Time to polish the turd

I am yet to be convinced that the calendar clicking over to 1 January will solve all of the problems of late stage capitalism. However, friends, I do wish you happy times in the New Year, at a time when happy times have been in short supply.

This is a picture of a Japanese lucky golden turd money box. I know nothing of the genius who invented these (I am sure Dr Google can give you the full details), but I wanted my last posting for 2020 to be suitably festive. And this could not be more festive … or more suitable.

On the appeal of unfinished things

Eaten in moderation, raw cake batter is, I think, far superior in flavour and texture to any baked cake. As with cakes, so with paintings. Now that I have finished this painting of a shell, I am not sure which version I like best: the “raw” (i.e. the under-painting), the “cooked” (i.e. the finished painting), or the in-between (i.e. with the tones adjusted, but no colour or final texture added).

The shell was brought home, sandy and wrapped in wet Speedos, from a seaside holiday far far away. On quiet nights, I can still hear a far-distant ocean echoing from it. The Atlantic whispering on a shelf in suburban Melbourne.

‘Cooked’. I just realised this looks like Steve Tyler, were he to assume mollusc form.

Bella macchina

A Ferrari arouses complex emotions, ranging from envy to scorn to class hate, and doubtless many more, including, perhaps occasionally, admiration. A Fiat Topolino rolling by raises only a smile. It is 13 brake horsepower of wit, charm, and elegance. It is a car that is hard not to love. This one has the canvas roof rolled back as it exits a cool, dark, fume-laden garage on a sunny day, which is why its interior glows.


No trouble getting this Fiat to stay still whilst I painted it. It was ‘parked’ in St Kilda, baking and peeling in the blistering sun. It is a long way from Turin. A friend lamented that I will have to keep fixing this painting every couple of days from now on.

A symphony in marble

A cat’s eye marble is a quotidian source of great beauty. It will repay close attention. I bought a jar of several hundred recently. Each is different, and each beautiful. I plan to paint a portrait of each of them. This is the first. I may be some little time …