Streaming Alpine Style

Barwidgee Creek

Barwidgee Creek

Drove out from Myrtleford in Happy Valley, Victoria to head for Kosciusko National Park taking in a few detours along the way. I am continually in awe at the absolute beauty and changing nature of the landscape with its running streams, lakes, dams, rolling hills, livestock, wineries and tunnels of trees. I just LOVE it!!! Stunning, beautiful country and man do I love travelling on these little backroads!!

Ovens River Myrtleford

Ovens River Myrtleford

Back Roads to Yackandandera

Back Roads to Yackandandera

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Stopped in at Yackandandah, a well preserved historic town, to dawdle about and check out a hand dug gorge and gold mine. Spent a couple of hours drifting through haberdasheries, antique shops, bakeries and pubs on another ‘heat waved’ day in Victoria.

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There Is something very peaceful about wandering around old historic towns. So many stories and hangovers from the mid 1800’s and of course theres always a link to good old Ned Kelly wherever you go….. laying claim to the famed outlaw!!

This gorge was actually hand dug, probably used a bit of dynamite. the extremes one goes to to get the gold!!

This gorge was actually hand dug, probably used a bit of dynamite. the extremes one goes to to get the gold!!

Back of Lake Hume along the Murray Valley Highway

Back of Lake Hume along the Murray Valley Highway

Geehi River Flats Kosciusko Nat Park

Geehi River Flats Kosciusko Nat Park

Went onto Colac Colac planning on a sleepover and realised I only had 30 odd kilometres to go and would be into Khancoban, the gateway to Kosciusko. Figured I could grab a hamburger, fuel up and camp. BUT there were no shops open, the park looked boring and the signage ‘Thredbo 82km’ lured me into the National Park. I pulled up at the first stunning viewpoint over Kosciusko, cracked a Furphy and quickly decided I had enough dry food and daylight to get a camp in the park and eat 2 minute noodles for dinner.

Spot the ducks~ Geehi River Flats

Spot the ducks~ Geehi River Flats

Excitement clawed at my entire being as I took the plunge and kept driving deep into the winding narrow entry into the mountains.

It was late avo…Daylight saving!! Plus I was completely stimulated since my mate Wendy was in Thredbo on a fam bam holiday… Lets go!!

Famous last words! 

Camp view Geehi River

Camp view Geehi River

God it was the most jaw dropping beautiful drive, the whipbirds, the mountains, and the brief vistas; when I could take my eyes off the cliff hanging, winding roads that were literally single lane and carved into rock. Again, amazed by the extreme change of the landscape. So exciting, I was exhilarated maximus!!

After about an hour I realised I had only traversed about 25 kilometres and there was no way I was going to make Thredbo so just started praying for a random campsite…. Sooooooooon!!

Skippy taking a bounding leap into the sunrise

Skippy taking a bounding leap into the sunrise

and there she blows… Geehi Flats Campground! Gorgeous!! set up camp, boiled the water over the noodles and then some campers swung by for a chat and invited me to dinner… Hambugers!!! What luck!!

The Geehi River was not freezing cold and just so beautiful and clear and there was a plethora of wildlife. Lucked out bigtime. Took a long morning walk and came across an old Alpine hut. it’s an excellent camp spot and also the entry point to get further into the park via the Geehi River crossing. The whole drive in from Khancoban is the best. Totes recommend!!

Alpine Hut Geehi Flats

Alpine Hut Geehi Flats

Went onto to Thredbo and found Wendy Cam Fam and ended up staying in a lodge for the night. Wendy took me up the Kosciusko Express Chairlift so we could be on top of the world. It is just the most beautiful space. we spammed insta with selfies and came back down for a picnic on the Thredbo River with the family. what a cracker bunch, had a great time with them and it was just awesome catching up with some homies on the road!!

Leatherbarrel Creek

Leatherbarrel Creek

Headed out the next day to camp up river but half of Canberra were there with their bikes and fitwear and both Ngarigo and Thredbo Diggings were packed. School holidays!!!

Im going home nahhhhhhh

I would head to my birthplace Goulburn. XXX now that is exciting!!

Kosciusko Express Ski Lift~ In the summer they modify the lifts to carry mountain bikes… its huge!!! the mountain is covered with families and fit people riding the slopes!!

Kosciusko Express Ski Lift~ In the summer they modify the lifts to carry mountain bikes… its huge!!! the mountain is covered with families and fit people riding the slopes!!

Bike tracks up top of the mountain

Bike tracks up top of the mountain

Love

Love

Lift back to Thredbo Village

Lift back to Thredbo Village

Crackenback Ridge

Crackenback Ridge

Wendy and I on the chairlift

Wendy and I on the chairlift

Cameron, Wendy, Pak a punch Caroline and Stephen.

Cameron, Wendy, Pak a punch Caroline and Stephen.

Time for Smoko

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My artist residency has gone AWOL whilst I break for some more social loving, head back to the high country from Kyneton on back roads to Bright and seek out old mate!!

us mob selfie stylish

us mob selfie stylish

Driving the Great Alpine Road through the very fertile and picturesque Ovens Valley with its quaint little villages, tree lined streets, mountain peaks and shaded crystal clear running creeks and babbling brooks was like driving into a fairy tale setting. Seriously Victoria.. It’s one botanical feast to the next!! I could be in Europe, southern France or Italy… absolutely stunning and bursting my senses with delight!!

Bright Beach

Bright Beach

Hoola doola

Hoola doola

I found my long time old mate Faith ‘GrabbaGallagher’ whom I have not seen for 3 decades in her gorgeous barn house at Smoko. We were like those babbling brooks I just passed, tearing up, hugging, and talking. We giggled and cried, babbled and bellyache laughed for next 4 days.  Faith and I shared a couple of houses back in the early eighties and went to art school together, so there were a lot of very funny memories, reminders and our big bold lives that shifted and changed over the years to unravel.

Faith is a brilliant chef, host and tour guide and took me around to the very best of this area. Picnic and swims at ‘The Beach”, winding our way up to the top of Mt Buffalo with its haunting Chalet and drop dead gorges and views, historic Harrietville, the stunning Mt Hotham and driving along the highest roads in Australia to visit Dinner Plain with its truly unique architectural village. ThankYOU Faith, I have been blissed out maximum!!

I think I said ‘OMG this is beautiful’ over a hundred times!!! So we conjured up some crazy ideas about art camps and I will be back… Could spend a year in this place. Would love to see the autumn!!

See you next time Bright one!!

 

Alpine Hut

Alpine Hut

Road to top of Mt Hotham

Road to top of Mt Hotham

Victorian weather ~ One day it’s hot and sunny…

Victorian weather ~ One day it’s hot and sunny…

Alpine National Park ~ Mt Hotham

Alpine National Park ~ Mt Hotham

Dinner Plains

Dinner Plains

Faith Josh and Taylor.

