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 home..in 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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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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Summer leaving, Autumn nearly here.

Summer leaving, Autumn nearly here..

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Summer leaving, Autumn nearly here.

20140226-140538.jpgJust before the high temperatures of this summer arrived , Sarah helped me with a big edition run of etchings. Between polishing plates, Sarah also helped with Percy Possum. He is a ring tail possum which Glen found under the yellow box gums. Here he is being fed special marsupial milk, given through a tube attached to a syringe.

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20140226-141646.jpg We were grateful to the Fauna rescue people , for possum information . Now a possum house has been placed near our trees, so we can accommodate rescue possums and then later release them.

20140226-142923.jpgThis cheery fellow is accepting some apple, after accidentally snapping with sharp teeth, Glen’s finger .

20140226-143407.jpgWith his injured hand, Glen soldiered on and made a two lane branch way , to another house and the tree beyond. And the gully and forest below. The cloth on the release house was to keep the possums cool on our days of extreme heat. It was watered with our fire hose , the Coolgardie safe principle. Indoors, the etchings got printed, and pegged up to dry.

20140226-144955.jpg The temperatures rose so high this summer. I cooked an egg out doors, by putting a frying pan in the garden. The resident brontosaurus guarded it as it baked .

20140226-145525.jpgA trifle of time later…

20140226-145709.jpgAnd then a grateful Pepper dog eating the Œuf Crackle.

20140226-150206.jpg(These pictures were sent to my friends in Tasmania, Kevin and Cheryl, who were feeling smug, wearing overcoats and scarves to keep warm.) And now the season of Mists is on the way.

20140226-151339.jpgI have tackled some wild bits of my studio, and order arrives, according to the gospel of Ikea.

20140226-151800.jpgMy financial advisor , Roy, the dog , is exhausted.

20140226-151930.jpgThe sunflowers of summer soon to pass, the donkeys , Don Quixote and Munch doing some mowing in the garden, send them on their way.

20140226-152538.jpgMy next weblog, a new commission painting, a train journey to be a printmaking student and Harold the lamb.

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Summer on our Hill

20131213-144314.jpgStorms have come over our hill, hail falling over the garden. A White December. I have been away from my weblog writing, so shall go back a little in time. Spring has been beautiful , as it always is here. The best season , along with the other three.

20131213-144636.jpgThe cumquats arrived in their dozens, the marmalade was made.

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20131213-144845.jpgNew Esse stove heated our home, the water, cooked the marmalade and the dogs.

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20131213-145107.jpgMilly makes me shut the door, too hot she says.

20131213-145240.jpgSpring flowers, Hirani’s wonderful knitted fox and Llewelyn’s glass make a little shrine for our friend Jack.

20131213-145647.jpgThe roses come into bloom , and the new vegetable beds get made.

20131213-145820.jpgGordon and Minnie geese, Taj and Mahal ducks survey where the new tomato, capsicum and eggplants will grow .

20131213-150026.jpgI have decided to make a no dig potato bed, it is constructed from scraps of iron and wood. Never mind about no dig. Lots of barrowing horse poohs instead. It is planted out, the dogs take it to the full meaning of a garden Bed.

20131213-150355.jpgPepper is exhausted. I have received photos from my friends , Kevin and Cheryl, of their Tasmania garden, vexingly their giant rhubarb and verdant vegetables. Actually they are great to see…

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20131213-151140.jpgGarden pictures sent to me of K&Cs garden on Macquarie street in Hobart. It is amazing this visiting each other on the Ether. I send back a picture of my potato bed in full leaf.

20131213-151442.jpgI open another compost pot to spread , and see the Leopard Slugs are at home .Truly Golden Slugs.

20131213-151717.jpgOne more slug picture.

20131213-151827.jpgI plant the new yin yang beans..

20131213-152006.jpgand then away, inside to editioning the etchings…more next time , of printing with Sarah , and of Percy, the Ringtailed possum.

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Farewell Oscar Wells, Big Boy.

20131213-132348.jpgOur dear friend Oscar Wells has gone to the Long Great Walk beyond. Oscar has been in our lives for over twelve years. He was the curly dog of Janie and Jonathan Wells, and their family, Jeremy, Anna and Alex. For more than half his life, he has stayed part of the week at our home. This was to cheer his heart after his Janie died in 2002.

