Thursday, October 30, 2008

A painting of Fijian women on mats

from w
I have been sorting out photos to find pics for a local church history project and I came across a photo of one of my paintings from years ago. It is a large painting and for the life of me I haven't a clue where it is now, but anyway the small photo of it survived. The women are rolling up strips of pandanus in preparation of weaving mats. I notice the baby is far too small!

Labels: ,

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Playing about with a drawing

from w
I haven't yet coloured the drawing of the 'Pride of Madeira' flowers as today we were too busy with church, listening to people's stories (too good and personal to publish on the web alas) and it was a warm muggy day. Anyway here's my usual playing with a picture using Photo-edit. And...after all....probably the best one is the very first I did! Click to enlarge any picture.

(Next morning) I used pastels to colour in the pic. Still think the original in pen is the best. See below:


Friday, October 24, 2008

A blue flowering plant

from w
The neighbours two doors down have a brightly flowering shrub in the front garden instead of a fence. Way to go! I did a pencil/pen sketch of it (might do colour later) and did a google search to identify it - took a bit to track it down until I just added things like long pointed leaves, cone shaped flowers, etc. Found out stuff as follows:
Echium aff. candicans
Common Name: Pride of Madeira
Family: Boraginaceae
Climatic Zone: Macaronesia, Madeira
Plant Type: Open, usually rounded woody based biennial shrub
Soil Type: Moderately fertile, well drained soil, full sun
Maximum Height: 1.5-2.5m
Propagation: Seed sown in summer
Flowering Period: Spring to Summer, deep purple blue to bluish white, the nectar of the flowers attract bees
Sun Exposure:Full Sun
Danger:Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Other details: This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Propagation Methods:From softwood cuttings
Seed Collecting:Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
For eleven months it’s a somewhat open, woody shrub with rosettes of long, narrow leaves, of a soft grayed green color. Then in spring it puts up cones of blue, lavender or magenta. The shape of the cones can be a little rounded towards the tip or fairly pointed. The plant can grow three to five or more feet tall, and twice as wide.

Many other species in the genus Echium are biennials. They put out a rosette of leaves one year, and bloom themselves to death the following year, often in a wild display of flowers. But candicans tends to be much more long-lived, is well adapted to Mediterranean climates down to zone 9 and doesn’t require much water.

BUT a cousin of this plant is a cursed weed in Australia as it infests farming land. Might look pretty but it ain’t useful at all!
Paterson's curse, Echium plantagineum!

Labels: ,

Monday, October 20, 2008

A mouse posing

from w
Sometimes there's a bit of drawing going on in our lounge room. Something like this. It's a busy household this week with a grand-daughter around with lots of energy.

Labels: ,

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oprah or Opera and Dr Macnab

from w
I am still disturbed that St Michael's Uniting Church, in Collins Street, Melbourne, has swung in a different way - from a place of worship where I once found dynamic preaching to something not quite right!

Oprah or Opera
Wishy-washy new-agism or powerful life and death drama and mystery which often acknowledges danger, cruelty, sin and transformative love?

I read through Dr Macnab’s new ‘commandments’ (not that the word ‘command’ is right there is no personal God to address the people,) and conclude that it is a mish-mash of Oprah style new-age self-centredness rather than a religion. Certainly it is distant from the strong elements that carry the narrative of God’s dealings with humanity which is set down in the Biblical texts. It seems to be a soft wish-list of personal growth and a kindliness towards your neighbout. Motherhood statements are all fine but this is far from the Basis of Union of the Uniting Church so our Uniting Church leaders should clearly disassociate themselves from this new/old way of looking at our lives.

The following was taken from St Michael's website, so it is not a journalist's brief summary, but it comes straight from Dr Macnab himself. It's a bit out of order because it was in two columns.

Commandment 1
Believe in a Good Presence in your life. Call that Good Presence: God, G-D - and follow that Good presence so that you live life fully - tolerantly, collaboratively, generously and with dignity.
Commandment 6
Be magnanimous and excessive in your support of good causes, and use your affluence and material goods and scientific skills in altruistic concern for the future of the world.
Commandment 2
Believe in a God-Presence in your life that will lift you constantly to live harmoniously in yourself and with others, always searching for your best health and happiness.
Commandment 7
Study ways to encourage and sustain the dignity, hope and integrity of all human beings and study ways to help all human beings embrace their dignity, hope, and integrity.
Commandment 3
Take care of your home, your environments, your Planet and its vital resources for the life and health of people in all the world.
Commandment 8
Be alive to new possibilities, new ways, and to the unfolding mysteries and wonders of life and the world.
Commandment 4
Be kind and caring of the animals, the birds, and the creatures of land and the rivers and the seas.
Commandment 9
We often focus our lives on many things and pursuits that promise our fulfilment. Study the deeper things of the Spirit, and the things of ultimate concern for all human beings. Be part of an evolving life-enhancing Faith that will also bring a new resilience to the future.
Commandment 5
Help people develop their potential and become as fully functioning human beings as is possible from birth, through traumas and triumph to the end of their days. Commandment 10
Take time to worship the great Source of all the positive transforming energies of life, and search to be at one with "the spirit of the good, the tender and the beautiful."
So what do you think?

