Books, Books, Books – Argyle Emporium

Last Sunday-week, Susan and I made a planned stop on the way to visiting her parents, who live 25 kilometres/15.5 miles outside of Goulburn. Goulburn is about one and three-quarter hours drive from our home.

The planned stop was at the Argyle Emporium, which is located opposite the railway line in Goulburn in an old Police Station. The Argyle Emporium has been a second-hand bookshop for 21 years and houses approximately 500,000 books. ‘Book Heaven’ for book-lovers!

This time we only spent just over an hour there and the good news for other book-lovers is that upon leaving there, I left 499, 496 books at the bookshop…. 🙂

The following ones I the books I purchased:

I love books on the Visual Arts that delve into how Artist expresses what they are feeling by using tools and techniques. This one features the thoughts of 20 famous artists. I love this book!

The second book I purchased is a collection that I have been wanting in my Poetry collection for some time but just hadn’t found the right one. Over 1,000 pages of Wordsworth delight!

The third book purchased that day was also Poetry. I enjoy buying collections of poetry. It is true that sometimes the collections overlap with other collections of poetry however, this hasn’t happened too much so far… This collection breaks up the poetry into subjects and includes over 90 Poets. The book was printed in 1957.

The last book purchased that day is from another ‘like’ of mine, and that is ‘tools and techniques that inspire creative writing’. I find them a fascinating read and, by the looks of this book, I won’t be disappointed.

4 more books from from the treasure-trove second-hand bookshop known as the Argyle Emporium, Goulburn, NSW. Australia. Some of the rooms are pictured below.

I can hardly wait until our next visit! 🙂

Written by David Johnson

17 August 2022

Oh The Fun!

Last weekend, my Wife and I stayed with our friends at Millthorpe, NSW, Australia as my Wife had been invited to a Baby Shower in Bathurst, about 20 minutes drive away.

Whilst my Wife was at the party, I ventured into the CBD and started to look for a suitable subject to sketch and paint.

I came across a lovely-looking building with a dome which turned out the be the Courthouse however, I chose to sit in the park and view it from behind. I quite liked the busyness of the structures in front of it that were set against the backdrop of the dome.

For me, it was rather a challenging subject as I am still endeavouring to learn ‘how much I want to leave in or leave out?’ One of the other challenges I had on the day was it was quite chilly with a wind blowing. The light was just beautiful though, so I sat there and attempted to sketch and paint it, well my interpretation anyway…

I will definitely have another go at this subject at some point. It was the first time out using my new Winsor and Newton Field Kit which has a mix of Winsor and Newton, and Daniel Smith paints.

After I finished the sketch, I set off with my DSLR camera and (of course) my Phone camera to see what I could capture in the beautiful late afternoon light. Below is one example from the iPhone camera.

All in all, I had a very enjoyable couple of hours in the late afternoon light.

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

3 May 2022

A Favourite Spot!

A favourite spot I (we) like to go to relax is only about 8 minutes drive from where we live. The Nepean River wanders through the Camden District (N.S.W. Australia) and it is at its widest going through Camden.

There exists a lot there to please people and caters for a diverse amount of interests. You can:

  • Have a leisurely walk on man-made paths or go off-track
  • Kayak/Canoe up and down the river
  • Go for a quick dip (no sand on the bank, though)
  • Ride your bike along a designated Bike track
  • Sit by the river with a book
  • Sketch, Paint, Photograph
  • Play ball games with your friends and family
  • Exercise in a number of ways
  • Take your children to the permanent Play equipment or kick a ball
  • Just relax

We use it to go and relax, go for a walk and other things. I’ve been down there to sit and read, walk, sketch, paint or just sit and relax. When Susan comes with me she will either take a book or Crotchet.

Our most recent visit was just to sit and relax on one of the benches by the river. We were joined by i/2 dozen Lizards, a few Ducks and cooling breeze on a hot day for an hour or so. We are certainly blessed to have such a place so near to us.

Till next time!

Written by David johnson

16 February 2022

27 Years since…

Yesterday, we embarked on our annual pilgrimage to Berrima which is a small village in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia. It is approx. 1 hour South of where we live. We drive down there on this weekend every year, sometimes for the weekend, sometimes to spend the day there like we did this year.

Why Berrima? It is the place that my (now) Wife, Susan finally said ‘Yes’ to me asking her out to dinner, after declining me 5 times back in 1994. We were down there as friends collecting some items for a Christmas party that a Dog Club (that Susan was the Social Secretary of) was holding.

