Odds and ends
Thursday, June 29, 2006
In response to Nannan's remarks to my previous posting, it was not my fascination with the Queen that prompted me to watch "The Queen, by Rolf". It was because I have been a fan of Rolf Harris since watching him on TV many years ago. I had often wondered what happened to him. Apart from his talent as an entertainer, I didn't realize that his stature as a painter was such that he would receive the honour of doing a special portrait for the queen's 80th birthday.
However, durig the sittings for the portrait, the casual conversation carried on between the two of them showed the queen as real, genuine person.
It was very interesting to watch as his first random brush strokes gradually brought the picture to life, even to the final touch-up to make the strings of pearls look so real. I wish now that I had taped it so that I could watch his majic again.
If Michael reads this, does his name pop up in Australia once in a while?
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
When I saw the television listing, The Queen, by Rolf, I decided to check it out. I had a hunch it was by Rolf Harris, the Australian artist and entertaineer, famous for his "Tie me Kangaroo Down, Sport" song. Sure enough it was. It showed the whole process of the painting, including the two sittings by the queen. It was interesting to see her in such an informal setting, with quite a lot of chatting between the two as he worked. He even selected the dress she was to wear for the painting. What a talent he has.
The portrait, commissioned to mark the monarch's 80th birthday, is said to be an "impressionistic", rather than a "photographic", representation.
When he started by daubing big random brush strokes of colour on the canvas, it didn't look like anything. and it was very interesting to watch as the picture came to life.
The program showed the unveiling of the finished portrait at Buckingham Palace. I'm glad I watched it.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
I like to plant things and watch them grow. So when I found a bare spot in a corner of my lawn, I decided to plant a garden. The grass had died where I had piled the lawn clippings last year and the ground was bare. So I dug it up and put in four tomato plants. Don't laugh, they're growing just fine.
If you plant a tree, you can change that small bit of landscape for years to come.
Over seventy years ago, in a time known in the West as the dirty thirties, many sloughs dried up due to drought. Dust storms drifted the soil like snow in the winter. The government decided to help farmers by providing trees with which to build windbreaks. When I suggested we plant a one around our house, Dad was reluctant to plow up a strip of land to do it. He said, " It will just blow away".
Finally he agreed, and I went to work. From seed I planted a row of caraganas, a hardy bush used usually for hedges, around the outside. Next, along the north side I used cuttings from trees which lined a neighbor's driveway. The rest was filled in with trees from a government nursery in Saskatchewan. Seen above, indicated by the yellow arrow, is a satellite view of those trees, surrounding the old house. A few days ago, I set foot there again, where once we played as barefoot kids..
The whitish areas in the image are wispy clouds between the satellite and the earth.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
On 1 June, 2006, I stood just outside the back door of the old farm house. We used to play here in the yard, going barefoot all summer. Trees, bushes and tall grass now grow where once our normal traffic kept them under control. We dared not step inside,fearing the floor might cave in and drop us into the cellar.
The years have taken their toll, and as with humans, one day this old house will give way to time.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
For me it was all that I expected, and more. The highlight, of course, was a visit to the place where I grew up. To get there we had to drive across a farmer's field, a field on which I had once sat for hours on the hard seat of a plow, or walked behind a set of harrows.
On the right is the house as it looked like somewhere around 1920, looking from the south west. On the left, and below, as it is in 2006. It never saw a coat of paint in its entire life. Visiting here brings back a lot of memories.
- ▼ June (11)