Life imitates art – naturally occurring right under the Queensland Art Gallery Tuesday, Dec 16 2014 

I snapped this shot last Friday in the underground cavern on the way to the parking station – it could be any large Morris Louis that I’ve see overseas or go inside the QAG and see on the west wall outside the ‘sublime’ show the wonderful weeping blue pigment abstraction by the Morocco/French artist: Latifa Echakhch. Eyes and minds open with camera in hand!

My first boss came to morning tea in the studio last Thursday Saturday, Sep 13 2014 

In my holidays after my first year at art school, I spent six weeks at McWhirters in the Myer advertising department run by Max Fulcher. It might as well have been Madison Avenue because that tight little ship had most of the creative energy in Brisbane under the firm tutelage of Max and his team. I say tutelage because I actively learnt every job involved in the communication business, hands-on there in the next two years (1966 and 1967). I can still rattle off the names of the people working there who made such an impression on me – lots who years later I was pitching against for business in my own right. Max ran and trained the most creative enterprising division of Myer in the day, we were always being pushed by the Queensland chairman Harold Fielding to knock off the Melbourne team run by Wally O’Donohue. Not only did we achieve better advertising, better results for the group in Brisbane – Max delivered costs at a quarter of the price.

The world needs to know about this man from Yeronga’s meteoric rise to international retail success. Here in his own words to me, he explained his early grooming under Sir Kenneth Myer: ‘I introduced myself to Macy’s San Francisco where I met and began a working association with Duane McHolick who later came to Australia and set David Jones on a new promotional path “There is only one David Jones”. Studied with Mashall Fields (Chicago), The Broadway Stores (Los Angeles), Bonwitt Teller, Bloomingdales, Macy’s (New York). Myer supplied personal assistant and office in the New York Herald building. Introduced by Clyde Bedell (advertising guru who Myer sponsored to Australian in conjunction with Melbourne Herald around 1961) to Sek Seklemian (Retail Reporting Bureau – Retail Advertising Week) and wife and stayed in adjacent apartment  to them at the Barbizon Plaza 58th Street. Seklemian offered to sponsor me as his personal assistant (young Australians had good all-round training in advertising) if I decided to return to New York but loyalty to Myer prevailed. Holidayed in Nassau (Bahamas), returned to Macy’s (San Francisco) and was appointed Director Myer (Qld) upon return, June 1964.’

My own career couldn’t have started at a better time or a better place. Max’s sister Gem ran Camera Craft for Harry Poulsen at the time and she too was an active stimulus to my evolving fashion sense, Gem passed away recently and Max gave me this pic of her (left) and their friend Pat.

Like me, Max is an early adopter and his story of early digital times in Sydney is amazing – he started doing his own orchid illustrations after overcoming the vagaries of the Quark environment. Max lent me his catalogue of his first 108 personal illustrations, he has completed 111 to date. These are all layered vector elements created in Illustrator but more complex than that – he holds every shape he has ever created in folders at the same resolution so he can import and copy and place into new creations. He has a gallery relationship in Sydney but all our Australian Garden History Society friends should get in touch direct. My many interior design and architect friends should work with Max to enhance their hospitals and hotels with his exquisitely rendered digitally produced prints. Go direct here . . . A larger print of #11 that I like also. 0428198012

If you live driving distance from East Brisbane you had better make a b-line to Graham Reynolds’ showroom Saturday, May 25 2013 

He has sold his business premises and is downsizing, Michael Allen tipped us off three weeks ago and we only managed to visit at closing hours today. I’ve known him for thirty years or so but as I collected mainly contemporary works I never used his services. Every major art institution in Australia has though, his reputation is known the world over. Its nothing for say the Rijksmuseum to pay $200,000.00 for a hand built frame for their latest 17th-century Dutch Paining by Johannes Vermeer. . . . painstakingly crafted by Graham and his team, in Australia. Well everything is being sold . . . Barbara and I bought two frames today. Already installed our the bedroom, this 23ct water gilded and burnished mirror was $2,000.00 and we bought it for $200.00 The bronze patinated tabanacle frame is now Barbara’s piece and cost us $280.00 . . .

Katrina and Graham can be contacted on mobile – 0487 917 340 or call in at 463 Vulture Street East Brisbane Q 4169

23ctGiltFrame BronzeTabFrame

Linda Nothdurft (nee Mehan) has just floated out of the studio with two commissioned rings as anchors, we are just so chuffed for her Saturday, May 5 2012 

The previous ring concept post mentioned her ceramic, painted dog button. Linda had thought about asking Barbara if she could have her own dog ring for as long as we have known her. Linda was the commercial manager of the Gallery Store for 12 years so has overseen our retail operation at the Queensland Art Gallery for all that time. She has really great © Bh pieces already but these two recent commissions have evolved since she left that employ for her own family’s business where she has more time for studio visits.

Barbara has worn her signature fox ring since 1991. Her first 1987 version was made  in Gold and Shakudo and later she crafted the chunky pavé solid gold version with Diamonds recycled from her first Hardy Bros range. The day Linda broached the subject, Barb already knew all the elements she would further refine in this new version. The ceramic domed button required a protective watch glass and a fully sealed case made, the full bombé hollowed rim and even wider shank was finished in the same pavé chunked 18ct Yellow Gold style.

Another young painter worth her weight in gold (now thats really saying something), Amanda Krantz Thursday, Sep 8 2011 

Picture #5 is my pick of the new work about to go on show at Paddington’s – Percolator Gallery, September 21-25 2011. Amanda is the niece of one of my best working buddies in the agency scene in the 1980s, Valerie Staddon. We both headed departments at Schofield Sherbon Baker. Barbara and I have followed the career of Amanda and we are chuffed at her development (pity I’m not buying art anymore, but lots of folks are) . . . buying her work. Opening Friday 23rd September 6–9pm. 134 LaTrobe Terrace Paddington, Brisbane  Phone 07 3368 3315. Amanda’s web is here.