Dec 21, 2012

The Man With The Red Ball Head


Hello? Hello? Hello? Is this thing on? Tap Tap tap.

Thank you for everyone's well wishes! The show went very wonderfully well :)

And now it's Christmas, and what have we done?
Well, we done aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.
The same as last year.

Do you know the secret to a long life?
The answer is to park your car in a differnt spot every day.
Well metaphorically seriously.
That is, the trick to making your life seem longer is to do something different every day.

Isn't it curious that we always remember the pain filled days? The days when something obnoxiously horrible happened. As opposed to the days where nothing happened, where we went about our business and weren't run over by a truck, or the world didn't end, or we didn't drop our ice cream cone in the gutter before we even managed to get a lick in.

So my advice to you is, apart from parking your car in a different spot everyday, is to lick your ice cream cone as soon as possible, before something obnoxiously horribilllious happens to it.

Have a wonderous New Year and a marvelous Christmas and a joyful Mawlid al-Nabi  if I don't see you before hand.

By the way this post is for Illustration Friday's "Glow" :)

But before I go can I leave you with Wallace Steven's The Emperor of Icecream  ?

The Emperor Of Ice-Cream
 Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.
Take from the dresser of deal.
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Of course, though many commentators  much smarter than myself feel that the implicit theme of The Emperor of Ice Cream is "seize the day", I personally still feel that the real theme is "lick the ice cream".
So there.
Take care :)
Hugs from Oz.
Thank you for visiting my blig by the way (okay, okay I meant to type "blog" but "blig" has such a ring to it.....)

Nov 10, 2012


A.Finnie. "Birdie Park" (detail) 2011, acrylic on canvas 40x50cm

Well, guess what I've been doing? 

Yes, I haven't been visiting blogs, I haven't been surfing. Instead I've been ringing up news papers, designing posters, thinking up wonderful things to say about myself that slightly resembled the truth, I've been trying to buy bottles of wine for less than three dollars that don't have the distinct aroma of Eau de Chat Derrier, I've been addressing envelopes, googling addresses, licking stamps (some of them taste like strawberries) and , above all, trying to find a pair of trousers to fit me on opening night that doesn't make me look like an upside down version of one of those people who blow up a washing glove and stick it on their head so they look like a chook on steroids (chook is Australian for chicken eg Hey Bruce! Get aload of that old chook over there sitting near the bill a bong)

This for Illustration Friday's "Tree". (So wasn't the Tree of Life half tempting, aye?)

I hope you forgive me for not visiting :( Life is due to return to normal any year now....

Hugs from Oz!

PS we even scored a segment in the Trevisan International Art newsletter :)

A.Finnie. "Yellow Chrsyanthemum"  2012, acrylic on canvas 40x50cm

Jennifer.Finnie. "Lazy Summer" 2012, acrylic on linen 30X25cm

Robert.Birch "Baraka 1" acrylic on canvas 40.5x40.5cm

Practicing one wall of the "hang" in the studio.

Oct 29, 2012



Okay, I admit it...
I do have a skeleton in my closet.
It's my Aunt Mabel's -
She wasn't using it so I borrowed it.
Took an awful lot of digging to get it though....
Thank you for commenting on my last Haunt Ces :)
Yes I got dragged to the anatomy library once.
All those heads in jars, flayed, spliced, boiled and diced....
I'm sure they are all
very nice.
But it just wasn't my thing!
see you! :)

Oct 27, 2012



The White Rats

".....make sure that the rat is pinned down on its back before cutting."

from a manual on rat dissection

Oct 12, 2012

Two Smart Monkeys



One for Illustration Friday's Water.
Inspired by Linda Hensley's narcissistic Mirror, Shirley Ng-Benitez's pondering Panda :) and Ces Adorio's wonderous Jungles. Thank-you ladies. :)
Please plick for gig. .....

Oct 11, 2012

Ménage à Quatre

A few years ago I  was blessed to take part in a show with my good friends Siggy and Bob, a husband and wife team, both painters, both internationally renown, both extraordinary people who breath art almost every moment of their waking life.

Siggy, a delightful German who spends a lot of time in Tuscany doing Tuscan things, came up with the title for that show.

It was called Ménage à Trois - a title I thought quite innocent until I noticed a visiting French artistes' sudden shortness of breath as she explained the title to one of her less worldly Australian counterparts.

Hmm I thought, I wonder what she thinks Siggy and Bob and Andrew get up to!

So this year in mid-November, my wife and I will be showing with Bob and Siggy at the same gallery.

Of course the show is Ménage à Quatre... :)

These are a few of the paintings I have been working up for the show. Acrylic on canvas.

