Back down the railway tracks .( back some days in my travels)..

    I have borrowed the first cat photo (anon) and took the picture of Thomas of Thames view cottage. ( at Clifton Hampden). The cat pictures are to honour the life of Miss Kitty, who went on the long sleep. She was taken in by my friends, Jill and Sam, when she was very old and frail. A lovely home they gave her, a home for a gentle cat in reduced circumstances. She was perhaps the oldest cat I had met. Almost up there with Fred Cat Brookman , he was twenty six. Mostly fur in the end.  

 Another cat picture, to cheer Miss Kitty on her way. Thomas of Thames View, with his gracious owner. ( Gracious because he told us about his home of many doors and creatures.) Sarah and Michael took me to see this beautiful hamlet, Clifton Hampden,  with its many thick browed thatches, the river and brimming meadows. Sometimes the river brims so much , walking needs to be done on high footpaths. Here I am , waiting for the flood.  

 The houses are wonderful, I am almost gasped out. They have the best gardens , wildish with , as Robin Sinclair would say, lots of volunteers. 

 I go again with Sarah to the Ashmolean, to the print room. First past Magdalen and New Colleges, where Jonathan W and Roger H studied. I think it is said ‘ read’. Read and ate sheep shanks. Up and down the marbled stairs of the Ashmolean, a happy remembering welcome from Clare Palmer, it is my Sarah Atkinson hat I am sure. Hurray , deep in George Mackley land again. Here is Clare holding a book of his work …and Sarah having a first look.  

   I will do my next weblog on George Mackley’s hold your breath wood engravings. The picture here of Sarah makes me think of our long friendship, I met Sarah (Gee), now Livingston, and Anni Browning , nearly fifty four years ago. We all have birthdays on Nine days, and tomorrow is Anni’s birthday. Happy Birthday Dear Anni… A picture of us at our first formal dance. ( With a prince or two. )  

   And a George Mackley wood engraving which Sarah and I saw, a picture of it especially for Anni,  a great sailor on the seas….Happy Birthday! 

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Back to my weblog.

  I am quite behind like Brown’s Cows in writing my weblog. I think I will start at right now to say of what has been happening in my days. Beginning at nearly midnight , at our friends’ Sue and Alex’s Portobello home.  

 I should actually go to sleep, the sun is sure to rise in an hour or two. I love it here, looking over the bay , Leith is round the corner, the ships come and go.  The ships, so long, if you walked to the bow, you would already be in France.  

 Kami Cat looks over to next door, a new stone wall is being built. The next picture is of Sue and Alex’s front garden , our Gabriel was here about eight years ago and helped to build the first stages. Now Kami watches over to see if the fierce white cat will appear.  Maybe I can get to draw Kami’s ears when the white cat passes by. Flat cat ears, a cat meter.

 There is an Elizabeth Blackadder cat etching on the wall.  The best of names , perhaps in my next life.

 Sue and I saw more of her paintings in the Scottish painters exhibition. Here is Sue, addressing Edinburgh citizens. ( a note for Tonia, a handsome black and white cat and a pug in a red jacket.)  

   The gales from the North Pole blew us into a tiny knitting shop. One of the best.  

     Then along the streets, all the windows and deep down gardens, with spectacular cat faces ( two colour faces) and neatly stacked wood. Russ Sinclair must have come from this way. 

     The wind and rain skittles us to the gallery, my phone is running out of film , I manage to get some pictures of the very beautiful Phoebe Anna Traquair embroidered pictures.  

    Down the High street and the Royal Mile to see the Queen’s house, and her swans. ( I had to look the other way when I thought of Mary Queen of Scots). Almost flew past the amazing new architecture of the parliament. All that grandness, but in balance, an old Scotty dog, flattened asleep in the window of his master’s Scotty shop. Well I can’t find the flattened Scotty picture, but instead one of our two old dogs, at home , on the evening I left. Pepper is in her Miss Fisher look alike evening gown. 


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Paris, The Third Say.

20140511-213936.jpgLe Chat Gris Blanc. I need to start with un chat as Le Chat committee have noticed nary a cat on these weblogs. Now un Chat trés Grand. Le Chat Bouffée Boule.

20140512-110406.jpgLe Chat et la vew, La Riviére Dordogne .

20140512-110834.jpgThese are not Parisian cats, I only saw one, up very high on a wall , looking down at this chap.

20140512-111712.jpgWe walked through many tiny, twirly streets, to the galleries and parks. The shop windows always arrayed with great care, so much to see. We just can’t rush. A window of Brushes.Le magasin de brosse.

20140512-112609.jpg I hope with the badger brushes, it was just brushed to get its fur, then on its way. Onwards, le magasin de enfants, les robes .

20140512-114239.jpgCan’t dash past a Boulangerie, can you see the after Easter Lapins? With lop ears ? This picture is especially for a young friend called Sugar, who knows about rabbits.

20140512-114719.jpgNot quite a window, a shop door , a dear gentleman carefully choosing flowers. It is a May Day present I think.