Faith Josh and Taylor.

View form Hotham

View form Hotham

Top of Mt Buffalo

Top of Mt Buffalo

….Next day winter!

….Next day winter!

Smoko Studio

Smoko Studio

Study for new work ~ view from Faith’s Barn, ink on paper

Study for new work ~ view from Faith’s Barn, ink on paper

Faith GrabbaGallagher~My Beautiful Friend, ink on canvas 30X30cm

Faith GrabbaGallagher~My Beautiful Friend, ink on canvas 30X30cm

Those who hola hoop stay in the loopXX The inner party animal remains solid!!

Those who hola hoop stay in the loopXX The inner party animal remains solid!!

Yea to the New Year

Coming out of the Alpine Country and back into the real world I was greeted by an onslaught of traffic. Trailers, caravans, Winnebago, motor homes, bikers and everyone sporting a boat.. Or a Dog (V.C.R.T.)

The Garden State

The Garden State

This fire hut is amazing, big circular house with a central fire place and seating all around the walls.

This fire hut is amazing, big circular house with a central fire place and seating all around the walls.

Imogen and I were pretty gross after being out bush for a while however, Imo was heading back to Melbourne and all I wanted was a park with a good hot shower, washing machines and WIFI. Everything was booked solid! Nada…Nothing…ZIP!

The ladies at the Information shop in Mansfield rang everywhere; even Bonnie Doon was Packed to the Rafters… or was it The Castle?

Finally scored a few nights at a beautiful riverside park in Yea and the campground had super gorgeous facilities including spacious grassed shady sites, excellent camp kitchens, fire hut, lounge areas, pool and permanent and annual residents to party with for NY. There was also an impending heat wave (scoff scoff) and Victoria was definitely “on the move” so I decided to stay put for New Years celebrations! Yay in Yea!!  I even tried a couple of resolutions.

 

JEEZTHATDIDNOTWORKATALLLLLL

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The 1.5 hour drive to Kyneton took me about 5 hours to traverse. It was probably one of the very best drives so far, taking all the little tiny back roads and tracks across country and stopping for the most precious things like an echidna crossing the road, collect pine cones as if a five year old or just to smell the hay.  Had to stop and get directions a lot; the old road maps don’t cut it and I should invest in a GPS one day!

I was totally in my element the whole way, inspired by country and it was like Victoria really is “the Garden State”.

 I want to live here!!

Fam Bam Tram

Fam Bam Tram

Elspeth

Elspeth

My timing was impeccable as Lani, Imo, Matisse and Elspeth met me at the Botanical Gardens in Kyneton, and we all headed to “the Tram’ our Airbnb in Laureston for the New Year. What a cool little set up with a cottage, fire pit, butterfly gardens and lots of sheds and caravans. The kids were in heaven switching on the fairy lights, having concerts and exploring the pine tree dotted property.

Imogen’s car can go anywhere and what a perfect start to the year perusing this beautiful location; frequenting cafes and country roads, gin distillery, lavender farm, the Convent, natural springs, train rides and stopping for photos at every conceivable opportunity.  

Lani makes absolutely beasty Gin and Tonics, to accompany our scrabble matches and shithead games, and the girls just played for hours in and around the tram. Proper holiday look!!!

Thanks LanDogg and Midgimo for the best time!

Training

Training

Lavender

Lavender

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Matisse and I at the Convent, Daylesford.

Matisse and I at the Convent, Daylesford.

Elspeth.

Elspeth.

Timing~ #checkthecomposition!

Timing~ #checkthecomposition!

Early career move for Matisse

Early career move for Matisse

LanDogg and Matisse both sporting some black eyes from xmas LOL!!

LanDogg and Matisse both sporting some black eyes from xmas LOL!!

Elspeth and the golden egg

Elspeth and the golden egg

A big, happy, creative and productive New Year to YOU all………….. 2019 is sure to be a celebration!!

A big, happy, creative and productive New Year to YOU all………….. 2019 is sure to be a celebration!!

Dog walkers

Dog walkers

Footnote; V.C.R.T.  ~ Victorian Child Replacement Therapy

Seriously everyone owns a dog, can travel with them almost anywhere and treat them like their babes.  All spaces have facilities for our four legged friends. 

 

 

Off the Grid ~ Christmas

From the Warrambungles I started my journey south to Victoria stopping off at Dubbo to visit my gorgeous cracker of a cousin Jacinta to laugh away a few days. Love that chick!!

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Excitement set in crossing the Murrumbidgee River and seeing signposts to Gundagai and Wagga Wagga, knowing that my next big river was going to be the Murray. Checked in to Albury for the night, then headed across the border for the Howqua River region, Alpine Country: the High Country, just bloody beautiful country. 

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Not sure I was that prepared for the long winding dirt track with blind corners every 100 metres, escarpments, mountains, glorious vistas and grassy flats along riverbanks that led me to 7 Mile Flats camp. This country is so beautiful!!!

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I did arrive at the site and there was a huge horse trekking mob set up all wearing their akubras, drizabone’s and boots. Where was Clancy?? Tom Burlinson and Sigrid Thornton…. Total Man from Snowy River setting. 

Set up camp and lucked out big time with our own personal swimming hole flanked with the tallest trees, grasses and wildflowers. Seriously was expecting Tom Burlinson to cross the escarpment on a wild stallion!

Our very own swimming hole….

Our very own swimming hole….

I went on a wood collecting mission as it was raining a bit so the nights were absolutely freezing and pulled every conceivable warm thing out of my ute to snuggle up in.

Imo arrived the next day with all the fancy fare…she is the total rock star!!! We ate like queens for days!! And the X-mas decorations were so natural as they kept flying in and out, all reds and greens with dashes of blue; Parrots, Black cockatoos, Willy Wag Tails and Rosellas.  Just so gorgeous!!

Moét…..What a corker!

Moét…..What a corker!

Obligatory Choccy Soldiers for breakfast… well it was nearly lunch time ..

Obligatory Choccy Soldiers for breakfast… well it was nearly lunch time ..

The next 6 days were perfect; excellent weather, drawing, reading, painting, eating, swimming, beauty treatments, laughing, drinking and stoking fires. Birdsong, rustling peppermint trees, babbling waters and whip birds was the only soundtrack and exquisite beauty at its best our only vista.

We took a million photos and I have culled them maximum … it was a brilliant “off the grid” Xmas!!!!

avi beers around the pit..

avi beers around the pit..

Enticing the Christmas decorations to hang around

Enticing the Christmas decorations to hang around

….four books in 6 days ain’t bad!!

….four books in 6 days ain’t bad!!

