Sketching The World

Sketching the world 1

What We Should Crave…

What We Should Crave...

Just Let The Light In

_Just let the light In

Backroad Nation

Last night, my wife Susan and I went to see Lee Kernaghan on his ‘Backroad Nation’ Tour backed by The Wolfe Brothers at the Evan Theatre, Penrith Panthers Club approx. 60km away in Western Sydney, Australia.


Lee Kernaghan OAM* has been one of the shining lights of Australian Country Music for the past 27 years and we’ve been fans for nearly that long, though this is the first time that we have ever seen him in concert. We always seem to have had something clashing on the dates when he was playing near Sydney prior to this.

Lee Kernaghan OAM is an Australian Country Music singer, songwriter and guitarist. He was the 2008 Australian of the Year, in recognition for his support of rural and regional Australia. He has  numerous awards including 37 ‘Golden Guitars’ at the world famous Australian Tamworth Country Music Awards, an event where accomodation is booked out years in advance.



He was being backed by long-term friends, The Wolfe Brothers who hail from Tasmania, Australia and have been producing albums in their own right since 2012. In 2019, they won 4 ‘Golden Guitar’ awards including, including the coveted Album Of The Year honour with their critically-acclaimed fourth album, Country Heart.

Also accompanying the band were, Christie Lamb, Country Female Artist of the Year in 2018, who was in turn accompanied by Jonathon English (who is the son of the late, legendary Jon English, a star of stage, screen and music in Australia).


The atmosphere was intimate (the theatre holds only 900 people), electric and a celebration of not only Australian Country Music but as Lee says, “It’s about feeling that good vibration when you get off the beaten track and the country wraps itself around you.”

The concert and the performances within met and exceeded the expectations I had for it.

There were the poignant moments of ’The Spirit of the ANZACS’ when Lee asked us all to stand during the song to pay tribute to Service Men and Women past and present; the tribute to Slim Dusty**, Australia’s King of Country Music, ‘Flying With The King’ to the rollicking moments when songs that celebrated iconic Country Australia with songs such as ‘Backroad Nation’, ‘ Beautiful Noise’, ‘She’s My Ute’***, ‘Waitin’ On A Mate’ and ‘Let There Be Cowgirls’ and ‘The Outback Club.’


Also of note was a brilliant version of ‘Great Balls Of Fire’, one of the songs, Lee remarked that he played early on in his career when he didn’t have enough of his own songs to get through a set.

Am looking forward to picking up some of The Wolfe Brothers albums as I really love their sound. Am also keen to explore more Jonathon English’s music. I am a huge fan of his Father’s music and it was plain for all to see and hear that his son has all the makings of being a star in his own right.

We are certainly looking forward to the next time we can see Lee Kernaghan in concert!

Written by David Johnson
14 September 2019


*     OAM – Order of Australia Merit
**   Slim Dusty – Australian cultural icon with a career spanning 70 years
***  Ute – Short for Utility. A term used in Australia to describe vehicles with a tray behind the passenger compartment

Everyone’s A Critic

Over the past few weeks I’ve discovered an ABC TV programme called ‘Everyone’s A Critic.’

The programme states that “each week a cross-section of Australians become Art critics as they discuss some of the most renowned art works in the country.”

Some of the critics are avid gallery visitors, whilst others are going into a gallery for the first time…

So far, I have watch four of the episodes and it is thoroughly fascinating to watch.

I’m sure that we are all aware that all of us have:

  • different points of view
  • grown up in different environments
  • have been subjected to different influences
  • Have different belief systems

A single piece of art can effect different people in dramatically different ways and often we judge the image and the artist based on what is there in front of us. How often do we see what we think the image is about, only to find that what the artwork is about (in the artist’s mind) is completely different.

One such image is “The Cripples” Arthur Boyd -1943. Pictured here, most who saw it were aghast that it was an image depicting those with disabilities in an unflattering way.

The Cripples - Arthur Boyd

It wasn’t until they heard the Artist’s backstory and the Artist Statement regarding the painting that they could begin to appreciate and understand why it was painted and what the painting was about. It was influenced by World War II and the fact that they kept sending previously injured soldiers back to fight again.

When I go to a Gallery I will look at the image first and see how it effects me then I will read the Artist’s Statement.

How about you? Do you read the Artist Statement first then look at the Art?

Written by David Johnson
September 2019

Creating New Habits, Not Resolutions – Part 2

Back in January this year, I published a post on this blog titled, ‘Creating New Habits, Not Resolutions.’

I related how that there were certain positive changes that I wanted to implement in my life. I set up a spreadsheet, listed the new habits and proceeded to (over time) introduce new habits one-by-one, so as not to overload myself. Each day, I checked the ones off I had done.

It seemed like a great idea at the time, however, as life does (when you set goals) all sorts of challenges came up, notwithstanding the biggest which was family related involved the health of my wife’s parents (which is ongoing).

By the time all 11 new habits were in play, I only managed to achieve all of them done, 5 times i.e. there were 5 days when all 11 habits were checked off. The rest of the time some were and some weren’t…

Some of the new habits were, meditation, walking, exercising, watercolour sketching…

By the time June 2019 arrived I began to realise that it just wasn’t working. One of the problems was that I seemed to be ‘just checking them off to say that they were done…’ and it became a chore rather than the seamless inclusion in my life that I was expecting.

Watercolour sketching was the only habit that I checked off every day. As of yesterday, I have completed a Watercolour Sketch 228 days in a row.

Observations from this exercise are:

  • I was putting too much pressure on myself
  • Watercolour sketching is now my meditation
  • I’m now aiming (one at a time) to add 3 new habits into my life
  • I believe there is enough pressure in life without us putting more upon ourselves.

We are a week into Spring in Sydney, Australia. It is starting to warm up a little so I think regular walking will be the next habit I introduce.

Keep smiling!

Written by David Johnson
11 September 2019

Warmth and Light

Warmth and Light (2)

A Silky Rust

A Silky Rust (1)

Do Our Traces Remain?

Do our traces remain_