The editor and I loved local art shows and we had filled our home with all manner of excellent, interesting, and quirky original works of art. Wall space, we believe, is there to be filled with pleasing works of art. And what better way to support local country town community groups and nearby artists, than to attend the local art shows and maybe purchase a painting.
After we paid the entry fee, the editor and I descended into that small country town art show and we just wandered around and enjoyed the paintings.
As a bit of a background primer to country art shows, there are a few things to consider. Not all paintings are for sale, and if you arrive late, you may find that a lot of the art works will already be sold. There is actually a numbering system attached to each painting so so that visitors can obtain some basic information about individual paintings such as: Artist; Subject Title; and Price (or Not For Sale). That number can be cross referenced to look up those details in a small book that is usually free, but sometimes has to be paid for. If the painting’s number has a red round sticker then that usually indicates that the painting has already been sold. Any paintings that are purchased during the show can usually be picked up on the final day of the art show, once the show has closed to the public. You now have enough basic information to navigate a small country art show and look like you mean business!
So the editor and I were walking around the art show and admiring the paintings, and one very cheeky and cheerful painting caught both of our attentions and imaginations. The painting is titled “Having a ball!”, and it depicts a delightful lady having a bath, whilst blowing bubbles and consuming what I’ve always assumed is a tasty alcoholic drink with a block of chocolate on a side table. Clearly, I thought to myself: here is a lady who knows how to enjoy herself!
|Having a ball!|
The editor was thinking similar thoughts, however I rather suppose that she had inserted herself into that image as she had a far away and very thoughtful look in her eyes. We decided to purchase the painting.
Now some people quite rightly may say that this painting is not high art and they may well be correct in that assertion, and I for one am not qualified to make an opinion on that subject. On the other hand I read a theory that the Mona Lisa’s unusual smile was possibly due to the unfortunate condition of tooth grinding. As to whether that possibility is correct or not, I cannot say, however, what I can say is that if I had to choose between two people to take on the job of the local brew-master: one of whom was an apparently anxiety riddled tooth grinder; whilst the other lady, is to be occasionally found enjoying a quality stout (or fortified wine), whilst blowing bubbles in the bathtub. Let’s put it this way, the anxiety filled tooth grinder would be shown the door rather quickly.
The unfortunate thing was that the art show still had a few hours left before closing for the weekend. And from the above discussion you may recall that paintings cannot be collected until after the art show is closed. The editor and I on the other hand wanted to pay for the painting and then take it and go, and not hang around for hours and hours, waiting for the art show to close. The editor suggested to go with purchasing Gambit A: Feign disinterest and apathy.
We found one of the people taking the funds for the art show and said that we were interested in purchasing the painting, but wanted to take the painting away now. Of course it was explained to us that we had to wait until the art show was closed to take away the painting. Gambit A then suggests the correct response to be: Oh, don’t worry about it then. Thanks. And then prepare to walk away or look as if you are about to do so.
Hopefully, at that point someone says: Hang on, I‘ll just check for you. If all is going well with Gambit A, you will shortly be introduced to the higher powers in the art show. In this case, the guy that was the higher power in the art show took one look at the painting and immediately agreed to let us take the painting early, as long as we were OK being shuffled out the side door of the art show.
The transaction was soon completed and as we were unceremoniously shuffled out the side door of the art show, the higher power guy made a possibly disparaging suggestion along the lines of: “You could always hang it in your bathroom, I guess”. What an excellent suggestion!
Long term readers will probably now be wondering the important question: “What the heck has this painting got to do with the Fernglade Farm blog, which is ostensibly a blog about living on a small holding in a remote corner of Australia?” It is a fair question too. The thing is, this week I have been rather ill with the flu – not just a regular Man Flu – but a proper full blown and filthy coming down like a dirty mongrel sort of flu. On Tuesday morning I sat in the hot bath feeling like a zombie in my hour of illness. I was looking out the window into the forest when the editor cheerfully pointed out that the aforementioned painting looked an awful lot like the actual bathroom at Fernglade Farm, minus the bubbles, chocolate and stout of course. There is even a spider in the corner of the ceiling (not photographed for aesthetic reasons).
|The bathroom at Fernglade Farm, minus the bubbles, chocolate and stout|
The lesson to be learned here is that: What you contemplate, you imitate! And anyone who feels that marketing is not a powerful force on their subconscious are truly kidding themselves.
Despite my poor health this week, the days have been nice and sunny and they feel as if there is an early spring warmth. The sun is now slightly higher in the winter sky and even the solar hot water system began producing hot water this week for the first time since winter arrived. It is an exciting time of year and one of the sunsets earlier in the week produced the most amazing colours on the cloud layers:
|One of the sunsets earlier in the week produced the most amazing colours on the cloud layers|
Just before New Years Eve, a summer storm brought very heavy rainfall. The result of that heavy rainfall was that a steep garden bed behind the house collapsed. Before this time we were blissfully unaware that landslides were even a remote possibility in this mountain range.
|A reminder of the December 2016 landslip behind the house|
This week we began establishing a garden bed high above that land slip area. The garden bed is being planted out with very dense and hardy plants (agapanthus). Those plants have very thick root systems which are being grown so as to break up the flow of any storm water collecting at that point.
|A thick line of agapanthus were planted above the area where the landslip occurred last summer|
All those agapanthus plants are planted in a line so as to break up the concentration of water and then slow its movement across the land. We use these plants in other parts of the property for a similar purpose and they have performed remarkably well under all sorts of adverse storm conditions. Over the next few weeks we will place a thick layer of composted woody mulch between the agapanthus plants and the edge. And into that composted woody mulch we will plant a diverse range of flowering plants that will also work to hold the soil together and slow the flow of water across the landscape. Hopefully all being well, there are no further landslips on the farm.
The seedling potatoes which were purchased months ago were planted out today in the two remaining empty raised potato beds. As the potato leaves grow, we add more compost into those raised garden beds.
|The seedling potatoes which were purchased months ago were planted out today in the three raised potato beds|
The editor surprised a small herd of deer the other day. With the assistance of Mr Poopy the Pomeranian (who every right thinking person knows is actually a Swedish Lapphund), chased the deer off into the surrounding forest. I’d have to suggest that the deer numbers are down as there were only four does and there was no sign of a stag in that herd. We believe that one of the neighbouring farms has been undertaking a shooting program for the deer.
|The editor and Mr Poopy the Pomeranian chased deer off the property into the surrounding forest|
And a lot of the hardy native wildflowers are blooming right now, so I thought the readers may enjoy a change of pace and marvel at some of the local wildflowers:
|A close up of a local Silver Banksia (Banksia marginata) flower (also known as bottlebrush)|
|A Silver Banksia with many fresh and dried flower heads|
|A Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata) in flower above the house|
|A close up of the flowers of the Silver Wattle|
|Victoria’s floral emblem the Common heath (Epacris impressa) is in full flower now|
|Common heath comes in both darker and lighter shades|
|Sometimes Common Heath can be quite a pale shade of pink|
Just a quick joke before we finish the week’s blog: What has hips, but no legs?
The temperature outside now at about 7.00pm is 6’C (43’F). So far this year there has been 471.2mm (18.6 inches) which is more than last week’s total of 462.4mm (18.2 inches).