You can read about Sieglinde Battley here if you like. And also here
And Robert Birch has his site here. I'd highly recommend taking a look at Bob's sketchbook!

Bob was my painting teacher when I studied Fine Art at college. I am blessed to be his friend.

I made another post featuring Bob and Siggy a while back. It has the Newspaper reviews of Ménage à Trois. The post is here if you would like to read it.

I am so sorry I had my comments turned off. I didn't realise what a frustrating pain it was until I visited a friend's blog today and I had to hunt around to leave a comment.

Thank you for coming to my blog.

Oct 5, 2012

Does My Bum Look Big in This?

I woke up this morning and realised I had never written the word "bum" in my blog before. And I thought to myself, "Brian, what are you? A loser or something? Let's go for it!"
So, even though my name is not Brian, I did. 
Of course 'bums' need 'mirrors' like swimming goggles need heads.
So with that nefarious connection to the subject of mirrors I have to be truthful and admit that there are only two things that I use a mirror for.
Neither of them is bottom related.
The first is to make sure I don't have cake on my face after a particularly exciting children's birthday party. 

The second is when, sometime during the day, I have managed to trip up in the street.

First I look at my shoelaces.

And if they are done up, I look in the mirror because I know it's time to cut my eyebrows again.....

This one for Illustration Friday "Mirror". They are kids 'lost' in a Magic Mirror Maze.

Thank you for coming to look!

Please feel free to click the images.

I'm sorry about my last post. I had an attack of cuteness. Luckily it went away after a while.

Sep 29, 2012

Book as Onomatopoeia


Ratter, clatter, clock, bang.



I love "onomatopoeia".

Not only is the word itself onomatopoeic, but it has managed to cling to its dypthong.

I guess that's because they don't use it in newspaper headlines.....

I can see it now "Onomatopoeic Wobbers Clang Way Through Banging Good Wobbery!"

Not going to happen.....



Sep 22, 2012


Gee, you know, when I first started a blog I had one ambition in mind.
To get my work out "there".  Where ever 'there' is.
You know what it's like - humans have a spiritual need to create.  Children, tools, houses, sandcastles.
I guess it's related to our lust for immortality.
What we make bears witness to our existence.
 Like gravestones. Roman gravestones. "Stop and look traveler, for I was once like you. Now I am nothing but dust and bones. Tu fui ego eris."
This is for Illustration Friday's Crooked.
I met a crooked man,
Upon a crooked road,
And in his crooked hand,
He held a crooked toad.

Sorry about the poem. Try as I might, I coudn't get Kingfisher to rhyme with road.
In real life you'd never get this close to a Kingfisher. Or three. Or four. :)
And sixpence are so passé. ;)
For the old man? His mother used to pull his ears when he was bad. Now look at him. 
Thank you for looking. I am sorry the comments are turned off. It's because I have intense feelings of guilt at not responding, in kind, to peoples' kind words.
Did I tell you I have a literary agent? A beautiful woman in New York?
There is a God...
I count my blessings.
But I miss my blogging friends ..... :(

Sep 9, 2012

One for Peter Speight

This is an image I made in memory of my friend Peter Speight.

Sadly the first part of Peter's journey came to an end last week. He was 46.

His eyes always sparkled with the light of life.

It seems impossible that he is dead. 
I feel sick.

Here's his blog - he was an anglo saxon sculptor, in the spiritual sense of the word.

There is an adult warning on the blog.

The photographs in this post are not mine. They were borrowed from his face book page and also from the face book page set up by his friends.
Some burn damp faggots, others may consume
The entire combustible world in one small room
As though dried straw, and if we turn about
The bare chimney is gone black out
Because the work had finished in that flare.
Soldier, scholar, horseman, he,
As 'twere all life's epitome.
What made us dream that he could comb grey hair?

Peter with of one of his sculptures at our place at an after opening party. He was particularly proud of this one, wanted to have his photograph taken with it. I'm so glad he did. We have three of his works - this was his favourite, a circus acrobat,


Sep 3, 2012

Harry and Ralph, Almost Identical

Harry always knew that he and Ralph had something in common. Not only were they born on the same day, in the same hospital and to the same parents, they both (later in life at least) shopped for their clothes at the same snappy Barnaby Street Shoppe.

But it wasn't till one Saturday afternoon in late August 1999 that Ralph, the younger but vainer of the two, accidently used too much vanishing cream on his wrinkles.

Tragically, when he realised his mistake, he only rubbed harder.

This, as you can see, not only made things worse, but it made things worser, worsest... and finally, worserest.

I kid you not.