20131213-133717.jpgEach week Oscar would come with Molly, their pinnies packed for some sleeps and sniffing adventures on the hills. Here they are at high summer surveying all before them. Each spring we would go to the back scrublands, to see the spring orchids .

20131213-134145.jpgThis year the Blue Stars were abundant , Oscar stands in their midst.

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20131213-134449.jpgHis friend Milly, with a Blue Star. And his Molly with Pepper.

20131213-134605.jpgThe track leads on, we visited the Rabbit orchid …

20131213-134903.jpgand the Common bearded orchid.

20131213-134956.jpgOn one of his last walk outs, Oscar didn’t have quite the energy to climb Mount Horse Pooh at our neighbour Ian’s yards. He sat and thought of the Empire, as Molly and Pepper scaled the heights.

20131213-135256.jpgHome we went, Oscar escorting the barrow to the garden.

20131213-135452.jpgHe was King of The Couch, of several couches . Here he shares one with Milly and Pepper.

20131213-135825.jpg…and later, on the Gran Velvet couch..

20131213-135935.jpgHe has been a perfect home dog, attending to pans..

20131213-140151.jpgAlways leaving a black fur cloud presence behind him, to making cleaning up truly worthwhile. He lives on in my pictures…

20131213-142323.jpg He will live on in our hearts…a much loved Big Boy… .

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France for art lovers with Janet Ayliffe

20131018-093131.jpgThis dog looks distinctly Parisian. This is because it is, with the elegant spot and point of nose. This weblog is not about dogs, it is to announce the next France for Art lovers with Janet Ayliffe expedition, next year, being arranged by Walking Matilda director , Peter Kellett. And to describe a little how it was on the first Art tour in April this year. Never mind about the lovely students who came, I had a wonderful time. As I expected, I did spend a lot of time gasping with amazement and delight. Peter was a brilliant tour director , all the details of our journey arranged to perfection . Here is Peter , I think telling me where the nearest glacé parlour was.( An aside, I am wearing my hat made by Sarah A. The Best. ) Or maybe Peter is saying about the art supplies shops. Such as the Sennelier shop, here is some of what we saw inside.

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<a The Sennelier shop, this is some of what we saw inside…

20131018-100904.jpgThe pastel drawers,

20131018-101050.jpgSome of the paper shelves, then a real artist, must be by his deep intent.

20131018-101329.jpgWe sat by the Seine, (sang songs , almost to ourselves) , painted the lee boarder boats , at moorings, which had sailed all the way from the Netherlands.

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20131018-102108.jpg We sat in the Tuilleres gardens, mostly strategically to avoid birds and their bottoms , and painted the gardens..here I am being the teacher . Seconds before a bird got me.

20131018-102511.jpg Here is what I was painting , as before, but this time with bird additions. Lucky it was green.

20131018-102747.jpgEach day in Paris, walking to the galleries in the mornings, painting in the afternoons. Then back to our comfortable accommodation in the Latin quarter. Fortunately right next to a glacé parlour. I became addicted to Cassis glacé. Never mind. The Latin quarter was a fine place to be, I didn’t have much use for my limited Latin vocabulary , to speak about farmers and spears ( why did our studies get so stuck on spears and swords I think?) Back to our accom, very close to every thing we could possibly need, concerts at St Julien D Pauvre, St Chapelle, crepes, glace, galleries. To sleep hearing the bells of Notre Dame, gosh, again, never mind!

20131018-104137.jpgOne day Peter arranged a visit to Giverney, as many know, the most exquisite of gardens, designed by Monet, to be as gardens can be, a living art work. In the evenings and early mornings, the gardeners dart around , keeping the beds of complementary and analogous colour arrangements perfect. We would have been Shocked to see anything out of place. ( not actually) We were totally happy, over the famous bridge, in and out the paths and walks.

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20131018-105524.jpgI nearly fell in the lake at this point, looking to see the frogs who had croaks like walruses. Huge croaks that is. It was thrilling , they set up a chorus. The house was a delight, and for me, so too were the old chooks. The rooster dated back to when Claude was at home. To say , it was an ancient rooster, safely past all roast Sundays.

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20131018-110721.jpgOne last gallery visit, Peter escorted us through the streets to the Rodin Museum. Past phalanxes of gendarmes, in full defence uniforms, being in attendance as a loud, very Gallic demonstration was on. It was the evening before the bill for same sex marriage was presented in their parliament . Wisht I had a handy banner with me to cheer it on. The gendarmes were very serious, but a small phalanx (can’t resist using this old word) , asked me if I would swap my Sarah hat with theirs . All asked with French charm and smiles. I nearly did, the offer so nice. In my scratchy French, I declined as I said theirs were bolted on, not enough time. Here we are, with Rodin, and his thinker , thinking.

