|The kettle is on the boil...|
| The Red Queen: The underlying impetus for the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) exhibition is the biological proposition put forward by biologist Leigh Van Valen in 1973 that constant change (evolution) is necessary for the very survival of a species - that due to the ongoing assault by predators or parasites, species don’t just reach a point of perfection where they can rest on their laurels (this is in a nutshell in a nutshell). The Red Queen in Lewis Carroll’s “Through The Looking Glass” at one point remarks that it takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place.|
In another part of town, at the National Art School*, Ben Quilty’s exhibition After Afghanistan is hanging until 13 April then will begin a 2 year tour of the country.
I saw the first of two ABC Australian Story documentaries with Ben talking about his experiences as war artist, and watched him working on these canvases via my TV screen, but was unprepared for the genius and power of these works. They are big, and they are visceral in the application of paint, the silences of blank canvas, the bold and tender disconnected swipes of pigment which create an intensely moving and powerful response in the viewer, you just have to glance at the faces of those in the gallery, and at the same time are intensely exciting as works of art. We are seeing Ben’s soul in the passions of paint, as much as we are seeing the souls of his subjects which he and they have shared with complete candour. We are not seeing paintings OF subjects - we experience a melding with them.
There are no images to accompany this post because this collection of works needs to be experienced, in person.
*National Art School, Forbes St Darlinghurst NSW 2010 Australia
What a lovely group of people came along, thanks so much, and I loved that everyone was meeting and chatting with each other.
I have been working with photographer Geoff Jaeger on this project, and have thoroughly enjoyed collaborating. Great when two minds think alike!
One very different painting is Blue city made with gold and silver paint (which looks white in the photo) on a blue background. Luckily we found the perfect spot for it to hang where the metallic paint catches the light from a window and almost glitters.
I’ll pop the newsletter here so you can find all of the information. I’m looking forward to Gemma’s talk at 4:30 Sunday afternoon…look at the end of the newsletter to see what she’s done.
We'd love you to join us at the opening of "City ditty" on 23 March 5 - 7 pm at Gallery Mercure
Friday 15 March 2013
I hope that all is going well in your neck of the woods!
This update is to let you know about my upcoming exhibition of works in paint,
which is presented by Gallery Mercure in Sydney Australia
from 23 March to 24 April 2013.
City ditty Kerry Thompson ~ acrylics on canvas 45x35cm framed
We'd love you to bring your friends and join us for opening drinks
Saturday 23 March
5 - 7 pm
@ Gallery Mercure
Open 10am - 6pm 7 days
Level 2, The Mercure Sydney Potts Point ~ 226 Victoria Street, Potts Point NSW 2011
1 minute walk from Kings Cross Station
Contact Geoff Jaeger at Gallery Mercure 0404 292 390
Shoalhaven shores, "Bundanon" Kerry Thompson ~ acrylics on paper 61x78cm framed
Also coming up is the
Lindfield Art Show
Friday 15 March - Sunday 17 March 2013.
You'll spot three of my paintings in the show along with a wonderful collection of works by a wonderful collection of artists. I know, because I saw what was being hung when I dropped mine off!
Friday 15 March 2013 – cocktail opening - tickets required
Saturday 16 March 2013 – 9.30am to 4.30pm
Sunday 17 March 2013 – 9:00am to 2:00pm
Holy Family Catholic Primary School Hall, 2 - 4 Highfields Rd, Lindfield NSW 2070 Australia.
Balingup hills Kerry Thompson ~ acrylics on paper 50x62cm framed
"Balingup" hills will be auctioned at the Friday night cocktail party, proceeds going to St Judes' College in Tanzania.
It's quite a story ...
"Holy Family has proudly supported St Jude’s College in Tanzania for several years, sponsoring a teacher and two students. St Jude’s school provides a chance for the brightest and poorest children to escape the trap of inadequate education, illiteracy and poverty. Gemma Sisia, a girl from country NSW, established the school in 2002, which has grown from three students to more than 1500."
I think Gemma will be giving a talk at the show on Sunday. I'll be finding out on Friday evening what time so let me know if you'd like to know too!
Thank you for letting me share paintings and adventures with you.
Cheers for now,
Francis Bacon's work is described as confronting, eliciting a visceral reaction, representing isolation and man's brutality to man. It wasn't an exhibition I was sure I was curious enough to see. Then I caught a documentary where he was being interviewed and was struck by his almost naive and vulnerable demeanour, sometimes like a rabbit caught in the headlights, his fascination with images, his hanging out at the pub talking, and his comment about being an optimist about nothing. Which is not the same as not being an optimist about anything. His studio was a pile of chaos. He appeared haunted, but behaved much like a precocious child trying to look grown up. It was interesting to see how the relative status of Bacon and the interviewer reversed as the interview progressed; I wondered if the interviewer was unconsciously responding to the child.
