I'm a little late writing about this, but my painting "Bantam Rooster" took out the Packers' Prize at this year's Perth Royal Show Agricultural Award, after winning the Wagin Woolorama Agricultural Award in March.
It's that time of year again, time for the Southern Art & Craft Trail, featuring exhibitions across the Great Southern region of Western Australia.
This year I am participating in a group exhibition at Manyat Peak Gallery at the foot of the Porongurup Range.
This will be the first public showing of the still life paintings I've featured here over recent months. A few of the artists will be in attendance at various times during the exhibition which is open Wednesdays to Sundays, with a small opening get together at 5pm on Sunday 28 September.
I have also entered two paintings in the Plantagenet Art Prize, which opens next Friday evening and each day throughout the Trail.
If you're in the region between September 26 and October 12, grab a copy of the directory from a visitor centre or gallery, or check details on the Trail website (download PDF brochure here), and take a look at the variety of work on offer.
The teddy bear, books and candlestick came from a local op-shop, the flowers are synthetic and from a discount shop, and the beads were my daughter's, before she grew up.
I chose the bear because he looked pre-loved and has an expression suggesting he's just a little bit lost in his own world. I found he looked even better when he was sitting just slightly off vertical.
Here's a reminder, too, that the Great Southern Art & Craft Trail starts in just a couple of weeks, on September 27, and runs for two weeks.
I'll have a few paintings out at Manyat Peak Gallery near the Porongurup Range, and will be spending a little bit of time out there painting and meeting visitors. If you're in the region, be sure to pick up a trail map from a visitor centre or gallery, and check out the wide range of work on display.
The plushy dog, the vase and the sequined shoes are all op-shop bargains.
I haven't really got a title for it yet. If you have any suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments. (I've renamed it "Treasure" since I first posted it here.)
This was begun as a simple exercise in preparation for a larger painting but I ended up spending quite a bit of time on it. I still think I'll do another version, although I might rearrange a couple of things.
I introduced a range of new colours to my palette for this one, including a violet, sap green, a transparent yellow and two rosey reds. I felt that with a subject like this, I needed some vibrant colours that I wouldn't be able to mix from my standard set.
Tasked with the job of a selling a budget no one likes, Mr Hockey decided to dismiss the concerns of "the poor" by saying they won't much be affected by a rise in the fuel excise, because they don't drive cars anyway.
He went on to describe the fuel excise as a progressive tax, and became possibly the first treasurer in history to not know what "progressive tax" means. In fact, he might be the first high-school graduate in history to not know what progressive taxation is - assuming he graduated.
Challenged over his insensitivity, he dug in his heels and said the statistics backed him up. Unfortunately, he couldn't find any actual people who would back him up, not even among his closest workmates, and eventually began to realise he might need to give up and say "sorry".
And say sorry he did. Although, reading the full transcript of his on-air apology, it mostly seems like he's sorry people noticed that he's completely out of touch with the needs and concerns of low-income Australians.
If he wants to remain as Treasurer, he really should have apologised for not understanding basic tax philosophy.
Anyway, that was just a long explanation of why I felt compelled to do another Joe Hockey caricature.
For a long time I battled with the problem of what to do with wet oil paintings.
I had a small rack I'd made from a piece of chipboard with some strips of pine screwed to it, but it only held four paintings at a time and there was a risk of the paintings falling off it, face first.
A few months ago I saw a much better solution to the problem...
In November last year, I wrote about my first-ever visit to the local auction house. It was a serendipitous visit, as I explained back then, which resulted in me owning the much-coveted, but long-out-of-print "Richard Schmid Paints Landscapes" book.
I also mentioned that I missed out on some Walter T. Foster art instruction books that were on offer in the same auction. They went with an opening bid of $30, which was more than I was prepared to pay for them that day (as I had already bought a couple of things and was yet to find out how much the Schmid book might cost me).
I grew up with Walter Foster books. My family had four or five of them covering a range of subjects from cartoons to animals to general drawing instruction. To this day, I can't walk past a Walter Foster book without flicking through it, although I don't see them all that often. I've bought a few over the years if the subject matter was relevant to me.
I have visited the auction house every week since my first visit in the hope of a repeat performance, but pickings have been thin, until this week.
Yesterday, I waited patiently for three hours as the auctioneers worked their way through the list of items from lawn mowers, to diesel engines, to lumber, furniture, crockery and, finally, to a small stack of Walter T. Foster art instruction books.
Again I readied myself for the bidding battle to end all battles. The auctioneer started at "Thirty Dollars?", "Twenty?", "Ten? Okay next item".
I raised my hand and cheekily offered five dollars for the books.
"Okay. Five dollars on the art books. Eight anywhere?...Yes. Eight I have. Ten dollars?"
Bummer, someone else wanted them after all. I nodded to ten dollars and resigned myself to paying more. I'd expected to pay anywhere up to $30 anyway, so I was ready for this.
But it was over. No more counter offers. A nod at ten dollars, and 14 Walter Foster books, including seascape and still life titles, were mine.
It now looks like I might be a collector of Walter T. Foster books. So if you have any you don't want.... :)
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