Old age and grunge beauty

I finally saw Bronzino’s portrait of Admiral Andrea Doria as Neptune at the Pinatoceca Brera  in Milan today – an inspiration for several works especially those of my favourite older model Ben taken in the Oratory at the Abbotsford Convent.

The subject of the Portrait has a portly stomach but is not afraid to pose semi naked with pubic hair and some penis length implied.  Apparently the subject was almost 60 when he posed for the picture -even given a painter’s license he is a handsome man.
How can I assert my handsomeness when I have an expanding belly as well?
Women, though judged more harshly on their appearance have, or at least use a greater armoury in presenting themselves. An older woman of indeterminate age sits opposite me wearing a cornflower blue dress comprising some netting over a similar coloured base. There is a black bra strap showing underneath the girlish cut of the dress. Her skin, though wrinkled, is beautifully tanned and she has simple jewellery- a very large amber ring, a blue mosaiced bangle,and gold dragonfly earrings that perfectly capture the essence of a mid-summer’s day.
Her hair is dyed blonde but there is also grey and black colour coming through …she is reading a book held with blue painted fingernails that match her dress . She orders from the menu in fluent Italian although it is not her first language .. the total effect of her presented self is confident and pleasing

Maybe I can use my own appreciation of the grunge aesthetic to honour and acknowledge my own ageing. I have to feel OK about myself now .. not when, if ever I lose this weight because there will be other cruel tricks that nature will play as she ages us all. I have decided to celebrate my remaining assets including my art making skills, my education, my own beautiful children and the volume and colour of my hair 


saw these wonderful paintings in Musee Correr Venice today all the more beautiful because of their


Sublime Churches of Hungary


I found a terrific variety of churches in Budapast alone, from a very grungy but devout baroque church with peeling frescoes everywhere to the superbly restored St Anne’s where I attended a baroque music concert

St Anne's concert church 

grunge church 

However my most favourite was in Sztendere a hamlet outside Budapest on the Danube where the orthodox church had the most beautiful icons  and they had music in the background which reminded me of the music my boys Conor and Lloyd sing in the Georgian choir 

Hundertwasser Museum Vienna

Today I visited the museum of Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928 –2000) in Vienna today
I know he is old hat to many architects and artists but I have only just discovered this amazingly talented man  who lived in Vienna, Aotearoa and Venice

 The building itself, formerly the Thonet furniture factory, was architecturally remodelled according to Hundertwasser's own designs.

I am totally charmed by the building, his unique vision, his

philosophy and inventiveness.. i'ts like visiting slice of

Eltham on acid !

Here are some facade views

there were two features that appealed to me in particular.. the gently sloping floors that were really playful and the way that light
boxes with trees came right into the house almost like the way a fireplace enlivens a room.

  The artist spoke for himself in a film that also documented his life in Venice.. where he owned the Garden of Eden apartments after a time living on his yacht. He talks of man having three skins .. his own , his clothes and his architecture and he lectured nude to demonstrate the importance of design that was sensitive to human needs and restored his relationship to the natural world  .. his artwork was Klimt like in the sense of mosaic style patterning and luminous colour and he said that painting is a religious act  full of mystery and surprise.

overall a very inspiring visit