I wonder if Bacon's images are confronting because we are viewing a differently-organised collection of recognisable fragments of the human body, and carcasses, for example, which we would normally only see as injury, accident, dismembering. It surprised me that rather than shocking, the paintings were exciting and set me to thinking.
The curation of this exhibition was brilliant - particularly the vivid colour scheme of the walls.
Bacon's works are quite different in life than reproduced as small photographs. I wasn't expecting to find them so stunning.
Francis Bacon’s optimism is evident, I think, in the beautiful colours he used even in the most confronting works, when you get up close and look at the detail.
His assembly of just-on-the-edge-of-comprehensible fragments to make up a face or human form made me think immediately of the experience of people who have been blind from birth, then through medical intervention suddenly gain sight. They are not at first able to see distinct forms because their brain hasn’t yet learned how to take in all of the visual information and organise it into a chair, a floor, a face etc.. I love how Bacon’s conglomerations convey perfectly the sense of the person or interaction between figures using fragments that we recognise at almost a primitive level.
I wondered if the chaos of Bacon’s studio helped him feel less restrained with his painting practice (throwing paint at a canvas, for example) when he wanted to be. It mirrors the chaos and unexpected juxtapositions of imagery in his works. I wonder if it stimulated and inspired some of his assemblages.
Bacon’s tryptich of John Dyer after his suicide was powerful because the flesh is so alive, the figure sitting as if alive, but the closed and sunken eyes reflect the fact that Dyer is dead. It takes me immediately to a sudden death in the family when I was a child - I remember feeling the almost surreal sense that I was still in the same day when the person had been alive, but completely and irreversibly separated. To me Bacon has captured the desperation of grief, of willing life back into the almost as good as still alive body.
I'm glad I went.
I recently visited the closing days of an exhibition of The White Rabbit Gallery's private collection of works by contemporary Chinese artists, here in Sydney. The exhibition, Double Take, was all about things that aren't what they appear to be.
I loved it; such invention, such a brilliant concept to give us stimulation to truly see familiar things, only after learning to mistrust our senses. So many layers. For example ...
A chocolate shop! Yum, even the smell of chocolate wafting through the room and Valentine's Day hearts. Then you realise that the chocolates are made in the shape of military machinery - tanks, guns, soldiers - complete antithesis to chocolate and chocolate shops and all of their associations, and the gulf between them packs a punch. Then you discover that the objects are actually made of plastic and the chocolate scent which comes from behind the counter is deliberately driving you to a wrong assumption about what you are seeing. But plastic soldiers are toys. We are familiar with them and give them happily to our kids, oblivious to and not even connecting them with what a soldier actually is and does and suffers and represents. But let us believe that they are made out of chocolate and the contrast opens our eyes.
This is reminiscent of one of the most disturbing pieces I’ve experienced, Remains of a suicide bomber by Diane Worland, Melbourne, Australia at MONA in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Created from chocolate. The impact of such juxtapositions is powerful.
Tu Wei-Cheng's Happy Valentine's Day, 2011
Photo by Kerry Thompson, reproduced courtesy of the White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney
A true delight was the dust caught in a spotlight's beam - which turns out to be myriad tiny objects from daily life all recreated in miniature by the artist, Cong Lingqi, and suspended from the ceiling ingeniously in such a way that their shadows on the wall almost never overlap. The further the object is from the wall, the more its shadow is out of focus giving the shadows a three dimensional flavour.
Dust by Cong Lingqi Photo by Kerry Thompson, reproduced courtesy of the White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney
This exhibition has finished, but I am looking forward to the next.
I'd highly recommend the adventure - it is wonderful to have your work on display where people can view it directly, and it is wonderful to be on site and to be able to chat with folk.
I have my antennae out for the next space - I think it's great to explore different locations...
Have I told you about Kerry’s Modern Shorter-Stouter Mobile Marble Sorter-Outer?
Originally built many years ago to take part in an exhibition at Books Illustrated in Melbourne, it was running hot at my recent Little Firefly pop-up gallery.
The idea was for illustrators (I illustrate and write as “Kerry Millard”) to send something that represented who you are, how you tick, but it absolutely couldn’t be an illustration. It could be a video of you tap-dancing, a tea cosy you’d knitted, a recording of you singing a song … So I thought, hmmm, what would represent “me” and what goes on inside my brain? I know! A marble sorter-outer!
You may notice such components as - my offspring’s toothbrush, the legs from the TV (from the days when TVs had legs - or did before they got used for marble sorter-outers), the handle grip from a bicycle, … and it works. Saves hours. Just insert marbles where indicated one at a time and, hey presto, sorted!! … But how? Weight? Colour? Well, maybe you’ll come to my next pop-up gallery to figure it out for yourself!
