October 2022 Mailbag No 2

Our Jane has been on tour in Tanzania and if you missed her posts so far please check out:

Tantalising Tanzania

National Animal of Tanzania

Jane Visits Ngorongoro in Tanzania

AnArt4Life blog subscriber Monica lives in Tanzania and Jane's posts brought this response:

What a thrill it was to see that my beloved home country, now, was the topic of the feature today. Jane, with your "thumbnail" portrait , you have captured the very "essence" of this land. It is a green and fertile country, and I was deeply shocked to see your aerial photograohs of the brown aridity in the environs of Kilimanjaro! Ours is a 'green' land, I protest! I had not appreciated how badly drought stricken we are. Your description of the people are perfect . They are friendly, helpful, hard working , compassionate, and they all have a sense of humour, despite some of their real difficulties. Although Julius Nyerere, Tanzania's first President, destroyed the economy, he left behind a priceless Legacy. He insisted that all ethnic groups live together, mix and share together, and consciously moved people of all races, creeds and colour, all over the country. As a result , we have a homogenous society, where Muslims, Christians, Thai, Chinese, Europeans and other African people live side by side in harmony. I think that Tanzania is the " Fruit Basket" of the world. Mangoes and Paw Paws propagate like weeds, literally; and we have pineapples, citrus fruits, strawberries, raspberries, black raspberries and "Cashew Nuts in abundance. We export the best quality Tobacco in the world, and a fair portion of rice. We never experience cold. The seasons move from Spring, to Summer and to Autumn, and then back to Spring! Sometimes it is unbearably hot. Thank goodness for Air Conditioners. I believe that I live in Paradise! M.B. Tanzania

Next item in the mailbag is to recognise that September has been a sad month for many with several significant figures in the world dying, the most notable being Queen Elizabeth II who died on 8 September, 2022. Mikhail Gorbachev died on 30 August 2022 - he was the Russian and Soviet politician who served as the last leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 to the country's dissolution in 1991. You can read more about his life by clicking here.

Two Australian sweethearts from the entertaining world also died - the very much loved and admired singers Judith Durham and Olivia Newton-John both lost their battles with illness. Dame Olivia Newton-John, DBE, AC must also be remembered for her remarkable contribution to fighting cancer and for being the Founding Champion of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute. Loretta Lynn decided to join Judith and Olivia on 4 October making a singing performance to behold!!

Australians will also mourn the death of the remarkable Uncle Jack Charles - a Boon Wurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung man, a beloved and respected elder, an actor, musician, potter and gifted performer. He is acknowledged as the grandfather of Aboriginal theatre in Australia and co-founded the first Aboriginal theatre company, Nindethana Theatre, with Bob Maza in 1972.1 Uncle Jack made such a difference in building bridges across many aspects that affect all Australians from all cultures.

Wherever these distinctive individuals from such different walks of life are I am sure they are having a grand old chinwag. Each of them has made our world and their fields of influence so much better and may they All Rest in Peace.

And this past month also saw the retirement of tennis great Roger Federer who has been captured perfectly by English artist Philip Johnson - a very firm favourite of the AnArt4Life blog. There are several posts on Philip's portraits in the AnArt4Life library so please use (from the menu at the top of each post) the TagCloud or the Search Magnifying Glass to locate our past posts on Philip Johnson.

And Twitter users can follown Philip by clicking here.

Roger Federer by Philip Johnson (Credit: realistportraits.com)

The last item in the mailbag sees comments from several subscribers acknowledging the artistic talent of Alice Xu the 2021 winner of the Troy Quinliven Exhibition Award.

Jane and Rowdy both commented on the wonderful creativity of Alice and the importance of mentors like Kevin McKaywho administers the Troy Quinliven Exhibition Award on behalf of Troy's parents.

Rowdy added that Troy Quinliven’s art was truly unique and my favorite composition of Troy’s is the “Happy Hour” portrait of faces… what amazing characters… all captured and sketched in a local “Pub”…

Here are the links to AnArt4Life posts on the works of Troy Quinliven:

Troy Quinliven Remembered with Love and Admiration Part One

Troy Quinliven Remembered with Love and Admiration Part Two

On the left below is the wonderful painting Happy Hour by Troy Quinliven referred to above by Rowdy. And on the right is Kevin McKay's portrait of his friend and fellow artist Troy Quinliven.

1. australiacouncil.gov.au