Sundays, for many people, are a time to cheer on the local team. A day when the family all gather for a big lunch. A chance to put up the feet and read the weekend newspaper.

Or, perhaps, head down to the Council car park, all roped-off with bunting and glow-in-the-dark road cones. And a crew of women in hi-viz vests, inking HUGE pieces of linoleum, ready to be printed…by a chap (also in a hi-viz vest) on a road roller.






Yes, just another Sunday here… with members of Printbank Mackay.

The weather while not conducive to racing down to the beach has been relatively warm this month.Note that word”relatively.”  On the night of the Blood Moon I was out at 5am to gaze skyward, dressed in jeans and a sweater.

And the sky was filled with stars! I don’t remember ever seeing such a clear night sky here! And, yes, I did see the Blood Moon. And Mars. No photos though, as I am thwarted by street lights around here  and those orange-y sodium lights at the intersection down the road. But the weather was, that night, favourable.

So…no astronomical wonders to show. How about some orchids? Not mine. I do have some in bud, but they’ll be in bud for a while yet.

However, a friend across town has a collection  and quite a few were flowering so I popped in while The Man was in the dentist’s chair. Not all had name tags and Vic, the orchid man, was not there so …I’ll do my best, but I’m flying blind with some. 🙂


A brassocattleya


This looks like a Cattleya…


And this…


This I do know...Phalaenopsis though not its varietal name



Vanda. .jpg

Epidendrum radicans  Common as…I have several.But guess what? Not one of mine has flowered! Known as Crucifix orchids, they do come in other colours, but this is the most often seen.


Let’s have another Phalenopsis …20180719_104948.jpg

Vic also has pawpaws! (note to self: see if any nurseries are selling plants yet)


Yes, mid-winter, folks! My last tree was flattened by a cyclone and I haven’t bothered to replace it.But I do so love fresh pawpaw…not those poor, sad things the supermarket staff treat like footballs!

Off to don my chef’s hat!









Or perhaps it’s been more than a week? Time slips by and I can’t always remember where I am supposed to be on the map of whatever month it is.

Oh well…I have some photos of that road roller print exhibition I went to see. I do know several printmakers who have used heavy machinery to print images, but I believe this a first locally.

The artists  “mixed it up” a little, using lino, wood-cut and collograph as their media.IMG_2571.JPG



And the artists, wearing their roller-printed T shirts.Yes, that’s the machine they used.

I was having a conversation, cyber-style, the other day about baking for Christmas festivities. Something I used to do, but have not done for years..

When I lived in London I used to bake mince pies to take in to share at work Of course, when it’s dark and snowy one feels more inclined to spend time at a hot oven! Here, in 30+Celsius? Not so much.

But going in to work one night with a basket smelling  like a distillery (my mince pies and fruit cakes were always liberally laced with whiskey or rum!) the woman next to me on the bus sniffed appreciatively. I opened the linen wrap and offered her one. She wanted to know if there were any vacancies at my work!

At that time I wore a dark red corduroy coat with a hood and colleagues took to calling me Little Red Riding Hood. A bit like thisIMG_0498.JPG

Perhaps I’ll make a tray of mince pies this year…

But I will NOT wear a coat with a hood!





But before I start on the one hundred + photos I took…

Updated with a link.See footnote

Mr.Yellow has gummed some leaves together and appears to have settled down to become his moth self.(This was in the making stage.Obviously.) I cannot find any accurate information on the duration, but someone up in the Northern Territory recorded it as being almost 3 months. Temperatures down here and August v March may make a difference. Stay tuned!IMG_0226  6pm Aug 27.JPG

The Sunbirds  are real characters – whenever I’m watering the gardens they’ll “ask” to be sprayed with the hose. The other day I actually managed to sneak back with a camera;this is the closest I’ve ever managed to get to the flighty little beggars!I hooked the hose in a branch and they took great delight in sliding down the banana leaves and flying through the spray.sunbirds bath 2.JPG

Banana leaf slide

sunbirds bath 3.JPG

Mr and Mrs Bird, drying off on the rose arch.


And now… a few pictures from the Libris Awards exhibition.

