It Was Fabulous!

If you made it along to the 30x30x30 Art Extravaganza over the weekend, I’m sure you will agree with me that the event was spectacular.

I arrived at 5pm with kids and husband in tow. We were immediately staggered at the number of people flocked around the Darlington Hall. The colourful flags and bunting gave such a delightful festive ambiance. There was already a line well established to purchase the art. It struck me that I had better get in to see the exhibition at its finest before it was too late.

As I walked in the door of the Hall I was overcome with pride in the parents from Treetops Montessori School that made this all happen. The works of art displayed were incredible. I was speechless as I milled around from one display of 30 works to the next. Each one captivating me, some speaking deeper to my soul than others.

I was delighted to meet some of the artists who came along to the event. A display such as this almost strips you bare as an artist – 30 days can have a lot of warts. Some days better than others. The challenge of producing a piece a day over a 30 day period is quite something, and each person that contributed ought to be very proud of their achievement.

In particular I was delighted with the artwork put together by the Treetops Artists. Few of us have been formally trained in art, and I think we did pretty well! It was a very humbling experience being a part of something such as this, and having my work displayed amongst very accomplished artists.

As the clock ticked on there were speeches and thanks. The excitement in the air was tangible as the opening of the sale was getting closer.

Then the bell rang…

I was located on the checkout, so only saw the final result of the process. Every person I spoke to was absolutely delighted with their pieces. A highlight for me was meeting the person who bought both of my pieces. I’m not sure who was more excited… her or me!

The community came together from far and wide. There were children, grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, all a part of the event. Thank you to everyone who came along and supported our School.

Well Done Treetops!

PS – I can’t wait to see some pictures!



15: Connection

A relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.

The connection Treetops Montessori School is building with the extended community on this 30x30x30 project is just wonderful. As a member of the parent body, and a member of the Board of the School I can see the immediate benefits the project is having for the school.

The 30x30x30 project is raising awareness throughout the community to people who may never have heard of Treetops Montessori School. It is such a wonderful time for us to demonstrate how important community connection is to the school.

Did you know that Montessori encourages a community connection? Students are involved in various projects for the community from plantings on the Darlington Reserve to painting bus shelters in the area. The senior school students currently studying for their IB (International Baccalaureate) have a portion of their curriculum dedicated to the community.

In our current environment – constantly criticised for the lack of community involvement of young people (if you watch the news in any case), this connection is absolutely vital.

I am proud to be a Montessori parent and to be part of our very own School Community.

21: Children

young human beings; our future

The most important ‘c’ word of all, at the centre of this project are the children of Treetops Montessori School.  The 30x30x30 Challenge project embodies all of the values and virtues that we wish our children to observe and absorb.

“The things [s]he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul.”
(Maria Montessori)

As well as being a model for our children, the 30x30x30 project will raise funds to assist Treetops Montessori School in providing creative educational opportunities for it’s students.

Each component of the project, each layer, each person who creates, supports, facilitates, and helps is doing so for the benefit of our children.  We are so grateful that the child is valued and cherished in our society, as our future is in their hands.

“The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.”
(Maria Montessori)

It is with thanks and wonderment that when we see the contribution made by so many individuals to the success of the 30x30x30 Challenge project, for the benefit of our children, we see great hope and a promise for our future…

Colouring White with Michelle Reynolds

Have you heard the saying that nothing is whiter than the white of a blank test paper?  Michelle Reynolds bravely faced the white of 30 blank canvases on Day One of her challenge. Michelle reports on preparing her canvases and ‘colouring white’:

I was very excited to be chosen as one of the participants [of the 30x30x30 Challenge] and have been looking forward to getting started.  There were so many questions that popped up as I began:

How many should I start to prepare?
Where will they all dry?
Do I have enough paint or will a quick trip to the art shop be in order?
What am I going to paint on this first set?
Do they have a spare 30 canvases for my other ideas that would like to be painted!?

See that white little square, bottom, middle of the paintings? Yes, this pic shows a size comparison between the largest paintings I’ve created and the 8 inch or 20cm square canvases that I will work on for the 30x30x30. Size is only one of my challenges!

I decided to prepare 12 canvases with the basic layers which will build up into a painting of depth…

Another covering layer will be added then I’ll have fun stamping and dripping and deciding what they will become.  Oh such fun and such a great challenge too…

To read more about Michelles journey visit her website and personal blogsite:

Catching up with Fiona Fisher

Dixie Bartle from Treetops Montessori School interviews and reports on the progress of one of the first 30x30x30 challengers…

On day One of Fiona’s challenge I received an exciting e-mail with lots of smiling faces and an image of her very wonderful first painting. “One down and only 29 to go,” she said. “I’m wondering how excited I will be by the time I get to 30!”

