A Nice Smile Says It All

6 September 2019

Are your teeth in perfect alignment?

If so, we can help you stop feeling like a boring magazine model.

Thank goodness, times they are a-changing. We are now in the Age of Heightened Individuality.

Dr Crocodontist is a superbly trained specialist. He will take one look at your ivories and pull you (ouch) out of your misery. No longer will you need to feel like a cookie-cutter zombie.

Our unorthodox orthodontist will be only too pleased to give you that refreshingly natural look.

So don’t hesitate. Your smile is your visiting card, as they say.

 

Dr. Crocodontist

oil on canvas

56 cm x 71 cm

 

You may have guessed that this image forms part of my growing new series called Our Beastly Friends, exploring the commonality between humans and the animal kingdom.

Have you ever thought about it? Crocodiles can get toothaches, just like we do. You can tell by their tears.

Steering you away from a life that’s all too straight and narrow! Katharina

 

 

 

If You Were a Mouse

30 July 2019

Here in Australia, it’s cold outside.

If you were a mouse, what would you do?

Would you not throw caution to the wind and move into the nearest, the most luxuriously appointed designer mansion?

This is exactly what Sir Reginald Rootlemouse decided to do.

As you can tell, he is not your average little mouse. He has won some of the highest distinctions his kind can possibly aspire to. Thanks to his wit, his valour, he has been showered with innumerable gifts and medals.

He doesn’t bother to wear his medals. He’d find them too pretentious. But he is extremely proud of his most treasured possession—the envy of every other male mouse in the country—and there are many:

His Codpiece d’Honneur.

He wears it all the time. It attracts the ladies’ attention.

No wonder your luxury pad might soon be overrun by teeny little mouslets.

 

Sir Reginald Rootlemouse
oil on canvas, 56cm x 71cm

 

Please note that Sir Reginal Rootlemouse forms part of a gang of 16 animal characters – my new series – some yet to be painted. Once the collection is complete, there will be a special exhibition launch at Studio Rapp, with lots of beastly fanfare.

 

The Importance of Not Being Earnest

31 May 2019

There are two totally different artists who are close to my heart. One is the contemporary German painter Michael Sowa, with his quaint, charming surrealism; and the other is American Dr Suess, whose quote I paste in here below:

“Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age. Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It’s more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack.”

I could not have said it better myself. Being light-hearted in one’s expression does not negate an underlying sincere nature—not at all. Ask any Buddhist.

That said, and having reached the glorious age where I don’t care any more about what people think, I have decided to let rip, to give way to my innate, childlike soul. This means that I am stepping away from the theme of ‘the better moments in a woman’s life’ – at least for now.

Hello, transmogrification.

Hint from the dictionary: ‘transmogrify’ – to transform in a surprising or magical manner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Happy Hippo

oil on canvas, 56 cm x 70 cm

 

We are all interconnected, animals and plants alike. Hold onto that thought.

And may you, too, be bitten by the flea of benign madness.

 

 

 

Drama in the Bedroom

4 May 2019

A few nights ago we had the mother of all thunderstorms.

At first, I woke up and listened to the soothing patter of rain on the roof. How wonderful. What a relief. Man and beast—and garden—have been waiting for this godsend for weeks.

Gosh, I thought, the rain’s getting heavier, in fact, it sounds like it’s coming down in cascades. And then, at 4 a.m., I sat bolt upright in bed and turned on the light.

At the far end of my room there was a veritable Trevi Fountain! My air conditioner above the window had turned into a gargoyle, spewing water in all directions. The wall was awash, just like the waterwall at the entrance to the National Gallery of Victoria.

Like a flash of lightning I flew out of bed and started to pull out the rugs, sofa, bookshelf… and then my electricity blew a fuse and I stood in the dark in my nightie, bare feet slithering about in the wet.

I mopped up as best I could by the light of my mobile phone and went back to bed. What else could I do in complete darkness?

All sorted now; the electricity is back on. My ceiling is made of pine boards from the 1860s. Had it been modern plasterboard, it would have crashed down on me.

Today’s image of a sleepwalker is as serene as I was tousled and chaotic.

 

The Sleepwalker
40 cm x 80 cm, in an ornate silver frame
$ 2,200

May all your dreams be dry ones!

 

A Fashion Tip for Easter

16 April 2019

It’s that time of year when the weather is starting to turn, and the nights are growing cool.

To ward off any pesky head-colds, here is a sure-fire remedy: a recipe found in a monk’s chest in a remote mountain range at the back of Transylvania.

Ingredients

Take one fluffy white rabbit

Method

Place rabbit on top of your head, keep it there for one hour, or until the warmth of its underbelly has seeped into your brain.

