Thursday, November 5, 2009


Earlier this year, one lunch time, as I was perusing my favourite Adelaide bookstore, I discovered a Charley Harper colouring book. I'd seen Harper's art works before. They have been with me since childhood. Sharp, graphic, geometric images of birds were familiar to me. I associated them with the 60's - the colours and simple style seemed to fit with that era. I'd never known who the artist was. Since that moment in the bookshop I have searched to see more of Harper's works, amazed by how many there are and how witty they often are. An American, Charley Harper (1922 - 2007) developed his unique style, based on his life time love of nature, while studyin
g at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. If you are interested you can view some of his works here, though a Charley Harper search in Google Images will bring up many of his works.

I felt very lucky to find a small Charley Harper 2010 calendar in Readers Feast bookstore but then, having seen that, I got it in to my head that there would probably be a diary with Harper's art works in it also. I wanted it. Choosing my diary has long been something I do with care. It has to have images in it which I will enjoy through out the year. I began a search for it, looking in many book shops, even went on line to - all to no avail. But then, when I had put it out of my mind and almost decided on a Delicious diary, I found it! I reluctantly attended a workshop for small businesses on record keeping run by the Taxation Department. On my way to to the workshop, as I was walking past The Hill of Content Bookshop, I decided looking in there would be my reward once the workshop was over. There I found my Charley Harper 2010 Engagement Calendar - and felt doubly rewarded.

The picture on the cover is called 'The last aphid', a 1981 acrylic painting and serigraph. I don't have a favourite Charley Harper work of art. I love most of them. This one is very cute, it is called 'Love from above' and like many of Harper's works is a form of silkscreen print, known as a serigraph
and this one is clever. It is called 'Bear in the Birches'.
and these are funny; the first is called 'Br-r-r-r-r-thday', the second one 'Blackberry Jam'
It is the birds, though that I think most typifies Harper's works. Here's one example; it is called 'Green Jay'. Even though his illustrations look simple they are incredibly accurate representations of real species.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Doily Tree

Since most of us don't know what to do with them anymore, it is a good thing that these crocheted ornamental mats don't grow on trees. But yesterday walking along Gertrude Street, Fitzroy I was cheered to see this fabulous application of the old doily. Must have taken someone hours to stitch them all into place. The person I was with wondered what the tree itself might have thought of such adornment. I think if I was a tree I'd be pleased to have my beauty honoured with such an intricate, handcrafted labour of love.