Thursday, 28 February 2013


did you hear me??  RAIN RAIN RAIN .....


it's rained here for two nights, last night for the whole night i think, everythings wet. it's heaven. and COOL. i head off on tuesday for melbourne, flying to china on wednesday.  lots to do before i go, i have to get my grant application in today, lots of work, fingers crossed.   and designing the invite for my show - done.

mounting the work - mostly done.  today, lunch with the girls,  donnie, ruth and julie. and the opening of the mildura/wentworth arts festival in at the Mildura Arts Complex.   i'm going in with the artback crew.

OK this is a slight exaggeration, pinched these off the net

BABY NEWS from rene and sayaka in japan - 

'Lots of kicking and punching and head butting all day, and is pretty fun to just feel it happening from the outside...'

the baby is 1.1kg now and rene and sayaka are busy setting up the apartment and creating
a new room, exciting times.

no photos from the last couple of days, all the pics i've taken are of artwork for my grant
application and it feels like bad luck to put it on the blog. it's coming together nicely 

WATER NEWS  - nothing good to report apart from the rain and even that came at the worst time - i can't believe i'm saying that. the pump has been coming on for a few seconds every 15 minutes or so indicating a loss of pressure therefore there's  a slight leak somewhere - i think it's probably at the spot where the ride-on mower guy yanked the tap and broke the pipe,   he fixed it but he's such a cowboy i thing he probably hasn't done it properly.  so tomorrow, when i have my work finished and space in my head to think about it i'll call in terry the pump guy.

in the meantime i had decided not to water at all, just let everything dry out a bit and then i'd be able to check that spot for dampness, hence my disappointment at all the rain. it's wonderful though and so good to go to bed with a blanket on.   

it's been very hot up here but usually dry heat, this week has been dripping, like queensland weather.  

should be nice by the time i get back from china though, lovely autumn days, i can't wait.

SNAKE SPOTTED  fortunately not at my place. yesterday i drove home through merbein and decided to check out the op shop.  to my surprise and deeelight, i discovered the little main street is almost all secondhand shops.   as i crossed the road to the post office,  i saw all the people in the bustop talking to each other, then as i went to open the glass doors a lady inside was pointing to me and indicating the footpath.  i turned to see a small very attractive light coloured snake,  slithering along the concrete (almost the same colour) at the bottom of the steps, not close to my feet luckily.   
up on the top of the p.o. verandah i had a perfect view, no camera sadly.  it's the first
it looked just like this, a  young king brown
snake i've seen here (apart from my python). 

 i'm surprised i've seen no snakes anywhere at all yet.  this little fella went under the building so the staff were standing guard on the footpath with a broom.  pretty funny.
now here's a scary snake scenario

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


 . . . IF i do say so myself.  it's hard not to take gorgeous pics when you're surrounded by all this gorgeousness,   the sunsets and sunrises have been wonderful although the humidity, which is rare, has been relentless the last few days and while i  hear there's lots of rain down south, last night a few drops managed to sprinkle on the grass but i wouldn't have known if i hadn't walked outside.

some rain forecast for the next few days - i'll believe it when i see it.

the sky was
 just luminous
 last night


Sunday, 24 February 2013


it's been a productive sunday, lots of work on the book,  my show, some gardening, got my t box reconnected to the internet (annoying thing), sold some prints by email   -   all good. 

and tonight the moon is almost full, very beautiful


THE WATER PROBLEM from yesterday is solved, brendan had extended the watering cycle by 45 minutes so it would have turned off at the right time if i hadn't done it manually the night before. so it's all working - touch wood.

I've been working on my book idea and developing a grant application for it and yesterday i drew all afternoon and worked on the text,  i'm happy with what i'm doing and it's really got me going.  absorbing.

my friends bruce and meredith live on the river at buronga on the edge of mildura right
on a wide bend of the river. Last night they invited me over for a bbq to photograph the swans that feed there each evening.  I need them for my book so it was great to sit and watch them close up for about 20 minutes.   Bruce and meredith have large luxury houseboats for hire that are moored at the river bank near their home and we sat on the end of one of them to watch the swans, and the disgusting jetskiers that were hooning up and down the river at about 200 km.  they should be banned, so dangerous - we were worried that they were going to wipe out one of the swans at one stage.

i'm happy that at my place past lock 10, only little fishing boats and the occasional houseboat go by.

bruce and meredith's funny dog rosie

look at this gorgeous fellow, how handsome. 

and the funny one on the right with his foot sticking out, we thought something was wrong but he just tucked it back in after a little while.  

Saturday, 23 February 2013


yes, the old problem. . .  sorry to friends reading this, it's getting monotonous but i want a record of the watering history so i need to put it on the blog.
latest problem is that last night after brendan coming out to fix one of the watering cycles that wouldn't turn off,   the complete cycle went through beautifully last night only to get to the end and not turn off.  
that's fine if i'm here to turn off the pump but when i'm in china i don't want the pump going the
whole time.

so - another phone call to brendan  

i'm just working on getting grant applications, artwork and competition entries together and sent off
before my china trip.  
Tonight i'm invited to new friends bruce and meredith's for a bbq -  they have
black swans that come in the evening, and i want photos for my book project.

this morning i walked out to find a family of magpies sitting on the ground looking up at two
kookaburras on the clothes line who were looking intently at the maggies.   there was definitely something going on there, the magpies were making soft sounds.    of course i ran to get the camera, missed that little interaction but here are some pics.

