IMG_337210 weeks after leaving Tasmania and driving 4,000 klms to Cairns, we have settled in an apartment. I have finally got my ‘pop-up studio’ fitted-out with suitable furniture and equipment. I have a borrowed easel, thanks to the Cairns Art Society, and a donated drawing table courtesy of local artist and architect, Mike Ferris. My set-up is working well and I’m currently on my third drawing (more about my work in future posts).

What an experience it has been moving from the ‘deep south’ to the ‘far north’ of Australia! I’ve started to settle in to a routine and adjust to the tempo of my new location. It’s ‘all good’, especially the weather, which has been just wonderful.

Making such a move at my age (65) may appear ‘brave’ to some, ‘silly’ by others and ‘mad’ by the rest, especially when I was enjoying so much commercial success with my art back in Tasmania and all but one of our family members reside there. So why did we move?

There are a number of factors in our move from the ‘cold’ to the ‘warm’; the weather itself was a factor, as well as a new job for my wife, Val. I also wanted the challenge to take my art in a new direction as I was experiencing too many ‘Groundhog Days’ back in Tasmania. Life isn’t about financial success, it’s about happiness, and that’s something you can’t buy.

Those who have experienced what I’m going through at present will understand what such a move entails. I’m surprised at how well I’ve adjusted, but I suspect that has a lot to do with my many previous visits to Cairns, especially the 7 month stay we had 5 years ago.

Where will my artistic endeavours take me? I’m not sure what will come from this move, but I’ve already taught a 5 day coloured pencil workshop and I have 2 booked for August, one of those being mixed media.

I’m pleased with my coloured pencil drawings that I have produced in the past week, and I’ve also commenced a large digital drawing that I aim to have printed as a single edition on a sheet of acrylic.

Due to the warmth, my pencils are performing superbly, especially my Luminance, Prismacolor and Polychromos pencils. I’m still using Canson pastel board as my support, simply because I haven’t found anything better.

I’m looking forward to returning to the scenes of my favourite subjects such as the Daintree, Cape Tribulation, the Flecker Gardens, the Mission Beach area, the Atherton Tablelands and Chillagoe.


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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  1. Edna says:

    Looking good Richard. Your organisational skill helps, plus as you say – the portability factor. The vibrancy of the north is exhilarating too – all those wonderful colours. We have only a bleak watery windy outlook here in Tas with brief bursts of sun but it still has its beauty.

  2. That is great Richard and what a challenge! 🙂 I am three years older than you and to uproot from everything familiar would take huge courage if I were to do similar – I don’t know if I could do it! It sounds a very positive move for you and already you are settling in and finding your feet on your new soil, that’s brilliant. Wishing you and Val every happiness and success in your new beginnings in Cairns. xx

    • artkleko says:

      Thanks Eileen. It’s certainly something that very few would undertake later in life, if ever at all! It’s so easy to say “yes, let’s do it!”, but that’s the easy part. The whole process has been quite stressful at times (but not as bad as I thought it would be). Being familiar with the area has helped, as well as having made a few friends through earlier trips. Maybe I should write a book about the experience! R xx

  3. Kathy Crawford says:

    A good read Richard. You seem well organised and work hard at your passions. Your move may inspire us to try something new also. All the best.

  4. Pj says:

    Good luck in your new location. Looking forward to seeing your artistic change. X

  5. Linda Sprouse says:

    It looks like you have settled in pretty well. Wishing you success and happiness in your new location.☺

  6. Ben says:

    Congratulation on your move. We will be traveling Australia next might catch up.
    Ben & Jeannette

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