September 2021 Mailbag No 1

Our first item in the monthly mailbag comes from Angela Keyworth in the U.K., niece of Dudley Dexter Watkins, the creator of Desperate Dan in the Dandy, Lord Snooty in the Beano, The Broons and Oor Wullie - comics that are still being published today! We featured Angela's article on her remarkable family in Back with the Melbourne Dexters.

Angela's father was also an extremely talented artist and recently on Facebook she shared the wonderful old photo of a drawing class at the Huntingdon Street School ‘Hunto’ (below right) in Nottingham where her father (Alex Watkins) and his brother Dudley were pupils. Dudley is not in this drawing class (taken in about 1930) but Alex is sitting facing the camera, aged about 14 or 15.

From Andrew in the Hunter Valley - a thoughful response to our post on Daniel Bodey. Andrew writes:

Daniel's paintings are captivating, it's difficult to put your finger on any one aspect - the sharpness of the images, the colours, the texture, the subject matter. He seems to have been able to combine all of the above in a remarkable and unique way, creating something very special and enormously appealing almost mesmerizing. I agree with the reference and comparison to John Brack. One of my Dad's favouite paintings by John Brack was "The Car ", not so much because of the painting but rather the car depicted is a Triumph Mayflower, my Dad's first car, and there would have been five of us in it at the time 🙂 - will now have to do some research on Daniel's paintings.

And from Kevin McKay - also in response to the Daniel Bodey post:

The last painting in this blog post is revealing, I think. It references Daniel's side job as a cement renderer, which might explain his use of textured 'aggregate' paint. His interest in synthesising representational image with a more abstract preoccupation with surface is evident as he deliberately confounds traditional perspective by placing a larger figure (which normally indicates closer proximity to the viewer) behind the smaller figures. I like the irony of the title, "Correct" and the question raised by the word "craft" in the centre of the picture.

Correct by Daniel Bodey 

And then from John "Rowdy" Wylie about the works of Kevin McKay:

Master Artist Kevin McKay’s works are truly magnificent compositions…. Kevin’s attention to detail with his urban street scapes/environments amd landscapes is absolutely outstanding and inspiring… Some of my favorite compositions by Kevin are his recent…..Broken Hill Paintings Series and his St Peters Church, Watsons Bay Sydney… included in the post Kevin McKay seeking constancy in an ever changing city.

Thank you Anne and the GAALS for your post on Kevin’s recent works…you certainly “hit the nail on the head” when you described Kevin’s works as…. "Kevin has the rare gift of capturing the “soul” of buildings in his compositions".

Kevin’s “urban scape” paintings… encourage the viewer to seek out the history of the composition and learn about the human element of the design, construction & use of the buildings… including the generations of families from the surrounding communities…who lived, worked and took shelter over life times….

Congratulations….. Regards John

All of the AnArt4Life blog team love animals and so today we bring you images of Rowdy Wylie's birthday party for his Australian Terrier Digger who is a real cutie and who turned One Year Old a few weeks ago. Happy Birthday Digger.

Finally from E. in London comes the story of a sheep farmer stuck in lockdown in New South Wales who was unable to attend his aunt’s funeral has honoured her memory with the ultimate tribute: a love heart made from sheep.

To read the article in The Guardian and to watch the video of the sheep forming the heart click here.

1. Peter Gray's Dudley D. Watkins fansite/ Posted by Angela Keyworth
5. Photos by John "Rowdy" Wylie .