Bought new art. Whoops.

Now that I’ve been introduced to Charleston’s Art Auctions I’ve realised this is a very dangerous game. Need to stop going to art auctions now. So on Sunday we went in with a strict budget and I’m happy to say didn’t go over the budget. I’m not sure we needed even more art when we have a fridge on its last legs and and a cooktop that is not only tilted but 2 of the 4 heating elements don’t work. And a bathroom that is so diabolical that even the professional cleaner couldn’t get rid of the black mold in the shower recess. (We’ve retired the cleaner and the grocery deliveries because I don’t have an income for 4 months. Therefore, I have lots of time for cleaning and grocery shopping. Apparently.)

So here are our lovely new paintings. Not expensive, but I rather like the cheerful red and orange one called My Country by Nellie Marks Nakamarra. Every time I go into the kitchen there it is, all bright and present. It’s delicious and a great blast of cheer in that rather dark room. I’m not sure about the Patricia Kamara Bush Medicine blue one. We’ve bought it for DH’s office but I’m not sure it will work there, and it’s quite strong in our blue-themed bedroom. Nevertheless, it will look great over the bed if it doesn’t suit the office. The great thing about buying art is that if you don’t like it or it doesn’t suit purpose you can sell it again. Huzzah!


Buying at auction is great because there is no gallery fee, which is normally 100% mark up or more. These works are each valued at triple their auction price. Auctions don’t really reflect the value of these types of pieces, even at resale. Nevertheless they’re beautiful and dynamic and add colour and vibrancy to our home. There were some truly beautiful large-scale works  by prize-winning artists, that went for a steal, which we sadly cannot afford and also can’t hang due to lack of wall. There were a couple of really gorgeous works I particularly coveted but hey. There’ll be other opportunities in future.

Back from NYC and raring to go

I’ve had a lovely first-ever trip to NYC and second trip to Seattle and now I’m ready to get started on the renovations. That is, once the plans are planned and drawn up etc. This could take a while.

In the meantime, there’s a Charleston’s art auction on Sunday featuring Aboriginal art. Both DH and I love Aboriginal art and we’ve begun collecting paintings. We already have 3 pieces – a stunning one by Napangardi (1st painting below) is hanging in DH’s office, another by Poly Ngala (7th painting below) is resting uneasily in the kitchen (needs pure white walls to be really awesome), a beautiful work by Pultara (3rd work below) is in our loungeroom. DH organized a purchase by the uni of a stunning work by Ronnie Tjampitjinpa (6th work below) that hangs in his office – and we’re looking to add pieces to our collection. Quite by chance I looked up the website for information about their next auction and it’s this weekend.


We can’t really afford new art right now but the prices are so reasonable and the art so lovely it would be a crying shame not to attend. A crying shame. I’m sure I can find a spare wall somewhere. The down side to this type of art is that it needs strong white walls to truly pop. At the moment some of our walls are a pale fawn colour (Dulux 1/4 strength Dune) and fawn is really only good for whimsical art a la vintage French style. We will need to repaint the entire interior of our home. I don’t see a problem with this.

Below are some images of the pieces we like by some artists whose work we have already purchased:

Napangardi 2014Evelyn Pultara 2014Josie Petrick Kemarre 2014Minnie Pwerle 2014Mona Shephard 2014

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa 2014Polly Ngala 2014

I’m in a world of desire here. As I said to DH, this is both good and bad news. Mind you, I’d rather buy art than a new wardrobe any day.



We’re renovating!!!

My designer reported last week that a “pool” house at the bottom of the garden was not possible given the stupid amounts of fees that would be required to relax easement coverage. While we were all disappointed, she visited today and came up with something even better: we’re going under!!

Our house sits on a sloping block and the bottom section of the house (the garage) is legal height. The builder has a brother who owns an earth moving business – it seems we will be able to excavate under the house another three metres or so and put in a double garage, bedroom, bathroom and laundry, linked by a staircase in the little anteroom off the kitchen. The earth moving won’t have to go in more than 3m x 10m by about .6 metres deep, so it’s totally doable, once we replace the posts with a steel H beam. Huzzah!!!!! This is what I had ALWAYS wanted to do, but I thought it would cost more than the figures being bandied about at present. This is due to the great floods of water running through the house, which will require rather a lot of hard landscaping work. I think we will end up with a cost of about $120,000 for all the plans we have but we can cover that with all sorts of spare credit cards if need be. Our bills aren’t going up and DH’s income is set to rise in the next 12 months or so. With any luck so will mine! We won’t be able to build all the lovely jubbly cabinetry I want for a little while, I imagine. But once we’ve got the changes to the house done and informed the bank of the upgrades, we should get some more money to finish the remainder, as presumably the house will go up in value.

Not only that, the designer recommended we build a studio with a skillion roof off the eastern side at the front of the block, where the current skillion entryway is now. If we offset it and don’t go to the boundary – in other words following all regulations – we can fit a 3.5 metre x 6m addition alongside the current house – perfect for the studio and away from the main house, with an entryway at the front. We place lovely new (but old style) stairs to the front of the house, thus giving us a proper four bedroom house with a front verandah, separate studio entry and double garage. I cannot tell you how excited we are. Very excited. OMGOMGOMG. AAARRRRGGGHH!!!!

And now I want to draw it.