At the half way mark in her challenge, I am pleased to report that Fiona is still smiling.  “I am still just as excited, my mind keeps going down different roads and inspirations.  The second half is becoming more exciting than the first,” said Fiona.

I have had the privilege of viewing a selection of Fiona’s paintings so far and I am as excited as she is to see what comes to life in the second half of her challenge…

Fiona said, “I set myself a goal for the first six paintings being flowers and the second six paintings being raindrops.  Raindrops being one thing that I was wanting to experiment with.”  And what a great success that experimentation has turned out to be!  The fluidity of the raindrop splash is a very difficult subject to record in any time frame, but to capture it in a day is a mighty achievement!

It is such a great series of paintings.  How could they all have been achieved in this short time-frame?

Fiona replies: “I thought I would struggle with not touching up some of my works the next day or so, but part of the challenge is the time limit so I let that go up front and now I find that invigorating.  Last night it was quite late before I was able to go up to my studio. I was very tired and unsure as to what result I was going to get.  It turned out to be my favourite painting so far, you just never know.”

We are all curious to know what is to come.

Keep the paint flowing, Fiona, and thanks for the update.

Challenger 3 – Fiona Fisher

From Behind Curtain 1, we are excited to announce that Fiona Fisher has commenced her challenge!  In her Mount Evelyn studio, Fiona will be creating artworks each day for 30 days. Fiona describes her challenge:

” I am always changing my medium and style through inspirations of colour, medium application and subject.  My approach and goals for this challenge-journey are to let my mind guide me through.  I am very excited to experiment and release my emotions into these works and to see what prevails.”

Challenger 2 – Each One Teach One

From Behind Curtain 1, we are excited to announce that the ‘Each One Teach One’ art group have commenced their challenge!  At Canning Art Group in Riverton, Susan Clark, Laurie Cochrane, Christine Chester, Ramon Comty, Jo Haynes, Cally Jarlett, Kerry Jones, Deborah McGrade, Isabella Middleton, Christine Ross, Maggie Smith, Brenda Taylor, Christine A Taylor and Peta Zeller will be creating 30 artworks within 30 days.  The ‘Each One Teach One’ art group challengers …

“Under the guidance of teacher Laurie Cochrane, and in a workshop setting, our goal is to produce wonderful art that will sell on opening night.  We will use the proverb ‘Each One, Teach One’  to guide us in creating a cohesive body of work. Laurie has just returned from the Vancouver art scene and ‘serendipity’  has given us this opportunity to work with her.  We look forward to the artistic journey as we create 30 canvases in support of Treetops Montessori School.”

Challenger 1 – Karena Holden

From Behind Curtain 1, we are excited to announce that Karena Holden has commenced her challenge!  In her Perth Hills studio, Karena will be creating artworks each Monday for the duration of the project. Karena describes her challenge:

“As the journey begins …  Wow, what a challenge! I can’t wait to get my canvases! I am looking at achieving a series because art is about seeing and showing something in a different way than normal. Although I want them to correspond as one they will be something to do with nature as that is what I love, yet have an abstract feeling to the pieces.”

28: Community

a social group of any size; a group of people leading a common life

We welcome all artists who nominated for the challenge to be active members of our 30x30x30 community.  Of all the people on the face of this earth, you answered the call.  Not just anyone puts their hand up to create ‘30 art works in 30 days’ to help a School fundraising drive; no, you are special!  You all have that special something in common and it’s a connection that should be held tight.

Our connection can be strengthened and our community widened by following the challenge journey with us here on this blog.  We can all follow the work of the artists and provide encouragement and support.  It is a privilege to have access to this porthole and the stories that will be told.  Take your seats, the show is about to begin; we are almost ready to raise the curtain!

29: Consensus

general agreement or concord; majority of opinion

We dug deep and slept little during the selection process.  We kept true to the intention of the project.  To be open to all.  To be fair.  To show a huge diversity of art mediums and styles.  To represent a balanced cross section of the art community.  To encourage new ideas and experiments.  To learn about the artists and to embrace and celebrate their stories.

The problem was that this really didn’t make the job any easier.  Everyone was unique.  Everyone was talented.  Everyone had a story.  It was a very tough job, but it had to be done.

To all the extraordinary artists who applied to be challengers please know that we are extremely gracious.  You have lifted our sprits and made our little School very proud.  Proud to have sparked your curiosity.  Proud to have inspired your imagination.  And proud to be part of your community.