Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Come on Australians - Have a Heart and Help The Boat People

Hi all,

This is not my usual art blog.  I'm fed up with our treatment of refugees here in Australia and  I have to let off some steam about this issue, so here goes.  

In Australia we get no more than 5,000 boat people per year (while some much poorer countries take in hundreds of thousands without any sort of song and dance about it) and over 90% are deemed to be valid refugees who are eventually placed into the community after spending way too long in detention centres.     I am sick of the media referring to them as "illegal".  Under international law, they are not illegal immigrants they are refugees and under our long standing legally binding agreement with the united nations we have legal requirements to help them.  

Many of these people have sold everything they have in the world to escape from the horror of war.  They have signed away the rights to their ancestral farmlands or homes and would have nothing to return to.  In many instances, when they get on the boats  they do not even know the destination - they are just told they will be taken to somewhere welcoming and safe.  There is often no way for them to apply to "legally" enter Australia as such places at which to apply do not exist in their country or at the refugee camps.

We get many, many more who are people who fly in and over stay visas etc. and the vast majority of them are not granted refugee status but they are allowed to be free and reside in the community while their appeals are being processed, but real refugees are prevented from reaching Australia or if they do they are locked up somewhere offshore or in Australia.  This trying to keep them offshore and incarcerated practice has cost us absolutely millions and millions of dollars, money which would have been better spent elsewhere.

It makes  far better to sense to process these people on shore and undetained, at way, way less expense than the cost of our past and current policies.  After being held for a short time for health and quarantine checks it would be better to let them live in the community and  to have them eventually enter that  community mentally undamaged, grateful, hopeful and productive.  Surely that is better than to have them, after years of being incarcerated and treated as criminals, being released damaged, bitter  and resentful of their treatment, feeling isolated, unwelcome and therefore fearful of mixing within the community.  

I am appalled that so many people who call themselves "Christians" can condone such inhumane treatment to people who have often suffered so terribly.  What would the average Australian do in such circumstances if we had to flee our country, had family members beaten, raped or killed,  only to flee,  ending up in a refugee camp somewhere (where we could be for up to 20 years or more) and not allowed to work and where where we could be  treated in some cases as badly as we were in the country from which we had fled  - I think we'd try jumping on a boat and risking all too - it would be "New Zealand here we come!"  and imagine how upset we'd be if the New Zealanders tried to stop us getting there or stuck us in gaol for years when we did and separated us from our families.  

Lets he honest, if they were boatloads of nice white christians I bet they wouldn't be treated this way.  I always used to argue with people that  Australians were not racist anymore - but after the antics of  ultra right wing Christians like  Mr Tony Abbot, leader of the opposition and the reluctance of our Prime Minister Julia Gillard to stand up and do the right and humane thing,  and as a result of the horrid and fraudulent racist emails I continually receive and the biased beat ups by the local media,  I have changed my mind.  I am sorry and shamed to have to say it,  but I now believe Australians are racist and very much so (which is interesting considering our ancestors were all immigrants and not all of them were white either).

I am in my 50's and I have listened to all this crap all my life - when I was a kid no-one wanted the British ("whinging poms") or the greeks (because they "smelt funny" and ate "strange food"), then it was the germans (because they were all "like Hitler"), the italians (who gave us pizza for goodness sake!).  After that was the vietnamese (or any other race with "slanty" eyes) and even before that it was Jews and various other european refugees.   I won't even mention our attitude to our own indigineous aboriginal people.  Now its people from Afganhistan, Iran, Sri Llanka, Africa, and even the people  who tried to flee from the racial genocide in Indonesian controlled new guinea (and they way we historically let the people of that country down is yet another whole shameful story in itself).  Hell, some of us even resent New Zealanders coming here!

I think our country is much better for having a mixture of interesting  people and cultures.  We are all homo sapiens after all and people should be treated humanely no matter their background, religion or colour. 