Beauty Spa.. pedicure anyone???

Beauty Spa.. pedicure anyone???

Bush studio

Bush studio

hello… prawns and pinot gris for lunch… riverside!

hello… prawns and pinot gris for lunch… riverside!

Bacon and eggs for breakfast….

Bacon and eggs for breakfast….

Shag on a rock.

Shag on a rock.

Domestics… collecting water from the river.

Domestics… collecting water from the river.

Christmas Off the Grid!!!

Christmas Off the Grid!!!

Dust to dust

Rear Vision, Same Vision

Rear Vision, Same Vision

Leaving Darwin was easier than the 3 grand worth of straight desert roads klm’s that lay in front of me. It takes two days just to get out of the Territory.  I was tempted to go east just to see some green and a few different vistas but I stuck at it down through dinosaur country Winton, Longreach and when the road was still moving whilst stationary, I figured it would be time for a good break!!

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I stayed for a few days in Mitchell so I could frequent the artesian baths daily. How EXCELLENT are they!!! Dipping into 40 degree pools and soaking in the healing minerals then popping into a <19 degree pool… seriously could have been a Turkish baths in Budapest.

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The camp was a lovely riverside camp and it was totally a revive/survive stop. Crunched another grand just to get to Coonabarrabran. What a treat driving into country with hills, gullies, sheep, emus, shacks, chimney’s and winding roads! Very Stimulating!! From here on in it will be easy drives under 4 or 5 hundred km’s at best.

the Apocalypse!

the Apocalypse!

I was really looking forward to getting out to the Warrambungles to test drive my studio set up!  The park is so beautiful and I was totally inspired to get drawing. Scored a yearlong All Parks Pass and wound down into this gorgeous campground.  Then the apocalypse came! I had almost finished getting the tent up when I heard a bit of a rumble. Looked up and saw this pinky, orangey, dirty brown cloud bellowing up over the mountain.

The Spire

The Spire

My first thought was bushfire, but there was no smell and it was moving in and fast. I literally started chucking shit in the car and tying down all the canopy sides when it just hit! 120kph dust storm. I was in Interstellar!  It just ripped through pulling out my tent poles and making my tent look like a tissue as it flapped wildly with the wind. I was shitting myself … where was Matthew McConaughey???? And is my tent going to get shredded??? 

I few tree’s got stripped and The rangers came round to check on us, warned there was a massive storm front coming through and we’d probably be ok. At that point it was as clear as! I totally tied that tent down with every available guy rope and seriously drilled those pegs in proper.

Some other campers pulled in and I was very happy that they stayed camped next to me. Uta, Jorge, Linda and Benno… in a van! If it got hectic… I was jumping in with them!! had an excellent evening with red wine, cheeses and fruit and laughed and laughed… till about midnight when the storm lashed down. Again shitting myself!!! Blair Witch Project came to mind at about 3am as I sat inside the tent and feeling like a sniveling, scared old lady using up all my data looking at bloody weather maps!!!

Seriously THAT’S when I grew some balls and went to sleep for a couple of hours.

The following day I gave Bertha a clean out.  Sorted the dust and had a very good nights sleep… with one thought in my mind… TOMORROW I’m test-driving the studio!!!!

Bush Studio

Bush Studio

Get Outta Town

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I am going on an artist journey for as long as I can manage, hopefully 5-6 months, heading to NSW.

Packing for a BIG trip is no mean feat, nor is clearing out the house and setting up for a very special resident while I am gone.

I have literally gone through my 60 years and have had this massive purge and the process has been full of emotions. Excitement, nostalgia, sadness and joy!

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I have a proclivity to hoard the extraneous, however there have been times in my life where I have had ‘The Big Clean Out’ and regretted throwing things away in my haste to ‘lighten up’. All my diaries from my youth for one!! But then I would have taken another week reading through them as well. There aren’t too many times in your life where you really go through allllllll your belongings and scrutinise their value for the now or for the future and it’s really a task that takes time. A lot of time!

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All the little treasures, keepsakes and portraits of my daughters, Lani, Imo and Tilly. Dusting them off and reframing some before packing them into boxes!  The tears have flowed as I look at the years and years and years of their growth. I love them so much; it could have been yesterday when they were 5, 8 and 10 years old.

My grandma kept all my letters that date back to the mid seventies. WHAT a laugh!! All my views and experiences right there in black and white. A lot of the letters are from my days in England and written on very thin airmail paper or that paper that is also the envelope. I’ve written so small I can hardly read it. Economical??? I don’t know how my dear Grandmother went; she would have needed a magnifying glass. 

Deadly drying box

Deadly drying box

The studio has been a Pandora’s box!  Working out what to take was crazy hard, so I have basically packed everything. Oils, inks, acrylics, charcoal, pastels, watercolours, canvas, boards, paper, sketchbooks and printmaking stuff.... Man, I’m going to have some fun!!!

Then my neighbour took a look at a little drawing design I made for carrying boards and has made this amazing little drying box come rack. I can paint in oils and not worry about the drying time. It holds 6 boards @ 80 X 30cm so I can rotate them through as I do layers. They will be able to dry without the bugs, dust and dirt. Spent days preparing boards for this little manifesto and I love it!!

Check it out!! 

The new Beast Toyota has the number plate CB 60 BS so I have aptly named her ‘Country Bounty @60 Bertha Star’ At least I can remember my number plate when I need. LOL

See ya round HomiesX

bin awhile……

Well its clear that other social media has replaced this blog. For me, Im going to pick this up as a diary because I’m packing up my studio to go on an adventure to NSW drawing and painting and want to document this major event in my life.

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SO…. Were did the last 4 years go??
In a nutshell!!!
It has been an exciting journey over the last couple of years. My last blog was from that fabulous visit to Vee’s in France. She had been saying for years and years to come visit, that it will change my life and would it not be grand to sit over a glass of wine and catch up on 20 years of our lives, our three daughters and the highs and lows since art school in the eighties. Well ultimately, it did change my life. Vee if your reading this I ThankYOU. 

This photo was take on our last big night out in Paris at the Moulin Rouge and I feel its appropriate to post this as it gives my blogs a flow considering the last 4 years have been totally neglected!

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Soon after arriving back in Australia I went  on an artist residency to Alice Springs with ArtbackNT for six weeks. Another game changer for me!

Confronted with a different landscape that was in sheer contrast to my Top End works was a bit of a challenge and culminated in the exhibition ‘Alice Rocks’ At the CDU campus and then a selection of works “Desert Roads’ went to Melbourne for a month, at Glimpse Art Space. Successful shows!!