Oh, and “Mobile” is in its name because there’s a handle on top. I’m not sure how old it will have to be before I have to change the “Modern” bit…
Australian authors are tagging each other to write about the big project on their minds at the moment - and I’ve been tagged by the lovely Wendy Orr. I couldn’t find anybody who was ready to be tagged this week, so instead I’d like to send you off to visit the website of Ursula Dubosarsky. I also adore the work of Jeannie Baker.
But today, I’m telling you about my next big project, and that is :
I’m turning my very first book that I ever wrote, Gordon’s Biscuit, into an eBook!
Original cover illustration for Gordon’s Biscuit - first published in 1996 by Angus & Robertson
1) What is the working title of your next book?
The working title is, Gordon’s Biscuit.
Cover of Penguin edition, published in 2006
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was sitting beside the fire trying to think of an idea for a story. I love dogs and had a funny scruffy little one at the time called Meg who had wisps of fur on the tips of her ears, and whose shaggy coat used to express how she was feeling. I also had small children and I loved their relationship with Meg.
The first idea was that Ellie (who became “Ella”) and Sam, the two main characters, would be trying to do something for their big shaggy dog, Gordon, and the idea of making a biscuit for him came quickly to mind because dogs and kids all like food! I stayed with that idea, even though it evolved a lot.
The first draft was a series of drawings scribbled in turquoise ink on one big sheet of paper.
The first draft was made in turquoise ink on an A3 piece of paper - here are bits of it - you can see how the ink has gone dark in places.
The idea for the eBook came from hearing from people that they loved the book, but it has been out of print for awhile, so I want to bring it to life again myself without going through a publisher, and to learn how to make eBooks so I can start making some more!
3) What genre does your book fall under?
I suppose the genre is picture book for younger readers. Mind you, I know kids who were still enjoying the original book as they got older and older - I have put lots and lots of little extra bits in the drawings so every time you read it you may discover something else, and little stories that are happening behind the story that I’ve told in the words.
I wanted to create a book that little people and big people could read together. Now I want to create a new book which will be available on the new technologies that are in people’s lives, as well as people being able to order one if they prefer a paper copy.
I’m excited to do an eBook because it will allow me to add bits and pieces and grow Gordon’s Biscuit into a new kind of book - the original book could only have 32 pages because of the way books are manufactured, but this one can have a few more if I like! And I like!!!
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmmm… I don’t actually have any idea … but I think it would be fun watching people and dogs and a duck and ducklings try out for the parts! In fact, I was once at a school giving a talk, and one classroom was putting on “Gordon’s Biscuit” as a play! It was great!!!!
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
One shaggy dog who loves biscuits and the park, two kids who love the shaggy dog, lots and lots of biscuits, and a whole neighbourhood who come to the rescue when a new man at the park puts up a sign saying, NO DOGS.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
In the past I have worked with publishers, but this time I will self-publish for the first time. I’m very excited about this because once I learn how to do it, I’ll be able to write and illustrate lots more stories of my own. The trick is that when you make a book through a publisher, you get a talented editor who helps you turn a lump of clay into a book; I don’t want to end up just publishing lots of lumps of clay!
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
The first draft of the original book, scribbling little drawings in turquoise ink on an A3 sheet of paper, took a few hours to make while I was sitting by the fire one winter Sunday afternoon.
Making all of the necessary tweakings and fixings and developing of the story until a final manuscript was ready took two years.
First typed manuscript of Gordon’s Biscuit - this is the whole story - and was typed on a real typewriter, the one that my family gave me so they could actually read my letters to them! There were LOTS of versions after this one and the story changed a great deal.
I haven’t yet made the first eManuscript so I don’t know yet how long that will take. Most of the time will be taken in learning how to do this, but I love learning so it should be fun. I have the original scanned images from the original book, but don’t have a computer program that can read them! Oops… Luckily I still have all of the original artwork, some of which has been seen by lots and lots and lots of kids from when I have visited schools to talk about being an author and an illustrator. The images on this page are scans of the original artwork done on my little machine. It’s a bit tricky because the pages are a LOT bigger than the scanner! In the book, the background colour will be crisp white rather than the funny yellowish colour here.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’d like to think that it has a bit of the feel of a Bob Graham book in that he gives us warm relationships - and visual detail and little stories happening beside the one in the words.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My editor at Angus and Robertson, Cathie Tasker, with whom I had illustrated a few books including Wendy Orr’s Ark in The Park, asked me if I’d like to write my own book. Yes!, I said!
So that was the inspiration to create the original book. The inspiration for the eBook and print-on-demand version has come from all of the people over the past few years who have said they remember the book from their or their children’s childhood, that it was their favourite book, that they remember reading it over and over, and want more copies, and want to share it with more children. That is heartwarming.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
If people haven’t seen the story, I can assure them that they will discover a fantastical park and a biscuit shop like no other! For people who know the book, I am excited that I’ll be able to add a few new pages, including letting readers in on a lot of the other stories and ideas I’ve hidden in the illustrations. It will give everybody even more adventures to share when they read it together.
