Category Archives: Paintings

Favourite spot:

Daily post: Tourist Trap: What’s your dream tourist destination, either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?                                             Thanks for the great idea mehakzaid.

Holidays are not on our agenda at present. My memories of holidays past suffice. Flinders Island we returned to twice because it was so idyllic.

Eight-moonlit beaches, Flinders Island 2006

Eight-moonlit beaches, Flinders Island 2006


Flinders Island is off the North Eastern coast of Tasmania. The population is small, mostly fishermen and farmers. There are contrasting geographical features with the mountains towering above farmlands but all surrounded by little coves and beaches. On the Eastern side the waves pound in and on the Western side the tea trees and eucalypts shade deserted beaches with flat orange rocks and clean sand full of tiny shells. The clear turquoise waters invite one to swim.

Surf Beach, Flinders Island 2006

Surf Beach, Flinders Island 2006

Our first holiday we were there to celebrate my sixtieth birthday. Four of our five children came to join us for three nights. The eldest was overseas. We had rented a cottage in Whitemark, which two of the children shared with us. The other two stayed at the one hotel nearby, where we ate each night. We hired two old cars while the children were with us. We stayed on longer. Locking up was not necessary, as honesty is just part of the culture.

One of the tourist attractions is the Killiecrankie diamond that can be found, or bought.             Of course, we went up to the north of the island to try our luck. The stones look just like clear stones, but when cut are a colourless topaz, which is a hard stone, and therefore called the Killiecrankie diamond, that is unique to the area.

Low-tide Sawyers Bay 2006

Low-tide Sawyers Bay 2006

High-tide 2006

High-tide 2006

The children swam and climbed the mountain. Our favourite place to swim and have BBQs was Trousers Point, but when the kids left we spent many hours going from one deserted spot to another. We always made sure we had a beach to ourselves. Each day we would visit the bakery and buy fresh rolls and what ever was needed for our picnic lunches. Christopher and I painted on the beach.

Stories in the evening at the pub were told, such as: when a new policeman came to the island, he set up a breathalyzer for those leaving the hotel on his first Friday night. The next day he went to get into his car and there on the seat sat a live tiger snake. He soon learnt to fit in, and drink with the locals and not bother them. It was either that or leave the island.

Cape Barren Geese taken in Pearcedale at the Bird Sanctuar

Cape Barren Geese taken in Pearcedale at the Bird Sanctuary amongst the Tea Trees.

Cape Barren geese, or Mutton birds as they are known locally, inhabit the islands around this area. The Aborigines traditionally harvested them and smoke them for eating for the mainland of Tasmania. These birds fly all the way to Canada once a year for their annual pilgrimage. They are beautiful large birds.

So if you are feeling like a restful holiday, away from the hustle and bustle of every day life, this is the perfect spot. The cottage where we stayed has all modern conveniences, though tank water is treated with consideration. Games and books are provided, as luggage is restricted to 15 Kg. on the small 8-seater plane that leaves from Victoria or Tasmania. A television is provided, though being away from everything, it is not really necessary.

Note: an apology for the size of Christopher’s paintings, that I took off the internet.

Chaos wall to wall:


gifted plates evoke memories

gifted plates evoke memories

Wall to Wall, by Michelle W.                                                                                                            What do you display on the walls of your home — photos, posters, artwork, nothing? How do you choose what to display? What mood are you trying to create?


Harvested lavender awaits attention.

Another of Chris's paintings

Another of Chris’s paintings. Artificial flowers are a no-no from our youth, so that is what we have! A framed grand child’s gift and a collection of buttons.

Family photos and Chris's painting

Family photos and Chris’s painting


Children’s gifts and Christopher’s painting

Andy's drawings, cards gifted over the years.

Andy’s drawings, cards gifted over the years.

Christopher's painting

Christopher’s painting

Yet another!

Yet another!

Even outdoors walls are adorned.

Even outdoors walls are adorned.

Books and clutter fill the outside shed and studio, perhaps that's a post for another day!

Books and clutter fill the outside shed and studio, perhaps that’s a post for another day!



Portrait of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch:

This tapestry of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch was completed in 2000, the year Chris and I married. Christopher took photos of Dame Elisabeth in her garden. The chosen photograph was sent to Queensland where Normana Wight gave it a computer treatment adding to the simplicity. Merill Dumbrell wove the portrait. She and Chris worked together on the interpretation. This was done at, as was known then, the Victorian Tapestry Workshop. Since then it has changed its name to the Australian Tapestry Workshop. At that time Merill was a senior weaver.

Dr. Sue Walker was the founder of the Victorian Tapestry Workshop and worked hard getting commissions from within Australia and overseas. She retired after thirty years and wrote a book about the workshop. The book is called ‘Artists’ Tapestries from Australia 1976-2005.’ Published by The Beagle Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-947349-50-9. This book displays many of the beautiful tapestries the workshop produced during this time and reflects why the workshop became world famous under Dr. Walker’s directorship. The tapestries hang in overseas galleries, embassies, yachts and private homes. Many of the works are to be seen in Australia.


Daughter Rebecca and son, Will in front of the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Tapestry in the Portrait Gallery, Canberra

Daughter Rebecca and son, Will in front of the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Tapestry in the Portrait Gallery, Canberra

Chris’s first tapestry was made for BHP, and he subsequently had many more woven from his paintings, about thirty in total. It was an exciting process to see his paintings come to life in another form. As Christopher is a colourist, he worked closely with the weavers. He actually worked at the Tapestry Workshop for a couple of years training the weavers.




Painting: Rosie Batty

Christopher began Rosie’s portrait in November. Since then we’ve had family staying, Christmas activities and some hot days. Since the studio is not lined, it heats up and Chris paints with a wet towel around his neck with a fan on. Does that paint a quaint picture?

Rosie will come back again soon for another sitting. Chris has actually started two paintings of her, but shall just post one today. I know some of you will ask what happened to the last couple of portraits. They are still in progress too, so shall show them another time.


Rosie Batty painted by Christopher Pyett, watercolour in progress


Rosie Batty: Victorian of the Year

Such a wide prompt allows me to share a visit from a most remarkable lady. Yesterday afternoon Rosie Batty came to visit. She has generously allowed Christopher to paint her, hopefully to be accepted for the Archibald Prize for portraiture. This prize has always been designed to paint significant members of the Australian public and has a reputation for excellence.

Many Australians will have heard of Rosie, as she has received wide coverage in the press; first of all for her bravery when her son was killed by his father at cricket practice, she spoke to the press next day, calmly and non-judgmentally. Blame, she feels is not helping anyone. Secondly for her setting up the Luke Batty Foundation, in combatting domestic violence. Rosie has been deservedly awarded Victorian of the Year.

Such an intelligent, positive person, Rosie is outspoken on the necessary changes to prevent abuse in relationships. Her own negative experience has changed her life with a finality that could have broken many, but Rosie has chosen to turn her life around to work for others and has created a whole new life for herself as a consequence.

Losing her only child, Rosie willing talks of Luke and things she has discovered after his death. For instance, she didn’t know his favourite colour was yellow, until after his death.  I was able to share with her that Luke had inspired me to write a children’s story about him. I shall keep that for another day. Rosie has her four dogs, most rescue dogs, for companionship, along with her two donkeys and four chooks. We feel privileged to have met this wonderful, warm person, living nearby. The flowers in yesterday’s post were for Rosie.


A restaurant that removed your favorite item from the menu, a bad cover of a great song…. Write a post about something that should’ve been left untouched, but wasn’t. Why was the original better?

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