We had lunch at The White Horse Inn and it had such a romantic feel that I felt compelled to ask her out ‘just one more time…’. I did and she said yes! 🙂 After that we visited some of the shops (which are tourist orientated) and then went off to Berkelouw’s Book Barn at Berrima, which, back then held about 250,000 books. Unfortunately, the White Horse Inn has not been open for a number of years now.

Fast forward to this weekend, we have to do it in reverse these days as Berkelouw’s had to change to economically survive by reducing the amount of books (to about 100,000) and diversifying into a Wedding Reception venue, a restaurant/cafe and a wine-tasting venue. They close at 3.00pm each day for functions, hence the earlier visiting time. This was a shorter visit for us this time as we both found 6 books each within 1 1/4 hours. Normally it takes us longer.

After that, we took off to one of our favourite ‘Vintage-ware’ shops called “Sticky Beaks.’ We love visiting shops like these as they bring back a multitude of memories of things that were used in the past and one can pick up interesting curios, as we did again today.

Susan managed to pick up a tray that converts into a Grazing platter. Functional and artistic, I’m sure we will pit it to good use.

From there we set off to our lunch booking at Josh’s Cafe & Restaurant for a sumptious meal of Grilled Barramundi (a highly recommended fish in Australia), salad and then we shared a couple of desserts, ‘Pear and Rhubarb Crumble’ and Hot Chocolate Fondant, mainly because I couldn’t make up my mind on which one to have. 🙂 Deliciously decadent!

From there we visited Mrs Oldbucks Jam & Food shop and several other shops including a relatively new Berrima shop called, ‘Six Impossible Things’, the name coming from a Lewis Carroll story. It is set in an old Colonial cottage down a short pathway.

Sticky Beaks, Baytree Gallery, The Brown Shutter, Mrs Oldbucks

It was there that I purchased a glass Inkwell and some Calligraphy Ink. I had been looking for one of these for about 18 months. 🙂

It was a tremendous way to celebrate 27 years since we went out to dinner and for us there is no better place to celebrate it than where Susan said ‘Yes’ all those years ago.

Written by David Johnson

21 November 2021

Treasure Acquired 🙂

Our Mental Fuse

Renewed

Refined By The Sea – Creativity Spotlight

Welcome to the third article in this series!

Today I’m showcasing, ‘Refined By The Sea’ which is operated by Stephanie Thackray. Stephanie, like Helen and myself is a member of Red Point Artists Association in Port Kembla.

Stephanie is another member who displays her Art and Craft at the “Art & Craft On The Grass” which is held on the second Saturday of the month at Red Point Art, 100 Wentworth Street, Port Kembla, NSW, Australia.

Stephanie informed me that she spent five years collecting the raw materials that she then crafts into Jewellery (as displayed in the images below).

On a previous visit to “Art & Craft On The Grass” I purchased a set of earrings from Stephanie for my wife. She loves them!

If you would like to see more of Stephanie’s Art & Craft, her details are below.

Written by David Johnson

29 June 2021

*I receive no monetary benefit for promoting other Artists. I just love promoting creativity.

A Trip To The Country – Part 1 – Boorowa

Last weekend, my Wife, Susan and Susan’s Mum were away for the weekend. We were attending one of our Godson’s Weddings (between us we have 7 Godsons and 6 are with the one Family) at Millthorpe, a small country town some 3 1/2 hours drive from us.

The Mother of the Groom went to school with my Wife so they have been Family Friends for many years.

On the way, we stopped at one of our favourite places, an even smaller town called Boorowa. Boorowa is rich in Irish history with the “Irish Woolfest’ in October each year being one of it’s premier attractions. Boorowa is also part of the ‘Hilltops Wine Region’ and so there are a number of wineries in the vicinity.

The original custodians of the land were the Wiradjuri people. Boorowa was originally spelt, ‘Burrowa’ and although no-one is exactly sure, that name may be a Wiradjuri word meaning, ‘Turkey.’

We have stopped for lunch a couple of times in the past by the side of the river, however, this time it was just for Afternoon Tea. A wonderful place to do this is the, ‘Arts and Crafts Magistrates Tea Rooms’ which are local in the old Boorowa Courthouse, a magnificently majestic building just outside the centre of the town. Amongst other things they serve a scrumptious Devonshire Tea and they have books for sale, the proceeds going to a local charity.

It is also the local Tourist Information Centre and they have Art and Craft made by members of the local community there.

There are a number of shops (that we are yet to investigate), however, one shop we did not want to miss out on was the charity bookshop. All proceeds go to local charities and as we are all book lovers it is a place we did not want to miss visiting. Some more ‘book treasure’ was uncovered but I will cover that in a separate post.

There is something about small Country towns that I love. They don’t have the ‘hustle and bustle’ of larger towns. The quieter streets tend to lend themselves greater to visions of a quieter time, perhaps when the Horse and Carriage was the main form of transport.