ArtbackNT are an amazing support for the arts across the Territory and I still have ties with them with the Artists on Tour program. Leading artists deliver workshops around a range of art forms including dance, visual arts, story telling, sculpture and theatre. Check them out @

https://artbacknt.com.au/what-we-do/artists-on-tour/

I took another year away from my work as Arts Senior at my local high school and pursued my practice with many successes along the way. Katherine Art Prize and then finalist in the John Leslie prize for landscape were won within weeks of each other!! Too happy with that. It’s amazing how uplifting and confidence building winning an art prize or making finalist can be. It’s really quite validating!!!

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In 2017 I won a significant artist grant from ArtsNT to develop a body of work about the Territory landscape that culminated in my first solo exhibition at a prominent commercial gallery in Darwin. This was an extremely exciting period in my artist life! Inspirations came like waves of delight, followed by tsunamis of trepidation. Throughout the process I was fully supported by my beautiful daughters Lani, Imogen and Matilda, Paul Johnstone, peers and friends. Big Huge thanks to Cath, Franck, Sonia, Rob, Wendy… this list could go on and Don. Darwin has an incredibly supportive arts community and I totally love it!!
Stone Country was a very successful exhibition and so was the after party that was organised by Matilda at this gorgeous wine bar next door to the gallery. Big celebrations!!!
I am now represented in Darwin by Paul Johnstone Gallery and he is an absolute legend to deal with, plus he shells out wine when he visits the studio and thats gotta be a big bonus!! 
16 months later and I’m up for my second show there in a couple of weeks. Bring it AWN!!


Streets

La Bastille

La Bastille

Walking the streets of Paris is one of the things that I love most about this exquisite city, easy to navigate and breathtakingly beautiful. It has been a daily activity for me and of course with all that walking, at least 100 kilometres, I can easily hit up the chocolateur's and pâtisserie's no problems at all! The food is delicious and so is the wine! I reckon I am losing kilos!!

Even after two months I am still in awe at the beauty of this city. The intricate sculptures and details that adorn most buildings and the exposure to the fine arts is stimulating!!

Walking without purpose. Smelling the roses!

Place de la Republique

Place de la Republique

I arrived at La Promenade Plantée, an elevated urban park. Originally an abandoned railway track, this 4.5 kilometre stroll in the garden leads to a massive public park with cafés, fountains and sporting/recreational facilities. It's gorgeous full of statues and rose beds.

Promenade Plantée

Promenade Plantée

Underneath the track, the arches of the former railway viaduct have been transformed into art and design studios. 

Viaduc des Arts, Avenue Daumesnil.

Viaduc des Arts, Avenue Daumesnil.

One day I went looking for material for Matilda ... Mad!!

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Then just around the corner....

Sacré-Cœur Bascilica, The Sacred Heart of Paris

Sacré-Cœur Bascilica, The Sacred Heart of Paris

Sacred heart is a Roman Catholic Church situated at the highest point in Paris on the hill of Montmartre. As it sits at the very top of the hill, you can see views all over Paris.

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I am the complete tourists hey!! I absolutely loved this lady who has been coming here for years playing her piano accordion and singing songs surrounded by fake flowers... Awesome!

Behind the monumental bascilica is Place du Tertre where there are artist drawing portraits and painting images of Paris alongside cafés and gorgeous winding cobblestone streets that are an adventure in themselves.

A lot of my adventures takes me this way and I never get sick of walking through this part of Paris!! It's glorious!

Musée du Louvre entrance

Musée du Louvre entrance

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France Organic

Back to the heart of all hearts and a big welcome "home". Yeeeha!

Vin De Provence? .... Anyone...?

Vin De Provence? .... Anyone...?

Soooooo great to get back to France, Vee and her beautiful family! I am completely behind in the blogging department. Thanks to ordered photos I can track a bit of life, food and joy... 

Tagine on the terrace and welcome home Ella!

Tagine on the terrace and welcome home Ella!

We decided to go back to the country for a few days to experience  "à la française" (quality of life) and catch some of the local "brocantes" (Village markets). Driving there is seriously like going back in time, billboards drop away and highways splinter into little country roads that carry you through woodlands, farms and meadows. The cows are beautiful

Parc Naturel Régional

Parc Naturel Régional

Le Perche is a sanctuary, literarily. The whole region has been granted the status of 'Le Parc Naturel Régional' to promote a more organic economy. If you want to build a fence it must be of stone and rooftops must be pitched at 45degrees alongside a range of other sanctions that keeps urban development at bay.

Home away from home....... Away from home.

Home away from home....... Away from home.

Definitely NOT a place where you would find any tourists!!

It's a snails pace for sure.

A sanctuary!

We set out to collect fuel from the local farms. The charter drafted to protect the buildings and forests of Le Perche also includes the promotion of local artisans and agriculture.

Laiterie translates to Dairy....

Laiterie translates to Dairy....

This farm is run by a group of families that each have specialties. Here you can purchase milk, cheese, fruit and vegetables, breads and eggs...all completely organic. Even cheese from sheep!

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We set out early for a Sunday drive.... On a Sunday ....to scour the brocantes.

Gorgeous roads where a deer, a hare, or a mole may cross your path.... 2 out of 3 ain't bad!

Gorgeous roads where a deer, a hare, or a mole may cross your path.... 2 out of 3 ain't bad!

The markets are awesome where you can buy anything from fresh produce, to hot croissants, to hardware, to bric a brac or even a helicopter ride for Karl. I totally wanted to take that carton of dolls for Matisse @ 5 euro.... What a bargain!! Or that Esso sign for my brother...

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And then there are the hugest range of tomatoes....

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So organic!!

Brummagen

When I said '...am off to Birmingham' .....the looks on peoples faces was generally like that of a rabbit looking into headlights. From all accounts I didn't hold much hope for the place. However, I was off to see Bridget (Lani Joy's bestie) and her hubby Luke. We booked into a bargain hotel in the middle of town and crossed our fingers. Well....weren't we in for a treat!! Simply gorgeous!

Mailbox, Central Birmingham

Mailbox, Central Birmingham

The Ramada was perfectly positioned in the 'Mailbox' right in the heart of the most beautiful canal system, excellent local pubs and restaurants and massive shopping centres. Lia and I found our local and spent a couple of evenings experiencing double pours of blue sapphire, amazing homemade soups and digging a little deeper ..... some interesting facts on Birmingham? 

Canal side

Canal side

Proper brummies...look!

Proper brummies...look!

People who come from Birmingham are called 'brummies' a term derived from the cities nickname 'Brum' that originates from the dialect name Brummagerm, which is derived from the city's earlier name of Bromwicham!

In a lot of ways it reminded me of Hobart for all the 'hens night parties' that were on.

Imogen, you will totally follow this!