The major prize-winner, a collaborative work by George Matoulas and Angela Cavalieri

“Europa to Oceania” quarter cloth binding




Janice R Nedela  “Unreadable Book #2”  Acrylic sheets




Caren Florance. “Pleasure Demolition”  letterpress, paper, thread



Jack Oudyn.  “Keer-Weer -turn again.” Waxed Vietnamese paper.




Winner of the Regional Artists’ Award. May-Britt Mosshammer. “Tapping the Knowledge.” Books, bronze, paper



I’ll post more, but right now kitchen duty beckons!


Because so many are not only difficult to photograph as they are displayed, I’m not going post all of them. But there is a list available from the gallery’s website



I’ve thought and reflected quite a bit since my first wander through this exhibition. And I’ve contacted two of the artists whose work, in particular, gave me pause for thought. Thank you, Glenda Orr and Emma Lindsay for your permission. So far, I have not found a website for Liz Mahood or been able to contact her, but here is a link to  Liz’s work for this exhibition and a link to the Gallery 

There are, of course, other pieces in this grouping that I can’t show you here;they involve complex audio accompaniment. But here is one view of “Coalface” which, to me, was really scary.Not only the mining of the “black gold” but its shipping, so fraught with danger! IMG_4659

But,as when I look,really look, at another person’s impression of things my neurons fire. I do need to get back to ink!


In a display case “A Cabinet For Curiosities” is a key to some of the artifacts and techniques used. Of interest to me was Glenda Orr’s accidental use in photography of the small magnifying lenses she uses when etching. I also have one such loupe and am now moved to keep it with my camera, rather than the ‘phone book.(why are ‘phone books in such impossibly small fonts!Maybe it’s just the old eyes…) 



And Orr has used sap, sometimes diluted, in her gridded paintings “Sky Map.”


She shows her test strip here:




Liz Mahood’s piece looks far less innocuous when seen alongside her poem/statement.



And Emma Lindsay’s plea for the Black-throated Finch is dark and stark.



Time doesn’t allow me to post more, but if any Australians have this travelling exhibition coming to a gallery near you…it’s well worth seeing.




That probably means a lot of rum has been consumed by the electorate celebrating or drowning sorrows.

Personally, I find politicians irritating and politics, for the most part, boring. And now we’re on our, let’s see…fifth,is it?Sixth? Prime Minister in eight years. If they keep this up, it could well replace Australian football as the national sport!

If you’ve been hanging around this blog long enough you might remember that I introduced an old friend of mine a few years ago. And this week seemed a good time to get him back to the studio….

So, here’s a rat’s take on current Canberra politics.Take it away,Ziggy.Yes, really.We don’t want it here!


Once the llittle fella got started he was on a roll, but I’m restricting him to two.


Ziggy might have a more regular column.Or he might just loll about on his steps, dropping fag ash. (I might get him to tidy his lines;he’s woefully out of practice!)

I’ve started reading that much-touted newly-published Harper Lee book. The library has a loooong waiting list for it and I’m struggling to finish it. I think I’ll take it back to the library and maybe have another whack at it when I can concentrate. So far, it doesn’t feel “right.” Ms Lee is on record as saying she would not publish this [the first ] version of “Mocking bird” and I don’t have an argument there.

On the viability of tomato seed….this is IN my compost bin. The winter was just a tad too cold for my compost to heat up enough to stop seeds germinating.IMG_4581




Oh dear…the rain I thought might have come with Cyclone Dylan last week noodled around, here and there, until yesterday. And then Whoosh!  Heavy rain all morning and after lunch great crashing thunder claps. At 3 o’clock the drain at “that place” behind us could no longer cope.We spent almost 2 hours clearing our drains (me) and neighboring drains (the Man). The thunder rolled away and the rain eased by 5 o’clock. We were lucky.Much luckier than people in Somerset.Or people in Victoria’s fires.Never mind the gas  and oil pipelines – we need a water pipe to take floods away from the flooded to the burning!

Winter Olympics? I could, possibly, have been a medal contender yesterday. I’d been next door, helping in that clear-up and, the path  having been washed downhill and onto the road, I was picking my way VERY CAREFULLY across the lawn. Suddenly, I was on my backside, in a magnificent glissade, finishing with a full back ankle twist and an elbow brake. I’m sure the judges would have been impressed.

