Two Yanks Downunder

A blog about the experiences of two Americans on their first visit to the fabulous continent of Australia

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Perfect day with Margaret- continued

We finally tore ourselves away from Evi's beautiful showcase and rode through some wealthy residential areas to Margaret's home. She gave us a tour and she also has a lovely home filled with artworks, many of her own and many from friends and well known artists of the area.

The entry has these lovely Dutch ceramics, many of which were brought back by Margaret's husband, Frank.

The living room has a large fireplace set off by an enormous light-colored oil painting in a Pollock-like flung paint style.
(Seen on the right in the photo below. The color here is not very good).

Here is the couch wall in the same living room:

And here Mom gets a tour of the other end of the same room.

Margaret and Frank's home has a very peaceful quality to it: elegant and yet also full of fascinating objects. This is a piece of found wood that she framed in front of some black paper.

Even the halls are lined with stupendous paintings.

Margaret has spent some time in Tokyo and her bedroom has a gorgeous textile piece from Japan above the bed. She has also brought back a Japanese fire helmet among other unusual pieces.

Her garden is filled with a variety of sub-tropical and tropical plants and trees and she has several different gardens set around her H shaped home. Here is Mom enjoying the back garden.

And here is yet a different view:

In that same garden we were delighted to find haworthias and succulents in a container and Margaret was generous and even supplied us with cuttings for the Henry Street garden.

I couldn't resist putting in a picture of this South African daisy, even though it is simply an imported nursery annual.

It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to see such enticing gardens.

This is a work area where Margaret does some of her silver work:

After enjoying her hospitality, we headed off for Subiaco for lunch at a small Greek restaurant, which also was filled with art, mediterranean objects and photographs of the owner's family. Restaurants in the area tend to be smaller than in the U.S. and have a more limited range of choices, but also are high quality and comfortable. There was however a tremendous variety of desserts and Mom and I could not resist having some lemon poppyseed cake (We hope we don't face any drug tests in the next few days!) The food was good and the conversation even better.

Margaret is a highly educated, charming woman with style who really knows her art, both local and international. She attended art school later in life, but knows her passion and has explored a wide variety of media including painting, clay sculpture, embroidery and even silver work.

To top the day off, we visited the Laurence Wilson Art gallery on the University of Western Australia campus.

There was an exhibit on "Picturing the Sea" and again there was quite a disparate group of paintings. Everything from an Aboriginal painting called "Scar" that was an abstract depiction of blood and oil in horizontal layers (reds and purples) representing the labor abuse of the artist's grandfather by European Australians, to turn of the century landscapes and even an installation with large seed pods on a fabric rectangle laid out in the center of the first gallery.

After our visit to the museum we strolled around the grounds of the University. They have an attractive sunken garden in the vicinity, where we enjoyed the plants and flowers.

This is a lovely tree with a very knotted trunk down in the basin of the garden.

Here you can see some more views of the garden with Mom and Margaret looking down into the garden.

I love the textural element of this combination of plants:

Unfortunately the time had flown by and it was already late in the afternoon, so Margaret took us back to Freo. On the way home she stopped at a bakery so we could buy some artisan bread and also pointed out places to buy quality wool. We followed the river back and disembarked on Henry Street.

Upon arriving home, we were so inspired by our day full of art, that we decided the perfect ending for the day would be to sit out on the porch and do a drawing or watercolor. Both of us were very dissatisfied with our work, but we will resolve to keep at it and do better tomorrow. (which we need to do, because it got so cold on the porch after the sun started to set, that we could not really finish our work.)

It truly was the perfect day! Great food, great art, great weather and superior company!


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