In either 1956 or 1957, so aged about 7 or 8, I was given fifteen shillings, 15/- to spend at the annual school fete, and for the first time I could wander around all on my own and choose what to spend my money on. That amount of money was probably equivalent to about 5 Saturday afternoons at the movies in those days, so was a very decent amount to spend on baker’s toast, toffee apples, handwork stall items, pin the tail on the donkey and all the other now-old fashioned attractions that raised funds for the Parents and Friends Association of the School.
After I’d checked out all the stalls I went back to the one displaying perhaps 60 or 80, maybe more, enchanting little water colour paintings like this one above, in 15cm x 20cm frames, all priced at 11/6. I knew I just had to have one, despite that it would take a large chunk of my pocket money; and it took me quite a while to settle on this one which I’ve adored ever since, still in its original frame and glass – which isn’t bad for a little painting that has travelled widely and frequently in the 60 years I’ve owned it…. Apparently the art teachers had gone out and painted all these little landscapes, which were then framed by one of the parents who ran a picture framing gallery – prolly offcuts and glass oddments from his paying jobs – it was a very busy shop. The subject is the Western Tiers, up behind Deloraine, Tasmania – a view that was very familiar to me then and which I still find so dramatic today whenever I visit and hurtle along the Bass Highway out that way. How lovely it was to enjoy it on my recent visit to Perth, where I took this picture.
Down the years I have acquired many other pictures, usually jointly with my dearly beloved, and mostly chosen because I/we love them – plus we have inherited several really nice artworks. This may be the smallest one we have, but for me it will always be very special.