Whilst I am not a Christian and do not adhere to any particular religion, I do believe you get back what you dish out - if you do good things, you get good in return - if you do not do good things and the same applies.   Even if you just turn a blind eye - sometime in the future someone will turn a blind eye to you when you are in need.  We have so much wealth here in Australia (even though we all whinge and think we are hard done by).  We really do not know the meaning of hardship and poverty when compared to the rest of the world, yet we are becoming so mean and selfish.  Where is our generosity, our humanity?  To good "Christan" people like Tony Abbot (thank God he changed his mind about becoming a priest) I  would put the question "what would Jesus do"?  If what the bible tells us is correct - Jesus generally went out of his way to help the sick, injured, poor and troubled people that he encountered -  Mr Abbot should remember that it was the selfish and the moneylenders that he had an issue or two with.

And look at the fuss we are making over a well off  Australian 14 year old being held in detention in Indonesia for taking drugs, yet we have been locking up refugee kids and young crew members from fishing/smuggling  boats for years.  There are apparently about 50 or so approx 14 year old kids being held by us because they had been hired as crew by people smugglers.  These kids would have been very poor and looking for any sort of paid work or their parents would have arranged it for them - they probably didn't even know what their cargo was to be when they were hired, but even if they did they would have needed the money.   We've been putting refugee kids in "detention centres"  (just another word for a gaol) for years.  We have kept loved ones apart and split families for years. 

I am sick to death of receiving hate emails aimed at refugees and any one who is not a nice white christian.  I cannot plead for their cause as eloquently as someone like the human rights barrister Julian Burnside QC ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Burnside ) but I can forward this  message from the "GET UP" organisation. 

Call me idealistic but I grew up watching "Star Trek" and I have always hoped that one day humanity would grow up and reach an age when we would all share and live happily together and look after this world and every living thing on it.  With all the greed and selfishness I am seeing around me these days and peoples unwillingness to help each other,  it is becoming harder and harder to remain optimistic, but I haven't quite given up yet (although listening to Tony Abbott talk makes it very hard!).  So come on Australia, don't be fearful and selfish - enrich us all by having  a heart and holding out a helping hand to these people instead of offering them a detention cell.

I'll get off my soap box now - if you don't agree with  this that is your right -  if you  have already signed the petition  then yaayy good on ya, and if you haven't seen it and agree with  it then please sign it and also forward it to someone else who you feel may care about the plight of these people. If you live overseas and want to sign it and let the Australian Government know what you think of their disgraceful record, then please do so.



PS  For those who have been sent the some of the nasty emails one of which claims asylum seekers get more money than pensioners click here for some facts as to what they really receive as researched by from David Kosh of Chanel 7 Sunrise  (and I draw your attention to the fact they can't qualify to receive the welfare payment if they are in detention).  You will find similar information on the Govt websites and the refugee council ones. 


Sunday, 23 October 2011

"Favourite Things" Art Exhibition

I went to a charming art exhibition today at the Black Diamond Gallery called "Favourite Things" presented by Dianne Vagg & Friends.  It is an exhibition put together by four friends (3 painters and 1 photographer).  They have grouped together to help raise money for a good cause, that being the Diabetes Counselling Service.  
Despite some serious health issues, they have put together an exhibition of very reasonably priced art and there is a lovely selection of paintings.  Two of the artists have painted a wide range of animals and I saw everything from domestic dogs and koalas to african lions, tigers and elephants.  I'm sure I saw a Panda as well.  The majority of the african animals were painted by Colleen Gates, who is well known for her passion for painting elephants.  Dianne Vagg has done some appealing paintings of dogs and also some great still life and botanical pieces. Phil Bolding has presented a wide range of paintings with subject matter ranging from ships and maritime scenes, to landscapes and rural scenes.  Dianne’s husband entered some great photographs. I quickly bought (before someone beat me to it) a charming little painting of Monarch butterflies to give to my friend Rosemary (she raises Monarch butterflies). 
If you like looking at art and are trying to find something to give to someone special for Xmas, (especially someone who likes animals) I suggest you try and check it out before it closes on 30 October.      There's lots to choose from and if you do purchase something you will be helping a good cause.
The Black Diamond Gallery is at 66 Commercial Road, Port Adelaide, South Australia. 
 Diabetes Counselling Service: http://www.healthcounsellingonline.org/