 

 

 

Birmingham also has the biggest library in all of Europe! It is fabulous with a huge community feel to it. Flouro blue escalators carry you up through this massive cylindar with floors and floors of books and each level pans out into areas of particular focus. On the rooftop there is a native garden, come parkland, with views over all of Birmingham. People were having picnics up there.

Birmingham Library

Birmingham Library

I left the library and literally stumbled on a performance. It was a children's play and just a lucky, excellent detour to my day! I realised later that the performance area was a part of the library that I did not get through. You can see how it's like a well in the centre of the courtyard. Just gorgeous!

Public children's performance... All about being happy.

Public children's performance... All about being happy.

Canalside selfie not...

Canalside selfie not...

The canals are beeautiful, such a lovely place to mooch around. Plenty of art Galleries, pubs and restaurants. My favourite was the Ikon Gallery, a neo-gothic former school, founded by a group of artists in the sixties and intended as an antithesis to exclusive art establishments and galleries. Unfortunately I can't publish any photos from the show....aaaaaw, go to http://ikon-gallery.org
 

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View over Birmingham from the Cube

View over Birmingham from the Cube

Bridget's backyard blitz! Love the narrow cricket pitch gardens!

Bridget's backyard blitz! Love the narrow cricket pitch gardens!

Lia left to head back to Cayman Islands and I mosied out to Moseley to visit Bridget and Luke.  

Just LOVED their English style house and garden, so completely different to 'straya'. You could cut the grass with scissors quicker than mow my yard!!

 We walked to Kings Heath for lunch at the Fighting Cocks and pub crawled the rest of the day and night back to Moseley. W O A H !

English pubs are just so gorgeous and each with their own particular decor. The names of them are hilarious... The Slug and Lettuce, the Fox and Hound, Pitcher and Piano, the Goose... 

Having a gander... &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Kings Heath

Having a gander...       Kings Heath

Artwork decorations in the toilets of one of the pubs... Love it!

Artwork decorations in the toilets of one of the pubs... Love it!

Bridget took me for a Sunday drive ... On a Sunday .... Out to the Cotswalds. We went to Broadway for a roast lunch in another gorgeous pub and wandered aimlessly through the village.

Broadway

Broadway

Broadway Tower

Broadway Tower

The weather was simply beautiful and lovely to see so many people out picnicking on the hillsides. I just wanted to roll down the hills laughing, reminding me of the church picnics we used to go on when we were kids. Egg and lettuce sandwiches, butterfly cakes, orange cordial from coloured tin cups and sack races ....  Gawd.. Where did that come from??

Hill and Dale

Hill and Dale

Then we drove down to the Slaughters, Upper then Lower.

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 There is something completely beautiful about English villages, whether it's because of the Robin Hood TV series that I loved in the sixties (next to Shintaro) or the Pride and Prejudice thing, I expected to see either Friar Tuck or Mr Darcy at every turn. The latter being more  welcomed.

Shut the garden gate!

Shut the garden gate!

..and just in case you do run into Mr Darcy, a Defribillator....mmmmm

..and just in case you do run into Mr Darcy, a Defribillator....mmmmm

I wonder if people run around making collages of houses from Darwin?? 

Or stand in front of other peoples houses and pose....

Or stand in front of other peoples houses and pose....

When all is said and done .....Birmingham was fab.

Au revoir... Birmingham

Au revoir... Birmingham

and ......also the birthplace for heavy metal... Think Black Sabbath... Oh yeah and Judas Priest! Half of led Zeppelin band come from Brummagem!

And in the seventies.... UB40 then Duran Duran, Fine Young Cannibals... Endless notoriety from "The Second City!"

 

London Tourist: Red River

Red River London

Red River London

Just a couple of tram stops from Camden and your at Kings Cross Station. That is where we meet our hop on, hop off, red, roofless, double decker bus with guide and an opportunity to be the complete snap happy tourist!! We were ready for a day of action.

There are still millions of double decker red buses that stream through the streets of London non stop! I call this the Red River.

 

 

 I am really not one for discussing weather and how the garden beds are going but having lived in London for quite a while I was fully blown out with the excellent weather and the flower pots adorning everything! Blue skies are a rarity in England and one of the main reasons I got so homesick and went back to Australia ..... Back in the day! 

Blue skies, shining on me, nothing but blue skies do I see.....

Blue skies, shining on me, nothing but blue skies do I see.....

The live commentary takes us back to the great plague, the Fire of London, the WW1 bombings and seriously funny (not) meanings behind rhymes and sayings like 'Laugh your head off', 'Hung drawn and quartered', Londons Burning' and 'Ring a ring a Rosie'. London sure took a beating! Imagine living there with all that in store.... And then surviving! Phew.

There is always pints and god though...

There is always pints and god though...

London is  definitely not suffering now! The old and the new...

The Shard behind The Tower Of London

The Shard behind The Tower Of London

....the money is a flowin'

....the money is a flowin'

There is as many cranes as there are buildings!  I really tried hard to exclude them from my postcard visions of sunny London.  We counted eighteen looking across the Thames over the Tower of London area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the stops was Harrods and in we paced with bus loads of tourists directed to the food hall. Mmmm mmmmm. Totally Impressed by the staff and their kindness to the hoards of people that pour through every day,  photograph them working at their chocolatier counter handing out the most beautiful choc coated almonds I have ever eaten, directing us to floors, toilets, particular grandness or just asking the stupid question how much? like I did at the Alexander McQueen department. Sorry Tills no can do!

 

 

Harrods

Harrods

 

I can't go past putting up more of the tourist postcard shots with the blue skies! 

Big Ben

Big Ben

the London Eye. People actually get married on this taking their vows at the top, guess it's all downhill from there..LOL

the London Eye. People actually get married on this taking their vows at the top, guess it's all downhill from there..LOL

Sunset cruise back to Big Ben.

Sunset cruise back to Big Ben.

 

Go on 'laugh your head off'

Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat, was a bit of a scoundrel and completely unliked by the people of England. He was arrested for treason in the mid 1700's and sentenced to death, however the people wanted to witness the slaying. A scaffold for spectators was built to view the beheading but it collapsed killing 20 people. This amused Lord Lovat so much that he could not stop laughing and in the flurry his head was then chopped off. This became the origin of the saying "laughing your head off" 

There is a famous etching by William Hogarth, that depicts Lovat awaiting execution in The Tower, counting with his fingers the various Clans that he had brought undone. That made me think of Nick Caves murder ballad 'O'Malleys Bar'

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XX 

London: True Grit

No pigeons at Trafalga... Just a big blue Cock!

No pigeons at Trafalga... Just a big blue Cock!

