Saturday 4 April 2015

Betty Churcher RIP

Last year an interview introduced me to Betty Churcher who passed away this week. When Betty realised that her eyesight was failing she decided the best way to capture and remember her favourite paintings would be to draw them. During her long and illustrious career as curator of National Gallery of Australia she had the resources to travel and see some of the world's masterpieces.

Notebooks a collection of these drawings accompanied by her thoughts on the various art works. In most cases Betty has focussed on a section, a part of the whole - a small delight. By drawing one looks really closely and one's enjoyment is amplified so much. 

So often when visiting an art gallery, one is tempted to see everything. How much better it would be to rather take it slowly and enjoy a few selected pieces?

Betty Churcher's last book was a follow-up to the first - Australian Notebook. In this volume she looks at the paintings in Australian art museums. Again her recollections of her favourite pieces are enhanced by her wonderful drawings.

And today I have learned of one more book The Forgotten Notebook.  Sally Heath talks about working with Betty on this book. This last treasure will be published this year - I look forward to it. 

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