Monday, 28 January 2013


WELL they've been, terry and brendan have been wandering around the grounds with their heads together and seem to agree they've come up with the solution, it's done so now i just have to wait for tonight's automatic program and watch it strut it's stuff.   the crunch comes in the morning when i turn on the taps again check the pressure - not holding my breath but i feel better than i did at 9.30.

 i'll spend the afternoon working at my desk looking at the river.  perhaps a glass of wine - i deserve it after all these hassles :0)

Another fabulous moon last night, later in the year it will rise over the river and i'll get that 'staircase to heaven' effect they have in broome,  the endless reflections of the moon over the water that reach the shore


 D DAY  terry the pump guy and brendan the water system guy are getting together here today to try and figure out why the pump's losing pressure -  i'm so over it.   i can't imagine they'll figure it out, i've completely lost confidence - if there's a leak in the system somewhere i can't imagine how they'll ever find it, there's so much plumbing running under so much land, and everything's crunchy dry.   depressing.

YESTERDAY i printed an edition of my white necked heron, happy with that. and started the second heron print.  probably limited access to the art vault press over the next couple of weeks because printmaker heather shimmen is in residence.  looking forward to meeting her and seeing her work, it's pretty amazing.

her exhibition at the artvault, along with mandy gunn, opens on the 30th jan.

in the afternoon
 the music festival came to
 the artvault so i was
 printing and listening
 to beautiful italian 
bandoneon (squeezebox)
 and guitar, dramatic
 tangos, my favorite
accordion piece (don't 
know the name) but it's
 a musical piece that
 grace jones used to
 do with words.

Sunday, 27 January 2013


THE BILLABONG  from the bank in front of donnie and peter's place

purple swamphens on the billabong

Saturday, 26 January 2013


 AUSTRALIA  DAY   -    lots of flags and a big brekky for everyone down at lock 10.  I didn't go, donnie and peter byrne showed me their second house down at wangumma, about 40 minutes from here on lock 8.
The drive there is a lot like the road to darwin, bright pink sand and blue grey bushes, almost no trees, some dead tree skeletons.
we stayed most of the day - lots of great wetland spots around there, all kinds of birds and wonderful landscape with some monster redgums   - a good day with good company :0)

 a swallow on the roof of the lovely old brick home, classic australian style with a wide verandah all round, set at the edge of the billabong which looks just like a large section
of the river.

found old metal tools and objects from the property - a whole brick wall of them
crazy native hens, these birds are very funny and run along in groups with their tails up

great egret

we drove over to lake victoria, a spectacular sight,  stark dead
trees for as far as you can see

i sat and drew the billabong while pelicans, coots and ducks swam by

at lock 8, hundreds of cormorants surfing and diving for fish in the churning water, then drying themselves on the rocks.

 TONIGHT - a beautiful big moon, almost full - the crazies will be out tomorrow night
Add caption


I couldn't even write this yesterday, i was so upset.  the new pump is installed and nothing has changed, the pressure's still dropping.  i can't use the watering system that's been put in, it just dies after a few hours.    i just burst into tears after terry the pump man left.  he and brendan the watering system man are getting together here on monday, they think there's a leak in the pipes somewhere.  how the hell they'll find out where i dont' know.     i feel completely frustrated and powerless.

Friday, 25 January 2013


FYI and viewing pleasure

Huntsman Spiders

Big, hairy and able to run quickly, these spiders are probably responsible for more shrieks and shudders among us humans than any other types of spider in Australia. Their habit of wandering indoors only increases the chances of that. Despite some Huntsman spiders being recorded as giving a painful bite, their fearsome reputation is unnecessary.    thanks to Nature Stuff webpage for the info

my special spider had the legs of the first pic, long ones about 8"  full width,   and the patterned
body of the last pic -  maybe it's the difference between male and female.  i'm happy to know it was
just a harmless (if scary) huntsman.