I had a jigsaw puzzle when I was a kid of Trafalga Square, London. The image was true to form and included a river of red double decker buses, black taxis, crowds of people and pigeons. @ 21, I moved to London and did the whole 70's backpacker, Earls Court, nanny thing. 32 years on, and here I am back again meeting up with an old mate Lia who did a similar thing. We do that a lot.... Meet up in obscure places! Now.......Back at Trafalga!

Feed the birds... Tuppence a bag...

 

 

.....wasting no no time at all, we dropped our bags and went to the Thames, walked Tower Bridge and cruised through the Tower of London.

 

Lia and I pole dancing.

Lia and I pole dancing.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

At the Tower of London, ceramic artist Paul Cummings is there with a huge crew of people installing thousands and thousands of red ceramic poppies in the Moët surrounding the Tower. The art installation commemorates 100 years since the First World War. Awesome to see this in action. It will be finished on the 5th August. Check out 'Blood swept lands and seas of red' www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon

Tower of London and the installing of&nbsp; 'Blood swept lands and seas of red'

Tower of London and the installing of 'Blood swept lands and seas of red'

We stayed out at Camden, the TRUE GRIT of London, complete with punks, drunks and

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...an amazing canal system where they hold a very popular and massive market. We spent hours there trolling the maze of laneways and unique art stalls and enjoying feasts of food, bars and plenty of people watching.

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Deb joined us the following day and we went down memory lane revisiting old haunts like Earls Court, Fullam Broadway, Kings Road and ended up at the Tate Britain.

Earls Court..... Stepping back in time... To a place.....

Earls Court..... Stepping back in time... To a place.....

Jo finally found his car.....

Just couldn't find the key!

Just couldn't find the key!

We did find the Tate Britain! 

Originally Henry Moore was commissioned to record Britains war-time experiences which secured his public reputation. His drawings were mainly of Londoners sheltering underground. Moore is 'more' known for his monumental semi abstract sculptures. 

 

Moore

Moore

And then there was Turner!! Galleries on Galleries filled with works, finished and unfinished. How prolific!! The Tate has over 37,000 works on paper and some 400 odd unfinished oils... "Unfinished in whose eyes!! Maybe only Turner himself.

A Fire at The Tower of London, watercolour on paper

A Fire at The Tower of London, watercolour on paper

To me his work really loosened up... With his lifestyle .......by all accounts!

The Decline of the Carthagian Empire, 1817

The Decline of the Carthagian Empire, 1817

Reclining Venus, 1828.... Unfinished?

Reclining Venus, 1828.... Unfinished?

Waves Breaking on a Shore, 1835.... Unfinished?

Waves Breaking on a Shore, 1835.... Unfinished?

Well after all that it was time for a Pint! We found Covent Garden and then a fab pub in the name of Garrick!! Tomorrow we are on the buses!!

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La Tour Eiffel

Waking to bells tolling every morning, 8am, across the city is glorious!! Love to take that sound home to Wulagi, NT. 

Saint Denis

Saint Denis

I am staying in Saint Denis, right in the heart of everything Paris and a mine field of adventures. There is probably more than the five directions I have taken so far when I leave the front door. Love it! No matter which direction I take I land somewhere breathtaking, inspiring and yummy with small glimpses of the iron laced tower that clearly represents this beautiful city.

Panoramic....spot the Eiffel....

Panoramic....spot the Eiffel....

So far all my directions have been left, not because I am zoolander with an inability to turn right, moreover I have not exhausted the possibilities of left. 

 

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One day I went for a walk and found Galerie Lafayette, the flagship of a very upmarket department store, sorry Myers you just do not rate here!! Groupe Galleries Lafayette now has locations around the world. Exclusive man!! Matisse is the only person that has scored from this place. 

Galeries Lafayette, ten floors of Mecca shopping.

Galeries Lafayette, ten floors of Mecca shopping.

One day I spotted these massive photo montages wrapped around the dome of the Pantheon and thought that has gotta be JR! Man was I excited!! It looked like part of the Inside Out Project..........and it was!!........

Pantheon, Paris.

Pantheon, Paris.

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 JR's installation, "Au Panthéon!" is thousands of faces collected through the Inside Out photo booths and used to create this monumental work.It surrounds the drum of the Pantheon's dome and will be exposed throughout the renovation of the upper parts. The work inside the monument covers the floor and the capola and is on display until October, how lucky!! 

 

 

 

 

 

Check him out on God, especially the Ted Talks, the work he has done with photography to bring people together is absolutely amazing, inspiring and heart warming. http://www.jr-art.net

 

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The Pantheon has a crypt in the subterranean chamber and is the final resting place for many historically famous French writers, poets and scientists, Voltaire, Rousseau, Louis Braille and Marie Curie to name a few...

 

Pantheon Crypt

Pantheon Crypt

Days later I decided to turn left with purpose.... Walk to The Lacey tower. Walked down to La Seine and passed many beautiful and interesting sights....

A beach, with no water!

A beach, with no water!

Boule

Boule

Bridges bridges and more bridges....

Bridges bridges and more bridges....

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Getting closer......... Yikadeeeeeeee

Getting closer......... Yikadeeeeeeee

I have a thousand photos of bridges and statues.... See me later if your keen...and then....

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Selfie HI!.... for realz!

Selfie HI!.... for realz!

X

Nice Grasse

Nice...

Nice...

Head out of Nice into the mountainous countryside and it's another world! Nice is beautiful and the perfect location to access the French Riviera and coastal icons. The promenades are just beautiful places to stroll through......something for everyone.

Nice streets hey!

Nice streets hey!

Chocolatiers are so amazing!! Lani, Imogen and Matilda... I know you want it!!

Chocolatiers are so amazing!! Lani, Imogen and Matilda... I know you want it!!

Glamma Rocks... Wall art Nieux Nice.

Glamma Rocks... Wall art Nieux Nice.

There was a very classy jazz festival set up at the end of Promenade du Paillon with all the limos, rolls and beamers rolling up to a red carpeted entry! All the plebs sitting around outside dancing and enjoying the ambiance.

Bit baffled by the 'Jazz' as the songs were more like David Bowie... Let's Dance... So I did!

 

Nice Beach, beautiful Mediterranean Sea.

Nice Beach, beautiful Mediterranean Sea.

There are sections of the beach that are free to sit at... Completely pebbles! Pretty difficulty to walk into the water, most people had special reef shoes to get around, me I hobbled in with as much ladylike finess that I could muster!! Other parts of the beach had back to back beds to hire... Plus umbrella.... Plus towel... get the lot for about 50 Euros. Whoop whoop!

Check out the carpet!

Check out the carpet!

Grasse

Grasse

Fragonard Parfumeur,&nbsp;

Fragonard Parfumeur, 

Grasse, just an hour up into the mountains was originally a tannery because of the abundance of water. They started to make scented gloves back in the day and then the perfume trade took off. There are about 30 perfumeries there, 3 of which offer tours, and there is a museum full of objects related to perfume. If you have seen Perfume you can really get a good picture of the process... Lol. 

