Month: October 2014

The X Factor


As posted on this blog earlier, we have the great pleasure and privilege of having the very talented artist Clara Adolphs working in my old Potting Shed at our farm in Sutton Forest. Through a chance conversation earlier in the year, I discovered that Clara needed a studio space and as I had just opened my garden shop in town and was no longer working from home, my Potting Shed was available.  It’s quite a large space, with a workbench and windows looking out over gardens to the north and French doors opening to the garden on the east. After an inspection Clara declared it was perfect and moved in with her canvases and oils.  And off she went.  Painting, painting, painting.  Some months later she called to let me  know Vogue Living would be sending a journalist to do an interview and later a photographer would come to take photos of her at work.   The interview was scheduled before Clara went to New York for an important  invitational drawing course -and soon after she returned it was time for the photo shoot.  So that day I rose early, had breakfast then out to help Clara with preparations before the photographer arrived at 9am. Great excitement.  And some nerves.  It’s a big deal being featured in Vogue so it had to go well and we wanted the space to look perfect. Together we cleaned and tidied and swept and arranged the space and when Peter arrived I made coffee and left them to it.



The flurry of excitement to prepare for the shoot took me back to my PR days when as a concert and theatre publicist for many big touring shows I was, at quite a young age, responsible for minding lots of international stars and settling nerves before dozens of press conferences and interviews.  And in every case the common denominator was the same – whether it was Mick Jagger or David Bowie, Leonard Cohen or Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Tina Turner or Joe Cocker,  the Bolshoi Ballet’s Prima Ballerina or the remarkable skating duo Torvill and Dean… what was evident was what is known as the X Factor.  These were really big stars.  They got there because they had special talent, special drive, special personalities … they had lots of  ‘it’.  They took their work seriously and every single interview and photo shoot was treated with importance. These sorts of people really do shine …  and that, of course, is why they’re called ‘stars’.

And there in our garden shed, as I watched the talented and beautiful young Clara Adolphs preparing her canvases and arranging her studio, I knew I was in the presence of another star – another artist with loads of X Factor. Good luck Clara with the final week of your exhibition ‘The Man in Me’ at MiCK the Gallery in Woollahra.  Though you won’t need luck … I think you just have ‘it’!
MiCK Project Show
83 Moncur Street, WOOLLAHRA NSW 2025 (previously Eva Breuer Gallery)

Gallery Hours | Tuesday – Saturday 10-6, Sunday 1-5 | until 26 October 2014 only

Click here to watch a video of Clara at work in her studio.









Spring Fever

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

I love this quote. It makes me feel so joyful and makes me want to take time and observe even more of the beauty and innocence of this season. How lucky we are  here in the Highlands to be enjoying such an idyllic Spring.  Day after day of beautiful weather, fields green as green from the rains in September and gentle breezes softly drifting blossom through the streets.  Our little garden at The Potting Shed is bursting with colour and each day more loveliness emerges.  First the crocus and jonquils, then the tulips which this year have been glorious and now the delphiniums and foxgloves are putting on a spectacular show. We are pleased to be able to demonstrate that even in a concrete courtyard you can create a garden of variety and interest by using pots and barrels to give height and texture.  Here are some photos taken this week to share with you our passion for gardening and intense love of Spring.    Happy gardening!  M x