Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Afternoon Moon in Small Magazine

I was surprised to learn about Afternoon Moon appearing in Small Magazine. I must admit I hadn't read this online indie magazine before but I was very impressed with them when I "flipped" through the pages.   Wow!  It made me wish I was five again!  Small Magazine write that they show design that "represent(s) the philosophy of small - small scale independent design small sized for kids."  I like the sound of that :)

Robert Mahar of Mahar Drygoods was kind enough to include Flying Star Toys Afternoon Moon in his beautiful night-time collage for 'small finds', as seen above.  I couldn't ask for a more lovely place to see Afternoon Moon.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Margaret Olley watercolour exhibtition - UQ

Yesterday I spent a pleasent day with friend M.B., he invited me to join him to see the Margaret Olley watercolour exhibition at the University of Queensland Art Museum.  We took the ferry from South Bank and travelled up river spotting attractive tree clusters, hidden river perches  and generally enjoying all the interesting things one never sees from the street.

The University of Queensland is a beautiful campus with a collection of curious architectural specimens ranging from the dignified sandstone of the Great Square to the concrete spirals and shaped bronze of the 70s...it really took me back to my own uni, the ANU, which has a similar 70s vibe.  But most deliciously, it was the tropical rainforest atmosphere the UQ campus had after the recent rain - rich earthy smells, and mushrooms everywhere!

It was my first visit to the UQ gallery and it was a real surprise.  It's a beautiful building, the friendly staff there told me it was formerly the Graduations Hall, now completely remodelled internally.  They directed us upstairs, where the whole floor is currently dedicated to the Margaret Olley exhibition.  I wasn't aware Margaret Olley is a Queensland girl, she now lives in Sydney, and as I myself am a Queenslander I enjoyed her Queensland sketches the most.  Like in the first painting above, perhaps only a Queenslander could appreciate the subtle implication of the crazy marks of green.  I smile to recognise the tropical summer growth that's slowly getting the better of the careful garden caretaker...much like what Brisbane is experiencing now.

Margaret Olley is known mainly for her oils, but these ink sketches reveal the artist's skill. Her brief colour washes have the effortless elegance of a master.  The skies are particularly fine. While her simple lines are generally bold and confident they display equally a curious and charming quality that betrays a fine sense of humour, never mawkish,  for her subjects.  I can feel her enjoying herself in the production of these works - in her abbreviations she squashes the cold distance of the subject while maintaining its fabulousness and beauty, she leads you into its everyday intimacies - a talent I truly appreciate.

The exhibition, Margaret Olley - life's Journey, is on at UQ Art Museum until the 19th April.  Then tours to S H Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 8 May – 28 June and Newcastle Region Art Gallery, 15 August – 26 October.

Images above taken from the catalogue of the exhibition, "Margaret Olley - Life's Journey",  Queensland University Press, 2009.

Image 1: A Queensland Property (Aroo),  c. 1960, pastel and watercolour on paper, private collection.

Images 2: The Tiled Stove, 1956, ink and pastel on paper, private collection.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

this evening

The fruit bats fly over our house at dusk each evening. Tonight the clouds are particularly beautiful.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Secret Blue Lagoon - inspiration

More inspiration for the Sail Away: Holiday on the Island of Flowers and Fruit series.  Dear friend and artist Nadine Sawyer recently spent some time with her mother and aunt in Vanuatu.  She brought back not only some wonderful new paintings inspired by her time on the island but also a wonderful story about a secret blue lagoon.  The hereditary caretaker of the lagoon tells how the magical blue arises from the mixing of sea water from a tiny inlet from the sea and the bubbling up of a natural fresh water spring from underground.   She recounted her experience of swimming there among the tropical fish while nervously wondering about what might be below her in the mysterious blue depths!

You can see the blue lagoon and one of Nadine's stunning painting from her time in Vanuatu above.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Introducing Afternoon Moon

When do you see the moon? At night of course! But is that the only time? Haven't you ever seen an Afternoon Moon? An Afternoon Moon is hard to see but if you look carefully, on just the right days, you'll see a light blue moon in the sky shyly peeping down on the daylight world. When you see an Afternoon Moon it's time to remember your dreams....have you forgotten what they were? Ask the Afternoon Moon to remind you of them.

Afternoon Moon comes in four sizes. Three are hanging ornaments that can be hung by their thread like a mobile. The fourth is a larger Cushion Friend to help you dream.

They are made of very light weight denim in faded indigo. The face is hand stitched using linen thread and sashiko cotton.

Afternoon Moon are the latest edition to the Flying Star Toys collections, more images can be seen on the Afternoon Moon gallery page.  Afternoon Moon are now available in the Flying Star Toys on Etsy shop.

Monday, February 09, 2009

boats..a beginning

Posting the photo of a boat the other day must have hit the right note as yesterday I started the first boat in the Sail Away series "Holiday on the Island of Flowers and Fruit"! very happy :)

and I got in a really good kite fly in the afternoon down on the sand!!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Raven's Head

Raven's Head

Smile, that boogyman behind you is just a jester.  He holds your coloured ball in his hand and after all he's only been trying to return it to you.

Hello old friend.  Have you tried to sneak up on me again? Come around the front and let me look at you in the light.

Ah, but I know you!

Come in the front door next time.  You are no stranger to me - we share the same key.

He has disappeared and in my hand is a small coloured pearl - the Last Treasure and the first of many.


"And know that the head of the Art is a raven, who flies without wings in the blackness of the night and the brightness of the day." (alchemical saying)


It is true that pirates always have treasure and witches always have powers....something to remember.


image: Salvador Dali. This image of Dali is an old favourite. I had this as a huge poster in my dorm room at Uni.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Very Big Apple

The Very Big Apple

Once upon a time a girl was given a very big apple to eat.  It was so big it was the size of a house!  She was overwhelmed - how could a such small girl eat an apple that size?  She wanted to eat the apple but its thick, shiny, red skin meant she couldn't take a single bite, try as she might.

One day a Friend gave her a small knife, and with the small knife she cut off her first, small piece of that big, sweet apple.

She ate the whole thing....in time.  and so can you.


Happy Birthday to me and thanks for the knife ;)

Pictured Fruits of Eve - Always Apple