Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Look what was staring at me.

Monday, February 26th, 2024

On our trip north last year, we were having dinner in our apartment near Torquey, Queensland and I got rather a shock. 

I went to serve myself some salad and this little feller was staring at me from the bowl. 

I doubt a really good food stylist could create this, even if they tried.

It was just a freak of nature.

This one came out of the blue.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

While having coffee at Le Capucin in Portsea, I noticed this rather lovely bit of art in the window of an antique shop near by.

I felt it was perfect for our house in Sorrento, so I decided to buy it. We have owned the place for over 30 years so this was going to be a celebration of that.

The following day, when I looked in the shop again, it was gone. I then asked the owner, Sally, if she still had it and this is where it got interesting. She told me she did and then gave me some background information to it.

It was based on a Reckitt’s Blue poster that was produced in the 1930s’ and signed by the artist Rowles. Unfortunately I can’t find any information on this particular illustrator.

I recall my mother using a Reckitt’s Blue Bag in our copper (yes, back in the 50s we had a copper). The ingredients of the blue bag was synthetic ultramarine and sodium bicarbonate. It was put in the boiling water to help whiten the washing. As most sheets and shirts were white and not synthetic back then, it was used a lot.

It was also used as a remedy for bee stings and bull ant bites. My mother used to just rub a wet Reckitt’s Blue Bag over the affected area and magically the pain would disappear.

The original Reckitt’s Blue poster, used for this piece, has been reworked to delete the ‘Reckitt’s’ and the baseline, ‘Freshness out of the Blue’ and customise it for Sorrento.

Sally then admitted that she was the artist and had created it in 1996.

I love art but when it comes with a great story, it’s even better.

Toilet Humour.

Friday, December 23rd, 2022

The graphics on this this Portaloo delivery truck are priceless.

I caught a glimpse of one of these trucks down on the Peninsula and was too slow to get a photo.

Then, a few days later, I spotted another one, this time closer to home and it was parked.

I had to get a shot.

Normally a photo of a guy, in high vis, sitting on a toilet with his dacks around his ankles, isn’t that funny. But when you make him the driver of a toilet delivery truck, it’s hilarious.

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” As they say.

Thursday, November 24th, 2022

During our recent travels, I found this old Guinness poster in Derry, Southern Ireland. 

This one was probably developed in the 1940s or 1950s and could have been illustrated by the famous British artist, John Gilroy. 

Unfortunately the available information is a little sketchy.

Around the world Guinness is an exceptionally strong brand and it’s advertising like this that has made it that way.

Arthur Guinness founded the company in St James’s Gate, Dublin, Ireland in 1759. However it wasn’t until 1929 that the Guinness family permitted the beer to be advertised. And that was with the stipulation that “The quality of the advertising was as good as the quality of the beer.”

The result is that Guinness has always differentiated itself from other ‘beers’ in a unique and interesting way. 

There are many stouts but only one Guinness. 

Dogs are my favourite people.

Sunday, February 28th, 2021

I am a dog lover and a serial dog ‘patter’.

I believe that every dog is unique, even if it’s a pure bred. They have wonderful personalities and when they look at you, I swear, they can see into your soul. 

So, as part of my computer drawing exploration, I decided to explore dog’s faces. 

Here are a few. 



Part of the family.

Sunday, January 31st, 2021

As part of her Ghost Chasing (genealogy research), Thea came across Milicent Patrick (1915-1998).

Milicent, a second cousin, twice removed, was a Hollywood actress, makeup artist, costume designer, animator and special effects artist.

She worked from the 1930s to the 1950s.

In 1939 Milicent began working at the newly created Walt Disney Studios, where she became one of their first female animators. Here she was involved in the ground breaking animated movie, Fantasia and worked on four sequences, including the rather scary end scene, ‘Night on Bald Mountain’. Before leaving Disney she also worked on the animated film, Dumbo.

However Milicent’s most famous creation was done while she was at Universal Studios, here she designed the ‘Gill-man’ from the 1954 horror movie, Creature from the Black Lagoon.

As a promotion for the film, Milicent was sent on a press tour of the US called ‘The Beauty Who Created the Beast’. Bud Westmore, the head of the Universal Studios makeup department, was rather pissed off that Milicent was stealing his thunder and not giving him enough credit for developing ‘The Creature,’ which he didn’t do.

She was promptly fired on her return to Hollywood and for years her legacy was hidden.

The Milicent Patrick story has now been made into a book, The Lady from the Black Lagoon, by Mallory O’Meara, a self confessed feminist and horror film buff.

During her life she went by many names. Family history knows her as Mildred Elizabeth Fulvia di Rossi, but the world now knows her as Milicent Patrick – the creator of the Creature.

And now for something completely different.

Saturday, November 28th, 2020

It’s been ten years since I started blogging and what a tenth year this has been.

With too much time on my hands I decided to do something different and learn some new skills.

Computer drawing was one area I hadn’t had much experience or confidence in doing.

Drawing Australian animals became the theme. 

I should have used Illustrator, but I’m much more proficient at InDesign, so I bent the rules and used that instead.

(This is a disclaimer) I used a combination of Google photos and illustrations as a basis for my own illustrations. This means that they are not entirely original, but an amalgamation of styles.


What a surprise.

Saturday, March 24th, 2018


Brighton Beach Rail Tunnel

On my first good walk after returning home, I went north towards Brighton.

Just opposite the Brighton Railway Station is a bricked up tunnel that used to run under Beach Road. There has always been some form of artwork there but I was very surprised to see this new mural.

Painted by John Lawry, it cleverly links the history of the St Kilda and Brighton Railway Company with the tunnel.

Built in 1861, the tunnel was created to link the railway line, at Brighton Beach Station, with the pier that was apposite.

The new artwork is painted in the Trompe l’Oeil style (French for ‘deceive the eye’) which dates back to ancient Greek and Roman times. By using perspective the mural gives an illusion of depth and dimension.

It suits this space perfectly.

More about Vivian Maier.

Friday, February 13th, 2015



In July 2013 I wrote a blog about the amazing nanny come street photographer Vivian Maier.

Just today I received an email from Anthony at Artsy, an online art collectors website. He suggested that I might like to put up a link to their archive of Vivian Maier’s work.

It looks like a good site and if you had a spare US$3,000 you would be able to pick up a print of one of her photographs.

But is it Art? (January 2013)

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Over the last twelve months we have experienced the ‘Arts of Man’ covering a 5,000 year period.

It was therefore fitting that the last gallery I visited would be MACBA. Below is a part of their Mission Statement.

“As a public entity, the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) assumes responsibility for disseminating contemporary art, offering a diverse range of visions, and generating critical debates on art and culture, while aspiring to reach increasingly diverse audiences.”

The theme for one of the exhibits was ‘Content Becomes Something to be Avoided like the Plague’

This is art without rules, obviously without content, and in some cases without reason. But it is art and one day, probably in about 5,000 years, some of it will be held in high esteem.