I am a senior writer for Weekend Notes, a copywriter, editor, published poet and former editor of poetry magazine Fruit Salad. I have also authored children's fiction and inspirational pieces.
Published November 19th 2015
Seven of the best
Tosari, 4 Margaret St.
The Tosari gallery exhibits fine art and Aboriginal art. A certificate of authenticity is supplied with all Indigenous art which is ethically sourced.
Oils by David Hinchliffe featured heavily around the gallery, bearing light and colour patches glowing through tree branches. Hinchliffe captures the atmosphere of places like Paris or New York, though Toowoomba also features.
Diane Elsdon's hydrangeas and other florals graced several places in water and acrylics. Jewellery in wood, stainless steel and glass painted a personal characteristic beside homewares such as bowls made from recycled macadamia shells.
Art supplies and framing are available and staff are friendly and helpful. There is a relaxed atmosphere throughout the gallery created by the meandering spaces and mood music.
A cooperative of local artists, The MET Galleries have become established with fine art, both 2D and 3D. 'Green Woman' in porcelain, silk and wood is a wonderful example of 3D art by Gail Dawson. 'Pelican on Pylon' clay sculpture will set you back $330. Clay slip, glaze paperweights would make a talking point for your office.
Horses in oil paints by Kathy Ellem and Shannon O'Shea-Kemp may appeal to the country visitor. Silk scarves in many colours for $45 offers wearable art plus framed silk art and silk tiles all by Cecile Arndt.
Paul McCormack's pastel of Christ for $250, 'He Raised His Eyes to Heaven' may appeal.
3 Parkside Ceramics
Parkside Ceramics, 145 West Street, is the brainchild of college graduates who wanted to continue working together.
Unique pieces at reasonable prices from earth-coloured, chunky mugs to delicated blue vases and arty pottery, enjoy a quiet browse near the heart of the city. Glossy black and white bowls, paintings of gum blossoms, unnaturally-coloured Australian landscapes, a rocking horse and bath mats are some of the merchandise. Fascinating shapes, courtesy of Ros Jones of Mackay, have been created in a saggar-fired (gas) kiln with seaweed, giving the pieces a blush colour.
Cotton baskets in soft colours and ceramic chooks compete with elegant bowls created using origami technology. Like a handful of small cards intertwined, pieces bear an intricate picture. These pieces and much of the pottery is by Shirley Wilkins.
Open by appointment only, but if you knock on the door, artist and printmaker Jenny Durack may just pop out and let you in. If she's working with acids there are no visitors allowed, due to safety concerns.
The Ink Studio is Jenny's personal studio, sometimes open for trade. One of Jenny's specialties is zinc plate etching as well as dry point etching to copper plate. She is also into lino prints and painting.
Gallery de Ville, 203 Margaret St.
5 Gallery de Ville
Sneak upstairs for a 'peek' through the door-glass painted circle. Though 'open' the door is always locked. The tiny room beyond is crammed with artworks, mostly oil portraits smeared in magenta, blue and flesh. A painting of a leopard relaxing under palm trees has personality as he guards the Gallery de Ville. You have the option of picking up a free verse on the 'Urban Angel' as a business card with a difference inviting clients to 'take me I'm yours'.
Toowoomba Art Society Gallery, 1 Godsall St, beside Queens Park.
Art displayed at the Toowoomba Art Society Gallery is big, colourful and heavily textured. This gallery is all about workshops, including life drawing classes. Watch artists at work with oils and water colours. Additional smaller artworks line the corridor in the charming Culliford House beside Queens Park. The current exhibition finishes on 22 November 2015.
7 Kontraband Studio
For the love of skateboarding, the only other thing on offer apart from an extensive array of painted skateboards is an enormous variety of paint cans for the graffiti specialist. One exception was a skateboard by Stephen Spurrier who has created an eye-catching psychedelic fur-covered skateboard.
Situated in Luarel St, everything you could want painted on a skateboard to take home your love of the sport is available. But shoppers at Kontraband Studio beware. Go deeper into the store and a large pooch will make your better acquaintance. Lucky for me he was taking a nap while the shop was unattended.