If no soothing effects after one hour, double the dose.

Oh, and for Easter you can use the same white rabbit as your seasonal fashion accessory.

 

My Wabbity Hat

30 cm x 30 cm, $ 1,500

 

May all your eggs be good ones.

 

 

Ahoy There! Castlemaine Festival is in full swing.

26 March 2019

Shiver me timbers!

The Castlemaine State Festival is in full swing, and the town, which has been sleepy for weeks in the intense summer heat, is suddenly abuzz.

Clowns are swinging from the rafters, musicians are kicking up their heels, and waiters are swinging their trays through the throngs at the rate of knots.

The caffè lattes served could fill an ocean.

Here at Studio Rapp, paintings are a-swinging from the walls.
Legroom was at a premium over the weekend; just as well the seas will be calmer now during the week, when the township is less inundated.

Because I have a quiet moment after a weekend of all hands on deck, and because the smorgasbord of arts at the festival has put me in the mood for colour and costume: here is a little bit of visual theatre for you.

The Pirate Bride
oil on canvas, 35 cm x 40 cm
$ 800

May your days be festive!

Katharina

 

For Good Luck

21 March 2019

Preparing for a Festival exhibition always carries with it a certain amount of stress.

Working away in my studio, I was interrupted by some upsetting news. After that phone call I was not myself.

When I went to the sink to clean out my brushes, I had an accident with the bottle of turps. What a stinking mess! I mopped it up as best as I could.

Feeling woozy from the fumes, and to steady my nerves, I poured myself a glass of wine and placed it on the desk next to my laptop – and knocked it over. Red wine all over the keyboard!

I jumped up and ran for some rags to mop up – and in doing so, knocked a fresh painting off the easel. It landed on the floor, face-down, little bits of fluff sticking to the paint.

Drama in the studio!

The painting I managed to repair; the laptop, alas, was not so lucky. It has since been replaced with a new one…

In case you should fear a bout of bad luck coming, you could, as a prevention, kiss your computer/laptop/phone screen over this image.

KISS ME FOR LUCK

oil on canvas, 30 x 40 cm

$ 1,800 AUD

May I have the pleasure of seeing you come through the door during the Castlemaine Festival?

From March 22 to 31 2019, Studio Rapp will be open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.

 

A Labour of Love

10 March 2019

Australia’s Labour Day comes but once a year.

By contrast, my personal Labour Day comes around with incredible frequency. In fact, if I were an ox, I would buckle under my yoke. But since I am female, and that makes me a cow… better not go there.

What I am trying to say is this: Some people think that a painting is something that just happens. You half-close your eyes, and the thing more or less does itself.

Wrong!

You could say painting is like gardening. You dig in your brain for ideas. You rake the ground for ideas. You shovel the muck for ideas… you get the idea.

Are you familiar with Picasso’s ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’?

Inspired by that work, but replanted into a small outpost of Castlemaine, here are my ‘Demoiselles de Chewton‘ or ‘Ladies of Chewton‘. This is how I imagine them in the gold rush era. They didn’t contort themselves in misery, as they might well have done. No. They got on with it. Labour Day every day.

 

‘Les Demoiselles de Chewton’
Oil on canvas, 111 cm x 84 cm
$ 3,500-

May your labours yield nothing but gold.

And speaking of Castlemaine, the biennial Castlemaine State Festival is taking place later this month, from March 22-31 2019, and I’ll be opening my studio doors every day from 10am-5pm. Do come and visit! The studio address is: 50 Hargraves Street, Castlemaine, Victoria 3450, Australia.

 

 

 

 

Do You Spark Joy?

24 February 2019

Something tells me that even you will have heard of Marie Kondo, the Japanese tidying-up queen who teaches you how to keep only the things that spark joy.

* Will you hang on to that single rank rugby sock that once covered the cherished foot of a lover?

* Will you keep the photo that was taken by your best friend, but which makes you look like a body building experiment gone wrong?

* Will you give up hanging on to that guitar on the wall, for years home to a family of hairy-legged spiders?

Out with them.

Donate, recycle (boyfriend included). Deep breath of liberation.

But what about the things that do spark joy?

Will you neatly fold your sexiest drawers and stack them upright in a—ahem—drawer?

Speaking for myself, I have revolutionised the way I keep my joy-sparking socks. Uniformly black, they are all rolled up now, standing like Rollmops in a tin, albeit smelling deliciously of soap.

The white ones that got away are in the image below.

 

GONE WITH THE WIND
oil on canvas, 71 x 76 cm
$ 2,750

 

May there be nothing but order in your joyful madness.