Dianne Vagg and some of her cute doggy paintings
There was lots to see- still life, botanical pieces, landscapes & rural scenes,  animals & sea scapes.
Art lovers viewing the paintings inside the Black Diamong Gallery
Exhibition Opening 22 Oct.   

The Black Diamond Gallery, which is available for hire,  hosts many events throughout the year.  If you wish to be kept up to date with events check out the events section of the facebook site by searching for Port Community Arts Centre or follow this link http://www.facebook.com/pages/Port-Community-Arts-Centre/104390476293802?sk=wall

If you are interested in hiring the gallery go to the Port Community Arts Centre Inc website at

Cheers for now - must go and do some chores. 

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Watercolour Workshop with Alan Louis Ramachandran

Rosemary read to start class
On 9th October,  thanks to the generosity of my best friend Rosemary, I had the good fortune to attend a workshop with well known Adelaide watercolour artist Alan Louis Ramachandran.  Alan is a skilled artist who paints with a very loose style.  As I paint with a rather detailed style and take forever to finish a painting  I knew I was in for some challenges.  I packed my trusty Brauer Nervatona Calm tablets into my handbag, tucked my watercolour paints, brushes and assorted other paraphanalia under my arm, bade Ron farewell and headed out the door. 

Ursula realizing she forgot her paints
I'd like to say we both rocked up bright eyed and bushy tailed eager, alert and ready to learn.  Alas my friend Rosemary was in awful pain and I was still absolutely worn out and aching from manning the Port Festival Booth the day before, nevertheless,  we grabbed some coffee on the way, popped a few pain killers and rocked up ready to be enlightened.   

Our fellow students were a mixed group consisting of some experienced watercolour artists and some absolute beginners.  My friend Ursula,  who does some watercolour classes with me was also there along with a few other members of Port Community Arts Centre.  We weren't the only ones not starting the day off well as Ursula had left her paints behind ( personally, I blame the planetary influences for those sorts of mornings).  Everyone was a bit nervous but eventually we all settled down, made some coffee and got organised.

Alan is very entertaining and fun in his teaching style, but he is also very full on - there is no time to sit and stare into space.  His style is to do lots of preliminary preparation but when it actually comes the time to paint,  everything happens quick and fast.  In this blog I intend to give an outline of everything we did.  I tend to be someone who  decides to paint something and I just do it without preparation of any sort.  It was interesting to me to see how much time Alan spends planning before he actually starts to paint. 

Alan Louis Ramachandran and the photo we were to paint.
For the purposes of the demonstration I should point out that the colours used were not the important thing, and that we concentrating more on the tonal values of the lights and darks and on brush stroke techniques.  Alan was using about 3 colours he had left on his palette but suggested that we could use Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna and a yellow of some sort.   

Alan said he usually divided his  preparation into about 5 steps and this is what I can remember about them.
Alan's Step 1 drawing

Step 1.  The first step was to study the photo and define the main shapes within the image.  In order to do this he asked us to draw a small 10cm x 6cm rectangle and then inside that to sketch the outline of the main shapes.   Doing this  helps to simplify the subject.  He recommended dividing the rectangle into thirds.  We were advised to look at the photo and take note of any connecting lines and to draw them in exactly as we saw them.