thanks to Nature Stuff webpage for the written info

Thursday, 24 January 2013


i just got home after seeing a movie at the end of the day - started going out the back door to see if the new pump had been installed and in the dark saw something on the wall near the door.

it was the WORLD'S BIGGEST SPIDER!! i'm not kidding, it was
huuuuuge - bigger than my hand when i stretch my fingers out,  at least 7" or 8" across.
god, i 'm glad i didn't touch it  -   eeeeuuuuuuw
i managed to shoosh him out the door after coming back in armed with a glass saucepan lid, a bed sheet,  a sheet of white card, all the tools indiana jones would have had on hand. 
but after opening the wire door and waving the card at him he hightailed it out and under the house to plan his next foray into my life.  

and the pump is installed.  i'll check it out tomorrow, i'm bushed after another full day
of printing.


honeyeater -  from my kitchen window

it's going to be damn hot today, 42 i think, but i'll be hiding out in the print room at the art vault again - my prints aren't going too well, i'm having trouble with aquatinting, but hopefully by the end of the day i'll have two or three worth editioning,  :0\

my new pump should be intalled when i get home, 
fingers crossed it all goes well.


LAST NIGHT the music festival came to the wentworth town hall, a cute little art deco building with wonderful acoustics.

Luca magni on flute and simone valeri on harpsichord  - an interesting and diverse  selection of music and a wonderful flute solo - i think it was the music from 'afternoon of the faun' that nijinsky danced (debussi?) - i could be wrong but it was very atmospheric

Lock 10 as i drove past on my way home from the town hall, it looks fabulous on a still night,  just hard
to get in amongst the trees on the river bank to get a decent shot.


TUESDAY night was the opening of the Murray River International Music Festival,  a week of baroque music by mostly visiting Italian musicians, in it's tenth year now and organised by stefano's musician brother, maestro sergio di pieri.
After a day of printing i went to the opening at Ampelon, an amazing five acre garden in Gol Gol.
Picnic tea with new friends first then music as the evening gradually drew in - i got to watch a spider weaving a web in the tree above me and as it became dark tiny bats flew in and out of the lights.

after a day of printing i went to the opening at Ampelon, an amazing five acre garden in Gol Gol.
DOM DI PIERI introduces the evening

TRIO of 
violin and
in front of the
amazing willow
at ampelon

Claudia Lopez, 
Gianfranco Bortolato
and Michele Benuzzi 

locals barb bunting, cynthia and michael  keenan and friends - we all had picnic tea before the music began - a perfect night of warm weather and clear skies

the gardens 
surround a lily
 pond just
with flowers -
 a stunning
 creation by
 margot and
 dennis mills

two prints for my show - white necked herons

Monday, 21 January 2013

KEYS . . . cont

my darling keys - after another big search i finally rang the RACV to see what cover i had,  they could pay $100 towards a new car key - total cost to get one cut - $660 !  

so i headed off on the bike to back track over where i went yesterday and lo and behold, there they were -  at the post office.  i'd left them in the door of my p.o. box. doh! can't believe i did that but boy was i relieved.

welcome home, 
me little darlins

i've been working at my wonderful new desk looking at the river and making etchings of wood ducks.  lots of printing days coming up.

drawings to be worked up into etching or monoprints

this wonderful lace monitor strolled across the lawn while i was working.


I'VE LOST MY KEYS!!   damn it  -  car, house, bike and keys - turned the whole house
upside down, scoured the yard, the car, looked in the most ridiculous places and everywhere else at least three times -  dear anne from artback lent me their work car yesterday so i could still do a day of
printing,  i got lots done in four hours.
so i'm biting the bullet today and getting the lock man to come and do me a new car key - it'll be
expensive i'm sure :0(

hopefully i'll hear from terry the pump guy today - i'll call him.  i need that pump before the weather gets really hot again later in the week.  it's looking gorgeous out there this morning.  no pics from yesterday, too distracted.

