Thursday, March 6, 2014


Offered at auction for the first time, 'Creek & Contour..' exhibits all the energy and movement of the more mature Picasso, albeit in a restrained palette. Sotherby insiders report the $10 reserve price for this small masterwork is likely to be to be exceeded, with 166 bidders in the room - many with wallets bulging. The 'painting' is reminiscent of 'Nude in a rocking chair' (Picasso 1956), and, as with the great Spaniard's canvas, oil man LeFevre has produced a work of spontaneous revelation - exploring the duality of course setter and victim, as Pablo explored the artist and model.

Unusually, Sotherby's (through subsidiary Garingal Art) conducted the auction 'en-plein-air', managing to sell the entire catalogue, which only included C&CC, during a spirited bidding war upon the grass at Chatswood last night. Bunting and artistic flags heralded the occasion and location, as the hopeful registered for their bidding paddles and laid down the tenner.

The single sheet catalogue was a landscape interpretation, and came with thirty explanatory notes. The work was a complex one, with some seeing the swooping and looping charm early, and others struggling with the intellectual depth on offer - and thinking they might need more than 45 minutes to take it all in. Holding the 6B loosely in the hand helped.

Those new to world of SSS 'art', and new to the work of GO art graduate LeFevre, were struck by the light wash like colouring, the sinuous brown road network and daubs of yellow ochre - the whole split by a creek and bush track slash that was at the heart of the artists intent. Here, in a rendering of green, blue and white, the challenge that was at the heart of a successful bid emerged. How to work the triple thirty's in the body of the work, add the swirling of points in the bentwood chair legs, and complete the points in the 'missing' head. A visit to the Art Gallery of NSW might help!

First impressions of the course (work) were positive - then puzzling. There were good loops on offer, with two areas on the must do list - the north with 140points, and the creek, with its three thirty pointers. The outlying areas of the canvas (#20/10 in the north west, 17/30 in the mid west. and 29/16 in the south west) all were quickly discarded, as buyers looked to enjoy the impasto work closer to the centre/right section of the painting. The stretch to 26,15,12 (representing the nude's feet) was worthwhile if you had speed, but probably cost those of ambition and smaller wallets (including Pork Pie). Working into and out of the creek was the main game - in a night of tough scoring and costume course variety.

Beginning 7,6,14,22,5,24 (Larry) and then into the creek at #9 was a common start that would yield high threes if the northern return (4,18,8,27,23,19,3,1) was managed before the sweep to 21,11 (the bosom) and 13 concluded the 6/6.5klm review. Others worked north first, getting the roller coaster contour work over early before hitting the creek - with the trick this way being how to score #21 (up/back?), and 11? Probably a leave. Another seemingly good wave of the crayon, was to begin 13,11,21 the the creek pair (25 in-out, and on to 28) before climbing out south, and taking in a bigger sweep across the feet before going all points from 12,24,5,22 to the north - and ending with the 'puff-o-metre' fully engaged in the dash home. There seemed lots of variations, and lots were indeed reported.
'Contour' the work was named, and 'contour' remained etched on the mind - and on the legs - as unlucky punters returned their paddles, and retired to the bar.

And the winning bid? Andrew Hill (OM). In a tight and gripping bidding war, Andy's $550 just pipped an excellent $540 from Tom Joss, and other close underbids of $530 from Glenn Horrocks and Steve Ryan. Other offers? Mmmmm, let's have a look see.

Seven runners posted 500+ (the other three on the look out for great art being, 'The Ink Bottle', 'The Gunboat', and 'The Morris 10'), while a further 35 registered bids in the 400 range - including three from our Sub Junior and Junior ranks. Excellent running from Toby Wilson (420), 'The Currie Puff' (also beeping 420, but going over by 27 seconds to register ten below 'The Jug'), and Tristan '& Isolde' White carding the same 410 in 44.06 for his JM win.

While many of the winning runs were from our category leaders (Antoniya, Karin, Carol, Sue etc), there were a few outings that needed referral to the catalogue notes page - Heiko coming last in IM (!!) with a 75+ minute outing being the most notable. Another feature was the quiet performance (or non performance in the case of Le Burton) of several stars lying low as the spectre of the Pluviometer (read 6 foot track run this Sunday) plays with their minds. Gill, Mike Ward, Neil - although Neil looks to have had the pedal down chasing Wazza, and must be deploying the reserve tank on Sunday.