Step 2.   Alan recommended that  using a view scope was a good aid to design and composition. The next step was to look critically at the composition of the drawing we had done and do a second small drawing, adjusting the composition of the picture to make it more aesthetically pleasing and to help concentrate attention to the focal point of the piece.  Of course you have to decide what is your focal point and try and make lines that lead the eye towards it.  He recommended keeping the elements you like and removing or leaving out the ones that you don't.  He said that in a gallery most paintings are first viewed from about 10 metres away and that from that distance it is the composition of the picture (the location of the main shapes and also the colour)  that are the important things that will catch a viewer's eye and make them want to come nearer for a closer look.  Diagonal lines help to give movement.  He said that in order to get good composition it is OK to leave out a tree if it is in the wrong spot , make hill slopes more diagonal, etc. 

Step 3.  Deciding on tonal values.  Once the composition was correct the picture was again re-drawn and we were asked to look closely at the photo and decide what areas were light and dark.  He suggested that we shade in the different tones with our pencils and use a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being the lightest tone and 5 the darkest tone.  

Alan's preparation sketches - note the 5 steps bit of details. 
Step 4.  Next Alan suggested concentrating on the details of the picture.  He recommended that we draw in finer detail certain sections of the photo.  He said to practice drawing  various components, especially the difficult ones,  to ensure that when we eventually paint them that we paint them accurately.  Most of a watercolour painting is drawn with a brush.  He advised us to get the feel of the strokes we would be using to paint the picture.  Apparently, the more you  study and draw and get the feel of the picture, the better the painting will be and the more of your "emotion" that you will be able to put into it.

Step 5.  Colour - warm, cold, high and low key.  In this step one would normally look at the colours in the photo and then to decide on the colours to use.  For this workshop we did not dwell too much on this aspect due to time constraints, but we were advised to do another quick drawing and insert written indications  as to what were warm (W) and cold (C) areas.  High key colours are those that would be like a bright sunny day, low key would be a dark stormy day.  I made a mental note (again) to look into hot and cold colours etc (I keep forgetting to do this but I know one day I will figure it out!).
Once all these steps had been completed it was time to draw the picture ready to paint.  Alan recommended that all of the small sketches you do should always be kept alongside you when you paint, so that they can be readily referred to. 

Masking tape covering the areas to be left white.
With amazing speed he proceeded to quickly draw the large pencil sketch (that would have taken me ages to draw) and then, instead of using masking fluid, he showed us how to simply use some masking tape to create patches of light on a brick wall.  He just tore off small uneven strips and stuck them on to the paper. 

Alan does not normally stretch his paper or stick it to a board with tape, as he did for the demo.  Normally, because he paints loose and wet, he said that he just wets the back of the paper and sits it on his easel (where it apparently obediently stays while he paints).  

Alan's brushes and palette
Although he has a good selection of brushes, he only used about 3 or 4 for this painting.  One was a largish round mop brush, one a medium size round brush with a good point, he also had a lovely rigger brush (got to get one of those!) and a small daggy old house painting brush.  

I was amazed at how roughly he treated his brushes during the painting process and was surprised that they didn't fall apart or shed bits of hair everywhere like mine would have (of course most of mine are all mont-marte cheapies which could have something to do with it ).

The first washes go on

Once it was time to paint Alan referred to his tonal sketches and proceeded to put down some very light washes for the areas that had a tonal value of 1 and 2.  It seems this is known as under painting.  

In areas like the sky where he wanted a bit of white cloud, he wet the paper more first before applying the coloured wash.  

Now some red tones
He started out with the blue sky, then some green and lastly the reddish tones. 

Apparently it doesn't matter how much paint runs and drips, you just catch bits of it and blend it all in or swish it around a bit.  He made that look easy but I suspect it takes a bit of skill to know just how and where to spread your colours!

Once the lighter washes were completed Alan then started putting in the next level of tonal value, gradually darkening and blending colours in different areas of the picture.  
Next came some foliage colours deftly added using some quick broad strokes with the mop brush (apparently it's all in the wrist action!)
It's all in the wrist action!

Then a few more darker tones were slapped and sloshed onto  the buildings and ground at breakneck speed while we all just watched on awed and entertained.

