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All About Art is a mixed group led by Barbara F and we meet on the second Sunday or first Monday each month.

This group is for those with an appreciation and interest in art. We are hoping to meet face-to-face this year to discuss art topics and, when possible, to visit gallery exhibits in small groups as Covid restrictions allow. This may be supplemented with some suggested electronic resources to view before we get together.




* April 1st 2023 - Katoomba

We will be leaving the heat of Sydney, if it still persists, for a day in the beautiful Blue Mountains to the Blue
Mountains Cultural Centre in Katoomba, located right next to the Carrington Hotel which many of us know.
We can view two exhibits:
The semblance of things: portraits by Nick Stathopoulos
This is a survey of the artist's hyper realistic portraits from the past thirty years
Blue Mountains Portraits
This exhibit is a celebration of the local community and its diverse members.
Please contact me for more information if needed.

RSVP Barbara 29/03/23


* Report for March, 2023 – Hawkesbury Regional Gallery

After a delicious lunch and much happy chatting, we made our way to nearby Hawkesbury Regional Gallery to view their latest exhibits. 

The large scale multi-sheet drawings by Mark Dober were impressive. Poor Mark took up an artistic residency in Bilpin just after the 2019 bushfire devastation so that was put off a bit. Back in 2020 for one week then Covid hit. Finally completed his time to work in the area in 2022 so all enjoyed looking at his creations.

Next was a group exhibition by Untethered Fibre Artists Inc titled Signatures. Margaret was able to tell us about some of the techniques used in felting and we especially liked the grid of 9 Arkaroola Landscapes by Denise Lithgow. Jann also shared her knowledge of hand stitching, machine stitching and fabric. So  much thought and creativity was put into each piece.

The last small gallery space displayed Hearts of Absent Women by Ema Shin, a Korean woman who grew up in Japan then emigrated to Australia 12 years ago. In Korean family trees, only the male line is recorded so Shin celebrated the women who are missing from her family tree. 

This exhibit runs until April 6 so would definitely be worth a visit. 




* Report for February

Our group of ten enjoyed a weekend away which was filled with fun, fellowship, food... and art. Our first stop was Gallery on Track in Goulburn which is located in the restored engine drivers' barracks. What a wonderland of objects made by local artists plus a quilt exhibit and a humorous artwork called 100 frogs. We found Marilyn, Popeye and Little Red Riding Hood frogs plus many more . Purchases were made and a train came along the tracks too. 

After that, some lunch was needed and we found food and more at the multicultural festival at nearby Belmore Park. We enjoyed belly dancing displays, met a gorgeous white alpaca named after Hugh Hefner and chose from a  variety of delicious food for our lunches. A Rotary market was also being held so we were extremely spoiled.

The Goulburn Regional Gallery was our next stop with some street art to view along the way. Barbara was too busy looking at the art and missed getting some of our group included by the time we got a group photo in front of one exhibit. Unfortunately, we were mostly underwhelmed by the works on display but this gallery is still worth a future visit. Following a rest, we met at the Workers Club for much needed refreshment, conversation and dinner. Geoff was very happy with his dessert!

On Sunday we were off to Canberra to see the main event which was the Cressida Campbell retrospective at the National Gallery. It did not disappoint and all were impressed with her intricate wood blocks which are then painted with watercolours and one print is made. Both the original wood block and the one enhanced print are sold and we saw some side by side. Cressida turns objects in her home and outside environment into very special artworks. Wow!

Lunch at the nearby Portrait Gallery cafe let us rest our weary legs, and brains, before our final stop. We had a short guided tour of a selection of portraits and a bit of time to look at others in the collection. Another special place to complete a very satisfying  Probus art outing. 


* Report for November 2022 - Hawkesbury Regional Gallery 

We enjoyed the Dyarubbin exhibit at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery to conclude our year of art. This exhibit was history and art combined from an area we all know well but now know better.
The emu artworks by Jasmine Seymour were especially eye catching.


* Report for August 2022

Our art group decided to head to the mountains for August as we wanted a taste of Winter and we certainly got that! Brrr! 10C maximum and strong winds made it interesting but we were all rugged up and ready for it. The Katoomba Cultural Centre was a beautiful venue and their cafe was a perfect meeting place for a yummy morning tea. We liked it so much that we had lunch there too and the staff were very accommodating to our group. A return visit next year will be planned!