Hello. See you soon... unless you go the way of Ralph ;)

Thank you Karen et Bella and Art and Rossicheeka :) and Trudy for commenting on my last post - even though I don't deserve it.... Hugs from Oz :)

Oh please click the pics if you like it bigger

Aug 29, 2012

Dad Jokes


I'm sorry I haven't been around. Recently I've had  remarkable good fortune that is, unexpectedly, taking up all of my spare time. By all, I mean all.
Which, by a remarkable coincidence, happens to rhyme remarkably well with this week's Illustration Friday prompt which is of course, Goanna....
Err, I mean Tall...... 
This image was in a book I made just after my accident.... about a little girl who loses some 'things' (not just her hair)  and goes looking for them.....
Thank you so much to all those who commented on my last post.
And made suggestions for books. I appreciate it very much.
I'll make a post about the books I managed to get my hands on soon.
And thank you for looking at  my work.
If all goes well I  will be back on board shortly.....
You can't get rid of me that easily :)

Jul 8, 2012


Ever think of burying a toad in limestone for a year?

No, me neither.

Interesting thought though. If I ever decided to bury a toad for a year, I bet I could never find him again when it was time to dig him up. Poor devil.

Of course it wouldn't be for lack of preparation. I'd use a marker and mark a giant 'X' on the spot where I buried the toad in the rock (hence Toad in The Hole). I think I'd even use GPS.

But with acid rain, global warming and my innate inability to find at least one pair of matching socks in my own bedroom, I'm sure any poor toad I buried in a rock would be lost forever - GPS or not.

That's why I'm so impressed with William Buckland, who during the 1820's attempted to rid his Auntie's garden of toads by conducting a 'scientific experiment.'

In that experiment Buckland decided to find how long a toad, encased in rock would remain alive.

But that's not the impressive thing.

The impressive thing is that, after burying dozens of these warty little amphibians in his  own back yard (that's self sacrifice for you) he managed to find them all a year later.

Incredibly, (that last word says 'incredibly' in case you can't read it) when he dug them up a year later, most of them were dead.

But fear not, toad dislikers of the world, those that had survived he put to the 'acid' test.

Yes, you guessed it.

He reburied them for another year.

A year later, when he dug them up again it might surprise you to learn that the 'surviving' toads were also dead.

After these two rigorous experiments (he must have grown very bored hanging around his garden for an entire year making sure none of these toads escaped) Buckland concluded that reports of toads being entombed in rock and surviving were not only wrong, but licentious.

Of course, as outsiders we can see that Buckland's hypothesis had some holes. For example, it says no where in the record that he fed any of these toads. Nor does it mention whether he washed his hands both before and after the experiment. And while we are on the 'nors' - nor did he tie his hair back in a bun - as recommended by the Toad Handler's Association of Northumberland. (THAoN article 7 paragraph 19 - a member of good standing will not handle a Toad without first and forthmost as said member bunning his hair, preferably in a thilken thock - my Bold)

I think Buckland's conclusions should be amended to: 100 percent of toads buried in misc. rocks for a year or two by William Buckland in the 1820s, without food, water or proper shelter are likely to die - most probably from infections they picked up from Buckland's hands, or of secondary complications brought on by being in the presence of 'unbunned hair'.

They talk about 'Man's Inhumanity to Man'.

What about 'Man's Inhumanity to Toads', eh?

And wait till my hair dresser hears about this.
He will be inthensed at the lack of bunning, I bet you..

While we are not on the subject can anyone recommend some good 'wordless' books? I'm onto Weisner, Lehman, Tan's The Arrival  etc. Here is the list I ordered (not all wordless books) . Any recommendations very welcome. :)

See you!

The Snowman : Raymond Briggs

Sidewalk Circus  :Paul-Fleischman-Kevin-Hawkes

The Polar Express:  Chris-Van-Allsburg

The Garden of Abdul Gasazi: Chris-Van-Allsburg

Sweetest Fig:  Chris-Van-Allsburg

June 29, 1999: Weisner


The Three Pigs: Weisner

Flotsam: Weisner

Free Fall: Weisner

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: Judith-Viorst-Ray-Cruz

Good Dog, Carl: Alexander Day

A Boy, A Dog & A Frog: Mercer Mayer

Noah's Ark: Jerry Pinkney

Chalk: Bill Thomson

Museum Trip: Barbara Lehman

Rainstorm:  Barbara Lehman

Trainstop:  Barbara Lehman

The Red Book:  Barbara Lehman

Jumanji 30th Anniversary Edition: Chris Van Allsburg

The Lion and the Mouse: Jerry Pinkney

By the way, here's the Wiki.