Cummings, Rover Thomas, John R Walker, Ken Whisson, John Wolsley, Euan MacLeod, Ricky Maynard, Noel McKenna, Paddy Bedford. Check them out here






J R Walker and Emily.

J R Walker and Emily.

Old Black and Blue Signs

Black Blue Sign

Black Blue Sign

Lately life has got in the way of my blogs.  Then a little orange cup at the top of my dashboard told me it was my anniversary.  I thought I had the blog for a few years but when I took a closer look it has been four.  So, this is a blog of reflection in a way.

I started the blog as I had been contacted by someone wanting to buy one of my works.  I had asked my talented artsy daughter to create a website for me, instead she said “You don’t want a website, you need a blog”.  She knew I was a writer, my sketchbooks have scrawled notes just as much as scrawled drawings.  My aim was just to have an online record of my paintings and drawings.  It evolved into writing, quizzes, exhibition reviews and more so, a connection to the world through my passion for art.

Anyway, looking back at the very first blog, it was no writing, just a work “Black Blue Sign”.  As an anniversary present I am going to smick up that first tentative blog and beef it up with some words.

The swapped work

The swapped work

This work was part of my Garage Sale series.  It came at a time when I was sorting out what I wanted from paint.  I was still using collage like material and testing out mixing paint.  I had copper shavings I was using for sculptural works and mixed these into the black within the work.  It was hung in an exhibition with other works from the series.  Somebody remarked at the opening they could see Jesus in the top left corner. Someone else had bought it and then swapped it for another painting not in the exhibition.  I then sent it to a gallery and it was sold from there.  I don’t know where it lives now and often wonder if the copper within the paint has altered the colour.

If you are out there and it is hanging on your wall, thanks for liking it enough to take it home and let me know if the black is now a coppery green.



Full Stop Upward

Peter Upward June CelebrationAt the very end – the full stop is Peter Upward – a large slash of calligraphic crusty paint in June Celebration. Jon Schueler The First DayThis work left me gob smacked at the symposium on Abstract Expressionism at the National Gallery of Australia.  Seeing it for the umpteenth time hasn’t dulled the feeling when standing before it.

This room, the last leg of the exhibition includes some important Australian abstractionist in Tony Tuckson, Ian Fairweather and Ralph Balson. The works will be the first to come down as the exhibition moves into the last throes.  This end of the gallery has had a range of amazing exhibitions and despite feeling tucked away there is a feeling of intimacy with the works.  I remember being down here with the Helen Frankenthaler woodblocks in Against the Grain and the Andy Warhol screen prints. Now I will remember being down there  with Peter Upwards sister standing before June Celebration. The facing wall of works include Grace Hartigan and Franz Kline so will form the next post.

Ian Fairweather Shalimar

Tony Tuckson WateryRalph Balson Matter PaintingNatvar Bhasvar 1Natvar Bhasvar Sha-Dha

The Light and Dark

My last post was the third room of the Abstract Expressionism exhibition at the National Gallery Australia.  Like a cartoon story of a superhero, I had left you in that room, waiting. The next painting was by Lee Krasner Combat 1965 and I just couldn’t tackle that painting in a couple of words. All pink and orange and light, open and crisp and on the opposite wall Cool White painted in 1959 and separating those opposite ends is Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles and Totem Lesson 2.

Cool White was painted by Krasner after the death of Jackson Pollock and her mother. The muted colours were the result of painting in the dark, suffering insomnia.  She chose to limit colour that was better tackled in the daylight.

I guess I was impressed with the difference in these works knowing our paintings are victims of circumstance.

Big Names, Big Boots, Small Paintings

At the Abstract Expressionism Symposium this was certainly the drawcard room.  The big names Pollock and Krasner dominate this room and Blue Poles is certainly hard to ignore but my two favourite works were…no! they were….no! Damn. I can’t pick. Each work was important as the next. Maybe after loading these works I can make a more informed decision.

 I have put the majority of works in this room on this post but I stopped. The last work a collage by Lee Krasner felt enough for now, the next two walls were works that deserved a separate post. And I didn’t make up my mind about the best work after all, but I’m leaning towards Hans Hofmann, it feels very important spatially to me. I think I have learnt in the last few posts more about Hofmanns work than I expected and where I thought it was about the colour it turns out to be about the space. I love seeing artists in unexpected ways.

Goldilocks and the Bungendore Bears

The Bungendore Bears series of works have been given a new lease of life. I found a whole folder of work that I had forgotten about. My hopeless memory means I sometimes surprise myself. In amongst sketches and paper (nice blank stuff  YAY!) I found a heap of notes about the Bungendore bears along with some sketches.

I had just bought some new boards so it meant I could take them for a spin with some paint. What a coincidence….some of the works in the folder were from my last trip down that way and I am getting ready to go again this month for another painting jaunt and to coincide with the Abstract Expressionism Exhibition at the NGA.

I did 3 small works based on what I had from my recent find. I can feel there is more to come.

I have blogged about the bears quite a few times. Here, here and here. Once again strange coincidences – I had prepared this blog before the sad news of Robert Hughes’ death. He has a weird connection to porridge for me (read my previous post) and once again I find today I am blogging about porridge and three bears. I have been called Goldilocks when I was younger and my hair much lighter. Perhaps it’s time to revert to blonde.