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wholefoods Cafe in Geelong

from w
Today, Peceli and I had a delicious lunch at the Wholefoods Cafe which is run by Diversitat, our local Migrant Resource Centre organisation. The lunch was to meet with the Honourable Duncan Kerr who is the Parliametary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs. (See Babasiga blog for more details.)

This cafe has lovely food and I really recommend it for coffee, meals, and organic food supplies, catering and gift hampers. Diversitat delivers much-needed services to some of the most disadvantaged individuals and communities in the Geelong and Colac areas, especially in training programs as a start to find jobs.
Wholefoods opening hours are as follows:
Café: 10am - 3pm Monday to Friday
Shop: 10am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday, 10am - 2pm Saturday

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

From little things big things grow

from w
From two sketches I played about and made this by combining the various changed pictures. Used Picasa collage. You Yangs rocks and trees again. This area is about 25 minutes drive from Geelong, a lovely place for picnics and walks.

Labels: ,

You Yangs rocks

from w
A sketch on strange waxy paper was made some time ago but I didn't like the paper so put it aside. Anyway I tried altering it with photo-edit a bit, and then today added some paint and oil pastel to the original. Not very successful. The original was the one using pencil and pink biro.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Johnstone Park in Geelong

from w
I found some old photos (on the web) of Johnstone Park which is between the Geelong Railway Station and the Art Gallery and library. They show the difference over the years, plus my highly coloured painting of the rotunda!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Spending the afternoon with trivia

from w
There are still lots of activities in Geelong for Seniors' Week/Month. Seniors is for men and women over fifty. We tossed up today whether to go to a Salvation Army concert, a tea in a park, weights and fitness at a gym, or trivia at Townshend Gardens. The latter was the closest. Now we've never been to a Trivia program before and it was quizzes, (on music, TV stars, flags - including Fiji of course,) lucky tickets, etc. and a lovely afternoon sitting at tables with strangers-becoming- friends. A very bright and breezy woman ran the show. We won chocolate bars and our table won six $10 vouchers for petrol etc for coming second for the whole afternoon!

Here are a few photos from the afternoon. Townshend Gardens is a retirement village for elderly citizens - maybe fifty or more small flats, a bit different to the separate units of the nearby Tannoch Brae.

Labels: ,

Sunday, October 12, 2008

An ordinary gum tree

from w
I am cross and cranky this week (Fiji politics) so can't get into more drawing so here is an oldie I found when tidying a room and chucking out. Five versions via a pic program - the first picture is of the original which was A4 in size.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Of clergy and defamation

picture of four Uniting Church ministers, including Moderator, Rev Jason Kioa.
from w
Oh dear, now Saint Francis of Saint Michael's is suggesting that the Uniting Church Moderator's words about him are defamatory. I viewed a bit of the videos of Dr Macnab preaching. His views are not exactly new and a bit of psych thrown in as theology thrown out. Okay, an elderly man who searches for knowledge and his own journey in life is entitled to rethink views that he may have had sixty years earlier. That's okay, but it could be important to separate himself and his followers from being called 'Uniting Church' which has a Basis of Union and is part of Christian norms in belief. And don't give me stuff about me taking the Apostles Creed etc. literally, because I too take some things as metaphor and am enlightened by modern scientific knowledge. Dr Macnab goes too far though. Yet there are contradictions at St Michael's. A pipe organ. Lord's Prayer. Old rituals with the new?
from today's Age
Uniting Church rebukes Macnab
Barney Zwartz
October 11, 2008

THE minister who last month launched a "new faith" with billboards proclaiming the Ten Commandments one of the most negative documents ever written, has been told by the Uniting Church to take them down and apologise.

Francis Macnab, minister of St Michael's Uniting Church in Collins Street, says in reply that he was defamed by church moderator Jason Kioa, who said Dr Macnab had discarded much of what had been accepted as Christian belief for 2000 years.

Dr Macnab describes God as a presence rather than a person, and says Jesus was not divine, Abraham was a concoction and Moses a mass murderer.

His multimedia campaign, aimed at reconnecting with people who do not find the church credible, had been well received worldwide, he said yesterday.

The Victorian Uniting Church voted at its recent synod to ask St Michael's to remove the freeway signs and to apologise for any offence they caused, especially to Jews and Muslims. The synod expressed concern at the potential damage to interfaith relationships.

Dr Macnab, a noted psychotherapist and founder of the Cairnmillar Institute, said St Michael's had always planned to remove the advertising once it had done its job.