20131018-112140.jpgWith great precision , Peter gets us all to the station, on the speedy train to the Dordogne. Not one person gets lost or left behind. Amazing. We arrive at our accomodation in the walnut growing area, near Castlenaud. Here is the castle, and the castle cat.

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20131018-114611.jpgAnd the bakery, gosh , this is a very fine bakery!!

20131018-114900.jpgOur place to stay, luckily a kilometre or so walk from these patisseries is amongst the walnut trees, the iris and lily of the valley soon to flower . Here is our home for the next while, and one of our neighbours .

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20131018-115615.jpgWe dine in immense splendour , Peter and Ria making the best of meals, every night , three course dinners , French wines. Every night walks in the evening, exploring the paths and lanes. Hullo ing the ginger horse.

20131018-120220.jpgRia and Peter , plating up!

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20131018-120713.jpgMoira and Diwani set the tables, Ann’s folded serviette shoes point where to sit.

20131018-121118.jpgSometimes , before dinner, when it is too windy outdoors, the table is covered with paints and paintings . Peter takes us out each day, to regions he knows well. The bastide towns, Domme, and Montpazier, we sit on steps and walls to draw and paint.

20131018-121639.jpg My painting from the bastide wall of Domme . Lucky I didn’t drop my pencil. Here we are at Montpazier . In the market square . Concentrating on perspective . I do get up to help people, but at this point nobody is in tears.

20131018-122000.jpgWe are taken to Rocamadour, the Lascaux (2) caves. We sit on a wall at Rocamadour and paint the monastery .

20131018-122958.jpgWe get to admire each others paintings, Jaye shows us her lovely study. After painting there, we walk down the winding paths of the ancient building, still used as a monastery . That is clear because there are survival glacé shops on the way down. It takes me three Cassis glacé to make the descent. I don’t have photographs of the caves, I didn’t and wouldn’t take them. It was very moving seeing those pictures. We paint more along the Dordogne , meet twins in pink . Ann peels oranges for these little fairy girls.

20131018-123953.jpgWe gasp with more wonder at other landscapes, with their castles and long farmed valleys.

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20131018-124939.jpgI admire the fences, of course I do. Our last visit is to Sarlat, where we will say farewell. First we dine, later walk in its streets, see the markets and a dog. Or several.

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20131018-125922.jpgTrain tickets and connections are sorted, we say goodbye to our friends, a last time to smell the Sarlat flowers …

20131018-131247.jpgThis has been such a fine adventure, Thankyou to my students , Thankyou Peter and Ria. Here are the details for the 2014 art tour. Worked out to the minute. The next big question is what glacé, which dog or cat might I meet next year.

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On our hill, Winter turning to Spring.

20131010-155748.jpgWinter has turned to spring on our hill , the Gabriel studios have had several welcomes/ openings..big and small. More to come. This was the first with a ceremonial ribbon.

20131010-161130.jpgOur friend Russ Sinclair cuts a ribbon arranged by Jenny Wallace.

20131010-161606.jpgIt was great to see our friends again, Robin and Russ, Bill and Jenny, Katharine (Shepherd) and her parents, Martha and David. I stayed with Katharine in Brussels before the art tour in Paris and the Dordogne.

20131010-162025.jpgLast week some of my students from the Washhouse (at the Hahndorf Academy) , came to visit the studios and even paint some pictures.

20131010-163113.jpgRoger introduces himself to the afternoon tea.

20131010-163339.jpgPainting places were found both upstairs and downstairs . Guided tours were given to Poultry Paradise, where the chooks did their best to be model fowls.

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20131010-164229.jpgPepper and Milly fortified themselves with more sleep.

20131010-164641.jpgI think every one went home tired but happy. ( How every primary school composition was finished,…mine always..) Later I walked out in the spring evening. With Pepper and Milly. The last light coming over our hill .

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20131010-165343.jpgThe day is done. So much more to say of this season, these seasons.. Next time , cumquat marmalade, the blue star and mayfly orchids, even the common bearded orchid, visits East and West. Now to end, a picture of my new easel given to me by my family. Using it as a table, finishing my painting for the Fleurieu prize entry. It is a brilliant easel.

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