You can bath in it.... Ngnlaaaaaa...

You can bath in it.... Ngnlaaaaaa...

Then there is perfume sprays all up and down the streets..... Not!

Mist sprays set up through the streets!

Mist sprays set up through the streets!

Intell: A Nose is a person who makes perfume blends and would train for 9 years! 

Who knows a Nose?

Who knows a Nose?

Grasse is the world capital of fragrance. Beautiful!

 

Musee d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporian, Nice. 

Rooftop view... Amazing

Rooftop view... Amazing

This museum was awesome with a focus on the relationship between new European realism and American pop art and assemblage. Artworks include Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Yves Klein and Arman. On entry there are huge homages to Calder ... Truly great!!

 

 

Arman, Sans Titre, 1923&nbsp;

Arman, Sans Titre, 1923 

Calder with a Warhol in the background...

Calder with a Warhol in the background...

Niki de Saint Phalle, sculpture artist from France

Niki de Saint Phalle, sculpture artist from France

Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder

Marc Chagall Museum, Nice.

Detail of one of the larger paintings....

Detail of one of the larger paintings....

This museum has the largest collection of Chagall's testament series.... The colour so pure. There was also quite a few works from his circus series. Am sure Boyd was influenced by this guy. Spent hours devouring his work. Matisse and Chagall did mosaic works and stained glass for churches, simply gorgeous!

 

Inside main gallery area Marc Chagall

Inside main gallery area Marc Chagall

Completely amazing!!

Abramo e i tre angeli

Abramo e i tre angeli

Stained glass, Marc Chagall

Stained glass, Marc Chagall

 

My art is an extravagant art, a flaming vermilion, a blue soul flooding over my paintings

~ Marc Chagall


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 .............................back to Paris, X

Côte D'Azure

What a playground! 

A fraction of the available spaces for kids to play

A fraction of the available spaces for kids to play

France is first class child friendly, Matisse would love it today!

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In the centre of town right outside the biggest name brand shopping centre, the likes of Chanel, Hermes, .......there is this massive water play area that has water shooting up in fountains, sprays, mists... Kids squeal, scream and laugh... amazing, beautiful to watch.

Play Misty For Me... Clint

Play Misty For Me... Clint

From the bus window

From the bus window

I am feeling like a master at public transport, took another bus (praying for a seat) up to Eze to sit where Nietzsche composed chapters of "Thus Spoke Zarathoustra"

Sorry about all the Diptics but it's the best way to include some of the thousand photos. Back in the day it would have been 6 rolls of 36 over that many weeks.... and then process them, saving enough to get a double set!!

My how times change!

 

 

  Chateau Eze.

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Just north of Nice and nestled onto the top of cliffs dripping into the Mediterranean Sea sits the medieval Village d'Art & Gastonomie. Once a former residence of aristocrats and cited as the most beautiful panoramas of the Riviera. I am THERE! Absolutely gorgeous with the scents of jasmine and bougainvillea crawling all over walls dating back to to the Bronze Age. 

All the downstairs areas that used to be wine cellars or stables are now shops, studios and art galleries. 

 

 

 

 

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Then you reach Chateau Eze, now a very exclusive hotel and restaurant....

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And I decided on lunch 'de gastronomie'..... W H A T a treat!!

Can't even begin to describe the food.... Devine!

Can't even begin to describe the food.... Devine!

With these views...

Mediterranean on a plate!

Mediterranean on a plate!


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If I had booked I could have had this table.....

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A couple of days later I headed out on the bus again to Monaco...OMG I felt like I was Grace Kelly or James Bond travelling around the Corniches, hugging the coastline... Breathtaking!! 

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Arrived in Monaco in time for lunch at the Port...

There is a lot of money floating around here!

There is a lot of money floating around here!

and the Casino... Where money flutters!

Ian and I came here ....... A long time ago.....

Ian and I came here ....... A long time ago.....

Went for a leisurely walk around the Port .... 

Step into this beach!

Step into this beach!

 

Or this one... Getting stoned!

Or this one... Getting stoned!

Musée Oceangraphique de Monaco, with a 100 metre long facade perched on a cliff, was created as a palace dedicated entirely to the sea. Excellent!!

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On the rooftop of the museum was a restaurant, viewing area and a beautiful children's area.

Everywhere in France there are amazing areas dedicated for child's play.. It's beautiful!! 

 

Arriving back into Nice in time for the Pink Parade.... Pumping!!

 

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The world is a playground!!

xXx

French Riviera

Marseille

Marseille

Trains are great! Travelled along the coast from Marseille absorbing great views of Côte d'Azure all the way to Nice. A new adventure...... exciting! 

Train window views along the coastline- Marseille to Nice

Train window views along the coastline- Marseille to Nice

Wasting no time at all, went for a stroll out of the apartment.....seriously in the thick of it all and only a block from the Mediterranean Sea!

At the front door of the apartment . Playground of Mediterranean food, boutiques, flash hotels and casino's

At the front door of the apartment. Playground of Mediterranean food, boutiques, flash hotels and casino's

Taking a stroll up the famous Promenade des Anglais landed us in one of those tourist trains that kids like to go on because they look like a train and they are not. Luna Park comes to mind! It was so much fun and took us up to Parc du Château through Vieux Nice, the old quarter, gorgeous!

 

nglah! Complete tourist with headset and all! The view definitely gave the lay of the land. 

Vieux Nice&nbsp;

Vieux Nice 

An evening with mojito's...oh yeah!

An evening with mojito's...oh yeah!

Then it was Bastille day....the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day. In France, it is formally called La Fête nationale and  commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789.

Now.....There is a bit of history for you!

 

Relevant?

 

 

 

Off to the country to see Matisse's final work, The Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence. When I arrived outside the chapel I seriously shed a tear and completely welled up! Not because it was closed and I had to come back in an hour, or the really long bus ride up the mountains standing, cause it was so packed, hanging on for dear life .....

My grandchild's namesake perhaps! 

Matisse Joy

Matisse Joy

Finally...    In..... and then.... NO PHOTOGRAPHE! wierd cause everywhere in France there is no problems taking a snap! The French have totally got it! I took handbag snaps anyway with Lani's you beaut point and shoot... Too sneaky... Looking all innocent style!

 

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There was a massive display of all the preliminary work Matisse had done leading  up to the final work... Completely amazing!  Large charcoal drawings of the stations of the cross and the intricate models he made exploring different chapel concepts. He designed all the priests' vestments and apparently the pope wanted them. The nuns made copies for the Vatican. Yo!

The chapel is stunning with the light bouncing around in the shiny tiles, white walls and marble floors. 


