Tag Archives: painting

Autumnal pursuits:

Christopher Pyett : ideas for paintings

Christopher Pyett : ideas for paintings

Autumn is a time for hunkering down. My daughter rang to say her gutters have been replaced and a dangerous chimney taken care of.
We’ve decided to remove two large palm trees that drop thousands of seeds and sprout everywhere. I love their height, but the other trees will soon fill the space left behind.

General garden maintenance is a fulfilling task. Removing spent tomato plants, culling the raspberries and tying the new canes makes the garden feel ready for winter. Pruning everything is something that needs to be rationed according to the recycling bins. We now have two brown bins, for garden waste that I don’t want to compost. Our six compost bins are fully utilized. So the garden is in need of constant attention, which fits in with writing.

I’d like to work half days at each, writing and gardening, so that I’m not sitting in front of the computer all day. This healthy option seldom works out, but I shall continue to aim for this ideal.

My computer is fine apart from the iphotos, which won’t allow me access. I shall really have to learn to use my new laptop, which is another thing I’ve been resisting. So for the moment, no photos of the garden.

Adam Pyett’s exhibition

Adam Pyett paintings

Adam Pyett paintings

Adam Pyett
From another room
Sophie Gannon Gallery
August 29 to September 26

Sophie Gannon Gallery
2 Albert Street, Richmond
9421 0857

Just in case any of you are in Melbourne and able to visit my step son’s exhibition.

‘A Perfect Drop’

Arch & Slab No.10

It has been a time of sorting, and some paintings that had hitherto been lost have been found.

The painting above was sold and I wanted to find a photo of it, and thought we’d lost it for good. Doing some cleaning up has been very rewarding. This painting was done after we’d been out to celebrate a birthday with a friend up at Dalesford, Victoria. The restaurant has since closed, but the memory of the small dishes to share were exquisite. I think the painting expresses our satisfaction of the meal and company perfectly.

‘Lost is the new found’

The prompt today is: click on your favourite blog, and pick out the 4th and 14th words(that aren’t ‘the’ or ‘an’). Drop them into this phrase.

“——- is the new ——.’ There’s your post title now write. Well I have adjusted a couple of things!




Dreams do come true:

Futures Past, prompt by Ben Huberman                                                                                                    As a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up? How close or far are you from that vision?

When I was pre-teens, all I wanted was to marry Christopher Pyett. The fact that I had to wait till I was 54 didn’t deter me; just allowed a lot of growing up to happen in the interim. I was always a slow learner.

Christopher has a goal of one day winning the Archibald Portrait Prize, though he probably wouldn’t admit it. This year was the first time he’s entered and he missed out. There were over 800 entries, and 47 were chosen.

The good news is that he was accepted into the Salon des Refuse´s. The National Trust S.H. Ervin Gallery at The Rocks has chosen paintings that didn’t make the Archibald Portrait Prize or the Wynne Landscape Prize from this large group of entries. This gallery has a good reputation and I hope if any of you reading this live or are visiting Sydney, you might find time to visit this gallery.

As this will be a touring exhibition, it will also come to the Mornington Regional Gallery on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, between 9th October and 29th November. We are very excited about this as it will allow the portrait of Rosie to get some good exposure.




Christopher Pyett


Barbara, wife of artist, Christopher Pyett

I did say I’d show you this finished painting. Chris has experimented on this one using graphite, (pencil), gouache and water-colour.  He has now gone back to another he started of our daughter in law, Rachael.

We have the grand children staying, so I may be missing from the blogosphere for a bit. Happy holidays to those of you who are having school holidays!

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.

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?


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.