Once I’ve learned what this new technology can do, who know what else might happen?!
(My Little Firefly Gallery at West Lindfield during December 2012) Photo Christoph Mueller
In the meantime, lots of interesting stuff has been happening...
The trailer has just been released for a new movie, Return to Nim's Island which will be released in Australia on April 4th 2013. It's a sequel to the feature film, Nim's Island starring Jodie Foster, based on the book by Wendy Orr, which I illustrated (as 'Kerry Millard'). I am in the original movie for 1 1/2 seconds - it was exciting being on the set and watching everybody at work! I was hugged by Jodie Foster and kissed by a sea lion.
Unfortunately I didn't get a call to take part in this new movie; I guess Hollywood lost my number ...
The two original Nim books, Nim's Island and Nim at sea will soon be released in a new single volume, called The Nim Stories.
Kerry Millard Illustration from Nim at Sea
In the meantime, I'm exploring a new project which I'll write about on Wednesday - there's a particular reason why it will be on that particular day, heh heh.
An odd little bit of food for thought: I have been watering my garden for the first time since the drought. Something unusual began to grow outside my kitchen door - I let it grow and watered it and watched it - it began to look like a sunflower plant. Yay! I LOVE sunflowers! And yes, eventually, slowly, when the plant was as tall as I am, a big sunflower head began to develop, then one day it began to open, the next day it was open a bit more, then the next day, it was gone! Completely. The plant was still standing but the flower head had been nipped off perfectly cleanly. Not a trace left behind. I suspect a cockatoo. So ... now there's a stalk as tall as I am with leaves, and no flower, and I was thinking, what good are you if you are a sunflower plant without a flower? Just a stalk and leaves. Then I thought, how mean to dismiss the plant just because it has no bloom - makes you wonder what makes us valuable. Or, what we think makes us valuable. Where does our value really lie? The stem and leaves did all the work to get the bloom up there, maybe they deserve the credit! Of course, now that it has become a philosophical question, I can't possibly pull it out...
Sunflowers blue Kerry Thompson
I’m growing beans up a bit of lattice fence. A bowerbird has been sitting on the top of the fence and eating my beans. I don't mind - I just think of it as growing bowerbirds.
Bowerbirds at the billabong Kerry Thompson
And there's a frog living in my watering can.
Happy New Year!
I'll have paintings and prints for sale, a wide range of cards, tiles, fridge art, and a couple of new ideas I'm cooking up for people on a budget who enjoy my work and would like to take just a bit home with them or to share as gifts. There's even a little something for the technological amongst us!
I'll be at my easel painting (looking forward to it), and there's a comfy armchair for visitors to enjoy with a coffee and a chat!
On Friday Nov 30th from 6 - 8 pm I'd love you to join me if you can, and a group of ceramics artists next door, for a very giddy joint opening ~ everybody is welcome!
The Sydney Art Expo from Sept 21 - 23 at the Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park, was a lovely chance to meet folk who dropped by, and to send works off to new homes. My pop-up gallery, The Little Firefly, popped up there for the three days and I painted on site which is always fun.
The team from the “Put Some Colour in Your Life” TV series were there too - lovely people!
The paintings and I are now getting ready for our next pop-up gallery at Frendz Community Gallery, 20 Moore Ave, West Lindfield 2070 from November 30th to December 24th. I'll set up my studio there, and may even have room for people to bring along their own projects to work on. We'll see...
If a fish is asleep, how do you know? has gone to a new home
Road into “Bundanon”, early morning - Kerry Thompson
Several months ago I received a very exciting e-mail from the Bundanon Trust inviting me to take up a two week Artist Residency in August 2012 on “Bundanon” near Nowra, NSW, Australia. The property is one of three gifted to the Australian people before his death by iconic Australian painter, Arthur Boyd and his painter wife, Yvonne, as an arts education and residency centre.
The Boyd family is a family amongst whom making art is life blood. Normal. Fundamental. Assumed. What a wonderful geography in which to steep for two weeks.
Early morning mist, track to “The Cedars”, magnolia, dam beside the Homestead, all on “Bundanon” - Kerry Thompson
I was invited as Book Week illustrator/author so had two fun days presenting to and working with primary and secondary school students who were bused in by the Trust from the surrounding district.
Musicians Cottage “Bundanon”, Shoalhaven River from “Riversdale” - Kerry Thompson
The feeling at “Bundanon” and associated property, “Riversdale”, is one of creativity and invention being nurtured, and inspiration virtually erupts from the wombat-hole-punctuated ground.
Wombat and kangaroos on “Bundanon” - Kerry Thompson
As a Wildlife Reserve, “Bundanon” carries a permanent population of relaxed kangaroos who hang out in the paddocks on the flats, wombats, and a wealth of birdlife amongst the small herd of Brangus cattle and in the surrounding bush and skies.
