A park in Autumn

Nature knows a thing or two about colour theory.  One afternoon on Mitchell Street, nature combined a blue Valiant with autumn foliage reflected in its windows.  The picture below shows you how I saw it.  Katrina tells me I did the car windows too big.  I explained accelerated perspective to her, but she still just said I did the windows too big.

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Split Point lighthouse

Many amateur paintings have been wrecked on the treacherous cliffs at Airey’s Inlet.  These cliffs appear to be made of compacted orange mud and are very hard to paint.  This is a pity as there is a very fine light house at Split Point, and amateur artists love light houses almost as much as they love sad clowns or kittens playing with a ball of string.  Solution? Paint the lighthouse from the landward side.  So I did …

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The last surviving star of ‘On the Beach’

‘On the Beach’ is a slightly de-centring experience.  It is unnerving to see Gregory Peck meeting Ava Gardner on the platform at Frankston train station. Surely there can have been few more glamorous couplings on that particular stop on the Melbourne Metro, but I may stand to be corrected.  Fred Astaire (yes, Fred Astaire) played an alcoholic, discontented CSIRO scientist, in exile from the UK.  I’m sure there has never been anyone like that in real life.

In the first moments of the film Anthony Perkins crosses Elizabeth Street.  In the background can be seen a large ad painted over the side of a building.  The ad is for Mazda light globes, and features (it seems) a slavering cat looking at a mouse that has been lit up by one of these globes.   If you look west along Elizabeth Street, you will see that the mouse has gone.  If you look on Wikipedia, you will see Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Anthony Perkins have also gone.  Fred, too, is dead.  The CSIRO is not what it once was.  I don’t think Mazda makes light globes anymore.  But the cat is still there … just.  Much faded and patched, and with a touch of mange about the ears, the cat hangs on and looks like this (along with a bit of easel and our kitchen table):

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Where have all the flowers gone? Mosman Bay, that’s where.

Arthur Streeton has made it very hard for anyone to paint Sydney Harbour.  One of two accusations can be expected: ‘that looks like a Streeton’; or ‘it’s not as good as a Streeton.’ Here are my two attempts.  I can safely say neither is as good as a Streeton.

When Streeton painted Mosman Bay, the western shore was where the buildings and civilization were; the eastern shore appeared more wild and beyond the pale: a place infested with triffids and with few buildings.  Now it is the opposite.  The old buildings and trees are still on the western shore, but on the eastern shore the triffids have been replaced with blocks of flats.

Another thing that’s changed is the trees.  Either Streeton was very active with a chain saw before he captured his bucolic idyll or there were fewer trees back then.  In 2017 it is difficult to see the seas for the forest.

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Nocturne on Separation Street

Melbourne has terrible weather but does the most magnificent sunsets.  Sort of a consolation prize for the pneumonia.  This is the view along Separation Street, headed towards Northcote as the sun goes down.  It never fails to lift my spirits as I watch the dying rays of the sun glint off the windows of the empty factories.

I sketched this picture out without the benefit of glasses.  When I finished, it occurred to me that I should find out what the enigmatic obelisk in the middle was.  Turns out it was a local government advertising banner.

Nocturne on Separation Street (final)