Saturday, 19 January 2013


WOW i can't believe what a difference it's made moving my workspace into the
 large living area,  the whole house feels different - it all makes sense. today i rode the bike into town to get some essentials, called in for a coffee at artback (where i caught up on the important news - the best and worst of what everyone was wearing at the golden globes ;-)   
  Then home to etch a plate - an image of a whistling kite, the small eagle that circles the sky everywhere you go up here - then i fixed the broken screen on the front door, hung up three new bamboo blinds,  screwed the house numbers onto the fence, then topped off the day by having a couple of wines out on the river bank with anne hederics (who runs artback with husband steve)    and now i'm just working on a new etching. it's the fifth i've done since yesterday at the new desk in the big room overlooking the river.
no doubt the drop in temperature and beautiful cool breezes have helped no end.

anne and me out the front of the house -  lovely to sit looking up towards the lock sparkling in the sun

last night - not as good as the night before but gorgeous all the same

Thursday, 17 January 2013


43 today - a good day to hole up in the house and just work, i started on four etching plates, images
of birds for the exhibition.  and ros called in to see the house and have a visit.  she's heading back
tomorrow.  it's nice to have friends from melbourne coming up to spend time at the art vault.

my garden visitors 
today - the two blue tongues
were happy in the heat

 it's distressing to see the birds in this heat - their beaks wide open looking absolutely parched despite the birdbaths. there are two little swallows that sit above the kitchen window - they looked so thirsty i climbed up and put a bowl of water on the top of the window,   i don't know if they used it or not.
yesterday i started to rearrange the main room and now i'm going to work in here, it looks onto the 
river on two sides and the light is gorgeous.  i've been working in here today and it feels just right.

is the only way i can describe the sun going down tonight.  i only saw it when it was really low, so racing in to get the camera and back out again i only got a few shots. the sun was actually magenta, i don't know what was in the air, maybe a fire somewhere far away, but it was incredible.

a little earlier,
i went to change the
hoses over and
when i came back -

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


well, there you are . . . brendan and local pump man terry (who's worked on this pump for years) got their heads together and basically the pump's stuffed - fused whatever that means     so i have to follow up on insurance and getting a new one

SIGH . . .

water issues aside it's been a nice couple of days


donnie invited ros, ex (visiting artists at
the art vault) and julie and i over for dinner.  her home is a beautiful rambling 1920's house on a large block of huge shady old trees, an orchard heavy with nectarines and plums and who know what else, and surrounded by the lush green of grapevines on three sides.

this gorgeous chinese (or japanese) embroidery is about 5 feet long,
hanging on the wall, truly superb

the girls - ex, donnie, julie and ros  -  and buddy the wonder dog
check out ros and ex's work

rosalind atkins  -
eX de Medici     - (when page opens click on one of the points of the compass to see her work)

luminous sunset from donnie's back yard, it just got brighter and brighter and looked great over the top of the vineyards

YESTERDAY, tuesday a did a bunning's run and had lunch in mildura with ex, donnie and ros.  it's
lovely sitting under the grapevines outside stefano's cafe & bakery.

THIS MORNING i was feeling really flat - but i realise it's the feeling i always get when i'm trying to figure out new work. with my exhibition opening on april 3 and a lot of time before then taken up with being in china i don't have a lot of time.

i headed off to the lagoon on the bike - took the long way round so i was out for two hours, drawing, photographing and just listening and watching the birds and fish, such a beautiful place to be - i came back recharged and will work all afternoon, figuring out some bird images to make into etchings.  riding and sitting by the river really helps with ideas.

rough pen and ink impressions of the riverbank 

     DAAA  DA        DAAA DA
(  theme from jaws?  :o\  )

these funny old carp were sludging around in the shallows at my feet, i tried to get one with it's head out of the water but this was the best i could do - i could hear them flipping right out of the water nearby but couldn't see one

strange reflection - looks like a hand shadow puppet of a dog

A RAINBOW BEE EATER  - terrible photo but i was thrilled to see one at the lagoon this morning - it was a very long way away so hard to photograph