Sunday, February 27, 2011

More creatures

I have been unable to get internet access for several days now so I've written several posts covering the past 3-4 days. If you have the time.....several follow.

DRW's daughter Leslie was the only one of our children who was able to visit us when we lived here so many years ago. One of the most memorable events for us all was a koala sighting we made in the You Yangs. She took the most beautiful, this is for you, Leslie.

We did get a shot of one awake. They sleep about 22 hours a day...because of the difficulty in digesting their limited diet of eucalypts.

And we finally got a photo of an awake wombat....most of these animals prefer dawn and dusk.

Tomorrow we fly to Broome, Western Australia...and yes, there is a weather low there with some signs of a cyclone...but we are crossing our fingers and proceeding. Besides, Qantas assures us we will be going.

We've never been to "The West" and are really looking forward to this even though because of the continued "wet" (that's an understatement) we will probably be unable to see all that we'd hoped.

Ballarat Creatures

Well, all I can say is that the kangaroo's nose is better than DRW's memory. David was sure he'd misplaced the little bag of 'roo food that we'd purchased at the Ballarat Wildlife Refuge. The little juvenile was right...the bag was in the pocket.

This second photo is the only "mum" we saw with her joey which was occasionally interested in finding out was was happening.

Then there was the pair of "thumping" emus. They make the most beautiful, low thump sounds. In fact a little boy joyfully announced to his parents that he could hear the emus' hearts beat. It does sort of sound like that.

Ballarat, Victoria

As there was SO much going on in Geelong...there were no accommodations to be had for the weekend. There was a huge cruise liner docked at the port...separate preparations (along with aircrews) were ongoing for the Air Show next weekend and there was the Pako (Packington) Fest in full swing. We could only stay Friday night...we did get to meet Dijanne for a very nice dinner at a downtown Tapas restaurant.

So...we shifted up to Ballarat, an old goldmining town with a history that is very similar to the N. California gold towns, gold having been discovered about the same time in both places.

This second photo is a very common house..and one of my favorite designs. I'm thinking it's called Federal...but surely someone will correct me. I'm shocked by how much I've forgotten since we were last visiting here. Names of plants and birds are slowing returning...architecture, not so fast.

Ballarat Art Gallery is well known for fine quality. However, on our visit there was a performance being held in the upper galleries so we had to be satisfied with a student show. We were not unhappy. Partly because the student show was very interesting and, secondly, we had been so thrilled with the gorgeous Sidney Nolan Gallipoli exhibit at the Geelong Art Gallery was so good.

We could take photos without flash...and I did. I really liked this assemblage of small, beautifully defined linocuts.

Native Plants at the Botanical Gardens

My blog only likes 3 photos at most per post. So I'm going to post extra ones from time to time.

The first is the cone from a banksia (tall yellow "candle")...the second is a banksia in full bloom.

The third photo is Kangaroo Paw.

Geelong, Victoria

I was so happy that I could connect with Dijanne Cevaal in Geelong. She has fairly recently relocated there after her European tour. I was delighted that she shared so much of her work with me....certainly amazingly textured pieces. So much depth. So much emotion. I feel very lucky that she allowed me to purchase this piece: all hand stitched, hand dyed silk. Eucalyptus leaves are a real passion of mine. It is a real treasure to add to my collection.

Here DRW and I are standing at the entrance of the Geelong Botanical Gardens. The two sculptures are "bollards" and depict the creators of the original gardens. The Botanical Gardens are just a couple of blocks from our former home along Eastern Beach where we lived in the early 1990's and was a favorite destination of mine for morning walks: great birding and beautiful plants...the natives were my favorite.

In the great make-over of Geelong's waterfront the bollards are everywhere...and a great source of interest and photos for visitors.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Heide Museum of Art

I'd never been to the Heide Museum of Modern Art and it wasn't until I read Dijanne Cevaal's Feb 12 post that I recalled it at all...and made the mental note to get there, especially since she had such good things to say about it.

I've been looking for blooming native plants...there's always something blooming somewhere nearby to support the great variety of nectar eating birds (parrots and honey eaters mostly). The thing about the rains, that apparently have broken the decades old drought, is that the mozzies are here in abundance. We now need to carry repellent along with our sunscreen.