"We did not act to cause offence," he said. "If we did, we express our regret."

Dr Macnab said he had asked the synod to forward to him any complaints by people of other religions, and he would reply personally.

But he said Mr Kioa's criticisms of him were unacceptable, and could be considered defamatory. (my emphasis)

"I have done what many others have done," he said. "I have discarded a belief in a class society ordained by God, beliefs that diminish the role and status of women, beliefs in the church's long acceptance of slavery … beliefs in a vengeful and violent God.

"These beliefs have been upheld by the Christian church for the best part of 2000 years, but I submit there is good reason to discard them."
As a certain red-haired woman from Queensland once said... 'Please explain!'

Labels: ,

Of governors and presidents

from w
We are lucky ducks in Australia to have such a fine, competent, compassionate, smart Governor General - not like our cousins in places like USA or Fiji where the presidents have serious problems! (Not much explanation needed except that a court case concluded that the Fiji President has extraordinary powers that can even ratonalize a coup!) And our Australian Governor-General is a woman. Hoorah!
from today's Age - because she has been visiting the people along the Murray-Daling basin where continual drought has threatened not only the ecology of the rivers and land but the livelihoods of the farming communities.

Reaching out: Quentin Bryce does not intend to be a passive and speechless figurehead in the vice-regal role. Photo: Simon O'Dwyer

Governor-General has no taste for politics but believes that her bipartisan role doesn't have to be silent
Tony Wright
October 11, 2008

GOVERNOR-GENERAL QuentinBryce has defended her right tospeak out on social issues, andsays Australians have made itclear they want to discuss withher a wide range of mattersthat are important to them.

However, she told The Age she would never become involved in partisan politics or the political process.

The vice-regal traditional of bipartisanship was enormously significant, and highly valued by Australians.

"But that doesn't mean you can't express views and opinions on matters of importance to the community," she said.

The view that a governor-general's job should be little more than snipping ribbons to open flower shows was "a very old-fashioned idea".

Ms Bryce said she agreed with former governor-general Sir Zelman Cowen's description of the vice-regal role as "holding a mirror up to Australia".

In a long interview with The Age, Ms Bryce said her most important job was to be part of the Australian conversation, and most importantly, to listen.

She likened her job to that of a local council constantly organising social, cultural and sporting events to give people a sense of community by bringing them together and giving them a chance to discuss their lives.

The financial crisis and the drought "makes it more important than ever for people to get together and just ask 'How are you going'," she said. In such circumstances, people could look at friends doing it tough and say "Listen mate, you better go and see the shire counselling services", Ms Bryce said.

The Governor-General said women concerned by financial and family stresses had approached her during her week-long tour down the Darling and Murray rivers. They were among scores of people who had made it obvious from Bourke to Mildura that they wanted to draw her into discussion about their concerns about the environment, their families and their communities. etc. etc.
So, what is the role of a governor-general or a president?

Labels: ,

Monday, October 06, 2008

Dinosaur eggs and Seniors Week

from w
As this is Seniors Week here in Geelong/Melbourne and throughout Victoria, we are taking advantage of some of the freebies and activities. Yesterday I went to the Wool Museum to see the Quilt Exhibition which was a bit disappointing as there weren't too many really exciting exhibits because quilters have the opportunity to use glorious colours and textures. The one I liked best however was in drab browns and the picture here does not do it justice at all.

Then I joined the kiddies and young mums in exploring the Dinosaur Eggs exhibition which was fabulous and a must for those in Geelong with young children. The eggs weren't all round and there were several displays of the baby dinosaur in the eggs. And several interactive opportunities to dig for eggs, etc. Some scary large bones too of course.

Today we went to a retirement home, Tannock Brae, (no, not to check in or check it out) for an art and crafts display by senior residents and chatted especially with two gentlemen - one who makes model boats, and another who makes model planes and helicopters. Kees De Meester is the crafter of the excellent model sailing ships. Click on the photo to view it larger.

Labels: ,

Saturday, October 04, 2008

About the snow gum

from w
Following up from a post of a RACV magazine cover featuring the colourful snow gum I googled around a bit and found some very abstract kind of pictures, then, as usual, mucked about with them a bit more with very fiery results. The snow gum is also called Cabbage gum, Weeping gum and White salee with the botanical name of
Eucalyptus pauciflora. It's usually only 10 – 20 metres in height with a short, crooked bole which is commonly strongly branched from near ground level. At high altitudes it is commonly a low twisted tree. The snow gums are found in the mountains and tablelands of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. In a few places they are found almost to sea level, as in parts of Tasmania and at Mount Eliza in Victoria, the Bega - Wolumla area of southern New South Wales and near Mt Gambier in South Australia. (adapted from wikipedia)

So why are they coloured so?
Perhaps they normally have a white, green or grey bark, but it peels away to reveal other colours, and they bleed gum apparently. Remarkable.

Labels: ,