From a few years ago.

August 10, 2013

Christina Sonnemann Baehr portrait

Not the best photo, but here’s one I never posted.

This one of my daughter is from my first “go” at painting, before Christina was married. It’s the 3rd portrait I attempted.

Did I mention this? I only started painting a few years ago then had a several year break;  I’ve now come back to it.

Apparently, It’s never too late to start, then start again.


God is full of surprises.

August 10, 2013

Return of Noir Canard Growing Things  The two paintings I entered sold last night at the Opening of the Rotary Charity Exhibition at Wrest Point. There are over 400 pieces on display there, making it by far the biggest – and certainly most “posh” – exhibition I have entered so far.

It was fun taking my grand-daughter, Eve, along.  I think she was especially gratified when the painting “of her” received its little red “sold” sticker.

I am always astounded when one of my works sell. There were so many there so much better. So many artists more experienced. Their art is so “confident” and mine still rather hesitating. When viewing one of my paintings in such a setting, I long for a few more moments to touch up areas that still don’t satisfy me.  For both to sell at the actual Opening Party, only a few minutes after it was opened for purchases, was thoroughly astonishing.

My only explanation is: “God wanted them to sell”. For which I am humbled and grateful.  I guess it means I will keep painting!

Any suggestions for the next Noir Canard?

“Growing Things” 2013.  My granddaughter during her first summer living in the Huon Valley, discovering the joy of harvesting growing things, and of having plenty of room to grow.

“The Return of Noir Canard” 2013.   This is one of an ongoing series informed by my love of classic films

Noir Canard 2

September 29, 2012

My favourite Noir duck lives on.

Noir Canard and the Femme Fatale

Noir Canard and the Woman


February 1, 2010

what is Tasmania like? Nick Monk’s photography gives a hint of the combined gravity and joy. Something a little heartbreaking about our landscapes, don’t you think?

sand-and-storm-bruny-island-tasmania Nick Monk

Sand and Storm, Bruny Island by Nick Monk

Maybe it’s Nick’s love of bushwalking that gives his photography such a specialness of place. Click on the image for more of his work.

The Agrarian Kitchen

February 1, 2010

About a year ago I did a “Preserving Summer’s Bounty” class with Sally Wise at the Agrarian Kitchen in lovely Lachlan near New Norfolk, Tasmania. (The Ferntree sourdough starter that Sally shared with us is still alive and well despite my occasional neglect…more about that later)

I love the way Agrarian Kitchen owners Rodney and Séverine source ingredients from local farmers, fishermen, gardeners and artisanal producers. Tasmania is staunchly and justly proud of its artists and produce. The photos on their site all inspire me to paint!

Here’s the best and most simple recipe for Apricot Tea Cake that I learned from Sally.

The Agrarian Kitchen, Tasmania

The Agrarian Kitchen in Lachlan, Tasmania

Apricot Tea Cake

This is a quick and easy recipe and always delicious. You can use any kind of tinned or bottled fruit with it and add a 1/2 tsp of essence/extract (almond, vanilla, coconut, etc) instead of the lemon peel.

1 egg
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c milk
2 T lemon juice
1 1/2 c self raising flour
60g (2 oz) melted butter
grated rind of 1 lemon (optional)
preserved or tinned apricot halves, drained
melted butter, sugar and cinnamon (for topping)

Preheat oven to 180 C (350F)

Grease and line the base of an 18 cm (7 inch) deep round tin.

Combine the milk and lemon juice.

Whisk the egg and sugar, then add the combined milk and lemon juice, flour and melted butter. Whisk until smooth.

Mix through the grated lemon rind, if using.

Pour the mixture into the tin. Top with the apricot halves (rounded side up, not quite touching) and bake for 30 minutes.

Leave cake to stand in tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a cake cooler. Turn right way up again (carefully), then brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

NOTE: for fan-forced ovens, the temperature should be turned down a few degrees.