Flame tree, Brangus heifer, The Amphitheatre, all on “Bundanon” - Kerry Thompson
It was exciting to paint along the shores of the Shoalhaven River and under “Pulpit Rock”, both familiar images from Arthur’s work. I loved the 1800s homestead, and the walk between Arthur’s studio and the house, his jumper left on his chair in the studio, and painty fingerprints on the light switch.
Arthur Boyd’s studio, Arthur Boyd’s workbench and jumper, painty fingerprints, “Bundanon” Homestead, Pulpit Rock, Shoalhaven River all on “Bundanon” - Kerry Thompson
The skull of horse “Flame”, who also appears in an iconic painting, hangs above the door. I couldn’t help but notice that on the wall right beside “Flame” was a notice for…
I loved this place. I had a double studio to myself and painted and walked and painted and read and drank cups of tea and painted with eight easels set up…Paintings I made there appear in my catalogue dated August 2012. A richly affecting experience.
Singlemans Hut and kangaroos on my last evening at “Bundanon” - Kerry Thompson
It was fun painting and being interviewed - I got excited as always with the colours on the canvas - and Graeme is such a generous interviewer, an accomplished artist in his own right. This series of shows about various artists is his passion, and as of August 1st will begin to air on Virgin Airlines, and is on its way to America. The series has been nominated for a Logie for best light entertainment program.
Graeme Stevenson and Kerry Thompson Photo©2012Mazuma Productions
Filming and editing were done by the lovely Sophia - I'm really impressed by how she has put it all together so it keeps moving along… and how inventively she has incorporated one particularly long title!
If you miss it on 4METV, you can catch it on YouTube or the Colour in Your Life Website, and I'll put a link on my home page. If you take a peek, I hope you enjoy it!
"Nim's Island" starred Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin, with Gerard Butler. I was invited to travel up to where it was being filmed on the Gold Coast, Queensland, to watch its production for three days, and played an extra for a few seconds in a scene with Jodie Foster. It was a great experience, VERY exciting and fun!
This sequel will be a different cast and a different sort of project so I'm not expecting to extend my movie career by another few seconds. However, you never know...the phone could ring...
Nim will be played by Bindi Irwin.
Here's an illustration from the book.
We’ve had big winds and storms - sunny today but clouds scudding across the sky and my windows are rattling - it will be chilly but hopefully not too wet getting to the opening. I’m really thrilled to be hanging in such a wonderful exhibition and location! I bought some really gorgeous and giddy colourful and patterned tights when I travelled through Scone recently - I think today will be a good day for them!
”Itty-bitty city” Kerry Thompson (This painting is certainly getting out to see the world!)
I'm really over the moon that she has sent some photos of what they have done and I'm completely bowled over by it. Take a look - I'll show you my three, then four of the paintings done by the kids. Wow!!!
I'm tickled pink to have been invited to do a school holiday workshop with Vanessa and kids on July 4th 2012...I can hardly wait!
My paintings: ("Itty-bitty city", " Just next door", "Go fishing")
By Vanessa's kids...
. . .
See what I mean???!!! I think they're Fantastic!!!!! How exciting to think that your work inspired somebody, and then to see where they've taken it... I'm absolutely stunned by this!
I’ve made laminated copies of my (Kerry Millard) cartoons and have called them Fridge Millards. Quite a few have been going to new homes…
I recently had a wonderful trip to Tamworth to hang my new exhibition, “Are we there yet?” at Weswal Gallery, 192 Brisbane St, Tamworth NSW 2340. I stayed with lovely friends, then on my way home, popped into Nundle. Gorgeous little town - I bought a dear little white enamel teapot which makes JUST the right amount of tea! The Tamworth - Nundle road is completely exquisite at the moment after all the rain - hills, and valley floors dotted with horses, pastel grasses and trembling trees - wonderful.
As I left Nundle I decided to drop in on the tiny village of Hanging Rock, only about 5 minutes away, I’m told. So I set the GPS to Hanging Rock and off we went. OK, so I was getting suspicious after about 10 minutes but decided to give it the benefit of the doubt (adding to my suspicion was the fact that Hanging Rock is at higher altitude than Nundle, and I was going downhill…) After over an hour and about 70 km, I arrived back at Nundle. My little old GPS, rather than asking me to do a U-turn to get to the turnoff to Hanging Rock seeing as my car was a couple of hundred metres beyond it and pointing away from it, took me around the block. Of course, in the bush, each side of a block can be 40 km long…
Never mind…I had left early and had the whole day and loved the drive.
So, back at Nundle, I set my GPS to “HOME”. Now I’m guessing I must have it on the “most direct route” setting, which in the bush (or the country as we would have called it in Canada) can look great on the map, but which in reality meant taking nine hours to do a five hour trip, bumping along single lane dirt tracks, around hairpin bends on the side of hills, through pockets of rainforest, past paddocks and scrub, scraping around trees and bumping over cattle grids through fences with “No Trespassing!” signs on them…past a hidden luxury riding establishments and more than a few surprised looking horses and cattle,… in the end I was getting more than a little worried and decided to take the next chance I could to connect with the main highway. OK, so I didn’t take it because by then I was busting to see where the track would take me next… and eventually I made it home. I was exhausted but what a wonderful trip!