In my next post (Trip To The Country Part 2), I’ll be highlighting the ‘Book Treasure’ that was uncovered this trip.

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

17 April 2021

For further information on Boorowa, please click on the following link.

More Book Treasure!

Last Sunday, we were down in Goulburn, NSW which is approximately one and three-quarter hours drive South of where we live. We were down there for a celebration Birthday Lunch at one of the local Chinese Restaurants. Four of our Family members have a Birthday within 6 days of each other.

We had a marvellous time and afterwards, my Wife Susan and I paid a visit to one of our favourite second-hand bookshops, the Argyle Emporium in Goulburn.

I have written about this bookshop before on this blog. Just a quick recap: it is situated in a rather stately, old Police Station and the owners have operated it for some 21 years and it holds some 500,000 books.

This time we were only in there for one and a half hours. Realistically, I could spend all day there. We just love these old second-hand bookshops. They have a certain quality about them.

So, what treasure did I find this time?

Three books, one on Haiku Poetry and two on Watercolour.

“Writing and Enjoying Haiku” was just sitting horizontal on top of some other books on the Poetry section and my eyes fell upon it straight away. It was as if it was there ‘just waiting for me to come along!’

I’ve enjoyed writing the occasional (Japanese) style Haiku Poem and the book talks about that style but also other styles as well. It looks a very interesting book.

With regards to the Watercolour books, ‘Painting Weathered Textures in Watercolor” and “Watercolour Fast & Loose”, they took a bit of finding as the Art section is massive at the Argyle Emporium.

Over time I’ve noticed that I think I ‘have moved on’ from some of the early books I had on Watercolour. They seem to general in nature and I am starting to find that I want to learn more about specific topics within the medium. I also want to learn to paint and sketch in a greater, relaxed style than I am currently doing.

All-in-all, it was another fruitful visit to the Argyle Emporium. We are in Goulburn fairly often as my Wife’s parents live about 25km (15.5 miles) SE of Goulburn but we don’t call into bookshop every visit (although I must admit it is tempting)!

If you are down that way, and are a book lover, make sure you visit the Argyle Emporium, you won’t be disappointed.

Written by David Johnson

30 March 2021

Creativity Spotlight

My Wife, Susan and I yesterday visited Red Point Artists Association at Point Kembla, NSW, Australia. They were holding their monthly, Art On The Grass event.

Although I had been visiting their sporadically over the past 10 years, I only became a member of this wonderful organisation in July last year. I hadn’t joined previously as I had many things (as we all do on occasions) competing for my time.

Red Point was formed in May 2008 and it’s home is a small precinct of (what were once) retail shops set in a ‘rectangular horseshoe formation’ with a rectangular grassy area in the middle with a few established trees which provides an ideal location for their ‘Art On The Grass’ event.

Within this precinct is a Takeaway Food shop on one corner, a number of Artist studios (some shared), a main Gallery plus a smaller Gallery and a Workshop that is used for demonstrations.

Art On The Grass features Art and Craft that is for sale and the tables are manned by the Artists Craft-makers themselves and there are a wide variety of things to look at and buy.

There are always Exhibitions on from Red Point members in both galleries. The whole atmosphere is relaxing and is often complemented by live music in the form of an Acoustic Guitarist or similar.

From the moment I first visited Red Point Artists, I could feel that there was something ‘special’ about the place, the Art and the people in it. I feel a ‘sense of connection’ down there and never fail to be inspired by something or a Artist when I visit.

I’ve written on my blog previously about visits to Art On The Grass and whilst I was down there this time, I had an idea for a section on my blog that highlighted individual Artists and Craft- makers that I come across in my travels. This would also from time-to-time include Art and Craft associations as well. For more information about Red Point Artists Association, please click on the following link: https://redpointart.org.au/

Why would I do this?

I love Art and Craft and find it very interesting to see what other Artists and Craft-makers imaginations can create. I will always ask their permission to firstly, photograph them at their tables or any of their table setups before posting on this blog. I would like to help them promote their Art and Craft. I receive no monetary benefit for doing this. The benefit I receive is the enjoyment in being able to promote what other people’s imaginations have created. Hopefully, it will help them too.

I will be including their contact details and/or website so that if you like what they do or want to find out more information about what they do, you can contact them directly.

My next article in ‘Creativity Spotlight’ will be about Helen from ‘Wall Art & Resin Homewares’, whose Artistic endeavour is ‘Acrylic Pouring.’ Helen is a member of Red Point Artists Association.

Looking forward to seeing you then.

Written by David Johnson

14 March 2021