May 2023 Mailbag

Vincent Chan typeface designer Australia born 1984 Maud design studio Australia est. 2006 AP Type typeface in use on Australia Post Prepaid Satchel Medium, Express Post Platinum Prepaid Satchel Small and Parcel Box Large 2020 packaging Courtesy of Vincent Chan

The first mailbag item for this month is this image (above) from Jane of packaging which was a display included in the Melbourne Now exhibition currently at the Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square. Jane informs us that:

It made me realise that art/design is everywhere, even in the types of packaging on sale at Australian post offices and the design/layout on them including a unique typeface, designed by Vincent Chan from the Maud Design Studio.

As Jane concluded: It’s a far cry from the brown paper and string we used to post parcels, in days gone by!

And thinking about packaging I can attest to the importance of packaging to an artist and how careful we have to be in choosing the appropriate packaging for the item.

Recently I was commissioned to paint a picture of a goose - just its head and neck! I've never thought much about geese except to keep well away from them if I should happen upon a gaggle. But I was assured that they are beautiful and have the most amazingly blue eyes!! And so I studied geese and set out to paint a picture of a friendly goose whom I decided to call Gustav.

And Gustav is now ready to be posted off to his new owner and I can assure you that artists are very, very careful to post our works with the best of packaging so that they arrive in perfect condition.

And can you imagine the work that goes into packaging and moving a complete collection for an exhibition on the other side of the world.

And speaking of travelling - Rowdy Wylie and Suzanne Benson have been on the wallaby and walzing matilda!

Rowdy and Suzanne visited the Parliament House in Canberra and proved with the images below what a stunning site our federal politicans have on which to make the decisions that affect our daily lives.

Rowdy tells us that he had a sit down in the two Chambers but he fails to mention whether he was asked for his opinion on any critical matters being discussed!

Views of Parliament House, Canberra, Australia Photo: John "Rowdy" Wylie

They also saw the Lone Pine display which was well timed following on so close to 25 April when Australia commemorates all the service people involved in past wars.

Lone Pine Display - ANZACS and TURKS Photo: John "Rowdy" Wylie
If you missed out on seeing Rowdy Wylie's wonderful painting Gallipoli - 1915 please follow this link to Anzac Day 2023

Twice a year Rowdy Wylie produces a painting in recognition of the sacrifice made by those who have been involved in wars where Australia was represented. Each painting is then donated to a local RSL (Returned and Services League) to be placed on show so that others can appreciate the sacrifices made and the place in history these events hold.

On the trip back to South Australia Rowdy came across the war memorial plaque which has been erected at Greenwald in southwest Victoria, very close to the South Australian border and just beyond the Great Ocean Road. The plaque is In memory of all those who have served in all theatres of conflict and lists those men from Greenwald who served in WWI. It replaces an Avenue of Honour which was originally planted in 1918.

Lest We Forget

The Great Ocean Road as mentioned above was featured in a recent post by Jane which if you missed it can be read here.

The Keeper tells us that the Great Ocean Road is considered to be the largest war memorial in the world. Stretching approximately 243 kilometres along the south coast of Victoria it was built by returned soldiers (commencing in 1919) as a memorial for all those who lost their lives in WWI and indeed some lost their lives building the road as the conditions were so arduous.1

From Australia to South Africa to see what Tendai Makufa has been doing with his brush and paints. His latest painting is titled Sharpening Your Skills.

Sharpening Your Skills by Tendai Makufa ©

Sharpening your Skills was created using acrylic decorative paint on canvas, 9cm x 12cm. Tendai explains the message in the painting as:

No matter how good we are we should, keep on doing more!!! The same with talent, no matter how good you are, keep on sharpening your skills to the fullest!!! Until, Until,!!!!!

The story ... they got a bumper harvest!! But they keep on going as if they are ignoring the bumper harvest and now they have covered the field!!! But they are going further and further!!!

Lets keep on Sharpening our Skills!!! Enjoy & I thank you!!! Tendai Makufa

We love Tenda's paintings and not only for their remarkable artistic impact. We love them for the wonderful narratives he weaves in colour and shape focusing on the women who work the fields of his homeland Zimbabwe. And we love him for the power of his passion and messages he sends to keep us all engaged and reflecting on his wise words.

And Tendai's focus on the women working in the fields is the perfect segue to Rowdy's comments on the post on Mothers.

Hi Anne…. Congratulations!!! A wonderful post to “Mothers” for this years Mothers Day 2023….

Your magnificent painting compositions certainly complemented & highlighted the work that mothers do for their dearly beloved families…

The compositions told the story of family life in “suburban back yards”…. with the “add on” extension to the houses.. rusty iron rooves.. mother hanging out the washing on the rotary clothes line… father “over seeing” his vegie patch… mowing the lawn by hand.. yarning over the side fence.. also family & friends music nights.. & the “gang” enjoying the great outdoor BBQ sitting at the table having fun conversations…

BUT… for me… the amazing priceless “Centre Piece” of the Mothers Day Post is the story of Anne… taking her 83 year old mother to China in 1990.. What a wonderful memory this must be!!!

The “Mothers Day Post” is marvelous & highlights the importance of mothers & also fathers within the family dynamic… to provide love.. support.. & a safe child friendly environment for all children… & the essential integration into the local community networks…

Thank you Rowdy for your lovely comments... to conclude a couple of sketches I did of while in Kowloon in 1990.

Sketches of Men at Work, Kowloon, 1990 by Anne Newman
There are so many new subscribers this month we have decided not to list them as has been the practice in the past. Nevertheless we extend a very special welcome to everyone who has joined up to share a love of all things art. And do please consider sending in items of interest to be shown in the monthly mailbag.