Catherine Murphy wins OW (shares with Gill), VM Greg Barbour has ten on Tim Rogers, Mel wins the walk (Jimmy testing the appendages with a LM run, in anticipation of flying at Rowdy Flat - and Richard of knee and chest a no-show), and 'Tearaway' Ted Mulherin screaming to victory in IM after going over by seven seconds, but still holding Ron by ten. Good to see June Stanley back working the IW art class (2nd to Sue's 200 with 150points), and to note the LM battle not getting any easier with Ross, John and Ted all carding 350's - but being eclipsed by Steve Flick's excellent 390 in 42". A great run. And while I'm in LM territory, I must report the intriguing run of Terry 'Towling Hat' Bluett, who worked inexplicably west of #28, saw the yellow (and then 'saw red'!), backtracked east, missed the track to 25 and rose uphill to the road, where realising his 'new' error, he skirted the number on the map - plunging down the slope to creek, and up to the fence corner 'ping' - where the tic tok registered 'Time gentlemen please'. A sobering outing from the BN star, but hey, watch him fly in the granite next weekend!

What else? Kar-Soon down from his usual (350pts, and well behind the leading group in MM - of which he is usually a part), Carolyn Haupt going over by one second to a draw in second place in MW with Cath Chalmers (390/390), strong runs from Nick Dent and Larry (both SVM - 380/400) - but not, strangely from 'The Windermere Fan' (President Paul), whose 280 was, well, just one of those days. Also good to see ex BN lifer Rob Spry up from the southern highlands (Bowral/Burradoo?) and enjoying the auction (or is that action?) in colourful outer ware. We had six groups in the gallery, with Sophie & Henry (I'm presuming these are Vicky's kids, with grandad David helping to pilot the ship) taking 150 penalty points to chomp their hard won 150. Great to see the GO legend with map in hand, and also grandkids in hand. At the other end of the scale, Peter & Mark piled on 390 - a considerable achievement.

The largest art class were the 29 strong Vet Men - all keen to work from the model, with many sporting the beret and clutching the flagon. From the winning run by Greg Barbour, we almost had a step ladder points drop through this large field. Tim 480, Andrew 470, Mark 460, Graeme & Pete 450, Mark 'The Tile' 440, Graeme 430… and so it goes through Mike Free, Digby 'The Shovel' Pritchard and Chris 'The Armpit' Arnison (all 340's), 'King' James and 'Stevie Ray' Vaughan on 280's, till Col Burnett finally brings them home with 250 - and a weeks still life drawing as punishment.

No close shaves of the 44.59 variety this week, although Martin 'And His' Cousins had the watercolour paints out for 44.58. Close enough I reckon. I note Graeme McLeod 'Er and Louder' had the volume up with a 45.59 in VM and a 430 post that could so easily been a 420. We saw a couple of .01's, with the absolute class act being Carolyn Haupt's 45.01 in MW. Toby Wilson and Rod Eckels (VM) both did 44.01's, the second not bothering Tobes who still won SJM - as I think I might have mentioned. Andy Goddard was another .01 - this time in MM but out a bit at 47.01 for 340 points. Still pretty good stuff. Only two all stations bidders - Ian and Glenn, with Ian going widest at 106"+ to be longest on course. Heiko enjoyed 75"+ to get the silver.

Hopefully, all this and more will be on the web site soon - and I'm sure sooner than last week, which have only just gone up (big thanks to webmaster Noble for his forbearance here). Neil's work upon the canvas of Chatswood was excellent stuff indeed. A swirl of brush and magenta circle work that looked easier than it proved. Picasso? Well, students of PP (Pablo Picasso/Pork Pie) were taken by control #11 and its likeness to a 'point' on the AGNSW work (purchased in 1981 for those that like facts amongst the fiction), and hence the rather long bow drawn with this weeks post. Having failed in my quest for the elusive winning bid, PP might be of a more sober bent next week, as he packs the paddle and contemplates a cuppa. And speaking of next week.

Yes, event 24 is up next, and back out in the north west with the WHO team about their work in an area that is largely new material. Join 'Darlings' Robyn and Steve Dunlop and all the WHO crew as we go bush track, gorge, park, reserve and large houses at Darling Mills. Only three rounds to go, so all results on the line as we sail towards the badges. Make this a counter folks - and bring grandpa! It will be a fantastic evening.    



SteveF said...

A great course and a real challenge,especially when my timer stopped at 19 minutes,went 22,2 13 thinking I was way late at the end but had plenty of time so missed 14 and 6.Steve

the unknown runner said...

I thought it was a good course but those paths along the creek were tough to read at 1:10000

Bruce S said...

As always, I enjoyed the run. Thanks Neil LeFevre and Garingal Orienteers. BTW you might like to correct the date (2013) on your map.

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