 

 

Anatomy of a Painting

6 February 2019

Today’s painting may be just a tad eccentric, but that’s nothing new, is it?

Blame the current heat wave—it made me dream of fresh sea breezes…

As a norm, I don’t like people looking over my shoulder at a work in progress. They see only what’s in front of them, whereas I can see the final image in my inner eye. Today, however, I want to break with that rule—assuming that this drawn-out process might actually be of interest to you. So here I let you peep into the progression of my latest, called ‘Mrs Saltwater at Home’.

Here is photo Number One, taken by daughter Cat.

 

 

The yellow and green are left-over colours from a previous painting. Smearing them on kills the stark white of the canvas, which is as frightening to a painter as the blank page is to a novelist with writer’s block. Next I transfer the outlines from a prepared drawing, and now have to wait a few days, or things will smudge. You can’t hurry your oil paint.

Number Two shows some base colours blocked in. These can take up to a week to surface-dry, before I can continue.

 

 

Number Three picks out more detail:

 

Number Four shows the finished result:

‘Mrs Saltwater at Home’
Oil on canvas, 66 cm x 84 cm, plus width of frame
$ 4,500

I hope the above hasn’t shattered your image of the ‘volatile artist’ who gurgitates his or her emotions onto the canvas in one hit. No. It’s the result of painstaking planning, discipline, patience—and if you’re lucky, the odd slip of inspiration along the way.

 

Nosy Parkers Galore

15 January 2019

Finger-print forensic science is so yesterday. What I need right now is a forensic detective who specialises in nose-prints.

If such a thing should exist, then I would like to keep an eye on the culprits who left their flat, nasal calling cards on an otherwise pristine pane of glass. The situation has gone completely out of hand.

Maybe it is my own fault. Maybe I should not have used ‘And Life Goes On’ as my current window display.

 

AND LIFE GOES ON
Oil on canvas, 106 cm x 106 cm, plus frame
$ 6,600

Enigmatic as the painting is, maybe the window-smudgers were looking for clues in the assorted luggage?

Had they asked me, I would have told them this:

‘Look,’ I would have said, ‘isn’t life like a series of rooms, as in the painting? Rooms that you have to pass through in order to become wiser? If you’ve managed to leave your old baggage behind, you are one of the lucky ones.’

The rest of us, who cling to our memories like limpets—be they good ones or bad—find ourselves stranded like the painting’s subject, being followed by emotional baggage. Unless, of course, she now decides to cut herself loose, and opens herself up to a brand new future.

Which way is your nose pointing? Backwards or forwards?

 

Happy New Year, from Studio Rapp

1 January 2019

Were you tucked safely in bed by 10 pm on New Year’s Eve, like yours truly? Or are you an altogether less boring person and you celebrated way into the wee hours, and in grand style?

Do you have a sore head now? (ha ha, I could have told you so)

Is your head in a spin? Your brain still in overdrive from going backwards and forwards? One moment asking yourself what on earth you did with the precious time that is your life, the next wondering what metaphorical mountains you will have to climb in the twelve months ahead?

 

ALL WOUND UP
oil on canvas, 45 x 56cm
$2500

Life is uncertain, but a cold compress across your forehead can do wonders.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you and yours a peaceful, fun-filled, healthy, prosperous New Year. It would be wonderful to see you walk through my door one of these weekends.

 

Studio Rapp – New Premises, New Beginnings

10 December 2018

As you can see, I am in a quaintly old-fashioned frame of mind tonight. Maybe the first glass of seasonal port has something to do with it?

Here’s to your health!

A good port is the colour of ruby, rich and full of depth, and it reminds me of the past twelve months which were equally condensed.

First I sold my idyllic cottage in the sticks, then I bought a run-down property, dating back to 1861, in the commercial heart of Castlemaine.

The renovations have left me with an elegant working space, as well as comfortable living quarters. The studio is much like a Parisian artist’s salon – a kind of living room where I like to entertain, or mix pleasure with business. You can come and see for yourself, as it is open to the public every weekend, or at other times by appointment.

 

Sometimes my attention wanders in the middle of a conversation. This is usually because a half-finished painting is staring at me from the easel. That hand! It needs correction. That bright cadmium yellow! It needs toning down. It’s like a constant dialogue with a patient, and the outcome depends a lot on the correct doses I decide to administer.

 

 

Having a set-up like this has been a dream of mine ever since I was eighteen. And now, only a mere handful of years later, my patience has been rewarded. Fun, fun, fun!

Studio Rapp is now located at 50 Hargraves St, Castlemaine, Victoria 3450, Australia. Tel +61 419103960. Open 10am-5pm weekends, or by appointment.