Christopher Pyett’s portrait of Rosie:

Portrait of Rosie Batty by Christopher Pyett Photo: Susan Gordon Brown

Portrait of Rosie Batty, (Australian of the Year, and Domestic Violence Advocate), by Christopher Pyett. Medium: Water colour.
Photo: Susan Gordon Brown


Chris and Rosie 21-5-15

Chris and Rosie 21-5-15

Viewing the portrait before getting it framed.

Viewing the portrait before getting it framed.

It was wonderful to see Rosie today and to see her reaction to her reflective self. As you can see the portrait looks very different, colour-wise, in my photos to Susan Gordon Brown’s photo. Because it is very delicate and subtle it is difficult to photograph. The yellow is symbolic and was Rosie’s son’s favourite colour, and so is very meaningful to Rosie. Now we won’t know until July whether the portrait will be hung, but Chris is back to working on another couple of portraits.

Dinting Depression:


A colour shop

A colour shop

If I could cure one ailment I should choose depression. Depression can associate itself with so many other ailments and diminish the quality of life. I should choose to use colour to create environments that are uplifting and inspiring. Once one can see life from a positive stance, any other problems can be seen in perspective and dealt with.


Visiting an art shop today I was reminded how many colours we have to choose from. The window display with many yellow jars just lifted my spirits. This would become my colour shop where people could come and choose clothing, haberdashery, paint, lozenges to bath salts in any chosen colour. Music, too, would be part of the cure.









Placebo Effect, by Michelle W.                                                                                                                         If you could create a painless, inexpensive cure for a simple ailment, what would you cure and why?



To dream or not to dream, that is the question.

The daily prompt today brought to mind some dreams I had in my twenties. Flying. Have any of you flown in dreams? I’d love to hear from you, if you have. For me it was such a wonderful feeling! It did take some energy and concentration to get into the air, but once there, the feeling of exhilaration and excitement remains with me.

The Jungian psychiatrist I spoke to about these dreams, from my rather inadequate memory, told me they were symbolic of taking charge of my life and that flying has a very positive meaning.

My dream life is such an important part of my life. Fortunately Christopher remembers his dreams too, so we’re able to discuss our dreams at breakfast. Sometimes they are so delicate they become ephemeral, and can be lost in the blink of an eye. Writing down a sentence from a dream can help retain the memory and bring back the full dream. Without dreams, life would become very mundane.

I’d love to add a Chagall painting, but due to copyright, I shall resist the temptation.

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream. By Michelle W.                                                                                 Sleep is one-third of our lives: write a post about it. Do you love naps?                                                  Have trouble falling asleep? Wish you could remember your dreams? Remember something vivid? Snuggle under a blanket, or throw the windows wide open? Meditate on sleep.            (Thanks for the suggestion thunderwhenitrains!)

Pecan Pie:

This recipe is for Heather, and in memory of my mother who adored nuts.

Mothers day card with rustic roses on wooden board borrowed from the Internet

Mothers day card with rustic roses on wooden board borrowed from the Internet


84-98g butter                                                                                                                                              196g plain flour (1/4 of which can be wholemeal)                                                                                      salt                                                                                                                                                                       1 tablespoon sugar                                                                                                                                            I egg

1. To make the pastry, place the flour, butter and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and process until the mixture just begins to come together.

Turn the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Shape into a disc and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

Pecan filling:

3 eggs, lightly whisked                                                                                                                            185ml (3/4 cup) maple syrup                                                                                                                     100g (1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar)                                                                                                50g butter, melted                                                                                                                                       195g (1 1/2 cups) pecans

2. Preheat oven to 200*C

3. Roll half of the pastry into a round and line a heavy based pan. Allow pastry to rest in fridge for a further 30 minutes, if you have time. (I don’t usually manage this and it is still OK).

4. Cover pastry with baking paper and fill with rice or dried beans.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove paper and rice or beans and bake for a further 8 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temp to 160*C.

6. Meanwhile to make the pecan filling, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, sugar and butter in a medium bowl. Stir in pecans.

7. Pour mixture evenly into warm pastry case. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes** or until just set in centre. Place pie on wire rack and set aside for 40 minutes or until completely cool. **( mine took an hour!)

*This can be made into 10 small pies using 2cm-deep, (8cm base measurement) fluted tart tins with removable bases and a 15cm diameter cutter.





Teenager wants a car:

My computer has been in hospital getting updated and refreshed. Being without it for several days made me realise how many things I’ve let go about the house. Since the return of the computer I’ve been reading blogs, so no time to write tonight. I shall post this lovely story a friend sent:

Teenager wants a car.

A teenage boy had just passed his driving test and inquired of his
as to when they could discuss his use of the car.
His father said he’d make a deal with his son, “You bring your grades up
from a C to a B average, study your Bible a little and get your hair
Then we’ll talk about the car.”
The boy thought about that for a moment, decided he’d settle for the
and they agreed on it.

After about six weeks his father said, “Son, you’ve brought your grades
and I’ve observed that you have been studying your Bible,
but I’m disappointed you haven’t had your hair cut.”

The boy said, “You know, Dad, I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve
noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the
Baptist had long hair,
Moses had long hair, and there’s even strong evidence that Jesus had

(You’re going to love the Dad’s reply!)

“Did you also notice that they all walked everywhere they went?”

Odds of getting into the Archibald Portrait Prize:

Getting hung at the Archibald, a prestigious Australian Art Portrait Prize, has always been tricky. There is now a website called, ‘What makes an Archibald Winner?’ by Tim Leslie, development by Simon Elvery and design by Ben Spragggon. If you are interested in finding out more about the Archibald, this site covers such things as: colour palette of previous winners, style, medium, subject’s occupation, subject gender, artist gender (81male/ 9 female), ethnicity, artist age, artist location, canvas size, aspect ratio. Here are two examples:

ARTIST AGE                                                                                                                                       The golden decade for winning the Archibald seems to be between 35 and 44; 40 per cent of winners fall within this demographic, and the most common winner is aged 35.

This year’s finalists line up fairly closely with the winners, with a third in the ideal range.







The honour of being the oldest Archibald winner goes to John Olson, who was 77 when he won with a self portrait in 2005.


SUBJECT GENDER: While a painting featuring a woman won the Archibald just two years after its inception, only 13 winners in the past 93 years have been of women, and of those four were in the first decade.


These comparisons are very interesting. It shows Chris, my husband, is up against the trend with his age being against him.  I do believe his choice of subject, Rosie Batty, is in his favour, and will hopefully help him to have his painting hung. Tension reigns in this house as the painting is in its final stages. Photographing, framing and organising transport are the easy bits. The entry forms are available from today, so there will be at least a thousand artists suffering the same dilemma. I shall not post a photo of the painting until we know if the painting gets chosen to be hung, or not. Rosie is delighted with it, as are we!

To try to answer the question set by WP for the prompt: Though I haven’t changed my view, I believe age should be an advantage to a painter, having practised for longer and gained maturity and experience. Having looked at the statistics of Archibald Prize winner’s chosen subjects to be 77 male to 13 female, it is time again for another woman to be held in high regard and given encouragement and applause; for her dedication to improve the lot of those who have been abused.

Flip Flop, by Michelle W.

Think of a topic or issue which you’ve switched your opinion. Why the change?