This gorgeous sculpture...sorry to say it's one of the few works whose creator I neglected to document...after I got back to the hotel to look at my photos is my favorite.

The Heide covers 16 acres of buildings/homes and exhibition space, gardens (kitchen and herb) and a sculpture park presenting "a dramatic combination of indoor and outdoor spaces". And, conveniently, it also has a very fine cafe.

We planned our day around it. Thank you, Dijanne!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

I've always enjoyed bloggers' Wordless Wednesday posts...never been able to pull it off myself. I've got too many words I guess.

The Melbourne tram ads were very interesting. We read them all.

And then there was this wall in a pub where we stopped for lunch. Our favorite was:
Drink beer because nobody solves the problems of the world over white wine.

Lastly, the real wordy bit. Monday night we were feted to the wonderful Aussie hospitality that everyone loves to bask in. We were invited to art quilter Geri Barr's home in Port Melbourne for a family dinner. I took a snap of her garden...and puppy Abby, also a cross-breed like the two we left at home: part Golden Retriever part Poodle. A very bright, spirited and lovable puppy of just a year.

Geri is going to Massachusetts in May. I'm hoping her schedule allows her to pop down to CT for a visit with our art quilt group Sisters in Cloth. She has a talk on Contemporary Australian Art Quilts and on "managing" your art and inspirations. Either or both would be welcomed I think.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Melbourne Day 5

Reinforcing our "fright-flight" response we finally made our way to Luna Park. No, I did not go in...neither did DRW. It's famous. For some reason all those years ago when we lived here we never made it here. It is now in our "been there...almost done that" file.

Yesterday, having been invited to an art quilter's home for dinner on Monday night ("Oh, just take the 109 Tram right in front of your hotel...text me the prior stop and I pick you up"). We have been jumping on and off the City Circle but haven't actually bought tickets and ventured on the "real" trams....where the other riders might like to get to work, etc...without the bumbling tourists mucking things up. SO, we decided to trial the real ones...and headed off to St. Kilda's Sunday Market on the Esplanade. Yes, we had queried the concierge (yes, the hotel has one) about the finer points.
There were many artists and crafters selling their work. We met the artist who had created Mr. Bucket. He has created an he describes...a Cary Grant type with a bucket on his head. Yes, I did ask him about the Ned Kelly reference...and I was "spot on". There were numbers of images on t-shirts, etc...Mr. Bucket with missives flying out of his pockets (wikileaks)...walking on a "red brick road"...interesting imagery.

After lunch we "trammed" back to the city. Since DRW discovered that he would require a couple more shirts we stopped at Myers Dept. Store. Thought this was good. Remember that the Aussie $ is almost exactly the US$. The Ralph Lauren t's are $149 EACH!

It's the shipping I guess.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Melbourne Day 3 & 4

Our days include a lot of walking. It'd be nice to say that we'd lost a few kilos on this trip..and, heck, we might. I do know we've left at least one kilo on the streets of Melbourne even though we have discovered that we like the city circle tram. Yesterday, Saturday, it was VERY crowded however, and we decided to bolt off a couple of stops early on our way to Chinatown where we had lunch. Yum.

The first pic is from an exhibit at ANZ (a bank) and from the community that is represented by one of our new art gallery contacts Stan Yarramunua. Lively, interesting work, to say the least.

This second snapshot is a huge sculpture at the Docklands.

And the last photo is the view from our ninth floor room at Melbourne's Rialto Hotel.

We are still trying to connect with some more folk for references for appraisers for our Aboriginal Art Collection. So far we have found two (one connected with Sotheby's) to give our cd. Finding an appraiser is one of our goals for this trip.

Today we have not made firm plans yet....perhaps a Festival at St. Kilda....all's well. Still sunny and warm, with (so far) only overnight showers.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Melbourne Day 1 & 2

This first photo is a pic of an old style tram...not the one we took for our City Circle tour...we took an older, more beautiful model. There are several tram types, some very flash.

The second photo I shot from our tram trip...the old and new captured.