Two weeks later my car is still laden with fine red dust. It is due for a service, and Hyundai wash the car when they service it. Hmmm…you can see what I’m thinking …
From April 16th to 24th I’ll have some paintings and cartoons hanging in a new exhibition called, Cartoonsts on Canvas (and other stuff) to show our several sides - at the Frendz Community Gallery (20 Moore Ave.,West Lindfield NSW 2070) with Lindsay Foyle, Steve Panozzo, and Sturt Krygsman. Our opening will be on Saturday April 21st from 3 - 6 pm for “Meet the cartoonist!” - there will be nibbles and wine and paper and pens and a graphics tablet and a few cartoonists to chat with … should be fun!
I visited MONA (controversial private Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart) and walked on beaches and rainforest all within a stone's throw of my offspring's dear little elderly (rented) shack at Kingston Beach. The three black hens who live there are beautiful!
The shack, Tasmania…
There will be a quick trip to Tamworth this week to deliver paintings for my upcoming exhibition, "Are we there yet?", ...
”Are we there yet?”
…and a fun Official Opening on Friday March 23rd from 5:30 - 8:00 pm at Weswal Gallery. The exhibition runs from March 23 to April 19th 2012 and was booked two years ago! It's interesting to see how the work has evolved since then!
”Secret Beach” (not its real name), near the shack in Tasmania...
But my very new, big and happy news is...you know how you always hope there will be something exciting in the letterbox or your emails, you don’t know what it is that you’re waiting for, but you hope it will be there...well, I received one of those emails. Of course, I didn't realise it was one of those emails until I'd read it a few times, but I've been invited to take up a two week Artist in Residence spot at "Bundanon", the art study centre situated on the homestead of the late and great Australian painter, Arthur Boyd. I'll be given a little flat and a STUDIO, and can paint in the paddocks and on the banks of the Shoalhaven River amongst the wildlife and other artists in various fields (as opposed to paddocks)(although they may be in them as well). Bliss! In return, I'll give three talks to school kids from the region who will be bussed in, which will be an hoot!!!! I really enjoy such work.
Rainforest near the shack in Tasmania…
This morning I woke to the sound of a lyrebird giving a performance from a tree just outside my window - there was gentle rain which they seem to like, and as mimics, their improvisation is endlessly fascinating and delighting, and just a little bit magic.
My final day in Tassie - the local high school got PERFECT and rare weather for their swimming carnival. I don’t doubt some years they’ve swum in snow…
I’d be sad, except I have two exciting newses. My first exciting news is that three paintings have just gone to wonderful new homes.
”Sleeping Beauty Mountain, Tasmania”
I am VERY happy. Some day I suppose I’ll be faced with the decision of selling one to a not-so-good home, and it will be a test indeed!
My second but not any less exciting news is that I have just been invited to be Artist in Residence by the Bundanon Trust. I’ll be tucked away in a little studio on the Shoalhaven River near Nowra on the NSW south coast for two weeks over winter, and will wallow in contact with other artists and local school kids, and the atmosphere of this wonderful, magical property of the late Arthur Boyd. I’ll fill the car with paints and will wear out as many brushes as possible! Yay!!!
OK - time to begin to think about packing up tomorrow - I’d better locate the broom…
I’ve really enjoyed the experience and will see if there’s another little shop somewhere which would lend itself to me popping up in it for a bit!
I have a jaunt to Tasmania planned and will try to meet up with another artist or two to go out and paint together. Although I’ll have to start sleeping on my roof if I bring home many more paintings.
The other morning I was sitting on my back verandah enjoying my cup of tea and toast, and was joined by two rainbow lorikeets, three brown cuckoo doves, and two king parrots. A few evenings ago a male lyrebird was stepping about on the roof of my yurt studio - a VERY rare sight. There’s also a wallaby who grazes behind the house. Good grief! What a lucky place to be living in!
If a fish is asleep, how do you know?
I have loved my temporary pop-up Gallery, The Little Firefly, so much that it will continue to pop up at 20 Moore Ave in West Lindfield (see map and opening hours below) until Sunday Feb 26th, so do drop in to say hi if you get the chance.
Also, my exciting news is that I am helping to create and launch the Frendz Community Gallery right next door to the Little Firefly Gallery and am taking part in its very first exhibition :
"Watch this space!” from Feb 7 - 14 2012.
Opening with bubbly (parking easy):
Thursday Feb 9th
6:00 - 9:00 pm
20 Moore Ave (enter through the nursery)
Lindfield West NSW 2070
(See map below)
"Watch this space!” Feb 7 - 14
For this very first exhibition on freshly painted walls of the Frendz Community Gallery I'll be displaying a never before revealed retrospective of work going back...I won't reveal here just how far (other than to say it was the year "Introducing...the Beatles" was released)...including ink, watercolour, and oils, beside a collection of pieces by community member Val Bennett.