Captive audience look on in awe

You gotta love that poor abused brush....!
Next Alan started to fill in the darker areas.  He had a way of grinding and mashing the mop brush down into the paint until the hairs split into clumps and flared out into multiple points, which he then dragged over the paper, creating multiple lines. Some touches of yellow highlights were also added in the centre.


Next he proceeded to draw the branches of the tree and the leaves.  He had a way of twisting the brush as he drew the curving lines of the branches, which resulted in a variation in the line's thickness.  It was very effective.  

Ooh and I forgot to mention - LOAD YOU BRUSH! What he means by that is don't be a cheapskate like me and use a tiny bit of paint - mix up a generous amount and fill up the brush so that you can paint good strong lines and not run out of paint half way along the line.  

The leaves were done by squishing that poor brush into the paint again to get multiple points with which to paint (I couldn't get any of my brushes to do the same thing no matter how I tried!).

The rigger brush and that wrist in action again = instant tree branches in no time flat!

Brush strokes used to create some leaves by splitting the hair of the brush

White spaces where masking tape had been

Next it was time to remove the blue masking tape, which had created the areas of light on the wall and on the pile of bricks.  Note how thick and dark the paint has been applied in some areas particularly in the foreground. 



Adding in dark details with your loaded brush
After the leaves and branches were complete and lots more of the shadows had been drawn in, some of the finer details were quickly painted in using single deft  strokes with the pointed brush.  

When it was time to paint the areas which were 5 in tonal value Alan stressed the need to make sure you used plenty of paint.  He said that it was  very important not to have the mix too watery or it would not be dark enough when it dried out. 

He then showed us how to put on some thick paint and take some of it off again with a metal scraper, in order  to create an interesting pattern (which in this instance was on the wall, but which I thought would be great if you were painting leaves on the ground).   You can use your fingernail or a credit card to do this too.

The nifty little metal scraper that Alan uses

Marks left by scraper - note how thick the paint was first

A few more finishing touches to a few leaves and shadows, a very faint glaze over some of the white areas on the wall, taa daaah -  it was finished (all in record time).

Just a couple more leaves here and there

Faint glazing has been applied to the white patches on wall

The Finished Painting

 Then it was our turn.....

I have realized I will probably never be a loose painter (oh the stress of it all) as the time in which we had to work was way to short for a control freak like me.   All that trying to keep putting the paint on and blending it on the paper before it runs off or before the paper dries out or whatever.  It wasn't until I actually stopped stressing and thought "oh to heck with it" and started just slapping paint on that I actually made any progress (I still say I didn't have good enough brushes hem hem - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).  There are some advantages to that style of painting though - you can accidentally drip paint onto the paper and it is really not going to be noticed, unless its a little dark blob in the middle of the blue sky (then you apparently turn it into a bird!)

Look at us all lined up pensively waiting to be assessed
 Alan called time to stop before any of us were ready of course (which was just as well because we were all starting to get to fiddley with it).  

We all lined up obediently (from about 10 metres) while Alan went through and constructively assessed our efforts, pointing out those areas that were good and those that needed a little attention. 

Overall, I think he was pleased with our efforts, particulary those done by some of the beginners.  Unfortunately (for my stress levels) he chose mine to be the first to critique (eek - panic attack).  I needn't have worried - he thought I had done OK. (wheeww, relief!).

Anyway,  shown below  is what the class produced.  It is interesting and amazing how  different they all are - no two are the same even though we all had the same excellent instruction, we all created our own individual paintings with our own "emotional" input. My effort is the one shown with Alan in the photo directly below. 

Alan reviewing my painting (which  definitely looks better from a distance - close up not so good!) and looking like he's praying I get better!

All in all, it was a great workshop which I thoroughly enjoyed (got to start saving so I can do his classes).  I've probably forgotten a million tips I should have included, but I hope you have found some of what I remembered interesting. Thanks again Rosemary and thanks too to Alan for a really great workshop.    

