October 2023 Mailbag

Royal Mail van on the island of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland (Photo: Anne Newman)

As we all know, the Mail never fails and continues to deliver to the remotest corners of the world. Here is the Royal Mail van on the Island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides only a little more than 2,000 miles from the North Pole.

And a graphic reminder of how far north we are and how far back in time is the given below with the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village on Lewis where people still live in the renovated houses and yes, the mail is delivered here - of course!!

Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland (Photos: Anne Newman)

And there is no better segue to use to the next item than the existence of remote islands to the marvellous series we have run on the sailing ship era as painted by Australian marine artist Robert Carter.

Au Revoir Bretagne by Robert Carter
Robert Carter’s oil painting of the French bounty ship “Bretagne” is quite something to see as she heads off in 1923 towards Astoria on the American North West coast for a grain cargo.

Robert's painting of the Bretagne caught the eye of fellow artist John Rowdy Wylie who commented:

What a magnificent composition.... a scene of tranquility... highlighting the open "salty" air.. the freedom of the of the "wind" in the sails... while sailing & tacking with the breeze... the only "sound" is the sea gulls & the waves breaking over the ships bow... The two masted.... gaff rigged... Tasmanian Ketch is confident in her direction!!! Thankyou... Anne & Robert for the marvellous post & the "Bretagne" painting "master piece"... All the Best... Rowdy..

And now we are going to segue to a cat!! Why? Because often cats lived aboard the sailing ships. In fact Matthew Flinders circumnavigated Australia with his cat Trim who I believed helped sometimes with drawing up the maps of our coastline!

But today's cat is Micky and belongs to my cousin Gayle.

Micky by Helen Gray 

Micky is a very lucky cat as the portrait was painted by Australian artist Helen Gray who combines art and science to produce beautiful art works as you can see above with Micky's portrait.

Here on the AnArt4Life blog we have written a couple of posts on Helen's work which you can read by following the bookmark links below. I have also included a link to Helen's website for those of you who would like to know more.

And thank you Gayle and Micky for sharing the stunning portrait showing off Helen's artistic skill and Micky's handsome looks!

Combining Art and Science with Helen Grey
A special treat today when we visit the world of self-taught Australian artist Helen Grey and see some of her wonderful wildlife studies and meet - Faye, Samuel, Julio, Zander .. and Thomas who is very special indeed. I won’t give any more away - click to see theses amazing creatures.
Learning how to deboss a Rufous Bettong with Helen Grey
In this post you will learn a little about Rufous Bettong - a small Australian marsupial in the potoroo and kangaroo family. The tutorial involves two videos by Helen Gray who will teach you how to deboss and use coloured pencils to create a realistic image of a Rufous Bettong.
Helen Grey Art and Science
An Australian artist specialising in wildlife, pet and portrait artworks with stunning attention to detail. This site showcases Helen Grey’s work, online store and allows people to get in touch to commission her for their own artworks.

The next item in the mailbag comes from D. our Roving Reporter in Central Victoria who recently reminded me of the artistic talent of Bendigo artist Jenny Carrington. Jenny has just joined the Facebook group Bendigo Openstudios with these images to showcase her talent.

Images of landscapes by Jenny Carrington (Credit: Bendigo Openstudios Facebook)

Please check out an Art4Life past post on the works of Jenny Carrington who took us back stepping through the landscape of my childhood in Central Victoria. And I have also included a bookmark link through to the Bendigo Openstudios FB page for those of you who use this social media platform.

Stepping through the landscape with Jenny Carrington
I want to introduce you to one of the most interesting, creative & versatile artists from Central Victoria - Jenny Carrington. We are going into the Australian bush with Jenny as she produces a landscape a day!!
Bendigo Openstudios
Bendigo Openstudios is on Facebook. Join Facebook to connect with Bendigo Openstudios and others you may know. Facebook gives people the power to share and makes the world more open and connected.

And in a very different style blog follower and contributor Soumya Kundu from Kolkata, India has produced a wonderfully interesting watercolour painting of Ganesh.

Ganesh thakur by Souyma Kundu

DownUnder we are heading into a very hot summer but going through my photos from my recent trip to the UK I am reminded that the Northern Hemisphere is fast approaching winter. Just before I left London for home I took this shot of the glorious autumn sun rising over Regent's Park - one of my most favourite landscapes in the world. A huge thank you to my London family for looking after me and for sharing their beautiful park with me.

Autumn sun rising over Regent's Park London (Photo: Anne Newman)

And to conclude - a very special thank you to all the key workers throughout the world who do so much to keep us safe. I took this photo recently in London.

A seat in London thanking Key Workers (Photo: Anne Newman)