My friends in Australia, The Eternal Traveller, aka Mrs. ET and her husband’s family, escorted me to the Gold Museum in Ballarat. Not to pick up so loose gold, unfortunately, but to learn the history of the Australian Gold Rush.
Aside: We did some panning at Old Sovereign Hill, where I became enormously rich thanks to their generosity.
A famous artist at the time, Eugene von Guerard, sketched many pictures of the evolving mine fields in Ballarat. The museum displayed one of them looking in the exact direction at the distant mountain as the window. So I shot a picture of them both at the same time, the old and the new.
Have you ever wanted to see where an artist does all their work? Vince and I had the privilege of doing just that this weekend. I want to thank my friend Connie Smith for the tickets she sent my husband and me to attend this three-day event. Kudos to her daughter, Carolyn, for organizing it.
We looked forward to it from the time we received the passport map, name tags and book featuring the forty artists on tour about two weeks before the event. I particularly looked forward to the artist of the work featured above, Toni Best because I had known her as a teacher. We did not get to her studio until the last day, so you will see more her work later.
The county-wide event lasted three days. Since the county is the size of Connecticut, Carolyn and her committee subdivided it into three regions for easier trip planning. We live in Region Three, so we started there. There are two artists within walking distance of our house, but we decided to end there, and drove up to Three Rivers first. The sunny day made the wild poppies and lavender as well as our moods on the way up to the foothill town sparkle.
We only made one wrong turn, but quickly turned around and followed the well-marked signs to a husband and wife team. This was the wife’s charming studio. I do not remember if her husband built the building or just the cabinetry inside, but it appealed to me right from the start and she was a delightful as her cheerful studio and clever art work. I loved the idea of drawers in the stairs even though I do not know how practical it would be to bend down to the floor when you needed a paint brush.
The stairway leading between the two studies added to the picturesque view.
Although Martha had some realistic work, her surreal style reminded me of Rene Magritte, one of my favorite artists.
A museum contacted me on October 5, 2017, to add this information. The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium is currently exhibiting Magritte, Broodthaers & Contemporary Art, which features or showcases René Magritte.
Our René Magritte page provides visitors with Magritte’s bio, over 170 of his works, exclusive articles, and up-to-date Magritte exhibition listings.
A little white horse cuddled on a little girl’s shoulder, a chair walking a tightrope were two of the many examples she displayed. Martha Widmann and I chatted like old friends. I would snag her in an instant to illustrate a children’s book for me.
She had copies of some of her art clothespinned to the wall of the building outside as well as larger prints of them inside. Her husband’s chair obviously inspired her.
This is one of her more realistic pieces.
My husband was more taken with her husband’s work, Stickley furniture.
Rick Badgley buried his unique woodworking shop under about 18 inches of soil which kept it cool in the hot summers, and grew wild grass on the roof. We have had a lot of rain this year so the grass was seasonably green. My husband and I both envied his craftsman garage doors.
We could barely pull ourselves away from this beautiful setting and interesting conversations, but we had five or six more places we wanted to see. I’ll give you one more glimpse of this one, and tell you about the others in another post.
Yesterday I got a comment from TOM, the other Marcia, and she told me I needed a tablet and a stylus to draw. Since she is an artist, and I definitely am not, I decided to try it. V dropped me off at Best Buy, and they told me that I needed a Bamboo tablet. They were only $99.00, and I decided that would be worth the amount of entertainment I would get from it. So it came home with me.
After going through the tutorial ad nauseum, I wondered if I could draw a house for Piggles. It looked like a square with a triangle on top. So, NO. There are no images in my mind for houses. I have to see pictures, I guess. So I went back to Piggles, and drew her again, using the same photograph, but this time using the stylus, and coloring in a background color.
So here is the Old Piggles, drawn with the mouse
And here is the new Piggles, drawn with the stylus. You can see that I am still not an artist. I just don’t have the eye, but it was my best try for as long as I want to sit doing it. You can tell me what you think.
This seems the perfect place to feature my new friend, Marcia, or T.O.M. as she calls herself. There must be something to the name because she is married to Mark, and my first husband was named Mark. Very coincidental. So it only makes sense that since she taught me about this product and gave me a mini-art lesson that I should feature her blog. Like my other friend Darla Welchel, who I plan to feature later this week – warning Darla, I’ll be over camping on your site, Marcia loves to read and review books. I get one book read, and they probably are reading 10. The important thing is that the books get read and reviewed.
The other interest that she and I are sharing is writing. I am so new at this sport as well, in spite of writing for a living in my job, teaching writing to children, having a few articles published in journals and magazines, and even a few pieces of poetry. Books are a different matter. Marcia, however, is all over art work. She emailed me some of her work, and they are astounding. You are just going to have to discover T.O.M. for yourself. She’s astounding. Too bad she’s not single, Ralph! She’s got a great sense of humor, too.
My former daughter-in-law is quite an artist. She can barely see, yet she turns out, what I think are absolutely beautiful paintings. I was talking to my new blogging friend Mike at Sum This Sum That about his wife’s work. She has a painting that looks like my Scardy Kitty posed for it. I told him about my DiL’s paintings, and he wanted to see them, so Mike these are for you – and all the rest of you, too!!!
Cosmos is my favorite painting , and is the only one with a name I remember, but it may be upside down. I rotated it around some. I also didn’t take it straight on, but I’ll do another picture later. I’m finding that it takes me hours to even do a simple post like this because I have to do things to the pictures. (not to mention writing and editing the little bit of script I add)
I had this one and Cosmos up in my office at work. They are not up yet in my house. I just love her bright colors, and odd designs.
This next one may look the same size as the other two, but actually it is about half of the 2nd one and 1/3 of the first one. I had three this same size that I hung over my desk at work, and they made a nice collection.
This is the next one in the trilogy. Actually I’m sure it doesn’t matter which direction they are turned, but I had them rotated 90 degrees in my office, but I can’t remember which direction.
This was the third one of the trilogy. Once when we went to a restaurant together, the restaurant served crayons for the paper tablecloth. She coached the four of us to create abstract masterpieces on the tablecloth while we were waiting for our dessert. They came out pretty well considering.
This is another favorite of mine, but my step-son won’t part with it.
This is another one he won’t part with. Many, if not most of these she painted when they moved in with us when the came from France. One time I came home from work expecting company for dinner and the entire dining room table was covered with one of her canvasses. She was not happy about having to move her studio.
Most of these paintings are 2 dimensional, but often she added texture such as sand to add interest to the painting.
This is the last one of Bounheuang’s paintings that I photographed. She is amazingly accomplished. She has a master’s degree in English from a French university. She was a very prolific as well as talented painter while she was married to my step-son. She is also a professional dancer, a licensed massage therapist, and is now going to school to become an acupuncturist. She made my life more interesting to say the least!