What a talented and artistic bunch we all turned out to be eh! Everyone with their paintings.   Alan's painting is on the wall.  He is holding mine. 

If anyone would like to view Alan's art  go to:


If you live in Adelaide and would like to attend his classes and learns lots of great watercolour stuff,   his email is:


Cheers all.


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Selling My Art At The Port Festival

Saturday morning activity at the Port Community Arts Centre Booth at the Port Festival

Mick writing up another sale
I was huffing and puffing and trying not to think of the likelihood of having a coronary  as I dragged the fully loaded plastic tub (balanced precariously on my little  hand trolley) along the bumpy surface, all the while cursing at my arthritic knees and ankles (the back's not too great either).   I seriously wondered if it was all going to be worth the effort.  

I was endeavouring to transport both mine and my brother's art from the exhibitor's carpark (which seemed to have moved further away each trip) to the art exhibition.  To do this I had to traverse a section of challenging unsealed gravel car park and two sets of train lines.  This was my third trip and Murphy was still haunting me - the trolley again stuck in the railway line grooves exactly as it had done for the two previous trips.  So once again I gave a marathon shove and I was trundling off once more and heading for the PCAC art stall.
Interested Passer By - One of My Paintings at the Front
I'm usually a keen and enthusiastic  member of the Port Community Arts Centre (although today my enthusiasm was rapidly waning somewhat), which is a community based art group consisting of amateur and  professional artists who exhibit their art in the Black Diamond Gallery at 66 Commercial Street, Port Adelaide (sorry, couldn't resist just a little plug).

Last weekend on the 8th & 9th October, this art society took part in a fun festival held at Port Adelaide, South Australia. The  Port Festival,  as it is called, is held in the heart of Port Adelaide every two years.  
For those who do not know Adelaide, South Australia, Port Adelaide is an historic harbour town with a rich and colourful maritime history extending right back to the pioneering days of early settlement.

Because of this it has a large number of old historic features (same as I do), lots of museums and tourist attractions.   This year there were about 70 stalls taking part and featuring all kinds of arts and crafts.  Music and entertainments  were provided for the public throughout the day and evening,  and there was a colourful light show once the sun went down.    All of the museums were  open and free to the public as were all of the local art galleries, of which there are quite a few.  
So much art we couldn't find space to hang it all!
Mick signing up a new member
Once we had all lugged our art to the booth and set it up so that it was looking all colourful and spiffing, the booth attracted a large amount of interest from members of the public. 

People of all ages took the time to look at the excellent and varied range of eye catching paintings which were provided for sale by our members. Although the majority of works were paintings all done in a wide variety of mediums, sizes and styles, there were also original art cards, sculpture, photographic works and some beautifully crafted small wooden items.

The event ran from 9.00am to 9.00pm over both days,  during which time the booth was well manned by PCAC committee members and volunteers, all of whom worked very hard to promote the PCAC (we stopped short of pursuing people down the street).

I was one of those volunteers and I was really pleased to see how much interest people took in our artwork.  There was also considerable interest in the art classes run at the Black Diamond Gallery and a number of new members joined the society.  If they are all artists it will make our future exhibitions even more interesting. 
A number of  artworks were sold (including about five of mine - yaaayyyyy!)  which is an excellent result considering how difficult it is to sell art in the current economic climate.  As usual, I probably sold mine too cheaply and  I would have liked to sell more (who wouldn't ha ha) but as I am currently financially embarrassed,  I figured that a sale in the hand was better than a sale in the bush, so to speak.  
"A Fine Red" by my brother Ian Holland
As jolly and enthusiastic volunteers we made sure that we handed out a large number of information leaflets to any interested people and it is to be hoped that this will result in higher turnouts at the exhibitions held at the Black Diamond Gallery.   (If anyone would like to check out our next art show it is called "Celtica" and starts on Nov 26th).