Come along on Thursday evening Feb 9th for a glass of bubbly and to inspect this beautiful new exhibition space which is opening, and open to many people and many possibilities, in amongst a chirpy cafe and nursery and enthusiastic, welcoming community. You can see my Little Firefly Gallery at the same time.
View Larger Map
I’ll reopen on Wed Jan 11th at 11 a.m.
I’m in amongst the Cafe Frendz Nursery at 20 Moore Ave, Lindfield NSW 2070.
I’ve been enjoying painting while I’m in the gallery/studio and here’s one of the pieces I’ve made there, “Twiggy”
(click on it to see a larger version)
It’s the last day of 2011 - nice to be launching into the new year with such a lovely project.
I was going to set up a space in an adjoining shop for people to use for art projects, reading, chatting etc, but the 12 month lease for such a welcomed but financially risky idea was too scary!
I’ll offer private tuition in the Little Firefly in my compact studio space as an experiment…not so much to “teach” as to help unlock.
I’ve just had a very worrying week when my computer died completely and it looked like my backup wasn’t going to work. For the period when I thought I’d lost absolutely everything, I came to realise how much time I spend fiddling around with the stuff which is only a record and archive of what I’m doing out in the world, but which has come to feel like the main game. Anyway, after getting a new computer with a fancier operating system, then having to re-jig a lot of programs, etc etc - I’m back up and running. Here’s the painting that was my response to it all…called, “Internet”
Today I took photos.
- Little green plant-holding tricycle: bought with my first day’s takings. Moral: running shops beside nurseries is probably a bad idea.
- Home-made marble sorter-outer on table. Even tough, very grown up people end up having a lot of fun with it.
Thank you Nancy for your idea that I include it!
Incidentally, my apologies to the rather small girl who came in with a wad of pizza dough and of whom I had suspicions when there were fewer marbles after she’d left that when she arrived. I suspected the pizza dough and her grin as she left.
Today I found my lost marbles.
As I said, my apologies to her for the suspicion: she doesn’t know who she is.
-the wonderful view from where I stand when painting
-glorious lilies given to me by a visiting friend
-there is a book of my cartoons on a little table near the marble sorter-outer - I have never heard such a variety of snorts, chortles, chuckles, squeaks, and other noises issuing from folk as they look through it - completely heartwarming!
If you’re in the neighbourhood, drop in! A comfy chair awaits!
Yesterday was my first day in my 17 day pop-up Little Firefly Gallery (20 Moore Ave West Lindfield NSW 2070 - Dec 2nd - 18th), and I loved it! Mark, from Cafe Frendz, and I had a Garden Party Opening yesterday evening with bubbly and an amazing fruit platter and an equally delectable cheese platter, and lots of lovely visitors.
I painted in the gallery during the day, and folk wandered in which meant we had...conversation! Working on my own as I do normally, I don’t get much intelligent conversation, so that was really enjoyable. And the conversation included topics besides paintings...so now I know what people do out there in the world. I even had to commute. OK, so maybe 5 minutes isn’t really commuting...but it’s definitely further than from the kitchen to my study.
Between the flags
I had lovely visitors and found homes for some tiles I’ve had made from some of my paintings, and for several paintings. Good homes. I love that. Although one dropper-inner suggested that if they go to a bad home, maybe they’ll help the home become a good one. What a kind and lovely thought.
Of course, being situated in a nursery meant that some of my earnings went on the sweetest little green tricycle plant pot holder...I’ll take photos today.
Now to figure out what it is that people make their packed lunches out of...
But one went the other way...
It’s amazing what can happen from one day to the next!
One day I’m sitting in the delightful Cafe Frendz at West Lindfield, with a friend, having a coffee and minding our own businesses, and the next day I’m suddenly preparing to move into a vacant shop next door as a little gallery from December 2 - 18, where I’ll be minding my own business!
The Little Firefly Gallery will alight at Shop 2, 20 Moore Ave., West Lindfield NSW 2070 behind Cafe Frendz and tucked in amongst the attached nursery. What FUN!!! I’ll include the flyer below with everything you might need to know.
In the gallery I’ll hang an exhibition from my collection of works for sale, called, ”Hello sunshine!”after a painting of that name, and in celebration of the beginning of summer and the launch of the Cafe Frendz Nursery and the Little Firefly Gallery.
The Garden Party Opening will be from 5 - 8pm on Friday December 2nd, and everyone is welcome. There will be an armchair so you can peruse paintings and petunias particularly pleasantly!
Sigh! Life is full of adventures!
And, I’ve connected with several wonderful quilt shops - I admire their work and they seem to like mine, so more on that later.