Once we were fed and caffinated, it was off to the gallery space where we looked at three interesting artists' work. Some photos show a bit of what we viewed and discussed. 
Our tickets also included entry to the 'Into the Blue' permanent exhibit about the Blue Mountains world heritage area which we all enjoyed. It would be a great place to bring visitors. 
Some of us decided to use our NSW Stay $$ for an overnight stay and enjoyed more fun, fellowship and friendship at the Carrington which was just next door. There was also lots of street art to view in Katoomba if you could face the cold and the local Lost Bear Gallery had fabulous art too so it really is an art lover's paradise.
Our group will be in recess for September and October but we hope to view the long awaited Dyarrubin-Hawkesbury River exhibit in November. 
          Enjoying the high tech, interactive experience of Into the Blue. It even had images projected on the ceiling!
Discussing killer tongue, I love you by Eddie Abd who uses herself and her family in her multi-media approach.



* Report for July 2022

We didn't think we would get there due to more flooding but luckily the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery gave notice of reopening one day later than planned. Five of us viewed three special exhibitions. This was our very favourite: Artistic Endeavour botanical art which was breathtaking in its detail and beauty.
Mike and Bill seemed impressed by Tracey Deep's woven art which used found objects to create.
We then travelled downstairs to the Windsor Library to see a very interesting display of Charles Conder's artworks after his 1800s visit to the Hawkesbury region. You may recognise some of the sites if you can get there for a viewing. Definitely worth a look and then you could borrow some books too! A win win.


* Report for June 2022 - Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay

Ten Probians enjoyed a beautiful Sunday in Sydney when we visited the Museum of Contemporary Art. We started with morning tea at the cafe on level 4, of course, then returned to level one to meet our guide Frances who took us on an informative tour of  Aboriginal and Torres Strait art in the gallery. This 45 minute advertised tour lasted 1 1/2 hours and it kept us all enthralled! 

By then it was lunch time so we headed over to Gateway Centre where we all found something yummy to eat. Obviously engaging with art builds an appetite! Next door was Customs House, so we viewed the exhibit Developing Sydney, Capturing change 1900 - 1920. This showed photographs taken by the City Building Surveyor's Dept which documented buildings before demolition. These photos generated much conversation regarding the social history to be found and the loss of so many buildings as Sydney was profoundly transformed. 

Then it was time to head home using various means of public transport after a wonderful outing.




* Report for May 2022

Our group wanted to go farther afield  to engage with artworks so we enjoyed a weekend in Mittagong and Bowral. We visited three galleries and were able to speak with five artists about their creations. How special! We also fit in some sightseeing and, of course, some food.


* Report for March

Between Covid and extreme weather conditions our group seems to be jinxed, but we were able to make alternate plans as the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery was closed due to the Windsor floods. We are crossing our fingers that we can see their exhibit in April.

Instead, our group met at the Rouse Hill shopping centre on a very busy day as the markets were on. Oh boy, parking was fun but we got there. Our original cafe spot was too noisy so we proceeded to Gloria Jeans outside tables where we could actually hear each other speak. Pity about the smokers at one table but otherwise, it was a fantastic time of fun, fellowship and planning for future art excursions.

We are hoping to go a bit farther afield occasionally to galleries in Bowral and Gosford so watch this space.

Lastly, I highly recommend the ABC program available on iview called The Exhibitionists. This show highlights the lack of women artists being shown in galleries and focuses on the wonderful Know My Name exhibit at the National Gallery of Australia. I was lucky to view part two of that exhibit recently.


* Report for November 2021

We didn't think we would be able to get together this month, but after our October newsletter went out, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery sent info that they would soon be opening.  Time to schedule an event for the second Sunday and our group was able to attend the Annual Hawkesbury Art Fair 2021 where everything exhibited was for sale and it is also free to just look! The gallery staff wondered if it would happen with such a disrupted year so sighs of relief all around. We were happily surprised by the quality of art on display.  The exhibit runs until December 5 so do drop in if this interests you. 

The Oliver Carney Observation in Function ceramic display had been put off due to closures but was still there plus we saw artworks from many different Hawkesbury groups such as The Ferry Artists Gallery, Piggery Lane Studios and Gallery, Hawkesbury Camera Club and the Hawkesbury Community Arts Workshop.

Our photos show some of the artworks and I was especially amused by the artist Penny Oates art series Fashion, flora & Fauna as some of the drawings in the series were Covid safe with masks firmly in place. 

We will be in recess during the silly season but I'm sure 2022 will bring many artistic opportunities our way. What a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon as art is definitely good for the soul!


* Report for June 2021

As hoped, we did have a wonderful Sunday afternoon with our art group. Of course, we did have to have some food first so we met at Lime & Coconut Cafe in Windsor where owner Kirsty made us very welcome. After filling our tummies, we headed to the Deerubbin Centre and stopped outside by the 2020 community artwork installation Reflections of the Hawkesbury. 57 people completed a total of 68 mosaic pieces with the youngest contributor 10 years old and the oldest was 96! These were then grouted and finished by artist Marian Shapiro then displayed on the outside of the Deerubbin Centre. Stop and have a look if you are ever in the area as it is impressive, as you can see in our group photo.