In addition, many complimentary and positive comments were received from the public about the quality of the artwork on show.  As usual, Alan Ramachandran's watercolour art was much admired.  I was a little chuffed that a number of people asked which ones were mine and told me how much they liked my work, which was very pleasing to hear (at least no-one said "yuk, that's awful, thank God!").   

Customer looking at some of the art that was for sale

We were very lucky with the weather too, which has been very changeable of late.  Saturday was fine and although rain was forecast for the Sunday, the morning showers cleared (naturally it was after we reached the shelter of the booth) and the day turned out well.  Unfortnately, as it was near the Port River, at around about 8.00 pm some of the local mozzies (mosquitoes) decided to check us out as well (must remember the mozzie repellent next time) and it still amazes me the little blighters can bite through trousers and socks.  At one stage I thought I would be going home anaemic.

It was great to see so many young people taking an interest in the art.  It seemed to me that the female shoppers were  the ones that were the most interested in looking at what we had to offer and overall they were more keen to buy than the men (they obviously had an eye for quality!).

In fact,  it was very frustrating how many times impatient husbands dragged their wives away just when we thought we were going to make a nice big sale, drat it!  Men just don't grasp the idea of retail therapy at all!

However, I did notice that the men who were being dragged through the booth with a glazed look in their eyes (as they wondered how the football scores were going) all seemed to stop and take a good long look when they saw the lovely wooden items so carefully hand crafted from desert woods like Mulga. 
Gunther's  lovely items made from desert wood

Due to our Secretary Mick’s excellent organisation of the event,  everything went like clockwork.  My thanks to Mick for  putting in so much time and effort organising the venue which resulted in me selling my art.  (Mick had  to put up and take down, with his wife Carole's help, all of the display boards, which had to be loaded into a trailer after 10.00 at night).

A brief lull  allowing time to grab a coffee

I worked there the whole of Saturday from 9.00am to 9.00pm, but only did from 5-9pm on the sunday as I spent most of that day sitting in on an enjoyable watercolour workshop with Alan Ramachandran (tell you about it in my next blog).  As well as the stall, PCAC ran a number of art workshops in conjunction with the Festival.

I am sooooo glad we had some chairs upon which to place our tired little bottoms.  

John Ford working on a painting

There was a minor disaster on the sunday morning when we went to the nearest coffee selling booth only to find that they had had a power failure and couldn't make us coffee (oh no!!).  Surrounded by forlorn and bleary eyed sellers they were frantically apologizing and attempting to remedy the disaster.   Resignedly we hauled our footsore, tired and aching bodies a bit further afield for the necessary sustenance and order was restored to the world (mmmm, coffeee, aaahhhhhh.....). 

My watercolour art teacher, John Ford (who is a really well know maritime artist and also the Chairman of PCAC) had his own booth next to the PCAC one.  He seemed to be doing very well and I noticed lots of people in there admiring his work.  You can see examples of his art on the PCAC website. He was always surrounded by a circle of admirers as he worked on a maritime watercolour painting. 

Customers at John's stall

Overall, it was an enjoyable weekend during which I drank way, way too much coffee and ate far too many hot greasy chips and although I was exhausted by the end of it all I am already looking forward to the next one.  

All I have to do now is get the knees working again so I can unpack the huge pile of art stuff still sitting in on my lounge room floor (where it still resides after being dumped  there late on Sunday night) and remove the sold items (yes!) from my various web sites. 

Cheers for now,  Heather.

These little figurines were very popular.  One of Alan Ramachandran's paintings front left. 
PS  If you live in Adelaide and are interested in joining an art group and exhibiting your art, check out the new Port Community Arts Centre website at:
and their facebook page at :
 (I took lots of photos, but they are not on our facebook site yet but check it out anyway)
PPS.  And if you want to look at my art most of the links are on this blog site.

PPPS (I wonder how many  of these you can do?).  These are a few of the the paintings I sold:

Umbrella Rainy Day Blues 2
Umbrellas In Space

Maritime Partytime