20140512-115459.jpgMore and More… A toy shop with creatures great and small.

20140512-115829.jpgPast Sennelier ,

20140512-163407.jpgA little look inside, je vois the giant paint pans.

20140512-164105.jpgOver the Bridge to the Louvre.

20140512-164247.jpgNot a lot of room left for true love to be locked in, on the crowded rails. Into the great halls of the Louvre. A last gaze at the Italians , Canaletto with his great canals. His paint work is almost Wild. Swirls and drops of paint. Always in exactly the right spot. Onto the French paintings . I don’t take pictures , just looking. Fatin La Tour, Poussin, Chardin.. Master painter of home and hearth. Of the peeled turnip and the cup left forever tilting over . Fragonard and Watteau. And Boucher who prefered to keep well away from the country. ‘Too much green and very badly lit’ . Then to the Northern painters, the Flemish low landers. Almost on our own we could see these paintings… Breugal’s people skating on ice, Vermeer’s daughter in the moment of making her lace. His friend, the Geographer. All living the same lives as us, with similar cares and concerns . We marvel at Ruisdael’s sea paintings, feel anxious for their journeys. ( a apology for some original name spelling here, shall fix in the fullness of time) . A good tasse de Thé is needed, then back through the Tuilleries gardens. The ravens are minding the flowers.

20140512-170744.jpgAlors, Le Jardiner , Monsieur Le Chèvre.

20140512-172145.jpgEt son ami, aussi Monsieur Chèvre.

20140512-172720.jpgA Bientôt , Prochain Tom, a Vivaldi concert at Saint Chapelle, Notre Dame, Artists’ smocks at Charvin shop, Gargoyles and one or two dogs. A last one to finish, back to le nez grand chien,


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Paris. Another Say.

20140507-182930.jpgBon Matin, Deux Chevaux! They liked my red Sarah hat, I liked their car. On my way , trotting along the Seine, with my students to the Louvre . Bonjour river boats..

20140507-183604.jpgBon Matin, Gendarmes, diving in the Seine ..

20140507-184043.jpgAt last , A dog event . Les Deux chiens noir. Trés Parisian .

20140507-184622.jpgI shall focus on Dogs for just a trice. An example of a chien maigre, blanc. br />
20140507-185044.jpgTwo silver chaps in a shop ..

20140507-185458.jpgOne last one before the Louvre, a golden dog, minding its own business , high above the street.

20140507-190156.jpgInto the Louvre, down the pyramid , up the stairs to gaze upon the Italians. I don’t take photos in the Louvre. We look with wonder at Cimabue’s Mary, at Giotto’s angels. In amazement gaze at Fra Angelico’s painting , all those angels, people gathered around Mary. There is the St Cuthbert angel, the one I have just borrowed from Fra Angelico.

20140507-190851.jpgWell definitely mine here, not F.A’s. In his painting , the angel is a bit behind one of the musicians. He looks a bit distracted, perhaps thinking about dinner. A little list of other Italian treasures… Uccello, Mantegna, Botticelli , Lippi, Piero della Francesca, Raphael , Leonardo D V, Titian, Veronese, Carravagio, Canaletto..Completely Italianate Gasped out . Especially all the while dodging the wild crowds dashing to see the Mona Lisa. I did take a photo in the Louvre, of a come-around-for-a-simple meal table setting. For either (Napolean or Louis X1IV. (Not a lot of difference).

20140507-192522.jpgAnd maybe a quiet sit around after, talking of the meaning of life. Or a quick game of monopoly .

20140507-192757.jpgMaybe even French cricket. This is getting a bit silly .I haven’t even started on the Northern school of painters, or the French. Until next time .. A bientôt..

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Paris in the Spring time, The first Say…

20140506-193235.jpgMay Day, spring in Paris. Spot the Rabbit, the golden cat and dog. Their master plays his hurdy hurdy music on La Rue St Germaine. I see them as I walked from the grand old St Germaine church with my students. Inside the church , a surprise.. Slightly Rude Words… Janet Ayliffe .. Is that you??!! It is my printmaking friends from Sydney. Robin and Annie. Annie corrects her sister, ‘ No… Good Heavens.. Is that you!’ Robin and Annie run excellent printmaking courses, ( The Printmaking Sisters.) Our Jenny and I went to Yannir in February to learn about Waterless lithography. ( a weblog yet to come .) Robin and Annie are on their way to Florence for their next course. We are on our way to eat another Cassis Glacé , and paint in the Luxemburg gardens. Under water as it turns out, so much rain. But before the Hurdy Gurdy Man, Golden Cat, Rabbit and Dog, the adventure of getting to Paris . Quite weary I was when I sat down on the night flight out of Adelaide . Next to me , the nicest people I could wish sit out a long journey ..Bertrand and Marie Eve, from Switzerland . They spoke no English and me , my Franglais. We spoke about potatoes for quite a while, potato growers they are. Every French potato word I could find. Then children , families, dogs . Until my brain melted, and they died from laughing at my bung words. Dubai eventually appeared on the back of seats, and into the space station we went. Through the shiny shiny towers flew a pigeon, I hope the poor soul found some Dubai pigeon food . Good old knitting to do as I waited after kilometre walking in glass aisles. A gracious lady from Ho Chi Ming city asked for a try.

