Happy Fourth Birthday to the AnArt4Life Blog

The AnArt4Life blog turns 4 years old today and we are thrilled to report that our on-line community continues to grow, with subscribers from nearly all Australian states and around the world - in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Germany, USA, Brazil, New Zealand, Hong Kong, The Philippines, India and Africa. And The Keeper tells me that in the 4 years we have posted approximately 1460 posts!!!

We thank you all for your wonderful on-going support.

In early 2020 we were joined by three subscriber contributors who provide us with ongoing advice and content for the posts: you can read the bio notes on John Pickup - artist and advisor, Rowdy Wylie - artist and Andrew - collector - in the About the Blog Team.

A very special thank you to the boys for their valuable contribution which has been greatly appreciated.

One of the highlights of the year was that John Pickup was finally able to receive his Order of Australia Medal, awarded in the 2020 Australia Day Honours for John's contribution to broadcasting. It is an honour to have this very talented Australian as a friend and advisor to the blog.

John Winter Pickup OAM Investiture 12 May 2021
Australian artist and “Brushmen of the Bush” John Pickup received an OAM in the 2020 Australia Day Honours. Today he brings you his account of the investiture at Government House, Brisbane, Qld on 12 May 2021. Image credit: scottrileyphotography.com

Another highlight was the series on Andrew's collection of Hugh Schulz paintings and we would also like to thank Hugh's daughter Sandra Lindeman for the contribution she made to the posts on her father's paintings.

If you are a fan of naive art please check out the many posts we have on this remarkable artist by using the search function in the menu bar on the website. Below is a sample post which will help you understand why Andrew is so enamoured with Hugh Schulz paintings.

The Magic of Hugh Schulz Part 1
Today’s blog presents a treasure trove of images of the Australian outback painted by “Brushman of the Bush” Hugh Schulz and collected over many years by a passionate devotee. Image credit: ©S. Lindeman

Rowdy Wylie continues to amaze us with his wonderful naive narrative paintings and continuous encouragement and contribution especially to the monthly mailbag.

Rowdy's great love (other than his dog Digger) is the ancient landscape of Australia. Earlier this year he provided us with three wonderful posts documenting his trip into The Flinders Ranges, South Australia and the paintings which resulted.

The Colours of an Ancient Landscape with Rowdy Wylie Part 1
Australia is an ancient landscape - millions of years old and one of the most fascinating parts of this landscape is the area called The Flinders Ranges in northeast South Australia. Join John “Rowdy” Wylie as he journeys back in time.

Follow these links to the other Rowdy Wylie posts on The Flinders Ranges:

Colours of an Ancient Landscape with Rowdy Wylie Part 2
Colours of an Ancient Landscape with Rowdy Wylie Part 3.

Our subscribers continue to amaze us with the wide range of art news sent to us frequently and published in the monthly mailbags. Regular mailbag contributors and corresponders include:

Trevor Lee in Canberra, D. in Bendigo, E. in London, A.& R. in Oakleigh, Victoria,, M.E in Wheelers Hill, M.B. in Tanzania. Thank you all for making the monthly mailbag a popular feature.

If you would like to send us art news for the mailbag please use the email [email protected].

Our Twitter and Facebook Followers have been amazing in their support and on-going responses to our posts. Often led by Andrew, Sandy, Kevin, Jan and Gayle we continue to attract many new members to our Facebook AnARt4Life Chat Room where the daily posts and chats are enjoyed by about 120 followers.

And we must also thank English artist Phillip Johnson for spearheading much of our Twitter responses where we attract nearly 1500 followers.

Our involvement in social media has been tentative at best but gradually we are attracting people who love to engage in all things art.

We also have many artists who follow us and give us the honour to showcase their works - this past year in addition to Rowdy Wylie we have been privileged to post the works of Kevin McKay (Australia), Tendai Makufa (South Africa), Rebeca Dorich (Peru), Andreja from Fractal Infinity ArtStudio (Slovenia),
Soumya Kundu (India) and Hakki Uslu (Turkey) and there are many others.

I have chosen one of the posts from the Fractal Infinity ArtStudio to remind you of the diversity of mediums and subject matter that art brings into our lives.

Fractal Infinity ArtStudio from Slovenia
Fractal Art might not be familiar to you so please take a look at the stunningly beautiful works being produced in Slovenia by Andreja Malovrh of Fractal Infinity ArtStudio. Image credit: Fractal Infinity ArtStudio

The team I lead as Editor in Charge is amazing and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful ongoing support they give and contributions they make to broadening our minds to the great art offerings around the world.

Jane has always been our travel expert but she has been somewhat thwarted over the past year when travel was not easy. She did manage to squeeze in a trip to Queensland where incredibly she spotted some Van Gogh sunflowers!!

Did I spot Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in Outback Queensland?
A giant easel featuring Van Gogh’s sunflower is situated in Morton Park, Emerald. Created by Cameron Cross the superstructure is 25 metres high with approximately 13.6 tonnes of steel involved in its construction.

Caroline - The Keeper of the Rabbit Holes - has had a very busy year with a new job but still managed to go down her rabbit holes and come up with interesting topics. I've chosen to show you her post on Kirk Kristiansen, founder of Lego as it represents what we have all been trying to focus on over the past year - faith and resilience.

Ole Kirk Kristiansen, founder of The Lego Group, a story of faith and resilience
The LEGO Group was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen. The company has passed from father to son and is now owned by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a grandchild of the founder. Image credit: lego.com

Julie has a deep love of the Impressionists but she surprised us this year with her knoweldge of china ware and consequently we were given a most wonderful series on English pottery.

I know these posts provoked memories in many of you of china that adorned your childhood homes and in many cases still do. Here is one of Julie's pottery posts for you to enjoy.

Royal Albert fine china – Refined and prolific!
Today we look at a bone china brand which still features at refined High Teas around the world today - Royal Albert. Even though there were over 1,000 patterns produced it is instantly recognisable for the consistency of its production for over 125 years. Image: chinasearch.co.uk

And now we come to the Interwebs Wizard - alias Matt Cameron - who not only keeps the blog machinery well oiled and rolling along, but also acts as my social media mentor - a significant and growing component of the blog. Matt is not only an incredible computer wizard, he is also a fantastic gardener and soon you will be seeing the product of his out of hours work in his beautiful garden.

The view from his office reminds us that art is around us and the most beautiful of scenes close at hand.

Photo by Matt Cameron 

The most significant feature Matt added to the AnArt4Life website this year was the TagCloud which allows visitors to the blog to search and view all the posts on a specific topic. A special thanks to Julie for overseeing the implementation of this project.

Follow this link if you would like to check out the AnArt4Life TagCloud.

We leave you with this thought as our journey together continues into its fifth year:

--------------A love of art is about a love of relationships------------

And a final note from the team:

We would like to thank Anne for her wonderful encouragement and managment of the Blog and the team!

The growth of the Blog since she commenced this project four years ago, to the diverse and interesting offering it is today is nothing short of fantastic! It is all due to her passion, her encouragement to others, mastery of technology and wonderful ability to foster relationships with artists all around the world!

Thank you, Anne, for allowing us all to come on this wonderful journey with you!

Please feel free to leave a comment below.