Paintings in Alice Springs – A large town in the red centre

Arriving in Alice Springs was interesting. I’m not sure how else to put it. We were tired after driving for over eight hours and then we checked into our motel.

We were spending 4 nights at the Diplomat Hotel in the heart of Alice Springs. What can I say? The photos did not reflect the true state of the place.

Once we were in our rooms we knew that they had cleaned up a few rooms so they would have nice photos for the website, but the rest, including the ones we were in, hadn’t had anything done to them since maybe the 80s.

The rooms were clean but rough. The shower was over a spa bath. The water pressure was so strong I was afraid I wouldn’t have any hair left after washing it. Though I was a bit suspicious of the holes in the ceiling over the shower.

Though having said that, it was quiet, which surprised us. On top of that, I pretty much got a good night’s sleep each night. So happy about that. It was one thing that I struggled with while away.

It was also nice to find places to eat that didn’t cost us a fortune. The meals were reasonably priced. There was a pub attached to the motel and while it was loud and busy, we ended up eating there each night. It was quite good and not too expensive. Good pub food, sometimes you can’t go past it.

We found a couple of great places for breakfast and then had to decide what we were going to do.

We went to the mall there. I hadn’t been feeling well.  A few tummy problems. I don’t think you need to hear about it too much, but we decided because of it we would stick close to the motel. Suzzanna really wanted to look at some Aboriginal Art. I had thought I wouldn’t be interested but went along anyway.

We had to thank my stomach in the end. Turns out we had planned on seeing the galleries on Sunday but turns out they are closed then. So good move to see them on Friday.

This was in the mall.

She found a couple of artists that she really liked and I have to admit I was getting into it as well. I am not a huge fan of traditional aboriginal art, but I discovered there are so many different styles.

I found an artist that I really liked but wasn’t really sure if I was going to buy any paintings.

Then we both saw this work by Bernadine Johnson.

It is stunning and quite large. It was also $1130. I was trying to convince Dave to let me buy it, but he was a firm no. However, Suzzanna loved it. She did decide to think about it and we both walked out.

While visiting galleries, I found an artist that I really liked, Sacha Long.

That is from a book in one of them.

I decided that I would buy one of her paintings, but only a small one that was $210.

I really like this style. I like how it seems to move as you look at it. I believe the style is bush medicine. That sounds appropriate.

I found a website about her, click here.

Another artist I fell in love with and got to meet was Athena Granites. Her paintings were so beautiful and reminded me of the cosmos and stars. They were way above my budget and I couldn’t afford to buy one, but you can see some of her work here.  There is a link to her and you can see the gallery if you click here, Yubu Napa. I loved talking to the people in this gallery and the bonus was seeing the artists working as well.

I had my painting and thought I would be happy with that. However, I also wondered about doing some of my own. It is a sticky thing. Can I paint in the same style for myself? Obviously, I can’t sell them, but would I get into trouble if I painted my own to put on my walls?  I’m told if it is just for yourself and not to sell then it would be okay. I might have to think about it. I know I can’t copy but I can get inspiration from the work.

The following day we headed back to the gallery so Suzzanna could buy that first painting I showed you. I’m bummed I couldn’t have it, but I know I can go and see it at her place.

While we were walking back to the motel we saw many indigenous women on the grass in the mall with their own paintings. We looked at them and then I saw one I liked. A woman walked over and I asked her about her paintings. She didn’t really say much but said her name was Samantha. That is all I know. I asked her how much her painting was and she said $80. I had the cash, so I gave it to her in exchange for the work. I don’t believe in bartering. If the artist tells you how much they want, then that is what I pay.

It’s funny because when I show people they nearly all say they like Samantha’s painting the most. I love them both. Which one do you prefer?

It was a surprising day for me. I didn’t expect to enjoy the galleries as much as I did. They were fascinating and I was surprised by how many different styles of paintings there were.

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  1. Where I live in the Four Corners region (Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico) we have a lot of Native American Indian artwork. (I live in Colroado.) Some are authentic Native American, a lot in the style of Native American work. Many thought they were buying authentic, but are buying something that was mass produced. It only has the pattern. Consequently, it’s understood “it’s buyer beware” when it comes to Native arts.

    Samantha’s painting, I think you got a bargain there. I like the pattern too. The $1130 piece, I like that one too but probably would have balked on the price like your Dave.

    1. I love American indian work, it is so beautiful and colourful, and that is sad about a lot of it being no authentic, just the style. I think here it is heavily frowned on because it would mean others are taking money away from them. Though buying from reputable places has to be good too, I hope. That is sad about the mass production.

      I think I got a bargain too. I wonder if I should have offered more. Though I didn’t have anymore cash. It was a big painting, the $1130 and very intricate, so I think the price was fair, but just out of my budget.
      Thank you David.

  2. Fascinating. never seen paintings like this before. I think I prefer the second one because I find it more restful and the colour changes are more subtle but who knows if I lived with them I might change my mind.

    1. They are very typical here now. I don’t think you are alone, many people who have seen them have said the same. I keep looking at and find something new all the time. Thank you

  3. I love aboriginal art and your two paintings are beautiful. The movement is what I love and the first is my favourite. But the second one glows and you can see she has put a little catch light on each leaf, something I haven’t seen in other bush medicine paintings.

    1. Thank you Chris, I love them too. lol. It is the movement that really got to us as well. I thought the two of them would well together, or in the same room. I like how the more you look the more you see.

  4. Both paintings you bought are lovely. They are somehow both restful to look at and dynamic. I also really like the painting your friend bought. I am glad you can go and visit it.

    1. Thank you Laura, I like your description. I love the painting that Suzzanna bought, I would have loved to buy it, but oh well. I am glad I can visit it too.

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