20140506-200101.jpgHoley Moley… Four rows done. Another cheery conversation , this time in Asian Franglais. I hate to think what I actually said. Lots of bowing and think I will have my knitting back now, s’il vous plaît.. I proceed to the departure gate. My boarding pass is torn up by the gentleman at the desk. Please wait says he. I imagine another long journey east back to Australia . Probably having to talk for hours this time .. On mangelwurzels, Siberian Hamsters. I am overtired, as my mother would say. He taps in an official way, and out comes another pass. A window seat , he tells me . Upstairs, in the front. The biggest smile! He nearly hugs me and then thinks better of it. I almost skip there. Here is my Room! Champagne or orange juice. Both please .( Thankyou)

20140506-224042.jpgOut of the window … Oh how amazing.. Turkey, snow on mountains .. How beautiful.

20140506-224347.jpg The plane flies above the clouds and my seat in the little room becomes a bed. A mattress, quilt, do I want any more chocolates? A big sleep. Truly I am in heaven.

20140506-225539.jpgDown we go, swirling over Paris, down to Charles de Gaulle. A cheery hullo and bow at immigration, through to the trains… Gosh is that a picture of a girl with a hen??

20140506-225942.jpgIt has feathers just like Renaldo Rooster. An exhibition in the Luxembourg station, I trot along below them, come out up onto the streets and look for my hotel. It is quite easy. I stand looking at my map for a little time and in a trice a kind French gentleman approaches, sorts it out and walks me to the top of the street. Merci Beaucoup. My room, A casement window, bells of Notre Dame and rooftops.

20140506-231406.jpgMy lovely rose, a present as I left the plane. Now a view down the streets, leaning out precariously , more rooftops of Paris .

20140506-231641.jpgTwo more pictures for part one of my Paris time, a fat and not wanting to move bulldog called Hector..

20140506-232315.jpgand back to the ginger cat , the ginger dog and rabbit and the Hurdy Gurdy man.


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The new painting weblog

20140502-062935.jpgThis is a proper photograph of my new painting. That is , not me pinning it on a wall , moving the dog/s out the way and using a phone camera, but from Glen.. Camera , tripod, no dogs or sheep. A Bientôt .

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A Catching up Post.. Harold and Roger Lambs, and my new painting.

20140501-162932.jpgIt is ages , again since I wrote my Weblog. I am now in Paris, and there is lots to say about being in this beautiful city. But also of my the last months and weeks. Here is a new friend who has come to live with us. Harold Lamb. First living in Parkside with our young friends, Steve and Sophie. Harold, also late of Wentworth, NSW, has the loudest of voices. Some weeks later he was joined by Roger Lamb. Late of Roseworthy college and other young friends, Caroline and Adam.

20140501-171053.jpgHarold and Roger having dinner . Here is Harold out on his first dog walk.


20140501-221832.jpgThat is Molly Golly behind the tree . Pepper is sitting down trying not to think of lamb chops. One more lamb picture , Roger and Harold…. Growing up together, out with Milly in the evening ..

20140501-222532.jpg. Now my new painting…definitely the reason for my weblog silence. This is a commission work and I have entered into it heart and soul. It has a cast of many, a host of angels, a rush of dogs , a kindle of cats, a team of horses , a dissimulation of birds and maybe a float of otters. It is for a special family in a valley of Balhannah . I went last December on their hills to draw to the west , the north and east. These are the hill and valley drawings, sitting on my composition working out sheet.


20140501-224723.jpgNow a progression of the working drawings to sort the composition. Literally a cut and paste to get it arranged.




20140501-225659.jpgThe final stage of the rough drawing, using layers of tracing paper, and more cutting and pasting . I use an amazingly wonderful light box given to us by friends Robin and Russ, to get the drawing onto the heavy Magnani Peche paper.

20140501-230328.jpgThen the big final draw and colour in. I use my new easel, a family present for my sixtieth birthday. I need it to reach the top corners.

20140501-230629.jpgOutside in the chook yard the koalas pass by…

20140501-231006.jpgand indoors with me, Milly sleeps on.

20140501-231205.jpg The painting stages… The big colour in…

20140501-232355.jpgYellow under paintings …

20140501-232523.jpg</ Giotto and Fra Angelico angels with the under colours. The over colours coming in, the otters arriving , for Saint Cuthbert's feet.


20140501-233252.jpgGosh I think, that large otter looks just like one of my big brothers, kindly and thoughtful .I haven’t got a perfect photograph of the finished painting, Glen will send it to me and there it will be. For now , a lying down view, in preparation for paper clamping.

20140501-234116.jpg. A long weblog, as before… A bit to Say. I shall sleep now. Listening to rain on this dear old Paris roof. The bells of Notre Dame shall soon ring the hour . Bonne Nuit.

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