Further, I'll be introducing information about a new group, Andable (www.Andable.com), who will be launching a website in February 2012 where artists and merchants (particularly who care about their footprint on the planet) will have an online shop, and 10% of sales will go as micro loans to people elsewhere in the world who need a hand getting started with their own enterprising ideas to get over the hurdles imposed by poverty. Then the loans will be paid back after three months. What a painless and brilliant way to put the wealth to work, and help somebody else!
P.S. This is so clever and wonderful!!
One fellow suggested that I must have a lot of time on my hands. I politely but baffledly agreed, then when he came past again asked him what he meant. He said that I must have a lot of time on my hands if I have had time to make so many paintings. I said that’s like saying to your plumber that he must have a lot of time on his hands because he has time to plumb, or your doctor must have a lot of time on her hands because she has time to doctor... have I mentioned, as a lapsed vet, how I’m always delighted by the different connotations of “doctoring” vs “vetting”?
Here is a painting I did in my mini studio - it’s called “Rock pool”
Exhibition opening coming up soon..........
I am delighted to have been invited to hang five paintings in the (Randwick) Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation's upcoming Christmas exhibition.
The opening will be held on Thursday Dec 8th from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The exhibition will run until January 23rd 2012 and a portion of all sales will flow to the Hospital Foundation to help fund their wonderful programs.
There will be works by numerous artists, including a group of us who are Friends of the National Art School, and our particular theme is, "Friends"!
Cheers for now!
...but one went the other way
All is excitement and flurry as I prepare for my little Stand D13 at the Sydney Art Show coming up in three weeks!
It’s not a big space (1m x 3m) and I’m trying to figure out how to turn it into a mini studio so I can be painting over the three days I’m there. It will be great to chat to lots of people and meet other artists, and hopefully find new homes for some paintings.
I’ve also rashly offered to do a presentation on Sun Oct 16 from 1 - 1:30 pm called, “Green sky and purple trees - unleash your inner mad scientist at preschool”
Just next door Kerry Thompson
I’ve been watching on a webcam a pair of sea eagles raise a chick which gave me the bright idea of trying a studio cam! I launched it yesterday and have made the following discoveries:
- if you use the camera on your laptop, a lot of the time is spent seeing you looking into the lens, perplexed, as you try to work out if the thing is on or not
- if you use the camera on your laptop, the laptop is in the wrong position for good wireless reception so a lot of the time is spent seeing you frozen, looking into the lens, perplexed, as you were trying to work out if the thing was on or not
- when you first try this with the camera on a table behind you, you block the canvas when you’re painting so nobody can see what you’re doing.
- if the sound is off, somehow it makes it all less interesting.
- you look older than you think.
- you probably are older than you think.
A few thoughts I’ve been mulling over, particularly having just had a conversation with someone who said he only believes what has been scientifically proven.
To my mind, if you accept that there was a time when something was true but hadn’t yet been scientifically proven, then there must be things now that are true but just haven’t yet been scientifically proven.
Which brings me to the subject of blinkers and lenses - I know that I am restricted, or perhaps directed in my vision because I was trained in Western science/medicine and that I may be blind to things which don’t fall into the categories I was given. I think it’s important to be aware of the window through which we view the world...which is what our art is all about. Exploring our view and our window.
And it occurred to me that we only build instruments to measure whatever it is that we already think exists (I’ll have to think some more about this, and you may come up with exceptions). We probably don’t yet have the right gear to detect/measure many things which exist but are still invisible to our biological (eyes and ears etc) and scientific (radio receivers, cameras etc) and mathematical (physics) instruments.
Food for thought.
My blog was getting a bit crowded over at www.kerrymillard.com (my nom de plume) so I’ve moved next door here to Kerry Thompson’s Gallery . It also makes sense as most of what I’m doing these days has to do with painting!
Like buying a replacement car this week - my trusty old Toyota Corolla hatchback has been doing really well but hasn’t been quite big enough now that I’m moving whole exhibitions of paintings. It ends up getting packed up to the eyebrows and then some.
I went to a dealership to try out the car I had decided to buy after a lot of research ( the” Dog and Lemon Guide” is great), and on the test drive with the salesman navigating, I realised we were heading in the direction I’d planned to take afterwards to collect two paintings from a gallery. I asked the salesman if we could make that a part of the test drive and he said OK!!! So we didn’t just simulate but really and truly did EXACTLY what I was buying the car for: we drove to the gallery, I had to weave around city streets and reverse parallel park a couple of times asking directions and finally parking, my salesman friend helped me carry the two paintings to the car where I was able to see what it is like to unlock the beast and load work into it. Fantastic! Then I got to see what it’s like driving with paintings in the back, and unloading them at the end! It was perfect.
I did a bit more negotiating and ended up the next day buying the car at an excellent price with roofracks and a roof basket thrown in so I’ll be able to carry everything with ease.
Now THAT’s what I call service!!!!