Next stop was upstairs to the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery where we had a good look at the Safe Space sculpture exhibit and Anna Glynn's Promiscuous Provenance display which reimagined early European artworks. This Shoalhaven artist says "Art is my life!" and we were fortunate  to see her latest works at our local gallery. 

Finally, there was a small quilt exhibit on the ground floor level which was a surprise so people enjoyed viewing that too. I planned for two exhibitions and we actually got to see four on the day so to quote someone we all know, "How good is that?"


* Report for February

Eight Probians gathered at a Windsor café for lunch followed by a lively discussion on this month’s art topics.

Some of us were able to view the film Namatjira Project before it left iView and some of the comments made were:

* It whitewashed the topic.

* I have a Rex Battarbee (Namatjira’s mentor) artwork.

* Comparing Rex’s artwork to Albert’s shows that Rex was competent but Albert captured the emotional impact of his country.

* Albert and the family were treated very poorly and it was sad to see how he sold the copyright to his pictures. The money was made by others, not the creative artist.

* Many of these watercolours are now being shown at the National Gallery of Australia in a prominent location.

* It is positive that his children, grandchildren and future generations continue to paint and the money from the movie and the Belvoir St Theatre play enabled the copyright finally getting back to the family.

Many in our group were also able to view at a time of their choosing the Streeton retrospective at the Art Gallery of NSW. There were many, many rooms full of his work over a lifetime and after the long lines to get tickets then long lines to get in to the actual exhibit, some energy was required to engage with all that art. He certainly did capture Australia’s light with paintings from the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains area of special interest. He also captured the different quality of light in London, Venice and Egypt. The biggest surprise was at the end of the exhibit. There we saw beautiful floral still life paintings of flowers from his garden in the Dandenongs during his later years.

Art is good for the soul and we are all very happy to get back to galleries now even with all the Covid changes. A great year ahead so why not join us next time?



 *Report for November 2020

It was an overcast day but not as cold or rainy as the day before and we all managed to stay dry and comfy undercover at Yolanda and Barry's patio for our end of year art event. In true Rouse Hill Probus form we began with morning tea and much lively chat...and it was face to face so that lifted all our spirits.

Yolanda, our local artist and fellow club member, had prepared an artistic treat for us. She presented a short talk about the evolution of abstract art complete with examples. This was followed with a demonstration of how to turn a realistic drawing into an abstract drawing in three or four quick steps. As she drew each sketch, we were fascinated to see how she accented some shapes, moved and flipped lines and ignored parts of the original drawing to create something new yet familiar. Step by step, she turned her drawing of a lamp and a clock into something very different as shown in the photo below. 

Thank you Yolanda for patiently answering all our questions.  We now have more understanding of abstract art and will be a bit better at interpreting future examples we see.



 * Report for September

 Although we were not able to do a group booking to view the exhibit Fieldwork at the Hawkesbury Regional Art Gallery, club members were able to view this wonderful exhibition of local places we know in their own time. Some of us were able to attend the curator's talk which Yolanda wrote about in last month's newsletter and there was also a talk by Grace from the Art Gallery of NSW who is a frame conservator. Lorna and Barbara don't think they will ever look at artworks in the same way after hearing this young woman talk so passionately about this topic.

Our other art event was Monty Don's French Gardens episode The Artistic Garden and that one could be done at home via iview.  We all enjoyed a face to face meeting at Rouse Hill Regional Park and the weather cooperated. Lots of happy chat about: what we saw, which artworks were our favourites, information on frames, who had been to Monet's garden in France etc etc etc. And to top it all off, we had afternoon tea together to celebrate Bill's birthday.

Due to our interest group date for October Armchair Art being on Labour Day, we won't be meeting in October. If you need an art fix, there's plenty to be found via internet sites so have fun searching.


*August 3rd - Zoom


* Report for July

This month our little art group didn't do it in public but we did it via Zoom as five of us had a lively discussion about the ABC program John Kaldor: Doing it in Public. What an interesting life this man has led and despite his negative experiences as a young person during WWII, he arrived in Australia with his family and really made something of himself. His son says that John is more artist than business man although he has had great success in both fields. All his art projects have been contemporary and put on for free to the public and he certainly hasn't lost his joy in finding something different to present. And we agreed that some of it is very, very different!

 We spoke about his most famous project of the wrapping of Little Bay by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 1969. Did any of you see it? Upon reflection, we felt more appreciation of this with hindsight and it really lifted Australia in the eyes of the international art world. And to think that one of our Probus walking group walks went to this very site! Thanks for that info Lorna.

 Engineering featured in making a lot of these artworks a reality especially in the case of Jeff Koon's Puppy. He  had the idea  then the engineer Doug Knox had to design structures to make it happen. Then the artist got all the glory so not really fair, is it? Bill and I remembered after that we had seen large Jeff Koon sculptures placed around various rooms in Versailles and that made for interesting viewing. Some French people were so affronted that they held demonstrations against this desecration!