The ankle hurt for a while, but is not sprained or broken. And the good news is that a nasty splinter under a finger nail worked its way out when my hands got all prune-y.

Sunshine now so the street is humming with washing machines. Including mine.

But, before I get back to the dirty work, I must tell you about an art swap that is doing the rounds. If you’d like to receive something from me, please say so in the comments. By doing so, you’ll be agreeing to take part  and will, in turn, “pay it forward.”

Here’s the deal:

Step 1 Copy&Paste this (see below) in your latest blog post

* Pay It Forward Art-making Project for 2014 *

I promise to make a small work of art for the first four people who comment on this post and say “YES, I WANT TO BE IN THIS”. A ‘like’ alone is not enough of a commitment, nor is a comment about thinking Pay It Forward is a great idea.

You must in turn post this on your blog and make something for the person from whom you got this (that’s me) plus the first four who comment on your blog asking to play.

The rules are simple:

– It has to be your work, made by you, and the recipient must receive it before 2014 ends.

– It can be anything art-based: a drawing/illustration or a conceptual work of art, a photograph, a knitted item, cross-stitch, paper maché – or anything in between.

I’m paying this forward thanks to  Ersi Marina  who picked it up from JackOudyn. Yes, you can be on each other’s pay it forward lists.

PS. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t an artist, try something out, google/ YouTube how to make stuff, step out of those boundaries.

Step 2 For the first four people who comment on your blog entry saying they want to participate, plus the author,you will do an art trade with them that must be completed by December 31st 2014. I would count as the first person, so technically you only need another four. If you find your friends are keen, you can do as many as you want. Similarly, if you do not get four comments within, say, one week, simply swap with those who do want to take part.

Step 3 All forms of art count including creative writing , photography, digital, anything goes! I’ll leave this up until next Monday,Feb.17. You’ll find my email at “about me” so you can let me know your postal address.

I’ll leave you with a rain picture.





I suppose, since they are on public display, I can show photos of any of the work. But it feels a little rude without telling authors what I want to do.

So, with kind permission of several friends and colleagues, and links to their sites …here are more books. Clicking should give you a larger view. I’ve also given my “guesstimates” on size as it’s not always easy to tell from a photo, a fact noted by the judge, Helen Cole.*


“Shyness” by Elizabeth Banfield. I’ve been almost mesmerised by Elizabeth’s delicately cut lino for  quite a while now. This book is approximately A6 (maybe a little bigger) in size.


A beautiful book, if a sad subject. Helen Malone has produced this  as her depiction of the devastating Brisbane flood in 2011.Her own photographs, in sepia tones, echo the mud that covered acres and acres of land and the book, displayed as intended, swirls like the river it records.


“Peace Mends the World” by Fiona Dempster. A “patchwork” of metal and Perspex. These are pieces of  reclaimed copper sheeting, stitched (!) together with copper wire;the “pages” are fastened with copper rivets.  A little bigger than A5.


“Carpe Diem” by Rhonda  Ayliffe. A clever look at today’s hi-tech world. This book requires an app to read (I don’t have such a device). I believe Ronnie explains a little of the construction on her blog. And you can see a related piece by Ronnie as part of the current round of BookArtObject exchange here


“A Burning Question” by  Sara Bowen. Sara is the artist who initiated the BookArtObject exchange group and this is one of her titles  in the current round. Intricate paper cutting and pop-ups, this is presented in a “match box”, with a spent match attached.Quite scary, especially after such a summer of fires! Another small book, approximately A6 or slightly bigger. As the match box is not displayed, here is a link to Sara’s own picture and her  blog


Speaks for itself, really! Well, anyone who used an earlier  pc will know. As I wander around the web looking at artists’ books, I am struck by the great humour shown by so many. In this presentation Caren Florance addresses the thorny issue of display,something that drives gallerists and curators bonkers – how should we place this !**$# item so that everyone can see/read it?Just click the image and all is explained, right down to the type setting.

This has been quite a long post! I might show you some more books next week. I am lucky to be living  in the same town as I can take my time, absorb more, exchange views with other visitors. And share it  here. 🙂

Oh! yes…the horse and jockey things. Hmm…perhaps I’ll tease you  give you another day to work it out.

* Thanks to Helen Malone for these links, giving a judge’s perspective.

updated to add Artspace ‘s photos link