On the way back to Nice I stopped in at Saint Paul de Vence... Wow!!

&nbsp; My bus window photo..... &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Not..... &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;This ones straight from god.

  My bus window photo.....           Not.....            This ones straight from god.

A medieval cobblestoned village perched on top of a mountain that looks out over Nice and the Mediterranean Sea. It was once a peaceful place until artists and actors started hanging out there...... And now tourists!!

It's one of THOSE popular sites to visit.

 

 

 

 

I think I took one million photos of streets .... 

Neuf nuff

Neuf nuff

There are a lot of galleries, art and  Marc Chagall lithographs. Pretty coooool! 

Annie Liebovitz &nbsp;portrayal of Clint Eastwood. Love it!

Annie Liebovitz  portrayal of Clint Eastwood. Love it!

Back to the promenade ....

Promenade Des Anglais

Promenade Des Anglais

Totally feeling like a tourist this week! 

But wait there WILL be more..... X

Arles Walkabout.... Nice

Arles is such a beautiful city, easy to traverse with treasures at every turn. I have totally loved the week exploring 'quaint', experiencing the festival and attending Bulletproof. I could come home now! Nice not!

Street Art

Street Art

These photos are all a bit random.... But nice...

Gypsy Dawgs

Gypsy Dawgs

Who let the dogs out... Woof!

Arles Amphithéâtre, street fresco and Rue de L'Agneau

Arles Amphithéâtre, street fresco and Rue de L'Agneau

Spice of life...... Nice hey!

Spice of life...... Nice hey!

The photography festival is pumping everywhere and I found this site very interesting.

The reviewing!

With bookings back to back @ about 500 euro a 20 minute session, budding photographers from all over the world gather day after day to get their work reviewed by gallerists, art critics and revered professionals. Truly amazing! Artists get genuine feedback on presentation, theme, how it would be received, what to work on, discard..... Some take the advice, and work with it, returning the following year for more feedback, some leave in tears,  some get picked up by a gallery and all make professional connections! Definitely a vibe about it! 

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...and then there are the photo books and book signings by the artists at various locations.

Photo books... Hundreds.... But none as good as Bulletproof!!

Photo books... Hundreds.... But none as good as Bulletproof!!

And more discussions...

The image of women in photography

The image of women in photography

3D logo les Rencontres Arles Photography

3D logo les Rencontres Arles Photography

And that's that! Good night to Arles and MWAH!

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  ......off to Nice..... 

Nglaaaaaaaah did you read that as nice or Nice? X

Bulletproof

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If there was one vernissage to attend, for me this was totally the highlight of the week here at Les Recontres Arles Photography.

Bulletproof by Vee Speers

Vee's work is excellent and speaks to a time in our life that is imperceptible.

Gallery Nuit, in the heart of Arles, completely packed out for the opening, only allowing people in as people left! 

Opening..... &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;......Champagne

Opening.....                                                                                                                                                      ......Champagne

Vee's work was presented in a Salon type space, opulent, soft and very classy. The images revisit the children from 'The Birthday Party' 6 years on, narrating the characters at an age where they are preparing for the world: 'Bulletproof' 

In each image, the narrative speaks beyond the subject: sharp, clean, abiding.

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The constructed image deconstructing the essence of adolescence as utopian, magical and armoured.  It is beautiful work! I love it! 

The work conjures up thoughts about my own mythical shields invented to protect me from pain, meet challenges and journey on.

What tools did you use to keep your world safe?

It's a great question and I congratulate Vee on her perceptions.

B E A U T I F U L L !

 

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The celebration of new work begins and the champagne flows!

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We followed from the opening and went to dinner in the most poshest restaurant in Arles I am sure. The joy and the laughing continues.....

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And then a grand tour of the Julius Ceaser décore.... 

OMG

OMG

Followed by some hilarious posing....

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Which went a bit caraaaaazzzzzy........... Censored!

Fabulous memorable night!! 

But wait .. There is more... 

 

Released

Released

Bulletproof, on sale in bookshops, is a beautiful publication. The book also has images from both bodies of work and I would totally recommend sourcing this publication.  Check out her work in cyber land. 

 

Love  

Vernissage

Vernissage

Vernissage

Who would have thought that boxed rosé from a plastic cup would taste so good! Nibbles are freshly picked tomatoes, apricots, pears presented in wooden crates fresh from the farm ...I did not quite fathom the word vernissage until I asked God! Traditionally Vernissage (varnish) referred to the final varnish an artist might put on his paintings the day before the opening, developing into what is now the opening celebration.

 

Meet Laura extraordinaire! Powerhouse woman of the world. Gallerist, writer, artist, reviewer. From London doing port folio reviews here as part of the festivals.

Laura, partner in crime.

Laura, partner in crime.

Together we have visited exhibitions, projections, lectures and discussions. Completely madsdoggesteverest!

Kudzanai Chiurai from Zimbabwe

Kudzanai Chiurai from Zimbabwe

I could seriously put up a million photos of  photos that I have perused!! Look out! This artist is massive!! Filmmaker and photographer, check it out!

Kudzanai Chiurai from Zimbabwe

Kudzanai Chiurai from Zimbabwe


Location location....

Location location....

This work was created in 1915 to illustrate an article that was actually never published. Children acting out the Great War in the streets of Paris whilst their fathers were possibly NOT acting out. 

Léon Gimpel, France, Kids at War&nbsp;

Léon Gimpel, France, Kids at War 

I was confused by the amount of reference to war, China, propaganda and collections of war photos... I was beginning to think it was a bit much and that European art was a bit anchored in war porn......until I had the realisation that it is 100 years since 1914! 

Selfie on a Lucien Clergue

Selfie on a Lucien Clergue

Nights of Photography are projections set to live music and held in the Theâtre Antique, 

Eye, the queue!

Eye, the queue!

Beautiful Roman amphitheatre and excellent venue for the projections

Beautiful Roman amphitheatre and excellent venue for the projections

The drummer completely stole the show, brilliant!

The drummer completely stole the show, brilliant!

Went to a round table discussion: Is Amatuer Photography Part of the History of Photography. Loved that toooooooooo. Vik Muniz was one of the artists on the panel so I think I went just to see him. Groupie! Great dialogue about the recovery of amateur photographs and the pre digital age.

Is Amatuer Photography Part of the History of Photography.

Is Amatuer Photography Part of the History of Photography.

Another artist that I am loving is Chema Madoz from Spain. Surrealist contemporary black and white photos. Excellent.

Chema Madoz

Chema Madoz

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Wait there is more...... French bread anyone?

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Saving the best till last is Vee's show, but I need to devote an entire blog post to that maddog night of nights!!

 

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Vernissage.