 Our computers and art books are replacing our outings to galleries at this time but there is a wealth of wonderful information to be found if art is a topic that interests you. I leave with the thought of asking artists “What do you need to say?” and await their responses to 2020.

* Report for June 

 With the long weekend and some opening of restrictions, many in our Armchair Art group had other plans so our Zoom discussion was a small affair. I've always said that three people makes an interest group and that proved true on the day. We all enjoyed viewing images from two powerhouse Australian artists and as the images were all in black and white, they did work well via computers which is what we needed to do in these present times.

I think we were in agreement that Olive Cotton showed equal skill to Harold Cazneaux but her photographs had more appeal. Maybe it was a case of there were so few to look at and Olive's interesting life story as an artist in a time when a woman's role was very restricted influenced us. Art and social history certainly combined  but  it is a wonderful thing that both people and their art are still remembered.


* 03 May 2020 – Picasso & Matisse - article by Jann D.

What an interesting artistic topic Jann D suggested for May Armchair Art as we learned about Picasso and Matisse in the recent, but sadly closed now, exhibit of these two powerhouse artists at the National Gallery of Australia. We did trial a Zoom discussion on the day which went well and the participants enjoyed sharing their thoughts about these two men. Many of us had seen previous exhibits of Picasso, Matisse or both artists and have purchased catalogs from those exhibits which were dusted off and actually read. One fortunate participant actually got to see the exhibit just before everything went into lock down.

There are some wish lists of going to the Picasso museum in Paris in the future so let's hope that can eventuate.

*Picasso & Matisse  (by Jann D.)

Barbara F., our wonderful President and intrepid leader of Art and About, asked me to do a report on the exhibition Mike and I were going to in Canberra in March. By the time we had cleared the calendar in order to take off for a couple of days, you can guess what happened.

Simply titled ‘Matisse and Picasso’ there has been a truly wonderful exhibition in Canberra, which of course has now been closed down due to COVID19. It was brought together from galleries and private collections around the world to showcase the rivalry that existed between the two artists, the influence each had over the other, and their contemporaries. The following article taken from

is a good start for a journey into the art world of Paris, and these two amazing artists, in the early 1900’s.


13 December 2019 - 13 April 2020
National Gallery of Australia

Explore the relationship between two of the world's greatest artists and rivals-from Picasso's untameable approach to Matisse's seductive irresistibility-responding to each other's work throughout their careers.

The rivalry between Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso is one of the most important stories of modern art, and the subject of the NGA's major exhibition Matisse/Picasso. Drawn from some 40 important international collections, Matisse/Picasso shows how these two pioneers of Modern Art both shared the need to confront the challenges set by the paintings of Paul Cézanne and mined each other's work to enhance their own.

In the early twentieth century Picasso became a colossus of Modern Art. Many of the younger generation of avant-garde artists who had initially been inspired by Matisse and Fauvism turned to Picasso for inspiration. Over the years he explored the seemingly endless stylistic possibilities for art of the modern era. Revered and emulated, for much of his career Picasso appeared like an immovable object that blocked every move forward for art's pathway. Others could only follow suit. The exception was Matisse.

Matisse/Picasso begins with the young Picasso settling in Paris, where he was determined to make a name for himself. Taking radical steps towards Cubism, Picasso confronted the older Matisse who was then renowned as the radical leader of the Fauves. The exhibition ends with Picasso's artistic response to Matisse's death. Mourning the loss of this most significant figure, Picasso acknowledged the immense stylistic influence Matisse had on his own artistic career.

Despite Picasso's competitive bravado and resistance, Matisse's creativity enticed, disturbed and ruffled him. The large paintings Matisse made in the first decade of the twentieth century relating to music and dance proved irresistible for Picasso. Enticing and seductive in their brilliant palette, Matisse's beauty of line and decorative qualities, his blending of forms and their surrounds showed Picasso a way out of the self-imposed confines he had set himself with the tiny brushstrokes, limited palette and static forms of Analytic Cubism. For Picasso, when Matisse was at his most dynamic his art was radical and his talent was dangerous.

This exhibition follows the paths these two artists took over decades as they responded to the other's work. No one was more watchful of Matisse's art than Picasso and vice versa. Both explored pictorial issues in unique ways, but always remained on guard while looking over their shoulder at the other. Both Matisse and Picasso felt the absolute necessity to acknowledge and absorb the concept and skill of each other

The paintings included in the National Gallery exhibition can be accessed

click on ‘themes’, select all, or section by section and scroll down to view the artworks grouped.

Some other websites which may be of interest are:

I hope you can enjoy this virtual visit to see these artworks.