My blogger only likes three pics per after two days of galleries, museums, and MILES of walking, I leave you with our late afternoon "tea". We've found a fine little pub, the Sherlock Holmes, were we cool our feet and plan our next day.

The trials of the L O N G and A R D U O U S trip are almost a dim memory.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Windsor Art Center/SAQA-CT Regional Meeting

Here we are: Saturday, sunny with no chance for snow and an art center FULL of art quilts and art doesn't get better than THAT!

The first pic is "Our Fearless Leader" Kate Themel, SAQA/CT co-rep. Yes, I know. She and I are both the co-reps but, in fact, the way it really works is that she's "Our Fearless Leader" and I am the "Faithful Companion". Gosh, she does SUCH a remarkable job, one has to stand back and marvel.

The next pic is the SAQA/Mass RI rep Jeanne Marklin. She's showing her provocative piece about race in the US.

This last pic is of a FANTASTIC piece by Hiroko I-forgot-her-last-name who is a prospective member. This meeting was promoted as an open meeting and, because of that, there was an audience of non-member art quilters (we like to think of them as prospective) and members of the Windsor Art Center and general public attending to hear the artists' talks.

The day was unavoidably long because there was so much to do, so many art works to feast upon, so many people to talk one wanted it to end. You had to be there!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Guilford Art Center's Pole Barn houses the metal-smiths and a couple of kilns. It's for weathering the elements...obvious elements here. And much of the "elements" has melted.

The sunny news of the day is that two of my Journey Bowls have been juried into the next exhibit at the Art Center!

I posted about Africa Bowl on Jan 19 and the open Outback Bowl on Jan 25.

It was a bit of a whim to enter the competition. I try to support the Center in any way that I can. The Call to Entry spoke to me and I thought what the heck...I never dreamed that the jurors would actually LIKE them.

Bowls: common, open-top containers, dishes or basins, often round and rather deep, used in many cultures chiefly for holding liquids and food. One of the simplest, most ancient, and most elemental forms. Bowls have been created and recreated by artists and artisans through the ages as objects variously or simultaneously functional, sculptural, decorative, utilitarian, and more. This exhibit will explore what continues to be new and vital about this form, and submitted work is encouraged to explore its many aspects.

Jurors: Pam Erickson and Richard Davis

Pam Erickson and Richard Davis are nationally exhibiting, mixed media artists. Transplanted from New York City, they live and maintain studios in Ivoryton, Connecticut. The couple managed and curated exhibitions for the former Erickson-Davis Gallery.

The serendipitous bit is that I happened to be at the Center when the Director mentioned that the jurors had their choices in and that she was happy to tell me in person about my Journey Bowls. Ordinarily I would have been notified on the 14th, the official date. The date that I would have been on a Qantas flight on my way to Melbourne!

So, I'm off to the Center. Journey Bowls and contract in hand. Whilst I ready for another journey.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Double Take: Photo and Fiber

Our most recent project is up! Crack hanging crew (Barb and Roger Adams, Yvette Howard, Linda Zimmerman, Dave and Diane Wright) got it up in three hours yesterday.

The theme of the exhibit is a pairing of the work of professional photographer Rosemary DeLucco-Alpert with Sisters in Cloth's interpretations in fabric of her flower photos.

After we had taken on this project, one of our members, Janine Anderson-Bays, developed an invitation to exhibit at the Gallery @ Haskins, Yale University. When we suggested this pairing of media to the staff at Haskins they were very keen on hosting it.

March 3, 5-7pm the Gallery is hosting an artists' reception. The exhibit will be up through June.

The two pieces in the lobby are Purple and White Iris by Ruth Anne Olson and Rose Alpert and Asian Lily by Martha Wolfe and Rose Alpert. Incidentally this is the combination on the gorgeous postcard created for the event by the Gallery.

The second pic shows the section exhibiting Carol Ludington and Rose Alpert's White Jamaica Bougainvillea and Evelyn Judson and Rose Alpert's Coleus.

And, hot off the press....the count is in. We were invited to travel this exhibit to the gallery space at The Guilford Free Library in July and the ayes have it (with no nays).