Thursday, 21 February 2013


AH, the delights of sitting down with a cool glass of local white at the end of a busy day.   lots to catch up on now i'm back, specially getting steele out here to check out the damage to the tap.  he's been
scrabbling around under the house, scooping out mud with his hands, to find the source of the break in the pipe. now,  at 7 in the evening, it's all fixed and the watering system's come on, but i'd like to
be confident that it's been done really well after the slapdash way  he threw the hoses around and left
them where they were after he'd done the mowing.     tsk tsk  }:0|

I'M PLEASED to see that willy wagtail's taken my advice, taken a chill pill and is, as i write,  leaping about under the sprinkler that's just come on - no less agitated, but at least he's cool and damp.

LOOK at this crazy bird - the darter, i love 'im!

just look
at that
neck -  

an exotic

images for the
april show -
riverbank landscapes
and birds that
i've seen here on 
the murray/darling
junction and down
at the thegoa 

 the river bank at gol gol


arrived home late last night after driving all day and getting to mildura in time for the opening of geoffrey ricardo's show at the art vault before heading home. 

Geoffrey Ricardo and wonderful dark image
julie chambers (art vault)  bruce turner, kevin chambers, meredith turner and geoff ricardo
at the pizza cafe after the show
julie opening the show to a zoned out visitor

geoffrey's show looks terrific and there are very big dramatically dark etchings that i want to talk to him about, really great technique and powerful images. burnished aquatints i think.

so then it was on to wentworth to get home before 10 pm so i could see if the watering system was in action.   i was keen to see how it  had performed after a week away. it's programmed to come on every night and go through it's 3-hour cycle, watering all the grass and garden around the house. 

and it did 

HOWEVER . . .  (dramatic pause)

there was water running way down the drive . . . flooding on the verandah, dry lawns,
a bit of a mess really

Some kind person (i think it was the wonderfully named steele scaddings, the rideon mower man) had decided to come and cut the grass while i was away so all the sprinklers that are on a hose around the perimeter of the lawn had been dragged off to one side next to the house, and left in a stack.  and one hose had popped off the tap and the water was just running straight down the driveway.

the stacked up sprinklers were all on in a great pile near an open window and water had
poured in all over some artwork and cut mattes that were on the studio floor.  luckily
nothing for my coming show.  so i don't know how many days it had been like that but
at least a few.  lots of dry lawn, and small flooded spots.  

SIGH!!!  at least the system is working, now to find out who cut the grass and ask them to ring first before they come.

this morning i've woken up to a smoky river, at first i thought it was mist, but it's very blue and i'm thinking that smoke from the fires down south is wafting up this way, after all it's been over a week  now that  the grampians fires have been growing and moving.
I'm pleased to hear from sister helen who lives there that the fires are a long way from their place.

I always like the drive through the windfarms, they spread over hills as far as you can see on either side of the sunraysia highway - always makes me think of  'the war of the worlds'

Monday, 18 February 2013


I'VE GOT ACCESS to the net - so many days on the road staying here and there, finally i can do the blog.  it's been nearly a week away, staying a night here a night there.    the grampians, then thornbury, south melbourne, geelong, torquay and now point lonsdale.
it's hot hot hot and i've been in the sea half the day - it's gorgeous.

the car is loaded up with art supplies, a huge box of foamcore and crescent board so i can finish mounting my work for the april show at the Art Vault.

so, pics from the week

the vines are just laden, they looked wonderful as i left wentworth and mildura

the clouds are always amazing over the wheat country of the mallee and wimmera

i love these little iron buildings on top of the silos

 on to sister helen and don's at lake lonsdale.   this is a corella tree seen on a walk in the morning

bee tree
 - they loved this  beautiful flowering gum in helen and don's garden

at sunny's on her last day in the flat, she's moving house tomorrow

you just can't keep leigh hobbs from breaking out of the frame - he's that kinda guy.   dinner at misuzu's wonderful japanese restaurant in albert park with narelle oliver, gabrielle wang and sally rippin, a great night

MISUZU'S  -  wonderful decor and great food

 great buildings in
bridport street, albert

driving down flinders street on my way to geelong, a wedding party on the left and a strange building made of what looked like woven twigs at fed square - perhaps a part of the sustainable living exhibition. that's little bluey sitting on my dashboard, a rare grampians blue parrot with a penchant for good music

wedding photographers on the tram tracks in the middle of flinders street getting light readings outside st patricks (or is it st. pauls?)

freddie got me this great
buoyancy vest, so i can
go floating out in the river
and if the current's strong,
i can just glide all the
way to adelaide.
I stayed with gail in torquay and we spent yesterday afternoon and evening staying cool in the shade on the balcony under umbrellas and grapevines.  lots of good friends and food and wine, a lovely afternoon

beautiful virginia creeper at gails

Now i'm in Pt Lonsdale at janet and bevan's,  i'll spend the day printing tomorrow. thank goodness it's going to cool down, it's been in the mid to high 30's every day.